Posted on May 22nd, 2010 2 comments
So, I am strapped into a chair.
“Nice straps,” I remark, and it becomes obvious that I have been working on my heroic banter.
“Ugh…” I remark, as the goon slash dragger tightens the straps a whole lot more while slapping me about a bit as though he does not appreciate my heroic banter, which is clearly impossible.
But it could be worse. They could be about to do some weird experimental brain stuff to me.
“Now, Mister… ” The white coat mad scientist guy checks his clipboard. “… Adeque? French?”
“No thanks. I’m not really attracted to you.” I am the king of banter.
“Right. So, today we are going to experiment on your brains.”
“Brains? How many do you think I have?” Just call me Mister Banter. Anyway, clearly this guy is some kind of moron.
The moron gestures meaningfully to my right with his eyes, as though there is something glaringly obvious just off to my right. But I am not going to fall for that. No sir. You just know that as soon as I look he will just leap right in and do some kind of weird experiment on my brain.
“Henry, you fuckwit.”
“Oh, hello dear.” My girlfriend is strapped into a similar chair, just off to the right. Which might explain the plural. Or it might not. At this point I am not giving up on the idea that I may have several brains. Well, stranger things have happened. For example, my girlfriend… girlfriend? Evil supervillain sister? I don’t know. There are a lot of strangely conflicting memories floating around my brain(s) right now. Disturbing memories. Am I a superhero? But I’m not, right? Not here. Not now. But then this isn’t here and this isn’t now. This is just some kind of suppressed memory, or an hallucination, or ….. stuff…
“This is your fucking fault Henry. Fuck!”
“Well, sure.” Credit where credit’s due.
“You and your fucking refund.”
“Uh…” I wonder if this is part of the experiment. “Have we started yet?” But no, the mad scientist guy is still attaching electrodes and setting up some very strange looking electronic things. “So, what’s all this stuff?”
“Oh this is tremendously exciting. We are extremely close right now.” The shaggy haired mad scientist guy is clearly very enthusiastic about his experiments. “I am clearly very enthusiastic about my experiments,” he explains.
“Close to what?”
“Close to having survivors.”
“What?” I ask, because I am not sure what he is talking about.
“Yes, exciting isn’t it. You both have an excellent chance of surviving the experiment!”
“Uh, great. Great. I’d like that.”
“What the fuck!” Apparently my girlfriend, whatever her name is, finds this a little distressing. I find it a little distressing that I can’t remember her name.
“Well, you know what they say - ‘a dead depositor pays no fees’.” Apparently they have a saying.
“No no dear; it’s WTF. You have to say WTF.” I explain, cleverly ignoring the scruffy scientist guy in the hope that he will go away, or that he will turn out to be some kind of two dimensional character in a really bad story…
“Fuck off Henry.”
“Ok, we’re ready.” Mr lab coat smiles widely and rubs his hands together as though he has some kind of skin condition, or as though he is a bad actor attempting to portray enthusiasm. But this is no movie, and I am no superhero, and he probably does have a skin condition after all. Perhaps I should recommend some kind of salve…. “Now, your brains are wired to this machine here, which we like to refer to as The Machine. First we will calibrate the control mechanism…”
Now he takes up a microphone and for a second I think, “Oh, no, Karaoke” because that really would be bad. Fortunately it appears he is only performing some kind of brain experiments on us.
He flicks a couple of switches and an LCD display lights before each of our chairs. “You are a pumpkin,” he explains to the microphone and then I hear myself say “I am a watermelon” at exactly the same time as I hear another voice - a female voice - say “I am a turnip”. He puts down the microphone and types some stuff into his machine, although how I can possibly see this without eyes is quite beyond my comprehension, but then I am only a watermelon and we watermelons are not particularly known for our intellects.
“You are a red hot chilli pepper,” he continues to which, of course, I respond with “I am a lukewarm chilli pepper with delusions of being a watermelon”. The female says something too, but we chilli peppers have a very short attention span…
“You are a chocolate sponge cake.”
“I am a chocolate mud cake.”
“You are a superhero.”
