Friday, September 29, 2006

I'm Not Letting Dr Fate Have The Map Again

He was the one who kept moaning and bitching at me to get on with this goddamned pilgrimage through the nether realms of mysticism and now he's not holding his end up. To start with, we had a huge argument at the airport about the ticket, because Dr Fate wanted to bump the ticket up to Business Class. On my dime. Apparently in Economy Class he feels cramped. Apparently ostentatious golden hats need more legroom. Well, boo hoo, Dr Fate, maybe if your non-existent legs need to stretch you can goddamned walk to Egypt next time. Also, currently your half of the 'pilgrimage' comes to $1,340 plus tax - that is money that I am owed, Dr Fate, so the sooner you can break out the Enchanted Wallet of Xyliphetas and pay me back, the sooner you can come out of the luggage compartment and take in the in-flight movie. That's all I'm ready to say on the matter.

And not contect with all that, he then proceeds to go off and force himself on the creatures of the underworld.

First, after dragging me into some dark dimension or other that he swears is the correct route to the Fiery Pit, he tells me to wait at the top of the Nigh-Infinite Stairs Of Negruthazzar while he goes and 'interrogates' the Demonic Guardian Of The Gate Of Mictlan. 'Interrogation' is allegedly what the hip kids are calling it these days. So I'm sitting on a mysterious stairway to nowhere, twiddling my thumbs for seven hours and eventually I start hearing this wierd groaning sound and I figure Dr Hat probably needs help, or at least something vaguely interesting might be happening to him which would beat sitting at the top of some metaphysical stairs without even a pack of cards or a book because Dr Bitch had to spend all of my duty free money on a walkman and a tape of The Greatest Hits Of Lionel Ritchie.

So what do I come down the Infinite Stairwell to find? A demonic guardian knocked out and tied up with his own limbs while Dr Fate rubs his grotesque helmet-face between his satanic buttocks and makes little cooing noises. I tell you, it made me feel physically sick, and I said so, but Dr Fate screamed that I didn't understand his needs and that he was sick of me judging him and WHY COULDN'T I LEAVE HIM ALONE?? And then he burst into tears. After that he stopped speaking to me altogether, which was frankly a relief although it did leave me to find some explanation to give to the creature so he didn't sue us blind the minute he woke up from whatever rohypnol trance he'd been put into. God knows I've managed to avoid enough legal trouble lately without being ensnared in Dr Fate's web of sickness.

I figured the only way out was to smooth things over and make sure he didn't go around complaining about how he'd been treated, so I decided to act like I was in charge and not to be messed with. That involved waving a packet of dental floss around and making up some nonsense about his bones cracking and shattering. And then kicking him down the stairs. Just one of the many tricks you learn when you're Ralph Dibny, Mystical Detective.

Anyway, from there on we simply had to cross over the Mictlan Gate and finally enter the depths of Hell for the next step of my mystical journey. Dr Fate still didn't have a word to say to me so I took the iniative, crossing the Threshold Of Thresnabazog to find myself on some terrible plane of drab greyness. Wrecked and twisted buildings lay everywhere, a spectral wind howling between them, and on the faces of the damned spirits who lurked in this hideous place was written a terrible despair, as though all hope of redemption had been ripped bodily from them by their unspeakable circumstances.

That's when I turned around and saw a big sign saying 'WELCOME TO DONCASTER'.

Anyway, I'm now stuck in Doncaster, which is apparently on Earth although you could have fooled me. Dr Fate still refuses to speak to me, although he's racking up immense bills on my mobile phone calling the USA to loudly inform the Spectre that he's not paying for another ticket to Egypt just so we can start all over again. I must have somehow missed him paying the first time.

Hopefully next week we can actually get somewhere more mystical than Doncaster, but I'm really starting to have doubts about Dr Fate's navigational abilities, and everything else about him - although frankly, I think he's just jealous of my new stylin' safari pants. According to the guy who lives in a box outside the train station, I'm like a young, hip, ginger version of Des Lynham, whoever he is.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Jesus Christ, Dr Fate

I still haven't gone to the airport yet for the next stage of the Holy Pilgrimage Of The Lords Of Order, but I had to send the countertops for the new kitchen back to Ikea three times because they'd been damaged in transit, plus I had to yell out the UPS people because the new entertainment center I bought has been logged as lost in Poughkeepsie or something. So obvously I've got no time to be going on any quests right now. Maybe next week.

