James Steimle was born to a country princess and a surfing artist in a sprawling college town on September 25, 19(bfffffttt)–Christmas in September, students came to say. James liked this notion because he enjoyed presents, especially Star Wars figures, though he was sad not to receive any at all prior to the movie’s release.
His sweet mother christened him James, in honor of a favorite professor who really liked her for one reason or another. His father agreed upon the name, because he thought Sean Connery and Roger Moore were pretty groovy actors (James’ parents lived through the 1960s). The pediatrician called James “Squirt” for some attribute logically deduced, but beyond the scope of this short biography.
Nevertheless (and perhaps most importantly), it wasn’t long before James could play with Star Wars figures.
Yet before Star Wars was released to Planet Earth, James had a twin sister. Chelle (pronounced Shelly by her parents and Ba-ba-thhhhh! by young James) came late in life, but then successfully passed James in most competitive areas (except the size of his Star Wars figure collection). James and Chelle looked the same to strangers and were nearly kidnapped together in Las Vegas (legend has it, James used an ancient Chinese “skunk technique” to escape). They also had the same taste in girlfriends–which is to say that any friend of Chelle’s would likely become a very special friend of James’ in record time. Or at the very least, James hoped they would. He also liked to pretend a lot.
James, we should note, was eleven months older than Chelle. That did not stop his sister each September, from announcing emphatically, “I am exactly the same age as you!” These words never bothered James. A sober child, James was of such sound and mature character that each time Chelle passed him, even temporarily, in any sort of achievement (like height, grades, boyfriends, lipstick collections), he simply stood, clapped his hands, and sang her praises: “Bravo! Bravo!” Or at least he likes to dream that he was not insanely jealous and trembling with competitive bitterness for years on end. He loved her. Really. But this biography is not about Chelle Steimle.
There was one area in which James excelled beyond his sister and even beyond the expectations of his parents. This field of prodigious mastery astounded his peers, his family, and teachers alike. James was, far and above, the greatest ham ever to stand on and off camera. And as difficult as this might be believe, he was obsessed with Star Wars.
Despite his social notoriety, James sought attention through another treasured medium. Before his first year of public schooling, James determined that he would become a writer. To this end, he folded paper into volumes two-inch square and–like gentlemen of old–cut the pages. Lacking thread and glue, the pages promptly fell to the floor. He collected them, used Scotch tape, and penned numerous volumes of forgotten lore. They were forgotten because no one to this day recalls what he wrote; none of the books have survived the travesty of time. And that was probably for the best, as he had yet to learn such letters as M and W. (Rumor has it, he did know the letter S. So he was well on his way to spelling you-know-what.)
When George Lucas finally brought The Film to the big screen, young James Steimle suddenly got a great idea for a novel. It had blasters, hot shot pilots in space, large hairy sidekicks, a giant space station, and of course grand heroes wielding flaming swords. During the third grade, James composed this literary masterpiece and called it Star Blast (the title of which he gallantly stole from his sister, saving her from becoming the next Jane Austen. The title theft seemed appropriate, especially as Chelle was destined to write and perform music while James was destined to become very insecure about his penmanship).
The following year the author expanded his entrepreneurial horizons. James Steimle created, using public school supplies, a magazine called Creature Cartoons. He sold hand-copied facsimiles door-to-door to all grownups from whom he could sweet-talk twenty-five cents. He made a killing–at least $1.25 (and, criminally, he paid no taxes on the proceeds). Alas, his skillful sales approach was hampered only by the airing of Doctor Who on PBS and Star Trek reruns on the other channel the television could receive in the dark ages before satellite and cable. Young gentlemen must have their priorities.
James Steimle was not limited to his own version of Mad Magazine–oh no. He continued writing his novels, pilfering paper from classroom after classroom as he climbed the elementary ranks. James even ventured into the world of non-fiction publications when he learned from highly reputable elementary-school students that UFOs might in fact exist. Night after night, he watched the sky. Night after night, he saw nothing and was called in for dinner or bed or to do something insidious like “homeword.” He never saw a single UFO during his quest, but he penned (penciled, to be precise) many deep studies on Unidentified Flying Saucers. (His mother was very impressed by his attempt at English handwriting.)
James learned early at Ronzone Elementary that while his teachers detested his creative distractions in the classroom, his fellow classmates adored his prolificacy. The teacher’s opinion, being in the minority, hardly mattered. So James aimed to please the younger citizens at the school.
With the start of junior high (where, he was panicked to learn, there really was NO RECESS AT ALL!), James Steimle ceased his juvenile periodical in favor of greater ventures. In the days of stranger things (indeed!), he started with a friend a line of comic books. Lazer Man, The Widow, The Destroyers, The Phantom Criminal, and his “non-fiction” monthly periodical, The Heroes Magazine, played second fiddle to his love of novel writing. 1983 also saw the rise of Master Steimle’s first mystery thriller starting the unprecedented super CIA detective, Jacob Johnson. (You didn’t know that the Central Intelligence Agency had detectives? Hmmm.)
(Years later, after the advent of time travel, someone stole a great many of Jacob Johnson’s characteristics and took them back into the mid-twentieth century in order to create Ian Fleming’s James Bond–you might have heard of this knock off.) (But then, didn’t we say that James’s father named him after Mr. Bond? We did, didn’t we. It is one of those time travel paradoxes, like the Grandfather Paradox or the Twin Paradox or the Bacon & Eggs Paradox, which cannot be fully explained or understood by human brains. We call this one this James “Steimle” Bond Paradox.)
Do you actually want to read more?–Part II coming soon.