Ch. 1: A PERILOUS EXPLANATION OF RECENT ABSENCES!
Doc Brutal is fueled by whiskey and outrage
My alarm went off at precisely 6:04 a.m., as it had done every day since my 30th birthday -- the day I became a man by staring into the face of a dying god, and also later that day having my first sex. But the phone itself had roused me three minutes earlier, shrieking like a banshee on prom night.
Its shrill tone might have sown fear in lesser men, but I was no rational human being -- I was Doctor Cluck Brutal: Adventure Satirist. While America slept, I was drunkenly fighting strange, secret wars. It was I who had solved The Case of The Screaming Common 'Taters, drowned The Master Cleanser in his own device, and beaten back the Robo-Ke$has of Kemosabe. I made fun of monsters wherever I found them, thanks to the fantabulous all-in-one "iPhone" communications device I carried always on my person.
On its receiver was J. Sherbody Peaman, my liaison with the Department of Government. "It's not good news, Doc," he sighed with a resigned gloom I'd heretofore seen only in the eyes of the prostitutes I strangle because no one would miss them. "The Red Fang -- he's back."
The Red Fang! That inscrutable devil had returned to plague America's greatest hero (me) yet again. Quivering rage shook the sleepy-crusties from my eyes. "What havoc does that sinisterly different fiend harbor this time, Sher?" I grimaced through clenched teeth, possibly my own. "White slavery schemes? Fool's gold trafficking? Getting Octomom her own reality show?"
"It's worse than all that, Agent Doctor Brutal. He's coming for you directly." He sighed again, this time with an even deeper gloom reserved only for the prostitutes I paid to strangle me. I made a quick mental note to ask God why He wouldn't kill me, but before I could pray, Sherbody continued.
"He's purchased your apartment."
Ch. 2: MOVING VIOLATION OF DEATH
Why, you--! Come back with my legs!
My apartment! The solitary quonset of humor where I crafted America's worst Photoshop, then unleashed it upon her enemies like sizzling science-napalm or regular old bukkake. That fiend! That fiendish fiend! That fiendy fiendish fiending fiend! My personal quarters were now in the cursedly long fingernails of The Red Fang. But it didn't matter. I still had my phone-with-computer-inside. So long as that was in hand, I need brook no delay in making fun of Usher's latest single, which does for music what puppies do for newspaper. Ha! I made a note on the wondrous device to make more shit jokes later.
"I'm afraid it's all legal and above board, Doc," said the government dude whose name I had forgotten because he wasn't a hot chick. "He made your landlord a better offer. You'll have to find new digs. Oh, and we're quietly firing you. The Department of Government would look ridiculous employing a homeless man unless he had a great haircut."
With no time to lose, I leapt five stories out the window and landed in the backseat of my totally sweet convertible limousine. My trusty manservant, Dog, was already in the driver's seat.
"Quickly, Dog!" I shouted stylishly, "Drive to the secret headquarters on the hidden isle of Manhattan!" There I would find my five most trusted aides, each of whom was top in his field but had nothing better to do than serve my needs.
There was Chunk, who had a real name but looked like an ape and therefore didn't deserve our respect; Porkchops, so-called because we fucking wanted to call him that; Benny, who did fistfuls of bennies all day; Long John, who had a small penis we all liked to stare at on Thursday evenings, and Little John, who had a fairly normal-sized penis that wasn't much to look at.
I've said it before, I'll say it again: Warner Bros. owns everything.
I won't lie--each man is completely useless
A whooping siren behind me shook me out of my pleasant ruminations on genitalia. A constable was following the vehicle.
I soon found myself the recipient of a ticket for seatbeltless riding, with fines extremely dear. Such a censure stung, though I could easily afford it, being several times over a self-made millionaire who never fails to please a woman no matter what you hear. The officer was unswayed by my explanation that the vehicle was constructed to safely withstand even the Hate-Lasers used by the mysterious Falcon-Men of Pokolopopo, the aerial city cursed to circle the Pacific until it found its keys.
Dammit, the stop had cost us precious time! I resolved to deduct the ticket's cost from my donations to the city's Orphan Reliquary.
Why are you harassing me when there's an article on police myths that needs you?
"Dog," I murmured fondly with a hint of paprika, "You had better to engage the car's diamond-plated tire shells and speed up to 89--no, 88 miles per hour."
"Master, why?" he hooted with submissive foreign excitement, "Is your loyal servant going back to the future again?"
Ordinarily I wouldn't have permitted such questions of my motives, but I was amused by Dog's superstitious fear of hurling oneself bodily into the time stream. "No, Dog," I murmured reassuringly, "Eighty-eight miles is precisely the speed necessary..."
I paused for dramatic effect and to let the author finish his sandwich.
"...to escape the agents of M.A.D. following us."
Ch. 3: SHIT'S ALL FUCKED UP AT THE CENTER OF THE EARTH
Just once I'd like to return from a fugue state without a corpse at my feet
With a satisfied squilch I dropped the skull of the last surviving M.A.D. assassin, wiping the jellied remains of his eyeballs from my personal area. Dog had died to save me--a sacrifice I would honor forever by calling my next driver something other than Dog. The battle had been completely amazing, and I was sorry it happened between chapters where no one could read about it.
I entered my underground lair on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, which is why it's so hard to find. There, sure enough, was my team, as well as my sweetheart Miss Molly Goodgolly, whom I was using for sexual relations. Her next words struck like a thing that strikes.
"I'm leaving you, Cluck," she said, "I cannot love a man who owns no apartment." Upon this utterance she departed, taking with her my heart--which thankfully I had eliminated any need for years ago by drinking a ceremonial poison given me by a high priest in northern Xic'xak'xo'lice.
