“This suit is so hot,” Bob said. “I feel like it’s trying to suffocate me.”
“I told you to go with the spandex,” Woodruff said.
“So I can be on display for all the world to see?” Bob asked. “No thank you.”
“I feel light, like a hummingbird,” Woodruff replied.
“You look like a Ken doll dipped in green apple nail polish.”
“You’re just jealous that my suit doesn’t impede my movements.”
“It doesn’t impede the outline of your underpants either,” Bob said. “And could you have picked brighter colors?”
“It’s so the bad guys see me coming,” Woodruff said. “I strike fear in the heart of crime.”
“You strike fear in the retina of crime,” Bob said. “Is that what the R stands for, Retina man?”
“You know this stands for Reason Man,” Woodruff said, and tapped the green letter on his chest. “A ne’er-do-well’s worst fear is reason.”
“You picked the lamest superpower ever.”
“Uh, you can’t defeat reason.”
“Of course you can,” Bob said. “Ignorance, opinion, delusion, disbelief, misinformation…”
“Fine,” Woodruff said. “But the most interesting superheroes are the ones with vulnerabilities.”
“Then whey didn’t you be Vulnerability Man?” Bob asked.
“Because reason is the cure for chaos,” Woodruff said.
“Are you trying out catchphrases?”
“Well, I was going to use the striking fear in the heart of crime one, but then you made for of it.”
“I’m sorry,” Bob said. “I’m just grumpy because of this stupid hot suit. I had to fast for like three days just to fit into it.”
“That’s super unhealthy.”
“I’m so dehydrated it’s not even flonny…fonny…funny.”
Bob stopped and swayed on the spot, as they neared the end of the alley.
“We’ve got to get you some water,” Woodruff said.
“No can do,” Bob replied. “One drop and I’ll expanded like a Magic Grow capsule. You’ll have to cut me out of this suit with a paring knife. I’m fline…fine.”
“How do you expect to help the helpless when you’re in need of medical attention?”
“Whenever the call, no matter the peril, you can always count on Xposure.”
Bob placed his hands on his hips and looked thoughtful up at the fire escape beside them.
“You went with Exposure, huh?”
“That’s what I said, Exposure.”
Bob crossed his forearms over his chest.
“Fine,” Woodruff said, crossing his forearms over his chest. “Ex…posure.”
“Now you’ve got it.”
“And your superpower is a good tan?”
“My skin can soak up the rays from the sun, like Superman, and change color like a chameleon.”
“That’s just tanning, you should be Tan Man.”
“Um, my powers come from ultraviolet radiation,” Bob said. “What do your powers come from, education?”
“Education is more powerful than a good tan!”
“Tell that to George Hamilton!”
“Now I know why Batman works alone,” Woodruff muttered.
“Yeah,” Bob said. “Robin, Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, totally alone.”
“An orphan, a butler, and a snitch.”
“How dare you?!”
“I’m sorry, Bob…”
“Exposure,” Woodruff corrected. “We didn’t get all dressed up to fight each other. Let’s remember why we’re here.”
“You’re right,” Bob said. “It’s just so hard. We’ve been walking around for like ten minutes and there’s no crime anywhere.”
“Well the sun is going down so crime is bound to go up.”
“You’re just saying that to make me feel better.”
“No, really,” Woodruff said. “Statistically speaking, you’re much more likely to be a victim of a crime at night.”
“Here’s hoping,” Bob said, as he adjusted his leather eye-mask.
“Help!” a woman’s cry echoed through the cavernous cityscape.
“Did you hear that?” Woodruff asked.
“It’s go time,” Bob replied.
Bob struggled against his leathery confines as he sprinted up the street. Woodruff jogged along beside his partner with the swishing sound of spandex joining in concert with the crinkling crunching rawhide. Suddenly, Bob stopped and turned his ear to the sky.
“Help, please help!” the woman’s voice echoed again.
“This way!” Woodruff said.
“No, this way!” Bob turned and ran back the way they had come. Woodruff jump and whirled around a mailbox and sprinted up the sidewalk.
“Groovy outfit, dude,” a long-haired man walking his shih tzu said.
“Thank you, citizen,” Woodruff replied in a deepened false voice.
“What was that?” Bob asked.
“That was my hero voice.”
“You sound like Robert Barone.”
“From Everybody Loves Raymond?”
“I’ll take it!”
The duo rounded the corner and stopped in the middle of the street.
“Help!” the voice cried again.
“There!” Woodruff said, pointed to a third story window.
