Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Greatest Post in the World

The day's work began wearing on me. With Angela in a coma, many paper responsibilities fell to me. All the administrative work was much more stressful than simply shooting people. So, I as quitting time was approaching, I found myself very, very tired.

I trudged down a long and lonesome hall. All of a sudden, there shined a shiny demon in the middle of the hall. At first I thought I was hallucinating due to my exhaustion.

"You're not real," I said to the red creature from Hades. I grabbed a sheet of paper, crumpled it up and threw it at the beast. "See?" I said expecting the paper to pass through him. Instead, it bounced off his devilish chest and fell onto the floor.

"How dare you toss paper at me, mortal!" it cackled in a sinister voice.

I realized the demon was genuine and asked, "What do you want?"

"Your soul!" it replied and then burst out several vile guffaws.

"I don't have a soul," I replied. "Do I?"

His evil laughter stopped as he thought it over. Scratching his chin, he said, "Well, I never really thought about it."

"Okay," I replied. "It's almost quitting time. I still need to write a post on my web log, so if you don't mind..." I tried inching past the demon.

He pushed me against the wall with his demony claw and said, "A web log, huh?" His fiery eyes focused deep into my own and he said, "Write the best post in the world....or I'll eat your soul!"

I almost peed my pants! Not because I was scared, but probably because his paw was pressing right into my bladder. "Okay," I answered his challenge, "I just need to get to my computer."

He followed me to my office where I took a seat at my desk. I stretched out my arms, popped my fingers and shook out the tension from my shoulders, then placed my fingers on the home keys.

I began typing away the first thing that came to my head. It was as though God himself was inspiring my every keystroke. As the demon watched over my shoulder he began trembling in fear. He and I could both see what was happening before our very eyes. The blog post was coming together wonderfully, even perfectly. There could be no better words typed!

I wrote the best post in the world.

With a snort, he asked, "Be you an angel?"

"Nay!" I responded proudly putting my hands to my hips. "I am but a man in horn-rimmed glasses!"

Then, I proceeded to rock out on air guitar.

The beast was forced to let me go. He mentioned something about being bound by an honor code. In a puff of smoke, he disappeared.

Unfortunately, my Internet connection was down, so I wasn't able to save the best post in the world. I couldn't remember it either, but peculiarly it was nothing at all like this post. This post is just a tribute.

And once I get my Internet connection restored here at the office, I should resume regular posting.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Needing Something To Do

I was bored. Bored out of my mind.

There were no more leads. No more villain trail to follow.

Knox is still out there somewhere. I'm afraid I'll have to go find him next. I mean, not afraid, but you know.

If only there was some evil organization harboring all the villains, one location that I could raid. I could wipe 'em all out with a single assault.

But surely these villains aren't that stupid. They know how incredibly effective I am. Standing together in one place would only make my job so much easier.

And why would villains unite anyway? I think if Jurassic Park has taught us anything, it's that once you turn off the perimeter fences separating the villains from each other, they'll go on to devour themselves, lawyers and us.

I think if I had a special power, I'd want to be a T-Rex. Or maybe a triceratops/velociraptor hybrid.

So, yeah....did I mention I was bored? There's nothing to do but sit here and speculate. Where might the villains be? What might they be up to?

I'm sure most have fled to Mexico. As for their plans...perhaps they're going to start a mariachi band. I don't know! Villains are unpredictable.

That's why I liked hunting Heroes. You always know what they're going to do. Something noble, no doubt. "Freeze! Don't shoot!" you yell at a Hero, and sure enough, they drop their guns and apologize for making a scene.

Villains, though, they have no respect for morality, for shame or guilt or any other social inhibitors. They just live all Willie Nelson.

"Willy nilly," The Haitian corrected.

Fine. They live all willy nilly. How am I expected to fight willy nilly? I don't know, but I manage. Willie Nelson, willy makes no difference...I'm baggin' and taggin' it because that's what I do.

When I have something to do, that is. Until then, I'm just bored.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Photo Caption Results

Well, the Photo Caption Contest was a complete success. We got a lot of great captions from all you Villains and Heroes out there.

Visit the Burnt Toast Diner

So, get on over to the cafe, order up some waffles and check out the winners.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Mission Seven: A Family Tale

From The Amazing Mutant Race 4....

