Listen To This…


Last year the Magenta #161 Miracle provided a Christmas moment that my family will never forget. We have shared the story countless times and each time the reaction is the same.

“That’s beautiful! That is literally a Christmas miracle! But, what is a M.U.S.C.L.E. figure?

It also turned the solitary hunt for the Final 8 Figures into a family event. I am indebted to Chuck (Zero on LRG) for the figures he has helped me collect (#107 and #161), but I am forever thankful for the way he has linked my family to this silly little hobby.

I thought the story ended there. It did not.

On Christmas morning the boys opened their gifts from Santa. Then they gave their gifts to each other. Next Mom got her gifts. Wrapping things up (more like unwrapping – sorry, I rolled my eyes at myself); Dad got his gifts. Among the gifts there were three little boxes. I opened the first one and I was speechless.

Beyond confused I asked, “How did you know?”

My mind started to race. Did I tell my wife about this figure? Did she read it on the website? Did I tell the boys? Why is my wife reading this silly website?

“It’s from your friend again,” my youngest excitedly screamed. My initial confusion turned to pure shock. When I write on this website it sometimes feels like I’m yelling into a dark, empty void. Seeing that little yellow figure was physical evidence of someone being out there in the void.

Not to mention, I love that figure! I can’t even remember where or when I said I loved the figure. But someone heard it; someone acted on it.

My confusion had shifted to shock and now it was transforming into embarrassment. How can Chuck be this kind? How can he be this selfless?

“Open the other ones,” the boys impatiently yelled.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. “Seven to go,” they excitedly screamed.

“Six!” was all that was screamed as I opened the final box.

Presents were done and the boys ran off to explore their treasures. I stared at my wife. Embarrassment, shock, happiness, confusion were all swirling in my head. I didn’t know what to say and it must have shown on my face.

“You should feel good that Chuck likes your website.” I did. I do. But it is much more than that for me. Chuck’s kindness still mystifies me. How can anybody be so nice? Why aren’t I this nice?

“Because you’re a known asshole.”

Maybe. But I don’t think that’s it.

I’ve spent everyday since Christmas morning thinking about Chuck’s kindness. What do I need to do to be better? My brain tried to rationalize, “Hey, we’re nice at work. We do charity stuff. You coach your kids’ baseball teams.” In my heart I knew that wasn’t the answer I needed.

Then it hit me like a bolt of lighting. I need to start listening – really listening. Chuck’s kindness came from listening to me. He heard what I liked and what I needed. That may seem stupid or obvious to some people. If that’s the case, then your evolution is a few steps in front of mine (or a few more behind).

Thank you is wholly insufficient in expressing my gratitude to Chuck, but I’ll say it anyways. Thank you for the toys. Thank you for showing my kids generosity and real-life magic. And thank you for inspiring me to be better.

Image from: Tim Fargo

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  1. #1 by Walker26 on January 3rd, 2019

    What a nice thing to do, and a story your whole family will cherish forever.

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