As a kid, when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first launched, they were renamed Teenage Mutant "Hero" Turtles in Sweden. The government, afraid of anything the word "ninja" condoned, refused to support the masked masters of conniving and quick wrists. Given the popularity that soon followed the show, imagine how those kids would grow up, ten years later: "Sweden's Tech Industry Dwindles, Ninjas Unemployed" reads the newspaper headlines.
Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, Michalangelo and the too-hot-to-be-a-cartoon April–all together their lives summed up to every kid's idea of perfection. New York, catching bad guys and pizza, in no particular order.
Being ten years old, I was obsessed with Ninja Turtles. Lucky for me, a pizza restaurant was just next door. And man, did I eat pizza. But only after gearing up the best I could in my mom's green spandex pants and neon green oversized T-shirt. The one and only accessory I had to have with me was a fake, batted nunchaku, just like Michelangelo's. I whistled the theme song every time I swaggered into the restaurant, the feeble weapon swinging and hitting me repeatedly in the face. Destined to be stay a virgin for a very long time, I had never felt so cool in my life.
Little did I know, twenty years later, I would be in the Turtles' city, chowing down on pizza while scanning the skyline for bad guys (well, not really). This day when my god son Aston, Therese, Andreas, Andreas's sister, Adrian, Janelle and I rallied to the rooftop in time for the sunset, I pictured all of us as The Turtles. Green faces, colored masks and all. I seized a slice and thought, #Cowabunga moment.