"Greetings, Mr. Bennet and Mr. Summers," one of the so-called Tree People greeted us.

"Please," I responded humbly, "Call him Scott."

"I am Palín, no relation," he said, "of the Tree People."

I sensed a trap. "Funny," I said coolly. "You don't look like a tree."

"Well, we're not trees," Palín explained, "we're people of the trees."

"So, why don't you just go with that?"

"Tree People is more marketable," he replied. "So, ready for the games?" he asked putting an arm around Scott and leading us up the treetop pathway.

Scott sighed unenthusiastically.

"Aw, what's the matter there, tiger?" Palín said stopping. He grabbed Scott hard around his bicep and said, "Cheer up. You were made for these games."

I explained how Scott had been upset because he was looking forward to the other detour challenge. "I want to be mutated into looking good in sweaters," he had whined. "Winter's approaching."

Fortunately, I'm the brains of this team, so when it comes down to the decision making, I get final say. The other option was a joke. Evolution? My home school biology book says no. And besides, where would I come up with ideas for evolutionary advantages that would be original? I don't want people to think I'm just ripping off some silly comic book.

So, that's how I ended up locked in a kitchen ducking behind the counter with a pen and shield in hand as two velociraptors chugged some lager.

"I don't get the point of this game," I whispered to myself.

"You just have to stop them from drinking," a voice said, "and don't die."

"Wh-where are you? Who are you?"

"It's me, Palín," he answered. "We wired you with an audio transmitter. It makes it more entertaining for the audience if we can hear your screams." In the background I heard cheering.

I peeked back around at the velociraptors. They were still lapping up the lager. I stood up and said, "I'm going to need to see some ID." Then approached the beasts.

They watched as I walked toward them. I had my shield raised, ready to push off an attack. Once in range, I kicked the glass of lager across the kitchen.

"Did I win?" I asked as one of the raptors jumped on me, knocking me to the ground. His enormous weight held me down. I lifted the pen up as high as I could and poked at its ankle.

The other raptor seemed to watch gleefully, until it was suddenly struck by a tranquilizer dart and fell to the ground unconscious.

The raptor standing on me soon followed.

I rose to my feet and saw Palín with two bamboo-wielding Tree People. "Yeah, you won," he said. "Nice job."

Palín took me back to where Scott was waiting.

"The next game requires you to swing across to that tree over there," he pointed, "using only your tail. No hands. First one there wins."

"Okay," Scott said approaching the starting line.

"Wait," I stopped him. "He said using only your tail."

"I know," Scott replied. "I'm not deaf."

" don't have a tail."

"What?" he asked shocked. "Of course I do!"

I was quite confused. "Why do you have a tail?" I asked.

"Why wouldn't I?" he shot back.

"Um, well, humans don't have tails," I explained confoundedly.

"They don't?" he asked, then proceeded to pat me on the behind. "You don't have one?"

"No," I answered, "I don't."

Scott pulled a tail from out of his pants and asked, "So why do I have one?"

"How should I know? Just swing to that tree over there and be quick about it!"


But quick he wasn't. "Nice job, sport," Palín said as Scott returned. "I think you may have set a record. A record for optic blasting the competition, that is. You took a long time, but you're the only one that finished the race. You win. One more game to go...."

"Wait," Scott said. "I need to call my father."

"Hello?" I heard his father answer over the speaker phone.

"Hey, Daddy. It's me, Scott."

"That's Major Daddy, boy."

"Sorry, Major Daddy...I was wondering, um...did you know I had a tail?"

"Of course," Major Summers replied, "Why do you think I threw you out of an airplane as a boy?"

"Because we were attacked," Scott said.

His father corrected him. "No, boy. I found out that your mother was having an affair with a Tree Person, Pal-something or other. Hence your tail. I'm a good guy, a strong man, but I mean, come had a tail. And you weren't even mine. Anyone would have done the same in my position."

"But what about Alex? You threw him out too."

"Yeah," Scott's father explained, "he was just ugly."

Scott was speechless. He stood there not saying a word.

So, his father hung up.

"Nice job!" Palín said coming closer. "I just overheard your conversation, and you just won the third game: Discover a family secret."

