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Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Bizarre Adventure Of Atom-Boy And Uncle-Man (Part 4)

It was one lustful and love-consuming wedding night. She unbuttoned me, so I undressed her. She kissed me here, so I touched her there. She spat on my thing, so I sneezed on her stuff. Gross and unhygienic it might seem it made people fail to see how intense it was. So intimate it was the intimacy was intimidating. With a lot of ooh and aah, love couldn’t go wrong.

Or so I thought, before she grabbed my ass.

There was always something there, something as visible as Braille that one could read it simply by feeling it. And I cringed the moment her fingers slithered wildly, clearly following the embossed curves curiously. After that, she stopped and became expressionless. She was busy love-biting me before, so there she was, on the top of my plain and hairless chest, with her eyes stared blankly and lower jaw dropped whilst her tongue stuck motionless on my right nipple. When I opened my eyes, suddenly I didn’t find her attractive anymore. Ugly was more like it.

Just like a man who found it hard to accept that his wife wasn’t a virgin anymore, I could tell from her face that it was extremely difficult for her to digest the fact that her husband’s ass had been deflowered, worse still, by a man. So that was it. With the cryptic words, “too sexy for me to handle,” she excused herself to restroom, escaped from the window and had never been seen since then.

My marriage life ended on my very wedding night. It wasn’t till death do us part. It was… till ass do us part. And I cried myself to sleep. I woke up with one thing in my mind: revenge!
Tom Lee Jones was drooling like a retard inside the MRT when the TV program was suddenly interrupted by breaking news. A newsreader was reporting the miserable and humiliating death of Vendy Fendi Lee, the owner of the famous Kung Pao Chicken and Assorted Szechuan Cuisine restaurant. He was found dead with his groin exposed, so the broadcasting people –learning from experience, this time– had to censor his crotch before they started broadcasting live from his deathbed. But the field reporter, a man with a keen reporting instinct who always kept in mind that public has a right to know, did a good job nonetheless. He managed to describe the brutal details such as it had not been circumcised.

The news did have an impact of a rude awakening call on Tom Lee Jones. No, he didn’t care that it wasn’t circumcised. That hardly bothered him. What mattered was he knew the fact that Vendy Fendi Lee was no ordinary man. Not only he was the best Kung Pao Chicken chef ever, he was also the alter ego of Kung Fu! 

Kung Fu was like the greatest superhero ever and now he was dead! So serious this incident was it drove Tom to start thinking again, effective immediately. With saliva still dripping from his mouth and frowning blurry eyes while he was subconsciously lost in thought, he looked scarier than ever, menacing enough to force the passenger next to him to dial the mental hospital and beg for help. 

At the current state, although Tom looked like a thinking imbecile, he actually thought clearly now. Within seconds, he can tell it was very much impossible that a reputable hero died a bottom-half-naked death like this. On the top of that, according to the reporter, nothing was stolen. This convincesdTom that it ought to be a murder case, and big chance that the murderer knew his secret identity!

Suddenly the enthusiasm was too much for Tom to bear. He was fainting, indirectly regaining his blackout sense. Then the thunder roared and Tom transformed. While that was happening, the MRT abruptly shook and was out of control. Just when the train was about to crash and everybody was whispering every prayer in every God’s name in every language –from the ancient Tetragrammaton spelling YHWH to the modern day yelling in English such as Christ!– a somewhat familiar man in one piece skin-tight garment appeared out of nowhere to save the day. At a glance, he did look like a young man with fetishism problem, but the witnesses soon realized that the mysterious character in spandex was Atom-Boy, the long lost superhero! He was back on the track, literally! And nobody did it better than him when it came to catching MRT. He saved the day, but he also called it a day at the same time. Judging from how people expressed their gratitude by cursing, accusing him for sabotaging the train and throwing things at him, it was pain and plain to see that he was still pretty much blacklisted. Ignoring the people he just rescued, Atom-Boy made a quick getaway to Kung Pao Chicken and Assorted Szechuan Cuisine restaurant… 
The arrival of Atom-Boy startled everybody. He was an unwanted person that happened to be in the wanted list, so the police wanted to arrest him for being unwanted. But Atom-Boy refused to be taken into custody, arguing with the officers that if they wanted to catch him, they would have to capture Uncle-Man first.
Apparently Uncle-Man had been there for nobody knew how long, so it was quite a surprise to Atom-Boy that they simply ignored Uncle-Man’s presence by letting the uncle-like superhero to be there while they immediately chased him like mad. Being treated unjustly, he had blurted out an unnecessary remark he never meant to say about his peer. It did render them speechless for a while, but the spokesperson from the police force came up with a good answer for this: Enrico was not in costume. He appeared as private investigator, a civilian, so there was no reason to seize him. 

