The night had enough precipitation in it for the pretty weather girls to go from calling it “drab” to “dreary.” I sat behind my desk and poured myself one more shot. The desk was mahogany and the shot was cheap bourbon. If only I were as strong as either.
The phone rang. I knew who it was even before I picked up the reciever. Charlie down at Joe’s coffee house and I go way back. Every Thursday I show up and he makes me dinner. At least one night a week I get a good meal.
My name is Private Hudson, I’m a complete dick. No wait, that’s private dick. I’ve been hammering out a living doing this for too long and eventually it’s going to catch up to me. Dying like a dog in the street over some cheatin’ dame ain’t no way to go. Now a blimp accident on the other hand – that’s a good way to die. Having the cab of a semi truck crash down on top of you, that’s another good way to die. Maybe not the way I’d want to, but it would make a pretty cool ending to a movie, I bet.
I was jarred out of my malaise by the phone ringing again. Like I said before, I knew who it was.
“Yellow,” I said into the phone after I picked it up.
“Hey Mac, what’ll it be tonight?” Yeah, it was Charlie all right.
“Pork chopsh and applesaucshe,” I answered. You have to say it the cool way so everyone knows you’re a 1920’s-style tough guy. “And don’t you skimp on the applesauce, either. You hear me pal?”
“Ha ha, I hear ya,” Charlie laughed back. “I’ll see you in ten.”
“Make it five,” I replied. “It’s deader around here than a mortician’s daughter’s bed on her wedding night.”
“You got it, Mac.”
“And don’t call me Mac,” I snapped back. “It’s too cheesy.”
I put the phone down and looked up to see a dame in the doorway. Normally, I’d say that dames were all trouble, but this one looked classy. As in classy trouble.
She sauntered up to me and leaned in close. Her hips bounced back and forth as she walked like some beautiful apple tied to a string and swung back and forth like some kind of appley pendulum.
“You got a cigarette, Sparky?” she purred.
“You know those things’ll kill ya,” I replied.
“I didn’t come here for the doctor’s report,” she snapped back huskily. “You got one or not?”
“Sure. Sure I got one.” I reached into my desk and pulled a pack out from the C-rations sitting there. Her ruby red lips quivered just a bit as she slid it into her mouth. I reached up with my lighter and she took a puff.
“I need a man,” she said in a near whisper.
“I’m all man,” I answered. “Don’t let that full page ad in Variety fool you.”
“The thing is,” she said as she puffed a cloud of smoke out of her mouth. “I need a real man.”
“If you want a real man, then I am your man.” I answered with just a bit of a smirk. Wow her legs looked good. They were wrapped in the sweetest pair of silk that I ever saw. And her can was really nice, too. Nice enough to make a man beg for buttermilk.
She leaned in close. I drew up out of my seat. Her full lips were pouty like a baby on Sunday. Her hair bounced off her shoulder in a cascade of raven.
Wait a minute, why do they call it raven? The Baltimore Ravens wear a lot of purple. Her hair ain’t purple. Not from what I can see anyways.
Anyway, her dark hair cascaded down to her shoulders and bounced just a bit as she moved in closer. She licked her crimson lips and drew a long, deep breath. Though I never commanded it to, I felt my body leaning even closer towards her. I felt all tingly inside like some confused kid seeing a pretty face for the first time. I better call Charlie back and tell him to hold off on my order of pork chopsh and applesaucshe.
“See, what I wanted to tell you was…” she trailed off and her face drew even closer to mine.
“Yeah?” I said. I could smell her perfume now. It smelled like lilacs. Or maybe petunias. Hell I don’t know, I’m not a botanist. It smelled pretty, and pretty expensive.
“That…” she said in barely a whisper.
“Go on,” I replied just as quietly.
“Stop doing this 1920’s-style detective shtick!” she yelled as she grabbed my cheeks with her hand.
“Ow ow ow ow! OK!” I gasped as the steel-like grip of her steel-like claws wrenched even harder into my cheeks.
“God, Hudson, you are such an idiot,” she growled through her perfectly clenched teeth. “I already did a noir style detective story three months ago for Next Top Hero.”
