Monday, July 20, 2015

We Are... The Shutter Uppers

Superpowers are a funny thing. One day you're just going along, living your life like normal, and then BAM!, out of nowhere, you discover that you have the ability to do something nobody else seems to be able to do. Like being able to fly through the sky like an eagle. Or climb walls like a human spider. Or not drive your car like a complete asshole. And as it just so happens, the both of us recently realized we had superpowers too. Twin superpowers. Bryan found out about his while at the grocery store, during a very common, everyday occurrence.

You know the scenario. You're in line at the grocery store, and someone's spawn starts wailing.


And Mom or Dad isn't doing a damn thing.


Meanwhile, everyone else is just pretending like it doesn't exist, even though they're all making "constipated face" because they're so damn annoyed. Yet they remain silent and do nothing.


They need someone to step in and save the day. They need a hero. So that's when Bryan transforms into his superhero alter ego.



The villain, outmatched and outwitted, usually flees.


And not soon after, the people of the city offer their praise and their thanks to our brave, selfless hero.



As long as rude children are making a scene in public and no one is doing anything about it, Bratman will be there to save the day by asking the parents to please control them. Bratman is not a violent superhero, but if push comes to shove, he will bring out the wooden spoon and the flip flop.

His fight is an uphill battle, but thankfully he's not alone.

You see, Brandon has the exact same superpowers, but they were not born of the grocery store; nay, they were born in the movie theater, during yet another common occurrence.

*Minions are a registered trademark of the Hostess Brands Bakery.

But you know what invariably happens. Some numbnuts in the 5 to 25-year-old age bracket pops up in front of you and not only are they talking obnoxiously, but they're using their cellphone during the whole movie, the light of which is so bright in the darkness that it can melt retinas.



The entire theater becomes terrorized by this visual and auditory assault, but everyone is powerless to stop him. Or... at least it seems like that, because no one will do or say anything. That's when Brandon transforms to save the day.





Brandon will verbally thwart this villain, sure, but his true strength is the lingering, scornful glance that comes after, in which he stares down his foe into silent submission, as if to say, "Come on, dude, seriously?"



Staredevil always gives his foes a literal browbeating.

Little known fact about the Staredevil: as a child he was blinded by the nuclear iPhone screen that killed his parents during a showing of Ghostbusters II in 1989. Ever since then he's been on an unstoppable path of vengeance.

Ultimately, the two of us may not be the superheroes that this city wants, but we're certainly the superheroes that it needs.

For some reason, the two of us have found that our superpowers really are...sadly...sort of unique. It seems like (where we live anyway) people are so damn afraid to speak up and ask their fellow man (or woman) to not be inconsiderate assholes. Why is it that people are so willing to put up with the idiotic shenanigans of the 'entitled twat' population? Is it like that where you live? Do you have any similar superpowers?

Cheers and stay classy, friends,
B&B

Music: R.E.M (Superman)
Beer: Myrcenary

120 comments:

  1. Are you guys for hire?
    What is it with parents who just tune out their kids and ignore the obvious?
    My superpower is the ability to drain flashlights just by touching them. Not nearly as effective. I wonder if that would work on obnoxious people's cell phones though...?

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    1. Obnoxious people have their own superpowers in that regard - plugging a charger in anywhere. "Ah ha, you thought you bested me? Well, let me just reach past all of you while I'm here at this restaurant and use the wall plug under someone else's table, since my table doesn't have one!"

      And... I guess when your child just doesn't ever stop screaming, you sadly reach the point that you can somehow tune that noise out?

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  2. We--well, most of society--is adverse to confrontation, that's how people get away with being societal nuisances...Hold on, there were iPhones in 1989!?! What kind of high-level-Mason/Illuminati club are you a part of that you got iPhones 15 years before the general public!?! You may have the powers to confront unruly children and their parents, but I will ferret out your secret society and expose you, most likely on the History Channel next to the guy who won't shut up about ancient aliens.

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    1. For being a society adverse to confrontation we sure have a lot of road rage. How the hell does someone explain that?

      And are you calling Brandon's origin story into question? Next thing you're going to tell me, it's implausible that Thor is a god with a hammer only he can lift, and Captain America is implausible not just for taking a serum that gives his superhuman strength, but for being able to somehow be frozen in ice for 70 years like some kind of superhero Encino Man.

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  3. I think down in England people are just too polite to say anything to someone. The problem is this doesn't also extend to being too polite to not inconvenience others by not being a dick. I got a taste of it myself just last week. I was grocery shopping with my dad and we heard this kid cry. I could hear it from every corner of the supermarket and it went on the entire time I was there (about half an hour). It got so bad I actually asked my dad when a kid gives up and stops crying. When it reaches that points surely it should be considered child neglect unless they literally don't have the means to shut the child up, such as a diaper. If that's the case you're in a FUCKING SUPERMARKET. You can just buy what the child needs and literally pay for your lack of foresight.

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    1. I think sometimes people don't realize that you're not breaking politeness by asking someone to please control their kid, or please put their cellphone away at a movie. It's all in how you ask, after all. Though I'll admit, the aforementioned questions don't get nearly the same reaction as "SHUT THE FUCK UP, CRACKAH!"

      (That's just fun because they start questioning what race you are, even if you're white as paper)

      And don't let those kids fool you. Sometimes they're just being bratty. Sometimes. A few months ago I was in the grocery store and a kid had an all out, meltdown tantrum over not getting some kind of candy that lasted at least half an hour and covered about 3/4 of the store. At that point the wife and I weren't even looking to seek out which aisle they were in and shut them up. We were just laughing that a kid could yell for that long without going hoarse or... you know, getting over it. Oh, to be young again.

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  4. You guys are the superheroes everyone wants but never knew existed until now. I could have used both of you this weekend in fact. A kid was screaming in the buggy while my son and I were back to school shopping and his Mom just kept going up and down the aisles like nothing was wrong. We cut our shopping short because it was so annoying. Then some twat in front of me at Magic Mike thought she was going to use her cell phone. Oh Hell No!!! I draw the line at that. I asked her to put it away and you would have thought I had three heads the way she looked at me. Then every twat in her group turned around and bitch stared at me. I'm pretty sure anything on the big screen is better looking than anything on that damn cell phone!

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    1. What I love about that is that no matter how nicely you ask, you're always the asshole. I mean, how dare you ask someone to please stop being rude by blinding you with their cellphone.

      If you want to use your cellphone, stay home. Live happily ever after with Facebook and then realize on your deathbed you wasted your entire life on a tiny, stupid device. Just don't drag the rest of us into it. Especially during the Academy Award worthy arthouse masterpiece that is the Magic Mike series.

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  5. Bratman and Staredevil, I like it. The best part is that you don't need a special "Brat Signal." You can already hear the crying kid from miles away. Very convenient.

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    1. And the beacon of a cellphone is something you can see for miles (or at least it feels like it when you're in a dark theater). We're never at a shortage of finding villains. Now if only we had some way of disposing of them that wasn't just asking nicely. That doesn't seem to stop it from happening again. Maybe I need to invest in a Brat-Taser?

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  6. I always find it funny when parents ask me how I keep my kids from whining and begging for stuff. If they ask for anything more than twice I automatically say no. I stick to it too so they know not to drive everyone crazy. I use to have the super power of being able to shut kids up by staring at them.

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    1. Ooh, a combination of the two of us. That's awesome. And what a great rule. Maybe I can even impose that in my own crime fighting.

      "If you don't stop yelling, I'm going to take your new purchase out of your shopping cart and run, and I'm much faster than you. Let's see your tiny child legs keep up with my long, nimble adult legs. So what's it gonna be, jackass?"

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  7. Oh I'm definitely not afraid to speak up... although I daresay the Great Scot probably wishes I'd develop a fear factor. Like the time I strolled, okay-rolled- up to the skyscraper - tall, really brawny, dude with the neon pink mohawk...

    "Excuse me, but I'd like to talk to you about your hair." "Oh yeah lady? Whaddabout it?" "Well, young man (always gotta get the young man in there) don't you think the breast cancer awareness ribbons you have shaved into the sides of your head would stand out more if they were outlined in black?"
    " Know what I think, lady? I think you... you... *sniffle, sob*... you remind me of my mother *waaaaaaaaaaaaah*.
    "Okay son, just don't go all Norman on me."

    That's right guys... my superpower is the ability to make anyone get sentimental. Don't make me mad, or you're going to find yourselves sobbing at a chick flick, with no memory of how you got there!"

    (Btw, whenever my kidling was young and decided to try the temper tantrum thing she was lifted out of the cart and marched to the car... where we immediately buckled up and left. She tried it twice.)

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    1. Wow, that story didn't go where I think it would. I figured it would end with a brutal knifing. You stabbing him, of course. I know better than to mess with the likes of you. Your profile picture looks all sweet and innocent, but I assume it's just a clever ruse and really throws people off when you start climbing the ranks of the local underground fight club.

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  8. You guys are TRUE superheroes! I'm starting your slash fandom right now, Brat/Devil! Hot stuff!

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    1. Ah, the Internet: created specifically for funny cat videos, misinformed rants, and gay fanfiction. After reading some of that stuff, you can just never look at Harry Potter and his "wand" the same way ever again.

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  9. Are you sure tight spandex pants are the best for Bratman? Think of the poor kids!

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    1. That's part of the punishment. If you didn't want to see me sauntering around in size double zero leather pants, then you should have shut your child up the first time he/she started screaming.

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  10. I really want to go up to these brats and say "my brother did that once, and then my parents sold him into slavery" and just walk away

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    1. I hope you know I'm going to remember that, and it's almost certain that I'll use it at some point. As a bonus, I'd probably end by saying to myself, "I wonder if he's still alive after all of these years," sniffle, and then walk away.

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  11. It seems to be like that everywhere. Kids just wailing and parents doing nothing about it. The whole gimmie gimmie attitude. The parents seem to be like "we gave birth to the thing, our job is done."

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    1. Well, I understand the concept of, "If I ignore it, maybe it'll stop," but sometimes they take that to a bit of an extreme.

      "Well, if I just ignore this thing for 18 years, maybe it'll shut up and move out."

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  12. That is hilarious! We need more superheroes like that. If my son starts to whine or misbehave, my husband or I will immediately take him out from wherever we are. I'm immensely annoyed when another parent is not considerate of other people.

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    1. You are a saint. For every one of you, there's at least 10 women mindlessly flipping through a People magazine while their nightmare toddler flips over a candy display, screaming like a victim in a horror movie.

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  13. I'm sure this is a big problem but frankly, I never notice. I'm usually too busy checking my facebook at the theater and wondering where my kids are to even notice what other people are doing.

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    1. Being ignored is our kryptonite. Congratulations, you just defeated two superheroes at once. I hope you're pleased with yourself.

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  14. Every one of these scenarios played out for me this weekend oddly enough. I'm definitely one of the Staredevil types. If the staring doesn't work, I usually drop a "Dude, are you kidding me?" to which they usually respond. I usually drop that one on the train when the person next to me is talking loudly on the phone or chewing gum like an angsty teenager. I wear earplugs on the train because I can't concentrate on reading given the slightest noise, but if I can hear you're maw grinding into a strawberry-flavored wad of latex, then you have a problem.

    Anyway, the loud toddler one is definitely brave. Mention anything about a child in public nowadays, you're immediately labeled a predator. I leave that one to my girlfriend.

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    1. I feel like it's all in how you approach the child. Like, "SHUT UP YOUR DEVIL SPAWN" is hard to spin into a predatory angle.

      And I don't think anything is worse than someone chewing gum like an asthmatic cow. That's my personal nails on a chalkboard. They'd be chewing on my fist if I asked nicely and they didn't stop.

