In what must be a low-grade fit of madness, I once again started in on unpacking the boxes sitting neglected in my office. Specifically, I’m attempting to tackle the worst box of all, the only remaining box which has traveled with me since Michigan but never yet been opened.
The contents of this box therefore hearken back to an earlier me. In some cases a much earlier me. Take, for instance, Bizarro World.
If you’ve ever read comics you recognize the name. Bizarro World is an alternate Earth in the Superman books. Everything there is somehow the opposite of the “real” Earth. For instance, the Earth in the Bizarro dimension isn’t round; its a cube.
My Bizarro World doesn’t exist in an alternate dimension. As a matter of fact, at the moment it’s residing in front of me on my desk. In this case, Bizarro World is a small cardboard cube-shaped box. It’s decorated to vaguely resemble the globe (but, of course, with corners). Hence its name.
As is only natural for a box, Bizarro World contains a number of objects, residents you could call them. Naturally they would have to be very tiny for so many of them to fit inside such a small space. And so they are. It’s actually impressive how many things live beneath the crust of Bizarro World:
- A pink plastic pig
- A green rubber dimetridon
- An electric blue rubber tiki monster pendant
- A glow in the dark rubber termite
- A black plastic snake
- A black plastic fly (with clear wings, one of which sadly is broken)
- A neon yellow plastic cow
- A glow in the dark plastic dimetridon skeleton
- A neon orange plastic elephant
- A neon orange rubber sea lion
- A black plastic bat (of the mammalian, not baseballian, variety)
- A black plastic snail with a red plastic shell
- A pink plastic flamingo
- A rubber eyeball on a spring (of the sort with a suction cup which is intended to pop up and scare the unknowing)
- A neon orange rubber goldfish
- A grey plastic street sign, painted to direct one to Paris
- A grey plastic hippo with jointed legs, a string and a weight (the weight, tossed over the edge of the table, causes the hippo to “walk” towards the edge)
- One small handwritten note containing the following words: <div style="font-type:Arial, sans-serif;font-size:x-small;color:grey;">
BIZARRO WORLD ROLL CALL
ATLAS the HIPPO
LARRY the FLAMINGO
HARRIET the BUG </div>
As you can see, this is an impressive population for a world no more than an inch and a half on a side. And, aside from the woebegone fly, all appear to have come through our many travels more or less unscathed.
For the life of me I can’t recall the exact circumstances which caused Bizarro World to come into my life, but I do know that it was a very very long time ago. It may even, perhaps, have been a pre-college acquisition. All I really remember is that it happened on a band trip and that I was with a friend who at the time was very close. We didn’t have much money and came upon one of those tourist-trap shops, full of t-shirts and bins of useless plastic tschotke. Emptying our pockets of what little loose change we had, we spent a lot of time and a little cash buying and filling these boxes. We took them out on the bus back and used the denizens of our respective Worlds to menace those in the seats around us.
I can’t really narrow it down much further than that. I can’t name the trip, the town, the band. I can’t even picture which friend it was. Friendship, apparently, is fleeting. But Bizarro World is eternal, since here it sits while my friend is long gone.
Or, at least, I suspect so. Who knows? I could be entirely wrong about the origins of the World. I certainly wouldn’t be the first one.