“Ow ow ow!” I said “OK! Stop squeezing my cheeks like this, it smarts.”
“You don’t know what smart is,” she said as she snapped my head back and let go. “You don’t know what pain is, either. You pull a stunt like this again and I’ll make you hurt so bad you’ll be crying in a bucket ‘til Tuesday.”
“Oh yeah, izzat so?” I asked. “Well maybe if you make it hurt real good, I’ll like it.”
“Shut up,” she rolled her eyes. With a spin that made her look like she was floating mere inches off the ground, she turned her back and her perfect ass to me and slid away towards the door. As the door slammed shut and I saw the sign on the front of it drop to the ground like a wooden body being dumped into the East River I could think of only one thing to say.
"Call Me Hudson" courtesy of Dr. Zaius.
Pulp meme by way of That's My Skull.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
“Sure is bouncy,” Hudson gulped. “I’m ‘bout to lose my lunch.”
“There’s a hole in the fuselage, gotta keep low,” I replied. “Don’t worry, the autopilot can handle the fly nap of the earth.”
“Sure I’m sure,” I replied. “It’s better than I am. I tell you though, this takes me back to my old Airborne days, bouncing around in a C-130, heading to the drop zone at only a few thousand feet. Funny thing is, some of those guys just slept right through all the bouncing. They didn’t care about the turbulence, they just dozed right until it was time to stand up, hook up, and shuffle to the door.”
I know what you’re talking about, man,” Hudson nodded. “Hicks used to sleep through all our combat drops in the UD4L’s. I could never do it. It always felt like the express elevator to Hell. Ha ha, goin’ down!”
“Same here,” I agreed. “I just couldn’t sleep with all that bouncin’… around…”
I suddenly saw Hudson tear away and float off into the sky behind me. Pieces of the fuselage peeled away as well. Soon, I was flying through the air all by myself with nothing around me. Normally, this would seem pretty disconcerting, but I didn’t feel uneasy at all.
“Don’t worry,” came a voice as someone swooped in from behind and grabbed me. “I’ve got you.”
“You’ve got me?” I asked. “Who’s got you?”
Funny.” He replied. “Allow me to introduce myself, I’m Grover Cleveland, former president of the United States.”
“Nice to meet you,” I replied. “I figured that this was another dream. Do we need to fight now so I can gain your powers?”
“Naw,” he chuckled. “I can just give it to you. You’re worthy.”
“Cool,” I answered. “So what do I get from you?”
“Oh I don’t know. Let’s see, I was the 22nd and 24th president; the only one to serve nonconsecutive terms, you know. You get my stick-to-itiveness.”
“Your stick-to-itiveness?” I asked. “What the heck is that?”
“You know, if at first you don’t succeed, try try again and all that. You know that to be a good president, you’re going to have to stick to your guns no matter what. If you start changing your horses every time you’re in midstream and people don’t like it where you are, they’ll all think you’re wishy-washy.”
“Oh don’t want that,” I agreed.
“Of course not.”
“OK, so I have your stick-to-itiveness, is this the final piece of the puzzle, are you the last president who will visit me?”
“I can tell you this, I am the last president,” he answered. “You are not yet finished with your journey, though. Any other questions?”
“Yes, why are we dressed like this?”
“I don’t know, dude,” he answered. “It’s your dream.”
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The Danger Sled was sitting in a field just a few counties shy of Professor Xavier’s mansion. Hudson and I were standing under the wing and looking at the hole in the fuselage.
“I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: any landing you can walk away from is a good one,” I muttered.
“I thought we were goners there for a minute,” Hudson added. “Game over – forever.”
“This plane can fly with just one engine,” I said. “The thing is, where did that storm come from and how could lighting cause my ship to go down like that? It shouldn’t.”
“I dunno, all I know is that you proved once again that a grunt belongs on the ground.” He bent down and hugged the ground. “I love you, man. Don’t ever leave me again.”
My awkward staring at Hudson was interrupted by my Emergency Repair Droid beeping frantically.
“What is it?” I asked. It floated around the hull and continued it’s beeping. “What th—Hey Hudson, take a look at this.”
“Yeah, what is it, man?”