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  15. I tried out a similar behavior at a concert a few years ago. The suspects retreated back to the bar level of the stadium after my verbal reprimand. Fortunately, I go the grocery store early and avoid most small people. I only have to deal with old people who think shopping is a marathon event through which they should conserve energy by moving along at at .00001 mph.
    Susan Says

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    1. Oh yes, I hate when you're shopping and people in front of you are not only going slow, but they take up the entire aisle. And of course YOU'RE the jerk if you ask them to please move. Fun fact, though: if they don't move, it's perfectly acceptable to play Red Rover with them. You get 10 points for every person you concuss.

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  16. I can imagine the flip-flop being used in a good old-fashioned beat-down, but a wooden spoon? Is that for real? Seems a bit extreme.
    Over here when there's a kid screaming in the supermarket people will generally throw a lot of angry and/or annoyed stares, but that's about it. Rarely ever have I witnessed someone speak up about it.

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    1. Hah! You haven't met a Mexican mother/grandmother. They'll beat some ass with a wooden spoon. Our parents/grandparents never did that, but the fear is real, my friend. That thing ain't just for cookin'.

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  17. B&B:
    Now THAT is so very true with people these days....
    Bratman and Staredevil...LOL. Brilliant.

    I"m kinda like the Steve Rogers that never had that "chance" get dosed with super-soldier serum & Vita-rays...I never got taller OR stronger...just older.
    (but I can STILL sling a MEAN trashcan lid...!)

    Co-workers once nicknamed me "Spidey" when I worked at a Sears warehouse in Philly, because I could climb up onto the stacks for merchandise without a ladder...guess that kinda counts, hmm?

    Dunno if it's a "superpower" or not, but I always accurately predict how a "newbie" will behave when they move into a rental property around here...batting 1000 on that one.
    (I call it being observant)

    I've never been arrested (in 62 years - YET)..today that's not as much a SUPER power, as it is good CHOICES in life (as well as a "lost art".)

    I will state that if the wrong person cheeses me off in the most perfect way, I might have this urge to "Hulk-out".

    Okay, so I'm not Captain America...or Batman...or even The Punisher...I just play one in my mind's "own little world".(and the best part to that - everyone there KNOWS me...heh)
    Maybe that's why there's NO CRIME there...'ya think?

    Another great post.

    Stay safe out there, guys.

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    1. That's a well rounded collection of superpowers. You don't need to have super-soldier serum if you can Hulk out, kick some verbal ass, climb to safety with your spidey powers, and then safely evade arrest. Watch out, Charles Bronson. There's a new badass in town.

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    2. Don't believe a word he said. He's a Time Lord from Gallifrey... and I can prove it...

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    3. Last time I fell for that, some homeless guy trapped me in a port-o-potty. It was definitely not bigger on the inside.

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  18. I often feel as though I'm being judged in public places, because when my kids are being whiny or acting up in some other way, I snap my fingers at them or even grab their arm and loudly hiss something along the lines of: "Get over here and shut your face hole!" It's usually pretty effective, but I sometimes wonder how many people are silently judging me for being too harsh. However, while I do not believe in browbeating my kids into submission, when they're being snotty I have no problem with getting my message across via less gentle means. It gets their attention, and it usually stops the problem. It's best to nip such things in the proverbial bud.

    Movie theaters need more people gifted in the "Withering Stare". I can't freaking stand those idiots who show up to the theater not only to miss the whole movie themselves, but to ruin the experience for everyone else. Jerk wads.

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    1. I never thought of it from the parenting standpoint, but kinda damned if you do, damned if you don't, right? Ignore them and you're an asshole, but scold them and... you're also an asshole. I won't ever hold it against a parent that scolds their screaming child. And if I heard someone say "shut your face hole," I'd probably give them a high five. That's the greatest way to shut someone up EVER.

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  19. The Mexican grandmother had nothing on my Scottish father who ALWAYS was willing to "give you something to cry about."

