• Each year The Academy attempts to examine the medium of film and find new ways to celebrate the geniuses and auteurs that make up our industry. That’s why we’re proud to announce that starting this year we will be honoring films that were conceptualized by excited talkative children. Here are the inaugural nominees for Best Film Pitched By a Child, as presented by their directors.

    Godzilla vs T-Rex vs Spider-Man

    So there are researchers and scientists and they go to the island because the island is big—the BIGGEST BIGGEST monster area in the world. And so they are trying to do their work like “we have experiments to do” but Godzilla and a t-rex are fighting the whole time. They are like “BAH! BAH!” and the researchers say “we need to leave, NOW!” but they know that this is a once and a life chance so they try to stay and take DNA samples but they get eaten by both monsters till two people are left and they leave on a part submarine, part boat. And the twist is he looks at her and he says “I am Spider-Man.”


    Five princesses and queens live in the royal bakery and everyone is trying to make the best cookies but the queens are mean to the princesses by taking their chairs so they can’t take breaks or anything. And one of the queens is named Diamond and one of the princesses is named Diamond too and they don’t like each other. There are no Kings. There is a dog that lives in the bakery and he goes “Arf! Arf! Woof! Woof!” and he teaches the princesses how to defeat the queens because he ACTUALLY is a dog baker and makes dog things. When they make the best cookie at the end because everyone helps it, the dog gets married to his best friend dog and they share the cookie like “yum!!!” and the queens go “I told you! Not to come in here!” and they lock them out and have a DANCE PARTY.

    Kyle Can Fly

    A kid in 2nd grade is sitting at lunch one day and he goes “oh I bet you ONE MILLION DOLLARS you can’t fly or beat up bad guys” and he says “you’re wrong and I’ll prove it.” So they go outside and the teacher is mad because it’s cold and it’s school time but he starts powering up anyway. All his friends are like “I know Kyle can do this” but the principal comes out and says “he’s not going to fly” and music gets really loud and he starts to glow and everyone is scared. The police come to see what he’s doing and the girls start crying like “don’t hurt Kyle he’s going to fly.” and then after about like a long pause he says “I am Kyle and I told you I can fly!” and he goes ZOOM! SHOOO!!! ZOOM and he leaves the school and he hangs out with Toothless the dragon from How To Train Your Dragon. The teacher cries and then Kyle comes back and he buys the school and everyone learns to fly. Zoom!

    Hospital Jones  

    In 1929 there is a big hospital and they make everyone feel better and the best doctor is Doctor Maria Jones. Doctor Jones says “hand me the knife!” and then she cuts into the body of the president of America and she knows that if she makes a wrong move that it could stop the United States of America so she is very serious. The nurses are all the doctor’s kids so they all know who Doctor Jones is and they all live at the hospital in a big room with bunk beds. The doctor goes “We’re gonna lose him!” and then her kids come help bring him back to life. When the president is alive he invites Doctor Jones to the White House and he gives her a medal and he gives her a golden wheelchair to keep forever even though she is healthy because it means that he thanks her for saving him because he is in a regular wheelchair.

    Baseball Everyday!!!

    There are a hundred baseball teams that play baseball everyday and they don’t know who the best one is. So one day Dan tells his wife he is going to start the BIGGEST BASEBALL TOURNAMENT EVER and she says “you should.” Each baseball game is crazy and extra innings and everyone can hit home runs and the baseball teams are tired but they have to keep going because only the best team can make it. In the last game Dan is batting and it’s three balls and two strikes and the bases are loaded and his wife is standing and she says “go Dan” and then the pitcher throws it in slow motion and Dan hits the longest home run from all of the tournament and he wins cars and a pool and a Xbox one because his team was better than the world.

    Originally Appeared in:
    Issue Appeared In:
    Bronze Age Boogie #3

    Trisha had a hard time accepting what was happening because she didn’t believe in magic. She couldn’t discuss it with anyone—they might think she’d lost her marbles. But she eventually came around to knowing that the toy 8-ball could actually give her reliable, predictive advice. 

