The Doppelganger


There is a boy next door the boys have befriended. I was thrilled to find a family lived close to us, as I think it’s an important rite of childhood to run amok with the local youth of the neighborhood.

Both boys were eager for their first play date. “Can we go play with Pacman now?” This was only exacerbated by Pacman’s propensity to roll up to the edge of our driveway on his PowerWheel motorcycle and honk his horn.

Pacman is approximately two years younger than our favorite muppets, but he is a headstrong, determined little boy – one seemingly always ready for adventure. In fact, he reminds me quite a bit of Destroy.

It was during one of those first gatherings that we realized just how similar the two were. Destroy had invited himself over into the neighbors. The two troublemakers commandeered a pink Little Tykes coup from Pacman’s baby sister. Pacman promptly dragged the weather-beaten buggy over to the tree anchoring the center mark of the backyard, and eagerly demonstrated the incline created by dirt over the spreading roots.

Pulling the coupe directly up to the trunk, Pacman clamored into the car and let go. He bumbled and bumped down the hill. So on the next go round, Destroy pulled the car up to the highest point his 40-pound body could control. Then, with a mighty shove, Pacman zoomed down the hill toward the sliding door patio – squealing with glee the entire journey.

Search, much more risk aware, continued his architectural expansion amid the landscaping with his bulldozing toy construction crew.

The two began taking turns hauling the plastic muscle car up and shoving the rider back down. Rather than ending in tears and bruises as I’d initially expected, Destroy and Pacman decided to upgrade to the big boy thrills.

They migrated to the front yard where our suburban driveways rise above the neighborhood streets.

The incline was steeper. The distance was further. The danger of the big bad street loomed ahead – avoidable only by hazardously veering onto the sidewalk – ready for the taking by baby boys Luke and Duke.

Dukes of Hazzard

Guess who just got back today?
Those wild-eyed boys that had been away
Haven’t changed, haven’t much to say
But man, I still think those cats are great

Neighborhood beware. The boys are back in town.

You’ve got a decade to prepare.

I have no doubt the future will bring a plethora of Amok! Amok! Amuk!


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