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    PQ | Features | Mailbag | April 26, 2002
   

PQ Mailbag

Time for another mailbag. Well past time, actually... so enough chatter. On with the show!

Not quite the Superfriends...

Yes, you have been invited into the exclusive ranks of a legion of superhero crime-fighters. The problem? There are only two powers left to choose from. If you're a regular reader, you can probably guess where this is going.


From: "Steve"
Subject: The question

Hey a madman & Dire Hamster,
I would like 2 be able to levitate cows, because that way if I wanted milk, I wouldn't have 2 bend down 2 milk them (assuming I learned how to milk a cow by then) And u could make a bundle at saleyards and junk by getting in your car, levitating a herd and carrying it somewhere. I could make lots of money! Then again, I could chuck cows and ppl and stuff, so it all balances.

Steve

a madman: You know, to hell with that. If I'm going to have a superpower, I'm sure as hell going to use it for something more impressive than milking a cow. What, praytell, is the point of a superpower that can be duplicated - if not improved on - by a few hundred dollars in equipment you can find at any dairy farm?

No, my friend, you're going about it all wrong. You underestimate the sheer destructive capability of a side of beef flung at 60 mph. With such a power, I'd definately turn to evil. Soaring through the air on my Holstein of Doom, flanked by a herd of bovine missiles-to-be, none would dare face my wrath! I'd become the greatest supervillain Wisconsin had ever seen!

Dire Hamster: Yes, but you could get cow's milk, straight from the tap - while it's still warm! Doesn't that sound nice?

Seriously, though, any way you look at it, milking a cow has got to be wrong.

I mean, either the cow doesn't like it, in which case it's probably immoral, or the cow enjoys it, in which case you're a sick, sick bastard.

a madman: Well, good thing I'm not going to ask the cow's opinion before using it to crush an armored car then, isn't it?


From: "Phoenix"
Subject: Question of the week

Hmm... decisions, decisions. The problem with being able to levitate cows is that it makes it far too tempting to levitate them up to about 100 feet, let them fall, and stop them at the last minute before hitting the ground. I mean, face it. This is traumatic for the cows. On the other hand, you could quit the crimefighting team and start a ranch. Just think of all the cattle you could rustle. That would make you the criminal instead though... I suppose cow-lifting is out then. Besides, you'd get blamed for all those cattle mutilations. Ick! On the other hand, telepathic communication with plants would really come in handy. Except for hearing them complain about dog-walkers all the time, you could easily hear it through the grape vine - or any vine for that reason - about what the criminals are up to. Why, central park would be a regular crimestopper's paridise! You'd catch mugger after mugger, rapist after rapist all with the help of those plants. Crook's running away? Let's see how he likes a little poison ivy up the pants when he stops for a breather. Explain THAT to the nurse will ya? Yeah, that'll teach him!

- Phoenix

a madman: Of course, I'd like to point out that the ability to communicate with plants has absolutely nothing to do with the ability to control plants. It turns out that even if you can control plants, though, they can't actually do anything.

Dire Hamster: I suppose you could order them to grow a certain way. So I suppose given a few months you could spell dirty words in the supervillain's grass. But you could do the same thing overnight with a gallon of herbicide.

So I think you underestimate the usefulness of levitating cows. Imagine: riding through the sky on a cow... of justice!, wreaking bovine havoc. You'd have cows floating around you like electrons circling the atom - you'd be the Magneto of cows!

a madman: Didn't we already cover this? I already called "dibs" on cow-related villany.

Dire Hamster: All talking to plants would be useful for would be so Aquaman could finally have someone to feel superior to. Really, what sort of special olympics supervillain is going to be frightened by someone who talks to plants? I mean, you'd be foiled by "gun owner man," in his ingenious convenience store heist - and that's a superpower you can buy at Wal*Mart.

a madman: Actually, I imagine "talk to plants" would still have won out over "control giant seahorses" any day of the week. On the other hand, we did specify that the powers were to be used for good, not evil. But really... no matter how you used your powers, you'd always be looked upon as a supervillain to the cows.


From: agenthh
Subject: ?otw or summat

I think being able to telepathically communicate with plants is good. I mean, who *doesn't* want to have a Venus flytrap as a friend who will bite people? But then again, levitation of cows is useful. Unless you happen to be French, in which case you already have a large catapult (Monty Python reference). You could have a siege weapon, just drop the cow on stuff. You could plug up the cow's gastrointestinal system, let it fill with CH4 (Methane), and drop near an open flame. Mmm, beef, anyone?

--agenthh

a madman: Well, I think I'm all tapped out on snarky comments about flying cows and plants. Which is a pity, really, because this could really use some.

Dire Hamster: Ok, going back to the Aquaman analogy: you know why aquaman was always summoning crappy fish like cowfish and gian seahorses, and never the cool ones, like sharks, and giant flesh-ripping squids? It wasn't so that kids could learn about new kinds of fish. It was because the sharks were too cool to hang out with him. (Aquaman: "I'll use my Aquatic Telepathy to summon a shark to save us." Shark: "Piss off, Aquapussy. I've got important shark things to do.")

a madman: This is going somewhere? Hell, I could insult Aquaman.

Dire Hamster: I'm getting there. In your case, agenthh, I really don't think your scintillating personality is likely to win any plants over to your side. I'd say it's a lot more likely that after a few of your attempts at humor the plants around you will be wishing they could strangle you. I know I am. You'd probably be best off staying away from giant flesh-eating plants altogether. By the way, thank you for assuming we're morons that don't know the structure of methane.

a madman: Oh, I don't know. I always get methane confused with ethane. Stupid carbon atoms.

(By the way, that's C2H4...)

Next: That's all the answers we've got, but there's more madness ahead!


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