The Adventures of Me in the Marvel Universe:
The Adventures of Me 2000
In the Marvel Omniverse
As ever, my adventures are a weird combination of comic books and alternate-universe
National Geographics. Here's the most interesting stuff from the year.
(The dates provided are when I came up with the concept, not necessarily
when it "happens". And the concepts are 100% from dreams this year!)
Pop Culture 2000. My world's culture differs somewhat from what
we know. Here are some more reasons why:
Mary the Superheroine (10 January). Total Conversion (the world's most
powerful superhero team) once had a superheroine named "Red Dragon", but
better known as Mary O'Hanrahan, or simply "Mary". She led the team in
the "Operation Total Justice" Bahamas War of 1996, and the superhero counterattack in which George H.W. Bush's government was overthrown. Now, women are hugely influential compared with before. Hilary Clinton is President; women are leading huge corporations like Hewlett-Packard; and, little children draw pictures of Mary, complete with D-cups.
NYC is Extra Irish (11 January). Perhaps because of Mary, New York City
has a super-Irish attitude. The cops actually sing "Galway Bay" on patrol.
"I'm With Trash", the Action Figures (19 January). Each one actually
comes with trash in a baggie!
Holy-shit-mother-theresa.com! (20 March) A new web site for an old holy mother.
Not sanctioned by the Catholic Church... as if I had to mention that.
The Kennedy's Pet Pig (14 April). Reportedly New England's favorite
politicians have raised a pig to be as smart as they are. It's running for the Massachusetts Statehouse this year! The Massachusetts Supreme Court checked the rules, and decided, there's no requirement that a Congress"man" be human. The Pig is running Democratic, and leads the Republican candidate by six percentage points.
Journey Comes Back, with Lorenz "Mojo" Nixon (24 April). Now there's a teamup.
The Beauty of God (9 June). A comic book shows this reverse side of the Spectre the Wrath of God, dancing through fields of flowers with Dutch children in World War 2.
The Adventures of Goofus and Gallant (2 October). Remember those loveable "Highlights" magazine scamps Goofus and Gallant? They really exist! The magazine picks real kids to base these adventures on. Right now, the real kids are on a train trip without their "Highlights" chronicler, so we'll never know if Gallant really said, "Would you care to see the view, ma'am?"
Arctic Minor League Hockey (5 October).
When you get down to minor minor league hockey,
the teams cover the North American Arctic. There are icecap
stations in Greenland with their own teams.
No Data from Florida (11 November). For some reason, the electronic road signs which point toward Florida, all say "No Data". I guess that virus which infected their paper voting systems during the election is spreading.
The Rights to USC (9 December). Southern California and South Carolina are having a college football game to determine who has the rights to the name "USC". California's winning, and they have the better floats.
Indy 500 Races Finish on Foot (28 December). The Indy Racing League has finally gone too far in its quest for driver safety. All Indy 500 drivers now have to stop their cars and sprint for the finish line on foot. Michael Andretti edges out Al Unser Jr., once they dismount.
Various Villains. I certainly have no need to import villains from
comic book universes this year. Featuring:
Who's Stolen My Melee Weapons? (7 January) Some of these
weapons survived universal mergers, and saw action therein. Others have
been invested with my "summoning" power to come when needed. In short,
these babies have enough mystic power to shake reality.
The Reality Shifters (5 February). Two impish humanoids named Bit and Bug seem
to have my weapons. They're down in Dallas, trying to find Reed Richards.
Or maybe it's Stephen Wolcott; they seem to keep changing their mind. But
they're changing reality too. Their followers hole up in the Dallas tunnels
whenever reality shifts. And I'm down there with them.
The Harvester of Eyes (26 May). An infamous Blue Oyster Cult song
seems to have been true once again (much like the Subhumans - off the same album, even). There's a mystic warrior who plucks out people's eyes, and
sends them out as floating scouts, encased in life support environments. I see him walk down the streets.
Jellyfish in the Mall (18 August).
I've been taken hostage in a shopping mall. The hostage-takers report to flying jellyfish, who communicate by lightning and telepathy. The jellyfish aren't interested in us, so we can go free. Now, I have to find a way out, before we're "Entebbeed" by the rescue force.
The Candlemaker (31 August). This time, it's an obscure Doom Patrol
comic which turns out true. But the Candlemaker predates comic books.
Masons came up with ceremonies to placate this creature.
And I'm there in one of them, with a Candlewife. But her candles are
falling out of her hair. Can I get them tied back in, before Evil goes on
When Bestiamorphs Attack (9 September). The only reason I might ever agree
to carry a cell phone, is because it might come in handy if this happens.
Does That Personal Trainer Have My Brother's Brain? (27 September) She says she
had a brain transplant. She even has me fooled for a while.
