Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A startling discovery

Some people are theme party sort of people. These people have an extensive wardrobe, a box of props, and always, always own at least one hot pink feather boa. Their walk-in closets look sort of like that warehouse the Royal Shakespeare Company keeps all its costumes in. They plan Halloween in March. And for the record, I am not one of these people. It's not because I don't enjoy the dress up, but there was this incident once at a pimp and ho party that spilled over into my house and, well, it ended up with me burning my bedspread. Let's just say I'm not getting much use out of my orange valour hat these days. It's for the greater good.

But I'm going to a 17th Annual Procrastinator's New Year's Party this weekend and the theme happens to be Superheroes and Supervillains and I'm sitting here trying to come up with a truly inspired costume and I got to thinking: has there ever been a real supervillain?

Sure, we've had some villains that one might call super: Hitler springs to mind, as do Pol Pot, Stalin, and that guy who created the Wiggles. But what I'm talking about is the guy who's really out for world domination, who has a super weapon, who's willing to blow up a small Caribbean island to get his point across. A comic-book style, James Bond flavored sort of villain, in other words.

And you know what? I don't think any have ever existed. The closest we can get are dictators and mad scientists, but the former are just depressing while the latter are largely fictional (although Isaac Newton was supposedly fairly loopy with mercury poisoning for a while, so: honorable mention). I guess there's always Ken Lay, but he never looked good in Spandex.

(For that matter: henchman. What's never been properly explained to me is why henchmen actually exist in fiction. What benefits are there to henchman-ery? A good dental plan? A reasonable 401K? Essentially, a henchman is just a hanger-on, right, hoping that this whole world-domination thing goes juuuuust right and they get to be the Duke of Bakersfield? I'm confused by this. I'm going to stop talking about this at the risk of sounding like Seinfeld. Thank you for your time.)

What's the moral here? Well, I've got no costume and I've got no historical figure to draw inspiration from. But at least I've realized there's never been a real life Skeletor and that, somehow, is strangely comforting.


elvette said...

This is a great topic. Some thoughts.

One of those Russian former KGB guys who did the Polonium poisoning, or the other guy who poisoned the Ukranian presidential candidate with dioxin or something that made him a pizza face. (James Bond/comic book flavor)

Kim Jong Il? He has the super weapon. Or what about al-Zarqawi? the beheader guy in Iraq, he's pretty grisly. (Costume factor: you get to carry a sword)

More infamous than supervillian, but timely, the psycho astronaut lady. The costume would involve dressing in drag, bad hair and Depends.

SindrePB said...

Even though you didn't ask for suggestions, since I'm bored an a huge fan of weird super heroes, I'll go ahead and give them to you anyway. The Legion of Super-Heroes has some truly outstanding superheroes.

#1 Invisible Kid
Involves a thight greyish full body suit and you going "You can see me? Dammit!" or "Damn! I need more serum" every time someone tries to talk to you. Funny the first couple of times, but it may get old pretty fast.

#2 Matter Eater Lad
In my opinion the lamest name for a superhero ever, which makes answering the "what are you supposed to be?" question all the more fun. Costume involves a green leotard, a huge yellow belt and chewing on everything and everyone you see.

#3 Bouncing Boy
Costume is really just a huge blue ball with holes for your head, hands and legs. This one is very risky, as people won't be able to resist the temptation to push you over and you'll never, ever get back up on your feet.

birdmonster said...

What lengthy, erudite commentary. I'm blushing over here. Thoughts on:

1- Russian KGB/Putin: Points for dastardliness but no goals for world domination. We hope. Plus, no costumes.

2- Kim Jong Il: Crazy enough, sure. In fact, the closest we can come. But he's patently ineffective and he makes crappy movies and, yeah, no Spandex. Again.

3- al-Zarqawi: Stands for something. Supervillains must only stand for villainy. Subtle, but true.

4- That astronaut lady: More like outer space OJ, really.

SindrePB: Matter Eater Lad is not only the lamest name ever but: chewing? Really. He should have been the Matter Masticulator. That woulda been waaaaay better. DC can send a check our way whenever they get around to it.

Also, the Invisible Kid idea was almost hilarious enough to work. I'm leaning towards Stupendous Man from Calvin & Hobbes fame right now, thanks to the Girl.

Sabrina said...

You can always be Plankton from Spongebob.
I've been away for a week and I have really missed the Birdmonster blog....
Sick with the flu and had to move to the new house. I am so sad that the girls and I missed the Oakland show. I blame it on the 103 degree fever.

birdmonster said...

Sabrina: You were sorely missed, both here & in Oakland. Nice to have you back. I've known about 1000 people who had the feverflu of death so, honestly, take it easy, relax, watch a lot of Tim Burton in bed, and eat some matzo ball soup. Feeling better?

Peter V said...

It's a shame I didn't know earlier - I would have suggested you grow a moustache and go as Tony Stark, when he's not Iron Man.

birdmonster said...


Sabrina said...

oh that's right I need to try the Matzo ball soup, now that I have a kitchen, I need to find a recipe. That jarred stuff doesn't look appetizing. There's no love in that isle of the grocery store. I doubt they rotate the old stuff out. However the shelf life is probably longer than I'll live.

It was a nasty illness but I'm over the worst of it. I wasn't about to infect you guys by crawling out of bed to attend the show. We'll just have to wait for the next all ages local Birdmonster appearance. I don't think the Bottom of the Hill would believe that Casey is 21 & just left her ID at home.

Sabrina said...

Yes I too was hooked on He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. We had all the action figures, my little brother & I. Skeletor was too wimpy though, you need to find someone more manly man.
*I also like The Tick they had a handful of villians in that cartoon. You can be the Breadmaster, El Seed or Eyebrows Mulligan.

SOL's view said...

There are plenty of villians in the Dick Tracey stuff. Unfortunately though I can't think of one who wears spandex.

But, seriously, c'mon! It's a "Procrastinator" party! Go sans costume and tell all and sundry you just never got around to it......

birdmonster said...

Sabrina: Boxed Matzo ball mix has a good recipe on the back. Add those Jewish noodle thingies & root veggies: viola.

SOL: When you're right, you're right. I'm going in sweatpants.

SOL's view said...

Of course. I come from a long line of Procrastinators. Plenty of experience....

Gasoline Hobo said...

ahem: i believe the proper term is "henching".


finally, here's here's some evil in spandex for you...

you can thank me later

birdmonster said...

Hobo: Can I thank you now? I think I will. I think I did.

Fantasy Unitard is the name of my side project now. Either that or the always claimed System of a HoeDown.

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