the ballad of hatboy and angry steve

angry steve

hatboy and i are going through a slump in super-sidekick activities. during this go-slow period he’s become obsessed with roaching.
i often find him perched above a simple crack in the floorboards, a mallet in one hand and a fork in the other, cooing into the darkness below, “come here, little eatsies.”
he tells me he’s been chasing one particularly chubby little squirrel of a roach which he has named angry steve, or, the one who gets away.
on those rare occaisions when angry steve pokes his rather large and spikey head up through the hole in the floor, hatboy slams the mallet down with such force that our house actually rocks on its foundations. however, despite the fact that his super-sidekick powers are now legendary in fourteen known universes, he misses the smug roach every time and angry steve always disappears with a contemptuous growl which i find unsettling in an insectoidy lifeform.
later, as we contemplate our not having apprehended evil in many weeks, he offers me some roaching wisdom.
“did you know that the only creature to survive a nuclear winter will be the humble cockroach? oh, and gameshow hosts, but they’re not nearly so crunchy.”
he tells me that the fiscal police have spoken to him. they want him to stop telling the world about his kfc theory.

angry steve in potter’s field

i heard the scream some time before dawn.
it was a scream, not of terror.
not of imminent doom.
it didn’t send shivers down my spine, or even make me shudder in the gloom of my pre-morning room. instead, it made me sigh.
hatboy, squealing girlishly, took the stairs four at a time as he ran up to my room, burst in, and showed me what he’d just managed to hit on the bonce with a ten-pound circus mallet.
“look! i got him at last!”
angry steve hung limp in my super-sidekick’s fist, his spikey head now looking nothing like an insect should, but looking everything like a watermelon pushed through a carwash under the wheels of a semi at high speed. bits of the weird-looking oversized roach’s brains oozed out onto my carpet.
hatboy was grinning like the cheshire cat. “you know what this means, don’t you?”
i groaned. it looked like today was going to be a no-sleepy.
“that’s right!” he cried. “it’s fried roach and noodleburger time!”
as he spun out and back down the stairs, hooting like a wookiee, i decided i didn’t want to get up today.
although, knowing hatboy’s mealtime snacks, i knew i wouldn’t have much choice.

a rude awakening

an enormous explosion finally roused me from my futon.
i stumbled down the stairs and into what was left of the kitchen. in the centre of the rubble, a large noodleburger glowed like some spooky meteoritey-thing from another planet. it even steamed and bubbled like one. bright green roachmeat dribbled out of the bun, and the noodles tried to wriggle out with it.
i heard a roar in the distance, and climbed over the stove and stood on the crater that was our carnation patch.
at first, i assumed the martians were using comets of wrath to send their eggs to our planet again, but i couldn’t find their metal discs anywhere in the flowers, no matter how hard i tried to find them. then, with a gasp, i realised i was standing not in a crater at all, but a massive footprint.
i heard the roar again, and then the telephone rang.
hoping winona had chosen to ring me with another curry, i rushed to the phone.
“creepy! the city needs you!”
“oh, hello mayor. do you mind? i’m waiting for a phone call.”
“please, creepy! a giant monster is terrorizing the streets! it’s pillaged the donut factory, and consumed the contents of fifteen ice cream vans! it’s horrible, creepy! truly terrifying! who knows what evil it has in plan for its next victim!”
“look, i tell you what. if you get off the phone now, i’ll wait until lunchtime. if i haven’t got my phone call by then, i’ll see what i can do. now, i can’t be any fairer than that, can i?”
as i waited, i rummaged about the leftovers of the fridge, searching for an undamaged bottle of coke. whatever it was that had stomped on my coke fridge would be very sorry it had.
i looked around and wondered if i should dig hatboy out of the rubble.
frankly, though, i didn’t know where to begin.
i sipped my coke and looked under a few pebbles. he wasn’t under any of those, so i assumed he’d gotten squished by a larger block of concrete.
i looked at my watch. lunchtime. oh well, i thought. i’ll dig out his corpse later and give him a decent burial in the carnation patch.

he has lasers for eyes

the mayor picked me up in his limousine. “you must save my career from the rampaging terror!”
“yeah, yeah. where is he? what’s he look like? scaley? does he have spines on his back, and magnificient firey breath of much-damage-doey?”
“he has lasers for eyes.”
“oooh! lasers are good!”
we followed a rather untidy trail of damage into the city, where several buildings were in the process of burning. the mayor drove me to one of the high hills in the city, and we stood on the car bonnet, looking for a trace of the malicious monster who so molested our fair city of gotham, or wherever we were.
the mayor trembled. “they say he’s like something which has crawled out of the depths of the oceans, filled with rage! they say he has horns on his head, and can call upon great and fearsome armies of undead demons who dance on the bodies of the freshly deceased! they say he walks like michael jackson.”
“the moonwalk, huh?” i shook my head. “nasty.”
“he’s an 800 tonne behemoth! truly terrifying! he dwarfs small buildings, and soon dwarfs the big ones as he pushes them over and stomps on their crumbling ashes! he roars, and when he does, glass shatters and babies cry! babies shouldn’t cry! i should be kissing them! kissing babies! in their voter’s arms! we’re doomed! doomed, i tell you!” the mayor fell to his knees and began to weep like a baby himself.
i patted his bald head. “never fear, mayor. my dead super-sidekick and i will save this seemingly doomed town.”
i wasn’t sure how, but it didn’t matter in the slightest because the army had nukes.
as i thought about the nukes, and wished i had some of those funky commando outfits, the street began to shake beneath a series of thunderous earthquakes. the mayor’s cup of coffee on the bonnet rippled nicely.
it looked like our monster was about to show its ugly face.
when it finally did emerge from the jungle of equally ugly buildings, my jaw dropped in shock.
“oh my god!” the mayor squealed. “it’s the stay puft marshmallow man!”
i slapped him in the chops. “that’s not the stay puft marshmallow man, you gibbering idiot! that’s hatboy!”


