Outdated Superheroine Types!

I recently attended an online event hosted by Heroic Girls about Marvel’s graphic novel, Mockingbird: I Can Explain. I enjoyed the discussion, and I am buying that book. One of the hosts mentioned that Mockingbird used to be the member of the team who gets knocked out. That inspired me to write some old superheroine types that would not go over well nowadays (thank goodness that writing has a tad more feminism nowadays).

Knockout Girl! The girl on the super team who gets knocked out, and then lies on the ground in such a helpless yet sexy pose that the villain takes her back to his lair, allowing the heroes to track him down. She needs no homing device because the superhero reaction will be, “NOOOO!!! That vile villain has taken beautiful, sweet, wonderful Knockout Girl! What will that fiend do to that helpless heroine? We cannot allow that! LET”S GET HIM!!! GRAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!” Then they tear through the city, though brick walls and bank vaults and plenty of red lights and hordes of henchmen to save that damsel in distress. Except she is not distressed because she is unconscious, and only awakens after the villain is beaten to a pulp and the heroes pet her hand and tearfully cry, “Knockout Girl, speak to me!” She wakes up and says, “Uh, what happened?” She sees the villain’s lair and the city ripped apart, and says, “Again? I gotta start wearing a helmet.”

Distraction Girl! Many years ago, when I watched Mission Impossible, I asked my older brother what the woman on the team did. The men all had specific roles: the leader, the muscle, the electronics guy, the disguise expert, etc. My brother said, “She’s a distraction.” Distraction Girl would have the power to distract, helped by her costume that shows plenty of B&B cleavage (B&B = bosom and butt). An added power that breaks the laws of physics is that she can fight in that costume without ever getting a wedgie.

B&B Girl! Has the spine-twisting power to display her bosom and her butt to the reader simultaneously. She dislikes covering her belly in any way.

Traumatic-Sexual-Past Girl! Assaulted when she turned teen! Or watched her entire village slaughtered and raped, or raped and then slaughtered, or her best friend murdered, or some other horrible event that always involves man on girl violence. She trains for years to become a strong and mighty and feared heroine so she can beat up bad guys and never be afraid ever again and not get wedgies in her Distraction Girl outfit.

Looking-For-A-Man Girl! A subset of Traumatic-Sexual-Past Girl. She usually carries a sword, and wanders the land to dispense justice and find a man who can beat her in fair combat so she can go to bed with him.

Copy-Of-Popular-Superhero Girl! A relative or friend of a popular male superhero who gets a copy of his powers or costume or both. This often involves her not knowing she is a superheroine for a long time because when she transforms, her memories do not carry over. (This gets a lot better when the character does stuff the original never did, like get a law degree. She-Hulk is a good lawyer.)

Block-The-Camera Girl! She stands in the comic book panel so her butt blocks the reader’s view, but the typical male reader does not mind.

Tied-Up Girl! Subset of Knockout Girl. Gets tied up at the villain’s lair just in case she wakes up. Can involve her powers going away temporarily if a man does the tying up.

Half-His-Age Girl! This is a creepy one. The superheroine who is a young teen and get a big fat crush on a male superhero on the same team who is twice her age. Often a subset of Copy-Of-Popular-Superhero Girl.

Secretary Girl! I still can’t believe they once did this to Wonder Woman, the most powerful and well-trained warrior superheroine ever. When the superhero team members get the call to action, Secretary Girl says, “I’ll just stay here and type up our meeting notes, but you boys have fun fighting the villains!” She waves and blows a kiss. “Bye bye!”

Mary Sue Girl! Look this type up yourself. Heroes should have flaws. Case in point: Steve Ditko thought his so-called hero Mr. A was a perfect paragon of morality. Read one issue and you will know what the “A” really stands for.

Anyone have other ideas? I thought about Princess Girl, but that is more of a Disney thing. Don’t get me started on that (I know what I am gonna do with it anyhow).

Fanfic: Spongebob’s Soulmate!

