“HULK… MASH!” Cole yells at me for the 18th time in about 45 seconds. He’s ordering me to don the gear and get with the chasing and screaming. I’m tired and my nose hurts, but I did this to myself. I straight-up indoctrinated this child into a love of The Hulk. I’d like to think this is an acceptable abuse of parental influence, but I won’t know for sure until he confronts me on it sometime into his 20’s.

A timeline of my relationship with The Hulk:

1980 (ish?)

I’m four, my dad and I watch The Hulk TV series together and between that and The Greatest American Hero, my world is forever changed. If you see me staring into the middle distance looking thoughtful there is at least a 35% chance I am just playing The Lonely Man theme in my head and working up a good melancholy.

1982-86 (ish)

I’m a stupid kid who doesn’t realize there is more than one channel that plays cartoons on Saturday morning until I become so enraged at having to watch The Smurfs that I decide I would rather watch ANYTHING ELSE. One channel later, my brain MELTS.


I watch a couple of made for TV Hulk films that make me a little confused about why I liked The Hulk TV series so much. For some reason, after watching these, I decide that Thor is my least favorite superhero, and Daredevil is my favorite. I will spare you clips of these movies, you can find them if you want to not enjoy a few minutes of your life.


A very good filmmaker makes a very disappointing Hulk film. The upside is that my fiance at the time (now wife) and I bought a pair of Hulk hands, got thoroughly drunk, I think boxed with them a little and I guess made a pizza before passing out. The whole night is a bit of a blur.


I take Cole on what at the time was a rare motherless excursion to watch The Avengers in Chiang Mai. I’m excited to show Cole a superhero movie, and we set up with some toys on the floor of the first row. By the time The Hulk makes his first appearance, Cole is asleep in my lap, and while my leg goes to sleep, my brain melts again.

When I finally get a copy to watch on our computer, Cole’s brain melts for the first time too. Daddy is very proud.


Cole runs up to Christine and I in a store with Hulk Hands, which of course we aren’t going to get. Christine says “Okay, put it in the cart!”

“Wait, we’re getting the Hulk hands?”

“Yes, why not?”

“Well uh, because there will be… punching?”

“It’s fine, look how happy he is.”

The next day we got the Hulk mask, because of course it’s totally pointless to be only part Hulk.

Thankfully, there has been a shockingly low instance of using the hands as boxing gloves. In fact, he doesn’t even like *being* Hulk. He wants me or mama to put the gear on and chase him around the house. Forever. That is his current joy, and what accounts for most of my daily cardio at the moment.

Oh Lonely Man theme, y u so sad?