    When I'm in a store and I see a kid going nuts, I can usually make him stop immediately by just talking directly to him. My Hubzam thinks it is my superpower. I can see a kid scream for an hour while a Mama tries to control that hot mess; I'll walk by and say something neutral like, "Oh, it's not that bad, is it?" and the kid will immediately go silent. It's amazing.

    Well...it's amazing except for one time. A two-year old was losing her mind in Target and I said, "oh, honey...what's wrong?"

    She gave me a dead stare and said "F --- you." She said it three times. There went all my "benefit of the doubt" good intentions toward the young parents. BAM. We all know what this kid is hearing all the time at home. I wish I could go to first grade with that little girl; I wonder how many times ma and pa will have to come to school.

    My kids, who were not angels, never had a tantrum or screamed when they were young. NEVER. And you know how lame I am...if I can do it, anyone can.

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    1. I already don't have much faith in humanity, but if I heard a two year old yell at me 'F you,' then I think my entire world would just crumble.

      I once knew a guy in college who was complaining that his son's teacher had called him about his 5-year old son using the c-word in class. He told me, "I don't know where he'd ever hear that. No one says that in our household." I kid you not, not but 5 minutes later his computer was freezing and the first words out of his mouth were "f**king c***!" while he pounded the keyboard.

      Uh, yeah, I wonder where he got that from.

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  20. Literal browbeatings are more powerful than any words. Thank goodness for the Bratman and Staredevil. We need you to go on a world tour.

    It's true, though. I'm too cowardly to say something in situations like that. Most are. But now I'll push myself to do so (influenced by you superheroes.) It's only a matter of asking parents that they and their kids not be annoying assholes-as you say. My fear is the parents' fury. But what are they going to do? And I can cut a bitch when it's deserved. Smiles.

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    1. It's just a matter of letting rude, inconsiderate people know they can't win.

      A few months ago the wife and I were at a concert, waiting in line to get inside, and this group of girls just jumped in front of us. My wife instantly called them out, berated them, made them look stupid, told them to GTFO, and everyone else just stood around looking like deer in the headlights. Finally they left, and everyone still looked shocked that she had said something. It's like, what, you're just going to let these bitches walk all over you because you're too weak to say something? Giving up your spot is more important than having a small confrontation? Fuck that.

      My wife can cut a bitch too. That's why I didn't even need to say anything. I just stood there and laughed.

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  21. OMG, I needed your help the other day!!

    How do we call Bratman and Stardevil?

    Do you have a Brat Signal we can shoot into the sky? Like Batman or Thundercats?

    I was on campus working the other day. Usually it is peaceful on campus because the college students are on summer break... but.... not last week. Last week some of the campus was being used for Math Camp... for children... need I say more?

    Let's just say that at the end of the week all those surviving on campus had stories to tell.
    ;-)

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    1. If you call us, just make sure you don't call during a movie or while checking out at the grocery store. We may just come for you.

      And you know, in all fairness, if I was dragged to math camp, I'd probably scream my head off, too.

      Regardless, I hope one of those stories ended with, "And then I discovered that it's actually very easy to throw a child into a dumpster. They're very lightweight and incredibly aerodynamic."

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  22. You know, I have a 6-year-old and if she starts acting up or being rude (which isn't often) I correct it and I expect the same from everyone else. When she was really little, I never would've dreamed of taking her to the movie theater, yet every time we go to a kid's movie now a days there is someone there with an infant crying. Holy crap, why did you even bring the kid? They can't watch the movie and if you can't find a babysitter.. well, just don't go! That's what I did. It isn't that hard.
    People are so inconsiderate, especially with kids.
    The thing with unruly brats in stores is, and this has happened to me, if you say anything to them or the parents it usually ends up with them getting an attitude and acting just as bad if not worse than their kid. I got it a lot working as a cashier. Usually, if a little one is crying, just staring them down shuts them up. Don't know what it is, guess it makes them uncomfortable, but 9 times outta 10 they simmer down.

