REPOST/RACCies/MISC: Remember To Vote Team-Up #1

Saxon Brenton saxonbrenton at
Mon Mar 14 18:13:46 PDT 2011

[REPOST/RACCies/MISC] Remember To Vote Team-Up #1
By the request of this year's RACCies moderator, a repost from  
eleven years ago:
Remember To Vote Team-Up #1
     Remember-To-Vote-In-The-RACCies-Or-I'LL-Rip-Your-Arms-Off Man
     Manman and Limp-Asparagus Lad
A title tied to the rec.arts.comics.creative annual RACCies Awards 
(Mmmmm, tastes like fudge...)
Written by and copyright 2000, 2011 Saxon Brenton
This is a work of parody/satire/pastiche/homage/whatever. All 
characters remain the property of their owners and/or creators. 
Attempts at integrating it into continuity will be laughed at with 
derision, since even the RACCCafe doesn't want anything to do with 
this (although attempts that try to rationalise it using Hypertext 
Time will prompt retaliation with Sarcasm).
Cover shows an utterly feral-looking Remember-To-Vote-In-The-RACCies-Or-
I'LL-Rip-Your-Arms-Off Man in front of a stage, with a foam-flecked 
expression rather like that of the Red Basher from the old _Destroy_ 
comic by Scott McCloud. Pointless Awards Man is behind him, up on 
stage, looking both horrified and terrified because as MC he's not 
allowed to vote.
     "Remember to vote in the RACCies or I'll rip your arms off!" 
yelled the behemoth who was standing in the middle of the street 
blocking traffic. Car horns were blaring in protest at the delay.
     "Hey! Move it, *rsehole!" yelled one motorist, honking off with 
both his car horn and his mouth. His name was Homer J Simpsonman and 
he was fat, loud, bald and had a particularly jaundiced skin tone - but 
despite a the nagging suspicion that he looks familiar he is in fact 
no-one that you've seen before. Really. 
     "Move your ****ing butt!" Simpsonman yelled, waving his arm out 
the window. His pork chop withdrawal was making him more obnoxious 
than usual, although truth to tell that wasn't much of a change from 
his normal attitude. "Get out of the ****ing way or I'll waste you... 
Ah... ulp..."
     Remember-To-Vote-In-The-RACCies-Or-I'LL-Rip-Your-Arms-Off Man 
had lumbered up, and Simpsonman suddenly remembered the first rule of 
being an initiator of road-rage: never pick on someone bigger than 
you are.
     "Have you voted in th' RACCies yet?" RTVITROIRYAOMan demanded.
     The driver's seat was suddenly wet for some reason. "Uhm... no?" 
whimpered Simpsonman, terror sending coherent thought fleeing.
     "RRRrrarghhhh!" snarled RTVITROIRYAOMan, grabbing the hapless 
motorist by the neck, and dragging him out of his seat (breaking a 
number of bones in the process as he came out through the window too 
small for him). Next he ripped Simpsonman's arms off, and then (just 
to add insult to injury) rammed him head first through the bonnet of 
the car, causing the cooling fan of the idling engine to slice 
Simpsonman's head and torso up like salami. Finally RTVITROIRYAOMan 
picked the car up and hefted it down the street, where it landed and 
exploded with an appropriately cinematic fireball.
     At which point all the other drivers decided that this was the 
moment to leave off from honking and run away.
                   - - - ~ ~ ~ ### ~ ~ ~ - - -
     Of course, supervillain activity always attracts superheroes. It 
has to do with the mechanics of the genre, I think. And when super-
heroes and supervillains meet, there's the inevitable Confrontation. 
(Normally there's often a Fight Scene as well - though that'd probably 
be pushing it in this case considering who the people on one half of 
the line-up consist of.)
     Manman arrived without fanfare. "Excuse me," he said, "but I 
think you'll find that you're scaring more people away than you're 
convincing to vote."
     Remember-To-Vote-In-The-RACCies-Or-I'LL-Rip-Your-Arms-Off Man 
looked at the superguy. An expression of bemusement flitted briefly 
across his face. People didn't normally act this way. Usually they ran 
off somewhere - preferably to vote, but RTVITROIRYAOMan tended not to 
think through the possibilities of whether the people he was hurrying 
along actually *were* running off to vote.
     "Yes," agreed Limp-Asparagus Lad, who had also arrived without 
fanfare. "I believe that it would be a good idea if we discussed ways 
that you could more reliably get people to vote."
