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The Adventures of Me 1979-2004
What Have I Done? ...
Some former friends from high school are promising to humiliate me at this year's high school reunion, because of someone I've never heard of from Shelbyville, Indiana. Apparently I've given offense. Could they narrow it down a bit?
For the purpose of this fiction, I grew up in the little town of Clermont, Indiana, though they call it "Indianapolis" nowadays, ever since the mayor of Indy successfully annnexed almost his whole county for tax purposes.
I went to the huge township high school, Ben Davis High. Pretty good for engineers, actually, which made it good for me. They actually had a few computers, even back in 1979 when I graduated, which is more than the big brains over in Speedway could say at the time.
Of course, since I graduated in 1979, that means the big 25-year high school reunion is this year.
- The nearby town of Speedway held out, thanks to their humongous tax base including the Indy 500. But all Clermont had was NHRA IndyNationals hot rod racing, and that was just over the county line and no good for political clout.
Anyway, my threateners are overplaying their hand, because high school reunions are stupid social rituals anyway. I never saw the point of high school reunions, any more than I saw the point of college reunions at Purdue. Surely they could stuff us all in the football stadium, but what fun would that be?
So I walk out on the "Garfield on Ice" show that I actually paid to see because it's so damn silly. The people from high school caught me there, and they annoyed me that much. (20 Feb 2004)
Still, it might behoove me to figure out what the hell my former friends are talking about. What have I done in my life, and whom have I offended, and who knows about it? Surely I've been writing about it for years, but nobody believes what they read on the Web.
Hmmm, this could take a while...
Wow, just two months so far this year, and I've made a lifetime's worth of enemies. But there's more.
- Already this year I've sparked an international incident in the Chicago suburbs and made a huge Christian church look bad. Most fundamentalist Christians and most people who want to make America "great" again, are probably offended at that one. And everyone knows about it; it made all the papers.
- Oh, and some evil mages don't like me much, since I screwed up an assassination attempt in Texas. It wasn't public knowledge, but they probably recognized me.
- Oh, and a lot of Arctic residents don't like me much, since I did my Mighty White Voyageur impression on national TV up in the Aleutian Islands. Needless to say, the whole world saw that one too.
- Early in the year, I pissed off evil mages and the crazy cultists who hunt them. I've done a lot of that. Oh, and I might just have pissed off the gods themselves for imprisoning one of their father figures.
- Then I pissed off the world's most powerful superhuman because I don't like his land-grabbing politics. And in the meantime I pissed off most of California because I got manipulated into supporting one of those land grabs.
- Then I probably pissed off a bunch of extradimensionals by overthrowing their leadership. I worked hard on that one, and I saved a lot of people from an invasion led by someone who belonged in a secret Fuehrerbunker, preferably made of dirt if there's any justice. But nobody on my Earth knows about that one... except the world's most powerful superhuman that I'd pissed off earlier. As far as everyone else knows, I just disappeared.
- For a while after that, I just relaxed, as a pop culture icon. Which probably offended a lot of people right there, just like pop culture always does.
- Then I pissed off a bunch of militiamen by installing an alien enemy of theirs into a position of respectability. That one made the national news.
- To wrap up the year, I pissed off evil mages again, by helping screw up a contest they were having. I think most of California would thank me for that one and forgive my earlier indiscretions, if only my role were public knowledge. Doesn't that just figure.
- Okay, I wasn't so busy before 2003. Mostly I just pissed off Illinois Nazis and everyone else with no sense of humor, when I started the annual Silly Days Are Here Again Parades. That led to me fighting alien invaders - yes, the same ones I helped install into respectability later.
- Oh, and I pissed off some supervillains at an Indian casino earlier that year. They were supervillains from another universe, but knowing my luck, someone from my universe probably still holds a grudge.
- And, for what it's worth, I helped bring about the end of the world by getting married. Don't worry, the world hasn't really ended and I'm still a bachelor; I made the whole thing Never Was. That's probably the one thing I've done in my life that never offended someone.
- That would be the year of Plan Joab, wherein I offended Christian fundamentalists for probably the first time, by bilking them of money. Not that people can hold me legally responsible for there not being a Temple in Jerusalem right now, but they might still resent me for how I collected funds to help build one.
- For what it's worth, everything I collected eventually went to the Diaspora Benevolent Fund for War Orphans. For the record, my temples take care of their benevolences up front.
- Oh, and I offended Our International Terrorists at the time too. The US Gov figured out my role in the whole thing , though they found it advantageous to classify it and seal the records for the next 25 years or so. But if the Gov can figure it out, other people might too.
- And I started out the year by channelling Luciferpower and collecting the world's 100 most evil people in a basement in Massachusetts and holeing up for a siege. I never did figure out how Osama bin Laden got out of that one... but I'm probably on record as one of his associates now.
