Power Love

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11 June 2011


Enough about your issues. There's crime fighting to be done. As you may know, Alert Power Love Reader, our former goobernor is on trial for being a Colossal Dickhead. This is a watershed moment in American judiciariness because if His Hairness is convicted, it will set a precedent and henceforth all Dickheads will be eligible for prosecution and most importantly, it will expand opportunities for those of us in the crimer fighting field, which is why I'm currently building another wing on my estate so look for an invitation to the party to celebrate that!

However, I'm not gonna waste my time waiting around for some "judicial process" to make its way through "the courts" (patience: Not My Thing), I'm gonna start prosecuting Dickheads now. Technically, my job description doesn't include the prosecution of crimers, I'm actually just the super hero who catches them, but I have an expansive skill set and we're in the midst of budget cuts, so I've taken on some extra responsibilities.

At The Office of Super Heroes--which looks much like the Bat Cave, not incidentally, and I don't mean the Bat Cave from the movies of Batman, I mean the Bat Cave from the TV series, complete with that rockin computer that had lots of lights but which seemed to have only one function, to spit out very small pieces of paper, one at a time--we have The List of Dickheads thumb tacked to the cork board in the kitchen.

I'm not gonna lie, we've kinda been treading water ever since that bin Laden thing--I mean, Navy SEALS, who knew those guys were out and about? And don't think that whole thing didn't throw our marketing department for a loop, we've been trying to expand into the global market for years, but we keep getting sidetracked by McDonald's French fries and now do you see what happens when you don't consume a diet of green leafy vegetables, boys and girls? Right! You miss out on global expansion and Dickhead kills. Trust me, this will be much discussed at the Annual Conference of Super Heroes (November, Vegas, I'm giving the keynote address: How to Stop Picking Your Cuticles in Three Easy Steps).

Number One on The List of Dickheads is: The Assumption Pumpkins. Dose guys. I think you're quite familiar with the Assumption Pumpkins--they're the punks who think they always know why you're doing what you're doing, even though you never tell them and they never ask. Also, they are actual pumpkins, which is why, taped next to The List of Dickheads on the cork board in the kitchen of The Office of Super Heroes, there is a recipe for pumpkin pie. I ask you--can the Navy SEALS take down a Dickhead and then make a nice pie out of him/her/it? Well, probably. But they have to deal with that whole "code of conduct" thing and, like, Congress, so good luck at the next pie contest, boys!

I have a personal problem with the Assumption Pumpkins, mostly because I'm not one to state my motivations clearly, except for that whole skywriting phase I went through in high school, so I frequently find out the Assumption Pumpkins have spread salacious rumors about me and this makes me mad because I can spread my own salacious rumors about me, thank you very much.

While drinking my coffee in the kitchen of The Office of Super Heroes, I write my name next to the Assumption Pumpkins, thereby alerting my colleagues that this was my mission. I'm not the world's best baker of pies, however, so I'm gonna have to cross that bridge when I get to it.

I decide to invade the Assumption Pumpkins's hideout on a Monday evening, after watching a rerun of "Gossip Girl," which is one of my all-time favorite shows because there are cool clothes, all of which seem to fit awkwardly on the characters, as though they're lined with whipped cream that the actors are contractually obligated not to disturb, and also I have a wild fascination with Chuck Bass, which I simply cannot fathom because if I knew Chuck Bass in Real Life, I'd have to eat him for breakfast. I don't mean that to be a sexual innuendo, I mean I would literally crush him and sprinkle him over my eggs. Entitled white American men get on my last nerve. But apparently not when they're fictional characters on the Upper East Side.

Enough about me. What do you think about me? So after "Gossip Girl," I head over to the Assumption Pumpkins's hideout, which is located in the back room of The Grafton. I'm a big fan of the Irish and beer so The Grafton isn't a hard place to be. Plus, they have food there, which I'm also a big fan of.

There's a fire going when I look down through the grate of the ventilation duct, which is conveniently located in the middle of the ceiling of the back room. I'm happy I'm not directly over the fireplace because catching on fire is one way to blow a top secret ops mission and let's face it, The Office of Super Heroes cannot handle any missteps here. We have a budget, you know. And skyrocketing expenses. You can't buy these tights just anywhere, m'kay?

The unfortunate thing is, I forgot my glasses, so everything is kinda blurry and also, you know that cool telescope thing that Matt Damon uses in "The Bourne Ultimatum" when he's in one building and looking across the city into Landy's office--it kinda looks like the thing jewelers use to see chips in diamonds--I'm talking about the telescope thingy here, not Landy's office--and this thing is so precise Matt Damon can actually read the words on a folder that's being placed into a briefcase? Well, I don't have that.

All I have is my own proficiency at squinting, but squinting kinda makes me tense, which makes my shoulders cramp up, which gives me a charley horse, which I have to stretch out immediately and also makes me grunt because charley horses hurt, and this sudden movement causes me to fall through the ventilation grate on to the floor below and my grunt causes the secret meeting of the Assumption Pumpkins to suddenly turn and look at me and this is why I'm really thankful the ventilation grate is not placed directly over the fireplace.

