How Comic Books Kinda Saved My Life

How Comic Books Kinda Saved My Life

I remember being eight and getting my first real comic book. It was an issue of Batman. The villain’s name was Cutter. He would chop up women after he murdered them and throw away their bodies in dumpsters. I loved Batman, but that particular book freaked me out.  

I was scared to death to take the trash out at night for the next two years. As a grown-up, I'm not scared to take out the trash anymore, but the impact of comic books on my life remains.

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I Got My First Cup of Coffee from Whataburger

I Got My First Cup of Coffee from Whataburger

Well that's not exactly true. I got my first cup of drive-thru coffee at Whataburger. My first real cup came at an IHOP one night after the late-late movie.

The four of us piled into the green Ford Contour after the movie got out. I can still feel those gray cloth seats. Man, how I loved the smell of that car. It was fresh, clean, and had the tiniest bit of perfume.

My pal, Kevin, and I rode in the back. Our friends, Nell and Pam, up front. If ever there was one thing I was good at when I was sixteen, it was making people laugh. And nothing made me feel better than making Nell laugh. It was my drug.

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A Cheap, Plasticky Walmart Affair

A Cheap, Plasticky Walmart Affair

(I’m trying to be more grateful for my life. To that end, I’ll be posting some stories about what I’m most thankful for. This one is about the first time I called my wife.)

I slammed the phone down. Hard. Not an angry kind of slam, but a scared I don’t want this thing in my hands kind of slam.

I can still feel the smoothness of that dark green phone—one of those cheap, plasticky Walmart affairs. The coiled cord was the length of one of those orange industrial extension cables that hang on hooks in garages. It was permanently knotted in spots. The buttons lit up a putrid yellow when you pressed them. The whole thing felt like it would crumble if you squeezed it too hard.

Cruddy for sure, but always remembered. It was on this phone that I finally got the courage to call Nell for the first time.

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