As we headed back, I thought it seemed suspicious how we managed to win all our games. I was rescued from the raptors just in time. Scott somehow wasn't disqualified for optic blasting away the competition. And that last game...well, I don't even know if that was a real game.

But the important thing is, we won. And a suspicious win is still a win.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Where's the Beef?

"Okay," Tracy finally said after having it explained for the fifth time. "I've heard enough."

"So you understand now?" I asked.

"Yeah....Nathan's been with everyone and their twin, and you have his illegitimate daughter to prove it."

See? It's not that complicated. I decided to move on to the next step. Collecting evidence.

"Well, well, Mr. Cocoon Man," I said as I cut off part of his encasement. "Looks like you've made quite the mess." I dropped the sample of his cocoon into a plastic baggy.

Having collected the evidence, I grabbed Meredith, and we returned to the office. I pulled into the Primatech parking lot where we exited the vehicle.

"Hey, there!" I called to Meredith as she headed for her own car. "Aren't you going to stick around the office for lunch?"

"No, sorry," she replied. "I really want to get back and see Claire."

"Alright, suit yourself."

I knew the best part of working was lunch. There was no way I was going to waste it on some ungrateful daughter I see everyday. This was my one hour of complete freedom from the grind. I'm on my own time during my lunch hour. I can shoot whomever I want, without worrying about about getting a sexual discrimination lawsuit filed against me.

The Haitian joined me at our regular table. He, like always, had a couple twigs and three quarters of a fish head. "Well, well," I said reaching into my paper sack, "let's see what the misses packed for me."

"Yuck," The Haitian commented as I plopped the foul-looking pseudo-food onto the table. "What is it?"

"Hmm...looks egg sandwich?" Sure, Sandra's cooking rarely looked good, but well, sometimes it tasted decent enough. And with the current economic situation, there was no way I'd be giving into the Dollar Menu.

I bit into the strange food. "Yum," I said, lying. Chewing was difficult, but I managed. I quickly finished the rest and washed it down with a glass of water.

The Haitian just finished his last twig and then said, "Back to work?"

"Yeah," I replied, scraping my tongue with sandpaper. "We've got some evidence for the lab to examine."

"I will take it there immediately," he replied diligently.

"Here you-" I reached into my paper bag and felt around. "Well, that's odd...where's the-"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our Chart

"Why'd you bring her?" Nathan asked, nodding over toward my newest partner, Meredith. "I thought you were into talk, dark and handsome memory-wipers."

"Sometimes you gotta fight fire with fire," I replied.

Then, Tracy walked over to me excitedly and shook my hand. "Thanks for saving us, Mr..."

"Bennet," I replied. "Mr. Bennet. And it's very ice to meet you."

She seemed to blush.

Then, I pulled Meredith closer to us and said, "This is Meredith, an old friend of Nathan's."

"Oh, she doesn't look that old," Tracy replied.

Meredith's eyes lit on fire. I quickly explained the details of our relationships, to cool things down. "...and so, now Claire's mine."

Tracy seemed confused.

"It's simple really," I explained. "Nathan and Meredith had a baby. I adopted the baby with Sandra. My old partner, The Haitian, also helps protect her. My new partner is Meredith, Claire's real mom. Nathan's new partner is you, the twin sister of his old partner, Niki, who he thought was Jessica, which me met when he was married to Heidi."

She still wasn't getting it. So I drew a chart, like on The L Word. If it's good enough for Lesbians, it's good enough for me, I always say.

"See?" I said as she took in the visual.

Nathan was confused now. "What's with the X's on Heidi?" he asked.

"Oh, the X's mean the person's dead now."

"Heidi's not dead," he replied, "I mean, I don't think she is."

"Oh, well, you get the point."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Who You Gonna Call?

Has anyone seen the electrifying blonde bimbo?

I left several voicemails for her, but no response. It's like she's avoiding me, or found another evil company to work for.

"Hello, Elle? It's Mr. Bennet. Look, I don't know if this is still your number or not, but it's all we had on file. Please, contact me as soon as you get this. We really need a new receptionist. Our current one is having hip replacement surgery, so we have to find someone to fill her shoes for a few months. You were the first person we thought of! So, give me a call."

I just left my last message for her when I got an important phone call from...Claire's Bio-Daddy!

