Remember the time Arnold Schwarzenegger was lowered into a vat of hot lava, giving a touching 90’s thumbs-up to a suitably 90’s John Connor? What about Ripley, the female flame-throwing alien ass-kicker? Then there’s the story of the ruthless Michael Corleone; an Italian-American gangster who stopped at nothing to further his family’s interests. Then consider for a moment, the perilous journey of the Skywalker family and friends, whose convergence on a city in the clouds would ultimately set the stakes even higher for the Rebel Alliance. KHHHAAAANNNNNNN! Biggie’s ‘Life After Death’. Zeppelin II. “Get a good job that pays good money”. From Russia With Love. Your girlfriend.
Yes I know, it wasn’t actually Arnie staring as himself and your girlfriend’s probably pissed off, but you get the point. First impressions are everything despite the reassuring words of your psychologist – a catch-22 in and of itself. But what if you’re like me: constantly two coffees short of being on-point with wit? Life is a constant dress rehearsal, and just like every television pilot ever filmed, your first attempt at something new often sucks. Though from the ashes of failures slight or pronounced, a natural successor can rise, feeding off sacrifices made during the first effort.
Second-chance draws are not simply the domain of a deranged gambler in a constant struggle to win against stacked odds. Second chances are all around you.
Second-chance drawn. Thanks for the 2014 credit card booster, Pizza Hut!
While you ponder your existence as the first, second, or even third-born child and what this really means for you in the overall family hierarchy of gender gambles, try not to forget it’s simply impossible to be good at everything. Your younger siblings – while possibly superior – are ultimately hamstrung by the fact you could have literally killed them in jealousy during their most vulnerable years of life, making you a god by proxy.
Leverage is important in any situation.
In the case of my immediate family, mum semi-regularly makes a point of alleging that I, as a four year old, asked if we could take my sister back shortly after leaving the hospital with her for the first time. Refuted allegations of infant jealousy aside, hope is obviously at the heart of every sequel. Although the hope of returning my sister in a manner akin to faulty merchandise was never realized (which she no doubt appreciates), the realization the Earth doesn’t revolve around you is probably one of the earliest culture shocks you get to experience. I imagine I would experience a similar feeling again if the existence of extraterrestrials was proven tomorrow.
A degraded tape from the 1991 incident sadly didn’t help to exonerate me.
Dismissing the musings of Fox Mulder and ignoring massive statistical probabilities for a moment, any question of sequel-superiority can be broken down into a simple discussion of taste. The argument of who or what is better in a series of things, can fit quite easily within a culinary dissection. It’s in our nature to compete against each other, but it’s also equally in our nature to pigeon-hole and categorize differences to the point of obsession.
At any rate, if humankind can meet halfway on anything, it’s food.
In this particular series, the second recipe appears really “samey” at first glance. Unremarkable, plain and wrapped up like a newborn baby. Although the outside packaging may change on occasion, a template rests before you, resembling a lineage of greatness going back a hundred years. Carefully pealing back the outer wrapper, a marvel of human confectionery-engineering reveals itself. Within lies not a cookie-cutter dessert. Within lies a multi-layered, mouldable Molotov cocktail waiting to be experienced. A milky outer surface of processed cacao lines an inner mantle of soft caramel, with a ‘Mariana Trench’ of whipped-up nougat to be found at its core. As a second-chance draw, the impurity of the first edition was removed, successfully creating the Terminator 2 of chocolate.
In stark contrast, the first-born in the very same lineage is a shameful 450-calorie, potential-packing, though ultimately disastrous misstep. All of the ingredients are there, but a fatal flaw eats away at it. As such, it rests on the boundaries of the treat kingdom; oft forgotten in an out of sight, out of mind dismissal of its existence. Sure, it looks remarkably similar to its aforementioned sequel, but at the heart of this heathen creation is a jagged spike; right there to fuck up your Friday night like a drugged martini.
There is no cure for this stricken, Episode I of desserts and its merry cult of followers. Avoiding it, and them – in the same manner you would avoid responding to specific people on social media to prevent any form of interaction with them taking place, while still remaining their “friend” – is the only way forward.
Yes, that’s right: chocolate, and sequels are serious fucking business.
At the heart of every good sequel or second-chance is not just hope – but nougat, caramel and milk chocolate too. The peanut-laced disaster of 1930 merely served to lay the foundations of its glorious nut-free successor, born in 1932. Snickers Bars are the redheaded, albino, pockmarked step-sibling that Mars is towing naked down a dirt road, tied to the back bumper. The Jar Jar Binks/Justin Bieber/Dexter Lumberjack Scene/Gigli/”Captain’s Pick”/Coke Life/Nickelback of chocolate. Peanuts are a heathen addition to perfection, and I won’t stand for them.
All things considered though, I always have been a bit nutty.