     Unfortunately RTVITROIRYAOMan was more of a man of impulse than 
of contemplation. "Remember to vote in the RACCies or I'll rip your 
arms off!" he bellowed at the pair.
     "I already have voted for the RACCies," replied Limp-Asparagus 
Lad calmly.
     RTVITROIRYAOMan blinked at him. He nodded. He was a simple soul, 
and easily satisfied. Then he turned and threw a dark, suspicious and 
generally hostile look at Manman and said, "An' what about you?"
     Now, what Manman should have done was lie through his teeth and 
say something along the lines of... oh, I suppose something like "Me 
too" would have been sufficient. But Manman wasn't particularly good 
at lying - and in fact had given up practicing at it only a short 
while after his encounter with Greta the counter girl had prompted 
him to try and add it to his repertoire of skills in the first place.
     Instead, what Manman tried to do was to explain that, no, of 
course he hadn't voted at the RACCies, but since he was a Superguy 
character this was perfectly alright because he had instead voted in 
the Golden Grunions, which he sincerely hoped was an acceptable 
     How unfortunate then that RTVITROIRYAOMan had the attention span 
of a flashbulb and Manman only got as far as "No..." before the 
bombastic villain roared in anger and leapt at him, intent on ripping 
the Man of Mediocrity's arms off.
     Limp-Asparagus Lad stuck his foot out, tripping RTVITROIRYAOMan, 
and sending the villain splatting into footpath, where he made a 
rather nasty impact crater with his face.
     Limp-Asparagus Lad turned to Manman and suggested, "Run?"
     Manman took a moment to reflect on this, but came to the 
conclusion that a strategic withdrawal would probably not necessarily 
be a reasonable tactical manoeuvre at this point in time. Instead, as 
RTVITROIRYAOMan picked himself up, the Mediocre Man held out a 
cracker to him. "Saltine?" he offered.
     Remember-To-Vote-In-The-RACCies-Or-I'LL-Rip-Your-Arms-Off Man 
hammered his chest with his fists, Tarzan-like, then grabbed Limp-
Asparagus Lad and pounded him into the asphalt.
     "Ouch," said the Man of Dull.
     Then Remember-To-Vote-In-The-RACCies-Or-I'LL-Rip-Your-Arms-Off 
Man jumped and landed on Limp-Asparagus Lad, knocking the wind out of 
him and making a darn good effort at turning him into street pizza.
     "Ow," reiterated the Man of Dull.
     Running with the idea, Remember-To-Vote-In-The-RACCies-Or-I'LL-
Rip-Your-Arms-Off Man hefted Limp-Asparagus Lad up and layed into him 
with punches that would have pulverised a normal human.
     It was therefore extremely lucky that Limp-Asparagus Lad's powers 
to 'go limp' were allowing him to absorb much of the damage. Never-
theless, this sort of abuse was beginning to become wearying. "Would 
you stop doing that, please?" he remonstrated in a monotone, and 
began focusing his drama dampening field onto the villain to make him 
bored and stop.
     Remember-To-Vote-In-The-RACCies-Or-I'LL-Rip-Your-Arms-Off Man 
snarled and tried to rip L-ALad's arms off. That didn't do much good 
either, and by now the tedium that L-ALad was generating was beginning 
to affect him. RTVITROIRYAOMan threw Limp-Asparagus Lad over his 
shoulder, where he landed with a crash on top of Manman.
     As they disentangled themselves (and RTVITROIRYAOMan departed), 
a question occurred to Limp-Asparagus Lad. "If he was upset at you for 
not voting in the RACCies, why did he attack me?"
     "Having your arms ripped off by a villain obsessed with voting 
for amateur fiction on an internet forum wouldn't have been a mediocre 
way of being injured," observed Manman. "So my powers of mediocrity 
prevented it from happening."
     "I see."
     "There is one thing that occurs to me as well..."
     " 'Footpath'?"
     The significance of this question was not lost on the Legionnaire. 
