There is hope. There are those willing to fight evil. This is their tale.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Seriously. No, I mean, SERIOUSLY. Don't ever rely on B-grade superheroes. And I should know, because I am one.
I've been held captive by a group of ridiculously mean cheerleaders for the past...what, six months? And do you think any of my so-called "cohorts" could rescue me? No!
Look, I wasn't just sitting there waiting, either. I snuck into the squad co-captain's room and used her computer and her cell phone dozens of times. I managed to send SMS, MMS, e-mail, Instant Messages, RSS feeds, Google Earth maps with directions- but not one of these dummies got my message.
Finally, the co-captain's dorky brother stopped by. When I explained that I'd missed the entire season of Doctor Who because of his sister, he was more than happy to help me escape.
It looks like these idiots can't even blog without me. Whatever.
It is with heavy heart that I have to report the demise of The Mime. While on vacation at the cotton batting plant, The Mime spontaneously started to struggle against a heavy wind. Despite the fact that nothing around him was moved by the apparent gale, he leaned deeply against the force and tried to get to safety. The Mime was unsuccessful and fell backwards into the industrial rollers. He had no last words, just a very surprised expression.
Okay hiatus is over. Yes, superheroes and supervillains have hiatusihaitihaitusae vacations. Hey, we superfolk cannot be “on” all the time. I mean really. Everyone takes vacations, superheroes and supervillains just make sure that they coincide with each others’. Well, that is not actually the case. The superheroes’ hiatus typically occurs 1 week later than the supervillains’. It is kind of a professional courtesy thing. No one wants the Black Shroud of Justice accidentally running into Kid Anarchy in the Poconos.
Funny thing about Kid Anarchy, he is now 46, balding, and starting to lean towards the conservative right. Sure 28 years ago he was an 18 year old punk with a chip on his shoulder in combat boots all about anarchy and punk music, but most of the bands he listened to got big and sold out. Heck, Iggy Pop sells for a cruise line now. Really pissed Kid Anarchy off, but he had already established a name and some street cred, so he kept with it. Who trembles at the name “Mature Anarchy” or “Middle-Aged Anarchy?” No one is going to feel the walls of society come crashing down at the whims of “The Shining Bald Head of Anarchy!”
Anyway… after the superheroes have their hiatus, then the anti-heroes get a few days off. But they only get a few since they do not fit neatly into the typical hero/villain role. Often times with anti-heroes they have to deal with a hero who is mad at their blatant disregard for the criminal due process and a villain who is bent on world domination. It really is a hard road for them to hoe. (Heh, I said “ho”) They really should just choose one side or another. GET OFF THE FENCE GUYS! I am the misunderstood good guy just trying to exact revenge for something. Boooo Hooooo cray me a river, pal. We all got stuff to deal with!
But all of that is completely irrelevant. What this post is about is the crappy time I had in Cabo San Lucas’s Adventure Island resort. It was not that much of an adventure. I mean really, a trampoline in the water is not adventurous. Paragliding is not adventurous. Wooo-Hooo hold me back! Is that a climbing wall! Holy Crap! I was bored out of my skull. Climbing wall my ass. I could have jumped the damn thing! At least there were some hot chicks there! Most of them looking for Mr. Right Now. If you know what I mean...
So, I was thinking about this "Professor Exasperate" guy. I mean, he's a professor, so he's probably a school nerd, right? That so falls into my area of expertise. Once I catch him, he'll be trapped by my charm like Han Solo in carbonite. But how to catch him?
I decided that what I really needed was a plan to lure him out. Right now, it's hard to tell when something exasperating is a result of one of his nefarious schemes, and when it's just...you know, because people are stupid. I have to admit that I'm not always the greatest at coming up with tricky plans, but I do have resources at my disposal. I know some pretty smart folks. For example, last night I was reading some Harry Potter fan fiction. Those fic writers are clever- they come up with all sorts of ways for Harry to trap You-Know-Who.
