If you have children, especially boys, then you know, and perhaps hate, Thomas the Tank Engine®.  This little blue train and his friends have been controlling the minds of small children for 60 years with no end in sight.  If I were Thomas, and not Daddy, my son would probably like me more, and may even listen to me.  My son barely opens his eyes in the morning before Thomas enters his impressionable mind.  “Daddy, can I watch Thomas” are often his first words when he wakes up.  During our vacation he may have watched the same Thomas movie 10 times throughout the 24 hours of in-car time he endured.  At some point my son started calling my wife and I “big bullies” whenever we gave him a directive he didn’t like.  Upon closer scrutiny we discovered that he was speaking the language of Sodor, the island that Thomas calls home.

Personally Thomas creeps me out.  He is a train that talks without moving his lips, there are no Black folk on Sodor as far as I can tell, only his eyes move (which reminds me of those paintings in horror movies that are always watching people), he has no limbs, no range of motion beyond forward and backward, and he is obsessed with his being useful. His facial expressions can be hilarious at times, yet somehow disturbing, especially when he is sick or upset. 

My son has a bunch of Thomas toys and other crap (books, placemats, straws, whistles, flashlights, watches, etc), which makes me wonder:  whose mind is really under Thomas’ control?  My wife and I buy all that stuff, not my kid.  I go to a toy store and I have to add to my boy’s (or is it my?) collection of trains.  I’m obsessed with learning the names of Thomas’s friends and the songs they sing, so I can keep my son entertained.  Or am I lying to myself?  Am I a closeted Thomas junkie? 

If someone sees that little blue train with the “cheeky” smile and the shifty eyes, let him know I want my mind back.