    The thing had certain rules of operation: she had to abstain from eating animal products for several hours, face north, and meditate for ten or more minutes before visualizing her question while asking it aloud. She had found these guidelines for operation intuitively, as some lucky cave person might have discovered how to make fire. The strictures had a positive effect on her in that she’d become a calmer and more focused woman as a result of her healthy diet and now-frequent meditation. And every time the 8-ball answered her market questions, she got a surge of happy excitement knowing her stock portfolio would flourish. That allowed her to quit her job and devote herself to the pleasant task of enjoying her life.

    The 8-ball helped her to avoid accidents on the freeway (“Is it safe to take the 101 at 2 PM?”) and natural disasters (“Will a major earthquake hit this region in the next year?”), and to accumulate wealth (“Will my tech stocks gain value in the next week?”). Specificity and simplicity were key to good questions. The orb never gave her the non-committal responses, an early indication that this device was not typical. She learned to limit her asks to three times a day, which was frustrating at first, but kept her from spending all day in front of the potentially addicting device.

    “Will I meet my soul mate this week?” became a regular query after she’d gained solid financial security. 8-Ball consistently answered, “My sources say no.” After several months, the same answer disheartened her, but she kept asking. She wanted to know.

    One night she met a man named David at an art opening. They got off to a fine start of talking and didn’t quit for hours. When she finally went home she consulted the 8-Ball. “Is David my soul mate?”

    “Don’t count on it.”

    Trisha did something she’d never done before—she acted against the 8-Ball’s intelligence. When David texted, asking if she would like to dine with him the next evening, she replied, “Signs point to yes.” Over the next few months, they spent evenings together, travelled, dined, laughed, and made love, and in that time she didn’t ask the 8-Ball any questions in regard to romance. She fell in love, and became convinced the toy’s answer was a mistake.

    Happy, lost in limerence, Trisha waited patiently for David to ask her to move in with him, but that didn’t happen. When she finally mustered the courage to ask him about it, he blurted something about his ill mother and changed the subject. 

    The next night he didn’t show up for a dinner date. Trisha tried calling and texting, and got no answer. Was he ghosting her? She took a cab to his apartment. He wasn’t in. She knocked on his neighbor’s door and learned that he’d left the country. No, he didn’t know when David would return.

    As Trisha walked back to her building, her heart sank lower with every speculation. If he was married, or scared, or had a fatal disease—he could have just told her. Why hadn’t he?

    The 8-ball could tell her. When Trisha got back to her place she meditated, but anxiety hindered her ability to clear her mind. When she was finally calm enough to voice her question, she did so. “Will he come back to me?”

    She shook the ball gently and looked for its answer. “My sources say no.”

    The confirmation almost felt good—it was a relief to know. Then she felt a wave of affection for the small plastic ball, now warm from the heat of her hands; this thing that always gave her truth and helped her to better her life. She meditated again, which was easier now that she knew the worst. After a while, she asked, “Will I ever meet my soul mate?”

    “Cannot predict now.”

    Upon reflection, she decided she didn’t want to know, so she never did ask again.

    Originally Appeared in:
    Issue Appeared In:
    Hashtag: Danger #2
  • On New Year’s Eve of 1989, I saw a man who was a little short, and a little wide, and a little anxious, enter a party through the side door with a six pack of beer and a bright green coat. He asked me if this was Allison Mercer’s house or if he was at the wrong party. I was a little tipsy, I was a little distracted, I was a little obsessed with some other guy at the party, but I still remember that moment. 

    I officially met John Richards about a half an hour before the ball dropped, introduced through about three layers of friends. We sat talking on Ally’s ugly blue futon. I don’t remember what we talked about for all that time, I don’t remember what we talked about in the hours after, and I don’t remember the name of the man I had come to that party intending to kiss at midnight. But when the clock struck twelve and everyone yelled “Happy New Year!” I leaned forward and I planted a big, gross, red lipstick kiss a little to the right of his mouth. 

    The next morning, I didn’t remember much, but I remembered that moment. 

    I forget what happened on the first date. I forget what happened on most of the dates. I do remember that John wasn’t very good at dating. He was going through college and I was going through jobs. He would call me on the payphone in the parking lot before he drove home. He would always forget my birthday. He would bring me ice cream on his way home if he knew I’d had a bad day. He would forget to call for days at a time when he was busy. He would argue with me when I got angry about it. 

