First, a little background.
Ever since I was a kid, I liked comic books. I collected them, but unfortunately in the process of collecting them, I actually read them to death, and consequently destroyed them without realizing it. By the time I was done with each issue, it was worth absolutely nothing.
It wasn't until I was a teenager that I realized the wisdom of reading them once, and then putting them in a sealed plastic bag with an acid-free cardboard backer. I collected comic books until I was a few years out of college, my rationale being they were an investment. Once I was out on my own, however, things like rent and food began to take precedence, and my collecting habit ground to a halt.
It was about time anyway, because I was very close to killing the marketing department at Marvel. Every story line broke across 7 different titles, and if you wanted to stay in the story loop, you were often forced to buy shit issues of some other comic that Marvel was whoring out. By that time, the comic books had a cover price of almost 3 dollars, so I called it quits.
When the Spiderman movie came out, other than a few fanboy quibbles,* I was ok with it -- they did a decent job. At some point, my wife got me a pewter paperweight of Spiderman as a gift, and I had it on my desk at work.
Word got around that I liked Spiderman. I would come in and find little 'gifts' on my chair that were spiderman related. Keychains. Christmas ornaments. Happy meal toys. Every "secret santa" revealed another hunk of useless chinese-made Spiderman merchandise.
When I came in on my birthday, I found this:
Nice, huh? Some kind of wall hanging thing from the movie. Before I chucked it, I flipped it over, and was surprised to find this:
Hmmm. I wasn't sure what to make of that.
If there is one thing I know, however, it's that if you're given some sort of useless collectible that you don't give a shit about, and the back of it contains a stern warning that says "CAUTION: Do not open" the first thing you should do is open that bitch without hesitation.
So I pry the top open, and laugh out loud, because I see this:
Holy shit. First a CAUTION and now a WARNING. They aren't fooling around. I decided that before I went any further, I would take a deep breath and hold it, just in case.
I pulled the picture completely out of the frame. There was a piece of pressboard under it, a piece of transparent plastic over it, and the picture itself, printed on a cheap glossy paper.
I flipped the picture over, and it turns out that holding my breath wasn't going to do any good at all because I saw this:
OK, I made that last one up. But that's along the lines of what I expected. Instead, I got squat. Nothing at all. It was completely blank.
I still have no idea what the hell the big deal was, although I do have one request: If I start slurring my words more than usual tomorrow, get me to the emergency room and tell them what happened.
*Organic webbing from his wrists instead of from a mechanical webshooter? WTF? Also, in the comic, Mary Jane was a HOT MODEL. Hello?? Dunst? Seriously?)