Hollywood has yet to recognize the true superheroes of this world . . . writers.
Movie audiences sit up in their seats attentively when Superman rescues Lois Lane from a fate worse than death, or when Ironman takes out a bunch of weapon-laden, technology-savy terrorists. They hold their breath as seemingly ordinary men morph into spandex-clad beings with super strength and sparkly white teeth. Film directors capitalize on this interest, and churn out film after film to feed the superhero frenzy. The Green Lantern, Spiderman, the Fantastic Four . . . Hollywood can’t get enough! But, sadly, Hollywood has yet to recognize the true superheroes of this world: writers.
Yes, writers are superheroes. In fact, our exertions are far greater than those of Hollywood’s beloved caped crusaders. After all, I don’t see Superman popping antacids while fighting crime! And I certainly haven’t noticed Batman sipping himself into a coffee coma in order to make a deadline. And do any of them have massive bags under their eyes, chronic neck aches, or carpel tunnel? Does their hair turn prematurely grey/white? Nope; that’s because, compared to writers, they live a life of ease. Anyone can fight a super-villain — all you have to do is either wait for them to be betrayed by their spiteful, ill-treated minion/s or catch them off-guard once they start monologuing. Some of the kinder villains have self-destruct buttons in their secret hideouts. Writers have to fight far more dastardly foes, such as Grammar-man, The Typo, and Writer’s Block (the most dreaded of all). Superheroes have mundane physical strength, or cliched super-abilities. Writers (good ones) have the rare and miraculous gifts of super-prose, word-mastery, extraordinary-creativity, persuasion . . . ah yes, we have powers.
Well, Hollywood, since you refuse to portray writers as the true superheroes that we are, I’ve taken the initiative and written out a script for you. All you’ve got to do is pay me some royalties, hire me to lengthen it into a movie, and then promise that you won’t cast Anne Hathaway as the lead!*
THE ADVENTURES OF LITERARY-GIRL
Seated and ready for action on her mocha-colored couch, our heroine, Literary-Girl, pulls out her trusty Macbook and begins to feverishly type away. Inspiration has struck! At last she has figured out how to get her character out of the mundane conversation she’s been trapped in for the past week and into a far more entertaining situation. As Literary-Girl‘s fingers fly across the keys, she murmurs out loud to herself.
Literary-Girl: “Hmmm, this would be a great spot for the dragon to have a head-cold. Now what symptoms does a dragon have? Well, he could — ÉOWYN! Drop that! Bad puppy! Drop!”
Literary-Girl hastily deposits the computer on the couch, then engages in her puppy/annoying-sidekick’s favorite game, “Chase the Dirty Laundry.” After five minutes spent in pursuit of a dirty sock, our slightly rug-burned heroine returns to her couch, and the chastised puppy/sidekick heads off in pursuit of less noticeable misbehavior.
Literary-Girl: “Now where was I? Oh yeah, got to get the dragon sick. Hmmmm, ‘Bellamy, his eyes watering miserably, laid down next to her and snorted, sending foul green slime spurting from his’ — Not now, Jasper! No, you just went outside. Clench, dog, clench! We’re not going out again for at least another hour — No! Stop whining! Sidekicks can be replaced, you know!”
Ducking his head in contrition, the disappointed dog/other-annoying-sidekick joins his miscreant partner in tearing up tissues stolen from the trash. Literary-Girl notices, sighs, then chooses to ignore the dogs/sidekicks for the time being.
Literary-Girl: (Muttering) “Well, at least they’re happy. I can clean up the mess later. Now let’s see —”
Her thoughts are interrupted by her mildly irritating foe, The Dryer, who rudely buzzes only when Literary-Girl most needs her concentration. When our heroine does not immediately harken to its summons, The Dryer buzzes again, louder. He is a most vindictive foe, despite his minor status.
Literary-Girl: “Oh right, oh right, I’m coming! No, Jasper, not now! I’ve got a minor tussle to tend to. ÉOWYN! We do not eat our own droppings! Bad puppy! Shame on you, you vile creature! Now where’s the rest of it . . . BAD PUPPY!”
After cleaning up the puppy/sidekick’s not-an-accident and emptying The Dryer, our heroine returns once again to her story.
