Monday, October 4

I'm hanging out with Mr. Happy Puppet Head, drinking my coffee, he's smoking a cigar.

"The cool thing about Batman," I say, "is you can leave him just about anywhere and you know he'll be okay."

"Yeah?" Mr. Happy Puppet Head puffs on his cigar, smoke clouding around his fuzzy floating head.

"Yeah. This one time me and Batman were fighting all these badguys when this girl calls me. So I was like, 'Hey Batman, I gotta go,' and he was fighting tons of these badguys guys. It was like, it's Batman, you know. He'll be fine. So I bailed to go hang out with this girl, and she never even showed up."

"You're hanging out with Batman now?"

"Yeah, like twice. He's cool."

"I want to meet Batman."

"Aw, sorry, man. You had class or something that night. It was a while ago. Anyways another cool thing about Batman is he always pays the tab. He's like rich. He's always got tons of hundreds on him. I bet he's actually Bruce Wayne or something. That'd be hilarious."

"Yeah, or like... Steve Martin. Bill Murray!"

"Bill Murray is totally Batman. I love that guy." I take a deep gulp of my coffee, the steam fogging up my goggles. Hazelnut flavored creamer is good.

Mr. Happy Puppet head re-lights his cigar, thoughtfully chewing the soggy nub.   "My dad called me today. We talked for a little while. Mostly we talked about my brother. He's still doing the monster-who- steals-children thing. My dad thinks it's a waste of time haunting the woods behind the house, and that he doesn't make any money. That he should just move back into the house and focus on mowing the lawn."

He looks off into the distance.

"Do you think he's scary?"

I nod my head. "Yeah. I had a nightmare about him once where he was chasing me and he rolled me up in his giant tongue. And I was stuck his horrible giant tongue. And he said, 'Relax. Quit being a dump.'"

Mr. Happy Puppet Head's brother's name is Chad. The brothers look almost identical, both furry red floating puppet heads, but Chad has an enormous tongue that dangles from his face like a huge chunk of floppy, spitty meat.

"Cool," Mr. Happy Puppet Head nods. "I'll tell him you said that. He'll like to hear that."

"I think another cool thing about Batman is that he's really reliable. He's a really good friend."