It should come as no surprise that my crippling Peter Pan complex has plummeted to new depths.

Several weeks ago, the missus and I went out to a movie with another couple, and when we came home, we found out that our kids had been introduced to a Cartoon Network show called “Regular Show”.  I’d never heard of it.  Mainly because my kids typically don’t watch Cartoon Network – most shows are a bit over their head, and there’s no fucking way they’re getting exposed to the Adult Swim stuff at their age.  And I’m a fucking grown up which means I don’t watch cartoons – society tells me that I ought to bewasting my life on shit like “Homeland” or “Breaking Bad” or some other  TV drama I’ve actively avoided.

But the kids started raging on and on about “Regular Show”.  That, and “Adventure Time”.  I’m savvy to “Adventure Time” and I’d watched a few episodes in the past.  The cult following that show has built up over the past few years didn’t go unnoticed.  But I’d never pushed “Adventure Time” on my kids.  First of all, the only thing I’ve ever pushed on my kids was Star Wars.  Because I’m a responsible parent, damnit.  And even so, I’ve only pushed hard on Episodes IV, V, and VI, because a) they’re the only legitimate Star Wars films as far as I’m concerned, and b) any kid who goes through life without a proper appreciation for the original trilogy means that they have horrible parents who have failed them.

Anyway, “Adventure Time”?  I get it, but I can’t be arsed.  If you watch it, you know it can get pretty fucking dark.  It’s like preschool animation of Hayao Miyazaki films.  I’m not letting my kids watch Studio Ghibli films yet.  So, I’ll let them ask for “Adventure Time” when they think they’re ready for it, and not a minute sooner.

But I didn’t know jack shit about this “Regular Show” that my kids suddenly can’t get enough of.  So before I let them watch any more, I had to watch a few episodes myself to gauge the level of appropriateness.  Responsible parent!  The 8pm time slot for the show suggested that this might not be your average “Phineas & Ferb” fare.  Or maybe it was, I had no fucking clue.

So one evening, after the kids had gone to bed, and the missus was out, I grabbed a couple of brews, sank into my couch, and watched a half-dozen or so episodes of “Regular Show”.  This is how fucking lame I have become, as a parent.  I’ve got the whole joint to myself, and what I do I do?  I sat down and watched fucking cartoons.  Didn’t even occur to me to do other sorts of cool shit I used to get up to when I had the whole place to myself – like fire up the hi-fi, make a mixtape, harass celebs on Twitter, grind out some tunes on the guitars, go wrench my bikes, work on my screenplay…  We all know I made that last one up because I realized the rest of the things I listed were all pretty fucking lame, too.  Shit, I suck so much I want to puke.

Anyway, half a dozen episodes of “Regular Show”.  Which turned out to be no big feat since each episode’s only about 10 minutes long.  But… that’s a quality 10 minutes of show there, people.  As I suspected, it’s got all the adult subtext that’s almost entirely lost on a pair of unwitting kids.

Regular Show

You could google the show, but maybe I can save you the trouble: it’s about two buddies – Mordecai, a bluejay, and Rigby, a raccoon, and their misadventures with their friends (a fat Frankenstein idiot, a ghost with hand on his head, a yeti in skinny jeans, a fancy pants gentleman with a lollipop head) with whom they work at a park run by their boss, Benson, who’s a gumball machine.  Got it?  Good.  Because that’s the completely sane part of the show.  This premise exists with no explanation whatsoever.   And there’s no need.  Every episode, something bat shit insane out-of-this-world happens to Rigby and Mordecai.  Flaming Cadillacs fly out of the sky, space babies rule the outer universe, alternate planes exist where no rules apply, trippy dreams with fanged milky midgets, dodgy smugglers with a gunpowder and salsa side business in Mexico, the list goes on.  Is that part fucked up enough for you yet?

And that’s why I’ve started watching goddamn cartoons again.  I’ve lost count of how many episodes of Regular Show I’ve watched now.  Without my kids.  Seriously, WTF is wrong with me.  But I’ll happily watch it WITH my kids.  It’s one of these nonsensical cartoons that I can watch with my kids – they’ll laugh at the literal silly stuff, and I’ll crack up at all the fucked up subtext that soars over my kids’ heads.

In fact, thanks to “Regular Show”, my younger kid crafted this whole idea on how he wanted to celebrate his sixth birthday – like this:

Nothing made this kid happier than orchestrating his own “Guys’ Night” with he and his brother – and me – spending the evening making overblown nachos and gorging on them in front of the TV, walking around in our underwear, speed-building Legos, stuffing our faces with birthday cupcakes, farting in the bathtub… and of course, watching a shitload of “Regular Show”.  Shit, if they had a palate for soda (which they don’t), they’d probably have wanted to polish off a six-pack of Mountain Dew before crashing at 4 in the morning.

And there you have it: a perfect circle.  I’m now reduced to parenting by way of cartoons.  Idiot.