Dennis O’Neil Is NOT Tony Stark!
I’m not as good-looking as Tony Stark – not even close. And I’m not a billionaire – not even closer. And as for technology…well, let’s just say that I’m not exactly an early adopter – more like an after-the-sun-cools adopter.
About two feet from where I sit, there languishes an iPod Touch that Mari got at no cost when we bought this computer because she’s a teacher. I don’t know how to make it work. Neither does she.
Her Kindle sat on a table for a month before the lovely and accommodating Perri Pivovar did some wizardry and now Mari’s reading the second volume of the Hunger Games trilogy off the Kindle screen (and enjoying it, you very much.) But without Perri’s kindness? Maybe Mari could have used the Kindle as a bookmark.
I’m reluctant to buy electronica because I fear the frustration I feel when the things don’t perform.
So when the editorial fates landed me the job of writing the monthly Iron Man comics a couple-three decades ago, I wondered what there was in the Tony Stark/Iron Man character for me to identify with. The first Iron Man I ever did was a single issue fill-in and I had Tony able to solve a problem only by shedding the armor that enabled him to claim superhero status (and feel free to read into that anything you like.) But when I agreed to do 12 Iron Mans a year, I knew that Tony’s metallic striptease was a one-time-only trope, best not repeated anytime soon, if ever.
So I had a hero whose very existence was based on gadgetry and I was cursed by Crankus, the evil god of technology, and how was I to bridge the gap between high tech fiction and the Luddite real life me?
Ah. A realization. I drive cars, don’t I? And Tony “drives” his armor and maybe therein lies the commonality between Mr. Stark and me that would save me whatever woe might come from doing stories about a guy I neither knew nor liked. Anyway, good enough. I embarked on what was, for me, a very satisfactory three-years as Iron Man’s chronicler-in-chief.
But I still had trouble with technology, even after I dropped dead in a café and was revived by John Ingallinera, Lizzie Fagan, Michael O’Shea and Bryan Holihan, who knew where a defibrillator was and how to use it. The gadget literally brought me back to life.
Maybe Crankus was easing up?
So a month ago, I decided that I’d had enough of not being able to understand song lyrics, conversations at parties and my wife’s comments on television shows we were watching, among other irritants. I had hearing loss. And a technological remedy existed. And that being the case, it was foolish vanity to go through life saying, “Huh?”
We went to the hearing aid place in a nearby town. I got tested and yep! – loss of hearing in both ears. Conversation was held, a down payment proffered and off we went, to return a few weeks later. I now owned two nearly invisible hearing aids. A new dawning? Should I have another shot at the iPod? Maybe get my own Kindle? A tablet with a Skype attachment? How about those video games the youngsters like?
I put ‘em on, went home and…
Discovered that the one for the right ear didn’t work.
Maybe Crankus has downgraded me to half-cursed.
FRIDAY: Martha Thomases