Monday, April 8, 2013

The Unbelievables: The Formative Years

In the beginning ... no, no, no ... I'm not going to go there.

Instead I'll state that, from the start, crime fighting was and always has been, in my blood. (I'd be willing to bet my fellow "U-beebs" Jeff and Clark will confess similarly. You'll hear from both those fashionable gents later in the week.)

During a holiday long ago, I remember Christmastime as a kid: One year I received a pretty rather nifty toy, the like of which I hadn't happened upon previously and have never seen again. It was, from all appearances, a manual Super 8 movie camera, complete with a telescoping lens, tripod-ish extension, various accessories and other accoutrements. But in reality, with the push of a button, it transformed into a kickass sub-machine gun with special short-range bomblet projectiles, a grappling hook and rope and smoke bombs among other things. It led me down the path of my first foray into "crime fighting hood" from my earliest memories. Secret Agent Man was popular at the time, cops and robbers ruled our imaginations and Mission: Impossible was on the airwaves. It was fated.

I was in love with the toy. It was a modern (kid) marvel of intrigue and wonder. Best of all it was secretive ... no one knew it was "a movie camera by day, a weapon of destruction by night."

Of course, you couldn't get away with a plaything like that nowadays ... not with all the rampant political correctness and the ever-vigilant Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Tea Party this and PETA that. Nope. No way. It was a time of taking off in the morning on your bike with your friends and not coming back home 'til dinnertime. Your parents hadn't a clue where you'd been all day and, frankly, didn't really care - so long as you didn't get in any trouble and came back in (relatively speaking) one piece. (Little did they know ...)

Yes ... that faux movie camera was my initiation into the world of espionage and skullduggery. Combine that with the fact I often "helped out" my sister with her Barbie tea parties and you can see where I got my personal fashion sensibilities. 70's fashion mixed with kiddie
undercover operations ... and << VOILA! >> you have an Unbelievable in the making.

What? You're of that camp that skeptically calls out "Pictures or it didn't happen" ... ??? No problem. 

Below, you'll find some of the early, formative years of this particular Unbelievable for your dining and dancing pleasure. (And worry not: All photos have been declassified for viewing.)

Even at the youngest of ages,
I was testing top secret disguises for use in future exploits ...
Undercover in a 5th grade talent show.
(I'm the acoustic guitarist in the white jeans.)

One of the my earliest spy outfits, one of my earliest solo cases:
"Some Bunny Got Murdered" ...
It may look like we're sleeping ... 
... but we're actually deep, deep, deep undercover on a stakeout ...

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. ("Hello, ladies!")
This was a beach operation we dubbed "Shot Blockers" ...
(Note my solid legs, coiffed hair and buff appearance.)

As fledgling junior crime fighters, 
Halloween always afforded opportunity to dress in costume and not alert suspicion.

While testing out new mustache / beard combinations, I'm caught in the act ...

Here I'm cleverly disguised as a Renaissance peasant.
The hair and legs were real ...

Relaxing after a successfully completed case.
(Note reclined and confident position
complete with vintage Kliban cat T-shirt and refreshing beverage in hand.)

 Of course, today there's really no length
we Unbelievables won't go to in order to crack a case.
Mexican wrestling masks and Hawaiian shirt combinations?
Yes ... they're in our fashionable mode wheelhouse.

And I'm certain, just as the above, Clark and Jeff's chapters will thrill you in the coming week. 

Dare I say some of theirs are quite frankly ... Unbelievable ...

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