- Mostly I channeled Jehovahpower that year, thereby offending evil mages and, quite possibly, most of the population of Arkansas. I don't think anyone recognized me, because I was just tagging along during the most important part... but I still might have overturned a lot of people's cherished beliefs there.
- Oh, I also intervened in the Greenland Rebellion, thereby changing the face of the Arctic forever. My role there is known to governments, because I stormed a United Nations session during the incident. I'm probably on Denmark's hit list for that.
- I screwed up a US Gov operation that year, when I was channeling Deathpower. Good thing they never found out it was me... I think.
- I also brought superhumans back from exile in another universe. I don't think anyone knows about that one...
- Oh, and finally, I helped save human life on Earth. Most of the Galaxy has figured out my role in this, but most of humanity hasn't. I suppose if humanity ever did, there's a human extinction movement that might take offense...
- Well, there was the Escalation back in 1995, wherein I pissed off evil mages and crazy cultists as usual.
- And through most of the early 1990s, I was attached to a superhuman force hired by the U.S. Gov, but the Gov wound up not getting along with us.
- And going waay back to 1988, there was the time I singlehandedly invaded Russia to restore America's glory. Not that America appreciated it; it's just as well they don't know about it.
- Oh, and I led a demon invasion of Manhattan that year too, which made the news. Then I fought superheroes, and someone probably holds a grudge for that still.
I have to admit, I've come a long way since 1988. I now have enough friends to stage an international incident, but I have even more enemies. This whole exercise has done nothing to help me figure out who might be offended at me, because everyone might be. Boy, this is depressing.
Well, there's only one way out of this... at least for me. Normal people would hire a private detective or something, but that's not my style. I usually get faster results by poking around the problem myself, and then ducking when it blows up in my face. And it always does. As perception goes, I'm thick as a brick, but I'm a blazing bright target. So, off I go to Shelbyville, Indiana.
Apparently Shelbyville is heavily into the antiquing business now. They've set up a huge mall for it, near the Indiana Downs horse racetrack. The food court alone at this place is three stories tall, and pagoda-shaped. But hey, it's not the silliest thing I've ever seen done to attract tourists. So while I wait for the inevitable confrontation, I do the tourist thing, and have lunch.
When I get back to the motel room, I find I've been tailed... and it's my old friend Judy, the woman I almost married!
Well then, I think it's time for a big bear hug. So I lunge at her - but she ducks behind me and gets me in a pretty good hold. Oh goody, a challenge.
But just before I can break free, Judy yells, "Wyatt! You need a blood test! You've been drugged!" ... Huh?
Well, she manages to talk me into holding still, while she takes the sample on the spot. Did I ever mention, she's a clinical technician? Meanwhile, an ambulance arrives with some big burly orderlies to keep me under control, so I take the ride to the hospital.
A few hours later, I'm much more sedate and obviously not dead, so they let me loose. And Judy has a story to tell...
- Years ago when we parted company, Judy went overseas as a missionary. She went to one of those Moslem countries where the government is likely to take you prisoner if they even know you're Christian, so she had an official name change along the way. Well, that would explain why I couldn't find her.
- After a year, she found that giving her medical skills to the rest of the world in the name of God, was just missing something for her. So she came back home and filled out the paperwork to take her old name back (though the paperwork took a while). She tried to look me up in the meantime, but I'd disappeared.
- So she bounced around the country with even more ease than I do, because the country needs medical techs much more than it needs software engineers nowadays.
- She wound up in Shelbyville, Indiana, helping the police investigate a date-rape-Viagra drug syndicate. They secretly serve tourists the drugs in the local bars, with a few mind-altering illicit substances on top. The women go to sleep and wonder what happened, and the men go home horny and happy... if they don't have heart attacks first.
- Luckily, I'm too healthy for heart attacks... any more. And the combination of my fresh blood sample and my credit card records from the local restaurants, are going to help bust this syndicate. But anyway...
- One night in Shelbyville, Judy was out with her police friends, talking about her regrettable past. Of course one of the cops she was with, came from my high school. Did I mention, I came from a big high school? The cop remembered my name (because it's been in all the news lately), and passed along the message, albeit muchly garbled and under Judy's alternate name.
- And so is explained the mystery of the message of vengeance. Of all the things I've actually done to offend someone, the answer was "None of the above".
Well, of course Judy and I are going to be around for the trial. Surely why not; it's not as if I'm putting her in danger for once. Quite the opposite; she drew me into this one. But I can't complain. Compared to all the shadowy secret conspiracies and incredible weirdness I've drawn her into, a dose of Viagra hardly rates as a menace.
Beyond then, who knows? I'm not sure we're going to try getting married again, since we've established that is a sign of the Apocalypse. Really. And we still have our own lives, bouncing all over North America. But still, both our dance cards are finally wide open. (23 Feb 2004)
The Adventures of Me 2004
... or, Make It Was Again
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