Thursday, 22 December 2011

WHAT DO CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND WD-40 HAVE IN COMMON?


Image copyright MARVEL COMICS

Behold!  The ever-lovin' tenth issue of CAPTAIN BRITAIN from 1976.  Although it's dated December 15th, it actually went on sale the week before (8th), as is the way of British weekly comics.  (No, they don't all go on sale on Dec 8th - I mean they usually hit the shops a week before the date on the cover.  There are exceptions of course.)

In my mind, I've always associated this issue with Christmas 1976, although the actual Christmas number didn't appear 'til a couple of weeks later.  The reason I remember this one though, is because the day I bought it there was snow on the ground - just like on the cover.  Also, I was signwriting a pickup truck in a garage forecourt that day, and, because of the cold, I couldn't work quite as fast as I would've liked.  Plus, it was also a month to the very day since I had packed in my job at BOOTS The CHEMISTS.

Another thing I remember is a visiting rep expounding the advantages of a 'new' product to the garage owner (Mr. McTIER), while demonstrating its properties on a large nut and bolt.  The product?  WD-40.  I say new, but actually WD-40 was developed in 1953 and first became commercially available in San Diego in 1958. I can only assume it was still pretty much a 'secret' in Britain in 1976 though, for the rep to be pushing it as the 'next big thing'.

Funny the things that stick in one's mind, eh?  That's why CB #10 will always remind me of Christmas 1976 (and WD-40) more than just about anything else.  I was young, the world lay at my feet - and the future was mine for the taking.  

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