The 2009 Boxing Day Diary of JP, Age 36 ½ – Part 1

A group of Biff Bam Pop! friends have an annual tradition: they get together every Boxing Day, grab an early morning coffee at the Starbucks at Yonge and Wellesley in downtown Toronto and then head out on a post-Christmas shopping binge. On their lists: comics, books, CD’s, DVD’s and electronics. It’s an event they all love: friendship and explicit consumerism, all wrapped up into a half-day affair. The build up to this happy occasion can be just as exhilarating as the day itself. Here then, is a multi-part, behind-the-scenes-look into JP’s exuberance over 2009’s Boxing Day extravaganza. Enjoy!

Monday, November 23

Started making my Boxing Day list of all the things I’m gonna buy. Splitting it up into three distinct sections this year: Games, Comics and Music.

For Games, I’m including Dragon Age. Geoffrey said it was really good and Lee’s been playing it constantly on his Xbox. Mind you, that guy’s constantly playing something on his Xbox. Still, he’d know a good role-playing game if anyone did.

I could use some solitary time on that device. Sometimes, I just feel too connected – a politically correct need to say “hello” to friends who are online as we play games together. Other people don’t feel this same need. Maybe the longer I use the Xbox, the less this desire with consume me. That said, I’m also including the very social Left 4 Dead 2 on my list. That’ll satiate my desire to massacre zombies while playing along with pals during the holidays. Damn, dirty zombies! Felice navi-dead!

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For Comics, I’m looking for the Absolute Edition of Midnight Nation. I don’t know what the series is about but it looks good on the bookshelf at the comic store. It should look good on mine too. I’m also going to get Volume 1 and 2 of the Captain Canuck hardcover collection. I just feel like I should own it, being a Canadian and all. It’s seminal, right? I’m gonna throw in Absolute Justice on the list as well. Of course, I have the three hardcover volumes, but this is an Absolute edition! How could I not own it?

My boxing day want lists for comics is getting smaller and smaller as my book shelf collection is getting larger and larger. I’m going to have to commission someone to make me a comic book shelving unit for when I move into my condo – one with rollout long boxes and everything… it’ll be like my own private store! Maybe I’ll name it Forbidden Touch ‘cos you know I won’t let anyone near it. Then again, one of my friends will probably make some sort of crude joke about the name referring to me. It’ll probably be Andy B.

I’m not gonna let him have that laugh. It’ll just have to be my “comic book library” instead.

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On my Music list are the new deluxe CD editions of U2’s Unforgettable Fire and Joshua Tree albums. The sound on the discs I already own is dated. These newly re-mastered versions should be symphonic in comparison.

Maybe I’ll pick up some Durutti Column back catalogue as well.

I can’t wait for the Peppered-Bacon Breakfast Sandwich at Starbucks. That and a hot chocolate are the way to start any Boxing Day morning.

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Friday, November 27

Bought some presents on Amazon.com. Came this close to buying the Captain Canuck hardcover books at the same time. The only thing that stopped me was the realization that I’d have fewer comics to buy on Boxing Day and I don’t want to be walking around with an empty back pack.

I know it sounds indulgent, but I wanna be able to say that I bought myself lots of stuff this Boxing Day. Last year, I hardly got anything at all and although the companionship with friends was great, it felt like I was walking around aimless and hungry with nothing to show for my crowd-pushing, elbow-dodging survival but an empty backpack and an unfilled stomach. Here’s the problem: if you don’t have an extensive list of prospective purchases, you’re more likely to buy stuff you don’t really want or need. I almost bought a new CD player last year. I don’t need one. The one I have works fine. It was just that sense of emptiness, that need to fill-up my arms with product. You know, like everyone else at Future Shop. In those cases, regret inevitable sets in. And who needs regret going into a new year? Not me.

Started sketching the Boxing Day 2009 invite that I’ll email to the usual set of suspects. It’s a yearly thing I do that generates a bit of buzz as well as a few laughs. Last year I modelled the invite after the big DC and Marvel Comics crossovers, Final Crisis and…what was the other one called?

I can’t remember. I’m not a Marvel guy anyway.

If I was, maybe I could add some items to my list. Hmmm…

Tuesday, December 1

Denny emailed me stating that Best Buy had Dragon Age and Left For Dead 2 on sale for $39.99. I immediately rushed out at lunch and bought them.

I’m scratching them off of my list now. I’m gonna have to replace them with something else if I still want my arms full this Boxing Day.

(Continued next week…)

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