So anyway, things have calmed down on the pilgrimage front, but christ almighty Dr Fate is an annoying little bastard. I was just getting my head down for some sleep after a hard day of wrangling on the phone with Ikea when I hear a knock on my bedroom door, and who should it be but goddamned Dr Fate headbutting my new paintwork with his goddamned fin.

"Look," he intones, "I'm sorry to bother you, but do you think you could stop jangling your keys QUITE so much when you go in and out? It's not fair on the other people who are trying to sleep in this apartment. I mean, I shouldn't have to ask, any considerate roommate should know to keep the noise down, surely? And another thing, would it be too much to expect you to buy some bleach? The bottle under the sink is almost out and how else do you suppose you're going to keep that toilet clean? Do you think it's up to me to do it? I'm a Lord Of Order. I do plenty around here already, I'm the one who keeps a thousand demons from the veil of Nergalheim from bursting into this reality and having their terrible way with children and animals, I don't think cleaning the toilet should be my job as well. And for GOD'S sake can you PLEASE remember to leave the toilet door OPEN when you leave it! Because otherwise I think someone might be in there and I end up waiting for ages, because OBVIOUSLY I can't turn the handle or knock because what if somebody IS in there and while I don't STRICTLY need to go because I'm a floating helmet, it's not INCONCEIVABLE that some chaotic spell might lead to me having to -" And on and on in that vein. I just nodded and said yes and no in the right places and went back to bed. Dr Willis has shown me that the first impulse isn't always the best impulse, which is why I didn't grab Dr Fate, turn him upside down and crap in him.

Ten minutes later, another knock. Dr Fate again, floating there with a few more flecks of my paint on his metal face.

"Why are you turning the landing light off?"

Well, it wastes electricity to leave it burning all night, Dr Fate. We're in the middle of an energy crisis -


You don't have a -

"I could be severely dented if I smack into the wall. I suppose that's what you want. God, it's not rocket science to remember to leave a light on -"

Look, what kind of Lord Of Order can't walk along a landing in the dark?

"What kind of person doesn't remember to leave a light ON at ALL TIMES so the mystical headpiece guiding you on your spiritual journey doesn't smack into the wall LIKE A RETARD?"

Well -

"Just THINK in future! JESUS!"

And he slams the door with his mystic abilities. Now I figure I want to avoid a repeat of that if possible, so I decide that the best thing to do is make a little sign out of paper - 'LEAVE LIGHT ON' - and stick it next to the switch, so I'll remember next time. I mean, this is a nice thing to do. In addition to paying the phone bill so Dr Fate can bitch to the new Spectre about how I'm shirking my cosmic responsibility, and the internet bill so he can look at Suicide Girls all day, I'm now making sure I remember to waste an assload of electricity every night. What the hell am I going to say to Al Gore next time I track down a missing jewel for him? "Oh hey sir I really liked your film, I liked it so much I totally ignored it because my roommate was whining like a petty, obsessive little bitch! Give me a medal!"Christ!

Anyway. Ten minutes later, another knock. By now my bedroom door totally needs repainting and Dr Fate totally needs a polish, which he's totally going to make me do.


No, Dr Fate. No, I put that sign up to help me remem-

"ARE YOU TELLING ME YOU CAN'T REMEMBER SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS NOT TURNING OFF A LIGHT? GOD! I HATE stupid people - I absolutely HATE stupid people! I am SICK of you! DO YOU THINK IT'S FAIR that I have to scream at you like this? DO YOU? DO YOU THINK IT'S FAIR?"

Look -




No. No, Dr Fate, I don't. I think I've been very unfair. Now, it's nearly three in the morning and I need to get some sleep. So get back in your hatbox and leave me alone.


