REPOST: LNH: Easily-Discovered Man #45
dreadpirate72 at netzero.com
Sun May 21 19:19:04 PDT 2006
Doused with microwave radiation, Theodore Wong gained the
ability to glow and be detected at great distances by anyone with
a Geiger counter. Together with his sidekick Lite, Wong wages a
constant battle against the forces of corruption, chaos, and
common sense as the fabulous EASILY-DISCOVERED MAN.
-----Previously on "The Adventures of Easily-Discovered Man"--------
Easily-Discovered Man Lite navigated his way through a
series of alternate dimensions in which he had killed Easily-
Discovered Man, married the Screen Saver, and been declared insane,
not necessarily in that order.
Since then, Easily-Discovered Man and Easily-Discovered Man
Lite have been taking it... easily, a respite which will end after
this brief public service announcement:
"Hey, where are you guys going?" I asked. "I've got pizza,
a six-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.
"And please say 'exotic dancers.' I ask for so little out of life."
"Well, actually..." Substitute Lad began, but Cynical Lass
cut him off.
"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 who had dated a guy who had a cousin whose college roommate
once wore a T-shirt with a picture of Osama bin Laden on it."
"And I once went with a friend to a mosque where three years
later, the imam criticized U.S. policy towards Israel," Cynical Lass
said. "I'm hoping if we turn ourselves in now, I'll get a room with
an ocean view in 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
said. "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
"Yeah, sure," I said. "Let's see that questionnaire."
Howdy, (fellow American/godless foreign national/enemy combatant)!
Were you or could you potentially have been responsible for the
horrifying attacks of September 11, 2001? Please check as many
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 have
donated its funds to al-Qaeda.
_____ 3). I have ever been present in a city or other urban area
where representatives of al-Qaeda were meeting or where
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
organization (including, but not limited to, a
_____ 6). I have ever participated in an organization which
provided aid and comfort to the enemies of the
United States (through such actions as material
support, political aggrandizement, public ridicule
of the President of the United States, or speaking
______ 7). I have thought of participating in such an
______ 8). I hadn't thought of participating in such an
organization until I read that last question, but
now I am thinking of it, even if I didn't mean to.
______ 9). I have ever omitted "under God" while saying the
Pledge of Allegiance.
_____ 10). I have ever sat while listening to the national anthem
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 Chicks.
_____ 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 the ones mentioned in questions 5 and 6, but just
now I have suddenly thought, even for a moment, of
considering participating in such an organization.
_____ 17). After reading the last question, I went back and
read 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 an
additional five points if you checked question 13. Results below:
1-5: Although not directly responsible for the attacks on
September 11, you could have done something to prevent
them. Please submit yourself to the Office of Homeland
Security for re-education.
5-15: While 15 points on a questionnaire might not seem like
much, it ought to be enough to convince the Security
Council that you and your neighborhood present a
serious risk to the safety of the free world.
Please submit yourself to the Office of 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 Rogers, and I approved this message.
The Adventures of Easily-Discovered Man #45
"Last Fall in the House of Usher"
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 of a focus group before. I can't believe someone's
willing to pay me for my opinions. And to think I've been giving
them away for nothing all these years."
"Someone willing to pay for your ideas?" Cynical Lass said,
crossing her arms and resting her high heels on the table. "If I
had any faith left in humanity, that would have destroyed it."
"Faith? One must always have faith, my mellifluous mistress
of melancholia," said Easily-Discovered Man, speaking through a
mouthful of jellybeans. He held up one sticky-gloved finger for
emphasis. "For faith is the very bedrock upon which our
civilization is built. Our great institutions -- our churches, our
governments, the financial organizations through which 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 the 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 now."
"Listen to the Prof," I said. "After all, without faith,
Faith No More would just be...No More. Which I suppose they are.
"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 the table. "And behold, yon gracious host hath
entrusted his... or her... time and facilities to the collection of
our considerations, and in return has provided us this sumptuous
repast of sweets."
"These jellybeans are pretty tasty," Cynical Lass agreed,
taking 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! Maple...
blueberry... butter... Lite, has your mind arrived at the same
conclusion as mine?"
"Not unless you've been into my collection of Paris Hilton
videos," I said.
"It's a trap!" Cynical Lass screamed, bolting upright just
as the 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 mirror 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
rabbit's foot out of my pocket. "And people said I was crazy to
buy this. Crazy... 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 her in 'LNH: The Movie,' and the director
thought it would be good for me to 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 Jolie will be taking on the role of Cynical Lass. And
"Sweet!" I said.
