I get a call at work today from Christopher Walkman, a reporter from the Evergreen City Inquisitor.
“I’m sorry, did you say your name was Christopher Walken?” I say.
There’s a pause on the other end, and a little sigh. “Walkman. Like the portable stereo. Christopher Walkman.”
“Oh,” I say. “You must get that a lot, huh?”
“You have no idea.”
“Well, what can I do for you, Chris?” I say.
There’s another little pause – I guess he prefers to be called “Christopher.”
“Mr. Mackenzie, I’m doing a story on the Velvet Marauder and I’m wondering if you wouldn’t mind answering a few questions.”
I swear to God, my heart skips a beat. Shit, how did this guy find me? Does he think I’m the Marauder? Is he recording this? “Uh, what kind of story?”
“It’s about how car insurance rates have gone up in Evergreen City because of the Velvet Marauder,” Walkman says.
“Yeah, certain policies have gone up as much as 5% in the past year because of all the cars he’s destroyed in his fights. I understand that your car was totaled last August by the Marauder.” (see post EXPLODER, 8/25/05)
“Well, not really,” I say. “My car got blown up by Exploder.”
“Yeah, but it was during a battle between Exploder and the Velvet Marauder, right?”
“Well, yes, but…”
“How did you feel about that? Your car getting blown up?”
I say, “First of all, my car was stolen that night. Second of all, I had a piece of shit car. Third, my insurance covered it. Fourth, Exploder blew my car up, not the Velvet Marauder.”
“So you don’t mind paying more money for insurance?” Walkman says.
“I’m not aware that I am paying more money; I’d have to check my policy. But you know what? I don’t really care all that much, no. I mean, that guy saved the city from what’s his name, the blimp guy.”
“Baron von Blitzkrieg.”
“Right,” I say. “I can’t believe people would bitch about a few trashed cars when the guy saves the city from getting firebombed. And the Jet Pack Mafia, he stopped those fuckers, didn’t he? And that zombie thing last Halloween…”
“So you’re okay with all the destruction and property dam –“
“It doesn’t bother you at—“
“Nope. I’m fine with it. Big deal, a few cars get trashed – he’s a superhero. Property damage is part of the deal, they’re always whacking each other with lamp posts and shit. Nobody ever complains about Silver Striker or –“
“Actually, there’s a class action lawsuit against him from victims of the Vertigo-Go hostage standoff last year,” he says. “It’s one of the reasons he incorporated, to protect himself from bankruptcy –"
“And I think that’s more of a reflection of our overly litigious society than it is an indictment of his tactics. Look, Mr. Walken –“
“Right. Look, Chris, I don’t think I’m going to be able to help you. I gotta get back to work.”
He says, “Can I quote you on –“