Ninja Turtles standing in front of a bus.

When I Grow Up, I Want to Be a Ninja Turtle

Let me tell you a funny story. 

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 🐢 👊

I mean OBSESSED. 

I watched every cartoon, read every comic, and when the movies came out, the VHS tapes basically lived in our VCR. The first one is by far the best and remains one of my all-time favourite films, in case you were wondering. 

And even though it was (and still is) one of the hardest video games for the original Nintendo, I played it constantly. Admittedly, I’ve yet to beat that game to this day… 

Sadly, that’s not all I’d do. 

I’d stare down any sewer I came across and call out to my half-shell heroes. Of course, they didn’t answer, but I figured they were busy fighting the Foot Clan and keeping the streets of the ‘Shwa safe. 

Any photo of me from that time period immortalized a young Cory Davis posing in his mightiest ninja stance, with only three fingers showing prominently on his hands. Well, two fingers and a thumb; just like my TMNT brothers. 

There were back-to-back-to-back Halloweens where I dressed up as my favourite turtle – Michelangelo for the win – and I held onto the belief that someday, I’d grow up to become part of the gang. 

Who am I kidding? 

I still hold onto that dream. 

Now, here’s the funny part: the part where my older sister took advantage of my naivety. 

For those of you who don’t know, my sister is almost six-years older than I am. I was maybe eight at the time, which would put her on the cusp of becoming a teenager with a younger, somewhat annoying brother. 

It was Boxing Day, and we were in Kmart (Did you know these stores still exist?) waiting for our dad to exchange a few unappreciated gifts

The lineup for the customer service desk was 14-miles long, or so it seemed, and while I was content playing in the toy section of the store, my sister was becoming more and more impatient by the second. 

So she decided to amuse herself at my expense. 

You see, the toy department was conveniently located next to one of the store’s fire exits. And knowing my burning desire to become a Ninja Turtle, she came up with a devious plan. 

Sister:
“Hey, Cory. I have a secret to tell you.”

Me:
“Really? What is it?” 

Sister:
“See that door there?” 

Me:
“Yeah…” 

Sister:
“Behind it is a secret tunnel to the Ninja Turtle hangout.” 

Me:
“Really?!” 

Sister:
“Yup. And guess what? They told me you’re finally ready to be part of the gang.” 

Me:
“No way! Seriously?!” 

Sister:
“I wouldn’t lie to you about something like this. All you have to do is open the door and follow the tunnel until it ends. Splinter will be waiting for you.”

That was all I needed to hear. Nevermind the giant red sign that read EMERGENCY EXIT ONLY, I was about to meet the Ninja Turtles and fulfill my life’s purpose. 

I was blinded by excitement and crashed through the door like Rahzar and Tokka when told to “Go. Play.” in the streets of New York City. But rather than being greeted by my heroes, it was the ear-piercing fire alarm that shouted at me instead.

I was duped, and I knew it immediately.

The store was evacuated, with fire trucks and ambulances quickly arriving on the scene. All I could do was cry, while my dad apologized profusely for his son’s silly mistake. 

My sister thought it was the funniest thing she’d ever done. 

Me: not so much.

The morale of the story: dreams can come true  

A few years later, I finally found the humour in my sister’s trickery. Now, I tell that story every chance I get.

I think it’s hilarious, but it also reminds me to dream big

Yes, I know, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles aren’t real, and I can never become a half-shelled hero; still, anything’s possible (within reason). 

I’ve always loved to write and tell stories. Being a writer was another dream of mine. A dream I once believed was as far-fetched as becoming a Ninja Turtle. 

It took me a while to overcome my fear of failure and battle the inner imposter (dare I say, defeat the Foot 😏), but here I am: a professional writer. 

And if I can achieve my dreams, so can you.  

It’s never too latedon’t give up on your childhood fantasies. 

Thanks for reading, folks. ✌

The Diary of Davis Newsletter.
Photo by Aaron Burden

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