Inspired by the HP geeks (and let me tell you, that's a really rapidly growing segment of my fanbase), I realized that people loudly talking at the library is one of the most exasperating things ever, particularly when you are trying to read or study. With this in mind, I headed to the library. The Professor was sure to come by if he thought he could annoy me, right?
Yeah, no luck. I sat there reading for hours. Fortunately, the library has the whole "John Carter of Mars" series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, so I didn't get bored, but seriously? No one spoke out loud all day. Not one cell phone call. Not one obnoxious book club leader. No one yelling at the librarians about unjust late fees. Nothing! Not even, like, a little kid who couldn't read the "Keep Your Voice Down" sign. I mean, I wasted the whole day. The whole day! By the time the library closed, I was really, really....
And that's when I realized I'd fallen into his trap. By not showing up, he'd exasperated me. It's a mistake I won't make again.
So, I don’t tend to like to team up with anyone.I am a solitary bastion of Justice.I am a dark loner, exacting revenge on an un-just world.I like to shine my Mag Lites into the face of evil and have evil know that they are up against Mag Lite and Mag Lite alone.So typically I don’t team up with anyone.
Not that people haven’t tried for the odd occasional pairing.I swear, if the dark Shroud of Infallible Justice asks me to be his sidekick one more time…Listen, dude, just because you have the ability to hide in shadows and turn into a smoky cloud at will doesn’t mean I am the one who should cast shadows for you from my Mag Lites’ wide angle setting.Okay, get off of it.
Anyway, the other day, I think it was Thursday, the Mountie asked me to help him with some fruit smugglers.As I said, typically, I wouldn’t team up with anyone, but the Mountie is just so damn polite.He approached me all “hat in his hands” and just as politely as possible asked if I could help. It really was just super sweet, and he really made it seem like he would not succeed with out my help.I reluctantly agreed to help him out, because, who can turn down a Mountie with his hat in his hands.
We were off like a shot to a freighter ready to leave for Canada.It wasn’t a terribly big boat, but it was big enough to have a cargo hold.I turn off all the Mag’s that I am carrying and start to creep up the gangway and try not to be noticed.Hey, it is dark out, and I wear all black so I was doing great, but the Mountie just walks directly up the walkway in his bright red coat and basically asks the guard on the boat to see the ship’s captain and their manifest.I was going to just whack the guy over the head and hide him under some stairs or something.
This is the odd part, the armed guard doesn’t pump slugs into the Canadian do-gooder (or me) but says that he will be more than happy to get the captain.A bearded man approached us in his navy pea coat and asked,“What’s this all aboat, eh?”He chuckled a hearty chuckle that sounded like he had seen a lot of time in the elements, and then said,“Just playing with ya, Mountie.How can I help yas?”
Well, good sir, I heard a rumour that you might be planning to bring undocumented fruit cargo into the fair country of Canada.So I decided on behalf of the CanadianCommonwealth and all that is good in Hockey to take a look for myself.My colleague and I need to search through your cargo hold.Mag Lite, I would like to introduce you to Captain?...
Yes, Captain Simmons, this is one of my American counterparts, Mag Lite.
Pleased to meet ya, Magsie.
Please call me Mag Lite, I didn’t spend over $800 dollars on various Mag Lites to be called “Magsie.”That isn’t even getting into how much I spent on other gear.This super-heroing stuff ain’t cheap.
Anyway, the captain shows us into the dim interior of his stuffed cargo hold, and this is where it hits me.I am not here to help the Mountie out with a fight of epic proportions, I am simply here to illuminate the cargo hold while he searches it… for 4 hours.Here I am being someone’s spotlight bitch… AGAIN!
Mag Lite, would you do me a favour and illumin that box over there?
Yeah, sure, whatever.
I put 2 spots on the box he indicated while he closed in on the crate and read the crate’s label.Washington’s Finest Apples: Red Delicious, 1 bushel.
