Friday, September 28, 2007

Junior Intergalactic Gladiators away, my boy, Junior Intergalactic Gladiators away!

That’s right everybody. Junior Intergalactic Gladiators are coming out of the woodwork in support of the Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator/Fluke Starbucker presidential ticket. It seems everyone is abuzz about my candidacy.

Hollywood starlets Scarlet Johansen and Maggie Gyllenhaal are Junior Intergalactic Gladiators.

The always outspoken Tim Robbins is proud to be a Junior Intergalactic Gladiator.

Even Saturday Night Live funnyman Will Forte is wearing the Junior Intergalactic Gladiator helmet with pride.

But that’s not all!

While James Carville and Mary Matalin may not agree on everything, they certainly can agree that they’re Junior Intergalactic Gladiators.

As well as former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state Colin Powell is a Junior Intergalactic Gladiator

Even Nancy Reagan is – you guessed it – a Junior Intergalactic Gladiator.

Who else is a Junior Intergalactic Gladiator, you ask?

Why none other than Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, that’s who.

Even Robocop proudly wears the helmet of the Junior Intergalactic Gladiator.

And look, Lassie’s getting into the spirit, too! Good doggie, Lassie, good doggie.

Meanwhile, my running mate Fluke Starbucker is out campaigning and heading to the important swing state of Alaska. You can read all about it here.

On top of that, the talented JawaJuice of the very funny As The Force Turns is lending his hand, er claw, er, Jawas have hands, right? To the campaign and created some great buttons and bumper stickers. They’re available to stick to your car, wheelbarrow, or cat. Collect them all!

A vote for Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator is a vote for freedom.

A vote for Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator is a vote for progress.
I'm Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator and I approve of this message.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dream a little dream with me

Under Professor Xavier’s recommendation, Emma Frost was quickly flown in to the Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator for President of the United States Headquarters to monitor my dreams.

“Now that you are comfortably dressed in that tight fitting body suit, Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator, you can now put on this monitoring device and prepare to sleep,” the mutant telepath said.

“I feel kind of ridiculous in this,” I said as I put the headband on. “Look at this thing! I look like I should be in Xanadu or something.”

“Oh you look fine,” she assured me. “Now, all you have to do is lie down here and the sensitive instruments connected to the headpiece and your tight fitting body suit will scan your dream and your body’s reactions during it. Are there any questions?”

“Yes, how do you keep those things up?” I asked.

“How do I--?” Frost looked down at her chest and then looked back at me. “I don’t feel that I have to answer that. Do you have any real questions?”

“Sure,” I shrugged. “Do you know that your toe is showing?”

“My what? No, my boots cover all of my toes.”

“No,” I answered. “Your other toe.”

“Once again,” she signed. “I don’t think that it’s appropriate for us to discuss this now. Do you have any questions that pertain to what we’re doing here?”

“No, but I do have another question,” I said. “Do you think that it’s appropriate for a female character in a medium written primarily for adolescent boys to dress in an overtly provocative and sexually suggestive manner? Do you think someone who dresses like this would actually be a strong character and female role model or just something that aims for the lowest common denominator?”

“I don’t feel that I have to answer that, either,” she answered bitterly. “Do you have any questions pertaining to what we are doing right now?”

“No, I was just askin,’” I answered.

“Fine, just lie down and go to sleep,” she growled.

“Can I get a drink of water?” I asked.

“Yes,” she hissed. “Then get to sleep. Do you want to participate in this or not?”

“Yes,” I answered. “I just don’t feel that tired right now. I don’t think that I can-zzzzzzzzzz.”

I must have dozed off for a second, but then I suddenly I snapped back awake and looked around the office. Everything seemed normal, but something just didn’t feel right. Then I felt a tremor.

And another.

“That’s odd,” I said to myself. “I wonder what that tremor could be.”

I felt another tremor, and it felt close, closer still. I looked out the window and I saw a giant creature with an ominous handlebar moustache staring through it at me.

