Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Congratulations Nathan!

Well played, my friend. You, and of course your partner Emma, ran an excellent race against some very tough competition. Everyone played very well and I really enjoyed reading all the posts. Thanks to everyone who played. Thanks also to Simon who had the very difficult job of determining the winners for each leg and perhaps more difficult, naming the loser.

And now it's time to reveal the prize! Nathan (and Emma) get the official, one of kind, valued at a million dollars US plaque, suitable for framing or posting.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Finish

The Finish, the End, the point at which I don’t have to look at or listen to any of you small minded no talented pricks any longer. Mmmm, just of thought of this makes me feel wonderful on the inside. I could rub my man nipples for hours thinking of that.

Rightio, I suppose I should review all the other contestants, recap to draw this out longer, perhaps say nice things about the losers to sooth their egos. But I really don’t want to, I have better things to do with my time. If you have questions about my judging, give a yodel on the comments section and I’ll answer them to the best of my god-like abilities.

So it’s the final three, all selected to Host instead of take on pirates. Makes it easy to compare all your attempts since no one tried to be unique. See let us take a looky loo at your attempts.

Bennet: Excellent job, you actually mostly achieved what you were tasked to do. You also managed to get some pesky garden vermin killed in the process. Not too shabby. Actually, this was a good showing on your part.

Jan: How sad that Xavier saved your most vapid useless partner until last. You had a strong showing and Dazzler’s breasts made an excellent effort at entertaining. But a hair pulling fight? How cliché.

Petrelli: If we’d only known the way into Emma knickers was booze and some leather clothing, I would have invested in some of both from the very beginning. But I liked your attempt at coupling up passengers.

So who won? Well, it’s been a crazy long race, my little peons, and you three have raced better than all the others. But who was the best? Who raced the fasted and strategized the best? None of you really, I think it’s all sheer dumb luck that has you three here. But whatever the reason, only one of you managed to milk that luck to the very end.

And that person first to the finish is…

Nathan Petrelli! You must have been motivated to haul your fanny at warp speed after getting your girl stolen from you by an ugly man with a small vocabulary and even smaller brain. Congratulations, may this take the sting out of your strike out.

Jan and Bennet, you both were excellent this time, it was very close. Veryveryvery close. And no, Bennet, I don’t hold you hooking me up with Paula against you, lots of people try, but I prefer my women not to be a train wreck. Everyone did an excellent job and should you have questions about why I judged as I did, leave a comment and I’ll try to answer it.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

The One In Which I Made a Few Love Connections

My fellow finalist and blog readers:

I have good news and bad news. The good news, we’re on our final challenge. It’s been a long road filled with adventure and love, even if Emma doesn’t want to admit it. The bad news, Bennet, oh how I loathe that man, has placed a yield on me. $@#$ One day I’m going to get even with him, but it will have to be after I repay him for saving my life and raising my illegitimate daughter. I wouldn’t want to appear ungrateful or anything. #@$#

Ten minutes later…More good news, although, the yield might cause problems, I decided not to whine and make the most of my time, so I went to find Emma so I could collect on her promise several posts back. She is supposed to give me a little action. I put on my best suit, splashed on a little man perfume, and practiced my most dazzling smile in the mirror. “Oh Yeah, I’m irresistible.”

Another ten minutes later….More bad news, when I got to Emma’s room, she said she had to wash her hair. I thought it looked fine, but she was rather insistent. By the time she was finished, it was time to make our way to the Falkland Islands. Hummm. It sounds like an opportunity to wear less clothing and bath in the sun… I wonder if Emma can be more scantily clad than she already is?

“Why are you staring at me Petrelli?”

“Huh, what? I’m not, I was just thinking.”

She looked at me for a second before saying, “Nah, too easy.”

Grabbing our two jet packs, she threw one to me. I’ve never worn a jet pack before, but it looked sort of kinky so I went with it. There wasn’t anything sexy about it though. As soon as I put it on, it propelled me into the sky like a rocket. I passed birds, airplanes, and one oddly shaped UFO before it sputtered and died on me. I pushed buttons, I cursed, I cried and then I plummeted toward the earth.

Although, Emma said I screamed like a girl, I emphatically deny it. It was a manly yelp based on gravity confusion. I could hear Emma yelling my name. Poor dear, she loves me so much. She must have been terrified at the thought of losing me. Unfortunately, I was so terrified, I couldn’t comfort her, but I could see she had changed direction with her own jet pack and was heading toward me. Suddenly, she was beside me, my scantily clad angel. I reached out to her, but she knocked away my hand. “You idiot, you don't need me. You can fly on your own.”

Well,… “Oh yeah.”

I willed myself to stop my downward spiral and found myself floating in the air. I looked to Emma and said, “I was just testing you,…just so you know that.”

“Yeah, right Petrelli, let’s go.”

Ten minutes later, and we had arrived on the Princess Cruise ship, also known as the Love Boat. “Oh yeah, this is my kind of place.”

“Come on Petrelli, we don’t know how far the others have gotten in their tasks yet. Let’s find this Stubing and get on with the challenge.”

I followed her dutifully to the control room where we were both greeted by Captain Stubing. Emma sighed heavily, and told him, “Skip the spiel. From the way Petrelli is salivating, I’m sure he is going to choose Host.”

Stubing scratched his bald head, and said, “Let me introduce you to our cruise director, Julie McCoy. She has the passenger list. Feel free to coordinate with her to make our passengers’ dreams come true.”

I grabbed the list and flipped through it, picking out several people at random. I showed it to Emma and encouraged her to lounge by the pool. Satisfying the fantasies of others is my specialty.

The first on my list was Chuck Norris, a man’s, man. He is rugged, strong, a man of few words and he came aboard because the next port of call will put him one step closer to his dream. He wants to relive his glory days back when he trudged through the thick brush of the Brazilian Rain Forrest.

Also on the list was this woman, known only as Flo. She is a waitress, slightly loose with a lot of attitude. She’s looking for a strong rugged man who will pursue her and make her scream for Jesus.

“Kiss My Grits, Congressman Petrelli! I never said make me scream for Jesus…Well, not exactly.”

“Calm down Flo. Let me introduce you to one of our esteemed passengers, Chuck.”

I motioned for Chuck to come closer. “Chuck this is…Chuck?”

