Few things possess as much creative horsepower as the idling mind of a teenage boy.
"Things would be better if I had two swords."
And, although I'm now the age of two teens stacked on top of each other, I do still spend much of my time hanging around high schools selling loose cigarettes, and can confirm that few things have changed since my day. Teenage boys are still, for the most part, colossal dorks, and they continue to think and fantasize about the same things they always have. Here then, for your daydream believin', are the 12 types of fantasy that every teen boy has.
Whatever it is a teenage boy does, he will have spent vast quantities of his free time (and occupied time) imagining that he is the very best in the world at it. Every movement effortless, every act executed with much style, the whole ballet of radness eliciting much applause and fainting in the crowds that have gathered to watch us doodle on our binders, or hacky our sacks, or whatever.
OH MY GOODNESS, FOLKS, HE'S DOING IT, YES, HE'S DOING THE MOST OBSCENE TEXT MESSAGE EVER. WHAT A MASTER.
And when that gets boring, we'll then spend a lot of the time imagining getting really good at something we don't actually do, like karate or gun-karate or basically any type of dude-wasting activity. Which is a little juvenile, sure, although a necessary step to set up our next fantasy.
Almost everyone had to deal with a bully growing up (even bullies have to deal with larger bullies, or when they get home, with the wild jackals that raised them). And of all the ways to deal with a bully, standing up to them and beating them on their own terms, although far and away the least probable, is the one teenage boys fantasize about the most.
If you're the kind of guy who could plausibly beat up your bully, he would not be your bully.
But here, in the theater of the mind, where we're all masters of the three-section staff, which we carry with us at all times in the flowing sleeves of our coats, we're able to lay this fat-faced fuck low every time he sticks it in our narrow, classically proportioned faces. "Oh God, I was so wrong to attack you!" the bully laments, but we can't hear him, so deafening is the applause and fainting from the crowd.
Occasionally, as much as it hurts to admit it, exotic weapons from the Orient are of little use to us. Say, when navigating the variety of small interactions which fill a typical day. In the bullshit real world, these can be incredibly challenging, with few of us quick-witted enough to think of clever things to say on the fly.
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And because we love dwelling on our failings, it's often the case that our brains only manage to think up the perfect thing to say hours after it will do any good. And because it's hard getting everyone present at the time to all reassemble, these perfect things to say have to dwell in the land of make-believe.
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"How is the weather. I am having the weather. Your hair is the weather. Can I eat your hair. Hello."
A big part of being a teenage boy is dealing with the world being awful to us, and bizarrely, one very common way to deal with this is to fantasize about the world being even worse.
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I'm honestly not sure what the appeal of this fantasy is, though can certainly report having had it many times myself. It's some combination of self-pity and self-congratulation at how great we are for putting up with it, I guess. But where most of the other fantasies on this list are harmless, there's a possibility for real harm to be done by this one. In the right frame of mind, this one can feel so plausible and convince us we're blameless for all the bad things that happen in our lives. Which won't always be the case. So, if you do find yourself falling prey to it, just remember, the world doesn't hate you. At worst, it just doesn't know you exist.
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Don't worry: These get a lot less depressing from here on out.
Because then the fucking terrorists attack. In my mind, at least, this happened twice a week at my high school, probably because this was around the age when I first started watching Die Hard and its various knockoffs (e.g. Under Siege, Speed, Die Hard 2).
Technically, the tagline should read: "DIE PRETTY HARD, BUT NOT AS HARD AS THE FIRST ONE. DIE A BIT SOFTER, ACTUALLY."
And because us teenage boys are the only ones in the school with the common sense to watch these instructional videos, it's up to us to incapacitate one terrorist with our karate and/or rhetoric, then pick off every remaining one while crawling around in the elevator shaft, the natural habitat of all terrorists. In a way, this is actually quite similar to fantasizing about being a martyr, except instead of being a hero unappreciated by those around him, we get to be one of the good kinds of hero, appreciated by everyone because of how awesome we are.
