LNH: Easily-Discovered Man #45

Rob Rogers dreadpirate72 at netzero.com
Fri Sep 10 14:39:20 PDT 2004

    Doused with microwave radiation, Theodore Wong gained the ability
to glow
and be detected at great distances by anyone with a Geiger counter. 
with his sidekick Lite, Wong wages a constant battle against the
forces of
corruption, chaos, and common sense as the fabulous EASILY-DISCOVERED

-----Previously on "The Adventures of Easily-Discovered

        Easily-Discovered Man Lite navigated his way through a series
alternate dimensions in which he had killed Easily-Discovered Man,
the Screen Saver, and been declared insane, not necessarily in that

        Since then, Easily-Discovered Man and Easily-Discovered Man
have been taking it... easily, a respite which will end after this
public service announcement:
        "Hey, where are you guys going?" I asked.  "I've got pizza, a
pack of Mr. Paprika, and TransFormers for the PlayStation."

        "Sorry, Lite," Cynical Lass said, pulling her coat over her
shoulders.  "We're on our way to turn ourselves in."

        "Turn yourselves into what?" I said, putting the pizza down. 
please say 'exotic dancers.'  I ask for so little out of life."

        "Well, actually..." Substitute Lad began, but Cynical Lass cut

        "Haven't you heard?" she said.  "Your President claims that
Iraq is
connected to the attacks on September 11, all because one of the
terrorists met with an Iraqi representative at a cafe in Prague. 
Based on
that logic, anyone with even the remotest connection -- or potential
connection -- to al-Qaeda must be responsible for the attacks."

        "That's right," Substitute Lad said.  "And I once dated a girl
had dated a guy who had a cousin whose college roommate once wore a
with a picture of Osama bin Laden on it."

        "And I once went with a friend to a mosque where three years
the imam criticized U.S. policy towards Israel," Cynical Lass said. 
hoping if we turn ourselves in now, I'll get a room with an ocean view
Guantanamo Bay."

        "I'm ashamed to say I even know you people," I said.  "In
fact, if
anyone asks, I don't.  Thank God all I ever did was sell nuclear
secrets to
the Chinese."

        "You might not be out of the woods yet, Lite," Cynical Lass
"Have you taken the questionnaire?"

        "What questionaire?" I said.

        "That nice man from the Justice Department passed them out
while he
was interrogating us about the books we checked out of the library,"
Substitute Lad said.  "By the way, it's too bad about Browsing Boy."

        "Yeah, sure," I said.  "Let's see that questionnaire."

        Howdy, (fellow American/godless foreign national/enemy

        Were you or could you potentially have been responsible for
        horrifying attacks of September 11, 2001?  Please check as
        of the following as apply:

        _____ 1). I have ever met with representatives of al-Queda.

        _____ 2). I have ever donated money to any religious or relief
                  organization or other group that might conceivably
                  donated its funds to al-Qaeda.

        _____ 3). I have ever been present in a city or other urban
                  where representatives of al-Qaeda were meeting or
                  they might someday meet.

        _____ 4). I know how to spell al-Qaeda.

        _____ 5). I have ever participated in an organization with
                  demonstrated or potential ties to a terrorist
                  (including, but not limited to, a teacher's union).

        _____ 6). I have ever participated in an organization which
                  aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States
                  (through such actions as material support, political
                  aggrandizement, public ridicule of the President of
                  United States, or speaking French).

        ______ 7). I have thought of participating in such an

        ______ 8). I hadn't thought of participating in such an
                   until I read that last question, but now I am
                   of it, even if I didn't mean to.

        ______ 9). I have ever omitted "under God" while saying the
                   of Allegiance.

        _____ 10). I have ever sat while listening to the national
                   at a baseball game.

        _____ 11). I have ever remained standing while hearing "O
Canada" at
                   a hockey game.

        _____ 12). I have ever listened to, and enjoyed, the Dixie

        _____ 13). I have ever messed with, or attempted to mess with,

        _____ 14). I have ever enjoyed a Michael Moore film.

        _____ 15). I have failed to enjoy "The Passion of the Christ."

        _____ 16). I have made it this far in the questionnaire
without ever
                   thinking of participating in organizations such as
                   ones mentioned in questions 5 and 6, but just now I
                   suddenly thought, even for a moment, of considering
                   participating in such an organization.

