Saturday, August 22, 2020

Earl and the Legion of Super-Pets

About three-quarters of my hyper-realistic dreams wind up being nightmares, but last night's adventure was a whimsical treat: 

It's an atypical day at the office, because reporter Ron Troupe is here to interview us for a story about the Legion of Super-Pets. 

"Let me introduce you to my colleagues," I say. "Over here, we have, Streaky, the Supercat--" But Streaky isn't in her bed. Suddenly there's the familiar sound of tearing leather, and I whip around to see the orange tabby literally ripping the lobby couch in half with her claws. 

"Streaky!" 

"Sorry," Streaky says sheepishly, claws pausing in mid-rend. I sigh and gesture toward Comet, the Super-Horse, who is gnawing on one of the houseplants. "This is Comet, the Super-Horse," I tell Ron. 

"Krypto, the Superdog." Krypto is half-asleep on the same couch Streaky is destroying. He blinks in acknowledgement.

"Tur-Tel, the Super-Turtle." Tur-Tel is surfing the Internet. 

"Sapphire, the Super-Budgie." Sapphire is rooting around in the fridge, probably for a beer. 

"And finally, Beppo, the Super-Monkey." I look around. No Super-Monkey. "Hey, has anyone seen Beppo?" 

There's a bark, a meow, a whinny, a chirp, a cluck. 

"Come on, guys, English. You know I'm not Dr. Doolittle." 

There's a chorus of replies in the negative. 

Just then, the phone rings. I pick up. Ron is taking notes. 

"Legion of Super-Pets, how can we help?" 

It turns out the fire department needs a bunch of equipment moved from a warehouse to a new fire station. 

"Hey guys, we have a moving job. Everyone in?" 

The Super-Pets are always happy to get out of the office. Thanks to their super-speed, they're out the door in a flash, capes fluttering in their wake. 

As we follow, Ron asks me some questions. 

"Aren't you famously allergic to animals?" 

"Yes, but luckily the Super-Pets are all super-hypoallergenic," I reply. "Otherwise, my job would be impossible." 

"And what is your job? You don't have any super-powers..." 

"I guess you could say I'm their liaison. Although sometimes I feel like their mascot. They're all super-intelligent." 

"So why do they keep you around?" 

"It's the opposable thumbs and the lack of super-strength. I'm the only one that can answer the phone without destroying it." 

We step outside, and there's Beppo saying goodbye to a leggy brunette, kissing her on the cheek and sending her off with a giggle. Ron looks nonplussed. 

"Hey, Beppo, the gang's just heading down Jasper to the old warehouse on 112th. We've been asked to move some heavy equipment. They'll give you the scoop." 

Beppo salutes and leaps into the sky, heading west. Ron and I have no choice but to follow along on the sidewalk. By the time we reach the warehouse, the Super-Pets will likely have finished the job, unless they get distracted, which sometimes happens. They may be super-intelligent, but they're still animals, and they all love to play. 

"What brought the Super-Pets to Edmonton?" 

Before I can answer, Sylvester Stallone pulls up alongside us, wearing a black trenchcoat and mirrored sunglasses. 

"Ay, you the guy that manages the Super-Pets?" he asks. 

"Yessir," I say. 

"You happen to have an elephant on the team?" 

"Actually yes, Jumbo, the Super-Elephant. But he's on a mission overseas right now." 

"I really needed a super elephant," Stallone mumbles. "Thanks anyway!" 

"So about that last question..." 

"Right, why they're in Edmonton. My understanding is they had been hanging out in the 30th century for a while with some super-teenagers of that era, then came back to the 21st century but found the US too hectic right now and wound up in Edmonton because of the Mall." 

He knew I meant West Edmonton Mall. "They like the waterpark," I explain. 

In the distance, up in the sky, we can see Streaky and Krypto zipping back and forth, the occasional beam of heat vision zapping out to taunt and tease. "They must be done already. I should really ask Superman if I can borrow the Supermobile for a while. At least that way I'd be able to keep up." 

Out of nowhere, Sapphire lands on my shoulder. I manage not to jump this time; I'm finally getting used to their super-speed. 

"All done," she chirps. "Want a ride back to the office?" 

"Uh, no thanks." It's not that I'm worried she's going to drop me, but her talons have already wrecked a couple of jackets. 

"Suit yourself! Whee-ooo!" And off she goes. 

That's when I wake up, laughing. Note that all the characters mentioned have actually appeared in comic books, aside from Super-Elephant and Super-Budgie, who seem to have leapt from my subconscious.