I’m back from my holiday sojourn in New Avalon, where it snowed like a mofo!
My brother and sister-in-law aren’t very psyched about the Arctic cold front that grips the entire Eastern seaboard, but I’m happy because I know I’m leaving in a few days and I like the pretty, pretty snow. I make Serenity bundle up and go for a walk in the snow with me on Christmas Eve. Their handsome upper-middle class neighborhood is full of Victorian houses and chapels that are blanketed with snow and glowing with festive Christmas lights. It looks like one of those saccharine paintings by Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light. Serenity gets into the spirit of things and we have a nice chat. We’re buds now.
I have a good time hanging out with Colin and Serenity, who I dote over because she's pregnant. They have their rich hippy friends over for a dinner party on the day after Christmas, and we drink a lot of wine and play charades. That’s right, the Velvet Marauder plays charades. Again, I'm not gay. Anyway, the whole thing is actually fun, and the dinner guests find my inability to keep from swearing very funny.
At one point in the evening the conversation turns to superheroes, specifically the Velvet Marauder. Colin’s friends Biff and Chip draw me into their conversation.
BIFF: Connor, you’re from Evergreen City. Have you ever seen that guy, the Velvet Marauder?
ME: No, not personally. Did you guys hear about that fight last week, with the jet pack guys? They took out a construction crane; the whole damn thing fell over. It was awesome.
CHIP: That’s insane.
BIFF: Was anybody hurt?
CHIP: Biff, construction cranes are falling over. I’m sure people were killed. That’s how it always is with those people: the more property destruction the better. It doesn’t matter if anybody’s in the way.
BIFF: I’m just asking –
ME: Nobody was killed during the fight, to my knowledge. But I mean, these fuckers had just gunned down four people inside that bank. That was like, the fifth robbery that month by those guys.
CHIP: They don’t have police in Evergreen City? Where are the police?
BIFF: The guys have jet packs and bulletproof armor. What are the cops going to do?
CHIP: I don’t know, shoot them with a laser or something. Every big city police department should have like a SWAT team that takes care of shit like that. We do.
ME: And you’ve got Silver Striker.
CHIP: But we know who Silver Striker is. Or at least, he has a reliable track record. I’m sure the government has checked him out, or they’d just shut Striker Mountain down. Nobody knows anything about Velvet Marauder, he could be a psychopath.
ME: I don’t know, Chip, I'd say the Marauder has a pretty good track record so far. Those guys had killed over a dozen people, and he stopped them. The cops couldn’t do it, and you can’t count on people like the Storm Riders to bail you out all the time.
BIFF: Plus, we need more gay superheroes.
CHIP: We don’t need more superheroes, period. Gay or straight.
ME: Wait a second, the Velvet Marauder isn’t gay.
BIFF: Yeah, he is.
ME: Nuh uh.
BIFF: He hangs out with Wombat all the time. They’re like, boyfriends.
ME: What? Jesus Christ!
CHIP: Yeah, I read that, too.
ME: That’s not true, dude.
BIFF: I’m not passing judgment. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.
ME: No, of course not, but –
CHIP: More wine?
BIFF: Yeah. Let’s open that Feudo Maccari…
And then we move on to talking about something else. At this point I begin drinking heavily.
I am like the Charlie Brown of costumed vigilantes.