The Jason Hahn Files: Have You Ever Wondered What The Hawkins Kids In Stranger Things Would Be Like When They Are Grown-Ups?
How is Eleven not dead from all those nosebleeds?
I was at dinner at my parents’ the other night. Also at the table was Uncle Jin, one of my father’s colleagues and an old family friend whom I’ve known all my life.
And, as often happens when people of a certain age group get together, it didn’t take long before the conversation turned to mutual friends who had recently died. Top of the list was Uncle Jin’s friend, Simon.
“He was at the seventh hole when he just literally dropped dead!” Uncle Jin said. “One minute, he was teeing up his shot, and the next, piaaak!” Uncle Jin’s forearm whacked the table. “Dead! It was so sudden!”
My mother fingered her pearls and clucked. “Oh my dear, that’s so sad to hear. I never met him but have heard so much about him over the years, so I feel as if I’ve known him all my life. How old was he?”
“Same age as me, 92,” Uncle Jin said morosely into his soup. “We were in kindergarten together, so we’ve known each other, what, 87 years?”
From the other end of the table, my sister looked up. Her eyes darted towards me and then flicked over to our brother Jack who stared hard at the ceiling. You could tell he was biting down on his tongue trying not to laugh.
Later that evening, after Uncle Jin had shuffled off into his car, guided on one side by his driver and on the other by his helper, Mother closed the front door firmly and turned around to glare at us. "You children are a disgrace!” she said severely.
“I’m sorry,” Jack began stoutly, “but how is dying at 92 considered sudden?!"
Mother’s lips disappeared into a tight straight line. “You should be so lucky as to have a friend you’ve known that long at that age! You young people are just so cavalier about your youth. You don’t realise that it all just goes so quickly. And then one day, you suddenly realise that all your friends are dead! You won’t be laughing then.”
A few nights later, during our Saturday night binge-watching of the new season of Stranger Things on Netflix, Saffy said it was just so depressing that the Hawkins kids were all so grown up. “They’re unrecognisable! Except maybe Justin, he’s still adorable as ever!”
Amanda reached out for more popcorn, her eyes never leaving the screen which was presently filled with flashing images of bloodied bodies laying around on white linoleum. “What I can’t get over is how they’re all even still alive,” she said. “I mean, look at El. How is that girl not dead from all those nosebleeds? And don’t even get me started on the sheriff!”
Saffy’s bosoms puffed up. “Tell it. I cried so much when he died at the end of the last season, and now, it turns out he just, what, somehow survived a nuclear blast that was so powerful it sealed up an inter-dimensional gateway to the Upside Down? What is that all about?”
“Statistically, it just doesn’t make sense that they’re all still alive,” Amanda said, returning to her original theme. “Even the people who run away get squashed up, but these kids are actually running towards the monsters! And now look, they’re voluntarily going into the Upside Down! Again.”
By the end of Saturday night, the consensus was that at this unnatural rate of survival, the Hawkins children are going to be still fighting monsters well into their nineties. And when a character, say Sheriff Jim Hopper, ‘suddenly’ drops dead at 92, it’ll turn out that it was all a false alarm because his wife Joyce suddenly realises the reason why all the flowers in the church are turning black is because Jim is actually still alive and he’s frantically sending signals from the Upside Down that he’s trapped there along with his old friend, Enzo, the Russian guard, aka The Faceless Man from Game of Thrones.
“Ooh, that’s a good plot twist!” Amanda said approvingly.
Saffy rolled her eyes. “Well, before we start on part two of season 4, can we take a breather and watch something else? A bit more light-hearted? That slimy mummy creature with the bad skin is giving me the serious chills.”
Which is how we ended up binge-watching, till dawn, Heartstopper.
At one stage, Saffy said, her mouth stuffed with popcorn still warm from the microwave, “Seriously, this is the most adorable show ever!”
“God, how cool are these kids?” Amanda added, delicately dabbing away tears with a soggy tissue.
“They’d be fun to grow old with,” Saffy said with approval, surprised at how easily her habitually cynical heart softened at the sight of two school kids kissing in the rain.
And how she found herself secretly hoping they would never, ever, grow up, much less grow old.