Yes, if I had a mortal enemy (other than The Company, Mohinder, occasionally Claire, Sylar and all the other villains I've bagged and tagged over the years), then he certainly would be it.

Ever since the pajama incident, he and I just haven't gotten along.

"Those stupid-looking pajama bottoms make your butt look big."

Then, there's the whole family drama of having his and Meredith's daughter as my own.

"Hurry, Noah," he said over the phone. "There's something strange in our neighborhood!"

"Hey, I told your brother to call me Noah. It's still Mr. Bennet to you." I snapped at him.

"Whatever. Just get down here. Tracy and I are scared. Well, mostly me. Hurry! I don't want her seeing me like this. We don't know what to do!" Okay, maybe that wasn't his exact words, the details are fuzzy. The point is, I put our differences aside and went in to help him.

Meredith and I hopped into our pimped out Nissan.

I arrived, as I always do, just in time.

"I ain't 'fraid of no cocoons," I said as I fired my taser.

The cocoon man that was pretending to attack my friends (in the John McCain sense of the word, meaning people I haven't shot yet) was momentarily electrified long enough for them to escape its grasp. I remember the good ol' days when instead of tasers, I'd just give Elle a squeeze and she'd fire off a few rounds. We need to find that girl....

"Wow," Nathan's latest blonde acquaintance said, "that sexy man in horn-rimmed glasses just saved our lives. He's so mysterious."

Nathan rolled his eyes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

New Policies - Part 2

Continued from Part One....

Finally, some good news.

Angela in a coma.

And with Bob dead....and Kaito dead....and Thompson dead....and Linderman dead....and Bernie Mac dead....

I'm now in charge of The Company!

The Haitian let out a hearty, "..."

"First order of business," I said, "Let's find Elle. Sure, I don't like her, but she still qualifies for our pension plan, and I want to make sure she earns it!"

The Haitian just nodded.

"Next, let's ban Peter from the premises. I'm really tired of that depressed whiner. The paper business is for real men only."

"Peter left," The Haitian informed me.

"Good. Then, let's move on to Sylar. I want him locked away and put into a coma until we find a way to kill him for good."

"Sylar is already locked up and in an induced coma."

Well, this Company running thing sure was a lot easier than I expected it to be. I think this could be a record profit-earning quarter for us. We just need a few more changes.

I needed to put the word out to my buddy, Shaq. So, I called him up.

"Ya?" he answered the phone.

"It's me, Noah. I need your help. I'm running the paper company right now, and well, quite frankly, we got a lot of fat losers on the staff. I need you down here to whip 'em into shape."

"Sure thing, man. That's what I do, you know, I just do things like that, you know, it's what I do, so Imma gonna do it, man."

He flew down within the hour and began training our sales team.

With our employees getting whipped into shape, it was time for me to whip up morale. The best way is with a mascot.

I call him Bready in Horn-Rimmed Glasses.

Finally, The Company was beginning to look like more than a simple front for a clandestine people-hunting organization. It was starting to look like a real company, one that would have family picnics for its employees (without radioactive tracking isotopes hidden in the food).

I sat happily in the big chair dreaming of our wonderful future. Perhaps I'll consider acquiring Dunder-Mifflin next quarter.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Policies - Part 1

"We need more men!" I screamed at The Haitian.

He replied, "..."

"I know, they're all dead!" I sunk into my chair. Things have been terrible in the paper business ever since the Level 5 incident. We've been going through agents faster than Ben Savage. It was definitely hindering our ability to sell paper and shoot bad guys.

I suppose we'd have to start recruitment.

If only West didn't disappear. That kid already started down the path toward becoming a Company Man.

Then, of course, there was Claire. She did surprise me with the way she got out of the huge mess she got into with Eric Doyle. But she's too young and too much my daughter. I would worry for her safety, even though ultimately I would be very proud to have my kid follow in my footsteps.

"What about me, Dad?" some whiny little boy asked.

"What are you doing here? Are you the new intern?"

"It's me, Lyle," the unfamiliar brat said. "I could be a paper salesman."

I just laughed and sent him back home.

This would have been much easier if we never had all those Level 5 villains escape. Stupid Elle. It's all her....

Elle. She's still on our payroll! She should be working for us!

I made my way to the boss's office to demand Elle's reinstatement.