        _____ 17). After reading the last question, I went back and
                   questions 5 and 6 to see whether I would suddenly
                   consider such participation.

        _____ 18). I have ever driven a New York City taxicab.

        _____ 19). I find these questions amusing.

        _____ 20). I find these questions frightening.

        Please award yourself one point for each checked answer, and
        additional five points if you checked question 13.  Results

        1-5: Although not directly responsible for the attacks on
             11, you could have done something to prevent them. 
             submit yourself to the Office of Homeland Security for

        5-15: While 15 points on a questionnaire might not seem like
              it ought to be enough to convince the Security Council
              you and your neighborhood present a serious risk to the
              of the free world.  Please submit yourself to the Office
              Homeland Security for re-education.

        15-25: Look behind you.

        And now, we present episode #45 of "The Adventures of Easily-
Discovered Man," "Last Fall in the House of Usher."  My name is Rob
and I approved this message.
                The Adventures of Easily-Discovered Man #45
                       "Last Fall in the House of Usher"
                Plot:                                   Script:
             Rob Rogers                               Rob Rogers

          This is going to be great," I said, as I pushed my way
through the
double doors and sat down at a long oak table.  "I've never been part
a focus group before.  I can't believe someone's willing to pay me for
opinions.  And to think I've been giving them away for nothing all

        "Someone willing to pay for your ideas?" Cynical Lass said,
crossing her arms and resting her high heels on the table.  "If I had
faith left in humanity, that would have destroyed it."

        "Faith?  One must always have faith, my mellifluous mistress
melancholia," said Easily-Discovered Man, speaking through a mouthful
jellybeans.  He held up one sticky-gloved finger for emphasis.  "For
faith is
the very bedrock upon which our civilization is built.  Our great
-- our churches, our governments, the financial organizations through
the vital energies of our working men and women pulse with untold
vigor --
yea, not one of these could function for but a day withal the trust of
many be denied."

        "Ah, yes," Cynical Lass said, taking a handful of jellybeans
from the
Prof's bag.  "Because all of those things are working so well right

        "Listen to the Prof," I said.  "After all, without faith,
Faith No
More would just be...No More.  Which I suppose they are.  Huh."

        "Indeed," the Prof said, stretching out his arms to take in
the grey
paneled walls, the one-way mirror, and another bowl of jellybeans on
table.  "And behold, yon gracious host hath entrusted his... or her...
and facilities to the collection of our considerations, and in return
provided us this sumptuous repast of sweets."

        "These jellybeans are pretty tasty," Cynical Lass agreed,
another handful.  "I don't think I've ever had maple before."

        "The blueberry ones aren't bad, either," I said.

        "Nor are the butter," mused the Prof.  "Egad! 
butter... Lite, has your mind arrived at the same conclusion as mine?"

        "Not unless you've been into my collection of Paris Hilton
I said.

        "It's a trap!" Cynical Lass screamed, bolting upright just as
double doors behind us slammed shut.  The Prof and Cynical Lass
pounded their
fists against the doors -- to no avail -- while I snuck another
handful of
the Prof's jellybeans.  Cynical Lass whirled to face the one-way
on the other side of the table.  "And that can only mean we're in the
clutches of the Waff..."

        The smoked glass panel of the one-way mirror slid back, to
reveal the
last person in the world any of us expected to see.

        "UMA THURMAN?" the Prof gasped.

        "And jellybeans!  In one day!" I said, digging my new lucky
foot out of my pocket.  "And people said I was crazy to buy this. 
like a fox!"

        "Thank God," Cynical Lass said.  "I was sure it was going to
be the
Waffle Queen."

        "Oh, I am the Waffle Queen," Thurman said, standing up to
reveal two
strategically-placed Eggo (TM) waffles attached to a skintight yellow
catsuit.  "At least for the next two weeks.  I've been chosen to play
in 'LNH: The Movie,' and the director thought it would be good for me
get some practice by shadowing her through one of her evil schemes."

        "This defies belief," sputtered the Prof.

        "I'll say," I said.  "Who's playing us?"

        "Let's see," Thurman said, switching on a little light above a
clipboard.  "John Lithgow is playing Easily-Discovered Man.  Angelina
will be taking on the role of Cynical Lass.  And Jake Gyllenhaal..."

