So, I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this but it seems to me that lives of fictional characters are often better and more interesting than those of real people. As a real person, I find that sometimes this gets me down. To apply a little balm to this wound, I have made a list, snappily entitled:
Fictional Experiences With Which I Would Like To Replace Actual Experiences From My Relatively Uninteresting Life
I’m really not very good at titles.
Childhood: Calvin and Hobbes
Although, actually, maybe I’d rather be Susie. She’s kind of a feminist icon.
The Teenage Years: High School Musical
If you’re a fictional character, your life as a teenager can go one of two ways: badly (eating disorders, bullying, drug use, stalked by emo vampires) or adorably. I choose adorably.
I was tempted, therefore, by Sabrina the Teenage Witch, because she has all the fun of magic and none of the hassle of, say, battling evil noseless wizards to the death across seven books while the local death rate increases exponentially. But then again, Sabrina spends seven seasons learning over and over again that she can’t use magic to gain any kind of advantage in life apart from changing her outfits. It’s a timesaver, for sure, but underwhelming. Especially since I spend a good 50% of my time in pajamas.
On the other hand, at East High, where High School Musical takes place, nothing is underwhelming. If HSM teaches us anything, it’s that you can solve literally any problem with the power of friendship and a big autotuned musical number.
What’s that you say? You need examples? I’m so glad you asked.
Problem: Your school has a very strict clique system and you have interests that other members of your clique find unacceptable.
Solution: Sing about it, then join forces with other misfits to put on a musical. Even though the vast majority of students will have literally nothing to do with your theatrical endeavours, somehow this will completely eliminate the cliques and make everyone friends, leaving you free to deal with any serious personal issues.
Problem: You have serious personal issues. Like, your friends aren’t speaking to you because you don’t fully support their talent show. Or something.
Solution: Sing about it while skipping backwards over a golf course.
Problem: You don’t dance.
Solution: Dance. Also, sing about it.
Things my university had that Greendale Community College doesn’t:
A decent academic reputation.
Things Greendale Community College has that my university didn’t:
A Dungeons and Dragons episode
Epic themed paintball battles
A broken fourth wall
There’s a clear winner here and it’s not reality.
My adulthood so far (if you can call it that): Bertie Wooster
Bertie Wooster, the narrator of PG Wodehouse’s Jeeves series (which you should read immediately if you haven’t already), has a wonderful life. Partly because he’s rich and spends all his time pootling around London or New York looking for new and enjoyable ways to waste time, partly because he has a splendidly efficient valet to solve all his problems and partly because his idea of a problem is an aunt who wants him to present school prizes.
Mostly, though, because of this:
And now, back to the real world. As Calvin puts it: