Superhero Hunt

Mother Earth had seen and “heard” what had gone on in Tail’s attempt to snag Varmint, but Tail had only ended up losing his guns. Mother Earth was very worried that this was the end of Tail.

But Varmint kept his nose pointed in the air and Mother earth saw him say, “Because of you inviting me to join you with our noses pointing up, I am going to give you a thirty second head start before I hunt you.”

Tail said nothing and ran toward a house that had a woods out back. Mother Earth timed Tail and he took 20 seconds to have the building between him and any shots from Varmint. Varmint remained still until he counted out the full thirty seconds.

Now Mother Earth had a choice. She could follow Tail or Varmint with the scope. She had planned out that she would follow Varmint. Varmint was slower than Tail; it’s just that he had that amazing endurance and would easily catch Tail at the end of the day.

She told the spy satellite to change to infrared as Varmint came up to the woods. This enabled her to track him. She knew her tracking would be okay as long as he didn’t go into a building. Confident of her abilities she began thinking ahead.

She got a Russian translating app off of the Pentagon computers. She then went into the Kremlin’s computer system. It took less than a second to get in.

She had actually used that brag to Tail. She had said she could get into any computer system in less than a second. But really, it was less a brag and more an assertion of ability.

The translating slowed her down a bit but eventually she found the link up to all the submarines at Russia’s disposal. She had hoped for one in Hudson’s Bay but was happy to find one even closer – in James Bay off Moosonee. She gave the order and it rose to the surface.

There were various missiles it could launch but she was happier to find a long range drone on board. She took over it’s electronics and then launched it. At the pace it was going she estimated that it would get to Varmint in two hours.

So she bided her time following Varmint. Who in turn was following Tail. On the other side of the woods, Varmint broke into a house that Tail must have broken into earlier. This worried Mother Earth for a few moments as she could not see Varmint. But he came out a different door sneezing. Mother Earth decided Tail had put pepper on his scent trail and Varmint didn’t realize it until too late.

In the two hours, Varmint passed at least 5 cars. Since Tail hadn’t hotwired any of these she realized that’s a skill that he probably didn’t have. If he ever got out of this alive, that lack of skills would need to be addressed.

Finally the two hours were up and Mother Earth could also see Varmint through the drone’s camera. She came in low with it and began shooting.

Varmint started doing the “dance of death” as every bullet made his body twitch a bit. He could still move because of his bullet proof outfit. He ran immediately to a house as he figured out that the bullets were coming from the sky. The drone circled and circled and Mother Earth guessed that Varmint wasn’t coming out for any reason. At first Mother Earth hoped that Varmint would come close to a window so she could snuff him out with the whole drone crashing into him. Wherever in the house Varmint was, he wasn’t near a window.

There was, however, a propane tank in a barbecue right beside the house. Mother Earth tried shooting at it until she was out of bullets. She was desperate now and launched the full drone into the barbecue and wall.

From high up she could see the explosion. The house burnt up in minutes. There was no sign of Varmint leaving. She watched until the volunteer fire department showed up. They sprayed water on it from a tanker truck but really it was too late for the house.

That night Mother Earth still hadn’t heard from Tail. But still she couldn’t say he was safe, anyway.

The next day the fire department had found the body of an adult male burnt to death. Mother Earth breathed a sigh of relief. Still, where was Tail? He was still on the run. Perhaps he had run out on the whole idea of being a hero. Mother Earth needed a superhero to be a superhero herself. Maybe she would have to look elsewhere.

THE END (for now!)

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Are Superheroes Snobs?

The current Tail mobile stopped just outside of its destination of Punkeydoodle Corners. The flashing blinkers came on while the vehicle reversed on the shoulder of the road. After half a minute of reversing it came to a stop.

Inside the car, Tail asked, “Can you hear me now?” to his car’s dash that contained his smart phone.

“Yes,” said the female image for Mother Earth but Tail had never met her in person so he was not sure that was the actual Mother Earth’s image.

“Good, it’s still a half hour before I have to meet Varmint. Do you still think that I am going off half cocked with only my tail, rifle and handgun to meet him?”

“You know the risks and what you’re capable of. But if I might lose you, could I at least watch your demise?”

“You’re sick, Mother Earth.”

“I think Varmint might go after me once you’re gone. It’s self preservation, I assure you.”

“How are you going to watch with smartphones not working?”

“I’ve been all in the Pentagon’s computer systems for the last few hours. And I think I can link to visuals from one of their spy satellites.”

“Surely that can’t see Varmint and myself.”

“They would never let it get public but the largest space telescope is pointed down and it has adaptive optics. That’s where they use lasers to measure all the perturbations in the atmosphere and adapt the optics of the spy satellite’s scope to change for optimal seeing. I’m in, right now. Wave out the car window so I can confirm it’s you.”

Tail did just that.

“Perfect. Of course I would like to “hear” what you’re saying and the scope is almost straight up from Punkeydoodle Corners. Could you lift your face while you talk so I can use a program to read your lips?”

“But then I either give away that I’m being tracked or I look like I’m being a snob to Varmint.”

“You’re worried about looking like a snob? He’s trying to kill you.”

It was about time so Tail drove into the hamlet and pulled up to the corner he was to get the coordinates from. He glanced at his watch as it was almost noon. Then he got out of the car and wondered how he would get coordinates when his smartphone wouldn’t work out here. He stood at the corner. There were only 5 houses visible so he eyed them one by one.

Suddenly his eye caught motion. One of the house’s blinds came down and on it were coordinates.

Instead of writing them down, Tail ran toward the house and got to it’s back exit. Varmint was leaving it and froze when he saw Tail.

“I’m not as slow as you must have thought,” said Tail, as much to the sky as to Varmint.

“It figures,” said Varmint. “You would have your nose in the air just to be snobbish around me.”

“You’ve got me all wrong, Varmint. Put your nose in the air, too. I’m not offended and it’s not a special club.”

Varmint stuck his nose in the air tentatively. “That’s not so bad. I see you have a rifle and handgun, too.”

“Yes, I wanted to meet you on–” Tail’s tail had gone between his legs and Varmint’s as well and had started up Varmint’s back when there was a ‘Clang!’ This was followed by a whimper from Tail.

“I thought you might try a rear attack with that tail of yours. How do you like a leg hold trap?”

It was hurting Tail so much that he diverted his attention and hands to take it off. Varmint scooped up Tail’s rifle and handgun.

Tail was relieved physically while now being taxed mentally with the danger of losing his life. Still he couldn’t resist saying, “So you use the guns and traps that kill other varmints!”

TO BE CONTINUED

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Can a Superhero Be Inbred?

Soon after the reveal of his mysterious partner, Mother Earth, Tail was challenged on much of social media by a terrifying new supervillain.

“That’s right, Tail, I am Varmint and I am hunting you,” started the various messages. “Now I am American by choice but I think I had better get you before you’re called in to get me. So I am traveling up there to meet you. I plan to be in the area of Punkeydoodle Corners. It will be outside of the hamlet so you can’t set a trap for me. I will send you precise coordinates next Tuesday at noon.

“Why have I picked such a lonely, out of the way location for our meeting? Well I am trying to trap you in my web, of course. And I think that you may be comfortable in a place that’s so remote and inbred. After all, I bet your mighty, super strong tail has come about by the power of heavy inbreeding. I intend to defeat you by using your inbred features against you.

“If you don’t show up I will hunt down your sorry tail while I am up here in your neck of the woods. Be afraid, Tail, be very afraid. Do not bring your mysterious crime fighting partner, Mother Earth. I am coming alone so I expect you to be alone as well. Varmint out.”

When Tail finally saw this invitation he was first dismayed that he couldn’t bring Mother Earth. Then he did some searches to find out what this Varmint was really all about. The information was all sketchy – no one source knew everything at all but tail gleaned that Varmint was styling himself after a wolf.

Varmint was supposed to have the great smelling and hearing of a wolf (which is also attributable to dogs). He had rigged up an exoskeleton that made him have the endurance to go 150 kilometers in a day.

But Varmint realized the one very major setback of a wolf. They never shoot guns. Thus Varmint outfitted himself with a rifle and a handgun. As well he wore bullet proof clothing.

Now the bullet proof clothing would likely leave a welt or worse if it were actually shot on that area. So Varmint had a large bulletproof helmet made of more solid material that would deflect most shots. He had a smaller and not see through cup for between his legs.

Tail made a social media reply. “I will be ready for you, Varmint. I’ll be on the corner of Punkeydoodle Corners on Tuesday at noon, awaiting the coordinates where we are to meet.

“And must I remind you that esteemed lords, ladies, kings and queens are also inbred. Tail out.”

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New Superhero Duo

“Hello, ladies and gentlemen of the press. I am Tail so I am sure that most of you will recognize me and my super power.”

One reporter raised his hand and asked, “What super power? You just look like a masked man.”

Another said, “Ewwwww! Is that monkey like thing your tail?”

“Yes. That is my super power. The back of me is just as strong as the front of me only it’s all concentrated into the tail form. I am the equivalent of at least two strong men with amazing agility and climbing powers, too! You can see my stories here, here and here.”

A third reporter said, “We were told there would be a superhero duo. Where is your partner? And are they as grossed out about your tail as the rest of us?”

“She will be revealed in a moment, but I must remind you reporters that my tail is a part of me and you should not give negative value judgements about it.”

“We don’t believe you actually have a partner. Unless she is going to make a surprise appearance showing off her super powers?”

“She has been here all along. Underneath the blanket beside me.”

“Is she super small? A shape shifter? Still alive after being flattened?”

“Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you…” Tail lifted and threw the blanket away revealing grass. “…Mother Earth!”

There were groans from all that had gathered.

“Don’t you want to hear what her super powers are?”

“Okay,” said one game reporter.

“Her super powers are the USA, Russia and China!”

There was a second bigger groan from the reporters.

“Are you going to really groan when some supervillain is facing down an intercontinental nuclear warhead? Or being chased by a missile invisible to radar?”

Realizing there was not much left to say, the assembled reporters milled about for a moment before dispersing and realizing they might not have a publishable story. Tail was long gone, annoyed again by the usual reaction to his tail.

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If Sports Fans Actually Motivate Players Then…

An unfortunate new payment center in my city’s buses, has slowed cash paying customers and expedited all the various card using passengers.

The old cash system involved an electronic reader that could count multiple coins at the same time. With the new reader you have to insert each coin one at a time. This is time consuming when the passenger has all quarters because the fare is $3.25.

If needed, in the old system, the driver would just hand you a transfer ripped off the stack with the rip showing the time down to 15 minute intervals. With the new system it takes half a minute to print up your transfer. Maybe it’s the slowness of the printer or maybe it needs a few precious seconds for the ink to dry. Either way it’s annoying to everyone.

Now, clearly it’s the payment center’s fault that cash transactions are so slow. Still, in the name of speed I would like it if everyone could convince the cash payers to switch payment methods. Knowing the power of cheering on the home team, I intend to cheer every time a new bus passenger swipes their various cards.

Of course I’ll have to also boo the people using cash. I can boo for as long as it takes for the cash paying person to finally be free of the payment center at the front of the bus.

I know, some of you are thinking this is too harsh. But think about it. When a bunch of passengers are all trying to get on the bus as fast as possible and it’s pouring rain, that minute the cash paying person is using means that the rest of us get wet for that length of time. They could be noble and say “No, you go first – I’m paying cash,” and wave all of us card paying people first. But they never do so I am going to try the booing gambit.

This cheering/booing thing might work in stores, too. Here, paying with cash or cards seem to take about the same time. So I suggest you cheer on either one or both as that may make them even faster (Hey! Every second counts.)

The ones I want you to boo are the price matchers. You know the people who have looked at sales items all across town but only shop at this closest store. For every single item they get they must show the cashier each one and the cashier has to put it in and give the better price. I suggest we boo them into submission. So much so that they never price match again.

“What’s that? You paid how much for those items? It is such a good deal that you hear cheering in your head that is much louder than the external boos that we are making for you?

“Maybe I ought to try price matching.” The other booers might try it, too. So if you find that every line at every store takes a long time to go through, just remember all the money we’re saving. We’re actually okay with using our time to pay for our savings.

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Why I’d Make a Poor Superman

The header of this blog is me from about Hallowe’en in 1975ish in a Superman costume. I was puzzled when my mother, taking pictures of me outside in the costume, told me to pose like I was flying. But I knew I couldn’t fly or fake it well which was why I was puzzled. A few years ago, my sister Laurel made the header and using photo alteration software made it look like I was flying up in the sky. Finally my Superman flying destiny was fulfilled.

But now I think that the dream of being just like Superman has died.

You see, this Hallowe’en I went bowling with friends. I had a mask that fit neatly in my pocket while getting there. Once inside the bowling alley, I put it on. It was a full head mask with horrific looking growths starting on one side of my slitted eyes and continuing on the other side. The mouth wouldn’t open for eating and only had a couple holes to breathe through. I had decided to make do. I was gruesome and it was beautiful.