“This burn hole right here.” I pointed to where the ERD was pointing. “How do you suppose a lighting strike would do something like that?”
“I dunno,” Hudson shrugged.
“This was too precise,” I added. “Somehow, someone brought up a storm to create a cover, then fired some sort of weapon at my ship. They almost got away with it, too.”
“So who could control the weather?” the private asked.
“Storm could,” I answered. “I can’t see why she would be involved in an attack like this, though. I’ve heard that a Scottish weapons dealer has a weather dominator, but that seems pretty far fetched to me.”
“Yeah, that seems kinda dumb,” Hudson snorted. “Scottish weapons dealer.”
The ERD beeped at me once again.
“He says that the burn is fairly consistent with the burn caused by a particle weapon,” I said. “Fortunately, the damage isn’t severe, so we’ll be back in the air in no time.”
“Screw that, man,” Hudson bawled. “I’m walking.”
“You know it’s 20 or so miles to the X-Mansion, right?”
Hudson looked at me quietly for a minute.
“Fine, I’ll go in the ship.”
Friday, November 16, 2007
With my debate with Lancelot Link over, I quickly hopped back into the Danger Sled and was roaring across the skies with my faithful sidekick Hudson in the copilot’s seat.
“I am not your sidekick,” Hudson fumed. He grumpily crossed his arms for emphasis. “If anything, you should be my sidekick.”
“Uh huh,” I answered. “You know, you are riding in my spaceplane, right?”
“Kato drives the Green Hornet around,” the private replied.
“You’ve got a point there,” I conceded. “So why are we flying to Pittsburgh to take care of my problems?”
“See, that’s what gets me,” Hudson threw his arms up. “If you’re the sidekick, how come we’re always solving your problems together? We never go to solve my problems.”
“Well, what kind of problems do you have?”
“I dunno,” Hudson shrugged. “My platoon sergeant called me a wuss once.”
“There’s not much I can do for you there.”
“Yeah, well I just want my chance to shine without everyone calling me your sidekick is all,” Hudson snapped.
“Who knows,” I grinned. “Maybe when all this is done, you’ll get the chance.”
“Good news, everybody!” Professor Xavier’s jovial image suddenly flashed up on comm screen. “After your charming and charismatic appearance and Lancelot’s poor showing in the debate, you shot way ahead of him in the polls. News from his camp says that he’s preparing to drop out of the race, altogether.”
“He’s preparing to drop out of the race,” Hudson and I repeated.
“This is good,” I said. “That gets at least one monkey out of the race. Funny, he quickly announced his candidacy, debated me poorly, and is now dropping out. It’s almost as if he showed up for just that very purpose.”
“Yes, that is funny, isn’t it?” Xavier answered. “We can talk about that later, though. I take it you and Hudson are on your way to pick me up so we can capture Mystique?”
“You got it,” I nodded. “And I think that I’ve got the perfect disguise for the job, too.”
“Oh, and what is it?”
“A pair of glasses,” I answered confidently.
“For a disguise?”
“Jon, I don’t think that’s going to work,” Professor Xavier shook his head. “I’m thinking of something that would alter your appearance more than just that.”
“Are you kidding,” I said. “It’s perfect. When you look at Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator, do you think of a guy with poor eyesight? Of course not, so that’s the beauty of it!”
“I’m still not convinced that it’ll work,” Xavier said.
“It works for Clark Kent,” I said.
“You know, Clark Kent. Mild mannered reporter from a major metropolitan newspaper?”
“Uh guys,” Hudson interrupted. “I hate to interrupt, but there’s something showing up on the scopes.”
“Something on the scopes?” I asked. “What is it?”
“It’s your device right here, but that’s not important right now,” Hudson answered. “What’s important is that there’s a giant storm right in front of us.”
“Holy cow!” I exclaimed as I saw the immense tempest boil up in front of my very eyes. “Where’d that come from?”
The Danger Sled plunged right into the storm and we were soon being pelted by rain as lighting crashed all around us.
“I can’t believe this thing!” I growled as I tightened my grip on the controls.
“Jon, are you still there?” Xavier’s image crackled with static. “I think I’m losing th- connect-”
“I’m still here,” I called back. “The ships rockin’ like Dick Clark’s Rocking New Years Eve, though.”
A particularly bright flash of lighting monetarily blinded me while the loud crash of the thunder punished my eardrums.
“Jon! Jon!” Hudson yelled. “Lighting just hit the wing!”
I cursed under my breath. “I gotta keep this thing together.”
“Jo-! Are y- --!” Xavier’s image continued to be drowned out by static.
“Your engine’s on fire!” Hudson shouted. “Game over, man! Game over!”
“I got it,” I growled. “Come on.”
“We’re going down!”
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Kevin Nealon: Welcome to the presidential debate between Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator and Lancelot Link, I’m your host Kevin Nealon and the two candidates just finished their opening statements and are prepared to take questions. As per the format of this debate, one candidate will be answer the question presented, the other candidate will be given the chance to rebut, then the first candidate will be given the option to answer the rebuttal. Our first question comes from Ted Koppel.
Ted Koppel: Good evening, I’m Ted Koppel and this is my question: Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator, it seems that you think that you are on some sort of dream quest. So how’s that going?
Jon: Pretty well, thanks. I think I’m almost finished with it. It’s pretty unusual, I tell you.
Ted Koppel: How do you know that this dream quest is for real? How can the American people be assured that this is for real and not some sort of issue with your mental health?
Jon: I’d like to say that there are many mysteries in the universe and the power of the human mind is something that scientists have only begun to understand. Is this dream quest legit? I can’t say for certain. I can, however, guarantee the good people of the United States that I’m not going to wake up one morning and arbitrarily decide to attack another country or raise taxes. I truly believe that my dreams are leading me to a deeper understanding of what this country needs in a leader and that is something I would always strive to be.
Lancelot Link: I cannot believe that the people if this country would consider electing my distinguished opponent here. What kind of a man has dream quests and talks about fighting space vampires? A crazy man, that’s who.
Jon: Any crazier than a talking monkey running for president?
Lancelot Link: What about Dr. Zaius? He’s running for president.
Jon: Mr. Link, I know Dr. Zaius, I’ve worked with Dr. Zaius and you are no Dr. Zaius.
(Mild laughter from the audience)
Kevin Nealon: Gentlemen, er, gentleman and gentlemonkey, let’s keep to the rules of the debate, shall we? Our next question is from Dan Rather.
Dan Rather: Lancelot Link, now that the donkey’s having a hoedown and the horse has left the barn what do you think we should do about our presence in Iraq?
Lancelot Link: Dan, I’m glad you asked me that. I feel very strongly that our presence in Iraq is unjustified and unwanted. We should not be there; in fact, we should not be in the Middle East at all. South America is where the bananas are, and South America is where our troops need to be.
Jon: While I may agree that we need to get the troops out of Iraq, I don’t think immediate withdraw is the solution to our issue there. If elected, my plan is to draft the Dittoheads and fans of Bill O’Reilly and deploy them overseas in place of the current troops. Surely there are enough available who are in agreement with the current policy who would gladly defend our country over there.
Lancelot Link: The plan that my distinguished opponent is detailing will never work. The troops in Iraq will never be able to defend the precious, precious banana crops.
Dan Rather: When the dog’s in the poke and the pig’s in the blanket, the cow ain’t paintin’ the barn and the horse just bucked the chicken, I know when a man doesn’t have a follow up question.
Tucker Carlson: Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator, Emmagate, as some in the media have begun to call it, is still looming large over your campaign. Do you think your campaign can survive this scandal? Don’t you think it would be easier to just admit what you did if you did indeed do it?
Jon: I have maintained my innocence in this and will continue to do so. In fact, we are gathering evidence that it was not Emma Frost in that picture.
Tucker Carlson: So you admit that you slept with someone who only looked like Emma Frost?
Jon: Hey look at me; do I look like the kind of guy who would settle for a cheap bimbo in a mask? If I’m going to sleep around (which I didn’t), I’m going to go for the real deal. I think some of you lovely ladies in the audience understand.
