Monday, June 27, 2011

Two, two, two comic books in one!

In late 1965, when I was in the seventh grade, we moved back to Missouri for what turned out to be less than a year, initially staying at my grandmother's farm, then moving to a house in town sometime during the winter.

In the spring or summer of 1966, I walked to the store and bought some comics. When I was reading one of them, I eventually became bothered by the cover. It just felt too thick, but it was just the cover; it didn't have any of the pages stuck to it. I kept coming back to it though, it just didn't feel right. I finally managed to separate it. There was an extra page there, but it was shiny like the cover, and was in fact the cover. For some reason they had put two covers on this issue. The comic book was a special issue, maybe an annual, and was thicker than normal, with square binding. The cover wasn't stapled on, just glued. However, the outer cover wasn't glued, and I was able to get it entirely off. I now had a comic with two covers, and the outer cover could be put back on again and look like it belonged there.

I decided to use the comic for a magic trick. I came upon my mother out on the sidewalk in front of the house, I think I just happened to find her out there. She may have just driven back from somewhere, or was perhaps about to drive somewhere. I stood a little ways in front of her, talking to her and showing her the comic, and saying that I was going to do a magic trick. Although she acknowledged what I said, she was busy happily talking to me about something, going on and on, animatedly waving her hands some.

Holding the comic in front of me, I turned around and pulled the extra cover off while I was facing away from her. I continued turning around, not pausing at all, though maybe slowing slightly. When I was facing her again I was holding what seemed to be two identical comics. I said that I have two comics, and I turned around again, this time slipping the extra cover back on. When I was again facing her, I was just holding one comic, and I said I had one comic. My mother glanced at it but kept on talking. I turned around again, and when I was again facing her I was again holding up what appeared to be two comics, and again I said that I had two comics. She may have glanced slightly at it, but kept on talking. I turned around again, doing the trick again, and kept on doing it, over and over, showing one comic and then two, and then one and then two, etc., while she kept on talking.

Suddenly she stopped and looked down at the comics, saying, "How did you do that?" I explained it to her, after which she seemed to get distracted again, and went back to talking about other things, a continuation of what she was saying earlier to some extent, though with more added. She was talking slower now, though, with pauses, and seemed somewhat distracted, her eyes for the most part not looking at me, but up and past me, a smile still on her face as she talked. After a while she said she had to go now, and I think said something about my father and getting supper ready and something about doing something with the girls, my little sisters.

I was a little disappointed that she didn't pay more attention to my trick, but at least she did finally notice it. I understood that she was busy, though, and had other things on her mind. At the same time, what she was saying was interesting, and I would have normally wanted to hear it, but I was distracted by trying to show her my trick, and while I also tried to listen to what she was saying, I was not able to give it the proper attention, the attention that it deserved, and I ended up being also disappointed by that. I should have let her go ahead and talk first, then showed her the trick, but I was too impatient.

I did the trick for at least one of my sisters, too, and my brother, at different times, so I got some more use out of it. They didn't have big reactions to it, mostly just looking at it, without saying much. I think at least one of my sisters looked at it for quite a while, without saying anything, and I finally showed her how I was doing it, after which she still didn't say much. She was pretty little, though. My brother just glanced at it, and talked a little then about something else, and I shortly thereafter explained it to him. Everyone that I showed the trick to, I also showed how it was done.

(The title of this post comes from the old Certs TV commercial, where two people argue over whether it is a breath mint or a candy mint, with the announcer finally saying that it's "Two, two, two mints in one!")

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