The Jonny League of America

The first appearance of ILoveYouMan
The Jonny League of America, which had as its genesis a story I wrote for Christmas of 2002 called Jonny's Superhero Christmas in which the indomitable Jonny M. took on the guise of the superhero ILoveYouMan and saved the teaming metropolis called Metropolis with the use of his super bad breath acquired by heroic bouts of drinking. I was really bored on Monday because there was nothing good on TV and I had allowed the membership fees of all my Internet porn sites to lapse so I began to ponder the popular trend of superhero movies and how I might make one about ILoveYouMan that would supply enough profits for me to reactivate my beloved porn. I was a fan of DC Comics as opposed to Marvel growing up (there was always a DC faction and a Marvel faction and the two were as unlikely to cross over as the likelihood of seeing a Boston Red Sox fan at a water polo match) but as I thought of my childhood heroes now, I realized that they would be useless against a super villain attack. Batman possesses no super powers and is only able to work his way into the superhero pantheon because of a massive operating budget which could go away in a single dip of the stock market. Superman assuredly has the powers but he's from another planet and I've always suspected he would backstab us in a minute with an alien probe. The Flash can run really fast but that just means that he would get the hell out of there as soon as the going got tough. Wonder Woman is some nice eye candy but her primary mode of transportation is an invisible plane, which means when the shit goes down she could be stuck in a parking lot for hours looking for the thing. And Aquaman is the Ringo Starr of the superhero contingency and won't be any help at all unless hostages are being taken at a water slide park.

But as superior as ILoveYouMan is to these boobs, I quickly realized that even he couldn't do it alone and would need a team of colleagues to help him out. I considered everyone I knew to determine who, if anyone, might make a reasonable superhero. I was going to need a hot chick so I immediately drafted Enemies List favorite Mara Marini as Goddess Girl, who could not only use her feminine wiles to charm any potential super villain to submission (even the female ones, most of whom play for their own team if you know what I mean) but her innate hotness would give her the ability to spew fire at will. I added my associate Glenn "Piece of Shit"Simon to the team taking on the guise of The Piece of Shit, whose bricks of solid waste were so toxic that he could vanquish any foe simply by letting loose some hard gas. He'd need a sidekick so I recruited general annoyance Tom Ashworth as Toilet Paper Boy to take care of the cleanup (when told of Ashworth's inclusion as his sidekick, Simon retorted "I sure hope he doesn't get me... [puts on sunglasses] wiped out"). We'd need another chick (the Justice League really falls apart when you consider how few women they have access to) so I enlisted my nemesis Misty LaRue as The Yammering Yenta, whose super flapping gums could either blow any foe away like a massive gust of wind or deafen them with her incessant chatter. Finally, I chose my beloved pug Winston to be the super pug Winston. He doesn't need a fancy superhero name because he's already that good.

In “The Jonny League of America” issue #1, ILoveYouMan saves damsel in distress Mara Marini not realizing that she is the secret identity of Goddess Girl (neither one of whom can stand him)
That took care of the superheroes but then I began thinking about the people in my life that might make reasonable super villains. That's when I came to the alarming realization that I don't know a single human being who wouldn't make a terrifying comic book scofflaw. I began obsessively posting on the social network illustrations of the flotsam & jetsam of humanity that associate with me in their super villain guises (the complete roster can be seen here) with names like The Douche, the Dick and Dr. Puke. Some developed elaborate back stories: the villainess PMS is the sweetest woman in the city except that every 28 days she turns into a cyclone of anger and destruction that only the JLA can stop (she's usually vanquished by Goddess Girl or the Yammering Yenta giving her a Midol while the men on the team cower in fear). The Nerd isn't evil himself but he's so socially awkward that everything he touches has evil consequences. And the hot chick who acts like you have a shot with her but as soon as you're out of earshot laughs to all her equally hot friends that you probably have a small penis is a foe too many men have faced and been defeated by. What's disturbing to me is that all it would take any of the nimrods I know to turn the fanciful concept of their being a super villain into a chilling reality would be a trip to Western Costume and maybe a consultation with a Madison Avenue P.R. firm. Just in case, I'm throwing out that half-empty bottle of Listerine in my medicine cabinet and loading up on Wild Turkey Bourbon. ILoveYouMan could be called into service at any moment and my super bad breath needs to be ready. The hero and villain who win the polls will be featured doing battle on a Jonny League of America comic book cover to be posted on these pages in the next few weeks. Be sure to share this story with your friends so that they can vote and keep the world safe from the constant threat of super villainy!

Amy Ball, who continues to raise financing for her short film Belly Flop on Kickstarter. Ms. Ball has posted two additional videos on the fundraising website to assist her campaign, one in which she drunkenly entreats her viewers for money and the other in which she introduces the first model who will appear on the Belly Flop calendar wearing the signature red swimsuit of the movie. Having viewed Ms. Ball throw back copious Riunites on ice over the years, there was nothing in the first video I hadn't seen before. But I was intrigued by the second, anticipating some curvaceous female titillating me with images of her bodacious body ready to burst out of the form-fitting one piece. You can therefore imagine my disappointment when I learned that the first model on the calendar was a hunky dude. I was prepared to switch off the computer and angrily write Ms. Ball's production company demanding a return of my two dollar contribution when I came up with a plan to finance the entire film in one fell swoop. We would go ahead with the calendar but instead of having various lunks and lunkesses with perfect bodies as models, I would be the one pictured wearing the swimsuit. Rather than merely throwing another calendar filled with beautiful bodies on an already overcrowded pile, this would be marketed as a weight loss calendar. Imagine eating a delicious hot fudge sundae and then being confronted by picture after picture of my sagging gut and misshapen genitalia jutting out of a skintight swimsuit month after month. You would have no choice but to run to the bathroom and purge the contents of your stomach no matter how delectable the feast you just gorged upon. You'll be down to your ideal weight by March. By November, your doctor will be ordering you on a high caloric diet for the sake of your own health. The calendar will be such a giant seller amongst the desperate fatties out there that Belly Flop will be fully funded in a week and become an instant film classic, thousands of people will avoid obesity and I'll get a welcome opportunity to air out my junk. Everybody wins.

