Children of Kahoutek
By Max Burbank
I was eleven when it ruined my life. I’m scarred now, tainted and I’ll never get clean. You’ve seen me. I’m that guy at work who looks like he got slapped on the back while reading a Dear John letter and his face froze that way; The Joe who’s most cherished secret dream is to be a fact checker for “E! True Hollywood Story”; That friend who when someone says, “I know, lets fix him up with Joanie” you kind of go “Nnnnn…” and you don’t know why but you’re sure you’re right.
See, around the time Wendy Marvin and Wonderdog first started chumming with the Superfriends, there was this comet that was going to pass near Earth, and it was going to be BIG. Extra Bad Ass Funky Big, as big as a harvest moon, her tail would stretch across a quarter of the night sky and they called her Kahoutek! For months I trembled in a perpetual state of what I later learned was arousal. Then the astronomers abruptly changed their minds, reevaluated their findings just a scootch and decided that as opposed to the biblical marvel heretofore forecast Kahoutek would instead be basically invisible to the naked eye.
And no one killed them! No raving mob with torches dragged them through the streets; not one single soul even tried to bind them with wet rawhide beneath the burning desert sun!
And hasn’t that been the pattern of our lives, we children of the Shitty Comet? Professor Kahoutek taught us early on the basic truth; life is a Big Rip. Do you remember “Star Trek the Motion Picture?” Particularly the six hour scene where a Swollen Scotty pilots Kirk to the enterprise? That look on Shatner’s chubby puss, like a pervert leering through a schoolyard fence? Or the precise moment you realized the whole damn movie was just a rehash of the ‘Nomad’ episode? When the Moody Blues got back together I should have known they’d be repulsive tummy tucked Boomers, but who could have possibly guessed their new music would be so totally, irredeemably, undeniably bad?! Or that such badness could open a time warp forcing me to realize they’d never been what you’d call ‘good’ to begin with? Or that they would disprove the existence of loving God by STILL BEING AROUND, EVEN NOW, making PBS pledge week even more intolerable!
But that’s how you tell a true Kahoutek Baby. We never learn. Rats in cages get the picture far more rapidly than we do. Like those inflatable clown punching toys, we slam the canvas only to bounce right back up, a stupid ‘punch me again’ grin lathered across our moronic mugs! Brady reunions with a fake Jan! Shouldn’t that have taught us?! No promised sequel to Bucaroo Bonsai! How much must we bear before the truth sinks in? Gary Truedeau came back from hiatus worse than the clone the Beatles got after Paul died! (Well, up until the ‘Ebony and Ivory’ period, anyway. ‘The Gosh Darn Girl is Mine’. Yeah. Nothing like watching a pedophile and a senior citizen mix it up over a dame. God Bless MTV.)
So we knew, didn’t we? I mean, you felt it coming, didn’t you? You could smell the tepid, soulless, wash of Episode One long before it soaked you, right? OF COURSE NOT! YOU’RE A CHILD OF KAHOUTEK! YOU ALLOWED YOURSELF TO HOPE! All right, okay, hope is allowed, hope is what makes us human, isn’t it. But… George… Jar Jar Binks? Jar Jar BINKS? JAR… JAR… BINKS!? By what right do you thrust that steaming, rubbery bastard offspring of Steppin Fetchit and a TOAD upon loyal fans? I made elaborate plans to travel to Skywalker Ranch and immolate myself, but in the end I called in sick to work, stayed up all night watching TV Land and ate six pints of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food.
I’m finally getting callused, though. When I learned Chris Claremont would once more write the core X-men books, I was as devoid of emotion as Jake Loyd . And I was right to protect myself. What has the greatest X-men scribe given the faithful? Plane crashes and super villain extras. I mean, if comics were real and you knew the X-men, would you get on a plane with any of them? How many times do these poor bastards have to walk away from the burning remains of a Blackbird (or space shuttle or space ship or orbital, you get my drift) before they start taking the bus? And what’s the deal on Thunderbird that he bought the farm the first time he flew the friendly skies, when every other mutant with an X on ‘em has walked out of the wreckage about eleventy-billion times? And ill-defined super villain henchmen. Did we need more, honestly? I mean, didn’t we have forty thousand or so at last count, almost all of whom are assumedly unemployed at the moment? And their names, sweet Christ, their names! It’s as if someone snuck up behind Claremont, sawed his skull off, scooped out his brains and poured in Rob Liefelds! Lament? Dirge? Requiem? Bloody Bess? Big Casino? The Sea Dogs? The SEA DOGS?! Check me on this, I may be wrong, but didn’t Sea Dog used to crew for Captain Crunch way back, oh, I don’t know, oh, lets see, when was it, around the time of … KAHOUTEK?!?