“James, my dear old friend. I’m so sorry.”
What for, El Rapido?
“It’s just Rapido.”
I thought there was an ‘el.’
“Nope. No ‘el.’”
Aren’t you Mexican, though?
“No, why would you think that?”
Well, you wear a lucha libre mask...
“I found it at Goodwill. Anyway, I need to have my uniform cleaned.”
Of course! But why so apologetic?
Oh. OH. Oh God... Oh. Oooo... Oh.
“Jim, I got a bit of a stomach bug and...”
Say no more. Please say no more.
“I have the super runs.”
Let me stop you right there. Why are you only wearing boxer shorts?
“I’m not only wearing boxer shorts. I have my shoes and mask on too.”
That’s not my point. Why aren’t you wearing pants?
“I’m glad you brought it up, Jimmy. You’d think that being the fastest man on Earth would allow me to get to the toilet in time when old man brown river comes a’knockin’. Not true, my friend.”
I gathered as much from the filthy garment.
“You see, that uniform is an utter pain to take off for even the simplest of private moments.”
Please don’t list them. Please.
“Taking a whizz. Sex, both solo and with accompaniment. But especially number two. Even the fastest man alive can’t get those tights off quick enough for the disgruntled escapees of the netherworld. Speak of the devil, could you direct me towards your restroom?”
Sure. It’s down that hall on the left.
“Thanks Jimbo, I’ll be just a moment.”
Yeah okay. Oh wow, that was fast.
“My name isn’t Rapido for nothing. As I was about to say, not wearing those tights gives me that extra edge I need to not make a mess.”
Uh... you’re dripping.
“Oh my. I’m so sorry. Let me clean that up for you...”
For the love... Could you face a different direction when you bend over?
“Sorry, so sorry.”
It’s... Just forget about it. Don’t ever mention it again. Please. So the boxers I can understand, but why are you shirtless?
“Don’t you think I’d look kind of dumb wearing a shirt with no pants?”
If you say so.
“That’s what I like about you, we’re always on the same page. We have an understanding, you and I. Don’t we?”
“That’s right Captain Jimmeroo. We’re pal-ohs to the end-oh. That being said, if we could keep this little digestive problem of mine on the down-low...”
Believe me, I won’t be telling anyone about any of this.
“You’re a good man, Jim-Jam. Now, tell me, when can I come pick up the uniform? Before Wednesday would be best for... Hold on, I’m feeling another rumble in the rumpus room. I’ll be right back.”
“Nope, false alar— OOOH, not a false alarm. Not at all.”
For crying out loud.
“You got a mop back there?”
push and pull
“How’s the tractor beam research coming along?”
Excellent. I must say, this may be the most important work of my career.
“That’s just great. I was thinking though...”
“We’re developing this tractor beam for space warfare, right?”
“Wouldn’t it be more useful to push the enemy away?”
“Don’t get me wrong, the tractor beam is fantastic. I’m just not seeing the usefulness of pulling the enemy closer. What’s the advantage?”
I’m not a warfare strategist but... maybe if the enemy is running away?
“No, that can’t be it. I want you to scrap the tractor beam and work on an... ‘anti-tractor’ beam. Task number one, come up with a better name than ‘anti-tractor’ beam.”
But I’ve spent 17 years on this tractor beam technology. The prototype will be finished this afternoon!
“You can just reverse the polarity or something, can’t you?”
It doesn’t work like that.
“Why not? That’s how magnets work. Isn’t it just a big magnet?”
No, this is far more complex than that. There are the weak and strong nuclear forces to take into account, not to mention manipulating gravity to— You’re not listening to any of this are you?
Never mind. Sure, yes, I’ll just reverse the polarity.
“Alright, so... let’s see it then.”
It’s not quite ready, I have to recalibrate—
“Let’s. See it. Then.”
Okay, but you should probably wear these safety glasses and a hard hat.
“Ooh, ooh, test it on a watermelon!”
What? No! We’re using this crate. Now, stand behind that yellow line.
Cover your ears, this could be loud...
“What’s that sound?”
It’s just the tractor beam.
“It’s really loud, like a ripping...”
I just told you it could be loud.
“I don’t think it’s—”
Hold on, I need to...
“How’s the tractor beam research coming along?”
Huh, what happened?
“I wanted to know how the research was coming along.”
No, I got that, I mean, you already came down here and asked me.
“What are you talking about? You know, I was thinking—”
That pushing the enemy away is more useful than pulling them closer?
“Exactly! An ‘anti-tractor’ beam if you will. You read my mind!”