I shook off the life-rending pain and led the meeting in a recitation of our group's oath: "Let me strive every minute to do good, or at least some really interesting evil. Let me take what comes with a smile, because that will really annoy our enemies. Let me be considerate of our country which is trying to kill us, of my fellow citizens who just don't get it, and of the children, who will come after us once we are too old to defend ourselves. Let me do right to all, and wrong no man, unless that bastard wrongs us first."
Each man followed me in this sacred vow except Chunk, who was Irish and pledged the Papist version: "God grant me the power to punch through steel, the charm to melt cold butter, and the wisdom to know the difference."
Setting up my pillow fort, I informed the men why I'd be living at the office. "Chee, Doc," said Porkchops, "Da Red Fang? I t'ought youse'd kilt hims ta death back in The Case of the Spider That Isn't Very Big But Might Be Poisonous So Watch Out."
The only thing more poisonous than communism is POISON! Also, that spider is big.
I ignored Porkchops and focused on the plot. "Since we won't have the intercomputing tubes installed in this office for another week, everyone synchronize your wireless telephonic hexahedra. We're going to have to turn in articles the same way we won our freedom from The Orgy Mistresses of Lesbos...one finger at a time."
Long John gasped like a person inhaling a sudden breath. "The iOS isn't working. I can't get to any of my unsynced notes!"
At that moment, the lights went dark. A deep, mad laughter was heard!
"Gentlemen! I have disabled your devices. No hard feat for one such as I! Good luck writing yourselves a column! MUAH HA HA HA!"
It was The Red Fang himself -- Steve Jobs!
Taiwan News, you're the ginchiest
What's great is the internet saved us some Photoshop on this one
Cast out and cut off -- The Red Fang had cornered me completely alone but for my five closest friends: Chunk, who once saved my life but was ugly; Porkchops, who had recently become a Brooklyn native; Long John, so-called because he never wore longjohns; Little John, the Indian tracker with the power to make hippies fetishize him; and Benny, currently having a seizure. They were bold men. They were brave men. They were brave, bold, brave men, and I was proud to die with them, which is why I was sad to prepare my escape while they died horribly. I hummed a reassuring tune that relaxed me in moments of zen danger: "Baby Got Back."
"Fang, you maniac!" I hollered, "Let us go! Let us ALL go, but especially me!" I knew that the men would agree my life was worth all five of theirs.
"Cowardice, Doc Brutal? From you?" The cackle echoed round the room. "My, how deliciously the worm has turned." His voice lilted with delight on the final word, as though he had just seen America's greatest hero wet his pants.
"What do you want?" I boomed, which is like hollering, but angrier and hipper with the young people.
"I want what every man wants, Doctor. I want--laughter: the best medicine there is. Once I have distilled it into its purest essence, I shall become immortal--and RULE THE WORLD!"
"You've never enjoyed a carefree laugh a day in your life, you monster, and I promise you this day, no one will laugh at all."
A chorus of support came from my aides. "That's for sure," muttered Benny. Chunk asked, "WTF is this shit I dont even" and I heard Little John whisper resolutely, "TL; DNR."
"My, such boasting. But tell me, doctor, if we are bound by enmity, why do you use a modified version of the phone I invented? The same modifications that allow me now to render it...USELESS?"
"You've changed, Fang. You used to champion those who thought differently. Now your iron claws clench round the world and punish all who dare deviate from your designs. Turn away from tyranny, reactivate our phones, and let us build a funner world."
His eyes sizzled with anger and flatulence as he emerged from the shadows, machinery clanking with every step, dark robes swaddling his sickly frame nothing at all like how pudding would. I knew in that instant that we must battle. I knew that he would never stop. I knew it would take everything I had to defeat hi--
"Haw!" Chunk's bricked iPhone lanced through the air like a lance, but hit Fang in the face like a brick, and he went down like a ton of bricks, falling to the earth like a lance. A moan escaped the nerd who began his nefarious career by cheating the real talent. Seeing how seriously hurt he was, we gathered around him, because that was the only way we'd get close enough to finish the job. But before we could kick him in the ribs, he spoke with the carefree laugh of a man about to die.
Seriously, Taiwan News, we love you
Life is a special class of zero-sum game
"Take...take off my glasses," croaked Fang, whom I should have told you was wearing glasses. "I want to look at you with my own eyes."
The men shared a laugh. "Nice try," I chuckled. "But no man here will be slain by the searing gaze of your iBeams today."
At this point I would consider having Taiwan News's babies.
Three-way pun! TRIPLE BONUS SCORE
Later, as we burned the body, I reflected on mortality and morality and stuff. A man's life is the merest flicker of existence in the infinite dark. The Red Fang lived his alone, as do we all in our way, filling our world with merchandise when the only true goods are health, love and precious time. Unless we have access to whiskey and girls on vacation at Ibiza. But even then--
My iPhone buzzed. Service restored! My notes were back in hand. I signaled the men, and we leapt into the limo. Porkchops (now called Dog) donned his chauffeur's cap and became America's idea of an Englishman. " 'Ere, squire? Where are you chuffed to be dondersnizzing at?"
We looked thoughtfully at each other. Something felt...unfinished. Possibly my extant homelessness, but...nah. Finally, I broke the silence by immolating Jobs's spirit as it escaped the bonfire in a swarm of bats.
If one bites you, you become an Apple snob.
"To the horizon! There, let us forge dirty jokes anew. It is not technology that makes laughter possible, but deep-dwelling need for approval. Friends -- so long as we have [that withheld from] each other, we have all [the fear] we need."
Dog nodded, punched the gas like a child that had spoken out of turn, and we lit out for the uncertain future, chasing immortality with our phones in the road behind us.
Brendan McGinley's book should be pulped.