Friday, February 02, 2007

Who Could Have Dreamed That A Green Plastic Ring I Found At The Bottom Of An Ancient Box Of Cracker Jack Could Possibly Snap So Easily?

I'll have you know that Dr Fate - who knows a thing or two about Fate - thought that that ring could withstand the crushing neck pressure of a hundred insane rearing sea beasts, never mind just the one! Unless he was being sarcastic. But it's still on him! All of those deaths! The disrupted shipping! Pitcairn Island digested - Japan all but wiped from the face of the Earth by a rampaging undersea horror's vengeance-crazed wrath - none of it can be pinned on me, so in your face, Time Magazine! I'm not the 'New Osama' by any stretch! Nor am I a 'serial killer to rival the Joker, if he used criminal negligence instead of an acid-squirting flower'! This libel - this unfounded, slanderous libel - it will not stand in a court of law or anywhere else, particularly not under the sea where I'm justly feared as the bringer of destruction! Not with any cause, mind you, but still. Just watch yourself, Time Magazine. That's all I'm saying. I mean, sure, maybe I did swap a magically unbreakable chain with a plastic doodad that was made in Taiwan sometime during the late seventies. And maybe - and I'm just going to run this one up the flagpole - maybe I could find another magically unbreakable chain somewhere. With a monster on the other end. Somewhere. Somewhere close to your offices. Hypothetically. If, say, you don't collectively shut your fat face. In a hypothetical manner. There are a lot of old boxes of Cracker Jack in the world, Time Magazine. An awful lot. Just... just thought I'd mention that. Nobody wants another Tokyo, Time Magazine. Well, the Japanese do, the one they originally had was eaten, but you know what I'm saying.

Don't go printing that. That was off the record.

Like you will be.

Time Magazine.

Anyway! I digress. Dr Fate dropped by early in the week to continue the pilgrimage. Apparently he's been in therapy for a few weeks, and whatever ridiculous overstuffed quack is currently funnelling money out of the poor sap decided that the best way to heal is to build bridges with friend and enemy alike. That will feed some much-needed chicken soup to his soul bird or something ridiculous.

Frankly, I thought I was done with tooling around one mystic realm after another with him acting like a decapitated tourist guide, but whatever. It wasn't like I had anything better to do, and the computer in the Ralphcave doesn't have any games on it unless you count that weird computer simulation where you play a six-year-old boy and you have to input tactical strategies to prevent the deaths of a random-looking rich couple in an alley somewhere. That one kind of creeps me out a little.

Anyhow, I figured I could always shoot myself later. A mystical scavenger hunt in the forgotten ruins of Fair Atlantis was just what I needed to perk myself up a little, and Dr Fate was in a remarkably chatty mood.

I've got to admit, though, I had a chill run down my spine myself when I thought for one horrible second that Aquaman had become a zombie. That would have been a really hard thing for me to deal with, especially since fire doesn't work so well underwater, but that thankfully wasn't the case - he was just half out of his mind on LSD and sitting on a rock in his dressing gown dribbling like the unfortunate lunatic he's evidently become. Dr Fate even got away with calling him 'magician' and I know for a fact he hates any mention of that Donovan song. Tough break, but better than being a tragic corpse refashioned into a cruel parody of human life - am I right, Ollie? Hmmm?

Anyway, he managed to help us out and it looked like our undersea antiquing was going to come to a successful conclusion, thanks to a little assistance from Sailor Jack and a plastic ring he happened to leave in a box of peanut and popcorn candy. Or so we thought.

Yes. So we thought.

It's not my fault what happened to Italy. Dr Fate said with his own lack of a mouth that it was a 'well chosen' plastic trinket. If he's going to make deadpan cracks like that instead of shouting 'Jesus Christ Ralph what are you doing it's plastic!!?!' then frankly, he should take the blame.

Anyway, that's what I screamed at him after all the carnage was finally over and they'd managed to fire the beast into the Sun. To which he replied that he wished he'd never laid eyes on me and he wished he'd never laid eyes on his therapist either and we should both just shut up shut up shut up shut up!!!

So I guess the soul bird is going hungry today.

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