I don’t think this is a tractor beam... I think it’s a time machine.
“Could you make it into an ‘anti-time’ machine?”
Why hello Son!
“Just thought I’d call and uh... check in, I guess.”
Well it’s good to hear from you! I got a new tennis racket yesterday. Plays like Heaven, just Heaven. How are you doing down there?
“Good. Good. Well, I could be better.”
Uh oh, what happened?
I know that tone. Do I have to come down there and sort things out?
“No, no, it’s fine, really...”
You know, if there’s anything you need, just let me know.
“Well... there is one little thing. A tiny thing. It’s hardly even a thing.”
Just ask already.
“Could... Could you give me better super powers?”
Jesus H. Christ, what’s wrong with you?
“You know I hate it when you call me by my full name, Dad.”
Well I’m sorry, but frankly I’m offended. Here you are, the Son of the most powerful being in the Universe...
Excuse me, young man, I’m talking here.
“I’m not a young man, I’m like thirty years old.”
Yeah and I’m like a billion years old, so seniority card. That’s right, I played the seniority card. Listen to me, you can do more than any other mortal man has ever been capable of before. You can walk on water, you can make wine, you can raise the dead, you can even fly. What more do you want?
“What, I can fly?”
Of course you can fly, you’re the goddam Son of God, damn it!
“How do I fly?”
You haven’t figured out how yet? What the hell have you been doing for thirty years?
“Mostly all that other stuff. The wine, walking on water, raising the dead... Oh, and building chairs.”
BUILDING CHAIRS? The Son of God BUILDING CHAIRS?
“I’m pretty good at it. I’ve built five so far.”
FIVE chairs in thirty years?
“I put together some shelves too.”
What do you mean ‘put together.’
“Well we ordered them from a catalog and I followed the instructions...”
That isn’t even proper carpentry!
“It was tough. Those instructions are really confusing. Honestly, it’s a miracle I got it assembled. I had some pieces left over though...”
No, no, no. You’ve been wasting your time!
“Well if I had known I was able to fly...”
You never once wondered ‘Hey, I’m the Son of God, I bet I have the ability to fly. I should have a go at it.’?
“No, not at all.”
Even Superman figured out he could fly when he was just a baby.
“I never really got into Superman.”
I could have sworn you read Superman comics when you were little.
“No, I liked Batman.”
Oh yeah... You always wore that mask and cape while running around the house... But seriously, how did you not know you could fly? You were curious enough to find out if you could bring corpses to life...
“It never came up! I wish I had known sooner. My feet are killing me!”
Well walk no more! Now you know.
“Just great. By the way, did you know I’m getting crucified tomorrow?”
Oh that? Forget it, just fly away.
“I can’t just fly away from a crucifixion.”
What’s the point in having a power if you don’t use it?
“You could have at least warned me. I found out from some stranger on the street.”
Sounds like a good Samaritan.
“Wait a minute, this is what you were talking about last week, isn’t it?”
“You told me I was going to have to die for everyone’s sins.”
That doesn’t sound like me.
“It’s what you said.”
I say a lot of things.
All hands on deck!
“All hands on deck, bawk!”
Man your stations!
“Man your stations, bawk!”
Prepare for battle!
“Prepare for battle, bawk bawk!”
Stop repeating me.
“Stop repeating me, bawk!”
Seriously, stop it. We’re about to engage in battle here.
“Engage in battle, bawk!”
Snap out of it, man! You’re not a parrot!
“Sorry Cap’n. Bawk.”
It’s alright. Just take it easy with the parrot talk.
“Yessir. Sorry. You know how it’s been since our visit to that hypnotist back in Haiti.”
Haiti was a hell of a time. What was the deal with the hypnotist again?
“She hypnotized me to be a parrot. You were there, remember?”
Ohhh yeah, that was hilarious. At the time. Now it’s kind of annoying.
“Kind of annoying. Bawk!”
“I see, bawk!”
One thing has been bothering me... what’s with the bawking?
“What do you mean?”
Why do you go ‘bawk’?
“That’s the sound parrots make.”
I’ve never heard a parrot go ‘bawk.’
“Sure, that’s the primary parrot sound.”
You’re thinking of chickens. Just a sec, watch for the enemy’s cannons, they really pack a wallop! Sails up! TURN HARD STARBOARD!
“HARD STARBOARD, BAWK!”
As we were saying...
“No way that chickens go ‘bawk,’ I swear it’s a parrot thing.”
Chickens go ‘bawk.’ I’m one hundred percent sure of it.
