E.T. the Steven Spielberg directed classic about about a boy and his alien was originally released in 1982 when I would’ve been 4 years old. I have vague memories of seeing it in the theatre so I’m assuming I must’ve seen it during it’s re-release in 1985. Though I haven’t watched it in years, I watched the hell out of it as a kid. Like most other kids my age I was captivated by the friendly little alien. I’m in my 30s now and am a federal government employee. I gotta tell you I enjoy it for the schedule and the pay and other reasons. For years and years though I resisted pursing a job like this: working for “the man”. I slaved away at retail for years longer than I should have partly because I like to imagine I’m a little punk rock and partly because E.T. taught me early on that the government is bad. I was around Elliott’s age when I first saw E.T. so I very much related to him and I sympathized with his plight to protect his alien friend against the big bad G-Men who were out to exploit E.T. for their own purposes. In elementary school I remember my class being tasked with writing short stories about friendship or something like that. Where everyone else took the obvious route writing about their best friend I wrote a fictionalized tale about an invisible pet alien that I befriended. I named him Hrumpf since that was the only noise he made. Hrumpf was kind of a lovable shaggy gray T-Rex. Though he looked nothing like E.T. the idea clearly drew inspiration from the film. I included my classmates in the story so it was a big hit with everyone when I had to read it out loud to the class. I revisited the character a number of times and managed to twist many writing assignments into another Hrumpf adventure. As for E.T. I remember an afternoon many years ago when my 3 younger siblings were watching it for the first time. I remember all 3 were crying for different reasons. Katie was terrified of E.T. which I think she still is, Angie was sad that he was dying, and I think Brian was just upset we didn’t pause it while he was in the bathroom or something. It was quite a scene which I found quite amusing.
When we were young Doug and I owned a crap load of E.T. merchandise. Everything we owned either had Star wars, Michael Jackson or E.T. on it. Things like bed sheets and beach towels are long gone but of course the one thing I held onto all these years was my action figure. Doug and I each had one of these things. What I always found strange was that Doug’s was about an inch longer than mine and his head was wider (get your minds out of the gutter folks). His looked more like the E.T. that appeared in the film. My figure looks more like a younger E.T. or something, with a rounder face and stumpier body. The figures were part of the same series so I was always curious as to why they would make the E.T.s look different when the more obvious choice would’ve been to have the same shaped figure in his different outfits. We used to have a bunch of little plastic E.T. figurines kinda like Smurfs that had E.T. in all those outfits like wrapped in a white blanket, wearing a red scarf and even in drag. Though Doug’s E.T. may have been more film accurate I always thought mine was cuter. 7 out of 10.