Then the game started. I knew I couldn’t bowl through those slitted eyes so I took the mask off to bowl. Then I sat down again and put on the mask. It went like this: First I’d take my glasses off. Then I would pull the mask over my head. Then I would slide the mask around a bit until I had half decent vision through the eye slits. Then I would put my glasses back on, over the slits. Finally, I would push the arm hooks of the glasses against my head over my ears so they would stay on.

With the mask on, I would watch the rest of the bowlers until it was my turn. I then took my glasses off, then the mask and then put my glasses on my naked head. I did this for a couple frames and finally said “nuts” and just left my head unfettered for the rest of the game.

I was too lazy to keep honouring the day of costumes. What would I do if I were the real Superman?

I would work at the Daily Planet (as Clark Kent), until a teletype told me of some dangerous emergency. Then I would quickly don my Superman costume and save some lives. Then I would go back to the Daily Planet till the next emergency. Then I would change again and save more lives. Then I would head back and if there were a third emergency, I would yell “ The H-E- double hockey sticks with this!” and then I would fly out as Clark Kent and save the day and lose my secret identity.

And that is if i only have the good type of laziness. Otherwise by the end of the day I’d be saying, “Humans, you’ve got to start saving yourselves.” Then I would leave them to their own devices. The casualty total might be high but at least they might start pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.

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Oh No! Alberta and Saskatchewan Might Separate!

Billboards have appeared in Alberta and Saskatchewan promoting separation from the rest of Canada. I think this is supposed to strike fear in the heart of all Canadians. I don’t think it is working.

What seems to piss off these two prairie provinces the most is inaction on building pipelines to get their oil out to the rest of the world and the carbon tax.

The carbon tax puts a higher price on oil and gas. Maybe some of the prairie economy comes from oil and gas. But like everything you have to weigh the benefits and risks. Not putting a higher price on oil and gas not only puts us behind the rest of the world, but it risks making our earth uninhabitable. Just so some people in Alberta and Saskatchewan can have a higher standard of living for a few years. Indeed, it is my hope that we get a prime minister who is tough enough to say all that oil and gas is going to stay in the ground.

The carbon tax is starting out low. So your economies have time to adjust, Alberta and Saskatchewan. We are trying to look out for your well being to some degree. Appreciate that.

As for the pipelines, do you really think that separation is the right threat? Let’s follow that line of thinking all the way through. Do you really think that other provinces are going to allow your pipelines through their jurisdictions after separation? Good luck with that.

Only this time the rest of Canada is likely to get petty. How about no rail car oil tankers through the rest of Canada? Or no truck oil tankers on our highways. No one is going to allow airplane tankers. Think about it Alberta and Saskatchewan. Do you really want to play the separation game?

The rest of Canada also bought your provinces a long time ago from the Hudson’s Bay Company. If you leave it will come at a price.

Have you seriously thought about separation? I don’t think that is the high card you want to lay down. Maybe the one that should act more accommodatingly is you, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

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5 Litres of Blood

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the saying “Waste not, want not” is promoted by vampires, too. So when they find a victim I bet they drain the full 5 litres of blood that a fully grown human contains.

But think of that 5 litres. In Imperial units it is about 1.3 gallons. And it has to go somewhere before digestion so I bet that spot is the stomach. Think of what an extra 5 litres would do to a trim stomach. In Canada that is more than the large bag of milk that is common in stores. Imagine that strapped around a trim waist.

Vampires in the media are almost always portrayed as attractive and young looking with a lean figure. After feasting on one human, a female would look pregnant and a male would have what looks like a large beer belly. Of course this would go down as they digested. So if they feed every week, then by the 6th and 7th nights they would look like those trim vampires we always see in the media.

For there to be an inevitable love interest for the vampires, the lovers might only see each other once a week. This isn’t totally abnormal. When I was in university, one friend referred to a night of the week as “girlfriend night”. So let’s say a relationship like this could exist between a trim vampire and a human.

Now the rest of the week vampires could have a relationship with other lovers. On the 1st and 2nd night the vampire could have one girlfriend who isn’t embarrassed by her lover’s belly. The 3Rd and 4th night vampire could have a 3rd lover and 5th night vampire could have a 4th lover. But for the purposes of this article, we’ll look at the trim 6th and 7th night vampire that appears to be the most fantasized about.