    I remember that there were problems, and arguments, But I also remember that he had blue eyes and he had a great laugh. I remember that he had a way of talking that I could just listen for hours and never get bored. I remember that the more time I spent with him, the more moments I had. 

    There was the moment I let him stay at my apartment and he tried to make me pancakes to say thank you, and ended up paying for a new stove burner. There was the moment I asked him if he wanted to move in with me and his face lit up like I had never seen it. There was the moment when we were at a rooftop party and he stood on the edge of the roof and howled at the moon like a wolf, and I laughed until I cried. There was the moment when I met his parents, and when I accidentally swore in front of his mother she threw a wooden spoon at me. There was the moment when we went to Central Park in midsummer, and he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, and then we lay on the summer grass until it was dark out, just loving each other as much as we could. 

    I remember all of it. I remember each precious moment from those years as though it’s still happening right now. But I also remember when I realized how long it had been since there had been anything to remember. Time had made us faded. 

    We moved into a new apartment when we were married, a more expensive one. John went to work every day early, and every day he came back late. I got pregnant four times, but I only had one baby. John couldn’t get to the hospital because of traffic and by the time he arrived, I was asleep and his mother was holding the baby. 

    John was fired because his company was failing, so I started working again: as a waitress, a substitute teacher, an assistant. We sold the apartment, lived with John’s mother for ten days, and moved into a smaller apartment in the Bronx. Madison started school there. 

    In our first year living in the Bronx, John got HPV. I didn’t have HPV. We didn’t talk about it if we could avoid it. That February, when Madison was playing in her room, and John and I were on the couch watching the Food Network, he turned to me in the middle of a commercial break and asked me if I hated him. 

    “I don’t hate you,” I said. “Why would you ask something like that?” 

    “You know why,” he said. 

    There was a feeling in my stomach, something strange that felt as though it had been stewing a while and was itching to come out.

    “I don’t hate you, John,” I said. 

    Food Network was back on, but neither of us were watching it. We were staring at each other, and it struck me then how long it had been since I had looked my husband in the eyes. 

    “Well, I think I hate myself,” he said.

    I don’t remember a single moment in eight years before that one, but I sure as hell remember that one. John went to therapy once a week, then once every two, and then he got a new job. Madison went to play with chalk on the sidewalk one day and came back in having learned three swear words. That same summer we moved upstate. We celebrated her eighth birthday four days after the move, and invited all the new neighbors. 

    When Madison was twelve, she died her hair blue with Kool-Aid without telling us she was going to. When John came home that day, and found Madison with patchy, grayish-blue hair and me standing over her looking panicked holding a shampoo bottle, he laughed for twenty minutes. Then he went back out to the store, and bought a pack of real hair dye, and helped Madison dye her hair blue. 

    That was a moment to remember. That was the moment when the moments began to come back. 

    There were never as many as in those years in the city, when we went to parties and howled at the moon. There was never a moment to rival that one in the Central Park in summer, when I had just agreed to marry him. But there was a moment when he called me walking from his office to his car just to talk to me, and I was twenty again. There was a moment when he came home from work early one summer’s day with three water guns and a mischievous smile. There was the moment when Madison went South to college and he leaned on my shoulder and cried. I leaned into his ear and whispered, “I love you.” I said it so quietly he might not have heard, but I needed to say it more than I needed him to hear it. John Richards, I love you. 

    Life is long, and it’s boring, and it’s barely half over. I remember the moments. Everything I’ll never forget. Every second with a million meanings. That’s what makes a life a life. Mine are so small, and so simple. They’re moments that happen every day to everyone. But to me, to John, to the little life we built and broke and built again, they’re enough.

    Originally Appeared in:
    Issue Appeared In:
    Captain Ginger #4

    The laboratory has been uncharacteristically abuzz the last few days since the successful creation of a small homunculus. It is the first credible report of a living homunculus that I am aware of, so the interest is well earned.

