Me in Comic Books:
The Adventures of Me 2002
Silly Days Are Here Again
Courtesy of Islamic terrorists, the World Trade Center has become a tourist attraction known as Ground Zero. I got a chance to look at it, during a temp job in Manhattan. It would look pretty nice, as a pit planted with grass. The neighbors don't like the way the towers came down, but they like having more sunshine and fewer hundred-story eyesores.
The anniversary of 9/11/2001 has now been officially declared a Federal holiday. The United Way at work is selling 9/11 commemorative T-shirts for $10, or three for $20; they've got enough of a stockpile to last for years longer than they expected.
My boss on my latest job is a Shi'ite Moslem, and he let me out from work early that anniversary day for memorial services. He thinks we should overthrow Iraq, then Saudi Arabia.
We're still getting some "incidents"... but it's hard to tell the terrorists apart from the local loonies any more. Personally, I suspect the time of national trauma is over, and it's time to move on. And I've decided to nudge it a bit.
As part of my travel guides, I've written a guide to Silly Towns. I've gotten some adverse reaction, but overall, people realize that any publicity is good publicity. During my travels, I've gotten some businessmen in these towns to help me form a Silly Towns Guild.
The first semi-respectable holiday after the middle of September is Columbus Day. I managed to convince three towns of the Silly Towns Guild to hold parades then, a different town on each day of the three-day weekend. The parades are conveniently located to Boston, New York, and Chicago. And if I take a plane, I can make all three.
The first two parades went well, and they were suitably silly, despite the obstacles. Let's face it, stuff like a stained glass window in a church lavatory may be silly, but it doesn't always translate well into a parade. But the silly people of Douglas, Massachusetts and Freehold, New Jersey rose to the occasion.
By Monday, the parades had made national headlines. Celebrities and politicians started heading toward Hoffman Estates, Illinois for the last "Silly Days Are Here Again" Parade.
- In Douglas on Saturday, they had an Old-Time Revival Parade, going to the tabernacle in the woods where people in H.P. Lovecraft's era would gather to pray for the return of their mighty god.
- The folks who operate the tabernacle were happy to have an old-time revival; they have one every summer anyway, and they dream of going back to the days when they could have a camp meeting every weekend.
- Charlie Daniels even showed up to sing, "The Devil Went Up to Douglas", with the revival band and a bunch of guest stars who usually do country music concerts nearby.
- In Freehold on Sunday, Bruce Springsteen showed up - without his band, but he joined in The World's Largest Marching Band. The parade started with a ten-piece band - then everyone got to join the band. People who brought no instruments got issued kazoos. Kids got their own section, the FDNY got theirs, and everyone was happy.
- Of course the Fire Department New York didn't mind having a party for the occasion. Anyone who thinks firefighters don't like a party, has obviously never partied alongside firefighters. They do have their standards of decorum, but if I'd wanted to violate those, I would have had to set up a beer tent at Ground Zero on That Anniversary.
- The Hoffman Estates parade was a bit disorganized at first, because its Grand Marshal was acting like she was hearing voices in her head. But the biker rally she invited to merge with the parade, brought a bit of order back in. (9 September)
- Actually, anyone could join the parade, even all those late-arriving celebrities, as long as they marched behind a banner. It was the "Banner of Freedom and Silliness" parade. We had blank banners and giant-size Sharpie markers, so people could make their own banners.
- We had banners pre-made for "Mega-Church", "Politicians", and "Illinois Nazis". The local mega-church at Willow Farm joined in enthusiatically, when they heard how well the Douglas revival meeting went. Their contingent took up a quarter mile... which isn't quite as big as the traffic jams around their church, but still impressive.
- The politicians were mostly content to march together behind one banner, but the Illinois Nazis didn't show. Whatta buncha wimps. We gave their banner to a bunch of blues musicians, with a Sharpie marker so they could make the sign say "Not Illinois Nazis".
- The parade was a huge walk-in success. For example, a bunch of sewage engineers registered as the Sludge Brothers. They marched under the sign, "Sludge Occurs", just because it's their motto. It seems their customers are shy about the phrase, "Shit Happens". They marched proudly with coveralls, plungers, and various Roto-Rooter guns. (24 September)
Of course, things kind of fell apart afterwards... but that's another story.
Author's Note: This adventure started out as one of my interminable comic book stories about Me in the Marvel Universe. But during its writing, I became convinced that America needs this story in a stand-alone mode. So here it is, devoid of supervillains.
As ever, after some of the paragraphs, I note the date some of this stuff was written.
Thanks to Rick and John, the real life Sludge Brothers, who registered to join the parade in real life. John was in Silly Town #3 for sludge training. Really.
Me in Comic Books: