I was poking around the internet, looking for nothing in particular, and ran across a comic flashback from the 1980s...
Of course, anything with the words "North" and "Dakota" in them catches the eye of a resident of the state, so when I was an early teen and I saw a series of comic books called "Dakota North Investigations," I had to buy them. It only ran for a few issues, I think I still have the first 4 or 5, but it impressed me nonetheless. The art is sharp and non-superheroy, and the design leans towards fashion sketches and art doodles. The storylines were average, not still fast enough to keep a reader's interest. As always, I'm impressed with background action (things in the panel, but not 'in' the panel), of which there's liberal use. Without scans or actually showing the comic, it's hard to describe...at the time, I was living off New Mutants and GI Joe comics, so this was a spark of something unique for the time. A female detective, with no superpowers or supervillians, it was quaint in a low-grade TV drama way. I can see why it didn't survive in the 80s 'rippling supermuscles/war drama' comic book environment -- but that makes it ahead of it's time.
Little did I know, others remember the comic as well. Dakota North Investigations even has it's own homepage, complete with character listings, casebooks, and other in-character information. If you'd like a more critique-like review, check out what Back Issue Bin Bonanza had to say.
It hasn't quite sunk in yet...having lived with my blushing bride for 8 months now, there's little distinction between yesterday and today. I even went to work at 5, a scant 3 hours after the big moment.
It really wasn't much different than my first wedding: myself, my future spouse, a couple close witnesses -- hell, Destiny was present at both weddings, even! Before, my friend Joel and my ex's friend Carrie (Kari? I can't remember) were witnesses; this time, it was my parents. My mom, ever prepared, brought flowers for us and took numerous photos as we goofed around before the ceremony.
The ceremony itself was unceremoniously short; maybe five minutes, a couple paragraphs, some exchanged vows, and it was all over. Mr and Mrs Dahlsad -- although D won't be called "Mrs". It's "Ms", thank you, and she only recently decided to take my name.
With a "you may kiss" at the end, it was over. A few minutes to get a certified copy of the license, then -- off to Dairy Queen for some post-marital Blizzards. On a level, yes, it was an exciting milestone of a day. On the other hand, it doesn't really feel like it yet. I'm sure, once tomorrow's 'paperwork day' -- changing names on bank accounts, driver's license, etc -- it will become much more real, and easier to detect through all the other noise of regular life.
Speaking of the new bride -- have a read at her eloquent and thoughtful take on it (a bit better written than mine ;)
I was in a hurry, trying to get to work, so I didn't pay much attention to it. I got out, and started to open my gas-cap.
An older grease-monkey approached, and asked "fill'er up?" I was taken aback -- who has heard of a full-service gas station these days? In my confusion, I said, "yeah."
This was followed by sitting in my car, counting my cash to see if I could afford a full tank. I had only planned on putting $10 in -- but the question fill'er up stumped me. Can you say, "no"? I suppose I could have said "just ten bucks, thanks," but that would have taken a presence of mind only someone in anticipation of a full-service pump would know.
As I totalled my cash (I had enough), the pumpboy disappeared. Do I stop the pump when it's full? Am I allowed to touch it, or will full-service wrath befall me? Where do I pay -- pay him, or go inside? So, I washed my own windshield...or was he going to do that when he returned? I was out of my element, unsure of what to do.
At around 11 gallons, he reappeared and waited the last few seconds until the pump snapped off. He topped it off, getting the round price of $24. I counted out my bills, a twenty and four singles, and drove off.
Crap -- was I supposed to tip him? Fuck -- I can't go back there again, can I? I'm in a tip-based service industry myself: I remember the customers that leave no gratuity. Now that I did cross a line, spurring the full-service wrath, I best watch my step from here on out.