[REPOST/LNH] Mutton Mania Parts 1-7

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer at earthlink.net
Tue May 16 18:53:01 PDT 2006

Date: 4 Feb 2000 19:53:32 -0000
From: "Josh Hartung" <j.o.s.hartung at worldnet.att.net>
Subject: [LNH]  The Sheep Cascade Story, or Mutton Mania Parts 1-7
Newsgroups: rec.arts.comics.creative

Figured I'd get this all put together all nice & purty before
proceeding...Actually, my chapter was supposed to come right after Jenn's,
but I've been having a little newsgroup trouble (damn thee, at&t!!!)

So here goes...

Rob Rogers  (rogersr at shore.net) wrote:

"Afternoon, everybody," said Easily-Discovered Man Lite, pushing his way
through the revolving-glass door that stood between the world and the Legion
of Net.Heroes Headquarters.

"NORM...wait, that's someone else," Fred, the receptionist said.

"Any mail, phone messages or...WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED HERE?" Lite  gasped,
noticing for the first time the crowds of snow-white sheep that filled the
lobby with their contented bleating.

"Do you like it?" Fred asked.  "The doctor said people would notice the

"I'm not talking about your hairwave, you brainless...uh, please tell me you
were just talking about your hairwave," Lite said.


"Thank God.  Now...what in the name of Bo Peep is going on here?"

"Oh, that," Fred said, running one hand through his luxuriant mane. "Well,
from what we've been able to piece together, apparently Weirdness Girl was
crowd-surfing during this weekend's 'Boppapalooza' concert..."

"You mean," Lite said, "the combination of the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, 98
Degrees, New Kids on the Block, New Edition, the Monkees, every member of
the Jackson Five except Michael, and Kids  Incorporated?  The one that
inspired every active Legionaire to investigate which arch-villain was
responsible for organizing it?"

"That one," Fred said.  "Weirdness Girl was crowd-surfing, and, well,
someone dropped her.  The next thing anyone knew, the entire audience --
besides her -- had been transformed into sheep."

"I see," Lite said.  "How long did it take for anyone to notice the

"Hard to say," Fred said.  "Fortunately for everyone involved, Brittany
happened to have a shepherd's crook on her at the time.  She and a few
border collies who were in the neighborhood herded the entire lot of them
back here, and, well, there we are."

"Comin' through!" screamed Captain Cleanup, racing through the now-excited
throng of scattering sheep on what appeared to be a modified Zamboni ice
cleaner.  A tremendous vacuum cleaner at the rear of the vehicle swept the
tiled lobby floor free of sheep droppings.

"Yahoo!" Cleanup shouted over the window-shaking, Perot-like sucking sound.
"Now, that's a man's poop!"

"Interesting," Lite said.  "How has all of this affected the effectiveness
of the Legion?"

"Well," Fred said, "Bad-Timing Boy bumped into the flock right after all of
them had run across the shag carpeting in the  pinball lounge.  The doctors
say it's amazing anyone hit with that much static electricity could survive.
Mouse keeps muttering about how she left home to get away from all this, and
Steak & Potatoes Man has been sharpening knives all day and singing 'I've
Got Plenty of Mutton.' "

"In other words, nothing out of the ordinary," Lite sighed.  A glow of
realization slowly spread across his face.  "And
Ultimate Ninja?"

"He hasn't yet recovered from the...circumstances...that attended him in the
latest issue of _The Indie_," Fred explained.  "Actually, I expect him to
walk in any minute now...Lite?  Are you going to get help?"

"Eventually," Lite said.  "Right after I fetch my camcorder."


Josh Hartung (j.o.s.hartung at att.net) wrote:

Just then, Ultimate Ninja walked in the door with an unsure pace.

"Fred," UN said.  "Get me a case of Gatorade."

"Right away boss,"  Fred replied.

"And Fred,"  Ultimate Ninja added.  "What is a flock of sheep doing in the

"They're teeny-boppers turned sheep, sir."

"And why are they here?"

"Wierdness Girl may have made them that way, sir.  But a super-villain may
be involved."

"Which super-villain?"

"We don't know, sir.  But we suspect it's entertainment related."

With that, Fred filled in Ultimate Ninja on Rob's message.  After hearing
the exposition, Ultimate Ninja put his head in his hands and let out a small

"Why did it have to be entertainment related?"  Ultimate Ninja said.  "Fred,
hand me the phone."