The Greenland Rebellion. When I was young, I came up with a wargame in which Greenland rebelled against its Danish rule. Now, I'm there when it happens for real. Featuring:
- Bit and Bug aren't here for a fight. They give my weapons back, but the weapons
have sucked in even more reality-jumping power, and Bit and Bug aren't sure how to de-power them.
- From now on, I run the danger of jumping between universes too. Oh well, it's a lot like jumping between home towns, which I do regularly.
Among the Rebellion in Kangerlussuaq (7 March).
Use the Toothpaste, Stupid! (23 April) A little known fact about the
Greenland Home Rule is, its government is heavily socialist. A little known
fact about socialists is, fluoride in the water supply actually deters
socialism. (Why else do you think the United States embarked on a massive
program to insert chemicals into the water supply,
at the height of the Cold War?) Once I apply a bit of toothpaste
in the right places, the rebellion falls apart.
- The community of Kangerlussuaq, formerly
known as Sondre Stromfjord, formerly known as Sondrestrom Air Force Base,
is the air-based component of the Danish control of Greenland. It's also
centrally located for the Greenland Rebellion forces to assemble.
Thus, it's a major flashpoint when Greenland rebels against Danish rule.
It's been bloodless so far, but there are major protests.
- I'm also on vacation there. I went there a year before,
but didn't make it outside town.
This year, I wanted to see the rest of the country.
Too bad the rebellion has grounded all the airlines.
I've been trapped there for six days now.
The nice restaurants are all closed down too, but at least
they let me use the cafeteria and buy beer at the grocery store.
Surely, no beer's coming into the country now...
but this is the international airport,
and lots of beer got grounded here
with practically nobody to drink it.
- So why didn't Greenland rebel last year when I was here?
Well, it's rumored that now they've got one of those independent superhuman
investors that all the successful island nations are getting nowadays.
And I happen to know, Stephen Wolcott (a.k.a. Ellipsis)
needs a new island base; he disappeared for over a year, and people foreclosed
on his Bahamas headquarters before he reappeared
- Every night in the cafeteria, the TV is on. The locals all cheer when a
news story goes on about Ellipsis. They cheer louder, when someone from
his foundation reads a prepared statement. They say the political state of
Greenland is not a determinant for him, but he supports self-determination
for all people everywhere, and he feels it would be a crime for any nation
to use force to suppress it. And his words carry some weight; his superhumans
fought the United States and won during "Operation Total Justice" in 1996.
- Well, screw Ellipsis anyway. He can overthrow my President, but he
can't screw up my vacations.
Secret Agent Night (26 April). But I do some work to bring peace
with justice to Greenland.
First, I demonstrate my powers to the United Nations, by flying
in to a subcommittee meeting. They send me to make a diversion at a Danish
auditorium, where the Danes are deciding on peace conditions. While I draw
the guards's attention, other people get in and doctor the informational
packages. Could it be... Ellipsis?
New Attractions (25 May). Things didn't take long to change after
(Author's Note: I'm only making up half of the tourist attractions of Kangerlussuaq. Guess which half... or get the real story from this real-life travelogue!)
- Ellipsis got most of what he wanted; Greenland has home rule
without Danish troops now. He's re-establishing his foundation there.
Business offices in the capital city of Nuuk; science offices in
Kangerlussuaq where all the scientists hang out.
- But I also made things a bit less pleasant for him, because
Kangerlussuaq has an amusement park now.
Yes, they do that stuff in Alaska too, but Greenland's closer to most of the United States.
So why not build Busch Gardens Midnight Sun there?
(I figure that would be the part
I'm responsible for, since I helped deter socialism there.)
- Why not?
They call it the Arctic Desert, because it's dry, and in the summer
it's warm and sunny 24x7.
- They have a huge airport and lots of hotel rooms,
because they used to have a U.S. Air Force base there,
and they converted all the barracks to hotel rooms.
- In the winter they even build hotel rooms out of ice.
- Kangerlussuaq Tourism even invites me back as their guest,
for a real vacation. I can even bring all my friends. That fancy restaurant
up by the lake that feeds its customers roast musk ox should impress them.
The Douglas Virus, featuring:
Y2K Night (1 May). The Y2K effect on civilization was late, but
it finally came. Douglas was better prepared than the rest of the world,
because it had so many pregnant women. Besides, it seems one of the main
viruses spared Douglas specifically. And so my home town becomes a focus
for the rebuilding of civilization. Lili Tomlin and Marvel Comics relocate
Pocket Pal Theology Night (12 July). Doctor Doom has developed a
virus which specifically targets Douglas, as revenge for its world ascendancy.
He loads it on my pocket computer, while helping me write a theology treatise.
I do get the treatise reviewed, but it fares poorly, because the virus wiped
out all my supporting data except the stuff from Canada.
