There’s a kid in a bookstore, scanning the shelves for a copy of Spy vs Spy, cartoons popularized decades ago in Mad Magazine, though the kid doesn’t know this. He believes he’s about to purchase some cutting-edge graphic comedy. He’s never even heard of Alfred E Neuman, the dopey-looking freckled and gap-toothed cretin cartooned on the magazine’s cover.

The kid actually looks a little like Alfred E. Neuman. It’s not hard to imagine him half a century from now, enjoying a quiet coffee at the bookstore café, trying to explain to some twelve-year-old that his selection of reading material is not, in fact, truly ground-breaking.

There’s an old man at one of the café tables, enjoying a large black coffee and an apple Danish. He watches the boy’s fruitless quest for the doodled spies and smiles his no-longer gap-toothed grin, remembers how long it took for his freckles to fade.



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