"You're way better than that brooding loser! BUCHOLZ, BUCHOLZ, BUCHOLZ!"
Because I was a teenage boy who daydreamed about winning debates and leaping out of the ceiling to strangle terrorists, girls didn't talk to me much in high school.
In retrospect, a pretty reasonable choice.
And I doubt I'm alone when I say that most of my contact with girls was of the purely imaginary variety, often winning their favor (that's how I thought of it) after kicking a terrorist in half. In my case, the actual content of these fantasies was shockingly tame, often involving nothing more than swooning. At the very most I would be given "second base," which at the time I understood to be a firm handshake.
A lot of the next few fantasies are delicate, concerning subjects that we're understandably a little shy about. Although every teenage boy has these fantasies, few have ever shared them so openly as I will bravely do now. Consider puberty, for example. A challenging time for everyone, and like most boys, I spent a lot of that time imagining situations where I had to disguise myself as a fully grown woman and pass undetected in their circles.
"What do you think, Chrissandra?"
But I'm not embarrassed by this, and neither should you be. This is totally healthy behavior, fellas, and if you once missed eight stops on the bus while daydreaming about wearing soft, fancy clothes, you are more normal than you will ever know.
And what teenage boy didn't imagine themselves transforming into a horse?
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"Hey, you guys had that horse one, right?"
-minutes long silence-
"Yeah, of course."
It's well-known that all teenage boys have a fascination with horses and their taut, muscular bodies, so it's definitely not a weird problem just I had. What's not to love? The firm horseflesh rippling under their silky skin, and their glorious manes, and the fury and power of their urine streams. Every boy wants to be a horse and will spend upwards of seven hours every day locked in a room, imagining a world where it could be.
Being a horse that bullies smaller horses is a natural extension of some of these earlier fantasies, playing on the average teenage boy's natural urge to be a horse and dominate things smaller than they are.
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"Jesus fuck, Bucholz, I hate it when you get that look in your eyes. Snap out of it."
It's weird how this happens to all of us, isn't it? Struggling to make it through a single 10th grade math class without being sent to the principal's office for the disturbing clomping sounds we're making. Just one of those typical growing-up experiences we all have to go through.
In this modern world, it's said that girls can do anything, and if so, why couldn't they be terrorists?
Consider all the hateful whispering they make about the weird kid in 10th grade math class? That's a type of terror, right there.
So it's only natural for a young man to imagine himself applying ancient equine martial techniques (he's still imagining himself as a horse for previously discussed, totally natural reasons) to defend his school against these oppressors. Galloping through air ducts and elevator shafts and giving terror girls pretty nasty bites, while ... someone ... swoons. Not the girls. They're terrorists.
The pinnacle of all daydreams is imagining your bully suddenly noticing all of your many qualities, halting his attacks on you, and becoming your friend and ally. As you clomp gracefully on the ground, your former tormentor claps, slowly at first, but soon building in power until the whole school joins him.
"We were wrong to spurn you, Bucholz."
And so, after ridding the school of hateful, whispering girls with kicks from your powerful hind legs, your bully clambers atop your back and rides around on you and strokes your glorious mane while the crowd cheers. The appeal of this fantasy is so obvious, it's no wonder every normal teenage boy has it.
Turning a former bully into a friend, and then turning that friend into a club is perhaps the most common fantasy of all. There are a few variants to this fantasy, although the most typical involves you now as the pilot of a large, multi-horse, Voltron-type creature. Obviously.
"Oh my god!"
"Look at that!"
"This concept really defeated his Photoshop abilities, didn't it?"
Bullies, being thicker than most people, make excellent clubs and are perfect for attacking the softer people in your school, the ones who look like you and that you secretly hate. "Take that, me!" we all shout in the back of 10th grade math class, eyes clenched, ignoring the sound of desks scraping on the floor as the rest of the room slowly edges away from us.
All just a normal part of growing up.
For more from Bucholz, check out 5 Brilliant Ways Historical Figures Dealt With Their Haters and 7 Brilliantly Poetic Phrases Accidentally Invented by Sports.
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