Dream Vacation 2000. I travel so much, I must be a paid travel writer
by now. Featuring:
The Millennium in Providenija (23 January). I'm in Nome for the Millennium, taking the ferry to Providenija to see it there first. There's one carpet shop open at midnight there, so I buy some little Russo-Eskimo flags. But overall, Providenija looks a lot like any small North American Arctic town. Boy, it's boring.
African Winter Vacation (10 February).
I arrive by ship, in a village of dancing native people.
The guide is the best; he sleeps us in a really cool tent that keeps the heat out, and his food never spoils in the heat.
His staff is cool too. One woman there wrestles lions to get us transportation. She's impervious to damage... but her clothes aren't.
Our guide has a rival: a Chinese guy, educated in Moscow under the Communists.
All in all, it's lots more fun than Greenland.
Sightseeing and Aerobics in Wabush (18 February). I take a sightseeing plane out of Wabush, Labrador. It does aerobatics near the ground. There are lots more buildings and highway junctions on the outskirts of town than there used to be.
When I get back, Madonna is holding auditions in Labrador City. Two of my aerobics teachers have come up for them.
Yukon Ho! (14 May) The Yukon is covered with new paved roads. It would take me two trips to drive them all.
The Teleporting Hotel (8 October). It takes me to buy comic books. Next time I take a business trip, I'm definitely staying there.
Prince William's Weddings (3 November). I'm at the wedding of Prince William of Wales. He's having two weddings: one Catholic, one Protestant. He wears an Uncle Sam hat for the first. I tell him he's the one man in the world who shouldn't, and he laughs.
Indy 500 Expo (19 December). I'm at an expo at the Indy 500. Outside the gate, they have replacements for every bandana I've ever lost. Inside, they're touring the grandstand suites where auto barons lived in 1910.
Family-Friendly Mardi Gras (19 December). I've taken lots of flags to New Orleans, to wave for Fat Tuesday. The Mardi Gras ceremonies are now "family-friendly", with only one Krewe on parade in an arena, followed by karaoke. The Krewe take two of my flags, and I only get one back. All in all, even with the Greenland Rebellion on my vacation list, this is still the suckiest vacation of the year.
Let the Games Continue. I've already made it as a paid gaming contestant.
This year, I gamed even more than I travelled. Featuring:
Calvinball (19 January). I'm playing a team game of Calvinball, where the object is to capture a baton. The teams are mostly very young or old people.
My only opponent who's near my fitness level is one woman in a white knit sweater. She grapples me early on, trying to neutralize me.
We spend most of the game grappled, until the end, when I grab the baton from a grandfather's shopping cart, and make a run for it. But I pause near the end and let her catch up, so we can win together. (That's right; Calvinball's rules are what you make of them.)
Dilbert the Game, with the Gangsta Candidate (19 May). In the Dilbert game, I'm being put in charge of something, with three out of five people in favor. A friend of mine, playing Dogbert, isn't too keen on the idea.
In the game, there's a political campaign going on. The leading candidate is young, and is about to do a mugging to go for the gangsta vote. But this trick doesn't work too well when candidates have Secret Service protection.
Live Action Pearl Harbor Night (4 June). In Speedway, at the junior high school, we're recreating the Pearl Harbor attack - with German gliders. It's a corporate project, so there's a lot of pressure to get it right.
Afterwards, there's dinner theatre, where we try to prove ourselves related to a rich dead English lord, at the reading of the will. I play the guy's son, and I introduce myself in song.
Gambling with Harlan Ellison (27 June). I'm at a gaming convention with Harlan Ellison, making bets. I come out even in my last game with him, but I'm down to my last 5 bucks. There's a line for the hotel cash machine; some people aren't moving, some are jumping line.
Army Training Night (4 August). The Army needs me to debug two boardgames: France 1914 and Russia 1941. I'm going to put in two variants, where Americans parachute into Moscow, and where drunken Poles take the city.
So they rush me through a cut-rate Basic Training course on children's rusty playground equipment. I manage to swing like Tarzan when the jungle gym falls apart.
At the Con (19-20 August). My new Count Nefaria t-shirt is a hit at the ConMan convention.
Also, I decide that applying rules of card games to other card games would be fun. For instance, XXXenophile and The Great Brain Robbery would go well together.
Live-Action Battletech (5 September). My sister and I are playing live-action Battletech in a gym. There are ropes in the air, so we can do jumps. I'm hiding behind some scrap mechs, and she wants to know if she can rip them apart to get to me.
The Superhero Challenge (6 September). I'm gamemastering a superhero challenge, in three parts. First, Superman has to buy a $60 bottle of water, but it's magic and can hold a rampaging dragon. Then, Batman and Catwoman have to deal with bees.