I noticed the dazed look in his eyes but before I could ask if he was alright he pulled out a huge machete. “Look at that!” he yelled, pointing at Flo’s hair. “Wild fire in the bush!” With a primal yell, he charged at her.

Flo screamed, “Sweet Jesussss! Ahhhhhh!” and took off running for the stairs.

I noticed Emma eyeing me from the bar where Isaac was trying to chat her up. I gave her the thumbs up sign. One happily satisfied couple down and two to go…

I pull out the passenger list again. Next on the list was this man, Mr. Furley. Although a little homophobic, still a basically nice guy. He runs an apartment complex for men sexy enough to have three female roommates. (I’ll be putting my application in as soon as we get back to shore.) He’s looking for a little bit of loving on this cruise, and I think for obvious reasons, he needs help.

“What do you mean? I’ll have you know I’m a stud.”

I pat him apologetically on the shoulder. “Sorry, Mr. Furley. I’m a stud. You’re more of a dud; but for every man, there is a woman-- perhaps in your case a desperate woman. Ahhh, speaking of which, here is your date now….

Allow me to introduce Alice. She is a maid for a very large family. She loves kids, cooking, cleaning, and marrying well past her prime.”

Alice moved forward to shake his hand, “Hello, will you marry me? I have an excellent butcher friend. I can get you free meat?”

“Free meat? Well, I hate to pass up a bargain like that. Tell me, are you opposed to brown paper bags…?”

“I’m not opposed to them, if you’re not opposed to them.”

…and off they went. Two couples down and one couple to go.

Our next lucky passenger is … Me. “I’m an incredibly sexy man. All women want me, even though they don’t always admit it right away. I’ve been a confirmed bachelor for years, even when I was married to my first wife, Heidi. However, now, I want to settle down, for real, with the love of my life…” Yep you guessed it…

“This is Emma. She is well endowed and sort of dominates the men in her life. I’m OK with that.”

The sputtering that could be heard from the bar was caused by Emma. She stood and staggered toward me. Aha. She was drunk and some what powerless to kill me…unless she wanted to take out the whole ship at the same time… I couldn’t believe my luck. I helped her to a chair and was about to commence my wooing…when I heard a blood curdling scream. It was Flo.

She ran past me and yelled, “You no good falootin’ politician…You’re gonna’ kiss my grits and then some, when I’m through with you.”

I was a little worried, so I followed her back to the bar and bought her a few drinks. After her fifth one, I slipped her the satisfaction form for her to sign. Woo Hoo…I was pretty excited because that meant I was still two down…so I got up and made my way back to Emma only to find to my shock….

“FOILED!!!!” It was the Fonz. He was onboard to pick up some chicks, and he had picked up mine!!! No!!!

I said, “You can’t have her.”

He said, “Heyyyy…”

I said, “I saw her first.”

He said, “Heyyyy.”

I said, “Let’s just ask Emma.”

She said, “hehehehehe…Leather.”

I said, "#$#$%$."

He said, “Heyyyyyy.” And then he walked off with my girl. I mean, yeah he said good things on the satisfaction form and technically I made my quota, but he totally stole my woman.

In frustration I yelled, “I’m so depressed. I don’t think I can go on… I may have to bail out of the challenge!”

“Oh. Jou’ can’ do dat. Jou suxy maan Jou.”

I turned to see who had spoken and decided life might be worth living after all…

Jan the Intergalactic Aviator: Cruise

We made it to the ship. We made it OK except for one little problem – the Dazzler’s jetpack sputtered and died halfway to the Falklands. Luckily, I was able to catch her and carry her the rest of the way to the ship.

Oh yeah, did I mention that I’m basically her personal guard and protector now? OK, so maybe I’ve had a little run of bad luck with my partners. I know complaining about it is pointless, but it’s not like I deliberately tried to hurt them. Well, maybe except for Juggernaut. The jerk.

Anyhow, Professor Xavier gave the edict that I must finish the race with my partner in order to win. OK, big deal right? Except my friend here seems to have some kind of deathwish. She wants to pet the dinosaur, she wants to taste the maybe poisonous fruit hanging off the tree, she wants to sing to the giant gorilla because music tames the savage beast, she wants to run and jump off the cliff full speed before trying the “on” button on the jetpack. Fortunately, it worked.

Unfortunately, it sputtered and died.

Was it sabotage? I don’t know. All I know is that I swooped down and just grabbed her arm before she made a big wet splat into the ocean. Rescuing people sure is fun.

Oh by the way, that was sarcasm. I don’t know if you can tell or not, but I really don’t consider myself a woman of action. I know some of the imbeciles involved in this race keep thinking I’m some kind of an intergalactic gladiator or something, but let me assure you that there is quite a bit of difference between hauling some freight fast and far across a sector and strapping on a leather thong and hitting some guy with a laser trident.

As if any of that stuff is real anyway.

So, we make it to the ship in relatively one piece and immediately Dazzler starts hopping up and down to go fight the pirates and I’m like “No way, we’re doing something safe.” I’m not getting her shot in the back by Barnacle Bill. So she starts moping that her father never let her fight pirates and he never let her sing and she just goes on and on and I’m like WTH? Eventually, I persuade her that with her singing talents, we’ll easily dazzle (ha ha, get it? Ugh) the audience.

So it’s about show time and Dazzler’s just sitting there moping about her father and her failed relationships with her boyfriends Lance, Dirk, Fabian, and Longshot and I really didn’t think of her as a diva, but then there she is refusing to go on stage. Fabian? Seriously? I thought Lance and Dirk were bad enough. And then she’d go on and on about Lance’s manly hairy chest and the chain he used to wear.


Finally, finally I coax her onto stage. The crowd was cheering and she was acting all sheepish and shy but then when that music kicked in, she rocked the house. She sang all kinds of songs and dazzled everyone with burst after burst of bright energy from her hands. She even went old school and sang a disco song while roller skating through the audience, between tables and around the cocktail waitresses. I am not afraid to admit that she was pretty awesome.

When her show ended, the crowd jumped up with roaring approval. Getting three positive reviews from this crowd will be easy. The crowd kept cheering but Dazzler didn’t go back on stage for an encore, she just slid past me and walked out into the starry night.

I quickly chased after her, grabbing two glasses of wine off a waiter’s tray along the way.

“Congratulations,” I said as I handed her one of the glasses. “You did great. We’ve definitely got the challenge in the bag.”

“If only my father could see me now,” she sighed sadly.

