10.13.2004

The Secret Origin of MCF

When I was five years old, I thought I was Spider-man.

All kids have heroes, mythical or real, and emulating them is an important part of growing up, of defining the journey their life will take. Certainly my parents tried to shield me from bad influences, and my mom limited my television viewing to harmless shows like Catch that Pidgeon or The Electric Company. Of course as anyone born in the ’70s might recall, the latter occasionally featured a live-action segment in which everyone's friendly neighborhood superhero ran out on stage and threw a rope around people with poor grammar. Or something. At any rate, between The Electric Company and a few seemingly innocent Spidey coloring books, I was more than familiar with the character. To add to the recipe, when she wasn't looking I'd often switch channels and sneak a peek at his cartoon, or those of other Marvel Superheroes.

When I was six years old, I thought I was Captain America. I'd run around the yard screaming like an idiot and hurling my "mighty shield", a beat-up old aluminum garbage can lid from the days when they, like G1 Transformers, were made of metal not plastic. But when I was five, I was Spider-man, often climbing trees or putting netting over my head. And one fateful afternoon in the aftermath of a rainstorm, I put my "powers" to the ultimate test and decided to climb down a treestump in the woods behind my house. Face-first.

By this point, the most astute reader can see where this is going. Most probably had an inkling around the first sentence. I slipped and fell face-first into the underbrush, where it's probable with mud on my face and a scratch or two, I'd emerge with enough of a scare to be more cautious in the future. A probable outcome for most, but not I. The woods behind my house were a haven for teenagers, and apparently a place to discard beer bottles. So on that fateful day it was not mud nor leaves that awaited me, but a brown shard of glass. So when I ran crying to my mom with a nosebleed, you can imagine her dismay upon wiping the blood away to see that I had split my lip and part of my left nostril. The rest was a blur, as I was rushed to the ER and battled nurses who had to resort to what they called a "papoose" but what to this day I call a "mini-straitjacket." The stitches were "innumerable" in my plastic surgeon's words and I still have a bit of a scar and the inability to grow a mustache without needing a comb-over to hide the part.

Was there a lesson to be learned, and did I learn it? Over the next two and a half decades I would find that whether I played it safe or took an incredibly stupid risk, it seemed my mutant ability was to channel the most unlikely mishaps, quite often in the presence of attractive women. I've flown over the handlebars of a bike while throwing a frisbee and riding "no-hands". I've walked futilely after a train that had already left the station, only to find a small rock had found it's way into the back of my shoe and meticulously worn a quarter-shaped abrasion down to my nerve-endings. I've passed out in the middle of an art class looking at Escher, been knocked unconscious by a flagpole in the back of a church, and once nearly bled to death because of a Meckel’s Diverticulum, a birth defect in my intestines that affects 2% of the American population, normally detected in infancy. That last one, of course™, hit me when I was 25 and stumped the doctors.

So that's me--extraordinary bad luck, and a passion for all the great journey's and escapes available, from DVDs to video games to comics. These posts won't all be as narcissistic as this one, and many will be about nothing at all. If there's one thing I took from my childhood it was that love of fiction and art, and my high school notebooks margin doodles tended to spill over and overshadow my notes. I went on to major in Graphic Design and while I'm not drawing for Marvel, I do derive some pleasure from designing Science Fiction & Fantasy catalogs and book jackets. The journey may be improbable, but I believe God has a plan and upon closer inspection, a pattern can be discerned.

Tomorrow, probably one of those aforementioned "nothing" posts about why Netflix rules, or the age-old argument of whether or not Quasar could beat The Green Lantern. The journey into the Mysterious has just begun....

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2 Comments:

Blogger TheWriteJerry said...

Welcome to the jungle, MCF.

10/15/2004 10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, MasterChiefFred.

You're neat.

- Hero of the SPUniverse...why won't it accept 'lime' as a font color? :(

10/21/2004 9:35 PM  

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