Free Comic Book Day

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While adding events to my calendar today, I realized that there are only 62 days until Free Comic Book Day 2012. Why is FCBD an important day to mark in the calendar, because this is a national holiday in our house. Every year, we clear the weekend, take the day off work as needed, and get excited to hit all our favorite comic stores. Sadly, now that we live in Boise, there are only about 4 stores we get to hit. I’m thinking we may need to go back to our home town of Portland, so we can celebrate this holiday in proper fashion. Here’s a little tale about one of our last Free Comic Book Days in Portland.

Free Comic Book Day…or better known as the assembly of H1N1 carriers. 

There are few days I really look forward to in my year; days that I plan ahead for and set reminders in my calendar as a “day of fun”. Free Comic Book Day is one of those days. This year, Free Comic Book Day was the stormiest day of the spring. Complete with sideways rain, thunder and lightning, the weather actually had us lingering in the store of the hour for fear of being hit by a 250,000 volt bolt or the torrential downpour that equaled biblical proportions. Rain I can deal with. Lightning I can deal with. Other peoples’ children, I cannot deal with.

Usually Free Comic Book Day is so engrossing to me and my family, that I don’t notice people that are in the stores with us. This year was different. This year I had been listening to constant news of the H1N1 virus….aka “Swine flu”, though the Government apparently asked us not to call it “swine” for fear of offending our nation’s leading favorite cloven hoofed, snouted & curly tailed breakfast food. I could not get away from it. This virus took over my television, my news radio program, my newspaper, and was the subject of countless notes home from the teacher and PTA about how to keep the virus away. I was very weary of my children touching books and counter tops that other people had been around. Assuming that no one would knowingly bring this virus out to the public, we set out to every comic book store we could find.

All was well and pretty quiet for the first part of the day. It was starting to seem like it would be the perfect day, apart from the weather. Then it happened. We went into the last store of the day, and it was jam packed with people, authors, and comic stacks that were calling our names. As I was standing in the back going through boxes of free comics, I looked to my left just in time to see a small blond child throwing up all over the aisle, and 2 inches from my foot. “Oh Gross!” Oh my goodness, did I just say that out loud? I instantly felt bad, as I have had this same incident happen to me in the past with my own children. “Go get Diane, she threw up again”, was what I heard next, and my bad feeling went away faster than it had arrived. Did he just say AGAIN? Did this person knowingly bring a sick child out on one of the busiest days of the dork year to infect us all? Is this little blonde angel the next Typhoid Mary? Am I going to be infected with the H1N1 virus now that I have been this close to exposure? Ridiculous thoughts, now that I am away from the situation, but these were the first things to go through my mind.

This incident, though it will not prevent me from going to another large gathering of people when plague hits us, could be a learning experience for those in the general public. I do believe that anyone who could knowingly be mentioned in comparison to Typhoid Mary should be left at home… even on Free Comic Book Day.

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