“I’m sorry that your father’s dead and you’ve never reconciled with him.”

“Oh, he’s still alive, he’s retired in Hoboken,” Dazzler replied.

“What?” I couldn’t believe her. “What the fracking frell is with you and all of your angsty crying?”

“Well my life’s never been easy,” she replied. “It’s been tough trying to make a career out of singing, modeling, acting, being an aerobics instructor, being an X-Man, being the herald of Galactus… Lance was always there for me, but he never understood me you know?”

“Oh my God, just stop it with the emo crap already,” I threw my arms up. “It’s been done already, and much better by others.”

“What do you mean?”

“Uh hello, how about Spider-Man?” I asked. “He’s always worried about his Aunt May and her health, and paying the bills, and his job at the Daily Bugle.”

Dazzler looked confused. “What are you talking about?”

“You know, Peter Parker is Spider-Man and he’s always worried about his personal life?”

“What?” Dazzler laughed. “No, Peter’s not Spider-Man, he takes pictures of Spidey for the Bugle.”

“You don’t remember when he unmasked?” I asked. “It was a whole big event, apparently.”

“I dunno,” she shrugged.

“Did everyone just forget all of that stuff about him one day? You know what? Whatever, it doesn’t matter. The point is, you’re a super hero with some cool powers. You don’t need to mope around all day grousing about your personal life. Be happy. Have a little fun you know.”

“I wish I could,” she replied sadly. “If only Dirk could be here now.”

“What, did he move away to Jersey City?” I asked.

“No, he got eaten by and alligator in the sewer,” she replied.

“Oh my God!” I screamed. “That’s it! I can’t take it any more. Get the frack back to your room and just sit there until the ship hits port. I don’t want to fracking hear you anymore. I can’t stand your lame whining!”

Dazzler responded by throwing her drink in my face.

“Oh, no you didn’t,” I gasped angrily as I wiped the wine off with my hand.

“Shut up, bitch,” Dazzler growled. She grabbed my glass and threw the contents in my face as well.

“Bitch,” I said. “It is on.”

I slapped her across the cheek, she slapped me back. I slapped her again and she responded with the same. I then punched her and she punched me back so I grabbed her hair as she tried to claw my eyes with her nails. I was surprised to get leverage on her, but I used it to throw her over me. She went sailing over the railing and just barely managed to grab it.

“Oh my God!” she screamed.

“I got you!” I grabbed her arm. “Whatever you do, just don’t look down!”

“Oh God! I don’t want to get chopped up in those propellers!”

“I said don’t look down!” I yelled as I tried to get a grip on her arm.

“Oh God, now there are sharks swimming all around!” she wailed. “I don’t want to get eaten by sharks!”

“I got you!” I started to hoist her arm, but she slipped and almost fell but I grabbed her wrist at the last second.

“Oh God, now there’s some sort of sea creature eating all the sharks!” she yelled. “I don’t want to get eaten by a sea creature!”

“Stupid death wish,” I muttered as I hoisted her back onto the deck.

“Oh God, thank you,” she said.

“No problem,” I shrugged.

“I still owe you this though.” She hauled off and punched me in the face again.

“Bitch!” I punched her back and she grabbed my hair so I tried to push her face away with my nails. She shoved me and I stumbled back, and then we both tumbled into the pool.

She pulled me up out of the water and slapped me again. I grabbed her and tried to shove her under the water or tear her dress or something. She grabbed me and tried to tear my dress as well.

We heard laughter and applause. Dazzler and I stopped and looked up. All around us, people were looking at us and cheering.

“This must be part of the show,” one man said as he clapped.

“It’s like a Dynasty tribute!” another older woman said joyfully.

I looked at Dazzler and she looked at me. I grinned and gave half a shrug. She giggled and threw her arm around me.

“Thank you, thank you,” she laughed. “I hope you enjoyed the show and the rest of your stay on the Caribbean Princess.”

The crowd clapped and moved on to other forms of recreation as I stood there speechless. I finally looked at Dazzler and shook my head laughing. She grinned and half shrugged back at me. I laughed, she laughed. It was cathartic.

We then enjoyed the rest of the cruise and quickly made it to the Hellfire Club with no more incidents.

And Dazzler only tried to kill herself ten or eleven times along the way.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Mission Eight: All's Well That Ends

Well, I managed to make it to the final three. I always knew I would.

It's been a long and challenging journey, and my mutant partner has been a pain. It will be nice to get back to my life at Primatech Paper Company. There I have highly-trained mutant partners that can actually lend a helping hand to situations. Scott has been more like a dead weight. A dead weight with a tail who occasionally wins wet t-shirt contests.

But this is it. The final challenge. As he and I jetpack our way out of the Savage Land, I think about how my fraternization with him will finally come to an end.

Suddenly, he and his jetpack exploded!

Luckily, I insisted on wearing the proper personal protection equipment. It very well saved his life, which apparently I need upon crossing the finish line. So, I had no choice but to catch his descending body and let him piggy back the rest of the way.

We landed safely on the cruise ship. I found the captain and received the detour instructions.

Cyclops looked at me and said, "I'm not even going to bother suggesting one because you always pick the opposite of what I say."

"But if you did suggest one, which would you suggest?" I asked.

"Oh, the one with pirates," he answered, "definitely! Pirates are swaggerish and sexy."

So, we began mingling with the passengers on board this vessel. Rather than fighting pirates, we would need to make sure at least three people have an enjoyable time here, or at least frighten them into giving us a positive review on the customer surveys.

"Scott," I said, "Bring all the bottles of cheap wine that you can carry. We've got to grease the wheels of romance."

There were many lonely souls on board. It should be easy enough to pair everyone up with each other for a good time.

I gave orders to Scott as I analyzed the crowd. He would go up to the individuals I selected and serve them lots of wine as well as direct their attention toward a hopefully compatible mate.

During my scheming, I was approached by a little, pointy-headed fellow.

"Hello," he said.

"Aren't you a little short for a cruise passenger?" I asked.

"Oh, not at all! Travelocity does not discriminate," it replied. "I go on many cruises."

"Yeah," I said. "That's nice and all, but I'm busy. So, get lost little guy."

His head dropped as he turned around. He wearily walked away from me. Then, I realized that he may give us a bad review, so I decided I might as well talk to him. "Wait!" I called out, "I guess we can talk for a while. Just don't get too chatty."

