“Alright, you mugs,” said Chris gruffly as he strode into the room, the crimson red cape of his Superman costume flowing majestically behind him. Standing before him, all fiddling with their costumes and grumbling, was a motley band of superheroes. “Let’s have a look at you. Hmmm…. not too bad, actually. Are you guys almost ready?”
“I don’t want to be Robin,” spat Johnny, bitterly, plucking at the heel of one of his elf boots. “This is the gayest fucking thing ever!”
“We’ve been through this already, goddamn it!” said Chris angrily. “You are a newbie to our annual event and all newbies have to be Robin. Consider it your Rite of Passage. Now take it or fuck off because I’ve got a ton of guys waiting in line who’ll take your spot in a heartbeat. Anyone else got a problem?”
“Yeah, man,” said Bill in his deep, guttural voice, the massive packs of muscle shifting like tectonic plates across his shirtless torso as he fumbled with his belt. “These purple pants are too damn tight.”
“Ugh,” sighed Chris. “They’re supposed to be too tight! You’re the Hulk all busted out of his normal clothes. By all rights, you should be buck nekked.”
“Yo, Bill!” piped up Robbie as he pulled off his thick, plastic Iron Man mask, sweaty-faced. “I’ll wear the purple pants and you can take this thing. It’s way too fucking hot.”
“Oh, sweet!” said Bill, happily. “Iron Man is way cooler!”
“Whoa! Whoa! Wait a minute, fellas!” snapped Chris, grumpily, waving his hands. “Nobody is trading costumes with anybody like this at the last minute.”
“I’ll tell you why, Robbie,” said Chris flatly. “First, there is no more green skin paint left. Second, the Hulk goes bare-chested!”
“So how well do you think that great, big Die Motherfucker Die tattoo is going to go over out there?! You are Iron Man,” he said, wagging a menacing finger. “Now get your mask back on before I have it nailed to that thick skull of yours.”
“Oh, alright,” muttered Robbie. “But if you’re so worried about how well our costumes ‘go over’”, he said making parentheses in the air with his fingers, “you better take a look at Spiderman’s package over there…”
“What?” asked Mags innocently, palms raised skyward.
“Jesus Christ!” exclaimed Chris, marching over to Mags, as the room erupted in riotous laughter. “You can’t go out like that!!!”
“What do you mean?”
“What I mean,” said Chris seething and jabbing disdainfully at the vinyl stretched across Mags’s crotch, “is that I can see every vein popping out of your goddamn cock and balls! Now get rid of it!”
“What the fuck do you mean get rid of it?!” protested Mags. “It’s not exactly a stray dog, you know!”
“You tape that thing to the side of your leg!” hollered Chris over the laughter. “Right now! Or I’ll get Bill to do it for you – Lord knows, he’s pissed enough about the purple pants.”
“This is insane,” growled Mags, stalking off.
“Hey!” cried Mike. “Can I do that too? I’d rather tape my dick to the side of my leg than have to wear my underpants outside my costume!”
“No!” shouted Chris in exasperation. “Batman wears his underpants outside his costume. If I have to, as Superman, then you sure as hell will too! Not another word or you’ll be Robin and Johnny will get his way after all!!!”
“Right on!” peeled Johnny, slapping his fist into his palm.
“Shut up,” said Chris, turning to face Johnny, his eyes narrowing. “I didn’t actually mean it!”
“Okay, boys,” said a senior uniformed police officer, cheerfully, putting his head through the door. “We’re all set to go outside whenever you are.”
“Alright!” said Chris, excitedly. “Let’s go guys and, for fuck’s sake Gary, put out that goddamn cigarette! Aquaman lives under the sea, remember?!”
A few minutes later the convicted felons, on a supervised day pass, were being raised high into the air on three different platforms and, to the sheer delight of its occupants; they began the daylong task of cleaning the windows of the Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital.
* This blog entry was inspired by a photograph at http://on.fb.me/11EdpMX