] type='image/vnd.microsoft.icon'/>

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Guest Post by Russell Burbage

sgWelcome to another Aquaman Shrine guest post!

Today's my birthday, so I'm taking the day off and handing the Shrine over to my pal and long time F.O.A.M. member Russell Burbage. Take it away, Russell!

(Editor's Note: There is a Part 2 to this post, which must be seen to be believed. It will show up on the Shrine later this week)

What the Aquaman Shrine Means To Me by Russell Burbage

I have been a subscriber to Entertainment Weekly for nearly ten years. I'm not always sure why, since often I get issues that leave me absolutely cold. I guess part of the reason I read it is that I never know what I'll find in any given issue. That was certainly the case with the issue from February 2, 2007.
In it, a certain Rob Kelly was featured as The Most Obsessive Aquaman Fan Ever. I remember laughing at the photo of Rob wearing(!) the green and orange Aquaman baseball cap that a friend had recently given to me, which I kept safe and unworn in the hall closet. He was also wearing a bright orange T-shirt (an Aqua tee I didn't know?). Nerd, I thought to myself as I kept reading the magazine. But I did make a note of the Aquaman Shrine site...

Later that night when I finally got around to checking it out for the very first time, I had what might be considered an epiphany. Here was a man who was revelling in his magnificent obsession with The King of the Seven Seas. I had always liked Aquaman (check out Hey Kids, Comics! for more details) but I had always been...well...a little embarrassed, I guess. I had always been one of those "Oh, you like Aquaman? Huh, he's okay, I guess...." guys; the equivalent of always getting picked last for dodge ball (also me). And now, here, here was a guy who had the same Pepsi Aquaman glasses that I had (and used!). Here was a guy who had the same Aquaman Mego doll that I had. Here was a guy who knew of terrific Aquaman stuff that I had never even heard of! Here was a guy who dressed up as Aquaman, and then actually left the house! (I dressed as Arthur once for Halloween, but only to give out candy...)

I don't remember the first time I ever sent Rob something; I don't even remember how I became a member of F.O.A.M. But I do remember how on that first night, I made many, many comments on many of Rob's older posts. And I remember I went back the next day and the next until I had read all of them...! Now it's the first place I go every day when I log on the computer, and I haven't stopped commenting. Rob Kelly and his Aquaman Shrine seems to fit some mysterious hole in my heart, like he is the little brother I never had, or we're the cool kids we always thought we'd be.

Because of Rob and the Shrine, I've learned to be even more outgoing and outspoken in my support of Aquaman. He's not the useless Super Friend! He can do more than just talk to fish! I'm not just a geek!!

Well...I guess I *am* still a geek, but I'm now a proud geek. Anybody out there watch the late, lamented My Name Is Earl? There was an episode two years ago where a truck driver dies and Earl tries to plan the guy's funeral. However, Earl can't find any of the guy's friends. He thinks the guy was all alone in the world until he discovers that the guy was an avid internet user, and that all the guy's friends were cyber. So, yeah, I can't count how many times friends and family have compared me to The 40-Year Old Virgin. What I think of, however, is how I've become such good friends---and "friends" is the right word---with so many cyber pals I have never met in person. A lot of that has to do with Mr. Rob Kelly and The Aquaman Shrine. So thank you, Rob, for all you do.

"Each life impacts so many other lives....and you've really had a wonderful life."

Happy Birthday, Rob, and, from the bottom of my heart, Thank you!!!


Michael Jones said...

O-tanjoubi Omedetou Rob.
And great tribute Russell.

Wings1295 said...

Great guest post, Russell! You hit on a lot of points that I totally agree with!

And a very Happy Birthday to Rob! Enjoy the day! NO RUNNING!!!

Randy said...

Awesome post, Russell. It sums up all things Aquaman so perfectly. Although, I too have never been ashamed to say that Aquaman is my favorite superhero.

And a very happy birthday, Rob.

Vincent Paul Bartilucci said...

Happy birthday, Rob!

And great guest post, Russell!

David J. Cutler said...

Happy birthday, Rob!

And good post Russell--I was a closet Aquafan for many years as well, until a debate at a shop I worked at with a coworker raged on long enough that I decided it was time to come out of the closet on it. (The debate being, who's cooler, Aquaman or Namor? Actually the phrasing might have been "who's less lame." The folly of youth.)

Andy Luckett said...

Happy birthday, Rob! The esteemed Mr. Burbage's great post echoes many of my feelings about Rob and the Shrine. It's great to have this resource here for all us Aquamaniacs!

Richard Duncan said...

Happy Birthday, Rob. Great guest post, Russ. You really summed it all up nicely.

Russell said...

See...? I'm not alone in feeling this way. ;-)

BentonGrey said...

Happy belated birthday Rob! You've turned Aquaman from a character that I was pleasantly disposed towards to my favorite superhero of all time!