Without a second’s delay, I leapt into action, springing through the window itself, shattering the glass into thousands of tiny glittering shards. The noise of the glass breaking was like the crashing of a cymbal by the gods themselves. My momentum carried my two feet right into the jowls of the giant man-creature who took the full blow and fell back from it, crashing to the ground with an earth shattering noise that sounded like a steel suspension bridge collapsing into a rock quarry.

“Whoa whoa! I say there,” the thing rumbled. “Stop your attack at once, I say!”

“You!” I answered. “You who stalk me in my dreams, you who stand before me in the form of this giant creature now beg me to stop?”

“Yes yes,” he answered, then shrunk back down to a less unusual size – which was still pretty big. “I am William Howard Taft and I have come bringing you a gift.”

“Are you going to make me fight you for it?” I demanded angrily. “I have already bested Washington, Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt and I’ll beat you, too!”

“No, no,” he shook his massive head. “I don’t wish to do battle with you for it. I feel that you have already earned it. I will now give to you Taft’s Sense of Justice. Use this wisely.”

“Really?” I asked. “You’re just going to give it to me?”

“Yes, of course you can have it,” he answered. “This was my greatest strength and now I bestow it unto you.”

“OK, I’ll take it, thank you,” I said. “Are you sure that you’re the right candidate to give me this though? No offense, but from what I understand you were rather bored as president and would rather go golfing than attend to your presidential duties.”

“This is true, yes,” he conceded. “But less than a decade after serving, I was called upon to become Chief Justice of the United States, and that’s where the Taft Man shined, baby.”

“Uh, OK.”

“That was my true calling,” he answered just a little wistfully. “Of everything that I did, I felt that I made the biggest difference serving my country its greatest voice of justice, and now it is yours.”

“Ok, cool,” I said. “Thank you very much.

“Use it wiselyyyyyyyyyyaaabbbbbbllllbbbbllllaaaahhh!” he said and then faded to nothingness. Everything around me faded as well and I soon found myself waking up feeling refreshed.

“How was that?” I asked as I looked over at Emma. She was she was standing over a monitor with a dazzled look on her face.

“Unbelievable…” she mumbled.

“So, what kind of readings did you get?” I asked. “Can you confirm that this is a spiritual quest?”

“I hope so,” she answered. “Otherwise you’re just going around beating up on dead presidents. It’s either a spiritual quest like you say or you’re going absolutely crazy.”

“Maybe it’s a little from column A and a little from column B,” I muttered.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Campaign Strategy Meeting

“Wow Professor, I’ve been having the weirdest dreams.”

Professor Xavier and I were having another one of our campaign strategy meetings within the confines of the Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator for President of the United States Headquarters.

“That’s very interesting, Jon,” the headmaster for the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning said while scratching his chin.

“They are?” I replied. “I haven’t even told you about them yet.”

“Oh, what?” Professor Xaiver stopped rubbing his chin and looked at me. “I am sorry, I was thinking about something else. What is occurring in these dreams of yours?”

“Well, first I dreamt that I fought George Washington and gained his strength,” I said. “Then I dreamt that I gained the Courage of Abraham Lincoln, then I dreamt that I gained the Tenacity of Teddy Roosevelt. I’m just wondering what I could possibly dream of next.”

“I suspect that you are on a spiritual quest,” Xavier surmised.

“No kidding,” I answered. “I mean, I figured that out while I was squirting ketchup all over Lincoln in a concession stand. I’ve been thinking about this and if I use the first letters of their names, maybe it will spell something. I’ve got W, L, and R. W, L, R. Willer. Willer? What’s a Willer?”

“I am not sure Jon,” the professor conceded. “What makes you think that using those letters will get you your answers?”

“Well, it’s a guess really,” I shrugged. “I’m thinking that it’s something similar to the source of Captain Marvel’s powers.”

“You mean the Kree warrior Mar-Vell? His powers came from those Nega-Bands.”

“No, the other Captain Marvel.”

“The Avenger Captain Marvel, of course,” Xavier nodded. “She was bombarded with extra dimensional energy.”

“No, not that one,” I replied. “The other one. The Shazam one. He says that word and he gets the strength of Hercules and the speed of Mercury and all that.”