I'm briefly stunned, but I'm also a super hero, so I jump to my feet, ready to defend America's honor. The Assumption Pumpkins continue to eat their artichoke dip and sip their imported Belgian beers.

"No Guinness?" I say, pulling my machete from its sheath at my side. Incidentally, my machete is not in its sheath at my side because I left it on the table at home, right next to my glasses.

"The Irish have drunk all the Guinness," one of the Assumption Pumpkins says. I know this to be a blatant lie because Guinness flows from never ending streams, which are located throughout the world. I suspect this lying Assumption Pumpkin is the leader. This is because he is wearing a headdress with the word "leader" embroidered in gold string across the front.

I glance around the room. The rest of the Assumption Pumpkins are looking at me--looking me up and down--no doubt impressed with my orange tights and flaming orange cape, no doubt jealous of my gleaming tiara. Thought bubbles pop up around their pumpkin heads. Most of them have forgotten to turn off their ovens. One is dreading the test results he was supposed to get yesterday but which have been delayed because the clinic lost power. Nice job, ComEd.

I whip out my metaphor gun and make a sweeping motion around the room. The thought bubbles all pop and disappear. The leader squints at me out of the corner of his eye. "You haven't come for dinner, then?"

"You're quick, Pumpkin," I say. Sometimes, when I'm in super hero mode, I talk like Clint Eastwood. It's a gift. "And not all Irish drink." I know this because some Irish are no longer alive and I've been to the afterlife and--spoiler alert!--there are no bars in the afterlife. You can smoke cloud feces, though, which provides the same high as a bottle of Jameson. Anyway, I don't know why I'm on the Irish thing. Defending my ancestors is not today's mission.

"Not all pumpkins make good pies," the leader of the Assumption Pumpkins says. Clearly, I'm making an I'm-gonna-make-a-pie-outta-you face, which is not the best approach to this secret ops mission. I shake my metaphor gun.

For the record, I love my metaphor gun. You should get one, Alert Power Love Reader. They're on sale at Target this week. Metaphor guns look like water guns, but instead of squirting water, they squirt magic cinnamon dust, which has multiple effects depending on which setting you choose: you can rearrange facial features; you can recalibrate brain waves; you can apply allergies; you can soften hearts. It's a multifaceted weapon that I invented and patented ten years ago and only use occasionally because the quality of a human can be seen in how she wields her power.

"All reports suggest you have been assumptioning cruel things about the staff of The Office of Super Heroes," I say to the leader, flicking the safety off my metaphor gun. "I'm here to put an end to that."

The leader of the Assumption Pumpkins looks around the room. The rest of the Assumption Pumpkins are staring at me. Little known fact: I used to hang out with the Assumption Pumpkins. Get a little tequila in them, and they're fun as hell. In addition, I have sat around campfires with quite a few of these pumpkins and shared some truly intimate memories. We don't talk anymore.

"Well," the leader says, "hard to know what to think when no communiques are transmitted."
"So you make shit up? That's lame," I say.
"You make shit up."
"Yes, but I have an MFA in fiction writing, so I'm morally obligated to make shit up. It was a condition of my loans."

I don't tell the leader I've already paid off my loans because I am remarkably financially savvy.

"Well, we had to fill the vacuum with something," the leader says. I hear the thought bubbles of the rest of the Assumption Pumpkins pop open with the same sound those bits of irrelevant information used to pop on the screen during music videos on VH-1's Pop-Up Video show. Do they still have videos these days? I metaphor gunned my TV about 10 years ago and now it's the world's biggest ball of twine. A real tourist attraction, by the way, please see the aforementioned remarkably financially savvy comment.

"You're manipulators," I tell the leader of the Assumption Pumpkins.
"You give us too much credit," he says.

Probably. I flip my metaphor gun to heart softener and start shooting. I blanket the room with magic cinnamon dust. The Assumption Pumpkins look not too surprised. I suspect they assumed the worst anyway. I wait for the dust to settle, then look around the room. On a table next to me, there is a plate of chips and partially attacked artichoke dip. "You gonna eat that?" I ask the Assumption Pumpkin nearest to it. "It's just that we kinda missed you," he says. "You stopped coming to campfires."

"You stopped listening," I say. I plunge a chip in the artichoke dip and toss it in the air. I catch it in my mouth expertly because in addition to being a super hero, I am also a top-tier member of the Morris Brother Barnum Bungling Circus and this move is kinda like what I'm known for on the circus circuit.

"Sometimes super heroes and pumpkins just move on," the leader says. "Sometimes it's just that. No malice intended."

This is a good point, although it means I have to release my long-held grudge, which I have been cultivating with great care for quite some time. Releasing this grudge is a double-edged sword: it will make me 10 pounds lighter, which is good because I have that recurring role on that soap opera; but it's also not good because it will leave me with a lot of time on my hands. I have closets full of Jameson, so time is sometimes not my friend.

I place my metaphor gun against my right temple and pull the trigger. A quick insuck of breath later, I tell the Assumption Pumpkins that I'm buying dinner. We gather around the fireplace with our drinks and our headdresses and our weapons and our thought bubbles and we swap stories about inside-out socks and documentary film making.

I decide not to make pies out of the Assumption Pumpkins.