A friend of mine recently asked whether a child with an evil laugh is destined to become a future villain. To be honest the question caught me off guard. Does having the trademark “Bwa-ha-ha” laugh instantly mark you as a future evil-doer or do villains acquire their laughs simply as a by-product of being effective evil-types? Since it was late (about 2:30 in the morning) and I did have a few drinks, I decided to tackle the problem…
I went with the idea that an evil laugh was in fact positive proof that one is a villain but how far your villain potential takes you will in turn sculpt an evil laugh over time. However the laugh is only a tiny subset of one’s true potential as a meany. It’s the whole “does a wagging tail make a dog?” philosophy. No, of course not. There’s way more to a dog than the tail. A pup that loses a tail (probably at the hands of a villain) doesn’t cease to be a dog. Mind you he’s no longer a great dog, much like a villain with a girly laugh can never really be truly called a villain. He’s just “Joe, the bad guy”.
To truly understand a villain, it is important to note that one does not “become” a villain. You need to be born as one. You can certainly attend evil villain school to hone your villain skills and stereotypes, or if you come from the unfortunate line of cameo villains then all you really need is some form online Evil-Ed courses, but you first need to be some grade of villain to even attend, otherwise your access is barred. Having an evil laugh is a basic starting point.
So how do you decide whether or not you are a villain? First off, if you don’t know if you’re a villain then you’re not a villain. Next, you need an evil laugh (which usually shows itself in early childhood). However it is possible to have an evil laugh without actually being evil. Much like how it is possible, due to a poor health care plan, to have a peg-leg and not be a pirate. Finally, there are a slew of other clues that are typical tell-tale signs of “villain-ness”.
If you’ve ever woken up in the middle of the night, gone outside, dug a hole, filled it with water and ordered a crate full of sharks, then you are a villain. If you see a tiny woodland creature and catch yourself trying to estimate the type of weapon load-out that their tiny skeletal structures could effectively support, then you are a villain. If you’ve looked at a majestic mountain and thought about hollowing it out to make a lair then you’re definitely a villain. If any of the floors in your house move to reveal fire/lava/water with sharks/spikes/miscellaneous death traps, then you are a villain. If you’ve ever been to a family reunion and imagined relatives on a table of blades/lasers, then you’re a villain. If you carry loose sugar in your pockets then you’re a villain. If you have an urge to surround yourself with mindless minions who could never be socially acceptable on their own, then you’re a villain (relatives/children do not count as minions – if they did then certain states in the US would be swarming with villains).
So getting back to our laughing child…
When a child expresses him or herself with a sinister laugh it means that the child has one of the key fundamental components required to being a villain. But does that mean that your child is evil? Well, yes. It most certainly does. Although the real question is whether or not this is a bad thing or a good one? The truth is that an evil child with tendencies to become a super-villain is absolutely great! It’s fantastic, wonderful – splendid even! It means that the child has purpose and potential; a preordained direction in life. People can go their entire lives without truly finding themselves. They exist as completely mundane and unproductive plebeians who get annoyed at pointless, miniscule things that are completely irrelevant on the grand scheme of anything and everything.
For example, someone with a commonplace personality will spend three days putting together a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle of a blue sky only to find the piece that represents the only cloud in the whole damn sky is missing. Then they get frustrated and go play scrabble only to realize that no one actually likes scrabble so they drink a juice box and go to bed.
On the contrary an evil villain will spend inordinate amounts of equity on the excavating of a mountain for a future lair and offset setbacks and frustrations by firing minions. And by firing, I do not refer to simply ceasing a minion’s employment with Evil Corp but instead I mean literally “firing” the horrible little creatures out of some cannon-like device into the side of the currently being excavated mountain. At which point the villain will enthusiastically bellow his/her trademark evil laugh not only to display pleasure but also strike fear into surrounding minions thereby increasing productivity. Note the lack of juice boxes and scrabble…
So yes, a child with an evil laugh means that the child is in fact a villain (unless the laugh is a fake such as in the case of mimicking a movie character). But the success of the villain is not preordained simply by possessing a laugh. That comes with practice, motivation and varying levels of being sinister. Over time these degrees of the villain’s accomplishment cause the evil laugh to evolve into something that is truly definitive of the character.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the whole evil laugh thing (although as a somewhat evil person myself I will probably (most definitely) disregard them). Bwa-ha-ha!