Here we are.Mag Lite, if you would like the honour of confiscating this illegal contraband, we can be on our way.
Wait a second, we searched this entire cargo hold for 1 measily crate of apples, AND you want me to carry it?!?!
The honour is yours, you have earned it.
So I pick up the crate of apples and we leave the cargo hold.I have to help open up the Home Depot Friday morning, so I have just wasted an entire evening being a spotlight bitch for the politest super hero I have ever had to work with.
Turns out there were 3 jewelry store robberies, 7 ATM’s stolen, and 3 warehouse fires that occurred in the 4 hours I was “helping” out the Mountie.
The Mime was shaking with rage at the latest post taunting from Professor Exasperate. It took him a full twenty minutes before he was able to calm down enough to pantomime his reaction, which, coincidentally, turned out to be "shaking with rage."
"Beware, fiend," The Mime signaled by laying the back of his hand against his forehead and leaning backward dramatically. "Although not worthy of the epithet nemisis, you are now highlighted with an asterisk on my list of Unspeakables."
The Mime paced back and forth across his spartan lair. He tapped a finger against his temple, a clear sign that he was thinking deeply. Inspiration! (The Mime cleverly signals this with a wide grin and a triumphant point to the sky.)
"I will take my show on the road," he cried with bold acrobatics. "If the Professor plans to travel, I shall tail him across this great country. I shall find him. And I shall do justice to him like nobody's business."
I asked The Mime what chord had been struck in him to react so vehemently to Professor Exasperate's challenges. He indicated he took umbrage to the villain's sly innuendo designed to humilate Captain Amazing.
"Things can be taken out of context," he explained with several leaps and a stint in the invisible box. "An innocent event, or picture, if not understood by the viewer, could be construed to mean something entirely different. For instance, what if the Professor were to publish that picture of me with my good friend Andre? I'll bet he would find some way to use words to twist that pure moment into something untoward."
Needing solitude to contemplate his course of action, The Mime darted lithely, a streak of black cotton, to his Chair of Meditation.
Growing up I moved around a lot.It’s not something the witness protection program wants me to talk about a whole bunch, but let’s just say I remember quite a few car trips.
At 17, I recognized the fact that most places didn’t want to hire a kid whose last 6 employers thought he had “died” in an “accidental tool shed fire.”Plus, by the time I got good at something it was always time to “pack your bags we’re leaving, you’ve got 6 minutes…no you can’t bring Mr. Fluffer, he’s a liability…yes, I know that mobsters don’t usually kill rabbits, but if we take him with us someone might make the connection and remember what agent Brown said…’it’s always the little things that end up ----ing you over.’ “
So I had to figure out a job that no matter where my family was forcibly relocated willingly moved to, would be open to hiring a random kid with no previous work experience.What kind of place was in every town and hired dead beats like that?
Enter fast food chains.
By the time I was 24 I had worked in more than different grease ball establishments from Poughkeepsie to Portland (Oregon, as in I’ve travel83 ed the entire continental US working in fast food restaurants for those of you who really need to me spell it out for you).And by God…I WAS GOOD AT IT!!!!I could say “Do you wanna Super Size that” in 6 different languages as well as tell a Mexi Nugget’s age, down to the minute, just by smelling it!!!I could take accurate drive-thru orders hearing only every 8th word in addition to being able to tell customers “Yes, the chicken is free-range” with a straight face.
Perhaps my greatest attribute though, was my renowned knowledge of, and skill with, condiment packets.Be it ketchup or calamari sauce, mayonnaise or mayberry jelly; I knew them all by sight, smell, and texture.The mysteries of their chemical make-ups and atomic weights were all known to me, but it wasn’t until one fateful day last spring that I finally understood how valuable this knowledge truly was.
I was covering a graveyard shift at a Taco Bell in Duluth, MN so that the hottie cashier I’d been crushing on for the past month could keep her ultrasound appointment.I was doing what I usually do when business is slow (check for factory defects in the sporks), when two half-pint thugs rode in on there tricked out huffy’s, pedaling right up to the counter.