So he spends the whole rest of the night yelling into the phone at the top of his absent lungs to the Spectre, all about what an utter, utter bitch I am. And this morning I had a note from the Super saying there'd been a complaint about me from an anonymous source saying I was 'a super huge doody head', which he took to mean I'd been indulging in coprophagia in my rooms, which was against the conditions of tenancy.

I need to go back to Egypt and continue my mystic pilgrimage. Either that or dropkick Dr Fate into the river. One of the two.

Friday, September 15, 2006

I Can't Pilgrimage 24 Hours A Day

I need to get a few more things done before I really get going on this whole pilgrimage thing, like furnish my new apartment and catch the new episode of Queer Eye. Is it just me or does Ted carry the whole thing these days? I mean, it used to be a fairly unbreakable Ted-Kyan axis, but since Kyan developed those heat powers and started fighting crime as Dr Inferno he's barely there in most episodes. He'll turn up in that horrible orange costume (nice work Carson), do a very rushed version of his usual spot and fly off again. One time he actually screamed "What do I care about your unsightly nose hair? I've just seen a universe die!" which kind of put a damper on the whole episode. I realise how the five of them are a brand and everything, but at this point I figure they need to cut Kyan loose and get a new grooming guy who doesn't -

Dr Fate, I am blogging. I'll be done soon. No, I won't be going to the airport after that. I need to organise the spare room. No, then I'm making some dinner. Look, you heard what Dr Willis said. I shouldn't be rushing into things at this stage. The world won't end if I take a week - well, I've only got your word for that. Look, we'll talk about it later, Doc, okay? Okay.

It's been like that for days now, ever since the flight from Egypt. I mean, I know I had to follow the holy path of the ancient Egyptian Lords Of Order but on the other hand, I absolutely had to resolve my apartment situation and set my digital recorder, otherwise I'll miss Deal Or No Deal. Don't ask me to choose between the final fate of the Earth we know and Howie Mandel, Dr Fate. You might not like the choice I choose to make.

Anyway, it turns out the mystical helmet of Dr Fate is a complete buttinsky and if you deviate from his anal little schedule for thirty seconds he moans into your mind constantly - even on the toilet. Pee time is me time, Dr Fate. Jesus, he's even on at me as I type this. Yes, Dr Fate. Sure. Okay. Great. Two thumbs up. Brilliant. That's perfect, Dr Fate. Now just shut your golden face and get back in the hatbox. Actually, if you're going to keep yelling at my brain like this, you can give me a hand in the spare room. Just use your magic powers to float around and headbutt a couple of nails into the wall. I need help putting up some shelves.

What's that you say, Dr Fate? The holy power of magical order is not to be used to help put up a shelf? Fine, then it's hatbox time. Get in that box.

Right... well, now that he's finally shut up, I can let you know that I've found a terrific loft space over in Star City - god dammit shut up! Shut up! I can hardly hear myself think with you banging on, you cowcatcher-faced helmet bastard! I'm trying to write my therapy journal here, Mr Magic Bitch! Do you want me to have another nervous breakdown? Do you?

Then shut up! Shut up! Shut up!

Wait, he's stopped.

I think he's finally realised he can't get anywhere with this incessant whining. Either that or he's in a sulk. Dr Fate? Anything to add?



That's that.






Friday, September 08, 2006

What A Wonderful Week It's Been

It's been fantastic every step of the way! First Dr Willis suggested a relaxing trip to one of the resorts I used to visit with my late wife. Apparently I need to 'reconnect' - think of my wife in the context of happier times rather than as a charred corpse murdered BY LORING, that sun-orbiting bitchhag -

What's that you say, Dr Fate? Anger is not the path toward enlightenment? Yes, Dr Fate, yes. What? You think I should take another of my pink pills? But I've had so many already - yes, Dr Fate. You know best. Yes, I'll take one right now. Yes.

Anyway, I figured the best place to 'reconnect' would be in Marseilles, one of the most beautiful and culturally vibrant places on Earth! Of course, when I've had one of my special pink pills, everywhere seems like the greatest city on Earth! And that reminds me, I should really have another. Should I, Dr Fate? Yes. He says yes.