Is Spongebob gay? This pulse-pounding controversy has roiled for years! His creator Steven Hillenburg said in 2005 that Spongebob was more asexual. But a recent tweet from Nickelodeon shows these three heroes together in solidarity!

Spongebob would be in good company with that strong bisexual Korra and transgender actor Michael D. Cohen (Cohen’s delightfully goofy scientist accent gives Doctor Doofenshmirtz a run for his money). But is Spongebob really gay? Super Holly finds out in my fanfic!

SUPER HOLLY HANSSON IN: SPONGEBOB’S SOULMATE! (A fanfic.)

POP! Another dive through a dimensional portal! Maybe this time… OOF, I landed flat on my back, my red super heroine cape over my face. I flung it aside. The whirling rainbow disk of light above me vanished. And up in the sky! Were they birds? Clouds? Looked more like flowers! Not a normal landscape!

I sat up. And heard a gurgling sound, like bubbling underwater. A building-sized red barrel on its side loomed before me. It had round windows, and a door that swing open, and… TWO ANTHROPOMORPHIC FISH WALKED OUT ON THEIR HIND FINS?!?! I stood up fast! That bubbling sound again! I flapped my arms! More bubbling! I WAS UNDERWATER!!! HOW THE FRAK WAS I NOT DROWNING?!?! I screamed, “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!”

A doofus voice near me: “Pretty.”

That came from a pink starfish about my height standing near me. He wore only Hawaiian shorts. Above his huge smile was no nose, but two big, wide, dreamy eyes drinking in the sight of me. He said, “Uhhhhhh…”

Lots of little boys had that reaction to me. It was kinda cute. I did look the stereotype of the tall, strong, beautiful superheroine. Maybe because I was one. Used to write comic books, now I live them. Pink hearts orbited the pink guy’s pointy head.

I smiled kindly at my latest and bigger fanboy. “My name’s Super Holly Hansson. Where am I? And what’s your name?”

His open-mouth smile grew bigger. Was that a drop of drool? “Uhhhhhhhh…”

The door flew open again, revealing a fat red crab in pants and suspenders and shirt (with sweat in the armpits, EW!). He sounded like someone stuck in Talk Like A Pirate Day. “Avast, Patrick! Stop blocking the door from the lovely lady or I’ll keelhaul yuh!” He scuttled up to me, his tiny legs moving incredibly fast. With a big car-salesman smile, he announced, “Welcome to the Krusty Krab, the finest eatin’ establishment in all of Bikini Bottom! Mind steppin’ in and spending some money?” He put his claws on his bulging belly, and, “ARR ARR ARR ARR ARR!!!”

That wasn’t an evil laugh, just greedy. I had to ask if he’d seen my long-lost mommy, that was why I was dimension-hopping. “Sir, has any woman who looks a little like me ever shown up in your town before?”

He took my hand in his sweaty claw. “I’m afraid not, not in my fifty years on this shore!” He led me past several tables where more fish people munched hamburgers. He stopped before a stand with a cash register. “Squidward! Help the young lady!”

A surly squid at the register slumped and sighed like a bored, unappreciated artist. “May I take your order?”

Order? I had not even seen the menu! Now it was my turn to say, “Uhhhhhhh…”

A high, joyous sing-song: “Try a Krabby Patty!”

In a window in the wall behind Squidward was a life-size yellow bath sponge! With big blue perfect-circle eyes, and a bright smile that could only come from someone who had found his purpose in life, his fantasy fulfilled, his dream come true. He piped at me, “It’s the most delicious food in all the world! It’ll make you grow big and strong!”

Patrick floated beside me, still ogling me like a loving doggie. “Will they make her more beauuuuuuuuuuuutiful?”

Squidward snorted. “Oh, please, Spongebob, the only thing those grease bombs grow is cholesterol in your arteries!”

Spongebob’s skinny yellow arms stretched out the window and shoved a tray with a hamburger, fries, and a drink into my hands. “Try one!”

