Ethan Vansciver: Your Time Is Now Mine, 3

Ethan Van Sciver: Your Time Is Now Mine

Newsarama Note: ...

we're...sorry?

Oh, it's that time again. The calendar says I must sit down at my computer and hammer out another one of these Your Time is Now Mine columns for the incredibly informative and tasteful website and resource called Newsarama.com. This one is number 3. I literally had to be torn away from my drafting table this week, so enthralled was I at the task at hand. Really, I can only warn you, Flash: Rebirth is pretty good stuff. Next week I will see about showing you a quick peek, if it's okay with Geoff. Maybe a panel. Part of a panel? In black and white? I'll see what they'll allow. It's still a ways away, but I love you, and you should be rewarded for enduring these essays.

ITEM: The great thing about this column is that it forces me to confront the utter blandness of my life. I imagine most of your para sail, snowboard, provide Secret Service protection to Michelle Obama, and only occasionally think about superheroes. Rationally, I know this isn't true. It can't be true, because here you are. With me. But I have to be the only one in a cartoonishly over-decorated office watching fast food commercials and getting pissed off. There aren't any other people watching commercials that say, "Got a buck? Come have a chicken sandwich, now on sale for a dollar!" and getting annoyed. But this has been bothering me for ages. It's a minuscule problem, not one worth confronting or I would not still be facing it. In point of fact, if I have one dollar, and that's all I have, I cannot purchase a chicken sandwich that is priced at one dollar. Sales tax will prevent this transaction. The chicken sandwich is actually going to cost $1.07. Or thereabouts, I suppose, depending on what state you live in, or if you even reside in the United States.

So why do they lie? And they lie with boldness, with utter temerity, by showing two filthy layabout stoners who literally have 100 pennies to their names, and one tells the other one that this is "plenty of money". It's enough to buy a chicken sandwich at Wendys/McDonalds/Burger King, and therefore there's no need to rise up off the sofa and find gainful employment just yet. So what does this gain anyone? They don't get the sandwich and the restaurant chain doesn't get the money. And I'm left watching the commercial thinking, "I don't want to eat where those two hippies eat." It's this kind of inaccuracy, this playing fast and loose with actual life facts that everyone knows but nobody actually verbalizes that gives me a headache. It hurts the whole world. And then there's McDonald's...

ITEM: My beautiful wife Sharis told me a few mornings ago that she inexplicably craved an Egg McMuffin from McDonalds. She asked me to drive to retrieve one for her, and since she never eats fast food, I thought it was kind of cute and obliged. While staring at the menu, I see they've added a McHot McChocolate beverage, and there are two prices listed. Hot chocolate sounded lovely, so I ordered a "large". A tinny but feminine voice shot back from the box, "Large? We only have small and medium."

I froze for a moment, and rubbernecked back at the menu. Two prices, just as I thought. This ruled out the possibility that they were, perhaps, out of large McHot McChocolate paper cups. That would have made sense to me, and I automatically and subconsciously tend to make excuses for people, figuring that the problem or misunderstanding is probably mine and not theirs. This is a symptom of a much larger case of narcissism that allows me to believe that most other people are automatons, pre-programmed and fallible only to the degree that their programmers, God and Parent, have mis-designed them. I sleepwalk through 80% of life, and so it's much easier for me to believe that I might have erred in some small and insubstantial way, always willing to be corrected by the puppets I come into contact with through daily drudgery.

This time, I was to be excused. There were clearly two prices, one low, and one higher. This was worth asking about again.

"No....because you only have two numbers here. Which suggests that there is a small size and a large size."

"The small is $1.29, the medium is $1.89, sir. Would you care for a medium, then?"

This was like burlap on my scrotum. There can be no medium, which suggests a middle position, without two bookend sizes. It's the very definition of "Medium". Everyone knows this. It's inarguable. I pressed forward.

"Perhaps I would. Because the $1.29 sized cup isn't big enough. I would like more McHot McChocolate than that. But the cup priced at $1.89 contains too much McHot McChocolate. It sounds so...large. May I pay you, say, $1.59 for an amount somewhere in between? Surely there's a happy Medium there?"

She told me I could have the cup at $1.89 and call it whatever I wanted to call it, and that ended that. But I was restless. She hadn't learned anything, and neither had McDonald's. Because the cup still said "Medium" on it, right on front. Sullenly, I gulped it and scalded my lower lip and the back of my tongue. That'll teach me to ever leave the house again.

ITEM: I've been thinking a lot about feces. I have a hedgehog named Burberry, and he lives in a large tank in my office. Hedgehogs, when captive, eat a cereal type of feed not unlike cat food. So the end result has a similar, tangy odor to cat leavings. This is surprising. Cats, dogs...these are intelligent animals, and so they are supposed to smell awful. Rabbits leave no scent behind whatsoever, so why couldn't a hedgehog, which is similar in many ways to a rabbit, be equally inoffensive afterwards? If this were a perfectly symmetrical world, yes, but Burberry relieved himself on Sharis the other day and she nearly vomited.

Alright, so this leads me to the audacity of farting on airplanes. Truly, there is nothing that spells out a person's malevolent hatred of his own species than this. Because there's nowhere to go, and there's something about a pressurized cabin that aids and abets the stench, allowing it a much longer lifespan than in something like an elevator. And really, you can hold it, so why? Why do this? And it's been happening in airplanes I've been sitting in a lot lately.

If I were distracted from my intense and personal yet frivolous thoughts in any real way, I wouldn't have time to dwell on this. But on an airplane, at most I'm doodling Batman. Usually I'm listening to The New Kids On The Block: Merry, Merry Christmas on my iPod, and this gives me lots of time to think. Essentially, when someone inhales a person's gaseous emissions, he is literally taking another person's fecal matter into his lungs. Someone has taken a crap in your respiratory system. Really, think about that. Let that sink in. Doesn't it piss you off? They've trailed their poohy sickness from inside the sinuses in your skull down into the tiny air sacs in your chest, and polluted your whole body with the green cloud of illness that once was their lunch. Quite frankly, it was in their rectum, and now it's in your nostrils. And you can't even unlatch your seatbelt because the pilot has the "Fasten Seatbelt" light on. You may as well be tied down to a gurney with a German squatting over your face, straining and excreting. You thought you were merely traveling Coach class to Boston? Nein! Falsches Toilettengesicht!

Anyhow, I won't be doing very many conventions next year.

ITEM: I don't care what anyone says, Nancy Grace is hot. She's angry and hostile, and has a hairstyle that makes her head look like the sexiest Jack-O-Lantern I've ever seen. I would abduct children just to have her scream at me. I've set my DVR to record her show every night at 8 PM on the Headline News Channel, and her indignation is a delight at 6 AM, when I start my workday.

ITEM: I finished Lee Israel's 1979 Dorothy Kilgallen biography a few days ago, and I will make a movie about her starring Rose McGowan in the title role, after I finish my movie glorifying Senator McCarthy, starring James Gandolfini as Joe. I will do them as comic books first.

That's it for now. I really must get back to work on Flash: Rebirth, the resuscitation and return of the greatest Silver Age superhero of all time, Barry Allen. I can spare nary a moment! Please click the "Recommend" button at the top of the page if you read this and it made you think twice about being defecated upon. And leave comments below!

With warm, sincere and respectful regards,

Ethan Van Sciver

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