“Oh him,” the professor answered. “We don’t talk about him much where I come from. You may be right, however. As a suggestion, what if I have one of my X-Men monitor you as you sleep -- one of my telepaths. I’m thinking Emma Frost. I can call her and have her here in just a few hours.”

“That sounds like a good idea—hey wait a minute,” I said. “Is this just a scheme to get her here so we could have a hot woman walking around in her underwear all day?”

“Do you even have to ask?” Xavier smirked.

“Well it is a good plan,” I nodded. “Speaking of plan, you had another plan to get at my opponents?”

“Ah yes,” the Professor smiled. “This idea is simple in its brilliancy. We will send invitations to everyone you are running against to visit a mansion owned by an eccentric millionaire.”

“You mean all of them?” I asked. “Including Tony Stark, Dr. Zaius, Professor Monkerstein , iSplotchy , Samurai Frog, Dr. Smith , and Sleestak?”

“Yes, all of those that you just conveniently mentioned plus many, many more,” the powerful mutant replied with a smile. “Once they all meet each other there, they will discover that it’s a haunted house! We’ll film the whole thing as they run around through different hallways, in and out of doors being chased by ghosts the whole time. I would even wager that when Monkerstein finds the kitchen, he’ll stop to make a giant sandwich only to run away after being comically frightened by one of the ghosts!”

“Yeah, I heard that Monkerstein gets the munchies when he’s scared,” I laughed. “Is this haunted house really haunted though?”

“Of course not,” Xavier waved the thought away. “There’s just somebody in there pretending to haunt it so he can get the treasure that’s buried in the basement. But the other candidates will be so busy running around scared that they’ll fall behind in their campaigning!”

“Did you think of this plan while watching television? Maybe a cartoon or something?”

“Now that you mention it,” he thought for a moment. “I do suppose that I was. Do you think they’ll figure it out?”

“Of course not,” I assured him. “And it’s a brilliant plant.”

“Then it’s settled.” Xavier looked at his notes. “One more item, your vice president.”

Fluke Starbucker,” I replied.

“Right, what I’m trying to say is that your choice here—”

Fluke Starbucker,” I repeated.

“Right,” Professor Xavier nodded. “I’m not entirely certain that he’s the best choice.”

“Why not?” I asked.

“Well, I don’t think his elevator goes all the way up to the top floor if you know what I mean.”

“Oh you mean on his ship,” I said. “Yeah, he told me about that. He has to take a ladder through an access hatch to get to the top deck.”

“No, what I’m saying is that he’s a few sandwiches shy of a picnic,” the powerful telepath carefully said.

“Man, that would suck,” I said. “That’s one quick way to spoil a picnic. That and ants. Thunderstorms, too.”

“No, I’m saying that he has bubbles in his think tank.” Xavier tapped his head for emphasis.

“Think tank? Is that his new computer?” I asked.

“No, what I’m saying is that I’m not convinced that Fluke is the best choice for a vice presidential running mate. I don’t think that he has the mental facilities required for this sort of thing.”

“Yeah but the chicks dig him,” I answered.

“Really?” the Professor asked.

“Really,” I nodded. “They’re all over him man. He has to fight them all off with one of those bolt tighteners.”

“You mean a wrench?”

“No,” I said back. “One of those tools that you tighten and loosen bolts with. You know, a bolt tightener.”

“Nevermind.” Xavier seemed to be getting a little frustrated with our exchange. I couldn’t understand why, but maybe he didn’t know enough about bolts to know the difference between a wrench and something more complicated like a bolt tightener. With the time I’ve spent with Fluke, some of his bolt-turning expertise has rubbed off on me. I’ve even heard him talking about recipes using bolts. There’s pineapple bolts, lemon bolts, coconut bolts, pepper bolts, bolt soup, bolt stew, bolt salad, bolt burger, bolt sandwich, all kinds of recipes. I don’t think that I’ll try any, but it’s obvious that Fluke likes his bolts.

“I’ve got Fluke out campaigning already,” I said. “I’ve sent him to the swing states of Alaska, Puerto Rico, and California.”

“You do realize that those aren’t the traditional swing states, don’t you?” Xavier inquired. “Puerto Rico isn’t even a state.”

