As absolutely weird as it sounds, in the 1990s, Muscular
Development magazine, usually dedicated to articles like “6 Ways to Build
Bigger Arms,” had a running comic strip by Lyman Dally about bodybuilding in space, Max Rep: Mr.
Astro Titan. Lyman Dally probably got the job because he designed the NPC logo. Max Rep was to bodybuilding what Speed Racer was to car racing. Crazy
characters, and subplots about jewel smugglers. Lots of coaches who say things
like “Max, if you get on that stage tonight…you’re going to die!” There was a
metaphor about the dangers of anabolics, where they transformed people into
Max Rep was a very working class guy, very Stallone. Never have I been so sure that a fictional character has a Harley Quinn-style Long Island accent.
His girlfriend was basically Zarya from Overwatch: a cute muscular gal with an
unusual hair color. She’s the one thing people remember, I guess for the same
reason that the only thing most people remember about 1,000,000 BC is that
Raquel Welch was in it.
•Dallas accidentally called her ‘mom’ once and he was as embarrassed as Dallas Winston would ever get. She just smiled and didn’t say anything. But whenever he came over and was drunk or stoned, he’d usually call her ‘mom’ or ‘ma.’
•When Steve got his tattoo, Mrs. Curtis said she was surprised Dallas wasn’t the first idiot among them to get one. He took that as a challenge and came back the next morning with three tattoos.
•When Soda and Two-bit got arrested for their gymnastic bullshit, she went to pick Soda up in jail and noticed Dally in the same cell. Soda told her that he’d gotten picked up the night before but his parents never showed up so the cops wouldn’t release him (after a few times of that happening, they gave up and would let him go on his own) and Mrs. Curtis argued with the police chief for fifteen minutes before he let Dal go with her.
•Mrs. Curtis used to drive him to school because it was the only way she knew he’d get there… even though he usually left as soon as she drove away, anyway.
•Even though the door stayed locked before Mr. and Mrs. Curtis died, Dally still ended up on their couch most mornings. She’d gotten three extra keys made, one for Dally, one for Steve and one for Johnny.
•Mrs. Curtis was bringing in groceries one night when he came over, so he helped her carry them in. Darry, Soda and Pony all just sat there slack-jawed because they’d never seen Dallas help anyone with anything.
•Mrs. Curtis is the one who got Dally into rodeos. Soda mentioned something about going to one and Dal scoffed about how he really was in the south. She told him she thought he’d have a good time, and he ended up going along with them and when they got there, she convinced him to sign up to ride.
•When Dallas was running towards the lot after calling the boys the night he got killed, Mrs. Curtis popped into his mind. He was struck by how disappointed she’d be that this is how things were ending for him, but by then he’d already made up his mind.
•Darry expected to be told their parents didn’t want them hanging around someone like Dallas Winston when they met him. He was the most surprised of anyone when his mom told Dally if he ever needed a place to stay, they would always have a couch available for him.
•Not even Mr. Curtis could really get through to Dally. He’d lean back in his chair, and listen to his wife talk to the kid in awe.
•Dal skipped out on the Curtis’ funeral. He couldn’t deal with it. Darry, Soda and Pony were all pissed at him, but they got it. Especially Soda.
•Mrs. Curtis bought Dally his leather jacket with the sheepskin lining.
•Darry would often wonder if Dallas would have lived longer if his mom had never died. He never could quite figure out if his mom could have actually turned Dal’s life around, but he knew if anyone could, it would have been her.