Elephant Handler (18 September). I'm at a games convention, playing the 5-7 pm slot. I try to get into a Dragon Battle game, but it's full. So, I have to play Elephant Handler. But it's live action.
I go look for the elephant, which I know was there earlier. But it's moved. I go ask whether we're to role-play that it's still there.
Artificial Earth (16 October). I'm at a game convention, playing an afternoon game which takes place on an artificial Earth, 20 miles in diameter. The oceans have been shoved aside to make room for continents. It's live action, so we have to get in our cars for this one.
Genghis Khan vs. Bill Gates (15 December). I'm in a game where Genghis Khan is taking on Bill Gates. Genghis has Mongol warriors, Bill has techno-geeks and a frozen turkey cannon. It looks like a fair fight to me.
Me, the Role-Playing Game (22 December). At a convention, there's one game where the players portray other gamers. By Sunday afternoon, three people have portrayed me in games all weekend.
Menace to Society . This year, I'm a target, and so are people who know me. Featuring:
Silly Death Trap Night (1 August).
Invasion (22 August). My enemies are holed up in the building formerly known as Speedway Junior High School. My power of the day is "Clay Being" - kind of like Wonder Woman, only I can change shape and glide. A young psionic woman can get me in there, by greying out the security monitors and telekinetically throwing me. But I can hear her heartbeat, and it's way too fast.
- I'm trying to find my way into a museum, with lots of assassins outside. In a stairwell, I get $3 million in coins dropped on me. But I'm smart enough not to stand there and catch them, so I get to keep them. I say "Oh boy, another 3 million."
- In an award ceremony, I'm issued four guards (and an annoying little girl) to get home with. I want to just take the monorail to the other side of campus, but the guards want me to go back out where the assassins are.
- The first assassin tries to drive a car up a ditch at us. The rest set up an ambush, looking like a carnival arcade with X-Men and pro sports players. I almost manage to sink a basket in a game of skill.
Trial By Ameritech. It starts at my favorite phone company where I work, when people think I'm hogging the laser printer with travelog photos. As if I'd ever taken a photo of a polar bear. They don't even have polar bears in the part of Greenland I made it to during the rebellion there. I'm being framed! (30 August)
Bad Dreams in Hoffman Estates (20 September). Despite suspicion, I've gone back to Ameritech, because I still gotta work.
- So, Ameritech's put me on a Draka-style trial for sedition. (They really take their "root cause investigations" seriously.) Some of their developers are defending me, but the prosecutors are giving me truth serum. Luckily, I'm already telling the truth. They release me, but I'm still under suspicion. (5 September)
- I'm crossing a street at a crosswalk, and a car's running the intersection. I jump feet-first through the windshield to disable the driver and save my life, but I get a traffic ticket for it. This does nothing to remove suspicion from me. (7 September)
The H.E.A.L.T.H. Protocols (28 September). I'm working in California on a Saturday with a client and two secretaries, and someone's trying to phone us. A secretary fends her off, but she calls the Governor to call out the National Guard.
The National Guard find us, and enforce the Health Evaluation And Laziness Tabulation Heuristics (H.E.A.L.T.H.) to measure our bodily fluids.
- Two of my cow-orkers, Ingrid and Karen from DuoPolarity of Boston, are on the trip too. Karen just needed CPR, because she had a bad dream. A former roommate of mine, Robert Valsi, gave her the dream.
- But Mr. Valsi came out behind. He had to deal with a dream Karen gave him, about a truckload of food. He tried to eat it all, had a heart attack, and died. I see him signing into the City of Death, wearing an Army uniform with hand-scribbled insignia.
Renegades of A.S.C. (14 October)
The Jehovahpower War.
On occasion I can select one or two superpowers
from a list, as need be. I've got a new power available this year, but
it has some complications - plus some wide-ranging side effects.
For one thing, Arkansas will never be the same again.
- Much of alt.support.childfree, my favorite subversive but harmless Usenet group, has been gathered in the community center in Whitinsville. We are expected to drown ourselves and save society the trouble of our execution. Some of the others have started.
- But luckily for me, my superpowers have activated. For now, they're mind and machine control. I get a cop to shoot the place up as a distraction, then force a fire exit door.
- On foot I make it to the Upton edge of town, where there's a country lodge. With mind and machine control, I can stay there for free without people recognizing me or billing me. And I can get some intelligence.
- The next day, I head through the woods. The Upton State Forest is being plowed down, to make room for an exotic animal farm. It's a dead end road, much like northern Canada. And it's being patrolled by flying widgets which resemble the Powerpuff Girls. (16 October)
- Oh, how convenient. These robots are centrally controlled. And I still have machine control powers. Once I send some control messages through the system, there's no evidence left that I was ever a renegade, and the threat against me and my friends is over.