(Sounds of approval from the audience)
Lancelot Link: I don’t understand your concept of marriage and fidelity. Like my cousins the bonobos, I like to have sex all the time, all over the place, indiscriminately, with whomever I want. I’ve even traded bananas for sex, which is a common practice amongst my species.
Jon: And you’re worried about my behavior? Wow. There are some images there that I would rather not have in my mind.
Lancelot Link: Ooooh oooohh! Ahhh! Ahhhhh! Er, I mean, of course, my opponent here has a right to his own beliefs, but I’d hate to see that translate into impeding the rights of Simian Americans everywhere.
Flint Blasterly: I’m Flint Blasterly, Faux News Network. Another of your opponents is on record saying that we clone troopers are a bunch of stupid kids who live with our parents and have never seen a woman naked. How do you think it would be best to explain to him that clones troopers don’t have parents because we were all created in a giant vat of goo and that we’re not allowed to see naked woman because it would lower morale? You know, if one clone sees a naked woman, all clones are going to want to see one.
Jon: I don’t know, that sounds like a tough question. It almost sounds like my opponent has a prejudice against a certain element of our population. I would like the people of this great nation to know that I do not bear and prejudices against any segment of our population, be it race, religion, or Star Wars nerdery.
(Applause from crowd)
Lancelot Link: Sounds like that clone is a dope. I say you throw a banana at him.
Jon: Do all your answers involve bananas? Can’t you think of anything else to say?
Lancelot Link: I’ve got plenty of things to say. I went to Yale, you know.
Jon: Sounds like they’ll let just about anybody into Yale these days.
(Roar of laughter from crowd)
Kevin Nealon: I’d like to reiterate to the two candidates to please keep this debate cordial and within the limits of the rules agreed upon.
Jon: Hey, Kevin, I really did love you in Saturday Night Live. I especially loved your Subliminal Man skits.
Kevin Nealon: You did? Hey that’s pretty swell of you.
Jon: Yeah, and my wife and I vote for Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator just rented the first season of Weeds. You’re great in that too vote for Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator.
Kevin Nealon: Hey, thanks. It’s a labor of love you know? You’re a real gentleman and a great candidate.
(A banana sails across the stage and hits Kevin in the chest)
Kevin Nealon: Hey!
Lancelot Link: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Jon: Ladies and gentlemen, who would you rather vote for, me or a rageaholic slightly anthropomorphic monkey? vote for Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator.
(A banana sails through the air and hits Jon)
Lancelot Link: I got one for you, too, you spastic space jerk!
Kevin Nealon: Please, please, let’s keep our composure, everyone. Why don’t we wind things up with a few final words? Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator, you handsome devil, why don’t you go first?
Jon: Thank you, Kevin vote for Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator. Friends, Americans, countrymen, lend me your ears. In the past, great , progressive men have run this country vote for Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator. People who not only embraced change, but fostered it themselves in their words and deeds. That is something that people have forgotten about lately, but that is not something that I have forgotten. As proven time and again in my campaign ads, I am a man of action vote for Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator. As your president, I will be there. Wherever there’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a big business beating up on a guy, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way guys cheer when they’re happy – I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they discover the Internet for the first time. And when people are living a life that they are proud of on the wages that they’ve earned, I’ll be there too vote for Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator. A vote for Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator is a vote for freedom vote for Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator. A vote for Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator is a vote for progress flash your breasts, Meredith Vieira. Thank you.
Lancelot Link: If the people of America for one moment think that this man is the proper candidate to lead this country, then you don’t know your butts from your faces. This irresponsible and arrogant pus-brain has clearly spent his time ripping off those who are more talented than him. If you want a policy of ruin, vote for him, but if you want a policy that guarantees a banana in every pot and a tire swing in every back yard, vote for me. Eat the banana, it is good for this country! Vote for Lancelot Link, it’s good for this country! Do you want change? Do you want progress? Do you want freedom? Well then bow down to Lancelot Link! I will protect you just like I protect my precious, precious banana stash. You can be my banana stash. America can be my banana stash! And the home… of the… brave!
Kevin Nealon: Good night everybody. Hey watch it!
Lancelot Link: Next time I throw something at you Franz, it won’t be a banana, catch my drift?