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the encapsulator, part two
the day continues ...
by tim lockwood

So Freddie and I are standing outside the cafeteria doorway, listening in to the conversation between Superman and Wonder Woman. I like a good juicy story, and this could be the conversation piece for the rest of the day. Besides, I've got plenty of time -- not only is it Monday, but it is raining outside. Most of your average villains, world-conquering or otherwise, are wusses when it comes to rain and thunder.

Mostly all we hear at first are whispery voices intermingled with laughter, like a couple of kids talking in the back of the classroom. All at once, Superman bellows laughter and says in a clear voice, "Ohhh, I see. So you've been naughty, have you?" Then he adds in a heavily-innuendoed voice that sounds like a bad pick-up line in a bar, "Maybe I should take you over my knee."

"Maybe you should, if you think you're man enough," she retorts in a mock-challenging way. Then more whispers, more laughter, and suddenly their chairs scuff against the floor. They're getting ready to leave, so Freddie and I make a mad dash back to my office. Not like I would care if someone knew I was listening to their conversation normally, but I don't want to end up like Rattlesnake Man.

Rattlesnake Man had done something once to get Superman's goat -- sneaking Kryptonite into his jock strap in his gym locker, or some other basically harmless prank -- and next thing I knew, Rattlesnake Man had been transferred to the field office in Antarctica for the next six months, doing useless paperwork, scraping permafrost off his fangs and using his super-venom for heating fuel. So I try to avoid upsetting Cape Boy whenever possible.

Meanwhile, Freddie is sitting at his desk, attempting to look busy in case they happen to glance in while walking past and doing his damnedest not to burst out laughing. He is turning purple from the effort. We see them pass, and we can hear them approach the elevator down the hall, still murmuring and laughing. Just as we hear the elevator doors slide open, Wonder Woman says, "Yeah, well why don't you come up to my office and prove you're the Man of Steel, then?"

The elevator doors slide shut, and Freddie can contain himself no more. He explodes into great whooping gasps of laughter, and very nearly hyperventilates. "Oh no! Oh my ..." is all he can say for a few minutes. I am laughing nearly as hard, no more able to contain myself than he is. After a couple of minutes, we finally wind down to semi-controllable snickers.

Being the boss has its downside though, because I am supposed to try to set the example. I sit down at my desk and begin writing a short report on the Instant Messenger emergency I handled a few minutes ago. I have myself completely under control, finally. Or so I think.

My mind wanders to the question of, I wonder what they're up to now? Most likely getting naked and about to bump uglies, as the kids like to say. I begin to snicker again. A wonderful idea for a prank has just crossed my mind. I mention it to Freddie, and he's into the idea too. We head back down to the cafeteria. There are a couple of vending machines in there, one of which sells packs of microwave popcorn, and of course there is a microwave. I figure if we put it in for fifteen minutes, it ought to cause enough smoke to set off the fire alarm. And, just as importantly, fifteen minutes ought to be just about enough time for things to be well underway in Wonder Woman's office ...


My life is an open book. A comic book, about a superhero with the amazing ability to make his nose hair grow. Oh, and someone's torn out the order form for the $2.99 X-ray specs.

more about tim lockwood


the encapsulator
a day in the life of a minor superhero
by tim lockwood
topic: humor
published: 8.18.00


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