As a kid I would always hear from a certain person, slightly older than me, that I had eyebrows just like Captain Marvel, and though it made me feel a bit self-conscious, I secretly turned it into a link with my invincible hero and it thenceforth provided me with an extra measure of mystical protection.
Not long after, feeling those invisible oats, I started chasing two pretty little girls down Second Avenue with an earthworm in my hand. I figured my job was nearly done when they cut down Hampton Street toward their house; little did I know that they were about to unleash a life form that was further up the food chain than mine.
Just as they reached their front porch, the door flew open and a German Shepherd the size of a race horse came flying out, fangs all a-gleamin’. “Sic ’em, Sinbad!”, one of them ordered, and I was off like a rocket, just a few steps ahead of the beast as I shot out into the street. I never saw the car coming.
In the next instant I was sitting in a magical flying chair, soaring into the sky as if in a dream. I hit the ground running, all the way home and up the stairs, doors tightly locked and covers over my head. I had escaped the jaws of death. Hadn’t even thought about the car.
Finally screwing up the courage to look out the living room window, I couldn’t believe what I saw. A crowd had gathered, and among the crowd were police cars, an ambulance, and various officials who were busy talking to a woman (the driver of the car, as it turns out). They were all looking up at me.
I don’t remember letting them in, but soon the living room was filled with people, and the medical folks were doing all sorts of tests on me to see what kind of damage the car had done. They found none. Captain Marvel’s sidekick would live to see another day.
While all of this was going on, you, Bob, walked into the living room, utterly amazed, holding three brand new comic books. It was a moment of such gravity that you held them out to me and said, “Here, you read them first.” This had never happened before, and perhaps not since. But you had provided the perfect medicine, for I was soon lost in other, more important adventures; the dog, the worm, the car, were all suddenly things of the past.