“I know that, but I guess that I’m just a non-traditional candidate,” I grinned. “Everything that I’m doing is going to be non-traditional. I’m sending him to all the sub-swing states that don’t get the campaign action that the regular swing states get. Get it?”

“I think,” the professor replied.

“See, these states are tired of being ignored. No one goes to Alaska because it’s cold, no one goes to Puerto Rico because it’s not a state, and no one goes to California because no one is really into politics out there. No one in Hollywood has cared about who was in the White House for nearly two decades. That’s why Fluke’s going to Hollywood.”

“Frankie goes to Hollywood,” the professor countered.


“You know, Frankie Goes to Hollywood,” Xavier said. “They sang Relax.”

“What does that have to do with what we were talking about?” I asked.

“Oh nothing, I just thought I’d try one of those non sequiturs that you always think are funny. Pretty good huh?”

“I keep telling you that I don’t ‘do’ non sequiturs,” I snapped back. “I just have a short attention span.”

“I’m sorry, did you say something? I was thinking about something else,” the professor said dryly. Then he chuckled.

“Yeah, pretty funny,” I laughed. Then we both laughed, then we froze and the credits rolled. That was a pretty awesome CHiPs ending. I love those endings.

Friday, September 21, 2007

A third dream!

Another dream? I thought. This is getting rather silly.

I found myself at the base of a hill in a place that I have never seen before. It seemed nice. It was warm and tropical outside.

“Ahoy, Jon!” A man walked up to me wearing an old and beat up uniform. “I’m Theodore Roosevelt!”

“Of course you are,” I said as I showed him my fists. “I you’re looking for a fight, then I’ve got a little Washington right here and a little Lincoln right here.”

“Oh ho ho, certainly I am not spoiling for such a thing,” the former cavalry officer laughed. “Though it would be grand, I am instead challenging you to a race.”

“A race?”

“Yes,” he smiled and gestured towards the hill. “Do you know what this is?”

“If I were to guess, I’d say it’s San Juan Hill,” I said while squinting up at the incline.

“Precisely, my boy!” Roosevelt roared. “And I challenge you to a race up it!”

“A race?”

“Certainly,” he laughed. “If you want to gain the Tenacity of Roosevelt, then you’ll accept this test.”

“OK, you’re on,” I answered.

“Ready! Go! Chaaaaaarrrrge!” Roosevelt thundered up the side of the mountain but I was fast on his heals.

Halfway up, I felt my lungs begin to burn and my legs felt like they were running in sand, but I kept up the pace. The ghostly Roosevelt continued his charge up the hill with his sword drawn.

Three quarters of the way, I could still feel the pain of the run, but I saw my opponent falter just a bit. Mustering up all of my will and strength, I made my way to the lead, first one step, then another. Soon, I was several yards ahead of Roosevelt and at the top of the hill.

“Yes!” I yelled as I threw my arms up in victory.

“Bully for you. You have beaten this old Knickerbocker to the top,” he huffed as he rumbled up next to me. “I have neglected to mention one thing, though.”

“And that is…?” I asked. Do I really want to know?

“You have to beat me to the bottom as well! Charrrrrrrrrge!” Roosevelt ran down the side of the hill, but I quickly overcame him. Faster than you could say “Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator is my candidate of choice for president of these United States” I had pushed myself to quite a bit of a lead.

All of a sudden, from behind me, where the first American to be awarded the Nobel Prize should be, a deeper, more ominous rumbling began to rumble. First it was low, but like a crescendoing drum roll on a tympani, it picked up until I had to look back at what the noise was.

To my horror, the noise was caused by Roosevelt, but he wasn’t in the form of a man that I am most familiar with. He was the size of a giant boulder and rolling towards me, gaining momentum until the rumbling sounded like a semi trailer filled with garbage cans filled with smaller steel cans and lead pipes rolling sideways down a hill.
Did I mention that he was gaining?

Laughing the whole time, the boulderized Theodore Roosevelt rolled right behind me, uprooting trees and crashing through cobwebs and anything else in its path.

Finally, I reached the bottom of the hill and dove out of the way of the giant boulder resembling the face of the man who so famously said “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” The enormous rock rolled past me as I tumbled to the side.

