Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Hero In Our Midst--And A Past Love Remembered

I wish I had heeded your sage advice, Mr. Timey. But I had to help a friend in need. Oh, what have I done?

These clippings from the Courier-Express tell the story better than my feeble words could do:

I imagine you have "taken the picture," friends, and sussed out my situation.

Yes, I have--rather, Dorrie and I have--brought "Sparks" Spinkle into our home.

It was Dorrie who encouraged me to invite him. Her Diner has become so popular that there is a demand for take-out orders--and for delivery. Thus, she felt that a man of "Sparks'" considerable energy would be an asset to the company. He might make a superb "delivery boy" for my dear wife's culinary wares.

I had my doubts about this plan from the start. But, as I said earlier, who am I to turn away a friend in need?

As well, the event would serve to take the edge off of a painful anniversary for me.

I have spoken here, once, of my first wife Marilou. Well, February 27th was the 40th anniversary of our first meeting. It is a day that is etched into my memory forever. I cannot speak to my current wife of this past love--it would not be proper, nor fair.

But I cannot simply banish the memory of Marilou from my heart! She shall always occupy a portion of that "real estate."

In a sense, having "Sparks" in my daily life would be a sort of tie to the glory days of the 1970s and '80s. "Sparks" was a frequent visitor to our home, until his disappearance, of which I have written elsewhere in this "bolg."

Many was the "comicon" we attended as a panelological "triple threat." Many were the "finds" we made--and later shared. Strong was the four-color bond of friendship between us all.

We paid for "Sparks"' bus ride to our town. He paid the shipping charges on his panelological collection. We were, at first, considering a merger of our collections into a sort of Ultra-Pantheon.

Though there is much duplication, we each boast a trove of items unique to our hoards. As the saying goes, "There is strength in the numbers."

That plan is on hiatus, pending the outcome of our current dilemma.

As you've read, "Super Senior" has begun his crime-fighting program in our community! I feared that this identity would continue unabated with "Sparks"' entrance into our home.

I tried to talk with him about this "issue" several times. "Not to worry!" he told me. "Consider the matter taken care of."

"Sparks" has integrated well into the Diner. Despite his insistence on wearing that Pepsi sweatshirt on the job, he has proven an efficient, cheerful and accurate delivery man. Our lunch trade has doubled since he began to offer this free service.

My thought was that all this strenuous physical activity would so tire him out that he would sleep at night--and not long to prowl the darkened streets in search of crimes!

As you can imagine, my heart has lept with each new headline concerning the exploits of "Super Senior." I have lost much sleep via fearful dreams of "the authorities" crashing down on our business and residence. But, so far, it has not happened.

"Sparks," to his credit, has not once boasted of his exploits. The closest he has come to acknowledging them is to nudge me and wink as he comments, "Some news about that 'masked avenger' fellow, eh? Sure wish I could be like him! But I'm just a mild-mannered delivery boy..."

Dorrie has complained of the mysterious disappearance of various cleaning products from her shelves. I know, all too well, where those cans of oven cleaner and those spray bottles of Windex have gone!

I worry that "Sparks" will meet up with a genuinely threatening criminal mind soon--one who shan't be stopped by a spray of aerosol. The thought of his obituary in the Courier-Express chills me to my marrow.

On the other hand, "Sparks" appears to be having "the time of this life" living with us! He sleeps on our couch, which folds out handily to a fairly comfortable bed. He takes pains to avoid wearing out his welcome. He happily does yardwork chores--and thus suffers gladly the endless loghorea of our neighbor, Burt Liffler.

And, of course, we hold daily "pow wows" on our panelological favorites. "Sparks" has refreshed my enthusiasm for the medium tenfold.

He, in fact, is the genesis of today's most unusual post. I have never offered a non-super-hero feature here. But, in the honor of Marilou's memory, today's posting is humorous and whimsical in nature.

It comes from the fourth issue of Jingle Jangle Comics. While comics pundits endlessly praise the over-rated works of George Carlson (whom I find a bit precious and insufferable), the other, superior features of are Jingle Jangle Comics are unjustly ignored.

"Remember how she laughed when she read this one?" I turned to see this opening page of the enchanting "Fatty and Butty" story you are about to read. Memory struck me like a "tin of bricks--" the sweet tinkle of Marilou's laughter, accompanied by the rhythmic slapping of her open palm against a tabletop, as she read and savored the dreamlike lunacy of this tale.

Writer-artist Merrill Hoff was among Marilou's favorite panelological creators. And this was, certainly, his finest achievement, in her august opinion.

Though it represents a significant departure from the norm, here on Panelological Pantheon, I hope you will accept it in the spirit offered, and humor an old man's cherished memories of a past love.

Well, there you have it. Our next post will consist of a story chosen personally by "Sparks" Spinkle.

By reading this post, "Sparks," you will know that I know. And, as well, of my concern for your well-being. Please, my friend, surrender the sweatshirt and the ski-mask. Be content with yourself, and be happy in your new life and new home.


  1. Dear Mister Moray. This is a very serious matter. By sharing this information, you have legally implicated everyone who reads this blog as an accomplice in illegal vigilantism. What a disaster!!! My Uncle Sturnley, who is a practicing attorney, didn't even want to KNOW the details of this mess once I sketched in the situation to him. After that, I became quite alarmed. I know of an active felon, even if he is just a doddering, delusional old idiot! I really wish you had kept this to yourself. Now that your local papers have become aware of the situation, this can only get worse. To give you the beneficial of the doubt, perhaps, in your mourning for a lost love your judgement has been clouded. But, man, it's like pouring molasses on a fire! The only way I feel I can redeem myself is to DO something. I'm afraid I'm going to have to notify the authorities in your town... the apparantly well-paid and brave police force that editor Carl Weldon refers to in the clipping you shared. My only problem is, I don't know what town you live in, and can find no trace of a clue! Your town must be too small to even post their papers online because I can find no other articles on the Internet by Carl Weldon or Kurt Kromholdt. I had thought if I coudl discover what paper your town publishes, then I could find out the name of your little hamlet and expose this senile woudl-be superhero before he does serious harm. I recently recieved an email from someone else following this blog who did some extensive research and was able to find little or no evidence that you even exist! He thought you were a "fabulist," which I think means not on the level. I suspect you may be changing some key details to hide your identity... not unlike the golden age super-heroes you study so avidly. There's no doubt in MY mind that you do indeed do exist because no person could EVER make up all the details you put into your blog postings. Truth is, indeed, stronger than fiction! In any case, Mr. Moray, I DEMAND that you reveal to me the name of your town so that I may contact the authporities and share with them what I know. It is the morally correct thing to do, sir! PS - my name is Tumey, not Timey.

  2. I continue to stare in dull amaze.