Vintage Month > The Pegasus Incident

pegasus

I’ve often praised my parents for the excellent job they did raising me, and for the lengths to which they were willing to go to humor my geeky interests. My father, for instance, would take rated-R movies like Predator and Aliens and, using two VCRs, make me PG-rated versions of the movies by cutting the really violent scenes.

However, every parent makes the occasional mistake. Fortunately, I could be bought.

One of my favorite childhood toys was a Pegasus from Mattel’s Clash of the Titans line.  (Fun fact: Clash of the Titans and Raiders of the Lost Ark came out on the same day–June 12, 1981.) But the story of how I got that Pegasus is one of those epic adventures of childhood.

The year? 1984 (I think). I’m around five or six years old, and my baby sister and I are in the car with my dad. He’s driving to a hotel a few towns over from our apartment; the idea is, he’s going to surprise my mom with a weekend getaway. Away from us kids, you see. He just wants a brochure so he can review the room prices.

So he pulls up in front of what he thinks is the lobby of the hotel, figuring he’ll run in, grab a brochure and be back out within sixty seconds. He leaves the car running with my sister and  me in the car.

Unfortunately, it turns out that what he thought was the lobby wasn’t the lobby. He turns to the nearest bellhop or whatever, and the guy makes it sound like the lobby’s just down the next hallway.

Turns out this isn’t the case, and soon my dad is lost within the labyrinthine halls of the hotel. He swears he was only gone five minutes, but knowing my dad as I do, I’m sure it was at least ten.

However long it was, by the time he got back to the car it had been more than enough time for me to panic, roll down the window, flag down a passing policeman and tell him I didn’t know where my dad was (it should be noted that while I did call the cop over, I refused to unlock the door or get out of the car); and then for that policeman to call my mother at our apartment and ask her if she knew where her kids were, then threaten to charge my dad with child endangerment when he showed up.

Fortunately, my dad’s able to explain everything to the cop’s satisfaction. I’m sure my sister was too young to have any idea what was going on, but I’m now a nervous wreck (apparently I’ve been anxious my entire life). To make it up to little Poe , my dad takes me to a department store–it was probably Zayre or Caldor, both long gone now–and lets me pick out a toy. I choose the Pegasus from Clash of the Titans.

I do vaguely remember the incident, though not much beyond a few images–the rolled-down window, the cop’s uniform. But the event remains indelibly tied to that Pegasus toy (which I later replaced, as soon above, via eBay), and whenever I catch Clash of the Titans to this day, I remember the time I almost got my dad arrested.

Comments now closed (4)

  • Wow, your dad was dedicated to give you good clean sci-fi/horror good times. Now thats love.

    My dad worked at the local CBS television affiliate in the early and mid 80s and he'd call the house at like 530 am to make sure my mom would get me up and bathed to watch the cartoons he was gonna run from Master Control. Sometimes I'd wake up saturday morning at just the sound of the phone ringing…

  • This is a really touching story. I like to see the history and emotion behind the toys that we often just assign dollar values to.

    Well done, and thanks for the entertainment.

  • I used to always get a MOTU figure everytime my parents went down to the 'cash and carry' as my dad is always buying tools etc for work. But out of all my MOTU figures I never had He-Man. One Saturday my Mum and me were in the car waiting on my dad to come out of the super market, and he said 'theres a suprise in there for you'. There it was He-Man. This story also brought back memories of when we were on holiday down in Southern Irland and I got my words mixed up and said we were terrorists instead of tourists. This probably dosent seem funny but in the early 90's it wasn't the best thing to say when your in a van and from Northern Ireland.

  • I remember getting the call…I was probably reveling in the free afternoon off..and the officer identified himself and just asked " Do you know where your children are?" The assumption was being made that Dad was trying to kidnap the kids and keep them from me. The officer read ME the riot act as well, indicating that they were taking the cuffs out while we were on the phone. Young Poe, in his little Sears jeans and rugby shirt, came in with Pegasus flying high, spilling on Dad as fast as he could get the words out. I'm pretty sure you went to the old Zayre's in Braintree, it would have been on the way home and that's where we bought nearly ALL of your toys!

    Good times…