Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Mafus asked friends/fans/anyone who had a special or favorite memory of Mike to write it down and post it. Here's mine:
The first time I ever met Mike he had this great 'Preacher' sketch waiting for me. He knew I was a geek and Mafus told him who my favorite character was and that was all it took, ladies and gentlemen. It's been hanging on the wall ever since in our bedroom and will continue to do so no matter where our travels lead us.
My almost-favorite Mike story...It was the day after Thanksgiving last year. Mafus had graciously invited me over again, as he had the year before, to hang out and talk geek with him and his big brother. I had to bring my copy of Halo 2 over since Mike had brought the case, but left the game at his house. It was just the three of us as their Dad was getting his car inspected and Squeeze and their Mom were out shopping. We sat down to a couple games of Halo where Mike and I hunted Mafus down like a dog. After Mafus got discouraged enough to call it quits we threw in a Hammer flick, 'Plague of Zombies,' I believe. About half an hour into the movie Mafus fell asleep as he'd gotten up butt arse early to hit Best Buy or Circuit City for cheap DVDs. Mike and I just sat and bullshitted like a couple of old drinking buddies, even though we weren't drinking, while Mafus snored away. We brought up the idea of drawing on him, but decided against it since he looked so cute sawing those slumber logs. Instead, we basically MST3K'd the flick until Mafus woke up and Mike and I continued to rip on it despite Mafus' protests. Their Dad showed up shortly thereafter and spoke of his inspection woes in his usual humorous way and I vamoosed half an hour later as Angie was very, very pregnant at the time.
I don't remember much about what Mike and I talked about because it wasn't important, world-breaking conversation. There wasn't any weight or gravity to our words. We were a couple guys yakking, laughing and having a good time. Any outsider couldn't have been able to tell who was the fanboy and who was the pro. He was the down-to-Earth professional who treated everyone like a friend. You'd feel comfortable with him whether you met him two minutes ago or ten years. A great guy. I'm glad I went to Heroes Con this year to talk to and see him. I'm just so damn sorry it was the last time.
My favorite memory of Mike, and this may not even make sense, is that he'll always be my friend Mafus' brother. I was kinda Mike's friend by default as I hold Mafus to be one of my best friends, though he may not realize it. Mike was the bonus for having such a kindred spirit as his brother for a buddy. Mafus, who's probably hurting more than anyone else out there because he didn't only lose his best friend, he lost his brother. Mafus, who always had that tinge of pride in his voice (and in his brother) when he shared an insider tidbit that Mike had told him with me. "Keep it under your hat," he'd always say and that confidence was never betrayed. Mafus, who's just as genuine, funny and talented as his brother — cut from the same cloth, if you will. Ma and Pa 'Ringo raised 'em both right. I'm the better for knowing them both and counting them among my dear friends. Mafus, who's not alone. There's a bottle of Bushmills waiting for when you get back, my friend. We've got art to do and toasts to raise in Mike's memory.