The XX-Team

Give me a minute, I’m good. Give me an hour, I’m great. Give me six months, I’m unbeatable. ~Col. John “Hannibal” Smith, The A-Team (2010)

Hannibal's first day at the office doesn't go well

Three things I know for sure after today:

#1 I still have no idea what the hell I want to do with the rest of my life, though I think I’m narrowing it down,

#2 I will never really be able to understand human behavior, and

#3 Imagining some variation of Sharlto Copley and Dwight Schultz giving me Hershey’s Kisses is a surefire way to cheer myself up.

Since it was a Monday, and a long one, and I was working in a new job where I felt like a super-sized order of raw nerves, I figured I’d return to my roots. The old “bread and butter,” Uncle Charlie, meat and potatoes, whatever you want to call it. The one thing that never fails to put a smile on my face. Yes, ladies and gents, I’m talking about…

The A-Team.

Have you seen these four? Call 1-800-PITYDAFOOL

If you know me, you’re already aware of this blistering obsession of mine. You might know that the prospect of selling a kidney is only slightly more tolerable than selling my beloved A-2 jacket with the tiger painted on the back. You know it’s my “special interest.”

But instead of just blathering on and on about how much I love these guys, and their madcap globetrotting adventures where no one ever seems to get shot, I thought I’d try a different perspective.

One of my projects right now is authoring a book tentatively titled How The A-Team Saved My Life. Another fascination of mine has always been literary archetypes (thank you very much, Mr. Joseph Campbell.)  The book examines the four distinct archetypes found in the series, and the 2010 film, and how that composite represents a healthy, balanced personality. As Face says in a season two episode, by themselves, they’re a bunch of social misfits…only when they’re together do they become something very special.

So, to completely turn the concept on its side, what about looking at those archetypes as they’re found in “unconventional” women? Let me explain, before you accuse me of being completely mental, which I’d accept as a compliment anyway:

Col. John “Hannibal” Smith

I love it when a timed explosion comes together.

The “XY” version: Tough, take-charge commanding officer. Never without a wisecrack or a cigar. Spends as much time acting in campy monster movies as he does dodging bullets and taunting bad guys.

The “XX” version: We all know someone like this. She’s usually the boss, or else the only female supervisor in an otherwise all-male group. Don’t let her silver hair fool you: she’s still agile and tough, plus she has the added benefit of years and years of experience to outwit you. Sometimes it might seem like she’s just being a smartass to annoy you…but once you get home, you realize she was trying to impart an important lesson on you. She’s never met a nasty customer she couldn’t either deal with, or better yet, insult without their realizing it.

I knew a lady a lot like this when I worked at Barnes and Noble. She had everything but the black leather gloves, and I know she’d have made George Peppard proud.

Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck

Hey, ladies, check out my ginormous...gun

The “XY” version: Looks AND intelligence. Can get anything, anywhere, anytime just by flashing his dazzling smile. Sometimes shies away from the heavier action, but will always be there when you need him. Loves flashy cars, posh penthouses, and beautiful women, but has a habit of getting in embarrassing situations.

The “XX” version: Thought you hated the “Hannibals” of the world? These are much easier to envy: they always seem to have the perfect hair, the perfect accessories, and always be 10 pounds lighter than you. And they seem to do it effortlessly. Trouble is, when you dig a little deeper, you find that they have the same problems as you. Rocky relationship, wayward kids, career struggles. It just isn’t as readily apparent, because these gals have the gift of appearances, not to mention diplomacy! Once you get to know them, you might find that they’re the best friends you can ask for.

I’ve known a few of these “Face-women.” One of them has become a very good friend of mine, and I’ve learned as much from her about the foreign world of emotion as I’ve taught her about being wild and crazy. Which leads me naturally into…

Captain H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock

Faceman, you got a big gun, but check out my flight stick


The “XY” version: As unpredictable as a mad hatter on Red Bull, and just as intelligent. Changes personas the way many people change their socks. Can fly anything (except an elevator), has an entire menagerie of invisible friends and makes his home in a mental hospital. Sometimes has his head in the clouds, but loves his teammates and will do anything to protect them.

The “XX” version: My sort of gal, but oddly enough, the one I have the hardest time connecting with. Everyone seems to have one: a crazy sister, aunt, co-worker, next-door neighbor who’s “just a bit odd.” She’s the one who’s busy doing Polynesian fire dances when everyone else is trying to enjoy the wedding reception, or impersonating movie characters during class. She may not be beautiful, but she can always make you laugh and forget your troubles. Chances are, if the office goes to hell in a handbasket, she’s the one remaining calm and collected and saving everyone’s collective heinies. And all this time, you thought she was a ditz…

I definitely remember my Murdockian managers. There haven’t been many, but they were the ones I always went to in times of crisis. They were also the ones that laughed at my off-the-wall sense of humor and realized I was just joking.

Sgt. B.A. (Bad Attitude) Baracus

A rare non fool-pitying moment

The “XY” version: Big, tough, and no-nonsense. 40 pounds of gold around his neck and 230 pounds of muscle. Can fix anything and could build a tank from a few popsicle sticks and a broken-down Yugo. Has a huge soft spot for disadvantages kids, the elderly, and other defenseless types. Don’t ever try to get him to fly; you’ll be sorry! Frenemies with Murdock.

The “XX” version: Everybody gives her a wide berth, and with good reason. She prefers it that way. She likes her privacy, but is secretly the person who donates huge amounts anonymously to the Angel Tree and the AIDS Walk. You think she doesn’t say much, but there’s a lot going on beneath the surface. When there’s something heavy to be moved, you call her instead of any of the male co-workers, and she does it gladly. Once you get past that hard outer surface, you’re apt to discover a very kind, very compassionate soul within. And she’s always the one who can help fix your car or move your stuff.

These types are rare among women, but I’ve known a few…in fact, I sometimes think I have more of this type in me than the Murdock type. Shocking, isn’t it?

I hope to devote a full chapter to this in my book. In the meantime, why not look around you and see if you know one, or maybe two or three of these types among your female acquaintances? They may be unconventional, but they make things happen! They also make the best kind of friends.

“Hannibal’s plans never work right. They just work.” ~Amy Allen, The A-Team (1983)

Think I’m nuts? Got comments? I’d love to hear them at!

~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on September 14, 2010.

One Response to “The XX-Team”

  1. good share.. keep on posting

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abandonen toda esperanza aquellos que entren aqui


You - philosophical, thoughtful, witty. Me - still thinks fart jokes are funny. We should DEFINITELY get together!

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