“What sound do parrots make then?”
“That’s a hawk sound.”
Like you would know, chicken man. All men, draw your swords! Don’t let them board the ship, those filthy bilge rats!
“Filthy bilge rats, bawk!”
Oh, that’s it! ‘Squawk.’
“I would have remembered squawk. I don’t even think that’s a word.”
It’s gotta be. Go get the dictionary. PRESS HARD BOYS! THEY WON’T TAKE US DOWN THAT EASILY!
“Alright, here it is.”
Let’s hear it then.
“Squawk. Verb. To shriek loudly, as a parrot.”
Well, there you have it.
“I’ll be damned, I’ve been making the wrong bird sound for weeks.”
Hey, we all make mistakes.
“Uh... speaking of mistakes...”
Oh bloody hell, the crew’s all dead.
“Crew’s all dead! Crew’s all dead! Bawk!”
Don’t be stupid, it’s Steven.
“What do you want?”
I need to speak with you, Steven.
“Who are you? There’s no one else in here but me.”
That’s the beauty of being in your head, Steven.
“No way, I’m not a nutcase.”
There, there, Steven. We’re all a little bit crazy.
“Would you stop calling me ‘Steven’? It’s Steffon!”
That’s what I’m talking about Steven. Calling yourself ‘Steffon’ just makes you...
“Hip? Stylish? Vogue?”
It makes you a jackass, Steven.
“What? You’re delirious.”
You’re the one talking to yourself, Steven.
“No, you are!”
Technically that is true, Steven, but that’s not why I’m here.
“Why are you here?”
You have to cut the act, Steven.
You’re a farm boy from Kansas, Steven.
“That’s not who I am anymore.”
You can’t forget your roots, Steven. The farm, your family... Bessy. They all need you.
“What happened to Bessy?”
She’s sick, Steven.
“What does she have?”
That’s right, Steven. She’s mad that you moved to the city and turned into such a tool.
“Bessy didn’t say that!”
I know. I did. I’m making a point here, Steven.
“Don’t toy with my emotions... you.”
You can call me Stevesie.
“That’s stupid, I’m not calling you that.”
Exactly my point, Steven. Stop these shenanigans and go back home.
“I can’t. I’m booked to perform every day for the next month.”
Poor Steven. You dance in Central Park along to a mix tape of the Cure.
“It’s steady work, okay?”
Steven, if you don’t go back home... I’ll be forced to take you down. From the inside.
“What’re you talking about? How can you ev—Ow! I just punched myself in the face!”
No, Steven. I punched you in the face. I’m calling the shots now.
“Ow! Ow! Stop it! Owowow... ha ha ha! That tickles! That tickles! You know all of my ticklish spots! Stop! Stop!”
Are you going back to the farm? Or do I have to break out the noogies?
“No, no, oh man, I’ll go, just stop tickling me.”
Custard pie. I put it on the list.
“No you didn’t.”
Yes I did, right after orange juice.
“What orange juice?”
Shoot... I added it to the wrong list...
“What do we need custard pie for? We’re robbing a bank.”
It’s my calling card, Darrel. I can’t pull off a heist without leaving my trademark custard pie booby trap in the vault.
“I didn’t know you did that.”
I do. Then they read the note that says, ‘Looks like you got pie on your face.’ Jesus Darrel, do you even read the itineraries I put together?
“Not really. I usually just sit in the van, so...”
If you’re ever going to advance in this business beyond being the ‘sit-in-the-van’ guy, you have to start being more involved in these heists.
“I kind of like being the ‘sit-in-the-van’ guy.”
I am astonished. Astonished and offended. Where’s your passion? I remember the look in your eyes that first time I came back through those unmarked van doors carrying armfuls of money bags. It was like a child seeing fireworks for the first time. Where has the magic gone, Darrel? Where has it gone?
“I just like sitting in the van.”
Fine, let all your potential just slip away. I’m going in there, but I’m not going to enjoy it. You’ve broken my heart Darrel.
“What about the pie?”
Oh damn, that’s right, the pie. Is there a grocery store around here?
“Couple blocks back. I think they’re closed though.”
Nonsense, grocery stores are open 24 hours these days!
“Fine, we’ll go take a look.”
That’s it, get back into it! We’re making it happen! Look at us go! Exciting, eh?
Shoot. Guess we should just call it a night then. Let’s go home.
“You think Mom will have hot chocolate ready for us?”
Oh that would be bliss, just bliss... damn it, hot chocolate was on the wrong list too.