“Well, okay, I haven’t had brunch yet.” I sniffed the burger. Didn’t smell fishy. My lips smacked of their own accord. My tummy rumbled, that was interesting! I took a bite…

WOW!!! WOW WOW WOW WOW!!! I flew to the ceiling, spinning, tumbling, loop-dee-looping! My taste buds literally sang, I heard them in my mouth! “Wee! We love Krabby Patties, Krabby Patties, Krabby Patties, we love Krabby Patties, they taste so GOOD!!!”

I mumbled, “Shut up! That’s too weird!” They shut up. I guessed cartoon physics worked here. I gently floated to the floor and slowed my hyperventilating breaths to normal. I shoved the patty down my gullet in two superpowered bites! Not caring who heard me, I sang out, “MORRRRRRRE!!!”

His eyes half-lidded in irritation, Squidward said, “How many, Miss?”

I patted my tummy. “An even dozen?”

As I expected, my tummy rumbled, “Good start.”

Spongebob zipped through a door next to that kitchen window and up to me. He held a tray of Krabby Patties, service with a big bright smile and big sparkling eyes. “Here you go! You want fries with that… Hey, Patrick! It’s not polite to stare at the customers!”

Patrick held my tray with my drink and fries. He blinked several times, leaned toward Spongebob, and did a really loud whisper that carried through the entire room. “Sorry. But she’s so pretty!”

Squidward sneered, “Oh, yes, she’s the picture of poise.”

I was stuffing my face and I did not care who saw and besides my boyfriend Cal was not here to correct my table manners! “GLOOMPH GLUMPH MMMMNCH MMMMMNCH MMMMNCH!!! GOBBLE GLURBLE UMMFLE OINK!!! GRIND, MASTICATE, CHEW CHEW GULP!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!” I grinned down at Spongebob. “Yummy.”

Partick’s hearts orbited his head faster, his eyes drenching me like lovesick waves. “A super appetite. I love you.”

I picked up that little square yellow greasy spoon cook and kissed his giggling mouth: “MMM-WAH!!! And I love those patties, they’re ultra super-duper amazing! What’s in these things?”

Patrick said, “Uh oh.”

Spongebob lost his smile. He aimed a spatula at me like Zorro defending the poor. “No one but me and Mister Krabs must know the secret formula!”

A deep, joyous, villainous, mad scientist voice thundered throughout the Krusty Krab! “AND ME!!! PLANKTON!!! Thanks to this curvaceous cutie distracting everyone, my computer wife has opened the safe and stolen the Krabby Patty formula! Soon, I SHALL RULE ALL OF BIKINI BOTTOM!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!!!”

I put up my dukes! I cast my heroic gaze left and right, to the doors and windows, at Patrick, Mr. Krabs, Squidward, at every table and dozens of fish people! “Where are you, vile villain? Where, WHERE?!?!” Huh? I shook my head fast. Why was I acting like this? I burped. Oh. Those patties had quite a kick.

The villain voice again, annoyed this time. “Down here, lady.”

I looked down. A little green one-eyed jellybean with antenna and teeny-tiny limbs glared up at me. His voice dripped with melodramatic menace. “You have served your purpose, FOOL! Now stand aside or be swept aside!”

He stood inches from my right toe. I raised my foot in a gonna-squash-a-grape gesture, looked down my eagle-beaky nose at him, and let loose a catchphrase! “So, there’s evil afoot!”

Squidward groaned. “I wish you hadn’t said that.”

At a nearby table, an old man with white hair, a basketball-round body dressed like the old time Aquaman, a starfish on his nose, and a bra over his chest sat up straight. His eyes went wide. He hyperventilated. He said as though fishing for an idea, “Evil? Evil? EVIL!” He stood up and ran-ran-ran-ran-ran all over the restaurant! “EEEEEEEEEEVIL!!! EVIL-EVIL-EVIL-EVIL-EVIL-EEEEEEEEVIL!!!”

I looked down at Plankton. “Local superhero?”

Plankton sneered up at me. “Mermaid Man. He’s what Bikini Bottom rates in the super department— OWITCH!”

Mermaid Man had run past me and stomped on Plankton. “EVIL-EVIL-EVIL-EVIL-EVIL-EVIL!!!”