"...will be playing Substitute Lad," Thurman finished. Her
perfect porcelain forehead wrinkled. "Wait. Which one of you is
"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
said. "Okay, so about this evil scheme..."
"Wait!" I said, tapping on the table with the handle of my
spatula. "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
"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?"
"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 of manila index cards. "Boy, there's a lot of writing here,"
she said. "Does the Waffle Queen always talk this much when she's
"Actually, she usually starts by lowering me into a Jacuzzi
full of batter," I said. "Then, she dresses up in a little
Catholic schoolgirl's uniform and begins tickling me with..."
"Wow!" Thurman said, holding up a card. "She actually
predicted you were going to say that, right here on the bottom of
the page. I guess I'd better go ahead and read from the script
"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
or GLURGE, out
"Yeah, but just think syrup. (I'm supposed to
about it!" I said. "They're here for applause, and/or
putting us into a movie! futile efforts at
Wait 'til I tell Summer." recrimination."
"As though any
"Really? You guys are golem were enough to strike
still together? I thought you fear into the dauntless
broke up after going to see that is the vaunted heart of
'The Punisher'?" Cynical Lass the peerless EASILY-
said. DISCOVERED MAN!"
"You know, you
"No, no. We broke up said. "The way you
after 'Hellboy,' " I said. 'dauntless' -- I mean,
Then we got back together for gave me chills. I almost hate
'The Punisher,' but agreed to hate to have to turn this
see other people. Then things syrup monster loose on you."
were good for 'Spider-Man 2,'
though now we're kind of on "Each of us has our own role
hiatus." to play," the Prof
"Yours was sealed
your pure mind
"Lite," Cynical Lass thoughts of evil, even as
said. "Has it ever occurred to became destined to defeat
you that Summer is only dating you!"
you so that she'll be able to
show up at super-hero themed "But isn't that a bit
movies with someone who has a deterministic?" Thurman asked,
vague connection to super-heroes?" running her fingers through her
hair. "I mean,
almost make the
our whole lives
-- the choices
"Well, duh," I said. the choices we make,
you and I are
"And how do you feel about having -- was pre-ordained."
that?" Cynical Lass asked, looking
me in the eyes. "Well," the Prof
are reading it
from a series of
"I'm reaaaaally looking index cards."
forward to 'The Incredibles," I
said. "Good point,"
"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 what's going on!"
"I'm guessing that's the Glurge," I said, as something
brown and 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 the smell of late autumn in Vermont,
the syrup clumped together to form two legs, a stocky torso, and a
head with wide, unblinking eyes like an anime character.
"Isn't this where you fire off a line about a sticky
situation?" 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 grow in size, "she's left the room. Second, I do not 'just play
along.' Ever. And third -- have you even seen Ethan Hawke lately?
The man looks freeze-dried."
"You know," said the Glurge, lowering its saucer eyes,
"it's at times like these I think of little Michael and how he
saved his baby sister with a song."
"That voice!" the Prof cried. "So rich! So deep! So...
"Like Michael Bolton," I suggested.
"You see, the doctors said Michael's baby sister wasn't
going to make it," the Glurge said, advancing toward us. "But
little Michael...well, he believed in miracles. Especially the
miracle of music. Little Michael had been singing 'You Are My
Sunshine' to his mother's belly every day since he found out he was
going to have a baby sister. Michael knew that God 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
someone else gets sick?"
"No. Well, yes, but that's not the point. Look at the
Prof! Look 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
unit 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 mask. "Such caring! Such intimate pathos!"
"Let me guess," Cynical Lass said, grabbing one of the
Prof's arms. "Easily-Discovered Man is particularly vulnerable to
warm and fuzzy moments."
"Everyone has his kryptonite," I said, tugging at the
Prof's other arm. "There have been times when I've found him,
late at night, sobbing through one of those 'Chicken Soup for the
Super-Hero's Soul' books and watching the Hallmark Channel. They
say this kind of thing is harder to 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 you believe in miracles, Easily-Discovered Man?"
"No!" I shouted. "No, you don't! You won't even play the
lottery! 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? That all of us have the power to make the world a better
"Prof, think of the '86 Red Sox! Of Bill Buckner and the
ball rolling between his legs! For God's sake, Prof, think of
"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 him."
"Professor Wong," Cynical Lass said, marshaling her power.
"Are you convinced there's a connection between Saddam Hussein and
the September 11 attacks?"
The Prof's head snapped back as though he'd been slapped.
"Good heavens, woman, no one in his right mind believes
that," he said.
"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. It gave me the shivers, frankly. "You're going to have
to hit it with something harder."
"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 from winning."