“Ha ha ha! That was a splendid race, Jon!” the now human looking Roosevelt said.

“Thanks,” I huffed, looking up at the man beside me. He reached his hand down and easily hauled me up to my feet.

“You now posses the Tenacity of Roosevelt,” he laughed. “Use it wisely!”

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Whoah, another dream!

I stood before the Lincoln Memorial, staring up in awe of this statue of one of our greatest presidents. But how could my journeys have led me here? I wondered. Why am I standing before him now in this powerful thunderstorm with the lightning crashing around me and the thunder thundering around me like a loud thundering noise?

“Oh, Abraham Lincoln!” I cried out. “Why am I here?”

“You have come a great distance, my son,” I heard him call back. “But you must travel a great deal more to be a great president.”

“How do you mean?” The rain matted my hair flat and glistened off my forehead.

“You have the Strength of Washington,” he said. With a crash of thunder, he was standing beside me. “But you do not yet have the Courage of Lincoln.”

“The Courage of Lincoln?”

“Of course,” Lincoln nodded with a slight smile. “You need the Courage of Abraham Lincoln to lead the great country of ours. It took courage to lead a divided nation and it took courage to take a bullet to make it whole.”

“You took the bullet to bring the country together?” I asked. “But then you knew John Wilkes Booth would shoot you?”

“Of course,” he said. “But I wasn’t afraid of that washed-up actor. I was only afraid that he might get on stage and start doing Hamlet. Ugh what a ham.”

“Really?” I asked.

“Oh yes,” he nodded. “Should you become president, keep your eyes out for the likes of Jimmy Fallon or John Stamos.”

“OK, thanks for the warning,” I nodded. “So how will I get this Courage of Lincoln?”

“Like this.” From out of nowhere, the sixteenth president sucker punched me and sent me flying. The fury of his punch sounded like a semi truck full of steel I-Beams crashing from a thousand feet in the air into a warehouse filled with 50 gallon drums.

My body arced across the night sky and through the raging tempest until I crashed into the balcony of Ford’s Theater. At once, Lincoln was beside me again. He spun me to the railing and pushed my face in an attempt to throw me over to the floor below. I underhooked his arms and arched my back, throwing us both over and plummeting onto the seats below.

I landed on top of Lincoln but he quickly threw me off and sent me sprawling to the aisle between the rows of seats.

“Have you heard from the chairman yet?” he asked. With a popping of bolts, he pulled a row of the black metal framed with red cushioned seats off the ground and swung them at me.

“I’m afraid that I’m going to have to unseat you!” I called back. I then grabbed the row of chairs, drove them into the ground and flipped the other end up over me, catapulting Lincoln through the air. He crashed into the far wall but I was quickly on top of him. Another punch sent the man who delivered the Gettysburg Address up the aisle and through the wall where he crashed to a stop within a concession stand.

I was quickly on top of him again, but he was just as quick to defend himself with a tray full of soft drinks and one of those hot dog things with the rollers that you see at concession stands and convenience stores.

I collapsed with the impact of the cooker, but I quickly recovered and grabbed a shelf full of candies and threw that at him. As Lincoln dodged the assault, I followed up with squirts from ketchup and mustard bottles. He retaliated by grabbing me and throwing me into a display of cotton candy. I retaliated against his retaliation with a quick sidekick, but he was suddenly not in front of my foot.

I looked around for my adversary, but couldn’t find him anywhere.

“Where’d ya go?” I growled.

With a flash, I too disappeared from the concession stand, only to reappear in front of the Lincoln Memorial once again.

“You are worthy of the Courage of Abraham Lincoln, homie,” his voice rumbled then trailed off like thunder rolling away from the city to another city.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Man, I had a dream

I was running through a field, because of course these dreams always begin with running through a field when all of a sudden the visage of George Washington appeared before me.

“You cannot be president!” the giant Washington ghost boomed at me.

“Why not?” I asked. “I couldn’t be any worse than what we’ve had the past couple decades.”

“That one joke will carry you only so far,” Washington warned. “I say to thee that thou hast not the Right Stuff to be president.”