"The Writer of this story is an Australian," he pointed out to the 
superguy by way of explanation. "If you look carefully at that section 
of text you'll notice the variant spelling of the word 'maneuver' as 
well," he added, meticulously compiling evidence to support his 
assertion. "In any case, he refuses to abandon his parochial spelling 
practices, but on the matter of differences of dialect and expressions 
he says that sometimes he simply fails to notice them. Be that as it 
may, I am beginning to suspect that sometimes he does it deliberately 
just to annoy Anal-Retentive Archive Kid." Manman nodded in 
     Meanwhile, the Writer in question was beginning to regret that he 
hadn't hired a narrator for this gig. It wasn't so much the fact that 
both Manman and Limp-Asparagus Lad were dull. They were, but 
individually they were both tolerable. The problem seemed to be that 
they were synergising in unexpected ways - to put it bluntly, they now 
each had someone to talk to who operated on basically the same 
wavelength and who wouldn't need to go a gnaw their own leg off to 
survive the experience.
     And worst of all, they weren't advancing the plot.
     Fortunately, they had soon passed beyond discussing the use of 
expression as an indicator of cultural archetype, and were trying to 
work on a Cunning Plan to defeat RTVITROIRYAOMan.
     "I wonder what his powers are? Maybe he has some type of Silver 
Age weakness that we can exploit," mused Limp-Asparagus Lad.
     Hoping that it would get the pair of them moving, the Writer 
handed him a brief description of the villain. It read:
     FIRST APPEARANCE: Remember To Vote Team-Up #1
     POWERS: Plot Device powers. He usually has at least strength and 
  toughness and stupidity, but he may have other powers to tax the 
  abilities of any heroes who encounter him. Moreover, he is always 
  just powerful enough to give the heroes a good workout, and his 
  power levels go up and down according to who he is fighting in 
  order to ensure an interesting Fight Scene.
     ADD NOTES: He is obsessed with getting people to vote for the 
  RACCies, and uses threats and violence to achieve his ends. Ripping 
  people's arms off is merely a favourite tactic, but not his only one.
     They read the summation. "No specific weaknesses. Except 
stupidity, I suppose," said Manman. He looked thoughtful. "Now how 
did the other superguys defeat Dan Quayle back before he became 
     "Perhaps if Remember-To-Vote-In-The-RACCies-Or-I'LL-Rip-Your-
Arms-Off Man gains powers appropriate to the heroes he's fighting, 
then he also gains weaknesses appropriate to his opponents as well," 
theorised L-ALad.
     This led to the two of them comparing powers and abilities and 
vast chunks of their respective backhistories, and at this point the 
Writer realised that the character description was not working at 
getting them to stop the villain. He decided to introduce a more 
direct incentive to get them back on track.
     A tremendous explosion detonated in the distance. There was the 
sound of screaming, of cars colliding, and of shattered concrete 
facade peeling away from the top of a skyscraper and falling to the 
street below.
     Limp-Asparagus Lad looked at Manman. Manman looked at Limp-
Asparagus Lad. "Perhaps," suggested the superguy, "we should lead him 
away from the bystanders first."
     "There's an Abandoned Warehouse district not too far from here, 
with a concrete storage pit," suggested the LNHer. "If we could lure 
him there, we could perhaps trick him into it."
                   - - - ~ ~ ~ ### ~ ~ ~ - - -
     When they arrived at Remember-To-Vote-In-The-RACCies-Or-I'LL-Rip-
Your-Arms-Off Man's location, they found him terrorising joggers in 
the park.
     "Hey, Remember-To-Vote-In-The-RACCies-Or-I'LL-Rip-Your-Arms-Off 
Man," called Manman, trying to think of an appropriate goad. "Your 
     Remember-To-Vote-In-The-RACCies-Or-I'LL-Rip-Your-Arms-Off Man 
just blinked at him.
     "His obsession is with voting at the RACCies," Limp-Asparagus 
Lad reminded him. "It is probably the only thing that truly interests 
him enough to become angry about."
     "Oh yeah."
     "Remember-To-Vote-In-The-RACCies-Or-I'LL-Rip-Your-Arms-Off Man," 
called Limp-Asparagus Lad in a slightly louder version of his usual 
monotone. "I was lying earlier. I *haven't* voted in the RACCies yet."
     "I suppose now we should try that running away thing you 
suggested earlier," observed Manman.
     "That would probably be a good idea, for the bystanders sake if 
not necessarily our own," agreed Limp-Asparagus Lad.
     They high-tailed it out of there, with RTVITROIRYAOMan bearing 
down on them and gaining ground.
     "I don't think we'll make it the abandoned warehouse district 
before he catches us," Manman said. Then he added wistfully, "If only 
I had the Carmobile with me."