"You are my sunshine," the Prof drooled, "my only
"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, stopped.
"You've lost me," I said, as the Prof continued to sing.
"That was kind of a reach," the Glurge agreed. "It's not
cynical, 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 of 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
went back into his trance. "That was quite clever, you two, but I
won't be distracted like that again."
"Hey, did'ja hear that?" I said, draping an arm around
Cynical Lass' shoulder. "He thought we were clever. Do we make a
good team, or what?"
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
pit of despair at the very core believe and do
of your being," I said. say,
has come for you to
"Well, there's six months upon humanity!"
worth of Paxil down the drain,"
Cynical Lass said. "What do you "...sunshine, my only
"Tell him about your last "Yesss," the
date," I said. "For as
irresistible as my
is now, it will
all the more
Cynical Lass shot me a heartwarming... and
look that would have reduced a unstoppable... when
more intelligent man to silence. delivered by one of
"No, I've got it," I said.
"Tell him about the worst date The Glurge held up
you've ever had." of iridescent
"You're off your nut," "Ahem."
"Hang on," she said. H H EEEEE
"I think we're meant to be paying H H E
attention to something." HHH EEEE
M M M
H E M M M
H EEEEE M M!"
"Hello," the Glurge said. "I've just gone and explained
my mistress' master plan for world domination, and you've missed
"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
"And you said the penguin thing was a reach," Cynical Lass
"I'm beginning to see why she hates you two so much," the
Glurge said. "Easily-Discovered Man, destroy them!"
"Now that's a command I've never heard before," I said,
unsheathing my spatula as the Prof stumbled forward, his spindly
arms held out like the jaws of a forklift.
"Right," Cynical Lass said. "So last fall, I agreed to go
out with this guy named Rod."
"Where'd you meet him?" I asked, dodging the Prof's first
blow. "Please tell mw you didn't meet him online. Do you know the
kind of people 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 chair 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,
Frisbee- 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
jellybeans onto the Glurge's head. "The way he kept going on
about her... how nothing 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 the bowl and fired two pseudopods of syrup at her, pinning
her to the wall.
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 my spatula.
"...loved her," she finished. "And I would have left then
and there, but he had those..."
"...Daniel Day-Lewis, circa 1991, good looks?" I asked,
blocking the Glurge's next attack with my spatula and allowing
Cynical Lass to turn the table on to the creature, squashing it.
"Exactly," she said.
"Man, they're going to have a helluva time getting that
out of the carpet," I said, as the Glurge oozed up from beneath
the shattered table.
"So we're talking, and before I know it he seems to have
completely forgotten about the ex, and he's talking to me like I'm
the only person in the world that matters," Cynical Lass said.
"And it just so happens that when we left the sun was setting
right over Hyde Park, and the sky..."
She dropped and rolled as the Glurge launched two tentacles
toward 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 sliver of glass and raised it like a tomahawk.
"It was more of an orangey-green," she said, breaking off
two of the table's legs and holding them as though they were a
pair of sais. "And I notice just then that he has really long
eyelashes, and I realize that I've noticed that because he's
closing his eyes to kiss me, and he's leaning 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
"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 the glass out of his hand as he fell.
"For another," Cynical Lass said, and took another deep
breath. Beneath my feet, I felt the floor begin to vibrate. The
broken glass on either side of me started rattling; on the other
side of the room, I saw the Glurge's gelatinous layers wobbling
like a 4 a.m. drunk.
"For another," Cynical Lass said, "Madeline... this woman
Rod was obsessed with... she wasn't his ex-girlfriend. She...
Something like thunder rolled through the room, pulverizing
what remained of the glass, knocking the Prof and I off our feet
and freezing 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 room.
"Lite," the Prof said, staggering to his feet. "Why do you
suppose it is that I find myself wearing ice skates?"
"A deep-seated and hitherto unrevealed passion for
curling," I said. "And speaking of unrevealed passions... that
was quite a story."
"That was only the 10th worst date I've ever had," Cynical
Lass 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 windows gone, we ought to be able to climb our way
out of here and... be still my heart... actually have a legitimate
excuse for going after Uma Thurman."
"I fear we cannot leave yet," the Prof said.
"Well, obviously I was going to eat the jellybeans first,"
"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 Indigo."
CHARACTERS: Easily-Discovered Man, Easily-Discovered Man
Lite, Cynical Lass, Substitute Lad, the Waffle Queen, and the
Glurge are (c) Rob Rogers. Browsing Boy is Public Domain.
Uma Thurman belongs to herself... for now.
SPECIAL THANKS: to Mandy, Loren, Jess, Jamas, and everybody
who 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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