        "Sweet!" I said.

        "...will be playing Substitute Lad," Thurman finished.  Her
porcelain forehead wrinkled.  "Wait.  Which one of you is Substitute

        "Uh, he couldn't make it," I said.  "He's not feeling well."

        "What's wrong with Substitute Lad?" Cynical Lass whispered.

        "Later," I hissed.

        "Ooh, the Waffle Queen's not going to like that," Thurman
"Okay, so about this evil scheme..."

        "Wait!" I said, tapping on the table with the handle of my
"You didn't say who's going to play me!"

        "Who are you?" Uma Thurman asked.  "Oh, wait.  You're not that
Easily-Discovered Man Lite person, are you?  Yeah, well, that all
depends on
what the studio agrees to in terms of our budget.  Right now we're
looking at
Gary Coleman."

        "What about this evil scheme?" Cynical Lass asked.

        "GARY COLEMAN?" I said.  "As in, 'Whatchew talkin' 'bout
Willis --
that Gary Coleman?"

        "Well, he was a candidate for governor of California," the
Prof said.

        "So was I!" I said.  "That's not the issue here."

        Cynical Lass placed her hands on her hips and looked at me.

        "You don't have any idea what the issue here is, do you?" she

        "On the other hand," Uma Thurman said, turning the endless
blue of
her eyes toward the ceiling, "if we end up with a bigger budget,
you'll be a
CGI character voiced by Andy Serkis."

        "That could work," I said, as Cynical Lass fell down laughing.
"Will I get points?"

        "Now, on to the evil scheme," Thurman said, picking up a stack
manila index cards.  "Boy, there's a lot of writing here," she said. 
the Waffle Queen always talk this much when she's threatening you?"

        "Actually, she usually starts by lowering me into a Jacuzzi
full of
batter," I said.  "Then, she dresses up in a little Catholic
uniform and begins tickling me with..."

        "Wow!"  Thurman said, holding up a card.  "She actually
you were going to say that, right here on the bottom of the page.  I
I'd better go ahead and read from the script after all."

        "Killed by a Hollywood                 "Okay," Thurman said. 
actress," Cynical Lass said.              the Waffle Queen said she's
"And it's not even Juliette               created this 'Gelatinous
Lewis."                                   Ultra-Reassuring Genetic
                                          or GLURGE, out of sentient
        "Yeah, but just think             I'm supposed to pause here
about it!" I said.  "They're              applause, and/or futile
efforts at
putting us into a movie!                  recrimination."
Wait 'til I tell Summer."
                                                "As though any
                                          golem were enough to strike
        "Really?  You guys are            into the dauntless engine of
still together?  I thought you            justice that is the heart of
broke up after going to see               peerless Easily-Discovered
'The Punisher'?" Cynical Lass             the Prof said.
                                                "You know, you have
                                          wonderful elocution,"
Thurman said.
        "No, no.  We broke up             "The way you emphasized
after 'Hellboy,' " I said.                -- I mean, it just gave me
Then we got back together for             I almost hate to turn this
'The Punisher,' but agreed to             syrup monster loose on you."
see other people.  Then things
were good for 'Spider-Man 2,'                   "Each of us has our
own role
though now we're kind of on               to play in Life's great
drama," the
hiatus."                                  Prof said.  "Your fate was
                                          the moment your pure mind
turned to
        "Lite," Cynical Lass              thoughts of evil, even as I
said.  "Has it ever occurred to           destined to defeat you!"
you that Summer is only dating
you so that she'll be able to                   "But isn't that a bit
show up at super-hero themed              deterministic?" Thurman
movies with someone who has a             running her fingers through
vague connection to super-heroes?"        hair.  "I mean, you could
                                          make the argument that our
        "Well, duh," I said.              lives -- the choices we
                                          this very conversation you
and I
        "And how do you feel about        are having -- was
that?" Cynical Lass asked, looking
me in the eyes.                                 "Well," the Prof said,
                                          are reading it from a series
        "I'm reaaaaally looking           index cards."
forward to 'The Incredibles," I
said.                                           "Good point," Thurman
                                          "Unleash the Glurge!"