“Yo Dee-Nar,” The first 14 yr. old thug addressed my co-worker at the cash register, whose name was actually pronounced ‘Deh-Nuh,’ but the obviously the subtleties of the Armenian language were lost to these two miscreants. ”I want four Chulupas and three Nachos Belgrande, el pronto!”
“And two orders of Tater Tots!” The slightly more rotund side kick chimed in.
“They’re called ‘Mexi Nuggets.’” Denaire patiently explained to them.
Resembling a pug who thinks it’s an alligator, the first punk responded “Your mom is a Mexi Nugget!!!”
This retort was followed by high pitched pre-pubescent laughter and a ridiculously over dramatized high five from the fat one.
After receiving their food, the two Linkin’ Park rejects proceeded to pedal over to the soft drink dispenser and combine every soda flavor available (yes, including the ice tea).This was followed by a raid on the napkin, straw, and utensil containers where each took multiple fistfuls.
I grew tense as they wheeled their way towards my position now at the condiment dispensery.I could feel the rage inside me building like a zit that was over-due for a popping.These two bike riding tards had committed a myriad of offenses from insulting my co-worker to riding their bikes in the business place (each clearly grounds for refusing service as set forth in the Taco BellEmployee Handbook). Yet, all of these infractions I could let slide.However, there is one infringement I will not abide and that is exploitation of the condiment dispensery!
I slowly moved aside, allowing the mini-thugs access to Taco Bell’s above average selection of sauces and dressings, tracking both carefully with my 20/80 vision.As I suspected, the first animal-torturer-in-training reached his dirty little paw into the “Hot Sauce” bin and withdrew upwards of 20 packets, clearly a gross exploitation of Taco Bell’s condiment generosity.Something inside me snapped and before I could stop myself I had grabbed the bike urchin’s hand.
“S’cuse me son,” I said in my best, I’m-gonna-belt-you parent voice. “I think you meant to grab the mild sauce.”
This bombshell of a confrontation to his barely measurable masculinity immediately played across the punk’s face in several emotions which I detected as shock, anger, and slight arousal (I was still gripping his hand).Then he took a swing at me with his free fist. Luckily, his short 14 yr. old arm made it easy to step beyond his 18 inch reach.
I countered with an open palm of ketchup packets to his face, applying just enough force to make sure each exploded upon contact with his pimply skin.The effect was what appeared to be a blow of such awesome might that it exploded the front half of his skull…at least this is what his pudgy friend told the cops later that night.
But I digress.
Upon seeing “blood” erupt from his miscreant buddy’s face, and then collapse to the floor (apparently my “ketchup-fist” as I like to call it, actually had enough umpf to knock the kid down where he cracked his head on the floor and went unconscious), urchin #2 jumped on his bike and attempted to pedal towards the exit, dropping his food in the process.Before he could make it more than 2 ft. I deftly let fly two packets ofpatented Taco Bell hot sauce managing to lodge both in the spokes of his getaway vehicle.This resulted in an immediate cease of the bike’s forward motion, thus propelling tubby over the handle bars and onto a double long table used for families of more than 5.
Casually walking over to the dazed butterball, I picked up his discarded order of food and said…
“You forgot your Mexi Nuggets, bee-otch!” …and proceeded to dump them on this head.
It wasn’t until later that night in lock-up (something about assaulting a minor…I dunno, I was too busy bragging about how I owned those two little punks to the hottie motorcycle cop that showed up) that I realized the true meaning of the night’s events.No mere mortal could have done what I did.Indeed, I had been blessed with a rare and powerful ability.And of course with any great power came the great responsibility to use it on stupid dumb---- kids so that fast-food establishments across the nation could be safe for normal patrons.
It was then I knew my calling.I would not rest until every punk came to fear the name, PACKETMAN!!!