"I know she's an entitled little bimbo, but gosh darn it, she's our entitled little bimbo!" I said as I knocked open the door.

Angela didn't reply.

Peter and Sylar stared at me, as though I had just urinated on their mother's grave or something.

"My mother..." Peter began to sob.

"Our mother!" Sylar announced.

"She has fallen into a cold, bitter state."

"Yeah, like that's a new development," I replied. "Look, I need a word with your mom. It's about Elle."

"She's in a coma," Sylar informed me.

"That's great!" I exclaimed. "That old hag has been running this paper company into the ground."

"Some studies suggest that coma patients can still hear," The Haitian said as he entered behind me.

"...uh, the ground is a great place for a paper company!" I quickly added. I grabbed The Haitian and darted out of the room.

In the hallway outside Angela's room, I said to The Haitian, "I think this makes me the boss."


"That's just what I was thinking!" It was time to make some changes around here.

To be concluded....

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Internet Suggestions

If you're like me, then when you're not out shooting people, you're online checking out all the great content this giant series of tubes has to offer.

I thought I'd go ahead and make things easier for you. Sure, Google has already made it insanely easy to find anything you're looking for, but what about the stuff you're not looking for? That's where I come in. Here are some things you should be doing on the Internet:

Of course, the first thing is to be reading my blog, which you're doing. So, good job! You'll make a great paper salesman someday, kid.

The next thing, which is almost as important as reading my blog, is to add me on MySpace. It's how I keep tabs on Claire and any other youth that may be experiencing odd symptoms. Visit my profile.

Since you like reading blogs so much, be sure to stop by The Burnt Toast Diner. I hear Adam posted today. I've been wondering what happened to him. I thought he was buried, or cremated, or something. Oh, well, maybe I'll stop by the cafe and see what he's up to these days.

And the next fun thing for all of you loyal paper-enthusiasts to do is check out the forums on Primatech's website. You can discuss all the happenings in our crazy world of paper! You'd be surprised at all the things there is to discuss: Who would have Sylar's baby? Is Obama REALLY a terrorist? Why is Mohinder still alive?

I'm sure you have a lot of Internet activities of your own, which is why you'll find text boxes above with image links that you can use. Post links on your own blog, or on your own MySpace profile. The Company keeps an eye on where our Internet traffic is coming from. So, if you link to me, or The Company or The Burnt Toast Cafe, maybe I'll stop by your Internet hang out in search of special people. Don't worry, I won't bag and tag you...more than once.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mission Six: Seeing It Through

I know you're all hoping I participate in a wet t-shirt contest some day, but I think this is as close as it will ever get.

The Sixth Leg of The Amazing Mutant Race 4

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Water Boring

I came across this artistic rendering in my Primatech files:

Apparently, there's a race of underwater creatures wanting to stab our children with over-sized forks!

Fortunately, I don't let my children go into the water.

"Geez, Dad! I'm totally hot," Claire would always explain to me, "and totally hot girls are supposed to go to the beach, so guys can, like, look at us and stuff. It's, like, feminist power or something."

Of course, I would never allow it. I still remember what happened the last time she went to the beach.

I've never been a fan of water. Sure, I'll drink it, but that's only to show it who's boss. I'm not going to carelessly throw myself into its cruel, wet hands by frolicking around in the ocean and calling it fun.

That's always when danger strikes, when you're having fun. Fun causes people to let their guard down. In my line of work, that's not an option.

Which is why I'm warning you all: Don't have fun!

If there is a race of underwater beings wielding large forks, then that's just what they're waiting for. If you have to go into the ocean, stay alert and watchful. Or at least carry a big spoon to defend yourself.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Big Picture

Anyone that knows me knows that I'm not a fan of the Big Picture. I prefer to see the world through my own horn-rimmed goggles. "Keep your eye on the prize," my father neglected to advise me when I was growing up.

That's how I live my life. One goal, one mission. For instance, I want to protect my indestructible daughter. So, naturally, nothing else matters to me. If I have to put Sandra's or that boy's life in danger, then so be it. Actually, that's probably why I can never remember my son's name. He's outside the scope of my vision.

See this?

I think that man next to me is a wanted terrorist. I could have bagged and tagged him, but I didn't. You know why?

