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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Gave Me Unrealistic Expectation of How Good Pizza Would Make Me at Karate

If you grew up in the early ‘90s, you grew up ingesting a lot of toxic media, and sure, we recognize a lot of that now. We all see now how Friends and Home Improvement promoted homophobia and toxic masculinity, and that’s great and all, but there is a glaring transgression from televisions of that era that doesn’t get talked about enough: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

This cartoon led me to believe there was a direct correlation between the amount of pizza one consumed and one’s ability to master ninjitsu. Imagine my shellshock many years and many double pepperoni with extra cheeses later to find that I can barely make it up a flight of stairs in one bound, let alone take on the Foot Clan.

To this day anytime I’m involved in a street situation that has the potential for violence, my first instinct is to run to the nearest pizzeria and power up with a radical slice of zaa (no anchovies!) As a result, I have gotten my ass handed to me in every fight I’ve ever been in due to my sluggishness, bloat, and low energy.

Not radical. Not bodacious. Very untubular.

Every weapon I’ve attempted to master has almost immediately led to serious injury or destruction of valuables in my vicinity. It’s the damned pizza grease! As soon as I start twirling ninja gear around it flies right out of my hands! I have impaled my own foot with a sai, I’ve thrown a katana through the tv, and I’ve shattered my great grandfather’s urn with a wayward nun-chuck. You would think a sheepish shrug and a “Cowabunga?” would smooth things over but no, mom was pretty upset.

Pizza isn’t the only bad habit I picked up from that show either. When I was 12 I got a pet rat, hoping it would mimic my sick-ass karate moves, find some ooze and become my surrogate father. The rat escaped almost immediately and it bit me. I got real sick for a while, and I’m still allergic to raw honey and sunlight now.

It’s mind blowing to me that these characters are still popular to this day. We’re facing an obesity epidemic in this country, and what we need more than ever is Teenage Mutant Well Balanced Diet and Exercise Turtles.