     "What is the Carmobile?" asked L-ALad.
     "My wheels. I had to have the CD played fixed last week, and..."
     Only slightly behind them, the singleminded fury of RTVITR-
OIRYAOMan began to waver as he felt boredom set in. More boredom. He 
recognised the boredom from last time (or so he thought - actually the 
boredom that Manman generated was of different origin and slightly 
different texture to Limp-Asparagus Lad's, but RTVITROIRYAOMan wasn't 
introspective enough to recognise the difference). He slowed down and 
wandered off to find someone who wasn't boring (and for preference, 
who hadn't voted in the RACCies).
     "...but the wax wasn't taking properly, so I let it sit awhile 
before... uh, what is it?" Manman asked as Limp-Asparagus Lad pulled 
to a stop and tried to draw the former's attention to something. Manman 
looked behind him and saw RTVITROIRYAOMan wandering off. His brow 
furrowed as he came to a conclusion. "This is going to need some 
delicate handling," Manman decided.
     The Writer sighed. No, this was going to need bloody-minded 
                   - - - ~ ~ ~ ### ~ ~ ~ - - -
     They tried again. Well, they were more or less obliged to, 
weren't they?
     "Fortunately each attempt is luring him closer to the abandoned 
warehouse district," observed Limp-Asparagus Lad, in one of those 
state-the-obvious pieces of dialogue that are often used to quickly if 
not necessarily elegantly give a concise summation of what is going on.
     Remember-To-Vote-In-The-RACCies-Or-I'LL-Rip-Your-Arms-Off Man was 
spreading mayhem, terror, and a heightened consciousness of the need 
to vote in a shopping mall and was tearing up a Net.Donalds fast food 
outlet. Manman in particular was insistent in getting RTVITROIRYAOMan 
away from there - since if he destroyed all those pre-prepared 
hamburgers with their dill pickles then the villain would actually be 
lowering the world's blandness levels, and Manman couldn't allow that. 
There was also the issue that they needed to call an ambulance for the 
restaurant manager who had had his arms ripped off, and would need to 
clear the villain out of the area for the paramedics to safely set to 
     Once again the heroes goaded RTVITROIRYAOMan into chasing them. 
As they vaulted across the RTVITROIRYAOMan-created rubble that marked 
the entrance to the mall, Manman said, "Now all we need to do is keep 
him focused on chasing us."
     "He does seem to have a short attention span, doesn't he?"
     "Mmm. A pity neither of us can run backwards to make sure he's 
still following us." There was a rumble from behind them as RTVITR-
OIRYAOMan sideswiped a support pylon for an overhead walkway and 
it collapsed. "On the other hand, all that yelling and the sounds of 
property damage will probably be a good enough warning, provided we 
pay attention to them."
     "I wonder what keeps him so fixated on harassing people to vote?" 
L-ALad thought out loud. Then he added, "And why can't we keep his 
attention focused on us?"
     Manman shrugged (which is a pretty neat trick when you're running 
flat out to keep ahead of a homicidal supervillain). "Maybe he just 
got bored with us."
     "Hmmm. In other words, he's not happy unless he's hurting someone, 
and otherwise his attention wanders? An interesting idea. Perhaps we 
should run tag-team, and every now and then allow him to catch me, 
beat me up, and then be goaded into chasing you. That might keep him 
     "I don't thiiink so," sing-songed Manman. "You're being too 
cerebral. It's more like, we're here running away from him, talking 
calmly even though we should be out of breath, but even if you're 
keeping your drama dampening field turned down low, we're still going 
on with an abstract conversation that really doesn't fit the mood of 
the Chase Scene. That's something I remember from _How to Lose Friends 
and Bore People Sh**less_, by-the-by," he added, referring to one of 
his original training manuals in Blahness. "So, it's like, this'll 
barely be enough to keep the audience's attention, let alone the Ripper 
behind us."
     "That seems plausible..." began L-ALad, then he paused. There 
were no yells of rage coming from behind them.
     They both stopped and looked around. Remember-To-Vote-In-The-
RACCies-Or-I'LL-Rip-Your-Arms-Off Man was nowhere to be seen.
     Limp-Asparagus Lad looked at Manman. Manman looked at Limp-
Asparagus Lad.
     "See?" said Manman. "We've done it again, haven't we?"
     The Writer started to beat his head against a wall.