The aftermath of Coco's rage
Coco. To make myself feel like less of a drain on society than I actually am, I occasionally volunteer at pet adoption events so that other lucky strangers might experience the same love and sexual satisfaction I enjoy with my beloved pug Winston (although I'm not supposed to discuss that last bit as part of my agreement with PETA to drop some charges against me). I took part in one of these events last Saturday (and had a great success when I matched an adorable Chihuahua named Keith Richards with his new Mommy, whose first action – I hope – was anointing him with a new name) and all went peacefully until about 4:00 in the afternoon when Coco – a docile little mutt who seemed harmless enough throughout the morning – viciously attacked a charming Pekinese who was so cute that I thought it would be among the first dogs snapped up. It was snapped up alright, when Coco clamped his teeth into the Pekinese's neck with such ferocity that the poor thing's eye bulged out of the socket and blood poured out of its jugular area. There was general pandemonium as we were unable to pry the dogs apart and some of the more experienced volunteers screamed at us to alternately pour water on the dogs and insert a finger up Coco's ass. Since I had the closest proximity to Coco and a water bottle, I was the one who got to douse the troublemaker and he immediately unclamped his jaws and the poor little Pekinese was rushed to the veterinary hospital (he returned shortly afterwards with only superficial wounds). The volunteer who took the tactic of inserting her finger up Coco's ass told me afterwards that it did nothing, but I think it was the proper thing to do. He was obviously having a rough day and the idea was that if he got a little stress release he might not be so quick to anger. PETA could tell you all about it but as part of our agreement, those files are permanently sealed.

Bro Joe. Former Arkansas Governor, television pundit and right-wing religious whack-job Mike Huckabee went to town following the Supreme Court's ruling striking down California's Proposition 8, writing in an e-mail "My immediate thoughts on the SCOTUS ruling that determined that same sex marriage is okay: 'Jesus wept.' Five people in robes said they are bigger than the voters of California and Congress combined. And bigger than God. May He forgive us all." This prompted Joe to respond "Dear Mike Huckabee: You really should stop talking for and about Jesus, because you always screw it up. Islam does not, as you recently said, consider Jesus an 'infidel.' They consider him a prophet. 'Jesus wept,' in the Bible, when someone died, not when people were allowed to demonstrate their love. Jesus, you may be surprised to learn, was actually much in favor of people loving each other. ('A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.') You should give that a try sometime. It really is more rewarding than hatemongering." I'm singling Joe out for chastisement on these pages because when he makes statements this one about Mr. Huckabee, it only makes it that much harder for me to feel superior to him. I vastly prefer the Joe who gets denied services in bars because he's already drunk out of his mind because that's the Joe who makes me feel so much better about myself by comparison. When he make insightful, compassionate comments directed at self-righteous blowhards who inexplicably rose to power on a platform of hate disguised as religion and then made a fortune selling the same act to Fox News, I can't help but regard Joe with a respect which makes me want to be a better person myself. I really wish he'd knock that shit off.

The United States Supreme Court, which handed down landmark rulings this week on California's fore-mentioned Proposition 8, the Defense of Marriage Act and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. I liked some of their decisions and disliked others (the court struck down the voting act because they claimed that the inequality it protected against didn't take place anymore, not taking into consideration that it didn't occur because the law was there in the first place) but what I found most rewarding about the public discourse the rulings inspired was the fact that (for the moment at least), the public at large didn't simply think of the high court as The Abortion Court. It seems like every time the issue of a new justice being placed on the bench is brought up, the first (and often the only) question that the teeming masses ask is "what is his stance on abortion?" as if that was the only issue the Supreme Court adjudicated on. When Sarah Palin was running for vice president and railed against Roe vs. Wade, she was asked what other Supreme Court decisions she had issue with and responded with a blank stare that would do credit to a European elk being approached by a Humvee in the dead of night (that's a deer caught in a car's headlights for those of you who don't appreciate poetry). Granted, Sarah Palin is a Hall of Fame-class buffoon but it's an evaluation of the SCOTUS that I believe most Americans share.

As for me, I'm vehemently pro-choice and much more radical about it than I imagine most people are. Far from believing that life begins at conception, I don't think anything should be considered a human being until it's popped out of its mommy's womb and has been placed on the grid (complete with social security number). If we're going to protect undefined protoplasm under the law as human beings, we should go all the way with it. And I'm not just talking about pregnant women being able to use the diamond lane. If human life begins at conception, shouldn't a pregnant woman who has a glass of wine or a cigarette be charged with child abuse? Shouldn't a fetus be listed as a dependant on tax forms? Shouldn't we have to submit Sonograms to the US Census Bureau? My belief is that while a developing fetus may be alive, it's no more a human being than the parasite that was once growing inside the evil genius Lars Fargo's gut. The surgeons who removed his spleen didn't need the Supreme Court's approval to get rid of the thing even though it was just as alive as a developing fetus and if any religious nut jobs had brought the issue to Washington to insist that the high court rule on it, they would have had their ass thrown out onto the sidewalk. Sure a parasite might be a living thing created by God, but the Supreme Court has other matters to think about. Something tells me that they're going to see an inexplicable jump in lawsuits from civil rights organizations about voting inequality. If only we had a law against that.