Somewhere beyond space and time, a collection of beings gather. They are the shapers of worlds, the authors of destinies, the givers of life; they are know as the Quintessence. Their garments are varied, and their appearances are obscured by ethereal mists.
Draw close and listen as these godlike beings converse, speaking to each other of the mysteries of the multiverse.
“So, Driv,” one says, addressing another, “what exactly were those plot holes you used in the Something Wacky This Way Comes story?”
“My plot holes?” the near-omnipotent being asks. “I suppose it is time I explained.”
The rest of the Quintessence draws closer.
“This sure beats the chat room,” the not-quite-as-omnipotent-but-still-pretty-impressive being know as Doc says.
“What are these plot holes you speak of?” another member of the Quintessence, Dan, asks. “I think I missed something.”
“Join the Earth-Twelve site of the Five Earths Project, and you can read one of the funniest tales ever written,” the one called Doc says.
“Perhaps I shall,” Dan replies.
“Please continue with your explanation of plot holes,” Quintessence member Starsky says.
The one called Driv begins to speak. “When meddling in the lives of those we control, we often place them in situations that, while interesting and fun to us, keep them occupied and unable to move forward. This leaves a hole in the plot of their lives… ergo, plot holes.”
“So,” Dan asks, “what plot holes did you use?”
“That, my friends,” Driv replies, “will be explained in this epilogue.”
Lex Luthor was on the verge of a smirk when the paper thrown at him fell harmlessly at his feet. The smirk died on his lips, however, when a hole originating from the paper opened beneath him.
The drop seemed like a small one, but it was obvious to Luthor that he was somewhere else entirely. Lights flared to life overhead, and he discovered that he was standing in the middle of a toupee wholesale warehouse.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw something flutter to the ground at his feet. He knelt down, picked it up, and read it. He looked around once more and screamed in frustration.
It was a Buy 3 Get 1 Free coupon.
There was a moment of disorientation, something Brainiac had never experienced before. His computer mind quickly processed what had happened.
“So, this is what a System Restore feels like,” he said, aloud. “Oh, my gosh. Like, I never want to do that again.”
It didn’t take the computerized villain longer than a nanosecond to realize that something was seriously wrong. “Like, where am I?”
A voice to his left caused him to turn his head. A figure cloaked in shadow was shaking his head.
“Dude,” the voice said, “you’ve got to find a different voice for this thing, because this one has already hit the upper end of annoying.”
“But, it sounds like Tiffani, with an I,” a second voice said, to his right.
The first voice sighed, his frustration evident. “Look, I appreciate the fact that you’ve developed a voice mimicry program, and everything, but Tiffani, with an I, is so empty-headed that you could blow in her ear and put out a candle on the other side of her head would go out.”
“Maybe,” replied the second voice, “but I think her voice is sexy.”
Another sigh. “You just like her pom-poms.”
“Excuse me,” Brainiac said, “but, like, what are you doing?”
“Shut up,” the guys said simultaneously.
“Geez,” the first guy said. “At least initiate her new programming.”
The second guy pulled a white sheet down to Brainiac’s waist.
“You modeled those after Tiffani, with an I, as well, didn’t you?”
“I can’t stand her voice,” the first guy said, “but, these… these are definitely one of her better qualities.”
Brainiac looked down, and his eyes widened. “Don’t touch me there,” he shouted, in Tiffani’s, with an I, voice. “I’m Brai…”
“…Tiffani, with an I, your pleasure droid. What would you like me to do, master?”
There was too much about his current situation that Gorilla Grodd found unpleasant. He couldn’t understand how humans tolerated wearing clothing like that which he now wore, a gaudy high school marching band jacket. Even worse was the tune that kept playing over and over in his head. It wasn’t any of the songs from the competition, but rather, a melodious, happy tune that made him want to dance around.
“What in Grodd’s name did those humans do to me?” he muttered. Before he could question anything else about his situation, a great shadow fell over him.
Looking up, the great silverback saw a man who would have stood head and shoulders above Giganta towering over him. “Oh, my Grodd,” he whispered. “That is one big human.”
“Well, little buddy,” the man said, his booming voice thick with an Italian accent. “Are you ready to go to work?”
Grodd reached up and tugged at the chinstrap of his bellhop-styled hat, picked up a tin cup, and climbed up on to the giant’s hand-cranked street organ. He would figure out a way to get back at the humans that sent him here… after the big man played that delightful song one more time.
Another would-be yellow construct fizzled out of existence as Sinestro turned to another crying baby. He looked around the nursery at the other nineteen bawling brats.
“This situation has to be the work of a truly warped individual,” he muttered.
“Has to be the worst colic outbreak I’ve ever seen,” a teenage girl said, approaching the renegade Green Lantern with one of the criers in her arms.
Sinestro looked at the girl, then raised his ring and began to will another construct into being. His concentration was broken, yet again, when the baby spit up all over him.
Another girl, this one without a baby, rushed over with a rag to wipe his sleeve clean. Just as she started to wipe, she stopped and began to talk.
“Do you think I’m pretty, Mr. Sinestro? Larry told me I was, but he still asked Becky to the dance. If you told me I was pretty, I bet you’d take me to the dance — not that I’m asking you to take me to the dance or anything, cuz you are way too old for me. Unless you thought Becky was prettier and decided to dump me for her. Oh, Mr. Sinestro! How could you be so cruel? You only like Becky because she dresses so trashy. If I flashed my bra as often as she does, then you’d like me. Well, you can kiss off, ’cause I’m not like that.” And with that, the girl walked off, Sinestro’s arm still covered in what may or may not have been strained carrots.
“How can anyone concentrate with these prattling females and bawling infants?” Sinestro said. An then it hit him. “Gods of Korugar,” he said, running his fingers through his hair. “Will I ever be able to concentrate again?”
“Where me am?” Bizarro asked.
Looking around, he saw that he was sitting in a small metal desk with a laminated press-board top so tight that it seemed to have been constructed around him. Several small children in matching uniforms were watching him wide-eyed and fearful. He started to growl at them, when he heard a smack and felt his hand sting.
A bespectacled little woman, slightly taller than five feet and wearing a black habit, had a ruler pointed at his nose. “Young man,” she said, her voice shrill, “you have been told that we do not appreciate the improper use of English here at Her Lady of the Perpetual Ruler.”
Bizarro started to rise out of his seat, only to be trapped by the tiny desk. “Me am Bizarro!” the villain roared. And then more softly asked, “How me get out of stupid seat?”
And, again, the ruler smacked his hand.
“That is not your inside voice,” the nun said, “and we do not like the word ‘stupid’ in this classroom.”
Bizarro was flabbergasted. Not even Superman had treated him like this. He didn’t know what to say, so he simply said, “Me am…”
The nun gave him a stern look and raised her ruler.
Bizarro started over. “I… am sorry.”
He was rewarded with a smile.
One month later:
“The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain,” Bizarro said, reciting along with the rest of his class.
The last syllable was barely out of his mouth when the classroom door exploded inward. When the dust settled, Solomon Grundy was standing in the opening.
“Why am you not come to throw football no more?” Grundy asked.
Bizarro eased out of his seat, approached the nun’s desk, looked at her ruler, and asked, “May I?”
“Yes, you may,” the woman replied.
Bizarro picked it up, walked over to Grundy, and smacked his hand.
“We do not appreciate the improper use of English here at Her Lady of the Perpetual Ruler.”
“Look at all of these wonderful toys!” an excited Toyman said as he slowly turned around and around. Looking at the numerous toys, more toys than he had ever seen in one place, the temptation to play with them all became too great to resist. With an almost maniacal glee, he rushed forward and grabbed the first box. He was on the verge of ripping it open when three little words caught his eye.
“Are you kidding me?” His words were laced with a hint of amused disbelief.
Batteries Not Included.
Tossing the toy aside, he grabbed another box, a radio-controlled helicopter with real propeller sounds. And, again, the words Batteries Not Included caught his eye. He glanced at the next toy. “No way.”
Every box he picked up had that same, mocking declaration — Batteries Not Included.
“This is ridiculously cruel,” he muttered, depression beginning to set in. “There has to be at least one toy here that doesn’t require batteries.”
At that moment, it was as if the heavens opened up and a ray of pure sunlight shone down on an unpackaged police car with working lights and siren (although, in truth, it was merely one overhead light that just happened to flare to life at a coincidental moment).
Toyman hurried over and snatched it from the floor. The first thing he did was turn the car over and remove the small plate that covered the battery compartment. Tears of joy and relief flowed down his cheeks as he spied two AA batteries inside.
He gently put the car down, picked up the controller, and hit the siren.
The simulated noise began to blare. Wee-ooh, wee-ooh, wee-ooh, wee-ooerrrr… and then nothing, and then nothing.
Toyman dropped to his knees and began to weep.
“Well,” Driv tells the other members of the Quintessence, “that’s what happened.”
“What about the rest of them?” Doc asks.
“Yes,” Dan chimes in. “What about Black Manta, for instance?”
Driv thinks for a moment. “Ah, yes. Black Manta said he was too cool for such shenanigans, so we permanently fogged up his helmet and sealed it so he couldn’t take it off. Last I heard, he was trying to make his way to the Pacific Ocean, but he made a wrong turn in Albuquerque and was wandering around without a clue where he was going.”
“What about the women?” Doc asks.
“Oh… uh… well… um…” Driv says.
“Yes,” most of the Quintessence says. “What happened to them?”
“OK, here’s the deal,” Driv says. “Starsky is the one who actually wrote their plot holes (not really — just taking artistic liberties), and after all these years, he’s never revealed what they said. Sorry.”
The Quintessence turns as one and looks at member Starsky. He says nothing, so, one by one, the others turn to fade away.
“Once they are all gone,” Driv says, “we will officially call this story done.”
They’re still fading.
Before he fades, Starsky hands Driv a slip of paper.
“What’s this?” Driv asks.
“At this point,” Starsky says with a grin, “it’s a flashback that should wrap everything up.”
As Starsky fades, Driv unfolds the paper and begins to read.
Flashback (according to Starsky — again, not really):
Just as it was with the other members of the Legion of Doom, the plot holes opened beneath Cheetah and Giganta, and the two villainesses vanished. After discovering that Wonder Woman was telling us the truth about her tan lines, Driv decided it was time to send us home.
“I hope that worked,” I said to myself.
I felt the pull of my world, and when I arrived, I found that everything was as I had hoped. I appeared in the basement and, to my pleasant surprise, both Cheetah and Giganta, at her normal height, were waiting for me. Both women were dressed in very short cotton shifts and holding large fans. Overhead, the sprinklers were periodically releasing a spray of ice-cold water. A divan was between them, and they motioned for me to recline and relax. A bowl of grapes was off to one side, as well as a pitcher of wine. I kicked back on the divan, and…”
OK, hold it. I’m not going any further with this flashback. Sorry, gang, but I’m going to call the story complete.
Even now, the room of white begins to fade, and I can see the writing on the wall. To all those who have read my insanity, and to all of those who sat back and did nothing while I shared my insanity with the world, thank you.
And now, without further adieu, here are those two words that you have been longing for throughout this very long epilogue…