    He is a sprightly little fellow. A man 2 ¾” in height with a playfully hairy disposition. He has a full beard, and a coat of thick brown hair, which covers most of his body. We are currently keeping him in an old aquarium (sans the water) until a more suitable accommodation can be found. It is an adequate shelter for now, however, as it has a sunken pirate ship in which he can sleep, and several marbles scattered about the graveled floor with which he can exercise.

    He seems brash and prideful by nature; nonetheless, he hides inside the little sunken ship whenever too many visitors peek in. And he is terrified of the dog, I am afraid.

    At first, I merely referred to him as “Specimen IV,” but the womenfolk, in their affectations, have taken to calling him “Spivy.”

    For his repast, we usually serve him a small chunk of tuna fish and an oyster cracker. A rather dry fare, I’ll confess, but we usually let him wash it down with a nicely fruited sangria or cabernet, served in the thimble which he uses as a cup. A normal thimble was much too large a portion, however, so we have requisitioned the thimble playing piece from the Monopoly board game in the closet. Two thimbles of wine a night are his ration, three on the Fourth of July. Any more and he becomes listless and brooding.

    He is slowly learning the English language. Just this afternoon he used the word “sponge.”

    Today there was a small gathering of protest outside our house. There were twenty or thirty people assembled into a small herd. They truly looked miserable. Like a pack of ownerless curs standing in the rain. Mostly they waved placards and chanted poorly rhymed slogans in which they accuse me of playing God.

    I have taken to carrying Spivy on my shoulder. What lovely fun!

    Tonight, we all dressed up in our finest rament. We then took Spivy to the local movie theatre to see his first motion picture, a film called Spaceballs. Unfortunately, the experience was sullied by a pair of cretins who sat behind us and talked throughout the entire film.

    Such people deserve a crush to the groin.

    Despite the clothes that the women have taken great pains in providing him, he seems to insist on outright nudity, and has on several occasions proven himself to be a rather shocking exhibitionist. My remedy: a cut in the wine ration. 

    Last night, purely in fun, I began hectoring him with the end of a pencil. But then, when I leaned down to let him onto my shoulder, he became so angry that he began pummeling my earlobe with his fists. Alas for him, it only tickled.

    Today for dessert, we gave him one-half of a junior mint, which he seemed to enjoy very well.

    Despite the constant attention, I think he is beginning to feel lonely and is exhibiting a touch of the melancholy. I may look into getting him a pet of some kind, a small caterpillar, perhaps.

    He has grown rather fond of his testes, a fact which distresses the household staff.

    Today I have offered to get him a pet caterpillar, if he promises to relinquish any further interest in his testicles.

    At this point, I think it is safe to assume that he has turned down the caterpillar.

    He likes to sing along with the phonograph. He doesn’t know very many words, but he sings beautifully nonetheless. Last night there was a terrible storm and he became very frightened. He hid under a small washcloth and refused to come out, even after the storm had abated. We had to play his favorite record on the phonograph for over an hour to get him to come out again.

    Due to the publicity surrounding Spivy’s creation, the two of us are traveling a good deal. As a consequence, we often eat in restaurants and hotels. There are no restaurants, that I am aware of, which serve meals in portions appropriate to a man of his size, so I usually just allow him to dine off my plate. Nonetheless, Spivy likes to pretend to order his own food. When asked for his order, he takes great delight in ordering dishes that do not exist. Last week at the Waldorf, he asked the waiter for a “pickle-meat sandwich,” and then laughed until brought to tears.

    I am oft annoyed by this game, but he seems to find great fun in it, so I let it be.

    I attempted to relinquish Spivy to the Clinic, but they refused to take him, citing his poor health due to the abuse of junior mints.

    Rather surly today. When I went to retrieve him for his language lessons, he rolled onto his back, and began wildly kicking my hand with the soles of his feet. Such a thundering displeased me greatly. All this after I had, only last night, taken the time to peel a grape for his pleasure.

    Tonight, there shall be no grape.

    Despite his naughtiness, he is learning very quickly. His grasp of syntax is crude at best, and yet he has proven himself perfectly capable of reading and comprehending street signs, brief children’s stories and the works of Dave Barry.

    Today, when addressing my colleague, Dr. Jenkins, Spivy wickedly referred to the esteemed doctor as “Henry Picklebeard.” Pickle being the worst word he knows and one that he uses often. Heaven save us if he ever learns any true obscenities.

