Friday, December 14, 2007

Bring On the Bad Boy

I remember this story as happening in 1975 but every where I look on the publishing date of the book, Bring on the Bad Guys by Stan Lee, I see the year 1976. Perhaps I am off by a year or maybe it came out in late 1975 but is date 1976. Either way this story did happen to me in November and December of one of those two years.
I have liked reading comic books for most of my life. At this year I was at the height of my comic book interest. I was in my early teens and not of driving age yet. That I do remember quite well. It was November 26th. The day after Thanksgiving that year. My Dad had to go to work and I had the day off from school. It was also garbage day. We lived on the top of a hill and the night before I dragged down a heavy metal garbage can full of the holiday leftovers and other various items that we threw away earlier that week to the bottom of the hill for the garbage man to get. My Dad left instructions for me to get the empty garbage can and bring it back up before he got home that day. Having every intention of following my Dad's orders I assured him I would.
That whole day I spent most of it playing and reading in my room. No friends were playing across the street in the park and I got no calls from anyone to meet them anywhere. It was cold outside and I wanted to stay warm so there was no reason to venture out of the house. Well I did have to get the garbage can. But that wouldn't take long and I could get it anytime that day. The old saying says that time flies when you are having fun and this day it proved true. As I was enjoying myself time got away from me. I heard my Dad's car coming up the drive way. At first I just thought something like "Oh good Dad's home." That quickly changed to "OH NO! DAD'S HOME! I HAVEN'T BROUGHT IN THE GARBAGE CAN YET!" Before I could hardly move Dad came in the house and down to my room. He looked right at me and said "I brought the garbage can in myself. No comic books for a month." (Back then if Dad saw the garbage can still not taken in he would grab one of the handles and hold it outside the driver side window of the car as he drove up the hill. The can banged on the side of the car all the way up. The memory of that makes me smile to this day.) What didn't make me smile was no comic books for a month. A week I could have taken but a month seemed like torture. But Dad was right and he was just in giving me my punishment. I had been a bad boy for not following through on what he told me to do.
The month went by quicker then I had thought. It wasn't easy seeing my favorite books for sale and I couldn't buy them. Still I obeyed my Dad and I survived the month.
Then came December 25th. Christmas Day. The next to last day of the month long punishment that my Dad gave me. Now I was no longer a child. I was a teen and I knew the true story of Santa Claus but I did my best to keep the magic alive for years. I would wake up every Christmas morning and see my gifts under the tree. I was up before my parents this year and I saw one thing that I had asked for Christmas that tested me more then any comic book that month. It was the brand new book by Stan Lee Bring On The Bad Guys. I wanted this more then anything that year and here it was staring me right in the face and I could not read it till tomorrow.
Now I could have told my parents it wasn't really a comic book as it was a paperback book. But to my Mom and Dad if comics were inside it then it was a comic book and I understand that and I actually agree with that. I was torn between reading the book and being a good son and obeying my punishment. Of course if I had obeyed Dad a month earlier I wouldn't be in this dilemma. I suddenly thought in those early morning hours that I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to read just one story in the book. One of the reasons I wanted the book was it had a reprint of the Dr. Doom origin story and I loved this story when it was on the old Fantastic Four Saturday morning cartoon series. I had never read it in the comic books before so all alone in the dimly lit room I opened the book and read the Dr. Doom story. Later, I was feeling a little ashamed after my Mom and Dad got up and we opened more gifts. Mom saw me holding the book and she came over and whispered to me "Since it's Christmas your Dad and I agreed to take you off of your punishment so you can read that book today and not wait till tomorrow." I looked at her and told her the truth. "Good cause I already started reading it." Mom laughed and went back to celebrating Christmas. I still feel a little guilty about it but at least Mom and Dad were forgiving about it.

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