Ultimate Ninja took a card out of his pocket which read, "THE INDIE AND


uplink (uplink989 at hotmail.com) wrote:

In the galley, Steak-And-Potatoes Man was happily singing to himself while
sharpening knives.  In fact, he was happy to be included in a story at all.
Since his author had disappeared in 1994, it seemed like the entire LNH had
forgotten about him, except when they wanted a good breakfast to start the
day right.

That was important, a good breakfast.  Otherwise you'd never be able to
summon up the energy for some serious heroicness.

"Onion Lad, how does Mutton and Onions sound?" he asked the figure standing
next to him.

"I've never had mutton before," replied Onion Lad.  While the boy could make
onions taste good, smelling like onions was always a bad side-effect of his
power, although sometimes it served him well.  Steak-And-Potatoes Man was
one of the few heroes of the LNH which could stand his strongest stench.
Indeed, the older hero often told him it 'reminds me of where I learned my

"Hmmm."  Steak-And-Potatoes Man looked down into the cookbook held open in
front of the counter.  "We'll just see what The Book has to say."

Without a wasted move, he flipped pages in the laminated 3-ring binder with
the tips of the carving knives he so expertly wielded.  "It's too bad the
Witchery of San has nothing to say on using mutton.  But maybe some of the
other masters can help... Tsai... Flay... Childs..." He stopped carving for
a brief moment.  "By the Sacred Essence of St. Emeril, I have it!"

"Have what?"  Onion Lad was surprised at Steak-And-Potatoes Man's epithet;
the elder hero was usually too reserved to utter such things.

 "Mutton Surprise!"


Jennifer Whitson (jawhitso at uci.edu) wrote:

Meanwile, a few floors up, every door leading to the LNH Flight.thingee bay
had been barricaded shut. Every available piece of scrap had been shoved up
against the doors, up to and including some of the smaller .thingees. But
the ventilation shaft covers hung open, every one, and the floor of the bay
was covered with a mass of scurrying green bodies.

The kiwis were very unhappy.

At the center of the bay an older, bulkier kiwi stood squinting at the
ventilation shaft opening, surrounded by a squadron of young, eager support
staff. The old kiwi had the look about him of a veteran, one not to be
messed with on the field of battle, be it mental or physical. Around his
neck, a black tie with thin red diagonal pinstripes. A power tie. A
_lawyer's_ tie.

The Oozlefinches had been bad enough. But sheep, now? Sheep? This could not
be allowed to go any further.

And so one of their strongest and best had sacrificed his soul to the dark
forces, the sucking pit of heartless power that is the legal profession, and
tied the striped noose around his neck.

"Kiwi. Kiwi kiwi. Kiwi, kiwi kiwi, kiwi! Kiwi," he said, delivering a
stunning stream of leagalese that the author unfortunately cannot translate,
because she has five minutes before she has to leave for work, and they
started off into the ventilation shafts.

To the enemy.

They'd teach these sheep a thing or two about tresspassing.


Rob Rogers (rogersr at shore.net) wrote:

Less than fourteen feet from the kiwi lawyer and his impassioned
speech, another of the species abandoned -- with regret -- a forbidden

With tears welling in its black, marble-like eyes and emotion
tightening in its feathered throat, the kiwi turned away from the partner
whose nearness even now sent electric shivers throughout his spine.  It
was not to be, he thought.

"Kiwi!" he cried in muffled, hushed sobs.  "Kiwi!"

"Baaaaa," his partner replied.

Although he knew all too well the punishment that would be visited upon
him by his peers for this transgression upon the most sacred codes of his
the miserable kiwi could not resist one last, lingering kiss goodbye.  While
salt stung his closed eyes his trembling beak sought his partner's lips.
one word could describe their love.


"Sweet fancy Moses!" Opinionated Lad gasped, stumbling into the
deserted antechamber on an ill-fated search for Lil' Debbie snack cakes.
"And to think I left Scotland to avoid running into things like this!"

He slammed the chamber door in disgust.  Birds and sheep behaving
unnaturally.  Most of downtown Net.ropolis engulfed in flame.  Steak &
Potatoes Man too busy with what he'd called "his magnum opus" to rustle
up a decent breakfast.  Opinionated Lad's horoscope hadn't even begun to
cover this.

He sighed, headed back down the corridor in the direction of the
headquarters lobby, and almost knocked over Easily-Discovered Man in
the process.  Later, he would curse himself for not having done it.

"Ah, what fair winds didst blow thee most timely unto these shores!"
the glowing avenger beamed.  "Your arrival is indeed a boon, for I dare not
enter unto an adventure without a second by my side, and my sidekick
Easily-Discovered Man Lite is nowhere to be found."