“Well, I don’t have an Ivy League education, if that’s what you’re talking about,” I answered. “But neither did many of the great presidents like Lincoln or Jefferson. Wait, The College of William and Mary isn’t Ivy League is it?”

“No, it is not,” Washington’s images shimmered in the light. “But that is not why I am here before you.”

“What is it then, President Washington?” I asked.

“If you think that you can be president, you must first best me in the field of battle!”

“What? Fight you? I can’t do that, you’re George Washington, the father of our country.”

“Then you will perish!” With a snapping sound, Washington roared into the air. His colonial vestments tore off with a thunderous crash and were replaced by, uh, I don’t know, it was lion taming gear or something. The ground shook as his feet crashed back down to it. He looked at me with a glint in his eye and smiled. The smile made a sound something like a blade being unsheathed from a scabbard.

“I said I don’t want to fight you!” I yelled out loudly, but it felt like the wind was rushing past my ears and the first president was quickly in front of me and swinging a colossal roundhouse right.

With a crashing sound resembling that of a mountain being dropped on top of a garbage truck filled with anvils, the man who is honored on quarters and one dollar bills sent me flying with a mighty punch from his meaty fist.

I flew backwards for what seemed to be miles (or at least this version of me did, for this was all a dream – or was it?) until I landed in the National Museum of American History. Washington was quickly on top of me though and sent me hurling through the walls and into an exhibit containing Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the Wizard of Oz.

“If you don’t pay attention to history,” he warned. “You will be his, you will be his, you will be history!”

“Alright, that’s it, old man!” I kicked myself up onto my feet and retaliated with a powerful punch of my own. Washington flew through a wall and crashed into an exhibit featuring the Star Spangled Banner.

“Come one!” he urged with a wicked smile. “Bring it!”

“I like what you’re saying, but you’re a little off -Key,” I said as I smashed him into a sousaphone and bass drum. “Get it? Off-key as in Francis Scott Key, author of the Star Spangled Banner!”

“I like it,” Washington wiped a dab of blood from the corner of his mouth. “But you’re doing too much talking!”

“You’re not going to do much talking when I’m through with you,” I growled as I punched him in the jaw. A wooden tooth flew out.

Washington dove into me and we both flew from that exhibit and into a bookcase filled with dusty texts. Books tumbled from their shelves and crashed on top of me.

“Looks like this beat down is long overdue,” the hero of the revolution said smugly as I lay there covered in books. I didn’t stay there long as I rolled away from Washington’s foot stomping down on me and spun back to my feet again.

“You fight pretty well now,” I said. “Too bad you couldn’t fight this well at the Battle of Brandywine and the British garrison at Germantown.”

Washington howled in rage and sent us both flying once again, this time we landed on a small boat on the icy waters of the Delaware River.

“Perhaps you should take a swim,” Washington growled as he pushed my head down in the water. Icy fingers of cold and pain stabbed at my face, but I managed to reverse our positions with a twist.

“You’re the one who’s all wet,” I said as I tossed him into the water.

All was quiet for what seemed endless minutes. I scanned the surface for any movement or signs of George Washington. I shrugged to myself as I saw none, but my attempted shrug was too soon as an arm snapped out of the water and hauled me in.

I felt myself floating to the bottom with Washington floating serenely in front of me.

“You have done well,” he said. “You are worthy.”

“What?” I yelled back through the water.

“I said you have done well!” he shouted. “You are worthy!”

“I still can’t hear you!” I shouted.

“Oh for crying—Here!” he sighed and then snapped his fingers. In a flash, I found myself in the field where I began at the beginning of my dream. “I said that you are worthy.”

“OK, cool,” I said, breathing heavily from the ordeal. “What am I worthy of?”

“You are worthy of the Strength of Washington,” our first president said and an energy leapt out from him and entered me.

I felt the Strength of Washington surge through my body. At least, my dream body because this is all just a dream, isn’t it?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

“I have the solution to all your vice presidential needs.”

I looked up from my work at the Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator for President of the United States Campaign Headquarters and was pleasantly surprised to see who was standing before me.