Because of that smoothie.

The smoothie was my focus. I didn't even realize that man was there, though I do recall an odd odor. The point is, it never crossed my mind that something else, other than that smoothie, could be in existence around me.

And why should it?

If we focus on the Big Picture, then we miss out on what's really important.

It can catch up with you. This poor guy probably spent his entire life worrying about the Big Picture, and whatever the Big Picture was sucked the life right out of him. Metaphorically, of course. I mean, look how old he looks! I'd say he's coming up on 500, but he can't be more than 70 or so.

That's what happens to you. The Big Picture is too much for any one person to take in. Try to, and it will wear you out. So, my advice is to forget about the Big Picture. There are more important things out there.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Claire's New Daddy

Sometimes it seems like Claire's got more father's than Anna Nicole Smith's daughter. There's me. Then there was Hank. Then, Nathan.

Well, there's a new man in my daughter's life. The Puppet Master himself. No, not Frank Oz. I'm talking about Eric "Lardo" Doyle.

He's a foul creature if ever there was one. Even without the power to manipulate people's movements, I could have had him locked up in Level 5 because of his hygiene.

So, I was quite upset when I found out that my Claire Bear flocked to him. I know I've been driving her away with my semi-evil ways. But that's no reason to run right into the arms of a mad man!

He even taught her how to fire a gun. That was supposed to be my job! I've been begging Sandra to let me take her to the firing range since she was three years old.

"You'll shoot your eye out, kid," Sandra would always say.

That's the best part of being a kid, risking one's vision in dangerous fun.

Since I couldn't give my Claire Bear everything that a father should give their indestructible daughter, it's no wonder why she left in search of this fat idiot. But he wouldn't be able to love her in that creepy, yet platonic, way that I can.

I was heart broken when I got the call from Sandra. It was devastating.

Fortunately, when I arrived, I found Eric Doyle lying on the floor dead.

"Good," I said, "he's dead. Now I'm back to being the only man in your life, sweety." I patted Claire on the head.

"Ugh!" She complained. "My hair was, like, so perfect and now it's ruined! Ruined!"

That's when Sandra informed me that Doyle wasn't dead. "Bummer," I responded. "Guess I better take him into the office."

"You know," Sandra continued, "Claire was the one that knocked him unconscious."

"Really?" I was stunned. My little girl already struck out at her new daddy. So, even though she stormed off in a silent, contained rage, I knew in my heart that she loved me and only me.

"Wow," I said to Meredith. "My little girl continues to amaze me."

"I'm amazed she hasn't knocked you unconscious yet," she replied.

"Me too," I said. "Me too."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Photo Caption Contest at the Burnt Toast Diner

The Burnt Toast Diner is celebrating it's 400th post.

They're celebrating with a Photo Caption Contest. I suggest you people go give it a shot, maybe you could even win! If you do, I'll consider granting you a Get out of Baggin' and Taggin' Free Card. No promises, though.

Here's the link:
Photo Caption Contest at the Burnt Toast Diner

(P.S. I'm in two of the photos!)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I'm Not Overcompensating

Seriously, I'm not.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Parenting: HRG Style

"Wow, Mr. Bennet! You're such a great father!" All of Claire's friends are always telling me that. They see all the hard work I do taking good care of my little Claire Bear, and they can't help to feel jealous.

Claire never seems to mention it, but I think she has to feign embarrassment to maintain her social status in school. It's uncool to admit your dad is awesome.

"Isn't that right, Claire?"

"Uh, Dad, you're being creepy again....

Parenting can be hard, though. It doesn't come naturally. It takes a lot of work, a lot of dedication, a lot of ammo, and a Haitian.

Here's some advice from one parent to another:
  1. Don't let your children go swimming in the ocean - One word: Sharks. Five more words: with lasers on their heads! And don't even get me started on the drowning possibilities. If you want your children to not die, whether they're indestructible or not, keep them out of the ocean!

  2. Force-feed them vegetables - Everyone knows the importance of veggies when it comes to health. Now, I know, none of us adults bother eating vegetables unless they're sauteed in butter and served atop a quarter-pound all-beef patty. Our children, though, need vegetables. Don't buy a garbage disposal, just have children.

