THE SEINFELD COLUMN
This past weekend was our fifth anniversary, for me and the missus. Friday the 12th was the day we'd been married for five whole years. In my family, this isn't such a big deal. My parents have been married for forty-one years. Five years is a drop in the bucket. In my family, it takes that long for everyone to sort out which side of the bed you want.
In Mimi's family, though, we get the trophy. We've lapped three of her parents' five marriages. More, if you count the grandparents. Five years. Man, that's a while, if you look at it like that.
'Course, four days later, the 16th, was my birthday. Thirty-eight-years on this Earth. I was six when Neil and Buzz were traipsing about on the green cheese. I graduated high school the year my brother-in-law was born. Not so old as some, but older than others. There you go. Been around. Enough to know what time it is, without looking at a clock.
So I figure me and the missus can go to Yosemite, celebrate the wedding, and the birthday. Take a few days off from the hustle and the bustle. We used to go there quite a bit, nearly ten years ago, when we started dating. Back then, we were kids; we'd stay in the canvas tents at Camp Curry, on the valley floor, and put our food in bear-proof metal shelves, and bring Cheerios and eat 'em dry first thing in a meadow somewhere.
A few years later, when we'd go back, we'd have traded up a bit, and have sprung for one of those heated cabins. No amenities, no bathrooms, even; hot plates verboten and stumble over the raccoons on your way to the john in the middle of the night. But at least the wind's not whipping the canvas and keeping you awake and it's warm and dry and there's no bear problem. So there's that.
This time, though, a few years later, we're adults, and have been married a while, and we've got that lucrative comic book publishing thing happening, so we shell out for the big room at the ritzy hotel with the fireplace and the jacuzzi and the balcony overlooking the Merced river and the bathroom with the shower in the bathroom the size of a small town in Montana…
…but it's all a big waste, really, because we're not those kinda cats.
Naw, Mimi and I are the Adventure Team… we're not the kind of folks who will sit in a slick hotel and be pampered and whatnot… we like to go out and get our hands dirty, and get into trouble. So, because we were away from the office for a couple of days, I started thinking about the subject matter for this week's column a little sooner than I would have, ordinarily.
On Saturday, we climbed up around Mirror Lake, which wasn't so much alake at this time of year, as the glacier run-off was slowed down to atrickle.
"What do you think I should write about this week, Meem?" I asked the missus.
"What's going on in comics?" she said.
"Nothing, really," I said.
"Well, what are you doing?"
"This week, I'm finishing the lettering on Sky Ape: Waiting ForCrime; there's nothing much to write about, there. Put a page ofart into the scanner, assemble the Quark document, describe the wordballoons, input the copy. Lather, rinse, repeat. It's prettystraightforward. Nothing to write about, there, like I said."
"What else?" Mimi said.
"Of course, we've got the Warren Ellis Available Light hardcoverto put together, and we've OK'd the production on the Ministry ofSpace embroidered patches…"
"Nothing there," Mimi said, "unless people are interested in theproduction of ancillary comic book items."
Of course, I agreed. By this time, we had decided to go all the way upBridalveil Falls. At this time of year, what usually is a torrent ofriver water and a cascade of spray and mist is just but a trickle ofwater, at most, and the adventurous climber can scramble up all the wayto the top of the falls, where one is rewarded with a magnificent viewof the valley below.
So that's what we did, because we're those kind of cats.
"What else is going on?" Mimi said. "Nothing," I replied. "I gotnothing. Anything I could comment on has either been commented on byother folks in a more straightforward manner than I could manage, orthere's not a whole column's worth of stuff, there."
"What do you mean?" Mimi said, probably trying to be helpful but justpissing me off at this point. Trying to draw me out in a conversation inwhich I have nothing to say just isn't going to work.
"Well, there's what Ranger Dick said last night," I replied. We trekkedup to the top of Glacier Point to see the sunset and talk to the ParkRanger there, who happened to be from Seekonk, Massachusetts, and sinceMeem and I had spent some time in that area, we had got a big kick outof his accent.
Ranger Dick relayed the story of the first guy up Half Dome, inYosemite. It's quite a sheer granite face, and at some points, it'snearly a forty-five degree angle. No way a guy in regular boots canclimb up it.
But as he described the first ascent attempts, Ranger Dick keptreferring to comic book imagery. George Anderson, the valley blacksmith,first attempted climbing Half Dome with his arms and legs wrapped inpitch-soaked burlap. "He'd go up a ways like Spider-man," said RangerDick, "but he'd always slide back down."
Mimi and I paid careful attention to the story after that, not becauseof the Spidey reference, but because Anderson finally made it up, aftertrying all summer, on October 12th, 1875.
One hundred and twenty-one years before our anniversary, sure, but not awhole column there. Talking to a crowd of 150 people and referencingSpider-man only brings to mind my pal Mike Allred's quote… that everyonein America knows what a comic book actually is… it's just that noteveryone ever buys one.
Not a whole lot to comment on there.
Later that night, when we were relaxing in the jacuzzi, we watched alittle of America's Most Wanted. I have to say, I love that JohnWalsh. Not to demean his obviously tragic loss, but he's a real-lifeBatman. Just as Bruce Wayne sees the face of his parents' murderer, JoeChill, every time he nabs a criminal, so, too, I believe, that JohnWalsh feels he's avenging and giving meaning to the death of hismurdered son every time they catch a bad guy for real through theefforts of the fine folks at America'sMost Wanted.
"Maybe there's a column there," Mimi said.
"Naw," I said. "I think this latest one's gonna be the column aboutnothing. My Dinner With Andre. Sometimes the commentary is thatthere is no commentary."
"You're gonna piss off those people on the Internet," Mimi said.
"Yeah, well," I replied. "It's not like they don't know what the deal iswhen they read the title of the column. Never know what I'm gonna writeabout."
"Yeah, yeah," my wife said. "Pass me my wine, ya loose cannon."
There's no way I'd give you a hard time on your birthday, but this year,I said to myself: firstname.lastname@example.org
While you can get your news and commentary about the funny books allover the Internet, I usually make it a point to let slip at least onebit of information at the Loose Cannon Message Board that I post nowhere else.