“I am a superhero.” Which explains the sinister machine I am currently strapped into. Us superheros are always being strapped into strange devices and such. No doubt there is a nemesis of some kind behind all of this.
“Excellent, calibration successful,” says the minion with the lab coat. Suddenly the phone rings. Clearly this is my opportunity to escape. As soon as his back is turned I will use my superheroic strength to break free… “You are a normal human being,” he says, before going to answer the phone.
… if only I were some kind of superhero that is. “I am an ordinary human being.”
“Yes, we’re doing it now. Brain wave calibration is done. Yes, already. It’s very promising. Ok… Yes… bye.” The lab coat guy hangs up the phone and returns to the control panel, grinning like a cat who has just learned how to grin. “Right. Great. Now we’re going to cure you folks of your strange ‘refund’ delusion. And it isn’t going to hurt a bit.”
“Great.” Seems things are looking up.
“Although it may kill you of course.” He adjust a couple of dials, switches the microphone back on and reads from some kind of notes. “The bank is your friend.”
“The bank is my friend,” we say. As if we didn’t already know that. Talk about obvious.
“Echo off,” I say only now suddenly I don’t feel like I need to repeat everything he says, which I’m sure must be a tremendous relief to everybody out there.
“The bank owes you nothing.”
I suddenly realise that the bank owes me nothing.
“The bank is always right.”
“The bank can do no wrong.”
“Has the bank overcharged you on fees?”
“Hell no!” How is that even possible? After all, the bank can do no wrong.
This is fun, this talking about the bank. I love the bank. If it weren’t for the bank all sorts of bad things might happen. No doubt the country would be in a terrible mess, economically speaking, if it weren’t for the bankers. But wait; the phone is ringing again and our friendly bank science guy hurries over.
“Yes? Can’t it wait… Well, ok. Be right there.” And he is gone.
“Henry! “Your chair is still turned on!”
What? I notice that the LCD display above whats-her-name’s chair is black. Mine though…
“Henry, listen carefully.” I decide that it is very important for me to listen carefully. “Henry, you have to get me out of here.” I must get her out of here. But how? I twist and strain and throw myself against the restraints, but they do not give. Harder, harder, until my wrists are scraped and bleeding.
“I can’t. The straps…” The need to help her is overpowering, but I cannot free myself, let alone her. I must help her. I must. I cannot. I must. I cannot. Agony tears through my synapses like a freight train tearing through a coyote. “I feel so inadequate…” Vision fading, I feel myself slipping into a deep well of ….
“You’re adequate Henry. You’re the adequate one, Henry. You’re my hero.” There is such desperation in her voice that it breaks my heart and I shriek like a coyote that has just been torn through by a freight train. “You’re my hero Henry. My superhero!”
“What?” Suddenly the pain is gone, on account of my magnificent brain finally overcoming the pathetic mind control techniques perpetrated by these evil minions of chaos.
“Yes. Protect me Henry. Like family. Like… like a sister.”
“It is time,” I announce dramatically, tearing my arms free from the flimsy straps and rippling electrodes from my flesh as though they are mere wires. “Come, sister, we must leave this place!”
“Come, we must leave.”
“No no, I said LIKE a sister.”
Oh, the poor deluded creature. “It seems they have brainwashed you. Clearly your powers of resisting brain stuff are not nearly as advanced as my own!” I hurry over to the controls and switch her chair back on. “You are my sister, you know,” I explain to the microphone, and I can see in her eyes that she believes. ” So, naturally we hate each other and there is the whole sibling rivalry thing. And, of course it is likely that YOU are, in fact, my arch nemesis, but none of that matters now, for you are family and family must do as family must do, and now I shall free you!” And, so saying, I tear her restrains apart with my bare hands and my magnificent superheroic muscles all bulging and massive and slick with sweat and I pose for the cameras a bit, because that seems like the thing to do…
“About fucking time.” She leaps from the chair. “So long Henry.”
“Ha! You cannot escape me so easil….” But it appears she can. Not that it matters, for I am Henry the Adequate, and I am a….
… And suddenly the memories are just memories and it is here, and it is now, and I remember it all… All of it… And… but that means… I never was… Henry the Adequate? Superhero?
… but if that is true, then this must surely be…