A skinny old man in a sailor suit chased Mermaid Man. “Don’t run! You’ll lose your slippers again!”

Plankton, now a squished splotch with an eye and a mouth, yelled, “Stop, you cretin— OWITCH!” Mermaid Man had run past again. Plankton was a wider, flatter splotch. “Stop stomping me— OOOTCH! You must not interfere with my triumph— OWITCH! Karen, my computer wife! HELLLLP!!!”

A CRT computer monitor on a tall metal rod with wheels stood by an open safe door in the wall. Its voice was feminine and sarcastic with a dash of Minnesota deadpan, a line on its CRT face waveforming to match its every syllable. “Okay, hold your horses.”

A panel opened on the side of Karen’s CRT head. A nozzle poked out and squirted a white liquid into Mermaid Man’s mouth: BLURP!!!

Mermaid Man stopped in his tracks. He smiled, closed his eyes, floated in a beddy-bye position, and softly snored. “SNORRRRK, evil evil, evil. SNORRRRK, evil evil, evil.”

The skinny old man glared at Karen, his liver spots steaming with rage. “What did you do to him?”

“This.” Karen shot another white glob into his mouth. “Warm milk. Nighty night, Barnacle Boy.”

The skinny old man floated and snored also. “SNERRRRK, HEE-BEE-BEE-BEE! SNERRRRK, HEE-BEE-BEE-BEE!”

I had faced goofy heroes and villains before, and that experience helped me keep a proper heroic face. “Okay, Karen, you know your kryptonite. But you’ll find me a little tougher. Want to see me juggle some army tanks?” I smacked my unstoppable fist into my immovable palm: THOOM!!! “Or find your RESET button?”

“Not particularly.” BLURP!!!

UGH! The up-arrow logo on the chest of my blue supersuit was covered with a fishy, smelly, glowing, sickly green goo! I tried to reach to wipe it off, but my arms were heavier than lead walruses. I fell to my knees, then onto my side, then with the last of my strength, I rolled onto my back. I gasped, “You found… my kryptonite.”

Karen wheeled to my side. She put one robot hand where hips would be if she had hips. Her other hand held a bottle with a slip of paper inside. “Sheldon’s analyze-the-superhero-and-synthesize-the-weakness app worked perfectly. That green lutefisk will keep you weak and helpless so I can steal the Krabby Patty formula.”

I gasped, “Sheldon?”

Plankton had reformed to jellybean normal. Cartoon physics again. He growled, “That’s my first name.”

Several fish-patrons giggled. “Sheldon? HA HA HA HA HA HA!”

Plankton rolled his eyes, or rather, his eye. “Yes, I know it’s a funny name.” He reached to his side, where a pocket magically appeared, and pulled out a raygun ten times his size. “Now everyone step aside while Karen and I make our getaway!”

Mr. Krabs dashed in front of the front entrance and defensively spread his arms. “NOOO!!! You shall not escape—” BLURP!!!

Mr. Krabs was frozen in wide-eyed, arms-spread panic, covered in gloppy gluey goo. Plankton’s gun barrel was steaming, and I had to admit he had a great evil laugh, throaty and gleeful and relishing its job. “HAAAAA, HA HA HA HA, HAAAAA!!! How do you like my tartar-sauce one-hour immobilization gun, Krabs?”

Spongebob zipped before the front door, holding his spatula like a fencing master. “You won’t get away with the secret formula, Plankton! NEVER!”

Plankton sighed. “Oh, please.” And he fired! BLURP!!!

Spongebob parried the goo with a flip of his spatula: SPLAT! “Hah! Your evil is no match for my patty flipping skills! Have at thee!”

Plankton fired: BLURP BLURP BLURP BLURP BLURP!!! And Spongebob parried: SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT!!!

And Patrick knelt at my side, held my hand, and petted my hair. His face was full of love and worry. “Are you all right?”

I smiled up at my doofus fanboy. “No. This green stuff makes me weak as a kitten.”