"Oh, joy!" he smiled as he approached again. "I'm so glad. I'm a very, very lonely gnome."


"Oh, yes. Lonely. Sad. Depressed. You should try being a spokesman for a travel agency. They send you all around the world. You're in so many timezones that you lose all sense of time. Insomnia ensues. And of course, the only things to do at these locales is the same ol' touristy nonsense that they have everywhere. Take a picture here. Take a picture there. It never ends! And they don't bother sending you with a companion, someone to take your picture, or better yet, be in the picture with you. It's a very, very depressing life."

I was getting bored listening to his tale. It seemed he already talked enough, and the snack cart was approaching. So, I grabbed a slice of cheesecake, handed it to the gnome and said, "Here. Just go to your room and eat this. Cheesecake is better than love."

"It is?" he asked.

"Of course. It's ultimate bliss. If you're a sad little guy, you should just have some cheesecake. Cheer you right up."

So, he left with his cheesecake in hand.

Scott returned for some more wine and he and I continued to couple everyone up.

The King and Larry Craig

Spider-Man and Superman

Paula and Simon

Arnold Schwarzenegger and his muscles

These pairings would work wonders on the overall morale of the passengers. People want love and companionship, that's all. Fun is something you have when you're with a person who you enjoy and who enjoys you. I was very mathematical in my approach. I was sure that they would all be grateful.

The cruise was finally coming to an end. The captain took up everyone's customer surveys. I looked through them:

Arnold Schwarzenegger: "Me und my moosels are great togetha! Dank you!" +
Larry Craig: "He's kind of creepy." -
The King: "He's kind of creepy." -
Simon: "That was more of a mistake than the night Britney Spears was conceived." -
Paula: "Like, Simon is so great! You're great. Everyone is great. Great job!" +
Superman: "He blew his web too soon." -
Spider-Man: "He's impenetrable!" -

"Oh, no! We only got two positive marks," I said to Scott.

He replied, "That's positively awful!"

Ignoring his stupid pun, I flipped through the customer surveys a second time, hoping we missed someone. "That stupid gnome!" I said noticing that the Roaming Gnome didn't submit a customer survey.

Scott and I headed for his room below deck. I was hopeful that he would give us a positive mark. After all, he got the greatest companion of all: cheesecake.

I knocked.

No answer.

"Hello?" I called.

No answer.

I fired my gun into the doorlock and kicked the door open.

No answer.

"Oh, my," Scott said seeing the helpless little dangler. "He's hung."

"That he is," I replied. "Quick! Look around for his customer survey. Hopefully he filled it out before accidentally falling inside a noose."

Scott and I went all through his room. We searched through the room, finding nothing but empty beer bottles, pornographic magazines and Joni Mitchell albums. Then, I came across a note:

To whomever should find little ol' me:

I do apologize for making such a mess of the place. If you call Travelocity, I'm sure one of their excellent customer service representatives will do whatever it takes to clean up this room for you.

Unfortunately, this is to be my last vacation. I am a gnome that shall roam no more. It is a sad life, always being on the move. I wish that it would not have come to this. Years of being all alone, with nobody to spend my life with, has taken a horrendous toll on my well-being.

Please tell Shatner that he has finally won.

As for everyone else, and my few fans, I am sorry that I have left you. I hope you can learn from my example. Do not throw your life away on meaningless pleasures, vacations in solitude trying to avoid your lonely and depressing life. It follows you no matter to where you escape.

Never roam alone,
The Travelocity Roaming Gnome

"Aww," Scott began tearing up.

"Stupid suicide note!" I said crumpling it in my hand. "It didn't mention anything about the cheesecake I gave him!" I tossed the crumpled note into the trash bin angrily.

And that's when I noticed, in the bottom of the bin, the customer survey. Blank.

Pulling it out of the trash, I said to Scott, "I think we're back in business."

"Ooh," he replied, "I hope it's a flower shop! I've always wanted to run a flower shop."

I quickly forged the gnome's signature and wrote up a phony review.

We headed back to the top deck and handed the last customer survey to the captain.

"Looks like everything's in order here," he said. "Congratulations. If we arrive at our destination, you should be free to go to the Pit Stop."

"Wow," Scott said, "we've done it! We made it through the entire race."

I could see Rio de Janeiro approaching in the distance, and I realized that Scott was right. "Yeah," I said, "we did it alright."

The ship docked. Scott and I disembarked and located our ATV. We jumped on it, along with our camraman, who was apparently a cameradog.

The three of us raced through the streets of Rio to the Hellfire Club, the Pit Stop for the final leg of the race.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Yield: I Miss Koma

"We may as well yield ourselves! We're going to lose anyway!" Cyclops whined. "Jan and Nathan are too good! We can never beat them, never!"

Grabbing Scott by the collar, I gave him a hard backhand across the side of his face. Unfortunately, that caused his optic blast to discharge, possibly killing our cameraman in the process. Xavier supposedly had him taken to the ICU, but I haven't checked in with him or anything. I mean, it's just a cameraman anyway. We've already got a new one. These guys must grow on trees.

The optic blast/possibly dead cameraman incident postponed our announcement of our yield. As soon as we got a replacement to film our great debate over the looming decision, we continued.

"Nathan and Jan may indeed be tough competition," I explained, "but you and I have something they don't have."

"You have asthma too?" Scott asked.

"Well, yes, but that's not what I was going to say," I replied. "We have something else Jan and Nathan don't: peculiar eyewear."

"Hey, we do!" Scott stroked his visor sensually as he thought about the realization.

"And we have to make a stand and win this thing, not for ourselves, but for all the people in this world who are mocked because of impairments requiring odd head accessories...."

"....crooked-teethed little boys...."

"....victims of Monopoly, or whatever game sociopaths play...."

"....tanning people...."

"You're right," Scott admitted "So who are we yielding?"

"Nathan," I answered decisively.

"But....his chiseled jaw, his wonderful pecs," Scott contemplated, "I think it would be better if we yielded Jan, strategically I mean."

I put my hand on his shoulder, "Relax," I said. "You're merely fooled by her breasts into thinking she has talent. It happens."

"Um, yeah. Breasts."

I continued, "Were it not for her feminine wiles, she'd be nothing more than Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator. And he's hardly a threat. So, we're yielding Nathan. He can fly, you know."

We choose to yield Nathan Petrelli and Emma Frost.

