|By Frank Capra.|
Say what you will about the promotional comic produced by the Sinclair Oil Corporation, but you can't deny that they possess an inordinate amount of confidence. In advance of promoting a chemical additive used to prevent the build-up of rust in cars and pipelines, the foreword of the comic promised to relate this exciting tale ...
|What were they doing before that guy showed up?|
The excitement launches from the comfy living room of the Thomas family, heirs to the English Muffin fortune, where long-visiting Uncle Alonzo is filling young Bobby Thomas ("Smooth" feat. Carlos Santana) with utter fucking fibs about his past accomplishments.
While Pop Thomas can endure Alonzo's tall tales about having played a pivotal role at Kitty Hawk or having split the atom years prior to Oppenheimer, he absolutely draws the fucking line at filling the boy's head with technical information about rust-repelling chemical additives to carbon fuels. "Rust and corrosion cost motorists well over $100,000,000 a year ... or $212 per minute in damage to carburetors, fuel lines and fuel pumps" Alonzo eagerly explains to the wide-smiling boy, starving for knowledge and human contact. "That does it" replies Pop, blowing up, "Now he's fouling up his schoolwork! I'm sending a wire right now!"
For those of you who don't know, "I'm sending a wire" is mid-century slang for "I'ma buck wild on a fool." Poor Alonzo, he'll bear the scars forever.
|I'm sure this is safe.|
This summons the RD-119 Miracle Man, a man whose parents were killed by fuel line corrosion and who has subsequently devoted his life to alerting motorists to the dangers of moisture. I believe he decided on his identity when a carburetor flew through his library window.
RD-119 Miracle Man (I'll call him "Artie" for short) possess a brand-specific magic word, and shouting SINC-LAIR! allows him an array of amazing abilities, not the least of which is to shrink everyone in the party down to snack size - that's Pop, Uncle Alonzo, Bobby and Bobby's dog - and shove them into the gas tank for a look around. It's only a quarter full, don't worry, that's plenty safe - and remember, it's the fumes that are flammable, so no smoking. Also you're all going to die, sorry.
Artie also possess a Batmobile of sorts, being a magic carpet with the front end of a red sedan appended to it. Stylish wheels, or lack thereof, my good man.
|This proves nothing, swinger.|
The kicker on the fume-induced hallucinations of their educational journey is that dad is awakened the next day under an icepack with mom bringing him a Bromo Seltzer, while dad rants angrily about how a magic man with a flying carpet shrunk him and put him inside a gas tank, and THAT'S why he's hungover! I wish I'd thought of that excuse.
It's also worth noting that the final chapter is entitled "Mr/Thomas Has Trouble Convincing the Mrs." Haven't we all, Pop, haven't we all ...