Again, it was quite a surprise to Atom-Boy, because if his eyes weren’t lying, Enrico was as fully clothed as himself: a half-smoked cigarette in his mouth, a singlet that was too short to cover his eerily bloated belly button, khaki shorts that exposed his hairy-sturdy legs as a classic symbol of masculinity, a pair of dirty sandals, complete with fungus-smelled feet and some infectious skin disease in between his toes and, finally, an old newspaper that he tucked under his armpit… for God’s sake, Enrico was Uncle-Man! He was supposed to have an impression of a poor uncle that nobody would take notice, so that was how his bloody costume looked like!

Atom-Boy clenched his fists when the police officers insisted on catching him. Just when things were about to get ugly, Uncle-Man stepped in to negotiate a win-win solution. This he did by revealing the secret that Vendy Fendi Lee was indeed Kung Fu and this he did while picking his nose, as if it was no big deal. They looked him in the eye and he stared back at them, an eye for an eye. After that, he burped innocently like a middle-aged uncle should be. 

The very uncle-next-door persona he impersonated did work like a charm. There was this solitude for quite some time, because everybody was busy digesting what he just said. When Atom-Boy couldn’t help bursting into a wild action by pushing Uncle-Man to the wall and shouting angrily at him for selling Kung Fu out, all people in the room were convinced that what he said was true.

While everybody was in the state of shock, it seemed like there was no way Uncle-Man could dodge the upcoming, skull-shattering punch from the enraged Atom-Boy. Thanks to his big mouth for disclosing a private and confidential secret that should have been brought to the grave, he’d be bringing his big mouth to the grave. But Uncle-Man, like all the uncles in the world who were smarter than all the smart alecks in the world, had something up his sleeve. He pressed his MP3 player and…

“Take a look at me now, there’s just an empty space…” sang Phil Collins in such a melancholy tone.

And that caught Atom-Boy unprepared. Before he realized what happened, the illusion had already begun. One second he had a glimpse of Uncle-Man in his typical unclish face –as opposed to childish face– and next, all Atom-Boy could see was a brokenhearted widower, looked years older than he was supposed to be, with a painfully sad story in his eyes. So strong was the emotional effect it drove Atom-Boy to hallucinate that Uncle-Man was always raped by his fat ugly wife and all he could do in the night was to face the wall next to his bed and shed tears silently while his wife, slept beside him, was busy snoring like a pig. So exhausted he was every day he began to suffer from asthma. But even though he was an asthmatic person, he still had to wash all the dishes. And his fingers were all wrinkle and weak because of the detergent, therefore he couldn’t pee properly on the toilet bowl. Once he urinated on the toilet seat, his wife got angry and raped him again. Dissatisfied because of his short time performance, his wife left him for another man with no peeing and breathing problems, thus he became a widower. 

No man could stand such a miserable vision. Even the strongest heart and wicked mind would break down and cry. When Atom-Boy returned to reality, gone was his anger, replaced by sympathy, empathy and pity. He hugged Uncle-Man, caressed his hair, kissed his cheek and whispered silently into his ears, “it’s gonna be alright.” All disputes were soon forgotten. Their relationship started anew. Together they began to examine the death of Kung Fu.

When the police tried to butt in again, to them Uncle-Man said, “today we mourn a great hero who has passed away. Please show some respect by letting us to investigate.”

And this left them no words to argue. Under those watchful eyes, Atom-Boy checked every single angle and after searching here and there, Uncle-Man managed to find a diary called My Diary, A Man’s Best Friend. He passed the book to his curious partner.