Patrick goofily grinned down at me. “I can fix that!” His mouth formed into a big funnel which he aimed at my chest. He inhaled and inhaled and inhaled like he had no need ever to ever exhale again: “HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”

The lutefisk on my chest flew into his mouth in big green glowing gooey fishy blobs: SHHTUP! SHHHHTOOP! BLOOP BLOOP, BLOP BLOP BLOP, BLOP-BLOP-BLOP-BLOP-BLOP-BLOP-BLOP!!!

Oh, so much better, no green goo, I felt my strength flowing back! I sat up. Or rather, I was pulled up, Patrick kept on with his sucking! My up-arrow super logo stretched toward his mouth! And beneath it, my superheroine chest was pulled toward him like two liquid metal basketballs toward an irresistible electromagnet! I tried to scoot away, but that suction was so STRONG, I was being dragged toward him! I screamed, “Patrick! Stop sucking! THIS IS A CHILDREN’S SHOW! STOP!!!”

Patrick stopped inhaling, swallowed the lutefisk (EWWWW!), and smacked his lips. “BURRRP! Oh. Sorry.”

I shot to my feet! “Plankton! Spongebob! I gotta save the day!”

“YEE HAW! Ah reckon the day is plum saved already!” That tuff Texan female voice came from a squirrel in a diving suit. She had Karen hogtied with rope, Plankton tied with what looked like dental floss. She grinned at me. “Well, howdy! I declare, yer long blond hair is sunnier than a field fulla Texan corn!”

Plankton was yelling, he was not the go-quietly type. “Release me, you ridiculous rodent! I must have that formula!” He flopped like a jumping bean on its last legs. “GRAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!”

Karen shook her big cubical head. “Oh, hush up, sweetheart, and let’s request the same cell this time.”

I strode over to the squirrel and shook her hand. “So, I think Bikini Bottom has a native superheroine! My name’s Holly Hansson.”

She took my hand, wow, what a grip! “Sandy Cheeks! Pleased to meet cha! Mind holdin’ still for a sec?” She pulled a test-tubed, antenna-ridden gizmo out of her pocket that would be at home in a 1950s science fiction movie. She pointed it at me. It beeped and flashed and spat out a slip of paper. Sandy read it. “Lan’ sakes! You done popped over from another dimension! Don’t explain why you shortened up to my size and learned to breath water, unless…” She glared at Plankton. “Okay, Sheldon, spill it.”

Fish police were taking Plankton and Karen away. Plankton’s lips pursed like he’d bitten a lemon, and he spilt in one long snarling angry breath. “I was experimenting with dimensional portals, and I locked onto one and adjusted it so anything coming through would adapt to Bikini Bottom, and this woman popped out, and I knew she’d distract everyone in the Krusty Krab while Karen and I stole the Krabby Patty formula, and she’ll revert to normal when she goes home, OKAY?!?!” He glared at Karen. “Why didn’t you stop that squirrel?”

Karen wheeled into a paddy wagon that had backed up to the front door. “I was out of nuts, okay?”

“Wow,” I said to Sandy, “those two know their villainous exposition. How’d you know where I’m from?”

“Shucks, me and Plankton are the science geniuses in this town.” Sandy clapped me on the back, I actually felt that!

Patrick was at my side, hearts orbiting his head a bit faster. “Pretty.”

I kissed Patrick’s cheek. He tasted like fat cotton candy. “Thanks for helping me, big pink fanboy. But I think you better visit the bathroom before that green lutefisk hits your lower intestine.”

I heard a splashy PLOP. Patrick’s big goofy smile faded. The pink hearts around his head popped. He yelled, “EXCUSE ME,” and ran to the bathroom.

Sandy chuckled. “Ah think Patrick’s taken a fancy to you, Holly!”

I chuckled too. “A lot of my little fanboys do that. And a few bigger ones.”

Spongebob had sidled up to me. “Hope you liked your Krabby Patties! Do you need anything else?”

I knelt down to his big blue eye level. “Yeah. I need you to open a Krusty Krab in my dimension. Those were the best burgers I ever savored!” I kissed his forehead: “MMM-WAH! Thank you!”