Literary-Girl: “All right, I’m finishing this blasted chapter today or dying trying! Now what did I just do with Edric . . . oh, yeah, there he is. Okay, so Bellamy and Flavia are both sick — For heaven’s sake, Éowyn, where the heck did you find another of my socks! Drop! Good girl. Why don’t you try entertaining yourself by quietly licking something gross like Jasper is doing right now? — Okay, so I’ve got Flavia and Bellamy and —”
Idina Menzel’s rendition of “Defying Gravity” interrupts Literary-Girl‘s plans for her characters. It is Cell Phone, Literary-Girl’s most nefarious nemesis.
Literary-Girl: “Oh no, Cell Phone strikes again! Why can I never be rid of him?! With all due speed I shall defeat him once aga— OUCH!”
Our slightly frazzled heroine trips over the empty plastic bottle the dogs/annoying sidekicks have been playing with and does a spectacular pirouette into the side of her recliner. Cell Phone, giggling gleefully to himself, continues to ring.
Literary-Girl: “I’m going to spit on Alexander Graham Bell’s grave!”
Without further incident, she locates Cell Phone just as he stops ringing — one of his favorite tricks.
Literary-Girl: “Well, I don’t know that number, so they can just live without a return call for the time being. Good grief! I’ve got eight voicemails?! Clearly, I’ve got far too pleasant of a personality . . .”
Our perturbed heroine contemplates checking her messages, then opts against such action. With genuine pleasure, she turns Cell Phone off instead.
Literary-Girl: “Hah! Let’s see you try to ring now, you diabolical, brain-cancer-causing invention! Literary-Girl wins again!”
She skips back to the couch, light-hearted once more. She begins to type, slower than before, but nevertheless making progress. Two minutes pass. Literary-Girl mutters to herself in unintelligible syllables. Occasionally, her face takes on expressions befitting those of her characters. She goes from gleeful, to disgusted, to pained, then back to gleeful again.
[Ominous music, indicating trouble ahead.]
Sidekick #1 (the puppy): “Hurk, hurk, hurk . . . ”
The puppy/sidekick nimbly avoids the tiled section of floor and proceeds to vomit on the carpet.
Literary-Girl: “I have got to find better sidekicks!”
She cleans up the mess using her super-impressive-scrubbing-skills, just in time to hear . . .
Sidekick #2 (the dog): “Hurk, hurk, hurk . . . sploosh!”
Fortunately, Sidekick #1 is there to save the day, deftly cleaning up the mess before Literary-Girl can get to it. Literary-Girl is too tired to resist the aid. She halfheartedly sprays some Lysol, then returns to her computer. Within minutes, she has activated her super-sonic-creativity and her forcefield-of-concentration.
Literary-Girl: “Let’s see you beat me now, oh villainous Writer’s Block! The chapter will be finished in no time!”
[Sound of knocking at the door.]
Literary-Girl: “What now?!”
Our heroine answers the door, only to face one of the most conniving and impossible-to-shake Supervillains known to her: Child Salesman.
Child Salesman: “Hello; would you like to support my highly deficient public school by purchasing some ridiculously overpriced wrapping paper made by starving children in third-world factories? Nearly 5% of the profits goes to support my school! If I sell 50,000 rolls, I get a free Hannah Montana t-shirt!”
Literary-Girl: “Back, back, Child Salesman! There is highly contagious Bulbergarion Plague in this apartment — Run for your life, before you catch it and break out in permanent oozing sores all over your body!”
Child Salesman: “AAAHHHH!”
Literary-Girl: (smiling as she shuts the door) “Haha; I have defeated you in less than twenty seconds; a personal best!”
Sighing, Literary-Girl returns to her story. She stares blankly at the screen for several minutes. Suddenly, she gasps.
Literary-Girl: Oh no, woe is me! Writer’s Block has stunned all of my superpowers! I can write nothing, absolutely nothing!”
Sidekick #1: “Hurk, hurk, hurk . . . ”
Literary-Girl: “That does it! To heck with being a superhero; from now on, I’m joining the winning side. Henceforth, I shall be a supervillain, using my super-writing skills to corrupt the masses! I shall write subversive books that brainwash the unsuspecting readers! I shall invent words that don’t exist just to frustrate English teachers! I shall break grammar rules! I shall overuse commas and other punctuation! Mwa ha ha ha ha!”
A flash of lightening strikes outside the window, illuminating Literary-Girl’s elated expression.
*After all, I do have my standards.