I am the most tragic mind of my generation.

*When you tuck yourself into bed tonight, before the bouncing dreams of Free Comic Book Day seize your unconscious eye, remember this week’s new column. It’s a waking-life sugarplum.

*Oh, and by the way, it was actually Dorian who said that stuff about that “Dr. Chaos” book. How did I finally remember? Because he’s unleashed another list of Free Comic Book Day picks! Johanna also has hers up; it’s multiple posts so I’ll start with the latest, in which she links to the other ones.

*I was at Wal-Mart today looking for choice grocery items, and I was feeling a little down. Luckily, I knew exactly what could cheer me up: the fifty cent soda machine! Just try to point me to a better deal in name-brand soda (aside from buying a six dollar 24-pack, which makes each can a quarter - that’s neither here nor there buster). Just glancing at all the wonderful soda choices made my mouth water in anticipation of savings. I decided to get a Fruit Soda.

And I almost fell into trouble there, folks. It’s fortunate that my ultra-keen ears picked up a key disturbance in the aural texture of the coin drop. My quarter hadn’t gone all the way in. Peering into the coin slot, I noticed that quite a few quarters, about five or so, were jammed into the slot, crowding the monetary aisle.

Obviously this sort of atrocity could not stand in the way of my Fruit Soda, so I hit the coin slot with my palm. Nothing. I hit it again. Nothing. I glanced over at the greeters, a pair of silver-haired matrons chirping anecdotes and nodding at fleeing customers. There’d be trouble if I alerted these two, I just knew it.

So I walked to the other side of the chamber, over by the grabber machine and the (*UGH*) Pepsi dispenser, pondering what to do, now twenty-five cents in the red. I found a lucky penny (heads up!), and it gave me a great idea. I retuned to my favored machine and attempted to launch the penny into the slot with sufficient force to maybe dislodge the blockade. No luck. I pulled more pennies out of my pocket: two more thrusted into the slot. I even backed up for the last one and jabbed it in with pinpoint accuracy, all the energy of my body focused in my fingers.


I pulled out my car key and jammed it into the slot. The tip was just long enough to kiss the edge of one of my pennies, but it wasn’t enough to push the whole thing down. My other keys weren’t long enough. Twenty-seven cents in the hole. My sweat-soaked brow scrunched as I eyed the elderly greeters. They hadn’t caught on (thank god). I slipped out of the store.

I was about to walk away, I’ll admit. Cut my losses and head home with my throat as dry and devoid of carbonated fruit as the Mojave at peak sunblast. But then I saw something abandoned on the ground. A filthy old straw wrapper.

If only I could find something as this as that but… but…”

I knelt down and gently probed the paper flesh of the wrapper with my shoe. Yes! It was taut!

There was still a straw in the wrapper!

So I picked up the straw, which smelled of cigarettes (doesn’t matter; it’s not like I’m going to dip my fingers in the soda before I drink it), and hastened back to the soda machine. Being careful not to attract to much attention, I squished the straw thin (but strong!) and it fit perfectly into the slot, more then long enough to reach the metal clog. Finally!

And still, nothing happened. The clog must have continued further down the chute, beyond my sight. I jabbed and twisted the straw, but to no avail.

I turned to the greeters. There were giggling. They weren’t looking directly at me, but I knew what they were thinking. How many straws, women? How many straws have you seen you withered hags?!

YOU’LL NEVER CONQUER MY SOUL YOU FASCIST CRONES!” I screamed and I delivered a flawless flying dropkick directly against the coin slot and all the coins fell in and I got three free Fruit Sodas and they were really delicious and then I used my atomic breath to burn Wal-Mart to the ground and everyone was free.

Which is a roundabout way of saying I slinked out of the store.

I dropped the straw back on the ground; it didn’t deserve the garbage can.


*Well, that was a lot of great comics content today. Tomorrow I’ll have my FCBD impressions.