    Luckily, Dr. Jenkins took this as a good-natured jape.

    Christmas Day! This was a particularly wondrous occasion for little Spivy who received from us a new dollhouse within which to live, complete with indoor plumbing and electric light. It is fully furnished with tiny chairs and sofas and a bed. This was also a cause for some rejoicing from Hedda, the maid, who had previously been charged with cleaning his aquarium.

    From Jenkins he received a tamed rat, which came complete with riding crop and leather saddle. After just a couple of hours of practice, he was jumping obstacles and riding the rat like a true horseman. After dinner, we all gathered in the parlor to watch him ride. When trotting past the ladies, he tipped his cap like a true gentleman.

    The Clinic sent a missive, requesting that I turn Spivy over for testing and examination. I earned a delay, falsely claiming a riding accident involving his rat, whom he has named Excelsior.

    In spite of his shortcomings, he really is a sweet little creature. We have come to love and adore little Spivy, and cannot imagine what we should do were any ill to befall him. It’s funny, the things we choose to infest our hearts.

    Originally Appeared in:
    Issue Appeared In:
    Hashtag: Danger #1

    ’Twas a delicate day

    of sepulchral decay,

    the mold spores just starting to bloom.

    When Miss Agatha Wight

    first took in the sight

    of her unwitting, soon-to-be groom.


    He stood straight and tall

    as he carried the pall,

    conducting his victim to ground.

    She marveled to witness

    his necrotic fitness

    and swooned as he tidied the mound.


    “Quelle joie!” she exclaimed,

    all her passions enflamed,

    to think of him in her possession.

    But just how to go

    in securing this beau?

    Artifice, truth, or discretion?


    For weeks she observed

    as he gently preserved

    each corpse of his quarry du jour.

    Then struck on a scheme

    to realize her dream

    of securing this death connoisseur.


    Under waning moonlight,

    to lure her grim knight,

    she strolled his habitual course.

    She’d donned a disguise

    meant to capture his eyes

    as she posed ’twixt the hawthorn and gorse.


    She’d not waited long

    before hearing the song

    he sang as he hunted his prey.

    She stifled a giggle

    and tried not to wiggle,

    lest she give her deception away.


    She let him draw near

    and pretended to fear

    as he crooned his demonic intention.

    Then blew in his face

    perfume with a trace

    of poison of her own invention.


    He fell then and there

    to awake in his lair,

    surrounded by those he had slain.

    They’d all been arrayed

    as footman or maid.

    He struggled, alas, but in vain.


    He lay on a shrine

    set with candles and wine,

    both bound and unable to speak.

    From hunter to hunted

    his rank had been shunted,

    with prospects decidedly bleak.


    “Rest easy, mon coeur,”

    she said with a purr.

    “I had to exhume all your dead.

    It just wouldn’t be right,

    eloping at night.

    They’ll properly witness us wed.”


    “Oh, how we shall cherish

    the moment you perish!”

    she crooned as she lay by his side.

    He started to sweat,

    comprehending the threat,

    from his heretofore unperceived bride.


    What a breathtaking rite

    performed there that night!

    And not a dry eye in the house.

    Securing forever

    her handsome and clever,

    abiding, exsanguinous spouse.


    Now she visits him often

    to dust off his coffin,

    none of her duties forsaking.

    And ponders the truth

    for both aged and youth:

    true love is a grim undertaking.

    Originally Appeared in:
    Issue Appeared In:
    Planet of the Nerds #2

    Chapter One: She Lives!

    She ran – keeping herself between her son and the man with the gun.  Why was he shooting?  There had to be a reason.  Maybe it was a mistake.  Maybe he was supposed to be shooting at someone else.  Maybe she could reason with him.  No.  Too risky.  She could gamble with her life but not her son’s.  Just keep running.  Just stay ahead of—

    She heard the shot that hit her an instant before it creased her skull.  The pain was immediate and intense.  Don’t scream.  A scream would alert her son and he’d turn back.  He was still running.  Good.  Keep running.  Run all the way home.  Her son was the last thing she saw before her vision went white with pain and she crumpled to the ground.

