Friday, February 15, 2008

X-Ray Specs and more...

When I saw this online, I was brought far away in the way back machine. This same ad was found in the back of several of the comic books that I read when I was a child.

The X-Ray specs in particular were quite compelling to a 9 year old boy in the mid-seventies trudging through a surreal childhood in South-Central Kentucky. Of course, I was only interested in the idea of seeing my bones through my hand like the fellow in the advertisement. I remember thinking how powerful he looked, like a nemesis of Superman or some other superhero. I wanted them so badly and even think that the idea of owning them may have entered into a dream or two. I remember thinking that if I owned such amazing glasses that I would become wildly popular, make friends quickly, and not be considered such an outcast. Fortunately, I over came my weirdness around 1976 and actually made some friends without the need for X-ray specs. Some of these people I still communicate with to this day amazingly enough.

Before that however, I was sure that I needed the glasses. Eventually, some adult somewhere convinced me that the glasses were bogus and I eventually lost interest. To this day I can't recall who enlightened me, though I do remember the words, "if they were real X-ray Specs, they wouldn't be selling them in the back of a comic book". Though I'm sure it wasn't their intention, that one sentence rang with such clarity in my mind that I snapped out of the childish fog that I had been in and began seeing things with a different mindset. There were pros and cons to that of course, the pro's being that I wasn't too quick to believe every gimmick that fell before me.

The cons being that I lost a little, perhaps quite a bit, of childhood innocence. The type that makes a kid believe in things like X-ray specs and Sea Monkey wonderlands purchased from the back of a comic book.

One last funny bit about the X-Ray specs, look at the fine print underneath the image. It says "look at your friend. Is that really his body you "see" underneath his clothes?" Well, of course, if they were real X-ray specs it would really be your friend's body. Unless of course, your friend was the busty blonde in the image. Then you would need to determine, with the help of the specs no doubt, whether your "friend" was secretly a transgender.

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