The Authentic Eclectic

An Itch in the Mind

Things that sent me off on quests

Tony Atkinson
11 min readApr 5, 2022

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A road lined on either side by trees. Tony Atkinson.
Photo by Elyas akbari on Unsplash

As I approach the sere and yellow, and my brain continues its gradual dissolution into something akin to duck soup, I wonder more about memory.

I’ve always had a fly-paper mind -things stick. In my childhood, when taking the annual Scripture Exam held by the local Nonconformist Sunday Schools, I found the task of memorising and writing out the required passage effortless. The lyrics of songs, poems, passages from plays and books, they go in there and they won’t go away.

But the worst ones — the ones that torment me — are the ‘mind-itches’. The memories that for some reason, keep popping up at irregular intervals. They won’t settle down until I’ve answered the questions they raise. Sometimes, it’s just ‘did they really exist?’. A kids TV show called The Friendly Giant, another one called Mr Piper; a fictional wizard called Mr Stabs: two books — The Bug Wars and The War Against the Rull, which I distinctly recall having read, but that nobody else I’ve spoken to seems to know of. The internet, when it finally arrived (yes, there are still some of us out there who predate the web) resolved these for me, as well as a few more!

The Superhero

‘Captain Marvel’ must be the most over-used superhero moniker going! All in all some nine iterations have appeared over the decades. The one that bugged me, however, occurred in a single comic I purchased in the Sixties. This Captain Marvel was an alien android, super-strong, capable of flight and could shoot green beams out of his eyes. However, his signature power was the ability to separate his limbs from his body! By shouting “Split!” he could detatch all four limbs and his head, and send the various parts out to commit mayhem under his control, then shout “Xzam!” to pull them back. If a more limited detatchment was required, he could say “Hand away!” or whatever to send the required part off.

The comic ended up in the bin, of course, during one of my mothers’ regular purges, and I never saw nor heard of the character again. It was not until recently that following a thread I came across him again. Apparently a company called MF Enterprises ran five issues in 1966–67 before Marvel bought the rights to…

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Tony Atkinson

Snapper-up of unconsidered trifles, walker of paths less travelled by. Writer of fanfiction. Player of games. argonaut57@gmail.com