Black smoke billowed out the window and up into the air. A blonde woman wearing a bright red dress leaned out the smoky window and waved her arms frantically.
“What do we do?” Bob asked.
“Call 9-1-1,” Woodruff said.
“But we’re superheroes,” Bob replied.
“My superpower is reason,” Woodruff said. “Since neither of us is fireproof, the reasonable thing to do is call 9-1-1.”
“You should be called Coward Man.”
“Coward Man’s superpower would be longevity.”
“Are you with me or not?”
“You know I am.”
Bob dashed down the back alley behind the building with smoky window. The backdoor was prompted open by an old milk crate and Woodruff and Bob burst inside. After a quick scan, Bob headed down a narrow hallway and bounded up the stairs. The woman’s muffled plea for help could be heard coming from the floors above. Bob paused at the landing to catch his breath.
“This super suit is making it hard to breathe,” Bob said.
“Are you sure it’s the suit?” Woodruff asked. “I saw you get winded taking the trash out last week.”
“It’s a long driveway and that barrel was heavy.”
“It had wheels.”
“My new workout regimen starts Monday.”
“You said that last Monday.”
“And it did,” Bob said. “But this is a new new workout regimen.”
“As far as I could tell the old new workout regimen was just you pacing back and forth in front of the freezer until you gave in and ate a box of ice cream sandwiches,” Woodruff replied.
“It’s called intermittent fasting,” Bob said. “You deprive yourself of calories, intermittently, and then eat them all real fast.”
Woodruff just shook his head.
They ascended two flights of stairs without stopping and pulled open the door to the hallway.
“This way,” Bob said, racing down the hall.
“Where’s all the smoke?” Woodruff wondered aloud.
The woman yelled again and Bob backtracked to the door he had just passed.
“X-plosion!” Bob shouted, and he kicked open the door. A beautiful blonde, surrounded by black smoke, turned around with a startled look on her face.
“Who are you?” she asked.
“Reason Man and Exposure,” Woodruff declared, in a deepened false voice, as he placed his hands on his hips.
“That’s what I said.”
“What do you think you’re doing?” the woman asked.
“We’re here to rescue you,” Bob replied.
“Rescue me?” the woman said, scrunching up her forehead.
Woodruff and Bob ran to where the woman stood and peered out the window, through the smoke. Blue and red lights flashed from the street below and a bright white spotlight shone up at them.
“The fire department is here,” Woodruff said.
“And they’ve got a trampoline,” Bob said.
“I think that’s called a jump net.”
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
“No Bob, no I’m not.”
“Come on, Reason Man, you only live once.”
“We should just take the stairs,” Woodruff said. “The path is clear and there’s not even any smoke in the hallway.”
“You shouldn’t be here,” the woman said.
“She’s delirious from all this smoke,” Bob said. “There’s no time for stairs.”
Bob took the woman in his arms and stepped up onto the window sill. He took a moment to judge the distance, while Woodruff squeeze himself onto the ledge with them.
“On three,” Woodruff said.
“What are you two doing?” the woman questioned.
“One, two,” Bob counted.
“Don’t you dare!” the woman shouted.
“Three!” Woodruff and Bob yelled in unison.
They jumped from the window, screaming, and the three of them plummeted down the waiting firemen below. They bounced off the jump sheet and landed on the feet, still clinging to one another.
“Cut!” an irritated man with a goatee shouted. “Who are these two?”
Beyond the firetrucks and flashing lights, a camera crew was perched on a lift that overlooked the street.
Woodruff looked back up at the window from where they had leapt, and the black smoke suddenly stopped as if it had been turned off. All eyes down on the street were on them and nobody moved.
“We’re Xposure and Reason Man,” Bob said.
“You ruined our shot,” the irritated goatee man said.
“What shot?” Bob asked.
“I think they’re filming a movie,” Woodruff said.
“Really?” Bob asked. “Wow. We’ve only been superheroes for like fifteen minutes and we’ve already got a movie. Take that Adam Warlock!”
“Get these two off my set,” the irritated man demanded.
Immediately a quartet of muscly security guards emerged from the crowd and made their way toward them.
“Time to go,” Woodruff said.
“Remember, m’lady, whenever the call, no matter the peril, you can always count on…”
Woodruff grabbed Bob by his leathery collar and pulled him away from the blonde woman in the red dress. They dashed down the nearest alley with the security guards in pursuit.
“You know what we need?” Woodruff asked, as he looked behind at the advancing guards.
“A Reasonmobile?” Bob replied, huffing and puffing.
They both jumped in the air and fist pumped the sky.