Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thanks for the Memories

When I learned that Dr. Jordan Ray was on the brink of inventing a cold fusion reactor, my course of action was clear. Certainly, such a device could solve the world’s energy problems, but in the wrong hands it could be a terrible force of destruction. I was determined that those wrong hands would be mine.

My henchpeople and I broke into Dr. Ray’s lab to kidnap him and steal the invention. I was startled to discover not only that Dr. Jordan Ray was a woman, but also a ridiculously hot woman. How could one person corner the market on so much brains and beauty?

  While she was chained up in my basement, I tried to ask her out, but it seemed like we’d really gotten off on the wrong foot. If only we could have met under different circumstances.

  That’s when Dr. Peculiar, my head scientist, revealed his new invention. It was a little wand you stick up someone’s nose, administering a shock to the hypothalamus that erases memories. I jammed the brilliant little device right up Jordan’s nose and wiped out enough memories to convince her that I’d never done any harm to her, that she was staying in my underground fortress of her own free will, and that I was a mild mannered English teacher.

  We started dating, but she kept asking difficult questions. “What is an English teacher doing living in an underground fortress?” “Why is an English teacher amassing an army of robot monsters?” “Hey, is that the Twilight Avenger strapped to that table? And isn’t that saw blade getting awfully close to his—holy mother of @#%!”

I always tried to come up with some clever excuse about making visual aids for my students, but it was so much easier just to stuff that thing up her nose again. Unfortunately Dr. Peculiar and I hadn’t anticipated the effect of repeated memory wipings. Within a few weeks this brilliant scientist was a complete imbecile, with no ability to remember anything, and I was the one forgetting what I’d ever seen in her.

There was nothing for us to talk about anymore, and the sex wasn’t even any good because she’d even forgotten how to do that. I had to talk her through step by step, like Father O’Conner used to—I’m getting off track. The point is, it was time for me to get rid of her, so contrary to what you may have read in the National Inquisition, I was the one who gave the anonymous tip to the League of Righteousness.

Within half an hour, Captain Muscle smashed through my wall to rescue her. That big lumbering oaf! I left the front door unguarded and wide open, and he still had to come through the wall. I suppose it’s the only way he knows to enter a room.

  Dr. Ray never did finish that cold fusion reactor, but I hear she’s launched a very successful modeling career. And apparently she’s dating Captain Muscle.

  As for the memory device, after mistaking it just once for my nose hair trimmer, I’ve lost the ability to distinguish between them, and have therefore given up on both. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Prof. Fear's Disney Vacation (or Bringing Whores to the Happiest Place on Earth)

Having been foiled at my most recent plots to take over the world, I reluctantly decided that I should start with a smaller world after all, and resolved to conquer the entire World Showcase at Disney's Epcot Center. As my tanks rolled in, the eleven nations quickly fell before me, their armies substantially smaller than those of the countries they represented. Even the vikings of Norway offered disappointingly little resistance. The entire conquest took less than an hour, which included a stop in the Magic Kingdom to ride Pirates of the Caribbean. 

As I surveyed my conquered territory, I was puzzled by Disney's choices. Out of the entire world, only eleven countries are recreated, and the first is Canada. Really? Canada? Were they thinking, "Hmm, what's a far-away, exotic location that most Americans will never get a chance to visit in real life? I know, Canada!"?

There's not a single African nation in the World Showcase. Africa is only the world's largest inhabited continent, home to fifty-eight nations and roughly a tenth of the world's total population, but it scarcely bears mentioning compared to the mysterious wonder that is Canada! For that matter who needs India? The only attractions of the Canada Pavilion are a restaurant offering "traditional Canadian cuisine," a short film featuring Martin Short, and a performance by men in kilts (Huh? Why kilts in Canada? Because there is no Scotland and you had to have kilts somewhere? Because Canadians are cross-dressers? What am I missing?)

What makes even less sense is the United States Pavilion, which is designed to give you the uncanny impression that you are actually in America, and still somehow fails. I was expecting to find animatronic fat people watching TV and talking on cell phones in their cars, but instead there was just a colonial building and an a cappella group called Voices of Liberty (whom I promptly executed, to much applause). 


