“So, Gideon,” I asked as the little man tumbled across his mattress in a tiny ball. “If you were a superhero, what would your catchphrase be?”
He looked up at me from between his legs. He seemed puzzled.
“Okay, I mean, like, if you were a superhero, what would you say when you do your big thing that defeats your enemy?”
“Oh!” he understood now, and he didn’t seem to even have to think about his answer. As if he had known all along and was just waiting for someone to ask the proper question. He had dreamed this moment and his face lit up realizing that it was finally here. He leapt into the air and said, “I would say, ‘I’m Bobbbbbbb Rosssssssss!'” And then he drove his fist into his mattress like a titan falling to Earth. He followed this with a loud explosion noise.
I winced at the imaginary explosion. “I’m sorry, did you just say ‘I’m Bob Ross’?”
He looked up from his superhero pose. “Yeah.”
“Bob Ross… like the, um-”
He nodded, “Right, the painter man.”
“But I don’t… does he… Does he fight people?”
“Yes, him hold the circle thing.”
“You mean his paint pallet with the different colors? He fights with that? Like Captain America?”
“No,” something twinkled deep in the little boy’s eyes. “Him have a BOMB under that!” He showed me what it would look like to pull a secret bomb out from under a paint pallet and throw it at your enemies.
Oh dear. Either I just learned something very frightening about my son, or I just learned something very frightening about Bob Ross. While I tried to decide which of these futures was the one I wanted to live in from now on, Gideon launched himself into the hallway and down the stairs into the living room, yelling the whole way down, “I’m Bobbbbbbb Rossssssssss!”