Most folks would find a face staring at you from a freezer compartment a bit disconcerting, but my friend California Guy had made more than one reference to cryogenics and heads of loved ones conveniently stored for instant access.
It was clear that he needed an action figure for his freezer. It was also clear that he had forgotten my warped sense of humor. I don't know that this friend has ever owned an action figure, but he knows what they are. He has read more than one comic book in his life, has played more than one computer game and has met more than one child.
It began with an 8-inch nude Hunter Dan. Binoculars and all those other goodies were gone. Only the intrepid hunter remained.
A little bit of paint, some sewing, some cursing, and oh my! a figure with a very slight resemblance to California Guy.
As these things do, the action figure began demanding things. He was a hero, he insisted. Where was his cape? He was not interested in a papier mache' flashlight. Couldn't he have something more upscale? A glass replica might do. Oh, and by the way, he said, I needed to add more shirt at the bottom because he preferred the shirt inside the jeans. One thing led to another, and I made 3 pairs of jeans before he accepted one. It's not that the third pair fit correctly. He had lost hope that I'd ever get it right.
The hoodie, he said, had to be heathered light gray. My first attempt was the right fabric and the wrong size. Impaling me with his x-ray vision, he told me to make it work. I sewed in a couple of tucks and he allowed that it would do.
At one point I made the action figure an action belt of black elastic, holding the necessities of modern life, a flashlight and a cell phone.
Inanimate objects at my house have lives of their own. I won't claim that they levitate, but quite often they disappear from a spot and turn up, sometimes months later, somewhere else entirely. Someday his action belt will turn up. In the meantime, California Guy will have to make do with a flashlight.