My victory was complete, and the World Showcase was mine, but there was something creepy and wrong about all these happy little countries. There were no cheap, prescriptionless drugs for sale in Mexico. There was no weirdly repressed pornography in Japan. I set about to change this. 

Step one was bringing prostitutes to the France Pavilion's Pigalle district. Wishing to hire from within, I auditioned numerous smiling, chipper, Disney "cast members," and selected a bright-eyed group of male and female aspiring whores. Unfortunately, that's when Spectacular Man showed up. 

I had been careful to jam the League of Righteousness's satellites so they would have no idea what I was up to, but it just so happened that Spectacular Man was headed to the theme park for a vacation. I suppose I should have taken him at his word when that reporter asked him, "Spectacular Man, you've just foiled Prof. Fear's most recent attempt at world domination, what are you going to do next?" and he answered "I'm going to Disney World."

What followed was the usual struggle where I, a man of supreme intelligence but only average strength, attempt to contend with someone who can crush a VW on his forehead. You can guess who won. I am writing this from my cell in maximum security, super-villain prison. Fortunately, my loyal henchpeople are already on their way to break me free. The one bit of good news from all this is that several of the Disney cast members I mentored have gone on to pursue actual careers in whoredom, and that I consider quite a victory. 

Illustration by Christie Allan-Piper

Thursday, March 5, 2009

It's an honor to be nominated, but the awards committee will face my wrath.

March is awards season for super-villains. Everyone knew the Joker had Best Individual Villain wrapped up at this year's Crimey's, but I really thought I had a shot at Best Villainous Group.

With the Legion of Doom and the Cosa Nostra in decline, the time seemed right to start my own criminal cadre. Recruiting talent was the easy part. As dean of the Fear Academy for Super-Villains, I already had some of the finest criminal minds on my faculty.

The hard part proved to be selecting a name. "Lords of Chaos," "Emissaries of Destruction," and "The Horde of Despair," were all taken by so-called death metal bands. I take umbrage at describing a mediocre genre of music as "death metal," a term that should be reserved for something like high doses of mercury secretly added to the coffee of a major donut chain by a criminal mastermind sometime next week (Oops! **SPOILER** alert!).

Discovering that everything with real menace had been taken, we settled on the Council for Unparalleled Nationwide Terror, somehow oblivious to the unfortunate acronym. Through theft, extortion, and conspiracy, we we succeeded in absconding with over $160 billion worth of ill-gotten gain-- an amount so massive as to guaranty us the Crimey Award-- until last week, on the eve of the awards ceremony, when the executives at AIG succeeded in persuading the Treasury Department to commit another $30 billion to their bailout, bringing their total to around $180 billion stolen from the American public.

When AIG was announced the winner, I was incensed. Granted, these pasty executives had made off with more money than we did, but surely creativity should count for something! The Council's schemes involved releasing radioactive monsters on major cities, making evil genetic clones of world leaders, and opening portals to parallel dimensions. But no, apparently the dollar figure is all that counts!
As Lex Luthor and Halle Berry pre-
sented the AIG execs with their trophy, I still held hope that I would win the Best Gloat Award. That's the prize for the villain who most flagrantly rubs his victory in his opponent's face. When I had that bird-lover, the Golden Eagle locked in my dungeon, I forced him to watch me eat a conturduckenary, which is a canary, stuffed inside a duck, stuffed inside a chicken, stuffed inside a turkey, stuffed inside his own pet condor. And then I nailed his girlfriend. But no, AIG won Best Gloat for using their bailout money to pay themselves bonuses, take lavish public trips, and (as was reported last week in the Wall Street Journal) send billions to banks overseas.

But there was still one category I knew AIG could not rival the Council in: Most Evil Costumes. Those gray flanneled executives could not possibly contend with my sinister, purple cloak, the Green Knight's armor, or Dark Shadow's mysterious shroud of fog. Unfortunately, the award went the Lords of Chaos. I don't wish to appear a sore loser, but be assured that heads will roll.

Illustration by Christie Allan-Piper