he squinted down at us. “mmm, limo. nummies.”
and took hold of the car in his pudgy fist, shoving it back end first into his massive jaws. bits of glass and metal fragments rained down on us. oil dripped from his lips as he foully murdered our transport.
“oh my god! he killed the car!” the mayor squeaked.
i shook a fist at my mutated super-sidekick. “you bastard!”

hatzilla goes ape

he climbed the tallest building, wailing loudly as the air force took pot shots at him.
i sat on the curb, and built a small mountain of broken glass and metal between my knees.
the mayor watched me, sitting cross-legged in the gutter.
now and then, he’d glance up at my rampaging super-sidekick and offer an update.
“he’s just eaten two more helicopters.”
“they shouldn’t fly so close, then.”
“now he’s gnawing on the roof.”
“shouldn’t build it out of edible materials, then.”
“as far as i know, concrete isn’t very edible.”
“he probably won’t eat it all, then.”
after a while, i had sculpted a beautiful mountain. i stared at it for a long time. it seemed to be calling me. i didn’t know from where exactly, but i knew i’d just sculpted a mountain from somewhere on earth. i had to find the mountain. it was vitally important to the continuation of the species that i find this mountain.
the mayor sighed.
“shush,” i told him. “i’m building a mountain.”
hatboy fell off the building, screaming as he tried to swim upward through air. by the way my glass and metal mountain’s peak tumbled from the top, i’d imagine he hit the earth extremely hard.
i stared at my newly formed plateau.
then i glanced at the mayor, who was looking a little depressed.
“say, you don’t happen to have any mashed spud on you at all, do you?”

hatzilla 2000

i figured that the highly-radioactive angry steve had mutated hatboy into his current size and mood. i told the mayor he’d get over it, eventually.
as hatboy tumbled down a few more buildings, and used his laser eyes to burn a couple of pedestrians who were silly enough to be running around at his feet trying to get photographs, i told the mayor to let nature take its course.
“if destructive entity persists, consult your local military,” i said. “they’ve got porta-nukes.”
nukes were always good advice. they solved everything.
“dear god! this is horrible!”
i was just about to tell the mayor about the mechanics of radioactive mutants, when there was a massive explosion. he dived into the rubble for cover, screaming, “what the hell was that?”
i shrugged, ignoring the rain of ash. “if you’re very lucky, that was the military using their nukes to reduce my super-sidekick into a smoking shadow of his former self.”
“if you’re unlucky, hatboy’s sporran has mutated into a thing of much-stuff-explodey.”
another explosion rocked the ground we wobbled on, and hatboy’s giggles filled the smoke and debris.


it seemed this situation would require desperate measures. i resolved to do my utmost to preserve the city i so dearly loved, to prevent more destruction at the hands of my deranged comrade at arms, and to resolve my questions concerning the whereabouts of dax.
therefore, i began wading through the rubble.
“where are you going?” the mayor sounded hopeful.
“home,” i said, putting him at ease. “the episode where ezri joins the crew is on tonight. i have to make some cheesies for it.”
“but what about him?” the mayor pointed at where another explosion took out a few city blocks.
“who? oh. right.”
i hobbled up a small hill of debris, turned toward where the last explosion came from, and shouted, “hey! deep space nine’s on in half an hour! cheesies will be in the oven! pick up some coke on your way!”
as i toddled off, i presumed the look on the mayor’s face was one of gratitude.
i felt good about the whole thing. once more, my super-sidekick powers had averted certain disaster.

coffee and cookies

we couched, sipping our colombian blend, dipping anzac cookies, and pointing at the television’s shiny screen.
i told hatboy i was relieved to see he’d made it back to normal size, because it meant i wouldn’t have to dig him a grave the size of your average football stadium. i didn’t think our carnations could cope.
i squinted at his freshly shrunken girth. “you’ve put on a few kilos.”
he patted his belly. “radioactive roaches do that to you.”
i offered him another cookie.
“i’m not sure if i should . . .”
“they’re thinning,” i promised.
“then by all means, pass the packet.”
considering recent events, i’m planning to ween him completely off roaches by introducing bugs into his diet. then i’ll start him on cashews, and his journey back into the realms of humanity will be complete. 
failing that, i’ll introduce him to the joys of eating a wide variety of grubs and rent him out to market gardeners.


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