“This suit smells like this diner I went to two years ago and refused to go back to because it was filthy,” I whined. Then I spritzed my face with a That 70’s Show brand water-bottle and squeegeed it dry. Curse this Hacknorian heatwave!
“You can either blame the heatwave and move on with your life,” the laundromat owner said as if reading my thoughts, “or I can clean it again for double the fee.”
“Hey...” Turning the suit over, I pointed to a large dark red spot on the leg. “Your sign says you take care of things like this. How am I supposed to fight a bunch of Japanese people with filthy clothes?”
She gave me a funny look. “The T.V. ad said that you guys were fighting Japanese movie monsters this week.”
“Really?” I looked her over. She seemed honest, being overweight and all. The more someone weighs, the more honesty they can hold. It’s something I learned during my time at Weight Watchers... those skinny, skinny propagandists...
She looked shocked. “You thought you were supposed to fight Japanese people? With a robotic suit?”
“Yeah... I even called up my friend Alan to see if he’d take a dive on this one...”
“You- you honestly didn’t know what the challenge was about?”
“Well obviously I didn’t, or I wouldn’t have steam-cleaned a robotic suit! And if you knew, why didn’t you tell me before you ironed it?!”
“I’ve got my money on Team Pokemybootie,” she shrugged.
“No, no... what, you saw the ad too?! Am I the only one who-” I dodged as a dumpster crashed into the tree five feet from me, shattering the trunk and spraying the road with garbage. “Alan, I’m going to have to get back to you. Tell Seamus I said hello.”
Normally, clicking the “end” button would only shut off a phone, but I wasn’t using a mere phone here. I pressed the red-studded “End Call” button and the cellular mobile telephonic devicicle almost instantly retracted into my robotic armor. Sweet Fly of Versailles! It still worked, despite the stringent laundering!
“That’s a lot of monsters.”
Tens- no, dozens of colorful creatures both big and gigantic lumbered through the streets. Their papier-mâché faces and claws... completely, indescribably incredible. Words alone cannot express the full scope of their kitschy hideousness.
“I’ve got to stop them or they might find a bus of nuns and attack it!”
Exhaling slowly, I gripped my ultra-belt. Time to see if all that dry cleaning didn’t wash away the magic!
The visual monitor over my left eye indicated nominal power output with increasing potential, but I didn’t feel any happier or more fulfilled. “Hey, monsters! Prepare to feel the awesome might of my robotic arm-”
Before I could tell the monsters of my impending attack and give them enough time to adequately defend themselves, the power indicator turned red and my arm sheaths began vibrating wildly. Sweet Reindeer of Zaire!
“Um... can I get a little help here?!” The monsters, as if sensing my predicament, went about their pillaging. “Ingrates! My tax money payed for your education!”
Think, you handsome devil! How can you break free and save the day yet again?
Suddenly, the immortal words of Bing Crosby popped into my head: “if you’re ever in a vibrating robotic suit gone amok, don’t move or you could explode. Instead-”
“Hey, a penny! Hyuck hyuck!” Bending down to pick up the shiny coin, I heard a weird crunching sound and my knees locked in place. Then with a snap, the lower back plating cracked open and sparks shot off the exposed wires. “Electric Eel of Bastille! I’m gonna lose my deposit!”
Breaking the stuck leggular latches, I ran headlong toward the monster mash as the flames quickly engulfed my suit. “I need some salve! Salve and moxie!”
Now, as any first-year marine biologist can tell you, papier-mâché and electrical fire doesn’t mix very well. Scorching streams of searing smoke spread swiftly, sending the monsters into a fire-induced frenzy. The property damage was great by the time the flames subsided, but I’m pretty confident that Hacknor’s economy will be able to take one for the team. Still, they’ve been teetering on the edge of a recession since Administrator Landen and his crackpot “Dimes for Nickels” scheme...
“That’s so refreshing,” I gushed as a nearby firefighter sprayed me with flame retardant foam. “I feel a hundred times more retardant!”
“You also look more retardant, too.”
I froze, and almost snapped the firefighter in half for attempting ventriloquism before I realized the sound was coming from my suit’s cellular mobile telephonic devicicle. “Who goes thar?”
“This is the fantastic Mister Bennet. I regret to inform you that your paper reams will be a tad late this week-”
“Just a tad?”
“Just a tad. Unless...”
“Our team needs you and your robotic suit to morph into a single giant robot and defeat-”
“Can you hold on? I really shouldn’t be discussing this over an open line.”
I held a Dixie™ Cup with a taut string attached to it up to my mouth.