Wednesday, March 10, 2004


Here is my latest column for Nat'l Catholic Register. Here's a snippet forewith to whet your interest.

It wasn’t a proud moment. There I was in the Toys “R” Us checkout line clutching “the thing’s” face to my thigh, trying desperately to avoid eye contact with any of the other shoppers.

As I slid the object onto the checkout counter, I deftly obscured it with a box of dominoes, just so anyone watching would be confused as to my moral caliber. There I was, plunking down $14.95 to buy for my little nephew, John Thomas, the hideous, snake-headed villain Hydra, dastardly nemesis of action figure Max Steele.

The checkout lady picked up the toy and pronounced a guttural sentence on it: “Yehhhhck.”

I was ready with the 4-year-old wisdom that had prevailed on me to make the buy: “Auntie Barbara, you have to have a villain or there is nothing for Max Steele to do.”

You have to have a villain. Villains make heroism possible.

Later on — I admit it, after a beer — I asked John Thomas why Hydra is so ugly. Again, the thinking came back clear and unambiguous: “Because,” he said while practically rolling his eyes at me, “he’s bad.”

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