"You...you've got to be kidding," Opinionated Lad gasped.  "The world's
in chaos, and I'm on the verge of making a comeback.  There's no way some
brain-dead radioactive freak is even going to think about claiming me as a

"I should say not," Easily-Discovered Man said.  "Particularly when
I claimed you first.  The situation is thus: our headquarters runneth over
with ovine matter, the beasts in question being young teenage girls
transformed, for what reason we know not.  Simultaneously, the streets of
our fair city do glow and crackle, smolder and simmer with flames to which
the mightiest torrent does a dewdrop seem."

"At least we know the reason for the flames," muttered the Ultimate
Ninja, pausing to sip from his Gatorade canister while Fred held a handbag
to his hooded head.  "Martin, Tick and Badger are at it again.  I'm out of
it for a few hours and the whole world goes to Hell (TM)."

"Yes, well, this is all very interesting, but I'll deal with it after
breakfast," Opinionated Lad said.  "Steak & Potatoes Man, who do I have to
to get myself a waffle?"

"Halt!" Easily-Discovered Man said, while Steak & Potatoes Man pondered
the question.  "Do you not see?  The sheep...the flames...the Pennsylvanian
rodent glimpsing its shadow...all of this points to the machinations of ONE

"Who?" Ultimate Ninja asked.

"I am not entirely sure," Easily-Discovered Man said, his stentorian
voice lowering by an octave or so.  "However, if I understand the way these
situations always work...and I believe I do...then it stands to reason
all of the events transpiring around us are the work of a single criminal

"That ought to come in handy when it comes time to get my parking
tickets validated," Onion Lad said.

"Having deciphered the same," Easily-Discovered Man said, "it stands
to reason we should follow established super-hero procedure in this case,
to wit: we must assemble our mightiest team of warriors from wherever
they may be -- typically some vacation paradise they are loath to leave --
and brief them on the situation, just before the criminal mastermind in
question appears on a giant viewscreen to taunt us."

"Are you really a member of this organization?" Ultimate Ninja asked.

"Okay," said Opinionated Lad, feeling the need for caffeine surge
through his body like an overweight luge competitor.  "Let me explain to
you the six or seven thousand different reasons why your ideas are both
pointless and stupid.  First.  We do not have a mighty team of warriors:
we're down to Ultimate Ninja, who's hung over; Fred, who's Fred; Captain
Cleanup, who's exhausted; Steak & Potatoes Man, who's obsessed; The Indie,
who appears to be missing; Onion Lad, who's an idiot; and you, who happens
to be the supreme ruler of all idiots."

**And me**, thought Invisible Inaudible Intangible Lass, who paused her
self-pitying soliloquy momentarily to swat away the prying eyes of a
caterpillar peering down her imperceptible cleavage.

"Second," continued Opinionated Lad, "this is the real world, where
real things happen, and all problems are not caused by one all-powerful
criminal mastermind.  They're caused by all-powerful corporations.  Third,
you're an idiot.  Fourth, no one has used the giant viewscreen in years, not
since we hosted the last regional Tetris tournament.  Fifth, you're an
idiot.  Sixth..."

No one spoke as the giant viewscreen in the main lobby crackled to

"Sixth," Opinionated Lad said, over the broadcast sound of
menacing laughter, "I really, really hate you."


Josh Hartung (j.o.s.hartung at att.net) wrote:

The Sheepshagger stood in his warehouse headquarters, prepared to make his
demands known to the Legion.  His had been a long, tragic road.  First
becoming a the Scottish hero Cheap Bastard, with the ability to stretch
pennies into copper wire.  Then the lawsuit from Paramount for copyright
infringement on the "Fat Bastard" character from Austin Powers.  Then the
loss of his home, his car, his wife.  All he had left was some revamped
powers, his SHAG (SHeep Actualization Gun) and a need to have revenge on
the entire world.

Especially entertainment lawyers.

"I'm coomin' ye wee beasties,"  Sheepshagger muttered.  "I'm coomin'..."

And with that, he walked over to the monitor screen and hit the "transmit"

Meanwhile, in the lobby, Fred was attempting to herd the sheep away from
his good copier paper.  Ultimate Ninja told him to man the front desk
until The Indie and Gaffer responded to their page.  All things being
equal, Fred would have loved to take the rest of the day off.

Just then, Steak and Potatoes Man and Onion Lad waded through the herds of
sheep towards the door.

"Leaving so soon, Steak and Potatoes Man?"  Fred asked.  "I thought we'd get
more than a cameo out of you for this cascade."

"Oh, you will, Fred."  Steak and Potatoes Man replied.  "I just need to drop
by Ditko's to change the menu and get my good slaughtering axe.  Come, Onion

"Ditko's?"  Fred asked.