                   - - - ~ ~ ~ ### ~ ~ ~ - - -
     Finally they managed to lure RTVITROIRYAOMan into the Abandoned 
Warehouse district. Ironically his lack of an attention span (except 
in one rather specialised area) made it easier for them, since other-
wise he would have noticed the rather... repetitive nature of his 
encounters with them.
     "Hey! Remember-To-Vote-In-The-RACCies-Or-I'LL-Rip-Your-Arms-Off 
Man!" called Manman. "We haven't voted in the RACCies yet!"
     Yes, he really was that gullible.
     They led him for a short chase, climaxing with tricking him to 
fall into a 10 metre deep concrete pit sunk into the ground. 
Considering how much trouble they'd had in leading him here, it was 
almost a relief at how easy it was to get him to fall in.
     Limp-Asparagus Lad and Manman looked over the edge. Remember-To-
Vote-At-The-RACCies-Or-I'LL-Rip-Your-Arms-Off Man was pounding away 
at the walls of the pit, making inarticulate bellows.
     "We should try and render him unconscious," suggested L-ALad. 
"Just in case he somehow piledrives a hole through the concrete sides 
and then tunnels upwards." He paused. "Or in case he uses his strength 
to create handholds to climb out," he added as RTVITROIRYAOMan began 
to do just that.
     "Will you be able to bore him into unconsciousness fast enough?" 
asked Manman.
     "By myself? No," L-ALad replied as he concentrated. "I would 
theorise, however, that if you combined you powers of mediocrity with 
my drama dampening abilities, that we should be able to affect him far 
more quickly than either of us would independently."
     Manman shrugged. "Sounds good to me. You want me to talk about 
     "Yes, please. Anything dull. Explaining porridge to him should
     Bizarrely, Manman chose that moment to take umbrage at this 
suggestion. "Hey, porridge is very important stuff."
     Limp-Asparagus Lad considered calming his fellow's protests, but 
then hit upon the notion that if having Manman explain porridge would 
be boring, then having him try to explain why porridge wasn't boring 
would be downright tedious. "Well, notwithstanding the nutritional 
benefits, I think I must beg to differ..."
     And they were off.
     Halfway up the side of the pit, RTVITROIRYAOMan began to feel 
lethargic. Words. He remembered the words from before now. Dreadful 
words. Sapping his strength... Sapping his need to find people who 
hadn't voted and rip their arms off...
     There was a second loud thud as RTVITROIRYAOMan lost his grip 
and fell back to the bottom of the pit. He began to snore.
     Limp-Asparagus Lad held up a hand. "I believe that he is 
unconscious," he noted.
     "Oh? Well, that's cool, then," said Manman, satisfied. "Now 
there's just one thing left."
     "What is that?"
     "I wonder where Dadaman has gotten off to."
                   - - - ~ ~ ~ ### ~ ~ ~ - - -
     "So, Dadaman," said Weirdness Girl as they sat in a Bunzai Pizza 
restaurant. She poured two cups from a pot of fresh V-8 mixed with 
mountain dew, warm yak's milk, and carrot juice and lightly sprinkled 
with fermented parrot droppings. "Do you like fish?"
     Limp-Asparagus Lad owned by Saxon Brenton. Created by Mystic 
Mongoose (Robert Armstrong) and wReam (Ray Bingham).
     Manman and Dadaman created by Dirk Myers, used without permission.
     Remember-To-Vote-In-The-RACCies-Or-I'LL-Rip-Your-Arms-Off Man  
created by Saxon Brenton.
     Weirdness Girl created by Jennifer Whitson and cameoed without 
     Original MM/L-ALad team-up idea by Dvandom (It's all *his* 
fault! Tar and feather *him*, not *me*! Argghhh!!!)
     All characters copyright their owners and/or creators 2000, 2011.
2011 postscript:
     Limp-Asparagus Lad and Weirdness Girl are characters in the 
Legion of Net.Heroes [LNH] imprint.
     Manman and Dada are characters in the Superguy [SG] imprint.
     Remember-To-Vote-In-The-RACCies-Or-I'LL-Rip-Your-Arms-Off Man is 
a character in the... uh... RACCies imprint, I guess.
     I'm pretty sure this sort of distinction will become important 
for issue 2.
Saxon Brenton   Uni of Technology, city library, Sydney, Australia
   saxon.brenton at   saxonbrenton at

More information about the racc mailing list