        "Boys," Cynical Lass sighed.  "I can't believe my mother ever
told me
_not_ to throw rocks at them.  Wait!  What the hell is a Glurge?  And
can we
stop doing this simultaneous dialogue crap?  I can never keep track of
going on!"

        "I'm guessing that's the Glurge," I said, as something brown
jelly-like hissed forth from a slot in the partition between our side
of the
room and Uma's.  As it splattered to the floor, filling the room with
smell of late autumn in Vermont, the syrup clumped together to form
legs, a stocky torso, and a head with wide, unblinking eyes like an

        "Isn't this where you fire off a line about a sticky
Cynical Lass asked.

        "No time for that now," I said.  "Go to attack pattern A!"

        Cynical Lass and the Prof stared at me.

        "What the hell are you talking about?" she said.

        "Trying to look good for the hot, hot super-villain," I said,
through clenched teeth.  "Just play along, and maybe she'll introduce
you to
Ethan Hawke."

        "First of all," said Cynical Lass, as the Glurge continued to
in size, "she's left the room.  Second, I do not 'just play along.' 
And third -- have you even seen Ethan Hawke lately?  The man looks

        "You know," said the Glurge, lowering its saucer eyes, "it's
times like these I think of little Michael and how he saved his baby
with a song."

        "That voice!" the Prof cried.  "So rich!  So deep!  

        "Like Michael Bolton," I suggested.

        "You see, the doctors said Michael's baby sister wasn't going
make it," the Glurge said, advancing toward us.  "But little
he believed in miracles.  Especially the miracle of music.  Little
had been singing 'You Are My Sunshine' to his mother's belly every day
he found out he was going to have a baby sister.  Michael knew that
heard him, and he guessed his little sister could, too."

        "I think I'm going to be sick," Cynical Lass said.

        "Oh, no," I said.  "We're in trouble."

        "Why?  Are you one of those people who gets sick every time
else gets sick?"

        "No.  Well, yes, but that's not the point.  Look at the Prof! 
at that glassy look in his eyes!"

        Cynical Lass raised one eyebrow.  "You can tell the

        "The doctors tried to make Michael leave the intensive care
where his little sister was," the Glurge purred.  "But Michael wasn't
going anywhere.  He just kept singing 'You are my sunshine, my only
sunshine.  You make me happy when skies are grey...' "

        "Oh, the humanity," the Prof said, tears pooling beneath his
"Such caring!  Such intimate pathos!"

        "Let me guess," Cynical Lass said, grabbing one of the Prof's
"Easily-Discovered Man is particularly vulnerable to warm and fuzzy

        "Everyone has his kryptonite," I said, tugging at the Prof's
arm.  "There have been times when I've found him, late at night,
through one of those 'Chicken Soup for the Super-Hero's Soul' books
watching the Hallmark Channel.  They say this kind of thing is harder
kick than heroin."

        "Who says that?"

        "Probably the people who make heroin."

        "The medical staff just called it a miracle," the Glurge said.
Despite our efforts, the Prof lurched forward as though drunk.  "Do
believe in miracles, Easily-Discovered Man?"

        "No!" I shouted.  "No, you don't!  You won't even play the
You call it a tax on the feeble-minded!"

        "I...do," the Prof slurred.

        "Do you believe that miracles are born inside each one of us? 
all of us have the power to make the world a better place?"

        "Prof, think of the '86 Red Sox!  Of Bill Buckner and the ball
rolling between his legs!  For God's sake, Prof, think of Bucky Dent!"
        "I believe...with all my heart," the Prof said.

        The Glurge smiled.

        "Of course you do," it said.

        "Damn!" I said.  "I'd forgotten that Red Sox fans will believe
anything in September.  You're going to have to put the whammy on

        "Professor Wong," Cynical Lass said, marshaling her power. 
"Are you
convinced there's a connection between Saddam Hussein and the
September 11

        The Prof's head snapped back as though he'd been slapped.

       "Good heavens, woman, no one in his right mind believes that,"

        "But you do," said the Glurge.  "Don't you?"

        "Indubitably," the Prof droned.

        "It's not working!" I said, as the Glurge laughed, ripples of
pleasure cascading through its body in rivers of undulating brown goo.
gave me the shivers, frankly.  "You're going to have to hit it with

        "No matter who wins the U.S. election, Yale's Skull and Bones
society is going to rule the world!"