I didn't want to be bothered while I was 'reconnecting', but I was thinking that my old buddies in the Famous Fictional Detectives' Inspirations' Grandfathers' Neighbors Club Of Marseilles might want to know I was in town, so I cleverely used the alias of the guy who was the neighbor of the grandfather of the guy who was the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes. Needless to say, I was expecting Henri or Jean-Luc or one of the other crazy guys in the FFDIGNCOM to turn up dressed as Bob Hepplethwaite or Mrs. Lancaster or another famous neighbour of the grandfather of the real-life person who'd inspired a famous fictional detective. That would've made my weekend!

Instead, who should I look up from my pina colada and see? Bobo.

What's that you say, Dr Fate? I have to be nice to Bobo? He was only trying to help? I should take a pink pill? Yes, Dr Fate. Yes. I should take a pink pill. You're quite right. I must be nice to Bobo. Bobo has a charming personality, he doesn't have a massive drinking problem, and he doesn't smell like an old carpet that's been defecated on by an army of tramps! And he's not a god-damned, greasy, dirty ape bastard who still! After five years and seven months! Has not returned my DVD copy of World's Wierdest Police Chases Vol. III which features a getaway car crashing into my stretchy body and then pinging back to crash into another getaway car, in slow motion! And me and Sheriff John Bunnell giving two thumbs up to the camera! And that damned dirty chimp has been sitting on it for five whole -

Yes, Dr Fate. I'm being unfair. You're quite right. I said all that when he showed up and he had a perfectly good explanation that he lost it in a drinking contest and besides he was bringing me work. I shouldn't snap. Yes, Dr Fate. Yes. Another pink pill? But I only just had one - no, Dr Fate, you can't have too much of a good thing. You're quite right. Yes.

These pink pills certainly are tasty.

Anyway, Bobo had a bit of work for me involving my old detective's club that I left behind like the pathetic bunch of losers they were and the mystical helmet of Dr Fate, which is sitting next to me in this cafe. Apparently Tim Trench put it on and died horribly, which means I can maybe get the thirty bucks he owes me out of his will. Anyway, I heard Bobo was hanging around with all these big-ass mystic types now, so I figured if I brought them in, they'd just do all the work for me. I've noticed that generally if some big magic person gets involved with anything, they'll be the ones to say something like "There are forces here beyond your ken puny mortal, blah blah blah, we must venture to Egypt and the sit of the yadda yadda yadda..." which is a pain in the ass if you're not getting paid, but it's excellent if you are, because you can just sit back and watch the money roll in while some gimp in a Harry Potter costume does all the heavy thinking.

And that's exactly what happened this time! I just sat back, made a few random cryptic comments about this being a desperate crisis and hey presto! A free trip to Egypt and two hundred dollars - without me lifting a finger! Forget magic, baby, this is the Tenth Age of Dibny, and don't you forget it. Anyway, the jet lag was going to be a complete bastard, so I popped a couple of pink pills, and then I had another two because it was so hot -

- and that's when Dr Fate's helmet started to talk to me.

I mean, first it showed me this crazy vision that seemed almost like a hallucination caused by overmedication, but this was definitely real. And then he started telling me what to -

What's that you say, Dr Fate? I have to leave this place and be back about my pilgrimage? I have spent too long with the petty responsibilities of the mortal world? Yes, Dr Fate. Yes, I have spent too long. Yes. No, Dr Fate, there are plenty of pink pills left. I have hundreds of them in my jeep. No, Dr Fate, I've never tried taking five at once. Yes, Dr Fate, that does sound like a great idea.

Well, time to get back to my mystical quest! Like I said, it's been a terrific week of adventure, and I don't need another pink pill to know that next week should be even better! Although having said that, another one wouldn't hurt. Anyway, I should have a moment next week to tell you how it's all going, and I'll let you know if Dr Fate has any instructions for you out there!

Apart from that you should see Dr Robert Willis and get hold of some of his special pink pills. And eat them. Do that now.