It’s no secret that I hate influencers. What’s to like? Think of that one guy and/or girl from high school that you wanted to punch in the face daily. Well get ready to double up on that clenched fist because those same assholes that tricked people into thinking they were cool are now GETTING PAID for tricking people into thinking they’re cool. Rich and full of zero talent. Telling me what mascara you like isn’t a talent. Impersonating windshield wipers and claiming it’s a dance is not a talent.
Did you know that the teens who played the original Power Rangers had to do their own stunts and kicks and shit? They didn’t light a firecracker in their ass while doing parkour on YouTube and get discovered. The only “like” they got was from the casting director.
When I was a kid, I wasn’t one nor did I care for the popular kids. I didn’t want to be like Alicia who wore make-up and had the latest in Ocean Pacific wear. I cared about the Power Rangers, particularly Tommy the Green Ranger turned White Ranger who was the boss of everyone – I wanted to be him. So when the local McDonald’s in my hometown announced that Tommy the White Ranger himself would be making an appearance I was all over it. At 8-years-old, I was convinced that if we met, he’d immediately knight me as a Power Ranger and make Billy let me be the blue one because that was my favorite color at the time.
My aunt was more than happy to take me and my cousin to this event because she also liked Tommy – for not 8-year-old reasons. Unfortunately for me and my cousin, my aunt wasn’t the only adult who thought they had a chance with White Ranger. There were way more than the 250 person capacity so they had Tommy do his demonstrations in the parking lot. And because adults don’t know how to be not-selfish (I would know), every single person 4’11” and taller crowded around my favorite Power Ranger, pushing me, my cousin, and every other actual Power Rangers fan out of the way. I couldn’t see shit. My aunt put my cousin on her shoulders but she could also barely see shit.
I was told he did some kicks and whatnot, and I do recall seeing a foot in the air, but that could have been the foot of a kid being flung in the air by an adult that wanted to touch Tommy.
This was my first brush with pure rage. I’m not sure if you’re a comic book fan but FYI, this is how super villains are born.
20 years later, I was working as an MMA promoter… and still pissed.
One day while working on the digital marketing push for our 3rd event, I came across an interesting article: Jason David Frank was in the process of developing his own career in MMA and was now living in Houston. Who is Jason David Frank, you ask? THE WHITE FUCKING POWER RANGER. It. Was. On. After some Googling I discovered that not only was he now an MMA fighter, he’d also launched a clothing line called Jesus Didn’t Tap and promoted his line at various MMA events.
Perfect. I navigated my way to the Contact page and typed it all out: the event at McDonald’s, the jerks who pushed their way in front of me and my cousin, the supposed feet in the air, all of it.
I expected zero response. What kind of a psycho holds a grudge for 20 years about not being able to see a dude wearing a mask and a spandex suit do karate.
People don’t forget.
A few days after I sent the message, I got a response. The message began: ” haha, I’m sorry that happened to you. If it makes you feel better, that wasn’t me at the McDonald’s that day :)”
Not only did I not get to see Tommy, but everyone who cheated me out of the experience didn’t get to either. And even though the imposter never took his mask off that day at McDonald’s (my aunt informed me of that after the event but it helped approximately negative zero percent) and people probably never knew for sure if that was actually Tommy/Jason David Frank, I felt vindicated. I. Win.
The first thing I did was call my cousin and tell her the story. Then, I planned my comeback tour. I would bring Tommy to my event, have him set up, take a picture with him, then write an op-ed or maybe publish an ad in my hometown newspaper that included the picture and a quick paragraph letting everyone know that the guy in the Power Rangers suit and mask was not actually Tommy, you shoved me and my cousin out of the way for nothing, please admire this picture I took with him.
Unfortunately, our company was still so new that we couldn’t afford Tommy/Jason’s rate and for whatever reason “sweet revenge” wasn’t a justifiable expense, according to my business partner. So for the last 8 years I’ve been pissed about that and it’s not going away anytime soon.
The point of this story is a) it’s National Power Rangers Day and, b) follow whoever the hell you’re going to follow but don’t be surprised when you go to see them at McDonald’s and they don’t take off their mask and you don’t get to meet them and then you find out 20 years later it was all a lie.
Also, I’ve just added “who the fuck was that at McDonald’s?” to the “things to hold a grudge over” column of this story. Update to follow anywhere between 8 and 20 years from now.
Image by: deviart.com