Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Superhero Bar Stories: Truly Villainous Villains

The worst villain I've ever run across? Hard to say. I mean, you know, there's Aldakes -- he does some pretty horrible stuff, but he's careful to keep it all legal. Yeah, in some ways that makes it worse. And you hear about some horrible ones -- that guy in Arizona who was using his mind-control powers to convince people he was doing miracles, remember him? But the worst one I ran across myself...

...Okay. I've got one for you. Maybe not the worst, maybe not the most evil, but this was the guy that made me come closest to violating my rules about unnecessary violence. He was a bank robber, and he called himself Laughingstock.

His M.O. was always the same. He'd pick a place to rob, dress up in a clown costume: makeup, wig, big red nose, huge floppy shoes, the works. Then he'd walk in carrying a big, ugly plastic flower -- the kind that shoots water if you squeeze it. He'd get everyone laughing until they could barely stand, and then he'd clean out all the drawers and walk out. He'd always leave the flower behind, I think so everyone would know it was him.

Well, the first time I went after him, I was alone. So I popped up beside him, told him he was under arrest, and reached for my handcuffs. He said I looked like a SWAT team refugee and my mirror shades were twice the size of my face. Doesn't sound funny, does it? But when he said it, it was hilarious. Hell, it was the funniest thing I'd ever heard. And before I knew it, I was doubled over, laughing so hard I could barely breathe. I was furious, but I still couldn't stop laughing... and I couldn't do anything else well enough to stop him from walking away.

And that was it. Laughingstock left me lying there in the street in and got away clean.

So the second time -- you knew that was coming right? Of course there was a second time -- I stayed unnoticed and came up behind him. The plan was to stun him, and then get him restrained. I was maybe two steps back, with the stunner ready, when Blurstreak came zooming up. You know Blurstreak? I don't know what he's like out of uniform, but he can run at several hundred miles per hour, and he's sort of mostly intangible when he does. He comes at us in this blurred line of super-fast movement, and of course Laughingstock opens his mouth and says something about Casper the Windy Ghost, and follows it up with a couple of other line.

And, of course, Blurstreak falls over, helpless with laughter. So do a couple of innocent bystanders. So do I. So we're all just laying there laughing, and I'm just a little too far away to use the stunner. It doesn't matter: I dropped it, which is even funnier than being caught like this. And I'm trying to reach for something else, but I'm laughing so hard my ribs ache, and you know what? That's funny, too. Dammit.

Laughingstock turns around and sees me behind him. "Another ghost?" he says. "They gotta quit serving spirits 'round here."

And that's what finally does it. At this point everything is so funny I'm about to asphyxiate, so there's only one way to respond. I manage to pull out the splat-gun and fire off a snap-shot, right at Laughingstock's face. It explodes around his head like the biggest booger in the world, and for about three seconds this is the funniest thing I've ever seen in my life. Like, I'm actually about to give myself a stroke it's so funny.

And then all of a sudden it isn't funny at all. Any of it. Laughingstock's rolling around on the pavement, flailing at his face, trying to pry off the goop before he suffocates, and getting his hands stuck in it too. It looks like something out of one of those old cartoons, except nobody's laughing -- no, not even me.

So I step forward, slap the cuffs around his wrists, and spray the goop on his face with a big dose of catalyst so we can pull it off. By the time he's starting to recover, we have a proper gag in place -- one the lets him breathe, but not speak.

After that it was just a matter of getting him into a patrol car and sending him off to jail.

So there you go. Not the most evil villain ever, but that power of his was probably the most annoying thing I've ever come up against.

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