Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Mrs. League interviews: The League

I'm shy on content this week, and you guys seem to stay awake a lot more when I don't drift off into discussions upon how totally bad-ass Detective Chimp is, I thought I'd force Jamie into helping me keep you guys entertained.

Jamie's written 5 questions for The League. Next week we'll interview Mrs. League. Also, hopefully, we'll get an interview completed with Reed T. Shaw.

Don't forget, if you want to be interviewed, just let me know.


1) Some Leaguers may be unaware that in your younger years you enjoyed creating your own comic characters. Describe your first superhero creation.

Ah. I believe my first superheroic creation which I am willing to discuss publicly was probably “Hi-Fi” (which should date him nicely). Hi-Fi was supposed to be a rough and tumble teenager who wore a motorcycle helmet (because I thought motorcycle helmets were cool) with weird fox-ears on top. I think the fox ears were supposed to give him super-hearing or something.

Hi-Fi’s origin, as retold on college-ruled notebook paper in 5th grade, was that he’d fallen into a vat of radioactive chemicals. This had somehow given him the ability to generate concussive “sound blasts”. It’s not much of an origin. The entire supporting cast consisted of a bald police chief with a mustache who whole-heartedly supported Hi-Fi’s vigilantism.

Anyway, I don’t think Hi-Fi ever really got into any serious adventures as he only made it to page six or seven (including a splash page on page 3).

All of this was trumped by Peabo’s highly unorthodox take on the adventures of Batman and Robin, in which the caped crusaders used the Batmobile to drive around and pick up trampy girls.

2) You spent many a childhood summer touring the country in your conversion van. What were your favorite and least favorite road trips?

Well, in truth, we only took one extended road trip which took us from Austin to NYC to Canada, to Michigan to Missouri. We stopped at every single road-side attraction, saw every relative in the extended family, and listened to only one tape, Huey Lewis and the News’ “Sports” for six weeks straight.

I think I would have enjoyed the trip more if I hadn’t gotten very sick in the middle of it and had to share a bed with Steanso for six weeks. Plus, at age 10 I was too old to be cute (especially the Bros. Steans who both were about a foot to tall for their age at any given point)and too young for anyone to really want to talk to, so I spent most of the trip sitting in a corner reading comics. Mostly Spider-Man and ElfQuest. Yeah, ElfQuest. Shut up.

At least I saw family, saw Washington DC, made my one trip to Canada, and read a heck of a lot of comics. For some reason what sticks out most was the stop at Robert E. Lee’s tomb (and museum! This is certainly something I want to achieve post-mortem. If you can’t get a t-shirt or League-themed chess set at my tomb, I will know I have failed). It was also the first time I realized my dad had relatives outside of my grandparents and uncle.

Probably my least favorite trips were the forced marches when Steanso was playing club soccer and we would all pile in the van and go somewhere all weekend to stand in a field all day in the glaring sun to watch soccer games. Even when my parents had mercy and left me at the hotel to read and watch hotel cable, it was still all day in a hotel room.

It wasn’t bad, just horribly boring. Eventually my folks let me stay with Peabo when Steanso had a tournament, but that was pretty late in the game.

3) Austin has some kick-ass restaurants. What is your absolute favorite Austin eatery? What is your favorite menu item (need not be from same locale)?

My favorite place to eat was probably Rudy’s Bar-B-Q. You have to order meat by the quarter pound, they give you a half-loaf of white bread, and they have the best Bar-B-Q sauce in the 3rd Dimension.

That said, my favorite menu item in Austin may have been the taco dinner at Serrano’s, especially at the Red River location (probably my second favorite place to eat in Austin).

I dunno. I also loved Casa Garcia’s on S. Lamar, which Steanso, Jamie and I may have had no small hand in keeping afloat in those early days.

4) What has been your least favorite job?

Oh, God. Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza.

It just wasn’t a good job. There’s nothing like kids given money, filled with sugar and pizza, surrounded by singing robots and video games to create high-octane nightmare fuel for your $4.25 an hour.

Look, people are generally really awful parents. I learned this on my very first job. One of the other interesting bits is that, at the time, they served beer at Chuck E. Cheese’s, which meant the parents would come in, drink, give their kids money to run away, and then toss their infant in the ball crawl. This wasn’t a portion of the parents. This was most of the parents after 7:00pm.

You’ve probably forgotten, but at some point when you were a kid you thought that adults were sort of boring because they had figured out how to do all the boring crap that makes you an adult. Get a job with a tie, pay taxes, raise kids, etc… The summer when I was 16, I learned that was a horribly misguided notion and that most adults were no smarter than the morons I knew in high-school.

In my time at Mr. Cheese’s, I was almost electrocuted about a dozen times attempting to “fix” the wiring on the pin-ball machines, had to kick bums out of the restaurant (as they were trying to take crusts off the tables), had to lemon-oil every inch of rubber along the walls, and spend countless hours cleaning and re-cleaning the glass doors to the place.

I was frequently on ball-crawl duty, which could last for hours, and required you to be IN the ball-crawl (parents, the ball crawl is the least sanitary place on earth. Seriously. Never let your kids in a ball-crawl.)

5) If we ever leave Arizona, what will you miss most about the Valley of the Sun?

I am going to miss… Nothing is coming to me. I dunno. I'd say The Suns, but hopefully I'd have Spurs and Rockets games in Texas, or another team to follow where ever we might land.

I do have some good co-workers, a nice parking spot, and lots of good places to eat lunch.

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