On being “That Guy”
There would be no them without me. I mean, who would there be to save? Who are your innocents? Who are the ones to rescue? There are no heroes without anyone to say, “Thank you.” Otherwise, you’re just a guy flying around in a cool car, or kryptonite shoes, or some shit. And what was there before you? What did I need to be saved from, exactly, before you, Tadpole Man? My bills? My bitch of a girlfriend? I made you. I made you super.
Now, I’m just a bit of pantone on the page, on the Bristol board of life.
The day I realized I was different, I was caught between a rock and a hard place. No, kids, I know what you’re thinking. He’s making some kind of metaphor, but no. A rock (to my right) a hard place (to my left,) waiting for some kind of man to rescue me: Batman, Superman, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Tadpoleman, Futureman, I Don’t Give a Shitman, I Fucked Your Sisterman. Some man was gonna save me.
There are good things about being that guy: I’m talkin’ Fountain of Youth shit. For sixty years I’ve looked like William Shatner. Not Boston Legal deflated old man Shatner, but crisp, clean, chiseled Captain Kirk, #whatupbitches. The kind of perfection they make serial killer masks out of. Michael Myers shit. Perfect. For sixty years, kids, I’ve been hot as hell. You know what I’m talking about.
Super hero chick pussy: it’s everywhere. I walk into a scene, and legs are spread with thigh high boots, and leotards, bustiers and bracelets. Fucking Catwoman? Seriously? Total whore. Like some superhero porn I could pop into my VCR. Now, I get to watch it from 20 feet away.
There are bad things about being that guy. I’m pretty sure I don’t have a dick. I haven’t seen it in sixty years. All those hot super babes—can’t touch them. And let’s face it. There’s nothing under those leotards, anyway.
I could have had a P.H.D. in Astrophysics, a Masters in Kantian Philosophy, and a Bachelor’s in French Lit. I would love to bend Lex Luthor’s ear, but every time I’m around him, all I can do is look like that Home Alone kid, spreading aftershave on his cheeks and screaming “AHHHHHH!” into a big red bubble over my head. See, it’s not my choice how I move my arms, or what I say. The graphic gods determine my gestures. The writers script my words. I am the Madame to their Flowers, the Howdy to their Duty. Until some kind of man saves me from certain destruction. Thank god for Clearisil Man, or was it Secret Agent Man?
The day I realized I was that guy, was the day I woke up in a 3” by 3” square, running away from an anti-matter explosion. Or was it a gas leak, or some mind control device? I’m immortal now, and, don’t get me wrong, that should be a hoot, but here’s the thing: I don’t sleep. I don’t eat, I haven’t taken a shit in decades. I’d rather be some pimply faced dork, going to Comicon and downloading episodes of “Firefly” and “Dr. Who.” Instead, I’m falling off of bridges and hanging off buildings. I’m a fucking stuntman. It’s a death defying life I lead. I’m Lee Majors. I’m the Six Million Dollar Man.
I used to date that girl. We met on a space station. I was an ensign in a red uniform (see: Star Trek,) and she was a biologist. Atomic Skull blasted our ship with a tractor beam, tried to pull us to the nearest moon and steal our power core. Green Lantern saved us. Big deal. Been there. Done that. We met again three months later. I was homeless. She was giving out clean needles. It was a very controversial issue. Bane showed up, flexed his muscles. Batman took him down. I haven’t seen that girl in a while. I hear she went to Marvel.
You think you don’t know me? Yeah, you know me. Look beyond that costumed narcissist. I’m that guy pointing to the sky. I’m running for my life. More often than not, I’m wearing green pants. I’m that guy on fire.
Geoffrey Fallon a cartoonist and the creator of guerilla comic strip “The Secrets of Skinny People as featured at Oddball Magazine. He shares this story to mark the passing of Stan Lee (1922-2018).
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