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Groucho Marx Glasses
One day I found a pair of Groucho Marx glasses lying on the sidewalk. You know the kind – thick and dark rimmed, with the fake huge nose with bushy eyebrows and mustache. I looked around carefully, in case someone had dropped them, perhaps a kid going to a birthday party or something. No one was around.
Carefully I picked them up and inspected them. Still no one came to claim them. Cautiously I put them on.
It was hard to breathe through the plastic nose, so I sucked air in through my mouth. I accidentally sucked in a bug and started choking, and I coughed and hacked until it came out. My eyes were watering, but I had to laugh at how dumb that was. Feeling kind of giddy, I hurried off to where the bugs were fewer and farther between. I had to stand on a three-foot brick half-wall to get my head above the bugs. Even though the height was not significant, I felt confident, and since no one was around, I struck a superman pose, with one hand in the air.
“What are you doing?”
The voice startled me, and I nearly fell. I turned to see a kid of maybe ten looking at me. “Are you being a nerd?”
“I’m a superhero,” I told him. “Superheroes always have a secret identity that’s nerdy, like Clark Kent or Peter Parker.”
The kid looked at me funny. “I’ve never heard that.”
“Don’t you read comic books?” I asked, lifting my glasses.
“Nope. Mom says they’re silly.”
I gasped. “Then your mom is trying to deprive you! Here.” I reached into my bag and pulled out a comic book that I had been hiding since my middle school days. “All I have is Batman Beyond, but this should start you out okay.” I plunked it into the kid’s hands. He looked at it with a kind of awe combined with uncertainty.
“If you want you can read it at my house,” I said. “That way you won’t have to make your mom mad.”
“I don’t know…” He jumped as I plunked the Groucho Marx glasses on his head, and blinked in surprise. He felt the funny mustache and raised his eyebrows. “What is this?”
“It’s your secret, comic reading identity.” I offered him my hand. “Now the villainous characters won’t know it’s you.”
“Okay,” he grinned after a second’s hesitation, and I led him to my house. I was old enough to be his babysitter, so I decided he could be my apprentice. I could tell, just after the first ten minutes, that this kid would be a superhero fan just like me.
It must be the glasses.