Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Heavy Duty...huh?

My parents didn't own a television from the time I was about two years old. Their old set abruptly died one day, and they decided with a shrug that it was probably a sign of just how useless the thing was anyway. Nevertheless, I still managed to pick up a few useful slogans from the TV at my grandma's house.

My mom loves to tell how I took one particular laundry detergent commercial to heart. I honestly have no memory of this, but apparently for several months around my third birthday I often shouted my adopted slogan, much to the amusement of relatives, church ladies, and assorted strangers in restaurants. I would hide behind a grown-up or under a table, then pop out suddenly for dramatic effect, plant my fists on my hips, and shout, "I'm Rebecca Lynn Johnson,* with Heavy Duty Power!"

I had a hefty dose of the Heavy Duty Power. I don't remember having it. I don't know where it went. I became a shy, self-conscious girl afraid of too much attention. I am reluctant to rock the boat, startle strangers, or rouse any rabble. God forbid I offend a friend, or make anyone too uncomfortable.

I am in danger of becoming a spineless nodder.

Enough, I say. The Heavy Duty Power is severely atrophied after two decades of timidity, but surely it's recoverable. With enough exercise I'm sure it can be revitalized. That's the reason for this blog: to get back my Heavy Duty Power. To practice setting my jaw and speaking my mind. To opine, declaim, rant, and pronounce. And in time I hope I can remember exactly how to toss my cape back from my shoulders, straighten my pose, and declare, "I'm Rachel Lynn Johnson, with Heavy Duty Power!"

It's going to be great.

*Not, of course, my real name.