I’d half expected a few yellow hearts to orbit his square head, or body, it all kinda merged into one yellow rectangle. But nothing, except that Spongebob pulled a hanky out of his pocket and wiped off my strawberry-scented lip prints. “You’re welcome! I’ll talk to Mr. Krabs about that branch.” He skipped back to the kitchen with a “La la la, la la! La la la, la la!”

Hmm. I turned to Sandy. “Patrick went gaga over me. But not Spongebob. Has he ever had, um, a girlfriend?”

Sandy thought a moment. “Hmm. Ah’m a girl, and ah’m his friend.” Then her eyes lit up, she threw back her head and held her belly. “HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW, that is a real knee slapper! Wuz yer next question gonna be, does he have a boyfriend? Patrick’s a boy and he’s Spongebob’s best friend!”

I stared at the bathroom door. “You mean, him and him?”

Sandy laughed harder, slapping her knees. “YEEEEE HAW HAW HAW HAW HAWWWW!!! You are a silly one, Super Holly! Spongebob has lotsa friends. But Spongebob just likes them. Not LIKE likes them!”

“Really. Well well.” I looked to the kitchen. I sniffed, oh, Krabby Patties, so yummy, so enticing! My tummy rumbled! “I’m gonna order some patties to go, my return portal will appear any minute!” But my heart sank. “Poor little yellow guy. No soulmate.” I swallowed a lump in my throat. “It’s not good to be lonely.”

Sandy tugged my arm. “We better git in line before the lunch rush. And don’t yew fret none for Spongebob. He has a soulmate. His job!”

The kitchen door opened. Spongebob danced out like a ballerina, holding a tray stacked high with Krabby Patties. He sang, “I love Krabby Patties, cooking them for you! Here’s your Krabby Patties, for you and you and you!” With each “you” he tossed the Krabby Patties onto customer tables with pinpoint accuracy. Then he tippy-toed back to the kitchen. “Krabby Patties, Krabby Patties, I love YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!”

Squidward sighed heavily. “Is it quitting time yet?”

SUPER OBAMA DAY!!!

I am thinking about having a character based on Obama be in a story, maybe a president who proposes and passes some type of comic book / superpower act that get some of the Comic Book Code plot going. But I’d want to make him more nerdy. Not too Urkel. Super-well spoken? Big ears? C’mon. Barak, admit it, you’re a comic book geek! Gooble Gobble, Gooble Gobble, one of us, one of us!

Art by Alex Ross.

Where do you get your ideas?

A question that even a puny self-published writer like me get asked is, “Where do you get your ideas?” I look at our big wunnerful world, and I ask, “What would (insert one of my characters) do?”

Racist cop points his gun at a young black kid and goes BANG? “What would Super Holly do?” Knock the stuffing out of them, go to court, and be the worst client the defense lawyer ever had. Hmm, I also want to introduce my character Flim Flam Shrub, a combination of J.R.Ewing and Davros from Doctor Who? He can be the judge! He’d get a kick out of Holly: “HEE HEE HEE, yew are a fiesty filly!” (Note: Tell your kids that I will not kill off poor little Wrigley, the doggiest of the Puppy Brothers. I like happy endings.)

Brett Kavanaugh’s answer to charges of drunken attempted rape (not boofing, Brett doesn’t know what that means, honest!) is the EEEEEEVIL Clintons and liberals wanna get him (but soon it’s gonna be payback time!), and “Do you like beer, Senator?” I ask, “What would Bart Boofalug do?” Use his power over beer to try to blow up a baseball game, that’ll show those kneeling liberals!

Colin Kaepernick takes a knee at football games. To follow up on Bart Boofalug, that beer is gonna explode! I ask, “What would Super Holly do?” Holly can drink it and contain the blast and save thousands of innocents… but she hates beer! She needs help! So my Colin-guy starts the chant, “Chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug!”

A virus spreads over America and Prez-uh-DUNCE Trump shuts down the pandemic wing, defunds WHO, says why not gargle bleach, and pushes a drug he has a $take in as a cure-all? I ask, “What would Billington Stumpfinger do?” Um, pretty much that.