"Yes,"  Steak and Potatoes Man answered.  "My cozy restaurant / performance
space not far from here where we held LNH Poetry Slamm '99."

"Boy, that sounds like a shamelss plug,"  Fred commented.

"Isn't it though?"  Onion Lad said.

And with that, Steak and Potatoes Man and Onion Lad exited.

 The phone rang.  Fred answered it.  "LNH Headquarters, how may I direct
your call?"  Fred said.

"Yeah this is Gaffer," a raspy voice on the line said.  "Somebody page me?"

"Yes Mr. Gaffer, we did.  We have an entertianment-related problem here at
the headquarters."

"What'd that be?"

"Well, a few hundred Backstreet Boys fans have been transformed into
mindless sheep."

"How can you tell?"

"Very droll, Mr. Gaffer.  But Lite already used that joke in Part One."


"Part One of this cascade story we're in."

There was a short pause.  "What the hell have you been smoking?"  Gaffer

"Oh, I see," Fred said.  "Your creator made you unaware that you're


"At any rate, can you help?"

"Sure,"  Gaffer said.  "How much does this gig pay?"

 "Excuse me?"  Fred asked.

 "Pay.  Mo-nayy.  How much?"  Gaffer asked.

 "Sir, this is The Legion of Net.heroes.  The most prestigious, honorable,
and courageous conglomeration on heroes which has..."

"Yadda yadda yadda,"  Gaffer interrupted.  "We don't do freebies."

 "How does $100 an hour plus expenses sound?"  Fred asked.

 "We'll be right over.  THE INDIE!  WAKE UP!"  and with that, Gaffer hung

 Just then, kiwis began to fall to the floor.

 Angry kiwis.

 "I know receptionists always say this,"  Fred muttered to himself.  "But I
_really_ don't get paid enough.  And why is that one kiwi crying?"


Ken Schmidt (tsar at eyrie.org)

For some reason, the monitor's picture tube stayed dark. There was laughter,
sure. And a crackling sound, but after a moment everyone in the lobby
realized that it was coming from behind them. As one they turned and found a
man leaning over the receptionist desk, alternating between eating an apple,
pop rocks, and then laughing between. They all glared at him.

"What?" asked Tsar Chasm as his laughter trailed off under the combined

"What did you do to the monitor? It was just about to turn on and give us an
idea of what to do next," Ultimate Ninja said between drinks of sports

"Nothing. I'm just hanging out in here until it cools down outside. I make
it a habit to stay clear of some of the more spirited discussions that occur
in these parts. I figure inside this lobby is safe enough."

"Foul villain!" decried Easily Discovered Man, who was echoed by I-I-I Lass,
not that anyone noticed, "Meddle not in the affairs of this assemblage of
the epitome of all that is right and virtuous!"

Tsar Chasm took another bite of his apple, "You know, normally I'd have some
comment about the sheep in here, but to be honest, their presence improves
both the smell and the average IQ of the LNH. I refuse to comment about the

Opinionated Lad opened his mouth to retort, but found it hard to
disagree. His opinion was that the average IQ of the LNH was far below his
own, so perhaps Tsar Chasm had a point.

Ultimate Ninja growled, "Look, we're about to start a big cascade story
here. You're not helping, and last time you vanished before we solved the
whole Melissa virus..." a look of horror crept into the eyes of Ultimate
Ninja. "No, the author can't be serious. He knows if he mentions the
unfinished cascade story, that maybe he can goad another author to forge a
link..." Ultimate Ninja dropped immediately into a deep ninja meditation
before he could finish what he was saying.

It was at this moment that Curly decided to join the party, "Uhm...uh."
Curly felt proud. This was the first time in a month he put two syllables

"And before anyone gets any funny ideas about me joining in on this little
story, I refuse to leave this desk. Interact around me all you'd like, but I
will not lose contact with this desk." Tsar Chasm hopped up and sat on the
corner of the desk, eating more apple. He had already given his pop rocks to
Lite, their crackling effect no longer needed.

Easily Discovered Man's eyes narrowed as he regarded Tsar Chasm, "So, you
are in league with our as-yet-unannounced foe! Your presence here means a
division of forces. Some of our number must remain behind to ensure the
safety of the building, lest you unleash one of your insidious schemes in
our absence!"

Curly, having saved up his brain power for the past month, made a quick
decision. Ripping up the floor underneath the desk, he held the desk, with
Tsar Chasm over his head, "If we go, he goes."

It was at that moment, that the huge monitor _really_ came to life...
NEXT TIME: More Mutton Mania...

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