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Survivor-Man Me?

8 Feb

February 8, 2018

Let me tell you what I was wearing. Not because I think you’ll get a thrill out of it, but because it is relevant to the story.

Blue sweat pants. Brown slip-on Skechers that I say are trendy and Saarah says are not. No socks. An old, thin green worn out t-shirt that is only good for wearing around the house. A winter coat.

That’s quite an ensemble and no, I was not on my to the Queen’s Ball. I was outside throwing out the trash. It was midnight and about 25 degrees outside. (That’s degrees Fahrenheit, not that Celsius nonsense. Celsius is just a scam perpetuated by the big mercury conglomerates to make us buy new thermometers.)

Does the dude in this stock photo look cold? He just looks creepy to me.

I walked around the side of my building to where the garbage cans are and put my trash in one of the already full cans so that my bag was precariously balanced atop a mountain of who knows what. I’m pretty sure that my building’s super empties these cans once in a while, but then again, what do I know? They never seem to get any emptier. (Yet they never get any fuller either. Maybe he empties just enough to keep the status quo.)

So, mission accomplished, I was walking back around the building when there was a gust of wind and I realized just how poorly I was dressed for the weather. Good thing I was only going to be outside for a minute or two and had a warm home to go back to.

But what if I didn’t? What if I were homeless?

Dressed as I was, was I prepared to survive a night of sudden homelessness?

I was already feeling a chill in my toes and since I wasn’t wearing socks my feet weren’t particularly comfortable to begin with.  So if I was forced to spend a night outdoors, braving the elements, how would I handle it?

My first worry was about frostbite. My hands I could jam in my jacket pockets, but with no socks my toes were an obvious frostbite target. I could probably tear up my shirt and wrap my feet in the cloth, then jam them into my shoes. But then I’d be shirtless (calm down ladies). Well, I was wearing a winter coat so I could zip it all the way up. My head was bare and my jacket didn’t have a hood. Maybe I could save some of the ripped t-shirt to wrap around my head like a bandanna to protect my ears from frostbite. Nothing I could do about my legs. The wind blew right through the sweatpants.

I had to face the fact that I was barely dressed to survive the minute and a half I’d be out in the winter, there was no way I’d survive overnight.

It was one thing to toss out the trash dressed that way, but I’d have to prepare better if I were to live outside.

If I were ever really homeless, I’d somehow make my way down to Florida. It’s much easier to be homeless in the winter laying on Miami Beach than it is here on Coney Island Beach.

That’s the life!

Being homeless on the beach does have some perks.

 

 

 

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Happy Hanukkah, Jack Kirby and Ben Grimm!

13 Dec

Updated December 13, 2017

from December 23, 2016
and December 15, 2012

The 1976 Jack Kirby family Hanukkah card

The 1976 Jack Kirby family Hanukkah card

I am a big fan of The Fantastic Four and of them, I am first and foremost a fan of The Thing. He is easily in my top five, possibly top three comic book characters. And speaking of the First Family of Marvel Comics, Ben Grimm was created by two men who surely were members of the First Family of Marvel Comics, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

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And while many of the legends of the comic industry, like Superman creators Joe Siegel and Jerry Shuster, Will Eisner, Stan Lee and Jack “King” Kirby were Jewish, it doesn’t necessarily follow that their famous creations are Jewish. Superman is not Jewish, The Spirit is not Jewish (though many of Will Eisner’s contemporary creators contend that Eisner always implied that he was. So maybe…)

But Benjamin Jacob Grimm is undoubtedly Jewish.

And here's his bar mitzvah to prove it.

And here’s his bar mitzvah to prove it.

From wikipedia, oy vey!:

In keeping with an early taboo in the comic superhero world against revealing a character’s religion, the fact that Grimm was Jewish was not explicitly revealed until four decades after his creation, in the story, “Remembrance of Things Past” (in Fantastic Four, vol. 3, #56, August 2002). In this story, Grimm returns to his old neighborhood to find Mr. Sheckerberg, a pawn shop owner he had known as a child. Flashbacks during this story reveal Grimm’s Jewish heritage, and he even recites the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer often recited over the dead and dying, over the dying Sheckerberg, who eventually recovers. In a later story, Grimm even agrees to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah, since it has been 13 years (the age a Jewish boy celebrates his Bar Mitzvah) since he began his “second life” as the Thing. To celebrate the ceremony, Grimm organizes a poker tournament for every available superhero in the Marvel Universe.

It is a fact that The Thing is in many ways just Jack Kirby writing himself on the page. While The Spirit may be what Will Eisner wished to be, in many was The Thing is who Jack Kirby really was.

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Remind you of anyone?

 

Some personality traits of the cantankerously lovable, occasionally cigar-smoking, Jewish native of the Lower East Side are popularly recognized as having been inspired by those of co-creator Jack Kirby, who in interviews has said he intended Grimm to be an alter ego of himself.

So as we approach The Festival of Light, it is only appropriate to wish both Ben Grimm and Jack Kirby a very

hanukkah_happy

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This has been

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