P.S. I was also inspired by the old George Reeves Superman TV show where he drank an explosive liquid. Sometimes goofy TV makes more sense than reality.

P.P.S. I gotta finish those stories. So much reality, so much to write. Sigh. Holly really wants to do more of this.

A complete short story!

On Facebook’s Concellation 2020, there was a thread from a Michele McCullough who said, “So… I’m a fat girl and thought it would be funny to cosplay Katniss Everdeen as Fatniss Everdeen.” And in the discussion, I mentioned my plus-size superheroine: Teri Silver, The Smiling Samurai. And Michele said she’d like to read it. So I posted it under my upcoming stories. Or you can click the link below. Read and (hopefully) enjoy.

https://davemstrom.wordpress.com/the-snoring-sword/

How not to write a superhero

You’ve read the great old English epic poem about Beowulf, right? Beowulf was a Viking-type warrior, and one of the first writings about a superhero. Strong enough to rip the monster Grendel’s arm outta its socket! Tough enough to hold his breath underwater for a day! And heroic enough to protect… um… not so much.

The story goes with Grendel the monster barging into the village and killing and eating villagers at night. Beowulf and his army stake out the main hall, or tavern, or whatever you called the place where tough hairy sweaty sword-warriors hang out, and they all sleep, waiting for Grendel to barge in the front door. And Grendel does barge in that door. And what does Beowulf do? Does he yell, “Awaken, my mighty band of barbarians, dream of stabbing enemies and smooching wenches later, we have a real monster to slay!” No. He waits until Grendel grabs the guy sleeping closest to the door, watches Grendel slurpily gobble him up, and THEN he battles Grendel. Because Beowulf boasted that he would beat Grendel single-handed. Because that will get him more fame and glory. (A bit of advice: Heroes shouldn’t boast. Leave that for the macho men with low self-esteem.)

When I read that in high school, I knew that I would not want to work for that guy. Beowulf: “Okay, you sleep right next to that door where the monster is gonna bust in when we are all asleep.” Me: “Oh, right, and when Grendel breaks in you’ll give the battle cry and you and I and our army will all gang up on him?” Beowulf, “Uh, riiiiight, you just cuddle up there and snooze, and it was a pleasure working with you.”

But Beowulf could be worse. He could be Mr. A.

In honor of Star Wars day, Holly and Darth!

Here is Super Holly getting very annoyed with Darth Vader bonking her on the head with his lightsaber. (Art by Chunlin Zhao.) Holly is immune to lightsabers, but Darth has not figured that out yet. Likely he would say, “But this CANNOT be,” every time he bonks Holly on the noggin.

In tonight’s Red Rock Coffee Zoom open mic, Jake the host asked us what color our lightsaber would be. For me, no question: blue. I’d want to be a true blue hero like Super Holly. Jake also asked what battle was our fave. For me, Anakin and Obi-Wan’s battle at the end of Revenge of the Sith. Except for its end: “It’s over Anakin, I have the high ground!” Who gives a FRAK about high ground?

P.S. My unpublished story, The Snoring Sword, demonstrates Super Holly’s immunity to lightsabers. It stars Teri “the Smiling Samurai” Silver, and it brings back my silliest and maybe my favorite villain: Ice Cream Guy. It will likely be part of another book I need to finish writing and to publish: Rise of the Stumpfinger. Writers should finish what they write.

I voice a bully on HorrorAddicts.net!

Check out Horror Addicts, episode 179!

The cool Emerian Rich asked me to voice a bully in an audio story on this episode of the HorrorAddicts.net show. I tried a few different voices, but settled on a wheezy nasty baby walrus type. I find I am getting more fussy with the sound of my voices. (The story starts at about 34:00, but I recommend starting at 00:00 and listening to the entire show.) Warning for the faint of heart: The girl protagonist has nasty fantasies about getting even with mommy. And other stuff. Well, it is a horror story. I am listening to the end, and wow, this girl is nasty! Hee, hee!

