Daryl Fishlegs

There’s this character in How To Train Your Dragon that makes me think of Daryl every time I see it. His name is Fishlegs. Being a very large beefy boy, he looks nothing like Daryl. But he runs commentary and quotes stats constantly, to the great annoyance of the people around him. And that is very much like my middle child.

Take the scene where the instructor starts listing the different dragons they are about to face. As he names each one, Fishlegs reports its stats:

Gobber: Behind these doors are just a few of the many species you will learn to fight. The Deadly Nadder…
Fishlegs: [speaking rapidly] Speed Eight, Armor Sixteen…
Gobber: The Hideous Zippleback…
Fishlegs: Plus Eleven Stealth, times Two…
Gobber: The Monstrous Nightmare…
Fishlegs: Firepower Fifteen…
Gobber: The Terrible Terror…
Fishlegs: Attack Eight, Venom Twelve…
Gobber: [shouts] Can you stop that?
[normal voice]
Gobber: And… the Gronckle!
Fishlegs: [whispering to Hiccup] Jaw Strength Eight.
(As quoted on http://www.imdb.com)

I’ve listened to Daryl rattle off Pokemon stats so much that I burst out laughing at how much Fishlegs sounded like him. And the way he couldn’t turn it off even once people told him to stop.

Then there’s the habit of thinking about things that no one else would think of. Again, from the movie, the instructor was telling the tale of a dragon biting off his hand. Fishlegs responded:

“Isn’t it weird to think that your hand was inside a dragon? Like if your mind was still in control of it, you could have killed that dragon from the inside, by… crushing its heart, or something.”

I can actually read that quote in Daryl’s voice instead of Fishlegs’s. He often wonders about odd things. He’s often saying “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” or “What if…” or “What would happen if you…” Each question terminating with something really oddball.

There’s also the play-by-play and instant replay. While other boys like to play baseball, Daryl likes to relive impressive moments from the game… during the game. Like when he was in left field and the center fielder dove for the ball and caught it right there on the ground. Daryl then told the kid exactly how it happened, reenacting it as if the boy had not just lived it.

Yesterday morning, he was telling me about a video game he enjoys playing. When you read this, be sure you read it at a rapid pace without pausing for breath. This is how he often tells me about things he is interested in. I never have a clue what he is talking about.

“…And so I just have to call out the mice and archer bunnies and then I can usually hold them off until my manna restores. The witch is easy to defeat but the zombie king, he’s tough. All the queens and kings – they can create more minions just by waving their arms so it’s hard to defeat them. The skeleton archers are easy to defeat though. They have polka dot bows on their heads. I like to use my meteor mace. It used to cost 50 manna but then I got the ‘cost less’ manna so now it doesn’t cost as much. It does +5 damage over a regular mace. I’m saving up for an elite rhino. They cost 100,000 gold. I’m getting close. I think I have like 79,000 gold or something like that. I also really like the martial artist kangaroos. I’m really starting to depend on them, but my favorite is the penguin wizard and I can’t wait until I have enough to get a pink dragon. That’s going to be awesome. I’ve maxed out upgrading of my mice and I’ve been upgrading bears because nom-nom spits out lots of stuff so I was able to upgrade a bunch of bears…”

He continued on all the way to church. He doesn’t seem to notice that other people aren’t into the same stuff he is. And he doesn’t seem to understand that if you’ve never played the game, it doesn’t make sense to you. He just loves to talk about the things he loves.

When we got to church, I snatched a piece of paper out of the copier and began to write down as much of the monologue as I could. I started asking him clarifying points so I could get it right. He seemed surprised and then he saw the notes. He got an embarrassed grin, probably thinking this was about to go on Facebook, but then the urge to talk about it won out and he took off again. Thing is, when I actually had time to engage and ask him questions, I had fun too. If for no other reason than I love to see him with his face lit up like that.


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