Monday, March 7, 2011

Oh Wheels, Where Art Thou?

Hello friends. Join me in my DeLorean as we take it back to 1992. I'm 6, I'm hungry and I'm largely helpless. My wonderful mother has agreed to take me to Burger King. As fast food was (and sadly, still is) my favorite thing, I was over the moon. Even better, the King has a sweet group for kids that gives them toys and sends a (Monthly? Bi-monthly? Quarterly? Whatever.) magazine with games and stories starring the Burger King Kids Club. What a fantastic idea! The greatest character of the Club? Wheels.

Wheels is a young man in a rocket powered wheel chair. This leaves me with sooooooo many questions. Was he born paraplegic, or was he given his nickname after some awful accident? Where does he need to go so fast that he needs his chair to be rocket powered? Is he proud of his life and nickname, or does he secretly hate everyone and want to murder the person who first called him that?

What makes Wheels great is that the small window from the late '80s through early '90s is the only period in the history of time he ever could have been created. Before? No one cared enough about diversity to include the kid in the wheelchair. Since? The wheelchair kids are still in but there's no way in Hell they would ever name him "Wheels" in this politically correct world. We can't name characters with Parkinson's "Shaky" anymore than a kid in a wheelchair can be "Wheels". It's just not right. When the BK Club was in full-force, it was the perfect mix of wanting to be diverse but not really knowing how to appropriately go about it. All I know is, the unintentional comedy that it caused enriched my life forever.

Never forget Wheels. I know I won't.

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