when I was younger, my favorite character on Pokemon was Gary Oak. I admired the fact that he was phenomenally scummy and still got absolutely everything he wanted, and maybe also that a squad of attractive cheerleaders followed him everywhere he went. I really wanted to be Gary Oak, I mean he had an Arcanine and a Nidoking so clearly he was the perfect role model. I used to tell friends ‘smell ya later’ instead of good-bye. this didn’t make me particularly popular, but if Gary Oak did it, I wanted to do it, too.
my parents didn’t really understand why their child wanted to emulate an irredeemable jerk, but they seemed to accept it. one day my dad approached me, his face calm and focused.
“What’s better than one Gary Oak?” he asked.
“I don’t know. Nothing,” I probably responded.
“No,” he replied. “Gyarados.”
Gary. Dos. Two of them. Two Garys. My dad walked away in silence as I struggled to come to terms with the most well executed pun I had ever heard as an eight year old.