LNH: Classic LNH Adventures #93: Limp-Asparagus Lad #45

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Wed Mar 6 17:22:37 PST 2019

On 2/3/2019 4:46 PM, Arthur Spitzer wrote:
> Limp-Asparagus Lad #45, written by Saxon "Screw American History" Brenton

Of course, the Australians! >:o

> is
> the first appearance of Bicycle Repair Lad's arch-nemesis Hexadecimal Luthor
> whose only appearance before this was a mention in the Bicycle Repair Lad roster
> entry made up by Bicycle Repair Lad creator Chris Hare.  Saxon would take that
> mention give life to the character in this story a riff on the President Luthor
> storyline that was happening around this time in the DC Universe.
> This whole President Hex Luthor dangling plotline would take years to resolve
> (eventually it would in 2009 in Beige Midnight #4). 

This whole plotline was done so much better than the DC version. (So was the 
Beige Midnight version of Civil War.)

> But here's the beginning
> as we boldly go into the Hexacimal Luthor Age of LNH history (and who would
> have ever guessed that the current American President would make Hex Luthor seem
> like a completely reasonable choice.)


> "Bloody 'ell," he swore, picking up the part and
> placing it onto a benchtop. (It was from the starboard engine of the
> number five LNH flight.thingee and as usual the temperamental old dear
> was clogging up with punctuation element from random bits of
> expositionary dialogue.)

I love this bit. I love Saxon's throwaway metafiction.

> Possibly the only
> other contender who could have been considered any sort of threat had
> been the independent senator Kelly Roberts with his populist anti-
> net.ahuman platform. And of course, Roberts was long gone now.
>       No one was entirely sure what had happened that evening in Net
> York when the strange light show had erupted from the still-under-repair
> Statue of Liberty and spread out across the lower end of Manhattan,
> putting an early end to the senator's fundraiser. All that was certain
> was that Kelly Roberts was dead - the integrity of the cells of his body
> disrupted to the point where his flesh had deliquesced and the only way
> that they'd been able to identify him was by dental records.

You know, I didn't expect this direct of an homage to the original X-Men movie. 
Also, it's been almost two decades haha I'm oooooold @-@

> well, it wasn't quite the style of the
> *old* Hexadecimal Luthor, but to be honest BRL wasn't sure what
> Hexadecimal's current style was. Better to be safe than sorry.

The contrast between the two is a *really* good part of Beige Midnight.

>       [Writers Note: Ironically, the inclusion of Hexadecimal Luthor into
> the equation of the presidential election perpetuated a form of damage to
> the politics of the Usenetted States that went beyond his mere victory
> and subsequent opportunity to use the socio-economic-military resources
> of the country for Evil. In Real Life the close electoral finish between
> Bush and Gore focused attention on the mechanics of the voting system
> (particularly in the state of Florida), demonstrating not only that parts
> of it had become unreliable through age, but that other parts had been
> deliberately designed never to be democratic in the first place.
> Hexadecimal's convincing win prevented these anomalies from being brought
> so forcefully to public attention. Thus, in the Looniverse there was no
> widespread knowledge of these flaws and abuses, meaning that in turn
> there was no opportunity for public pressure to be bought to bear to try
> and force legislators to fix them.]


I would really like to go back to having this much faith in the system. Or, 
rather, I would like to have a system worth having this much faith in.

> He was a consummate costumed terrorist who had never actually bothered to
> have a cause other than proving that he was capable of getting away with
> such behaviour. In fact, Hexadecimal's insouciant attitude had always
> given BRL the impression that even when he had been captured and thrown
> into jail Hex was simply biding his time until he grew bored enough to
> launch his next plan.

I do love this style and should make a character more like that. I guess that's 
Tyrannus Auron...

>       And what plans they had been. Like the time he had replaced all
> of the members of the Usenetted Nations security council with robot
> duplicates in an effort to start world war 3. Or when he had encased the
> city of Paris in a force dome and held it suspended 200 metres above the
> ground. Or his attempt to use a mind-control ray to put everyone with
> the initials 'LL' under his thrall. Or causing all of the apes in the
> Net.ropolis zoo to grow to gigantic size and rampage around the city
> shooting green ray beams out of their eyes.

More of this please!!

>       And then everything had changed. Hexadecimal had pulled off what
> could arguably be his most audacious theft. He had stolen history.

These are such good sentences.

>       "You know mate, I think this is the part where you run away,"
> suggested Bicycle Repair Lad cheerfully.
>       "Ah..."
>       Bicycle Repair Lad leaned forward in a conspiratorial whisper.
> "Otherwise I might have to poke *you* with a soft cushion, too." He waved
> the cushion in question, just to emphasise his threat.
>       "Ah..."
>       "Or maybe even say 'ni' at you."
>       The henchman's nerve broke and he fled.