        "Too deep," I said.  "Remember, we're Americans."

        "Right," Cynical Lass said, breathing deeply.  The Glurge
fixed her
with a wicked glare.  "Reality shows are fixed to keep people of color

        "You are my sunshine," the Prof drooled, "my only sunshine..."

        "Harder!" I said.

        "Thousands of female Antarctic penguins sell themselves into
prostitution for pebbles!" she shouted, growing frantic.  "For

        Everything in the room, including the little white clock on
the wall,

        "You've lost me," I said, as the Prof continued to sing.

        "That was kind of a reach," the Glurge agreed.  "It's not
so much as..."

        "Weird," I said.

        "I was going to say 'something of a non-sequitur,' " the
Glurge said.
"Because really, penguins..."

        "All right," Cynical Lass said.  "I'll try something else."

        "But still," I said.  "You don't think of penguins being

        "I said I'd try something else," Cynical Lass said.

        "Well, certainly not," the Glurge said.  "Not between our
association with them as either little fat men with tuxedos or sisters
the cloth.  I mean, who wants to think of that?"

        "Fat... sisters?" the Prof murmured.

        "Puppies!  Think of puppies!" the Glurge said, and the Prof
back into his trance.  "That was quite clever, you two,  but I won't
distracted like that again."

        "Hey, did'ja hear that?" I said, draping an arm around Cynical
shoulder.  "He thought we were clever.  Do we make a good team, or

        Cynical Lass removed my arm with one hand and let it drop.

        "Shut up and give me something to work with," she said.

        "You're going to have to 
reach into the deepest, blackest            "And now that you'll
believe and
pit of despair at the very core         do anything I say,
of your being," I said.                 Man, the time has come for you
                                        wreak my creator's vengeance
        "Well, there's six months       humanity!"
worth of Paxil down the drain,"
Cynical Lass said.  "What do you             "...sunshine, my only
suggest?"                               the Prof babbled.

        "Tell him about your last            "Yesss," the Glurge
date," I said.                          "For as irresistible as my
message is
                                        now, it will become all the
        Cynical Lass shot me a          heartwarming... and therefore
look that would have reduced a          unstoppable... when delivered
by one
more intelligent man to silence.        of the planet's champions...
                                        wearing THESE!"
        "No, I've got it," I said.
"Tell him about the worst date               The Glurge held up a pair
you've ever had."                       iridescent purple figure

        "You're off your nut,"               "Ahem."
she said.

        "I..."                               "A...

        "Hang on," she said.                    H   H   EEEEE    M   M
"I think we're meant to be paying               H   H   E        MM MM
attention to something."                        HHHHH   EEEEE    M M M
                                                H   H   E        M M M
                                                H   H   EEEEE    M  

        "Hello," the Glurge said.  "I've just gone and explained my
master plan for world domination, and you've missed it."

        "I'm guessing it involves waffles," I said.

        "It does not," the Glurge said.  "It involves the Ice

        "Well, that's not much of a plan for the Waffle Queen, is it?"

        "And you said the penguin thing was a reach," Cynical Lass

        "I'm beginning to see why she hates you two so much," the
said.  "Easily-Discovered Man, destroy them!"

        "Now that's a command I've never heard before," I said,
my spatula as the Prof stumbled forward, his spindly arms held out
the jaws of a forklift.

        "Right," Cynical Lass said.  "So last fall, I agreed to go out
this guy named Rod."

        "Where'd you meet him?" I asked, dodging the Prof's first
"Please tell mw you didn't meet him online.  Do you know the kind of
you end up meeting online?"

        "It doesn't matter," Cynical Lass said, picking up a chair and
heaving it at the Glurge, which stretched itself upward, allowing the
to pass underneath.  "The point is that I could tell right away that
this was
a rebound date for him.  He kept talking about this girl Madeline..."

        Cynical Lass ducked as the Glurge threw the clock at her,
style.  It connected with the double doors behind her and exploded
into a
cloud of glass.

        "Ex-girlfriend?" I asked, blocking a punch.

        "Very recent ex," she said, mashing the upturned bowl of
over the Glurge's head.  "The way he kept going on about her... how
he did could ever please her, how only now he was beginning to realize
what she'd put him through... it was clear that he still... oof!"