I bet the vampire would be getting hungry by the 6th night. He could probably hold it together for the 6th and most of the 7th night. But late on the 7th night he would probably be prowling for a potential victim. Indeed that may be the motivation to date on the 6th and 7th night. If he fails in hunting down the most dangerous game, he can abuse the trust of his lover and make her the victim of his lust for fresh blood.

So if you don’t mind a lover that is pudgy in the middle, you can probably have a safe relationship even if that person turns out to be a vampire. Just don’t insist on seeing them on the 7th night. Allow them to stick with only one date night a week. You can safely see a different pudgy lover on night 3 and 4, a 3rd pudgy lover on night 5 and different pudgy lover on night 6 and 7. Just hope that the media is right and relative immortals stay trim all their lives.

So let this be a lesson to you vampire fearing men and women out there. Pudgy lovers are the safest.

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The British Royal Family Has a Problem with Titles

Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, is not the Princess of Wales to match her husband’s title. Indeed if the day that Queen Elizabeth abdicates or dies ever comes around, it was said at their marriage that Camilla’s husband would then be King Charles but she would have the title of Princess consort.

Yet this is how it is supposed to work for Kate, Duchess of Cambridge: When Prince William becomes Prince of Wales, Kate will become Princess of Wales. When William becomes King William, Kate will become Queen consort.

It seems that Camilla is being punished for being Charles’ second wife. And the addition of the word consort to their titles is further punishment for being a commoner.

This is not where my complaint of royal titles stops. Prince Phillip is not on equal terms with Queen Elizabeth as evidenced by the slight in titles. He’s 98 and still called prince.

I wish that whomever is the giver of British royalty titles just wasn’t so petty. It would be less taxing on my brain. A prince or princess should be the offspring of the king and queen. And every married King should have a Queen and every married Queen should have a King. The only time it should be different is if the King or Queen happens to be gay. Then disclaimers should be added to discern which one is running things and which one is only there because of marriage.

A queen being married to a prince just brings about imaginings of an Oedipus triangle. Yes, I said it and risk being thrown out of the commonwealth country of Canada. After all, Queen Elizabeth is our head of state.

Then, too, when it is Charles’ time, it looks like he will have the gender opposite of an Oedipus triangle.

I know it is bad manners to slight the royals this way but it is just that the titles they are given led me to these points.

And I will now go to the past to say that the British royal family has always been bad with titles. Remember Queen Victoria who had a whole time period named after her? The British Empire was at the height of its power back then. Remember the saying: “The sun never sets on the British Empire” because they held territory across many of the world’s time zones.

With all this, couldn’t Queen Victoria lay claim to the title of Empress? There have been lesser emperors and empresses.

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This Will Ruin More Learning Time

This new study out of MIT was designed to show, from Fitbit wearing students, that there is causation between fitness and grades. It found no such causation or even correlation.

But, because Fitbits and frustrated scientists are intrusive and don’t really care about students’ privacy, the data was mined further.

The next thing was to look at getting enough sleep before tests, midterms and exams. This also didn’t lead to a correlation.

But the scientists were bound and determined to find something so they looked at sleep before a non testing day or in other words a learning day.

The students who got the most sleep on the night before these days and strung those nights together, got the best marks. The next level of sleeping the night before got slightly poorer marks and the worst level of sleeping got the worst marks. Which blatantly suggests that sleep is important for learning.

Now this could just be a correlation. For instance, the students who had the worst marks might just have an inability to sleep well. Which makes it’s own sense. It’s just that I am going to assume that sleep is important for learning.

Knowing this, all the students will try their best to sleep well before a learning day. Most of the school year consists of learning days. Knowing full well the importance of this, the students will all put pressure on themselves to sleep well.

Do you know what is going to happen to a lot of those students? The pressure to sleep will be too much and they won’t get as much sleep as they normally would have gotten. So they won’t be able to learn as well or as much.

Their professors will drill it into their brains that they better stop clowning around at times they should be sleeping. Which will make the matter worse and their grades will go down further.

At the end of the school year the average mark will be down. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were down a full letter grade. The school can either lower their standards and give out grades they know their students are capable of or not promote a lot more students. I think the schools will have to lower their standards.

Then, in a few years, the real world will hire worse graduates and the general competence level will be down everywhere. Machinists will saw off more fingers, engineers will make worse bridges and more lawyers will become like Rudy Giuliani.

So it’s best to seal this one up and not tell any students. Really it’s for the good of all.

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