Monday, January 26, 2009

VINTAGE SPACE TOAST TOUR EL PASO 2009: We had joy we had fun we had robots in the sun


I left El Paso last month feeling totally overwhelmed by how much old microfilm there is in that one library. I will never get to look through all of them for old toy robots newspaper ads because life is just too short. I kept having this dream that ends with Han Solo all in my face making his fingers into a "V" and wagging his tongue through them. It started when I realized El Paso is just one library among countless thousands and I will never get to see them all before that Yellowstone supervolcano eventually erupts and kills everyone in the northern hemisphere. The dream starts with me, the Mexican Luke Skywalker in the big ceremony at the end of Star Wars and Princess Leia is putting the medal around my neck at my moment of most solemn heroic greatness and then she whispers in my ear, "By the way, there's 99 more Death Stars." And then I look over at Han.

Toys by Roy 07/18/84

THE LIBRARY IS A GIANT DUMP OF WASTED PEOPLE'S TIME

Every time I went to the library I noticed scores of people lined up at the doors in the moments before it opened. I tried to imagine what each person was going to the library for based on how they looked, but only very few looked like they were there for intellectual pursuits such as myself. The rest were either punk kids or vagrants, panhandlers and bums there for the internet computers. Then the doors would open and sure enough, the masses would swarm into the internet room and I alone would be left solitary amongst all the microfilm machines. What a waste of human potential. If only I could harness all the man hours the punks and bums spent internet surfing and focus them toward the more beneficial to mankind quest for Mighty GoBots ads from 1984. As the newspaper reels flashed in front of my face I was hoping for some sort of microfilm machine derived Stan Lee comic book accident that would give me mind control powers, but even then I knew it would not be enough.

I WAS NOT VERY GOOD AT BEING IN THE EIGHTIES AND NOW I'M PAYING FOR IT

Montgomery Ward 11/13/86
Even if I had the powers I desperately need to make mind slaves of people to aid me in building my Vintage Space Toaster Palace it would bother me terribly. I imagine that somewhere deep inside their zombified brains my microfilm mind slaves would be screaming in horror, "WHAT IS GOING ON? WHY AM I DOING THIS? SOMEBODY SAVE ME FROM THIS PLACE!", which are pretty much the thoughts going through my mind whenever I'm at the library on this insane search for Transformer underwear ads from 1986. But unlike my pawns, I know in a way nobody else can that this ads looking thing I do is all just excessive overcompensation for not paying enough attention to toy robots when I was a kid. This is me at 34 trying to be the fan I wished I was when I was 10. How could I ever in good conscience burden anyone else with my self imposed penance? The memories of countless thousands of toy robots I never had the money to buy in 1985 are my agony. The ghostly screams of a dozen broken, twenty-five year old toy robots haunt my dreams. I will never see these ads in color because I missed them all the first time they came out, a boy passing by the newspaper stands damned decades later for not having the foresight or spare change to save the man he would become from this nostalgic hell. By the way, is it just me or do those Transformer pajama guys look like the young Moon Masters?

I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S A BIGGER DOWNER-THAT SHOGUN WARRIORS ONCE COST $17 OR THAT 1979 WAS 30 YEARS AGO

Whites 10/30/78

So I sat alone in El Paso with my memories and my regrets passing me by on the screen and I couldn't help but wonder, what the hell are all those bums doing on the internet anyway? According to my site statistics I knew my work at least had some value to my internet visitors from New Caledonia. But all my validations from New Caledonia didn't change that what I was doing was just as big a waste of time as whatever the bums and punks were doing on their computers at the library. For all I knew they were looking at the Vintage Space Toasters Place and wondering where all those ads came from. And the ads kept flashing by me on the screen. I used to think that nobody else on the internet was collecting robots ads because it was time consuming and difficult. Hey look at me I'm doing something hard. I wonder if bank robbers use this same logic to justify what they've done. But the truth is that those microfilm machines surrounding me were empty because the payoff just doesn't justify the investment it takes to find Shogun Warriors newspaper ads from 1978. I thought I was some kind of toy robots newspaper detective hero. But the truth is the world doesn't need a toy robots newspaper detective hero. I wonder if people rob banks in New Caledonia.

NAUT-THE END I'D WISHED FOR

Then just as I had resigned myself to accepting that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012 and I can't possibly look through all the microfilm newspapers from 1984 before then, I hit that one ad, a K-Mart Micronauts ad from 1977 that made all the time I spent in that library worthwhile. It was beautiful. There's always one ad in each library that shines in my mind brighter than all others, and this was it for El Paso. I had never seen so many drawings of Micronauts in one ad before. Heck, I'd never seen so many drawings of Micronauts outside of a comic book before. With each click of my shutter I could feel my proton torpedo slowly descending down the ray shielded shaft. I could feel Stan Lee looking down on me from above as I became the toy robots newspaper detective superhero he wanted me to be. I was putting quarters in newspaper vending machines from 1977. I was robbing the First Interstate Bank of New Caledonia.

K-Mart 11/24/77


Tonight when I dream that dream and Princess Leia tries to make me feel small I am going to tell her, "Hey, shut the hell up and just give me my medal, because even though trying to blow up 99 more death stars might kill me, I still proved that I could do it once." Then I'm gonna turn around and grab Han's head and kiss him right on his friggin' face.

3 comments:

deadbeat Senna said...

At Gamestopo, nobody is an unwanted hero.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

But apparently everybody is an ungood speller.

Weasel said...

At least your fucked up dreams make some damn sense. Mine never do. (I dreamed I was Sam Witwicky's sister last week. Don't even ask.)

 

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Evil King Macrocranios was voted king by the evil peoples of the Kingdom of Macrocrania. They listen to Iron Maiden all day and try to take pictures of ghosts with their webcams.