    Her eyes opened.  She could focus again.  Had she blacked out?  No.  She’d only been down for a few seconds.  Her heartbeat pounded in her ears.  Her breathing was fast and shallow.  

    Footsteps!  Her would-be killer’s footsteps.  Coming closer.

    Her son was long gone.  Good.  That was all that mattered.  Now she could dare anything.  But if she made the wrong move, she’d be treated to another bullet.  A kill shot.  Better to play dead.  He’d leave her alone if he thought she was dead.

    She could smell his beer breath as he hovered over her.  She wanted to open her eyes – just enough to get a peek at him.  Would she recognize him?  Was it someone she had wronged?  Had she earned this?  Did she deserve to die?  No.  Keep your eyes closed.  Any sign of life would doom her.

    He hummed – relaxed, certain his bullet had done its job.  Another sound.  The sound of something being unsheathed.  She opened her eyes and saw the glint from the knife in his hand.

    She sprang to her feet.  He stumbled back – startled.  Don’t give him time to recover.  Attack!  She rammed her head into his.  Blood gushed from his nose as he fell.  The knife flew from his hand.  But he’s still dangerous.  Kick him.  Stomp him.  His rib cracks.  He spits up blood.  Keep kicking.  If he gets up he’ll kill you.

    “Roy!  Help!  Roy!”

    He’s screaming.  Footsteps.  Running.  He’s not alone.  He’s got an accomplice.  The accomplice probably has a gun as well.  One more kick.  Now run.  Run for your life.

    She bolted.  Loud, furious voices behind her.  Screaming.  Cursing.  Then gunshots.  More bullets.  Wild, angry shots in the dark.  None of them came close.  But keep running.  Don’t let them get lucky.  Don’t let them make you dead.  Keep running.  Get home.  Just get home. _ _ _

    She never slowed down.  Adrenaline fueled the run.  The furious voices and the hissing bullets were far behind her.  She was home.  But her son wasn’t.  He was nowhere to be found.

    She didn’t allow herself time to panic.  Her son was missing.  There were killers out there and her son was missing.  She had to find her son.  She had to find Bambi.


    - End of Chapter One –


    Originally Appeared in:
    Issue Appeared In:
    Bronze Age Boogie #2
  • With just a few additions to your home bar, you can make these on-trend cocktails for you and your friends... but probably just for you.

    Impending Doom

    • 2 ounces cask-strength Scotch 

    • 1 teaspoon Demerara or raw sugar 

    • 1 piece lemon peel

    Mix first two ingredients in a mug (metal is best, to prevent general immolation). Add lemon peel as garnish. Carefully ignite. Watch it burn. When it is done, you have nothing.

    Ante-Revolution Fizz 

    • 1 shiny penny 

    • 1 bottle Cristal champagne 

    • 1 whole lobster

    Flip coin 100 times. If it is either heads or tails 99 times, serve yourself the Cristal in the finest stemware, garnished with the whole lobster. If not, live in a tent under an overpass.

    Pacific Garbage Patch

    • One Long Island iced tea 

    • 117 plastic straws

    Serve Long Island iced tea with battery of straws. Discard straw after each sip.


    • 1½  oz. vodka 

    • ¼ oz. cranberry juice 

    • ¼ oz. triple sec 

    • ¼ oz. lime juice 

    • 1 lime wedge 

    With first four ingredients, prepare Cosmopolitan. Garnish with lime. Throw against wall. Call lawyer, therapist, Mom.

    Get Woke

    • 1 pint of your city’s most difficult-to-obtain boutique craft beer 

    • Sanctimony

    Drink slowly, preferably in overpriced urban outdoor beer garden, while patiently yet passive-aggressively explaining exactly what is wrong with the outlook of those around you. Repeat until you “feel seen.”

    He Who Shall Not Be Named

    • Misc. liquor/liqueur 

    • One large bag Cheetos

    Initiate news blackout. Pour an inch or two (or three) of each available liquor/liqueur into pint glass, jar, or any other receptacle. Lack wherewithal to stir, much less shake. Drink accompanied by Netflix and entire bag of Cheetos, eaten one by one while studiously avoiding looking at them, lest any be anthropomorphic.