Fluke Starbucker!” I exclaimed as I jumped up and pumped his hand excitedly. “I haven’t seen you since, wow. I don’t know, it’s been a while. We all thought you sold your ship to the intergalactic porn industry and disappeared. Where’ve you been?”

“Ah well, uh…” Fluke’s voice trailed off and he looked around at nothing in particular. “I’ve been around. You know, fighting the good fight, righting wrongs, tightening and loosening bolts.”

“Well that’s great,” I said happily. “Well, let’s see what have I been up to? Oh yeah, I recently stopped a Zerg invasion on Throneworld, Patricia and I had a baby, and I’m running for president of the United States as you can see.”

“I see that,” the Son of Starbucker looked around the office. “And that’s why I’m here.”

“How’s that, Fluke?”

“Jon, thanks so much for having me here and making this day necessary.” Fluke cleared his throat and appeared to be reciting a prepared statement. “I haven't been here since last time. Everything looks the same, only different. Of course, things in the past are never the way they used to be. Before I speak, I have something to say: I've never been much of a public speaker, so I'll keep this short as long as I can.”

“Ok, sure,” I shrugged.

“I've got integrity Jon, and it's something a Vice President needs to have, and if I didn't have it, well then I'd really need to have it, too. I work hard to reach goals, and if I can't reach them, I'm not opposed to using a ladder. A tall one.”

“That’s great, Fluke,” I said. “Only there’s somethi—”

“Jon, I can bring you fused spores,” the Great Flukismo continued. “And non-smooched goobers. That's right, I'm the anti goobersmooching running mate. And I doubt very seriously that any other potential VP candidate could or would offer either of those to your campaign.

“Look here: My track record speaks for itself. I'm hard on crime and oppression, and easy on entrepreneurialism. I have strong senses of pride and humor., and am glad to say that I've never, ever, ever had a monkeyboy for a sidekick. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

“And I had a Post of the Month one time, and I won Big Brother Naboo, and I happen to look pretty good in a dress.”

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator and Fluke Starbucker, together again.

“Fluke, wait,” I tried to interrupt. “I just have to—”

"You see, Jon - I'm what the young kids call, uh, diagonally parked in a parallel universe,” Fluke was really on a roll now. “That is, I'm in tune with the needs wants, desires, and concerns of America. And not just the young kids either, but the ones who are of voting age. Their demographic is my home away from home-o-graphic.

“I'm bendable, convenient. I can pronounce it either po-tay-toe, or po-tah-toe, and no one gets hurt.

“I believe in weapon controls. On and off are of the utmost importance, but safety, tickle, stun, kill and disintegrate also have their place on the dial indicator of life. Without them, a multifunctional blaster would only be...uh... somewhat, er... less multifunctional.”

I raised my finger to attempt to get a word in edgewise, but Fluke was really, really getting into his presentation.

“One of the major plagues the American society faces today is on the forefront of my action items: Crappy leftover candy. I promise, that if chosen as Vice President of this great nation, I will, from that time forth, during each year of my service, on the day after Easter Sunday, personally eat the entire nation's leftover black jelly beans. Likewise, I would also anticipate being very busy each year immediately following Halloween with crusty candy corn and stale milk duds and so forth.

“Furthermore, I have metric buttloads, each consisting of smaller, handy metric buttpiles, of wisdom to share with and impart upon the American people to improve their quality of life, such as: never trust a naked bus driver, don't enter a spitting contest against a Llama, recycled fruit is not to be eaten, and never stand between a dog and his hydrant.

“Jon, you and I, together, we can make the future a better later day, right now," Fluke concluded and let out a deep breath.

“Fluke,” I fished for the right words to say and decided to be blunt. “You made a very passionate speech, have you ever taken your act on the road?”

“Uh, well… no, not exactly. What road?”

I thought very deeply about Fluke’s passionately impassioned speech. Could this be the answer? Could he be the One? Could he be the droids that I am looking for? Could he right the unrightable wrong? Dream the impossible dream? Fight the unbeatable foe? Could he be it?
Fluke Starbucker, Jan the Intern, and Jon the Intergalactic
Gladiator, together again for the very first time.