As he received the book, Atom-Boy smiled when he read the title. Not only it revealed the sentimental side of the hero, the very human being in him, but judging from a manly handwriting that blended perfectly well with the girly artefact, one could tell the diary did reflect the yin-yang philosophy of its master. It was a really a legacy that only a hero of Kung Fu’s caliber could leave to the world. While gazing at the book cover with full respect, he took a deep breath. After that, he opened the book with his nervous, trembling hands and started reading…

“January 1st, 2008. Dear Diary, I wet my underpants…
“January 2nd, 2008. Dear Diary, I wet my underpants…
“January 3rd, 2008. Dear Diary, I wet my underpants…”

As he kept reading, Atom-Boy shook his head in disbelief. It was painful to read that even the greatest hero succumbed to a very peculiar and disgraceful weakness. The handwriting, while so neat, engraved the agonizing defeat of the writer. There were visible traces of teardrops on some of the pages and Atom-Boy could only imagine that Vendy Fendi Lee was alone in the dead of night, crying for his shameful habit while jotting down the fact that he wet his pants again. He read on, and the content remained the same until the last page, which was, “Dear Diary, I wet my underpants and die…”

Then Atom-Boy closed the book. He felt so embarrassed for reading such a classified information he now wished he had never opened it at the first place. But more than that, Kung Fu’s last words were both enigmatic and prophetic. How could somebody write a thing like that and die? Did he see this coming?

But Uncle-Man begged to differ. He pointed out the fact that the ink smeared on the last alphabet of the word die. This indicated that he died the moment he finished the last sentence and as he delivered the final pen stroke with his last strength, the pen stayed there for quite a while and leaked. This also explained why he was not wearing underwear when he died. It was because he wet them all. Hypothetically, his death could be described like this: Kung Fu always wet his pants while he was sleeping. With this kind of sleeping habit, he damped his crotch more often than not. As a result, he slowly and unknowingly intoxicated his kidneys, ureter, bladder and urethra with various doses of urea from his urine on daily basis. On that very fateful night, when he woke up to write his diary as usual after he wet his pants again, the damage of the vital organs around his crotch were final and so the last word his managed to scribble before he died was the word die.

No analysis could be more impressive than this. Uncle-Man must be a genius for being able to see the slightest possibility beyond the impossibility or he was just a dolt who babbled about nothing in particular. But Atom-Boy listened only half or may be none of it because he happened to spot a suspicious figure peeping from afar. Without further ado, he quickly jumped out of window to chase the mysterious man…
It had been written that, “in case of emergency, break the glass.” Now Atom-Boy understood why a superhero wasn’t no cool superhero if he hadn’t fulfilled his destiny by doing the window-breaking action. He felt the adrenaline rushing the moment he broke the window and jumped out while the glass debris was floating midair and sparkling beautifully under the sun. For a split second, he felt like time stood still. The freedom, the sensation, the excitement, all mixed into one. 

Atom-Boy landed lightly on the ground with his cape covering him from the shattered glass while the people around him, with their mouths forming a full “O” shape as a sign of admiration, were subconsciously applauding for his dashing entrance. Atom-Boy couldn’t help smiling. It was great to know that these people still cheered for superhero in action. It had been a while…

And it could be truer than true that it had been a while since he last became a superhero! With zero activity as Atom-Boy, Tom Lee Jones did less exercising but more eating so when the chase was on, soon the adrenaline was gone. Just because he was strong enough to catch MRT, it didn’t mean that he was built for speed. His heart was pounding fast like the sound of double bass and every breath he took was shortened by every step he made. He panted, and when he started running with his tongue sticking out, he realized the fact that the three layers of fat he now had on his belly was not helping him. He cursed, telling himself that he’d been ambushed by carbohydrate. It put weight on him silently! Prior to this, little did he know that to sleep immediately after eating was equal to sleeping with the enemy!

Meanwhile the target managed to widen the distance between them. Atom-Boy would lose him if he didn’t think of something. And it was this time of all times that he remembered a superhero lesson from Confusion, the omnipotent wizard of might and magic from the Silver Age who clearly imitated the wisdom of the sage from folklore. Confusion once told a tale of a father and a son and the moral of the story was, the more the father told the son not to do so, the more the son tried to do so. As a closure, Confusion also said his now immortalized quote: “he who can’t convince must confuse.”

Couldn’t beat his opponent on the running race, Atom-Boy practiced the teaching of Confusion instead. As a tryout, Atom-Boy ordered the stranger to stop and the stranger ran faster! Atom-Boy told him not to turn right, but turn right he did. That was just great, because Atom-Boy knew where the path led to. Finally Atom-Boy warned him not to turn his head around to look at him, but this the escapee also disobeyed. Thus, unaware that he was running toward a dead-end, he banged the wall and tumbled down. Atom-Boy immediately caught him and…
Alternate cover of Pheng iu (Volume 1)
Image credit: Zhou Xiong Zhen

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