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!
Sunday, December 13
Ah, Sunday. The day of rest. A good day to review my Boxing Day list which is growing – not in items but in chicken-scratch checkmarks, arrows, highlighted phrases, words in word balloons, hand written questions as well as hand written answers. It’s looking a little messy as the page become full with jet-black ink.
A little sketch of Dracula winks at me with approval from the bottom corner of the list.
I know I’m on the right track this Boxing Day.
Wednesday, December 16
I met up with a family friend at Curry’s after work. He was looking to purchase some art supplies for his grandson for Christmas and wanted my opinion on various materials. (Grandson, if you’re reading this, it’s not your Grandfather I’m talking about here.)
There. That should absolve me of any Christmastime spoilers.
One of the reasons I met him was because I was due for a visit at the art store as well. I bought the ink pen set with the interchangeable nibs that I had put on my list. I’m scratching them off right now – but there needs to be a replacement, an equal yet opposite reaction on this sheet of paper. I’ve taken away, now I must give back. (Didn’t The Beatles sing that?)
I scribble: Comic Book Drawing Pages.
There, List. Now we’re settled.
I’ve got to get back to designing that Boxing Day invite for all the Biff Bam Pop! buddies. Although I was able to quickly scribble the design layout of the invite in the back of a duo-tang notebook, it took me a few hours to retrieve all of the jpeg images I needed off of the web. I think that Google image searches sometime means breaking copyright laws. Oh well. It’s for private use.
Saturday, December 19
I met up with Denny downtown again. Of course, we visit the same shops as we did the previous week but really, for me, it was more than just a Christmas “present shopping” exercise. I pretty much finished all of that a few days ago. No. For me, it is a test, a taunt. This was a tease, by me, for me, to see if I could withstand the siren’s call of this list that I’ve created for myself. I feel a bit like Dr. Frankenstein.
At the Silver Snail, another monster, the Tomb of Dracula Omnibus Volume 2 plaintively called for me.
At the shoe store, my Puma’s beckoned, waving me forward.
HMV’s pink lights summoned me towards U2’s Unforgettable Fire Remastered Edition.
Instead of heeding, I split off from Denny, who, it seemed, did not have the same psychological haunting as I did. I headed westward, ducking into clothing stores, looking for something for my brother, one of the last items of seasonal shopping I needed to complete. But the lure was strong and when my cell phone rang and Denny told me that EB Games has Assassins Creed 2 on sale – for that day only – for $30, I turned around and made a straight line for the store.
I got the game. Of course I did – it takes place in Renaissance Italy! It wasn’t even on my list. The purchase eased the temptation to cross yet another item off that is. I felt more at peace with myself. A little, anyway.
Boxing Day can’t come soon enough.
Tuesday, December 22
I finished the Boxing Day invite and emailed it out to everyone. Well, it wasn’t really finished. I had a fight with Photoshop last night. We’re not seeing eye-to-eye right now.
On this very website, Scotty G reminded me that I want District 9 for Boxing Day. The temptations are everywhere! I wrote it on my list in big letters. It’s there beside Hamlet (starring Kenneth Branagh) and Primer, some Philip K. Dick novels, the latest albums by Kasabian and Grizzly Bear, the Immortal Iron Fist Deluxe Hardcover and “those shoes at Fluevog”. Somehow, I notice a Mac laptop has made the list, highlighted in a bold, black box under a new heading titled: Technology. Who put that there?
This list has grown a mind of its own and it’s out of control. Not only will I not find all of these items listed on it, I won’t be able to afford them either! My 2009 Boxing Day Purchase List has somehow morphed into a wish list for items to purchase after I win the Wednesday night million dollar lottery!
Hell, why not throw in a new car? BMW X1, there, under a new heading: Automobiles. Why use the plural? I don’t know! That car’s not even on the North American market yet!
Ok. Full stop and a deep breath. In, then out.
Alright. Here’s what matters: Good friends. A day out. A hot chocolate. And a Peppered Bacon Breakfast Sandwich.
And a list of ideas…
Boxing Day, December 26, 2009 is only four sleeps away.
(Concluded next week…)