Today I had to give my son’s preschool teacher a heads up. Because the life of a preschool teacher isn’t fascinating enough, isn’t fraught with all sorts of difficulties, what with the having to negotiate all manner of arguments such as “He called me a ballerina!!!!” and “She won’t stop LOOKING at me!!!”, I needed to tell these particular teachers that because of a certain obsession of late, Cooper might talk about the devil and hell fire.
No, we have not gotten all evangelical here at MidLyfeMama. No, Cooper has been watching the Ghost Rider movies.
For those not in the know, Johnny Blaze, brought to life on the big screen by the toothsome and never overly dramatic Nicholas Cage, is a stunt motorcycle rider with a circus. In an effort to save his father from death by cancer, Johnny makes a pact with the Devil, played by a somewhat creepy but not terribly scary Peter Fonda. In exchange for Johnny’s soul, the Devil will cure dad of cancer.
Note: Pay attention, this may come in handy in the future – when making a pact with the Devil, make sure you have read between the lines on the contract. Chances are Mephistophiles will, given the opportunity, screw you over.
Not surprisingly, Johnny does get screwed over. Dad is cured of cancer! YAY! Dad dies in a fiery crash during the show the next day. Boo.
Time passes, Johnny doesn’t hear from the Devil for quite some time, but then the Devil needs to reign in one of his sons, Black Heart, who wants to destroy life as we know it. The Devil shows up, tells Johnny he has a job to do, and suddenly Johnny’s head and hands and motorcycle are on fire with Hell Fire. He is the Ghost Rider. The Devil’s bounty hunter. He turns into this dude at night, any time he is in the presence of evil. During the day, he is just plain ol’ swaggering, slightly befuddled Nick Cage.
The rest of the movie is not important, unless you would like to know that Sam Elliott is in it, and I love Sam Elliott doing what he does best, COWBOYS. His character was once a Ghost Rider too, only his trusty steed was a horse, who turns into a fire breathing stallion when he becomes the Ghost Rider. Which looks really cool.
So. My beloved boy watches not one but two of these movies this past weekend, and then is acting out the Ghost Rider all over the house, in the car, everywhere. And he is freely talking about the devil and hell fire. And then I realize that this might not end when he gets to school Monday morning.
Awesome. In my head I am imagining Charlie and Will, two of Coop’s favorite people in the world, going home to their lovely parents and telling them about how Cooper was talking about the devil and hell fire and a horse that breathes fire. Cancel all future plans to make plans for play dates. Check.
I did attempt some damage control. I explained that if Cooper talked about hell fire, he would get in trouble, because it might be too scary for some kids. I suggested if he HAD to talk about it, he call it ghost fire. Then I made him call it ghost fire for the rest of the day yesterday.
And I explained it all to his teacher in case it came up in conversation. You would think that these movies were too scary for Cooper, but they were not. He certainly asks a lot of questions about what is going on while watching them, but since good wins and evil loses, he walks away from them feeling the world is a just and fair place. He has had very little personal contact with evil in his own life, THANK GOD. Literally. I would like to think he will be able to live his entire long life never questioning that this world is a just and fair place. The chances of that are about as slim as getting a fair deal in a contract with Mephistophiles. Until then it is not such a bad thing that he learns you can take a bad situation and make it better if you try. The Ghost Rider rids the world of Black Heart, and then tells the Devil that he will use this curse against the Devil. He will use it to right wrongs against the innocent. A curse becomes a blessing. You are never too young to learn that lesson.