“The Dimensional Dollar,” the first short story I wrote with my Donald-Trumpy money-gulping supervillain Stumpfinger, is now published. Series 1963 A: An Anthology of California Writers is a series of stories from the California South Bay Writers Club about the journey of a single dollar bill, which side-slips into Super Holly’s universe for my story. I helped select and edit a few of these stories. I know these writers. They’re good. Spend $1.29 and have a good time.
P.S. In this first story, I spelled Stumpfinger’s first name as Billutons (goofy and greedy) instead of Billington (real and snooty). I’ll likely change it to Billington later, unless people like Billutons better. Comments and votes are welcome.
My money-eating, Trump-inspired supervillain, Billington Stumpfinger, has given my novel storylines a much-needed kick in the butt. I was gonna go easy on the not-always-nice Amurricans. But they elected a bully. So how about those sexists/racists/other-rotten-ists are conned into electing Stumpfinger president and he fills the White House with supervillains! This is likely to be in the story I’ve wanted to write for a long time: civil war with a cowboy theme! Except this time, the rebels will be the good guys. I think. Sort of. I got outlining to do! (It’ll be fun! The main con man, Flim Flam Shrub, will be a combination of Davros and J.R. Ewing. But I got so much more writing to lead up to that, and real life moves faster. Sigh.)
I was gonna do a vampire/werewolf/Frankenstein’s monster novel. Now, I think more of a novella. Who needs monsters in books when we got them in the White House?
My Donald-Trump-based villain, Billingtons Stumpfinger, needs an evil laugh. The problem is that Trump does not laugh. Google “trump laughing” if you don’t believe me. It’s creepy. (What a surprise.)
I write laughs for my supervillains that fit their characters. Harry Headbutt, the dumb, bullying hulk based on the DaVinci Code cop, has an in-your-face bellow: “BUH-WAH HAW HAW! HARRY ROB BANK, BUY STEAK DINNER, AND NOT LEAVE TIP!” Ice Cream Guy, who has the goofiest superpower of all time, has a chilly, shivering laugh: “HEH HEH HEH HEH HEH! My p-p-p-power is that over all things ice cream!” Bunni Bubblez, the short, super-sexy, mind-controlling bimbo and Super Holly Hansson’s archenemy: “Tee hee! *Giggle!* Tee hee! Now, my boobytized super soldier slaves, smoosh Super Holly with your big strong super muscles, just like you did to those battleships! *Giggle!*”
So what would be the sound of a Stumpfinger laugh? I’ll put my onomatopoeia to work on it. Something rude, loud, interrupting, kinda dumb, maybe cash related.
A writer often searches for just the right word. Or name.
According to wikipedia, cartoonist Al Capp (Li’l Abner) liked to give his incidental characters names that rendered further description unnecessary. I want that for my Donald-Trump-esque supervillain. To repeat myself from a previous post, he eats money to gain superpower.
Here is my current list. I like the first one the most.
P.S. On a Selected Shorts reading of John Updike’s The Egg Race, the awful name “Ferguson” belted my ears so many times that I turned off the radio. Say it five times and your tongue will cramp. I wish John had looked further.
I can write (and maybe sell) more stories where my superheroine Holly Hansson battles Money Man, my Trump-based supervillain. He eats money: the larger the denomination, the more powerful he gets. One idea: put Trump’s grabby misogyny into Money Man instead of just greed and a dash of racism. Another idea: Money Man’s wife can be a beautiful android or Martian, and likely the brains of the outfit because Money Man is dumb. In the comics, Martians (and perhaps sexbots) aren’t. (Hmm, I might have to tweak Money Man’s name if it is in use.)
Trump and his rallies remind of this scene in I, Claudius. Except Trump is more vocal than Sejanus (a young Patrick Stewart!) when his rallies get punchy.
For an upcoming anthology from the South Bay Writers Club, I wrote a short story with a new supervillain: Money Man. On the advice of a couple of friends, I made him a Donald Trump clone: xenophobic, money eating, orange haired bully. He gives Super Holly a tough fight, but she clobbers him GOOD! (Holly hates bullies.)
I’ll write Money Man into another story, he was fun to write. And he needs to lying lie like Trump lying lies. Like when Trump said “That makes me smart” in the debate when Hillary said he wasn’t paying his taxes, and then Trump said the lying lie “I never said that” one short hour later. Because Trump has the attention span of a 9-Year old with ADHD (according to the ghostwriter of The Art of the Deal), Trump thinks everyone else won’t remember when his big blabbery lips moved? Ooo, that would drive Super Holly nuts!
I am outlining a short story with a new supervillain: the Stadium Patriot! (Check out Mike Royko’s old article about it.) He twists patriotism into tribalism. Maybe has the entire football stadium join his football-fan, couch-potato, immigrant-hating, Borg-like team. Resistance is futile, you will be patriotic. Maybe a Colin Kaepernick character could be there to fan the conflict, just by sitting quietly while football Borgs bray, in the land of the free and the home of the SHUDDUP AND STAND UP, YOU TRAITOR! After all, Colin and Royko gave me the idea.
I originally thought the Stadium Patriot would be really racist. More likely, he’s about joining the team and hating all other teams. It’s the old writer’s dilemma: characters do not always run where you expect. Just like my Dan Mann character: the more he became like Stan Lee, the more he refused to be a villain. Authors must let characters do what they do.