Monday, November 3, 2008

AMR4 - Week 8 - The Final Leg

Well, well. We are down to the final three, my friends. Why is that more significant than the final four? I don’t know. But congratulation to the final three. And to the final four. And to everyone who played. And to everyone who thought of playing but didn’t. And thanks to Simon for being such a berk. And a round of pity applause to Gyrobo and Puck who was the last persons, in the most general sense, to arrive last week.

Actually, reaching the finally three is significant because this is the final leg of the Race! This is it! Winner take all! The first team to arrive wins! The last two teams to arrive don’t! This means it’s time to get off the bench, take off your gloves and step up to the plate!

As usual, the Mutant Massacrer has struck again. Jan managed to put Unus the Untouchable in the Infirmary. Now I have been letting it slide so far that Jan has technically not been complying with the rules in that both members of a team must reach the Pit Stop together in order to complete a leg of the Race. Since none of the so-called “accidents” to her partners were directly her fault, she was not penalized. In order to win the Race however, Jan must reach the Finish Line before the other contestants with her mutant partner. This week her partner will be the Dazzler.

This final leg of the Race starts at Ka-Zar’s lair in the Savage Land. Mr. Bennet with one T gets to Yield his favorite player. Each team will be given 2 jetpacks that they will use to fly to the Falkland Islands.
There a Caribbean Princess cruise ship will be waiting for the contestants.

Each team’s time of arrival on the ship will determine their time of departure from the ship. Once aboard, head for the control room where Captain Steubing will give the Detour for this leg of the Race.

A Detour presents a choice between two tasks, each with their own pros and cons. Once a task has been completed, the contestants must then race to the Pit Stop. In this Detour, the teams must choose between Host and Toast.

In Host, you must mingle with the throngs of humanity known as passengers who have signed up for this cruise in the hopes of love and/or fun. Teams that choose this task must make sure the passengers’ dreams are fulfilled. To win here, at least three passengers must give your team positive marks on the customer satisfaction survey.

In Toast, your team must fend off the raiding hoards of pirates that have been preying on cruise ships off the coast of South Africa. These particular pirates have taken to using unconventional weapons and even super-powered mercenaries on their crews so this task will not be easy. To win this challenge, you must thwart at least three pirate raids.

If a team fails to successfully complete a challenge, they will incur a time penalty, making it very hard to win this race. If . . that is I mean when . . the cruise ship arrives in port at Rio de Janeiro the teams will disembark in the order they reached the ship. Waiting on the dock will be ATV’s, one for each team. Don’t forget your cameraperson.

The teams will then race on their ATV’s through the crowded streets of downtown Rio for approximately five miles to the local chapter of the Hellfire Club. Enter the building and race for the grand ballroom, where I will be waiting to crown the winning team.

Entries must be posted by Friday, midnight, your local time.

Good luck to everyone!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pit Stop

I have other issues to deal with than pay attention to what you little people do. My girlfriend, who’s breasts I paid for and still own, decided to call it quits since I have no interest in procreating with anyone. Vile nasty things, babies. Snotty whiney creatures who lay around in their own filth. A bit like all of you. I’ve been spending my time looking for a new crumpet to invest a nice pair of boobies in, far more important than dealing with the lot of you.

Gyrobo: Nice try at things, I think

Petrelli: Nice effort, we all appreciated seeing your partner run. Perhaps Xavier should make more running challenges for her.

Bennett: I applaud your need to always enforce the rules, even when it’s really dumb to so.

Jan: Would you be interested in a newer nicer pair of breasts? Your transformations have shown me that you would look stunning with a new set. Call my assistant and we can get it set up. *wink*

So which of you losers won?

That would be Bennett, though it was a close finish.

So which of you losers failed, as you all eventually will?

That would be Gyrobo.


Friday, October 31, 2008

The Folly of Man 2.0

They will chant my name.

A throne of barbs and bones will await my coming.

Newborns will be named after me, as will streets and airports.

Turning to my left, I slid that most helpful, brand-new self-help book under the velvet armrest. Most hot-air balloons don’t even have seats, much less armrests and satellite television.

But Cory Doctorow is nothing if not 100% first class. The sealed walls of the passenger balloon were splattered with a smattering of aesthetic oddities: elegant caricatures of dashing, debonair dilettantes, hanging urns packed with ferns, empty suits of crystalline armor fresh off some extraterrestrial medieval battlefield. Behind it all, the wallpaper appeared to be tattooed on.

Four bodyguards stood silent at each porthole, spear-guns at the ready. “Captain” Cory always provided his guests with the best protection plundered Incan gold could buy; far from being a harmless balloon enthusiast, the blogger emeritus had recently turned to sky piracy, assembling a raucous gang of fearless daredevils and opportunists.

Many mountaintop towns hired mercenaries or trained their own citizens as archers, but the Doctorow Fleet’s nighttime raids and chainmailed balloon envelopes kept them the scourge of the Andes.

One of the guards caught me looking outside. “It belongs on a postcard, no?”

I nodded. “Where is the captain? We were supposed to discuss the small matter of payment…”

“We already reached an agreement,” my Canadian companion Puck said, lounging on a plush sofa to the far side of the cabin. Our spicy camerawoman Yvette Sumberland Jr. sat next to him, working on one of her Sudoku puzzle-books.

“I didn’t agree to anything. What did you pay them? Did you pay them in beads?! Oh God, my bead collection! Why?! Why?!”

“We agreed to help the High Evolutionary build the genome for Humanity 2.0,” Yvette plodded, plotting the spot of her next blot. “And put the DNA samples under a non-restrictive license, allowing redistribution and remixing.”

“Putting our genetic magic in the public domain?! Open-sorcery!”

Sighing, Puck handed me the map of the Antarctic region locals called “Savage Land.” Atlantea was highlighted in blue: the home of the High Evolutionary. Verily, Puck, Yvette and I would help the Evolutionary with his redesign of the human race. Having been present at the original design process untold thousands of years ago, I had some pretty keen insights into what needed improvement.

“Does the captain have any requests?” I asked the stationary strongman. Before he could answer, the phone by the heat nozzle rang. Central Nav must have found the red smoke plume that would lead us to the borders of Savage Land.

Laying back into the satin cushion they dared call a mere chair, I quickly dozed off to sleep.

To this day, I curse that decision.
When I woke up, I was chained to the ground with a sock in my mouth. There was a sweatband over my eyes, so I couldn’t see. It was hot and I was more thirsty than I can remember.