P.S. I have to post the audio story I recorded for the San Mateo County Literary Contest, which was cancelled this year. Or I might need to check the rules to be sure that I an post here and still resubmit it next year. Or I should just record a new story, I am always getting bugged by fellow writers to do more audio. Or… (singing like Fagin from Oliver) I’m reviewing! The situation! Do I post or withhold my mighty tale? Should I hold it! Or release it? Will it win first prize or will it badly fail?

Stumpfinger Oil cures ALL!!!

So President Stumpfinger says a malaria drug is a cure for COVID-19. Not according to this latest study, tested on veterans. So if you Strumpers call that study fake news, you are not supporting the troops, you commie pinkos! (I am old enough to remember when Archie Bunker used that insult.)

I gotta put this into my book. (Frakkin’ frak it, and I have to rewrite the outline!) But Stumpfinger selling Stump Oil because he owns that company (kinda like the real Stumpy) is just too good not to use! It isn’t easy to keep my writing crazier than the real world. I try to put in crazy themes, but I need to tell Prez Stumpy, SLOW DOWN YOUR CRAZY, YOU’RE GETTING AHEAD OF ME!!!

There is a major problem with using a virus theme (the virus has gotta be from Mars, prelude to some type of War of the Worlds). If people stay home, there will not be a lot of action in the story. I’ll turn on my doubletalk generator to figure that out.

Okay, more writing to do. And my critique group has been tough on me lately, bless their hearts. But as I had Keef Knight write on a t-shirt for me…

 

 

Concellation is on Facebook: my bad cartoon list!

With being stuck at home (lucky that my current tech writing contract lets me work at home), I have been doing some Zoom open mics. And I also found (thanks, Valerie Frankel) a neat Facebook pseudo-convention: Concellation 2020. Geeks post their deep and intellectual thoughts, and many other geeks answer those posts. Head on over and you can read and post about what really matters in life.

Like for instance, what is the worst TV show from your childhood? I posted a list for that one, picking the worst cartoon shows I remember from the 1960s. I repeat it below (with a few minor edits).

Huckleberry Hound did not have much in the script, or much upstairs. When cats and dogs pronounce “meow” and “bark,” that is a bad omen. (There are much better cartoons on Boomerang.)

Out of the Inkwell (comes koko the clown) from the 1960s was the last gasp of anything remotely Flieisher Studios (they also did the black and whtie Popeye cartoons and Batty Boop). How the mighty had fallen. Here, take a look at Koko the Clown from 1923. I can’t find the 1960s crap, so enjoy a rotoscoping silent cartoon (yes, this is well before the fall).

Lippy the Lion and Hardy Har Har had only one decent joke in its entire run. With a big smile, the villain big-windy-laughed at Lippy and Hardy: “HA! HA! HA!” Then he frowned at them. “I am laughing on you.” Then he smiled and windy-laughed again. “HA! HA! HA!” (This clip ain’t it. It’s just tedious. Even the theme.)

The Mighty Hercules. THIS! IS!! THE!!! WORST!!!! (Or it was until I finally saw The Brothers Grunt as an adult.) Blandest clean-cut hero ever, the epitome of “There’s no there there.” One of the most annoying sidekicks ever, talked like he sucked helium or had the procedure that would keep him in a boys choir well into adulthood. And the sidekick of the sidekick communicated solely by tooting on his flute and thus the good guys had to play twenty questions with him to decipher the latest and greatest Daedalus death trap (always though it was “Devilus” when I was a kid).

Yippee, Yappee, and Yahooeey. That title is their annoying catchphrase. After all these decades, that earworm still festers. (3:13 for that catchphrase.)

Sinbad Jr. and his Magic Belt. Most uninspired Popeye ripoff ever. Maybe there was just one Popeye ripoff, but it is still major league annoying. And the worst part of this ripoff is the ripoff of Popeye’s enemy Bluto. Blubbo? Really?

Here Comes The Grump. Since I was not smoking pot, this show had nothing for me. And if you are going to ripoff Yosemite Sam, you do not turn down the frakkin’ temperature.

For those of you who made it this far, here is some classic Popeye. It will wash away the bad taste. Enjoy, you’ll need it by now.