  3. Allow the illusion of privacy - Never, ever, under any circumstances, let your children have absolute privacy. Utilize video and audio surveillance when necessary. Planting a spy in their inner-circle of friends is also effective. Just remind him to shave because a fourteen year old with a full beard just screams "narc".

  4. Always know where your children are - It's ten o'clock, do you know where your children are? Yeah, well what about at 10:05? 10:07? 10:34? GPS tracking devices are a great way to monitor your child. And the best part is, anyone trained in basic surgery can insert the device into one of your child's vital organs.

  5. Don't let them lick statues - This is perhaps the hardest activity to prevent. For whatever reason, adolescents, when confronted with a nude statue, simply feel the need to lick inappropriate parts of said statue.

    Optional: Electroshock conditioning works well in deterring immoral statue-licking.

  6. Hire a clone soldier escort - Clones are great. They're 100% loyal and obedient. They make great role models for your children, as well as protect them from rebels and religious fanatics.

Those are the most basic tips I have to offer you. Give it a shot, and when you're ready for more, just let me know. I'm a treasure trove full of great parenting gems.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mission Five: Waterworld Domination

From The Amazing Mutant Race 4....

"Gross!" Scott commented. "What are you doing?"

"Nothing!" I quickly replied. "I mean, I'm just researching...Atlanteans, for the challenge." Unfortunately, my research seemed to be a waste of time. All three minutes and forty-two seconds of it. I didn't discover anything about Atlanteans that I didn't already know. They're humany and live underwater. No big secrets there.

"Learn anything useful?" Scott asked.

I answered, "Oh, yeah. Loads."

"Good. Let's get going."

We squeezed into the one-man transport.

Xavier wasn't kidding when he said it would be a tight fit. The camera was right up in our faces the entire way to Atlantis. I was extremely uncomfortable, but Scott seemed to not mind it.

As soon as we docked at the oxygen decompression chamber, I quickly shoved Scott out of the transport.

After drinking the green liquid that would allow us to breath underwater, we went to the throne room to meet with this so-called Sub-Mariner.

"Oh, my God! It's really him!" Scott squealed as we were introduced to Namor. "I'm like your biggest fan ever."

"Thanks, you stupid air-breather," Namor responded casually.

"And I've heard of you," I added.

Namor unenthusiastically presented us with the two detour options.

"Games are a lot of fun," Scott said. "And I bet they'd play naked, like the original Olympics."

While the thought of underwater nude sports was mildly enticing, I decided to go with Maim. "I'm a brilliant strategist," I explained. "Coming up with a plan to conquer the surface-dwellers would be easy. They're all a bunch of morons."

Scott and I quickly discussed possible plans of attack. "Let's poison the water supply!" Scott offered.

"You fool," one of the war ministers replied, "We Alanteans live in water. That would indirectly kill us all too!"

"Oh," he said. "Would that not count as victory then?"

Eventually, we settled on a few plans to present to Namor.

Our first plan was a good one. I was sure he'd like it. "As luck would have it, a terrorist is currently running for the office of President of the United States," I explained. "We suggest you gather up many Atlanteans and have them work the phones for his campaign. Convince the voters to elect this secret Muslim, and once he brings about the destruction of America there will be no one willing to stop your invasion!"

Namor sat thoughtfully for a moment and then said, "How exactly is this secret Muslim planning to destroy America?"

"Well, you see," I continued, "he refuses to wear a flag pin. Can you imagine what would happen if the President of the US didn't wear a flag pin?"

He didn't seem impressed. "Got anything else?" he asked.

"Yeah," Scott answered. "There's also this old guy you could support for President. He wears a flag pin, though."

"I see," Namor said, "and how would his election help me conquer the surface?"

I answered, "Well, he'll destroy America through incompetence and failed political policies, rather than unpatriotic gestures."

"What about the other nations?" he asked.

"Oh, they're all pacifists," I answered. "Once America falls, anyone can take over any country they want and nobody will lift a finger to stop them."

I could tell we almost had him on that plan, but he said that he didn't believe in voting and preferred a less democratic approach.

So, Scott and I moved on to other plans.

Buy nukes from Iran. Too expensive.

Help spread AIDS. Too messy.

Raise the undead. Too smelly.

None of our plans so far impressed him. Scott even suggested poisoning the water supply, after I had told him to forget it. Unsurprisingly, Namor didn't like that one either.