“Puck?” I whispered, recognizing that obnoxiously odious overtone. “Can you move?” I gasped.

“Where are you?”

Something sharp dug into my side. Sweet Iguana of Tijuana! I was being carved up like a Christmas ham!

“Ow! Help, I’m being carved up like a Christmas goose. Or ham, either would work for this situation.”

Naturally, the sock in my mouth caused that entire sentence to sound like a protracted series of grunts and moans.

“Gee whiz, eh! I didn’t ask to hear your stump speech, I just wanted to know where you were!” Puck laughed, accompanied by a laughtrack. When did he get his own laughtrack?

A hand reached down and pulled my downtrodden face up to the light and lo! within seconds Puck snatched the sweatband from my eyes and popped the sock from my mandible.

“You stole my sock.”

I looked around, disoriented and frightened. We were in the cabin, but it didn’t feel like we were moving. “Have we crashed?”

“We just landed. The pirates are locking down the balloons so they can go hunt saber-toothed were-whales.”

“Were-whales?” I murmured. That sounded vaguely plausible. “Aren’t they those most excellent sea creatures that can swim at over 300 miles per hour, and jump over 400 feet in the air?”

“Aye, that they do. That they do. But they live on a steady diet of plankots and human blood, making them one of the rarest and most hunted, most persecuted were-mammals of Savage Land.”

Of all the things to blame on the plankot lobby, the decades-long decline of the were-whale is the most tragic.

“No use crying over spilled blood,” I sang sanguinely, slyly side-stepping the situation. Opening the now-unbolted exit panel, I set footcup down on the fertile, seasoned ground of Atlantea.

Behind us sat a grounded fleet of fortified hot-air balloons, waiting to take us back east. Ahead lay the Citadel of Science that haunted my dreams since the last time I was here — over 40 years in the future.

High up in the citadel’s highest tower, I spied a moving shadow. Could that silhouette be the Evolutionary, perchance? Mayhap, I should resolve this with but a question:

“You must be the High Evolutionary,” I blasted through my bullhorn at a man in a red metallic mask walking past a window in a bathrobe holding a cup of some hot liquid. I know it was hot because when I blasted my bullhorn at him, he dropped it on his feet and started screaming.

It’s too bad you can only make a first impression once. I’d have loved to do that a few more times.
“People, bring me solutions, not answers!” I threw another spate of design templates in the “later” pile.

Unlike all other rooms in the citadel, the planning room didn’t smell of overripe fruit and moldy flowers. The High Evolutionary was a peculiar man who seemed to lack any sense of taste or smell, decking his halls with boughs of… whatever they were, they had long since rotted away and never been cleaned up.

Herb had been an otherwise gracious host, offering us room, board and back massages. I declined all three and questioned his patriotism.

Could I be blamed? The designs he kept asking for were idiotic. Dog-people? Giraffe-people? Cyclopses and triclopses? It was all the same thing — just a slight modification to the human genome with features and doodads that already existed in some other species. There was nothing groundbreaking or controversial here. I’ve never been so disillusioned.

“Stop. We’re going in circles,” I said to the roomful of chromosome chroniclers, “what we need to do is follow Google’s Chrome team’s example. What did Google do when they designed Chrome? They took the needs of today’s modern web browser and modeled the structure of Chrome around that.”

“People aren’t web browsers,” Yvette bleated sheepishly.

“Typical Apple fangirl mumbo-jumbo! The principles are sound,” I tapped the chalkboard. “Find what the demands of modern society are on people and redesign based on that.”

“People have sedentary lifestyles nowadays,” Puck chuck-a-lucked. “They don’t need so much muscle mass.”

“Now we’re getting somewhere.”

“They wouldn’t need perfect eyesight, either. Nobody needs to hunt for their food in a society of preprocessed cheese and spam.”

“They’d also need a pouch to carry around tools…”

“And a third arm-like appendage to improve productivity! Like… a prehensile tail of the chest,” the High Evolutionary thundered, getting into the spirit of the season.

“And a box-shaped head so as to fit into any container,” I added. We quickly had a working proposal.
“I had a great time,” I told High Evolutionary Herb as I put on my green Lands’ End jacket. Pigs in a blanket, I looked stunning.

“We had a really fun time,” Yvette agreed, shaking Herb’s hand with the camera strapped to her head. Puck grabbed his hat and poncho off the coat rack.

The door closed behind us. We sat on the porch for a few minutes, discussing various matters, such as good and bad restaurants and our families. Puck, it turned out, has five children. I didn’t know that about him. And Yvette was one of the recipients of the Pierre LePike Remedial Spike award in 2004 for her part in the massive, government-funded effort to photograph Santa Claus.

Well, that’s all well and good, but there was something that still stuck in my giggling craw.

“Puck, you can break steel with your superpowers, non?”

“No…” he trailed off, somehow not liking where I was certainly going with this line of questioning.

“We’re going to steal one of the balloons before Cory Doctorow and the sky pirates get back.”

They both stared at me like I’d grown a prehensile chest-arm. “What?” They asked simultaneously.

“Sadness! Sadness within my heart. My friends, my friends, we cannot allow this genetic code to fall into the hands of those were-whalers.”

My fear was palpable. As a concerned environmentalist, I simply could not allow these blogger barons, these blustery blagards, from blindly beaching those benevolent behemoths. It all came down to the wire. Did we have what it took to save Savage Land from the wrath of the sky pirates?

Smashing one of the balloons’ fuel tanks, I ran up to another. “Puck, roundhouse kick that widget! Yea o man of Canada!”

Cheering, we destroyed all but one of the hot-air balloons, which we seized in due time, after our victory dance o’er the frigid ice. On our flight back east, the band of pirates (now returning with a fresh were-whale — oh, the horror!) started firing their pathetic spear-guns at us.

Little it would avail them! What folly, their own plating now serving against them! Verily, I did chortle lightly into my diet Pepsi, spraying the sofa with a considerable amount of droplets.

“Do you wonder,” Puck asked as I stared out the porthole, “if it was wrong to leave them to their own devices? I daresay, those devils will be quick to revenge themselves on you.”

I removed my glasses thoughtfully. “They will hate, as is their way. But in these lands, they will fend for themselves. They will learn morals from battling the giant lizards and man-squids. Slowly but surely, they will repent. They will learn to live alongside the were-whale, and take its song to heart.”