Heeheehee :3 Sometimes BRL's use of British humor feels like Family Guy-style 
"hey, remember this thing exists?", but here it's wonderfully woven into his 

>       Hexadecimal Luthor was sitting at a table. He shook his head. "No,
> I simply shifted some of the equipment around to make more room."
>       "It would help if you occasionally threw out some of this stuff. Or
> at least put some of it into storage."

Does this doomsday device spark joy?

>       Hexadecimal smiled inscrutably. "You know, by amazing coincidence I
> *do* actually plan to get rid of a lot of this stuff very shortly."

That's such a good line.

>       Bicycle Repair Lad shrugged. "Fine then. What precisely was that
> thing that you stole from the Museum of Modern Art - and what diabolical
> device are you going to use it to power this time?"

I feel like the MoMA reference is underplayed here, especially considering that 
the Cosmic Plot Device itself, in some versions of the canon, was housed in the 
Net.ropolis History Museum.

>       "Ha!" cried Hexadecimal "At last you begin to show some respect for
> the scope of my intellect. That 'thing' as you call it is none other
> than... the Cosmic Reset Button!"
>       "The Cosmic Reset Button!?" echoed BRL in pantomimed astonishment
> and alarm. Then, in a more normal voice: "What's that?"

Heeheehee. :3

> Prevent the execution of President Nixon for high treason?"

I love that Saxon goes so hard on this idea, and I love love _LOVE_ what Rob 
eventually did with it.

> "The unrewarded effort and continual uphill battle of trying to show that
> a man capable of organising an underwater invasion of South Ame.rec.a is
> clearly the best administrative mind to hold the coveted position of
> Emperor of Earth.

Rich white men with college degrees dot jpeg

> If all that they're going to do is continually complain that their
> elected leaders are too soft on crime, then why did they vote for them
> in the first place?"
>       "Maybe people also fear the arbitrarily unfair rule of a proven
> sociopath who they wouldn't be able to remove at a later date?" Bicycle
> Repair Lad suggested.

Thaaaank you BRL.

>       Bicycle Repair Lad gave him a dubious look. "Isn't that just a bit
> lame? The cliche of sinister megacorporations being the true rulers of
> the world went stale in the mid-1990s with the rest of the cyberpunk
> genre."

hahahaaaaaa x-x Previous statement about faith in the system

> In any case, what better bushel to hide one's light
> under than one where you can acquire power and your opponents can be
> dismissed as anarchists with no respect for personal property rather than
> as crusading costumed vigilantes?"
>       .oO( Blimey, ) thought Bicycle Repair Lad. ( He might have actually
> thought this thing all the way through for once. )

Still excellently put.

>       "Then you must DIE!" screamed Hexadecimal, literally foaming at the
> mouth. "Destroy him, my Corps of Cloned Lethal Lagomorphs!" Hex stepped
> back to make room, and suddenly there was a legion of lop eared rabbits
> with switchblade knives rushing at on Bicycle Repair Lad from all sides.

I'm not sure if I've read Sluggy Freelance in the last... decade? X3 Sheesh.

>       Bicycle Repair Lad remembered the truth, although whether this was
> because he had been close enough to the Cosmic Reset Button to be within
> the area of the 'bootstrap effect' or simply because of dramatic irony
> he had never been able to figure out.

This kind of thing always happens.

>       And Hexadecimal Luthor remembered as well. In the few subsequent
> run-ins that BRL had had with Hexadecimal's carefully-structured-to-be-
> totally-deniable black op business schemes HL had tried to play the
> straight man, but an occasional slip up in his dialogue had revealed that
> he too remembered the times like when he had tried to use the Cosmic
> Rubik's Cube to turn the North Sea into a desert.

That is a lovely dynamic. :3

>       God only knew where it would end. But Bicycle Repair Lad intended
> to be there when the end came.

Dun dun dunnnnn...

>       Bicycle Repair Lad was created back in the early, chaotic-add on
> phase of the LNH by Chris Hare, but only Chris' then email address has
> ever been included in Bicycle Repair Lad's LNH character roster.
> Martin's recent unearthing of the real names of various early Writer
> Character LNHers using the newly expanded google newsgroup archives
> prompted me to go searching for the sake of completeness.

Turns out she's a girl now. <3

> Next Week: It's going to be a hot one.  Flame Wars IV HOT!!!!!

Oh man, I've been intending to re-read that so that'll be Great :D

Drew "ended up adding Miss Translation to the wiki" Perron

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