But I had one last plan. "This plan," I began, "will definitely succeed."

Namor yawned.

"All you have to do is wait 300 years."

"Wait 300 years?" Namor repeated. "I don't understand, yet I'm intrigued. Go on."

I quickly set up my presentation materials and began explaining the plan.

"As you can see by my map, the Earth is getting warmer and the seas are rising. What lives in the seas?" I asked rhetorically.

Scott answered, "Fish!"

"You guys," I continued, pointing at Namor. "If we simply allow the surface-dwellers to continue to pollute the planet, the entire world will be covered with water, just like that Kevin Costner movie that I forget the name of."

"Dances with wolves," said Scott.

"I like the sound of that," Namor said. "All water. Interesting. But your presentation was....lacking."

"Can I have another shot?" I asked. "We'll definitely wow you."

"Go on."

"Alright, give me one minute," I said.

I raced to the nearest bar where I found an overweight and bearded Al Gore drinking double shots of tequila. "Come with me, Al," I commanded. As I shaved the former VP, I explained our situation. "You have to convince him Global Warming isn't a complete farce."

"It's not a farce," he said. "It's an inconvenient truth."

I laughed and said, "Yeah, sure." Then, I pushed him into the throne room saying, "Go do your thing."

After Al Gore's presentation, I took the floor. "As you can see," I said, "the surface will soon be completely flooded."

Scott held up my next visual aid.

I continued, "Once that happens, all you have to do is poke us with your pitchfork thingies and you'll win!"

"Good!" Namor clapped. "I look forward to the effects of Global Warming. You may now return to the throne room, the Pit Stop for this leg of the race."

"Isn't that where we are?" Scott asked.

"Yes, so hurry before the other teams beat you there."

"There? You mean, here?"


Thursday, October 16, 2008

No! Bad Claire!

Why is being a parent so hard?

You give them everything: a warm home, love, guidance, strict rules with no room for defiant behavior. And what do we get from them? Defiant behavior!

"Like, geez, Dad," Claire said cooly outside our home. "Take a chill pill."

"I can't have you going off hunting these villains, Claire," I explained in my parenting voice. "You're too young. You almost got black holed!"

"Gah, Dad! Like that would be such a big deal! People get black holed all the time."

I don't see how we parents can be expected to compete with forces like the media and peer pressure. "Go to your room," was all I could think to say. That's the only tool we parents have in this battle for control over the hearts and minds of our children. Until some Japanese company comes up with V-Chips that can be inserted directly into our children's brains, sending them to their rooms to think about what they've done is the best we can do.

Claire stormed into her bedroom, slamming the door behind her.

"I just don't know sometimes," I said to Sandra.

"I don't know either," she replied. "I mean, is Jello a liquid or a solid or what?"

"Not that," I glared at my mentally hopeless life companion. "I'm talking about our daughter. I just don't know what to do about her."

"Oh, well," Sandra said, "a girl's going to do what a girl's going to....oh, I forget the rest of that saying, but it's a good one."

It worries me to think about Claire's future, and where she may be headed with this reckless attitude of hers. Combine that attitude with indestructibility and you've got the ultimate recipe for a bad seed. I can tell you right now, I'm not going to be the one to plant that seed. I'm going to do whatever is necessary to stop her from becoming one of the bad guys, one of the villains.

"You know, maybe we should have Hiro teleport her into a coffin," I suggested, "for like a timeout or something." Spankings were pretty much useless now that she's lost all feeling. We were running out of options.

"Oh, but then she'll miss dinner!" Sandra pouted.

Then, I had a great idea. "Maybe we could get Meredith to help teach her not to go after villains on her own."

"That's a good thought, dear," Sandra said. "You're so smart!"

"I know." I called out for Claire's bio-mom, "Meredith!"

No answer.


"Oh, honey, she's out right now," Sandra informed me.

"Really? Where?" I asked.

Sandra answered, "She went out after some villains on her own."

Oh, great, so I guess this rebelliousness of hers is genetic! Sometimes, I guess Nature beats out Nurture. Luckily, though, I know a paper company that has done some amazing work in genetics. Maybe after we find Meredith I can splice some of Claire's genes so she won't grow into a troubled teen.