Puck smiled at my sagely advice. He was wise to do so; I’ve personally written 35% of all fortune cookies.

And yes, perhaps one day Cory Doctorow and his fellow balloonists would accept the folly of their ways. But, as the great Roman poet Icicles wrote, it is harder to change one’s outlook than it is to change the diaper of a gorilla.

A Day of slapping, eating, puking, and boob jiggling.

Yielded, I can’t say I’m surprised. I did yield Jan on my last win, and Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. I should know; I’ve scorned quite a few in my time. However, this time it wasn’t my fault. Emma made me do it, and now were stuck waiting while everyone else rushed away to start the next task.

While waiting for our yield to expire, I sat lost in thought. Remembering the prior evening, a shiver ran down my spine. I had planned on making my way to the swanky hot tub the Marriot prides itself upon. I had visions of lovely ladies beckoning me to join them. Sadly, my dreams were ruined by the only other person in the hotel who felt like getting sexy in the hot, bubbling water. When I found him waiting for me, well…let’s just say I couldn’t have given the happy to anybody after that…I spent the rest of the evening waking from nightmares caused by the excessive hairy back of my hot tub friend.

After such a dismal night, I had hoped for a better morning; but it was no better. Having heard about the hot tub incident, the other contestants jeered and laughed at me, the B##$#ds. I continued to sulk about my misfortune until Emma showed up a half hour later and pulled me along to our waiting taxi. “Let’s move it Petrelli, and stop moping! It annoys me.” Ah, yes…that’s my Emma, ever the professional with her mind on business.

She quickly negotiated with the cabbie, and we arrived at the airport faster than I could have flown us there. Once there we, again, were able to quickly find passage on a commuter plane. The pilot was willing to forego a few government regulations to get us into the air quickly and perhaps help us regain some lost time. Emma was a little skeptical at first, because the plane had a few missing seats; but once in the air she seemed to relax. I was a little disappointed because we were the only people on the plane. It seemed my hopes of joining the Mile High Club were slipping away, yet again. Of course, there was always the possibility Emma might be willing…

“Aaahhhhh!!!! My Emma had grabbed and pulled my chest hair. “Why did you do that?!”

“I can read your simple mind. Now stop, before I make you slap yourself.” She stared at me for a second and then…

“Aaahhh!!! I wasn’t thinking anything!!!” I don’t know what hurts more, my face or the palm of my hand.

She giggled and said, “I know.”

After that, we didn’t talk for the rest of the plane ride. I’m not angry with her. I know how difficult it must be to deny her growing feelings of attraction. It’s almost predictable that she would lash out with some sort of violence.

Anyway, we landed with a few bumps and went straight for the hot air balloons. I was careful this time to keep my mind off the Mile High Club, just in case she decided to make me jump out of our floating transportation. By the time we made it to the ‘savage land’ and followed the trail to Zarhan, I was ready to give up on the contest for a nice soft bed and a warm body…or vice versa.

Emma took the map and reviewed it. “You’re going to make an idiot out of yourself to matter what we choose, so I’m letting you decide.”

It wasn’t the flattery I’m accustomed to, but I overlooked it. “I choose scene. I could use some Botor. Did you notice the gimp Jan confused with me? A Botor treatment is what the Doctor ordered.”

Emma looked at me with a raised brow. “Don’t you mean…Boto..nevermind, ... scene it is. Let’s go.”

Once we arrived, we wasted no time in trying to decide which games to play with the tree people. Instead we went with Hot Wheel’s suggestions. I agreed to start off by joining the guarnolope pie eating contest. I have no idea what a guarnolope might be, but the food was absolutely disgusting. Seeing that I was unlikely to make it through, Emma promised to give me the night of my life if I could win this contest. It’s almost needless to say, but I am now the guarnolope pie champion. The tree people were quite impressed and offered to let me rest before the next competition, but Emma insisted we hurry to make up time.

The next event was dinosaur-back racing. I was so sick to my stomach; I didn’t have time to feel afraid. I climbed onto the closest T-Rex. However, I kept doubling over with stomach pain. Finally, Emma jumped onto the T-Rex with me to keep me from falling off. It’s a good thing she did because his muzzle broke half way through the race and if it weren’t for her telepathic abilities controlling the beast, it would have killed me. As it were, she kept the T-Rex from eating me, kept me from falling off, and somehow scared the beast into running fast enough to win the race.

With two tasks down, I should have been feeling lucky but the guarnolope pie caught up with me so Emma had to handle the last task on her own. Giant Mosquito Catching, it didn’t sound like fun to me. However, as soon as Emma spotted one she began to run toward it. In that moment, all my suffering was rewarded. I would describe to you the sight of Emma running, but…well…she would hurt me. I know that you guys can imagine it though. It was sweet…very sweet. In the span of a few moments she crossed the field and grabbed onto one incredibly large mosquito. It struggled for a few seconds before lying peacefully at her feet… It was sort of anti-climatic; after the running and boob jiggling, winning was sort of *meh*…

Given everything I had been through, it wasn’t too surprising that I slept all the way back to the pitstop. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to lie down. My stomach is still arguing with me. Guarnolope in the opposite direction…isn’t a good thing, and I have to get my rest so I can collect my reward from Emma. Yowza!

Mission Seven: A Family Tale

"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."

"But...you 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 mean...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 on...you 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.

Jan the Intergalactic Aviator: You say you want an evolution?

“Welcome to my citadel,” the High Evolutionary gestured from his position at the door towards the inside of his fortress. “Here is where the magic happens. Well not magic, of course. It’s science -- super science.”

I stepped in and was immediately awed by the sight before me. Giant computers, tanks full of bubbling liquid, and all kinds of laboratory equipment filled the place. He even had one of those two antenna things with the electrodes where the zap of electricity would work its way up just like in the old movies.

“Wow,” I whistled. “Unbelievable.”

“And you are Jan O’Mega, also known as Jan the Intergalactic Aviator.” He placed a comforting, almost paternal, hand on my shoulder. “In you I can see so much potential. You may not be the pinnacle of human evolution but you are certainly on your way there.”

“Aw, I bet you say that to all the ladies,” I replied a little sheepishly.

“Question: do you not have a partner?” I was expecting a duo this evening.”