    Climate Change

    • One large ice cube, carved into sphere 

    • 18 oz. gin

    Set ice aside. Drink room-temperature gin slowly while feeling helpless. Try not to picture a polar bear swimming and swimming and swimming because there is nowhere to go.

    The WWIII

    • 1 nation, divided 

    • 1 ascendant demagogue 

    • 1 fresh alliance of dictators 

    • Sprinkling of military parades

    Shake first three ingredients well. Garnish with militarism. Serve in a pit of despair.

    Originally Appeared in:
    Issue Appeared In:
  • Former “rock man” Paul Mirg addresses 23rd annual Rock Person Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Wow. Great to see so many rock people in one place. The hotel did a fantastic job setting up the reinforced chairs this year. Can everyone in the back hear me OK? I'm not saying most of you don't have outer ears, but... most of you don't have outer ears.

    Big laugh from the crowd.

    Friends, this is my tenth time addressing the convention since I was cured back in 2006. I've told the stories- what happened the night I broke David Letterman's hand, the time I got lost for three days inside an active volcano, the epic battle with the Slime Twins, my wardrobe malfunction at President Nixon's funeral, sitting on that cat... You've heard them all.

    So. Tonight I'd like to focus on some of the things that rock people, current and former, have in common. Because it doesn't matter if you became a rock person through a friend's scientific experiment, alien brain transplantation, or, that old classic, faulty rocket-ship design; we all end up in the same place- with hundreds of pounds of rock-like flesh, superhuman strength, and no hair.

    We are all rock people.

    And sometimes. Sometimes being a rock person is, well, hard.

    Chuckles and groans from audience.

    In 1977, I became a rock person. Decided to call myself “Rubble.” Tough, right? Unfortunately, the public quickly began referring to me as “Rubble Paul.” Not so tough. But it stuck. And many of you in tonight's audience know there's nothing you can do when that happens. I see you out there, Soft Rock. Poor guy cries a couple tears during a 60 Minutes interview, and the public goes to work. You'll always be Hard Rock to me, buddy.

    Soft Rock wipes away a tear, bangs his rocky hands together applause-style.

    Raise your hand if you've been sued for accidentally injuring a normal? Come on, hands up. Don't be shy if you only have four fingers; we're all family here.

    In rock form, I was six-three, 575 pounds. I know I accidentally hug-broke a few ribs and crushed a few hands, you've all seen the Letterman clip, because it's tricky being super-strong and having almost no sense of touch. I mean, rock people aren't banned from owning pets in 14 states for no reason. We tend to be a little clumsy.

    But I was sued 147 times over my thirty years as a rock person, and a lot of those lawsuits were total BS. Rock people are easy targets. And not just when we play paintball.

    Mix of laughter and rock hands banging together applause-style.

    One guy sued me for stepping on his foot, was awarded $50,000 by the court, and then, a year later, sued me again for stepping on his OTHER foot. I'd bet you anything that he just dropped a concrete block on his foot the second time.

    Yeah. The public can be cruel. But that's not the worst part of being a rock person. And I'm not talking about chipping. Chipping's annoying, but it can be managed by soaking for a few hours in your giant, steel bathtubs.

    I'm talking about not having a neck. There's no way to sugarcoat it, being neckless stinks. Since I was cured, I miss a lot of things about being a rock person, but I LOVE having a neck again. I may not be able to lift a building off its foundation anymore, but I CAN glance to my right or left. And that's-

    Wait. What's happening? My arms. Whole body. So heavy. Gotta sit down. Just for a minute...

    Rubble Paul slides down, out of view, behind his podium. The podium begins to shake.

    No! Not again! Ahhhh!

    Suddenly, Rubble Paul pops back into view, a cheap rock person mask on his face.

    Gotcha! I'm fine. Really. Haven't had an incident in over a decade.

    Laughter from the audience. Rubble Paul removes the mask.

    That's my time. You've been a great crowd. Don't sit on any cats, and enjoy the rest of the convention.

    An avalanche of applause.


    Originally Appeared in:
    Issue Appeared In:
    Captain Ginger #2