Today our female correspondent, Brillen, has a story of geek oppression by an older sister. Enjoy!
Hollywood recently released another film version of The Incredible Hulk. I’m not sure why. The Ang Lee version was certifiably bonkers but usually they wait a few decades before trying a reboot.
Anyhow one good thing from the new film was that SciFi ran a marathon of the old TV show. As I watched the episodes again for probably the first time in two decades, I kept thinking of the following three questions:
1. Why do the Hulk’s pants never rip off? (An eternal question to confused kids everywhere)
2. Why is David Banner such a klutz?
3. How many cars did Jack McGee lose in pursuit of the Hulk?
These questions have been pondered by some before, my remaining question pertains strictly to a peculiar fact of my childhood- why my older sister constantly accused me of having a crush on Bill Bixby?
Now don’t get me wrong, Bill was a decent looking chap, a fine actor and all that but it wasn’t like I doodled “I heart Bill” all over my coloring books. But my sister always had a habit of claiming that I had crushes on people just to get under my skin (which was effective since I was shy and easily mortified). Usually while I was watching one Incredible Hulk episode or another and she wanted to change the channel, she’d start in on how much I loved Bill Bixby, that I wanted to marry him and I would try to concentrate on whatever poor wall Lou Ferrigno was destroying and wish that wall was my sister. When I was seven, one Bixby related taunting got me so angry, that I went in my room and slammed the door so hard that I knocked a framed poster off the wall. The glass shattered and my favorite teddy bear poster (don’t laugh!) was destroyed. The Hulk’s rage claimed yet another victim.
After she got bored of targeting Bill as the fake object of my girlish affections she’d switch to another (never actually landing though on an actor I actually liked at the time ie Tom Wopat- I remind you it was 1985) – the other two most frequent mentions being David Hasselhoff and Levar Burton. I admit there is some humor in accusing someone of having a crush on the Hoff (and I have actually met some who had a real true life crush on the man. No lie!) but she managed to ruin many an episode of Knight Rider and Reading Rainbow with her taunts.
This was all brought up again as I watched the Incredible Hulk marathon a few weeks ago. I came home early and I stumbled into a strange episode where David Banner and Jack McGee were trapped on the side of a mountain and Banner was dragging McGee around on the wing of a plane. Oddly Banner’s face was covered completely in gauze the entire time and he had lost his memory. McGee couldn’t tell he was in fact David Banner and was calling him John Doe.
Since I came in half way through the episode, I was baffled as to what was going on (it took me a minute to remember who McGee was). I googled the episode title “Mystery Man” and found that Hulk aficionados consider this two-parter a classic.
As it happens the next day I was talking to my sister (the same one who did all the taunting) and I mentioned watching the episode.
“I saw that too! What the hell was going on there? I couldn’t figure it out.”
“I think they were in a plane crash and David Banner had amnesia.”
“Is that why he had bandages on his face?”
“I think so. Those must have been annoying to act in”
“Oh you just didn’t like that you couldn’t see his face”
“Don’t start that again. I’m still pissed about my poster.
“That was your own fault.”
“Why did you start that by the way? The crush on Bill Bixby thing”
“Well . . .it’s because I kinda had a crush on him.”
“I kinda had a crush on him.”
“You jerk! You rotten, rotten jerk!”
“You know on the show he was all tormented and sad. . . you know that’s how Iike ‘em.” That was true.
“So David Hasselhoff . . .”
“No I did not like David Hasselhoff.”
“No I didn’t like Levar Burton either. Although you did.”
“Oh shut up! You’re unbelievable.”
So I finally had the answer to why my sister tormented me through poor Bill Bixby but as to why the Hulk’s pants never rip off, that is still a question for the ages.