We need them.  H/T to Aesop.  Original, here.

Now Is When We Need Heroes. And Secondhand Lions.

“Well, a man’s body may grow old, but inside, his spirit can still be as young and restless as ever. And him? In his day he had more spirit than twenty men.” – Secondhand Lions

In England, they don’t have a kidney bank. But they do have a Liverpool.

What is life?

It’s the sum of your experiences. One experience I sadly missed until this week was the movie Secondhand Lions.

It came out in 2003, and I’d missed it until this week. Amazon® seemed to think I needed to see it, and with a movie starring Robert Duvall and Michael Frigging Caine? Well, how could I turn that down?

It’s about a boy named Walter. Walter is a boy who was dropped off by his mother with his crazy uncles who believe that life is an adventure and don’t take crap from, well, anyone.

This particular movie hit home.

I’ll explain, and this will clear up at least some of the mystery regarding my origin story. (Hint: in the end I make a mechanical suit to escape from the clutches of terrorists and found a multinational empire based on funny stories written from the Right.)

It’s funny because he’s a liar.

Despite what you might believe, I didn’t spring fully grown from the loins of some Olympian goddess who had nice, um, bazoongas and was married to Zeus. No, my origin was much more The World According to Garp.

My biological mother decided she really, really liked a guy when she was in college. Why did she like him? Because she thought he had an amazing way with words and was the smartest guy she’d ever met. What was a 23-year-old divorcee to do?

Lure an 18-year old into bed.

Can you get a woman in a “family way” the first time out? Well, I’m certainly not the product of virginity, but I am the product of virginity cunningly snared from a poor 18-year-old boy by a 23-year-old woman who wanted to have his baby.

Yup. Me.

But I can say that I was born a virgin.

You can see that her decision-making was both amazing (I exist) and utterly flawed. I am the result of a genetic experiment conducted by a woman who just decided to have a kid. No plan. Just wanted a kid.


Surprisingly, that’s not a long-term plan that has success written on it. In that time and era, her parents sent her away to have a child far away to avoid the family shame of an unwed mother. So, I was born.


About four years later, however, the world decided that perhaps a woman of such skill and foresight might not be able to raise a child with the cunning and sophistication of your author. The court decided I should be tossed out for adoption.

A nice family was set to adopt me. They were worth (at that time) millions. They wanted a wonderful blonde baby boy, and I was the one. The papers were set. I was going to be the heir to thousands of acres of prime land.

Then Ma and Pa Wilder stepped in. They were my biological mother’s parents (sort of – that’s an even longer story that involves a world war, horses, and a Mormon polygamy cult in Mexico, and I’m not exaggerating or making up any of those things, either). I’d throw in aliens, but I have no proof of that.

I am exceedingly improbable.

So Ma and Pa Wilder got a lawyer and stopped the adoption to those millionaire folks. I’m good with that. They later found an inferior version to adopt. Why inferior?

I have to admit I slept with my third cousin. My friend told me to stop counting them.

Well, that’s an even longer story, but here is the Cliff Notes® version: I was a senior on the varsity wrestling in high school, and one week the coach sent me to wrestle with the JV against a school for a duel. Why? There was a state champion at my weight, even though his school had only AA while mine had AAA. I beat him, soundly.

Yup. It was the guy who got adopted by the childless millionaires instead of me.

No, his name wasn’t John.

But my adoptive brother (who was my uncle) was also named John. And, so it’s true. My brother’s name is . . . John Wilder. And, he’s older, so he owned it first. But he went by his middle name, so, it all worked out.

Sharks never eat clownfish. They taste funny.

To me, though, Secondhand Lions was a wonderful story to view my own life. The power of myth is important. Also from the movie:

Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good. That honor, courage and virtue mean everything. That power and money, money and power mean nothing. That good always triumphs over evil. And I want you to remember this: that love, true love never dies. Remember that boy, remember that. Doesn’t matter if it is true or not, a man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing. Got that?

If there were words a man should believe outside of religion, here they are.

And it doesn’t matter if these things are true. Because they are worth believing. We live not for today, but to have the spirit of lions, to conduct amazing adventures out of improbable lives.

We need to fight battles against overwhelming odds. We need to save the lives of others, countlessly. We should avoid the tame, and embrace the outrageous.

We should be big damn heroes.

We should share our adventures and inspire others to follow us.

Why else is life worth living?

I’ve shared a lot this post that I never had before. I owe so many for who and what I am. I want to help create a world where this adventure never ceases. Where men live and create. Where fortunes are won and lost, where the individuality of man is celebrated, and where improbable men can exist.

Thor never gets drunk, but he sometimes gets hammered.

I’m improbable because my life was helped by those that took me in when they had no reason to. They taught me that honor, virtue and courage mean everything, and that money and power mean nothing. They taught me that heroes exist. That’s who I am. They taught me that these things never die. Again, from the movie:

I’m Hub McCann, I fought in two world wars and countless smaller ones on three continents. I led thousands of men into battle with everything from horses and swords to artillery and tanks. I’ve seen the headwaters of the Nile, and tribes of natives no white man had ever seen before. I’ve won and lost a dozen fortunes, killed many men, and loved only one woman, with a passion a flea like you could never begin to understand.

We need heroes. We need to be heroes.

We need to believe things that are worth believing.


The world needs it. The world needs us.

The world needs you.

Let us go forth now, and create the world where heroes exist. Let us create a world worthy of such heroes.

It won’t do it by itself.

I do believe this world will exist, because of people just like you and me.

No matter how old you are, or where you are, the adventure is just beginning.

Go on. It’s never too late.



  1. Herschel Walker Releases Georgia Senate 2022 Campaign Ad - VIDEO


    ps. could you please add CC to your blogroll?


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