“Do not get me started on that guy,” I replied back in a huff. “Unus the Untouchable? Untouchable is right. Oh he was disgusting, he smelled like he hadn’t showered in weeks and those red long johns that he wears are all grimy and filthy. I tell you, it wasn’t that personal force field of his that kept me repulsed.”

“So where is he?” the High Evolutionary asked.

“Weirdest thing,” I said. “We were riding in the balloon together and he fell out.”

“Fell out?” the scientist repeated with a surprised gasp.

“Yeah, fell out,” I confirmed. “Right over an active volcano, too. I guess he’ll be OK because of his force field and all, but I don’t know how far underground he went. Who knows if we’ll ever see him again.”

“Well no matter,” the mad geneticist smiled. I think he smiled. He’s got that armored face plate thing you know. “You are the one I am interested in. Very interested.”

“Uh yeah,” I said kind of wary. “So, what’s the plan here Doc? I’m not much of a scientist, but I’ll assist you however I can.” I guess.

“Let me show you my latest invention,” he ushered me into another, giant sprawling laboratory. “Here is my new Genetic Improvement and Mutation Personal Simulator.”

“You know that spells out GIMPS, right?”


“The name of your machine. As an acronym, it makes GIMPS,” I said.

“No it doesn’t.”

“Yeah,” I insisted. “G-I-M-P-S, GIMPS.”

“But there is an A in there,” he replied. “GIAMPS.”

“GIAMPS?” I repeated. “You don’t count the A and even if you did, what the heck is a GIAMPS?”

“Well no matter,” he replied gruffly. “I can rename the device later. Perhaps something more cool to your liking.”

“I’m just saying,” I shrugged.

“Anyhow,” he growled, and then composed himself. “This machine is designed to simulate the genetic improvements that I can make on a volunteer before the actual modifications are implemented permanently. If you would please step into the chamber, we can begin our work.”

“This won’t hurt will it?” I asked.

“Of course not,” he answered. “I am a scientist, a highly evolved scientist.”

I stepped in and felt the energies surround me. They bathed me and penetrated my body; I could feel my body changing, like on a genetic level. I suddenly felt unable to stand on my feet, I swayed back and forth until a flopped to the ground like a fish – or a mermaid.

“Fact: over Seventy percent of the Earth is covered with water,” the High Evolutionary lectured. “And that is not counting the ice at the poles. With the ozone layer depleting, the water levels will rise so high that the perfectly evolved human will need to exist in the water.”

“I don’t think this will work so well,” I replied. “People will still need to stand, whether it’s on land or inside high rises above the seas or inside mighty zeppelins, floating above the Earth like giant, bloated kings.”

“Perhaps you are correct, Jan O’Mega. Perhaps you are right.”

“Although I would have loved to have this thing a couple of challenges ago,” I swished my tail back and forth. I felt the energies flow into me again. My mermaidish tail sloughed its scales and split into two, then split again and again forming long, sinewy tentacles.

“Tentacles,” the geneticist stated.

“Ew, no.”

“Very well.” I felt the almost pseudopod-like tentacles reform and solidified into legs again. I then felt something sprout from my back. I looked and giant, feathery wings stretched out from my shoulder blades.


“Perhaps winged flight would be better,” the High Evolutionary surmised. “With urban overcrowding and the ever increasing need to burn fossil fuels, soaring high with one’s own wings would be for a true, highly evolved human.”

“This might work,” I said as I looked at my right wing furling and unfurling. “I do like them, but they do feel a little cumbersome. I assume you can genetically get rid of acrophobia as well, right?”

“Perhaps, Jan O’Mega, perhaps. Perhaps, however, the key to reaching the fullest of human potential lies gaining the abilities of another animal.”

The wings shriveled up and were reabsorbed by my body as I felt a certain warmth tingle over my skin. Warmth, like a layer of fur.

“I’m a werecat?” I looked at my claws. They made one of those metallic glistening sounds like in the movies. “Cool.”

“Ah yes, much like the hero Tigra,” the High Evolutionary sighed wistfully . “I could have created her instead of some odd Cat People magic. Too bad.”

He flipped the switches again and I felt my body change once more. The fur quickly disappeared

“In the movie the Fifth Element. Leeloo represents the genetic perfection,” the High Evolutionary stated. “Perhaps that is the direction that we shall go.”

“You saw the Fifth Element?” I asked.

“Of course, I have Netflix,” he replied. “I’m not always working on my experiments, you know.”

“Yeah, but how do you get mail down here? How does a mailman get through the Savage Land?”

“A highly evolved mailman can.”

“Yeah, OK,” I said. “I don’t know about making this experiment based on a character from a movie.”

“Are you sure? Perhaps the peak of human genetics could be found in an undead creature of the night.”

“I can’t even move in this thing,” I muttered acidly as the leather on my arms and legs made squeaky noises. “Try again, High.”

“Very well.” He threw some switches again. I felt normal. Almost normal. “A highly evolved woman should look awesome in a sweater.”

“What? All this genetic manipulation so I could look good in a sweater?” I looked down then spread my arms out. “Well, I do look good. But still… Hey, wait a minute, you’ve been making me up to for some kind of weirdo sex thing, haven’t you?”

“What? No I wasn’t,” he answered quickly.

“Oh yeah, I got you figured out now.” I ticked off the altered forms on my finger. “Mermaid, creepy tentacle thing, angel, furry cat thing, Leeloo, leather dom, that sweater thing. You’re getting your kicks off on this aren’t you?”

“What? Don’t be ridiculous,” he replied defensively. “I wouldn’t do something like that, I’m highly evolved.”

I crossed my arms and stared at him.

“Oh all right, you got me there,” he admitted. “It’s just so lonely down here. What’s a highly evolved guy to do, heh heh, right?”

“Please,” I rolled my eyes. “You men are all alike. All women are are objects of your desire.”

“All right all right, I’ll make a deal with you. If you go through one more form for me, I’ll give you a pass on this detour and personally fly you to Ka-Zar’s base in my hovercar.”

“Just one more? Ok, what is it? I’m not going to have huge breasts sticking out of my back am I? Or turn some kind of cow woman. I refuse to be turned into a cow woman.”

“Sexy librarian.”

“Sexy librarian? Of all the crazy and creepy fetishes you could have…”

“Well I am highly evolved,” he answered. “I have highly evolved sexual desires as well. I like the thinking man’s sex symbol.”

“Oh fine,” I said exasperatedly.