        Cynical Lass grunted as the Glurge formed a new head beneath
bowl and fired two pseudopods of syrup at her, pinning her to the

        I reached forward, pulled the Prof's cape over his head, then
ran to
the back of the room and cut through the hardening blobs of syrup with

        "...loved her," she finished.  "And I would have left then and
but he had those..."

        "...Daniel Day-Lewis, circa 1991, good looks?" I asked,
the Glurge's next attack with my spatula and allowing Cynical Lass to
the table on to the creature, squashing it.

        "Exactly," she said.

        "Man, they're going to have a helluva time getting that out of
carpet," I said, as the Glurge oozed up from beneath the shattered

        "So we're talking, and before I know it he seems to have
forgotten about the ex, and he's talking to me like I'm the only
in the world that matters," Cynical Lass said.  "And it just so
that when we left the sun was setting right over Hyde Park, and the

        She dropped and rolled as the Glurge launched two tentacles
the smoked glass partition, ripped it loose from the wall, and sent it
crashing down toward her.

        "That reddish, smoky-bluish-purple color, like mother-of-pearl
streaked across the clouds?" I asked, as the Prof picked up a long
of glass and raised it like a tomahawk.

        "It was more of an orangey-green," she said, breaking off two
the table's legs and holding them as though they were a pair of sais. 
I notice just then that he has really long eyelashes, and I realize
I've noticed that because he's closing his eyes to kiss me, and he's
forward, and I'm leaning forward, and then I hear this voice..."

        "The ex-girlfriend," I said.

        "Madeline," she said.

        "No," the Glurge said.

        "My only sunshine," the Prof sang, trying to slash my throat.

        "And that's not the worst part," Cynical Lass said, as I
warded off
the Prof's strikes with my spatula.  "For one thing, she looked almost
exactly... like me."

        "Oh, man," I said, sweeping the Prof with one leg and knocking
glass out of his hand as he fell.

        "For another," Cynical Lass said, and took another deep
Beneath my feet, I felt the floor begin to vibrate.  The broken glass
either side of me started rattling; on the other side of the room, I
the Glurge's gelatinous layers wobbling like a 4 a.m. drunk.

         "For another," Cynical Lass said, "Madeline... this woman Rod
obsessed with... she wasn't his ex-girlfriend.  She...

        Something like thunder rolled through the room, pulverizing
remained of the glass, knocking the Prof and I off our feet and
the Glurge in its tracks.  With a scream, the Glurge sizzled,
crackled, and
finally hardened, leaving a blackened statue of itself in the center
of the

        "Lite," the Prof said, staggering to his feet.  "Why do you
it is that I find myself wearing ice skates?"

        "A deep-seated and hitherto unrevealed passion for curling," I
"And speaking of unrevealed passions... that was quite a story."

        "That was only the 10th worst date I've ever had," Cynical
said.  "If I'd told you about the worst, none of you would have
survived to
hear the end of it."

        "Well, that probably went better than the focus group for
NBC's fall
season," I said, surveying the damage to the room.  "And with the
gone, we ought to be able to climb our way out of here and... be still
heart... actually have a legitimate excuse for going after Uma

        "I fear we cannot leave yet," the Prof said.

        "Well, obviously I was going to eat the jellybeans first," I

        "I think he means... that," Cynical Lass said, pointing at the
steaming fissures forming in the statue of the Glurge.

        TO BE CONTINUED...
        NEXT ISSUE: How do you kill something that can't be killed? 
Is the
Waffle Queen's plan really as lame as it sounds?  What happened to
Substitute Lad?  Will Lite recover his self-respect?  Will Cynical
Lass find
a better dating service?  And what happens when she finds herself
faced with
someone whose bad moods are worse than her own?  All this -- and much,
much less -- in an episode the I Ching predicted we'd call "Mood

        CHARACTERS: Easily-Discovered Man, Easily-Discovered Man Lite,
Cynical Lass, Substitute Lad, the Waffle Queen, and the Glurge are (c)
Rogers.  Browsing Boy is Public Domain.  Uma Thurman belongs to
for now.

        SPECIAL THANKS: to Mandy, Loren, Jess, Jamas, and everybody
continues to keep the faith.

        "Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity
disenchantment it is perennial as the grass."
        -- Author unknown, "Desiderata"

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