Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Robin the Wimp

I am here today to let you in on a secret. A big, important secret. You know Robin Hood? That guy with the bows and the arrows and the green tights? Well, he’s kind of a loser.

Let us begin with the story of Robin and Marian.

So you’re a teenage girl in the Middle Ages, and you don’t want to marry a creep. The solution is clear. Disguise yourself as a page and run away to find your outlaw bf. You’re in the woods, in disguise, on your way to Robin, when some dude accosts you in the woods and challenges you to a duel. Do you have time for this crap? No. You do not. But he’s insistent, so you beat him soundly and prepare to go on your way.

“Wait,” the man says. “I am Robin Hood in disguise, and I’d like you to join my band of outlaws.”

“Seriously, Robin?” You remove your hat. “You were just gonna  beat up some little boy in the woods. I look twelve in this outfit, Robin. What is wrong with you?”

Next up: Robin and Little John. So you’re trying to cross a narrow bridge, and some punk kid decides to block your path and start a fight. You beat him up, knock him into the water. He asks you to join his band of outlaws.

Robin and Friar Tuck. Some stupid, entitled brat tries to make you carry him across a pond so he won’t get wet. You beat him up. He asks you to join his band of outlaws.

I’m sure you’re seeing the pattern here. Robin picks stupid fights, Robin loses, Robin recruits the dudes who pummel him. Robin Hood gets beaten up by his best friend, his girlfriend, his best friend’s cousin, his own cousin, and his priest. Among others. He isn’t even the best archer in the band, guys! It’s some dude called Gilbert of the White Hand.

(Gilbert tangent: There’s a lot of speculation about this whole White Hand thing, and usually the conclusion is that he must have been a baker, with the flour on his hands and stuff. Like. What? Guys, Gilbert is obvs a chick. Who always has these pretty white hands in stories from this period? Girls. Duh.)

Robin must be a good leader, I guess, but that’s his main strength. I mean, come on. You become a Merry Man by beating him up. Those are literally the terms of admission. Beat up the boss. Dude’s kinda pathetic on the physical prowess crap.

(Okay. Childhood story tangent. When I was, like, two, I used to wander around the house telling stories out loud about the Disney princesses, Robin Hood Fox, and his enemies Hugs and Kisses, who were of course a T Rex and a Snow Monster. Now, I don’t recall a whole lotta details, but I do remember that Robin Hood Fox lived inside the toaster, and whenever he ran into Hugs and Kisses, he’d go back into the toaster and hide under his bed. Marian and the princesses had to go drag him out so he could fight them, and it was never pretty. Basically, this is me telling you that toddler me had weird psychic powers and sensed the inherent wimpiness of Robin Hood a decade and a half before I read the ballads that made it clear.)

I love Robin. I really, really do. In all his incarnations, but don’t even get me started on that cartoon fox, guys. I’ve been in love with Robin Hood since the first time I saw him. But let’s be real. He’s not the first guy you pick for your dodge ball team. 

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