Family is a wonderful thing.
I love my mother so much I would do anything for her. She has two brothers, one in a nursing home and another now recently unemployed and separated from his wife. The latter uncle, the major player in this tale, moved into a Masonic temple not 2 blocks from me as a result of his unemployment. He only has to pay 200 a month in rent to cover the heating costs of the place and of course become the caretaker. The place is a damn mansion, but there is only one place where one can see the outside world from within it and that is through the front doors. Talk about the subject of a survival horror story, unfortunately this survival horror story isn't about that building.
So because I love my mother so much, I do what I can for my uncle. It is not like I don't like my uncle, but we have nothing in common. For the past 20+ years, our family has deliberately avoided "mother's side" and for good reason, they are pretty fucked up. Fortunately, this uncle is the most stable of the lot, but it doesn't set me totally at ease.
So after a couple weeks of living close to me, my uncle makes his first attempt at contact. His computer is broke. Goddamn my Computer Science degree. If I could find the damn thing I would burn it. So I go over to fix his problem and we talk about maybe doing more things together in the future. He keeps offering me a beer, I keep refusing because I am on a diet. Eventually, I want a beer and take him up on the offer. What a terrible mistake. Because of my diet my stomach was almost completely empty and that one beer felt more like twelve. Then he goes into this whole thing about chasing this 50 year old skirt. By this time any sane person would have been halfway home, but I was suffering from the one-beer intoxication engine.
Eventually, I wake up at home the next day and get another call from my uncle. He took the skirt out last night and has brought over her and her grandkid and his friend. Now that my nephew has been dropped off, he doesn't have enough space in his truck to ferry them all home. Queue Alex Delarge to the rescue, oh and his computer needs fixing again. I love my mother, I love my mother, I love my mother.
So, I put some kids into my car and follow my uncle into what looks like no-mans-land. The kids in the back seat are telling me how terrible the neighborhood is and that a neighbors garage was lit on fire not too long ago. Lovely. We arrive at the skirt's house and uncle wants me to stick around for a spell. The urge to flee is overpowering, but curiosity gets the better of me. While standing there, the kids keep blabbering on about a card shop, "...gotta go to the card shop", card shop, card shop, card shop. At this moment, I have literally no fucking clue where I am, but since this appears to be my only logical exit I found myself blurting out, "Hey, how about I take them?"
We go over the plan about how I am to take the kids to the card shop and then simply drop them off. I ask my uncle where this card shop is located. He fires off a series of directions like a veteran auctioneer all the while my eyes begin to glaze over like a couple of donuts. I nod and get in the car with the kids. "So, where is this card shop located?"
The kids were pretty smart and we get there with little trouble. Getting out of the car, I felt the acute desire to have some body armor, but it slowly dissipates once I rush into the card shop. I do a double take. I see comics in the adjoining building. Save those for later. Ick, sports cards. I got burned on these babies in the early 90s. They haven't changed much. I become impatient and tell the kids it's time for comics.
We go into the comic shop and I tell myself not to buy anything. I just recently had my pay cut at work and had sworn off comic books for a while. These kids obviously had never seen comics before and they start to mangle some. I notice the owner becoming agitated, so I tell the kids that these are rare and should be treated delicately. They seem to calm down a bit.
God, no matter how hard you try, you cannot really ever quit comics. After talking with the owner for a while he totally sells me and I reinstated my pull list right then and there. My old LCS wasn't exactly the friendliest and I felt more at home here than at the old place. I picked up the latest issue of Hulk, which I missed out on and left the shop. By now, I am feeling a little bit like the protagonist from Needful Things.
The kids eventually run off, but my nephew stays behind, smart kid. I call my uncle up and he helps me get back to the skirt's place to drop off my nephew. His directions back home were remarkably easier, "Go that way."
So I got home a little pleased with myself and a little pissed at myself for being so weak-willed. I listed all the reasons explaining why what I did was the proper thing to do and last of all I told myself that I had found a better LCS...hadn't I?
Wait where was that LCS again?
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