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    1. Oh yes, taking a baby to a movie is practically a post in itself. My favorite is when a parent brings a screaming baby into a rated R movie. I mean, it's nice to know that since you couldn't afford a babysitter, you'd just use everyone else around you in a movie theater. I totally wasn't doing anything better with my time, anyway.

      Also, I wonder if I could get away with staring down a child, being an adult male. Like, if you do it, it might be seen as motherly and scolding. But if I do it, someone might ask "Is he planning to eat that child?"

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    2. You could probably get away with it. My Other used to do it all the time when he worked customer service. That's where I got it from, haha .. Really though, I think it just freaks the child out. 'Why is that person just STARING at me?' But that may just be me putting my own feelings about being stared at into it. haha
      I mean, unless you're carrying some silverware or wearing an apron I doubt they'd think you're planning on eating em.

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  23. Ugh.

    Incidentally, I share both your gifts. I can stare a bratty kid into shutting up. ;-)

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    1. Last time I tried to stare down a child I melted him into goo with my eyelasers. Methinks I might have more superpowers than originally anticipated.

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  24. Bratman! Bratman! Bratman! Bratman! Bratman! Bratman! Bratman! Bratman! Bratman! Bratman!
    Da da da da da da da!
    Bratman!

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  25. Thank you! Bless you! Will you fly over the park my kids play in? These parents are about to lynch me for being the ONLY PERSON'S EVER to explain how older kids shouldn't be screaming at or stepping on a 3 yr old. I'm skerred.

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    1. OHHHH, okay, I'm glad you explained that to me. I've been stepping on 3 year olds for years now.

      ...What the fuck is wrong with people?

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  26. My kids never behaved badly in public and that's because they were raised properly by parents who were home, had rules, enforced those rules and actually spent time interacting with the children. Since society has decided to throw norms and values out the window, we need Bratman and we need him badly. Especially in restaurants.

    Due to The Hubby's health, I haven't been to the cinema in years. From what I understand going today is pretty expensive and if someone is ruining that experience they should be dealt with. If you can do it with a silent, deadly stare then that's a good thing.

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    1. Silent but deadly is kinda Brandon's specialty. Wait...

      Sadly, it's true, because it seems like most of the time these kids having a meltdown don't even really want anything outside of some attention from their parents. The poor kid is just treated like a nuisance, whose only job is to shut up and not touch anything. Makes me wonder why some people even bother having kids if they're not going to pay attention to them.

      I mean, I haven't had kids yet because both my wife and I are way too busy to be attentive parents. And we readily admit that, so we have no desire to bring a kid into this world and then ignore it or shove it into the hands of a nanny.

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  27. I try to be the staredevil. Unfortunately, my powers aren't as good as Brandon's. Yet. I have this friend who has her face permanently set in an annoyed/disgusted stare though. Basically -_- this face.

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    1. Ooh, resting bitch face. That's like the ultimate superpower that you don't even need to control. Just glance at someone and they shut up/leave you the hell alone.

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  28. Where were you two days ago? There was a kid somewhere between 5 and 7, in a stroller, screaming as though he was on fire. Im pretty sure that he was mentally disabled but his parents were just walking around in the food court, ignoring him and chatting away.

    I think I may be developing a similar super power. My store is about 80% glass. Kids feel the need to touch everything and try to climb our shelves. Some kids have taken our displays and thrown them across the store. I have mastered a menicing glare that the child receives until they walk back to their parents and sit their bratty ass on the fucking bench. I seem to have become a ninja at this because no parent has seen me do it.

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    1. Mastering the glare is one thing, but disguising it so others don't see you except the intended recipient... teach us, oh master!

      Two days ago? Oh yes, I was at the grocery store listening to a little kid scream her head off from the seat of her mom's shopping cart while dear ol' mom was in an entire other aisle looking at TV dinners.

      Didn't you know? When you don't want to listen to your kid scream, you just walk far enough away to not hear it anymore. Really, it's the age old question. If a kid screams in the food court, and mom's not around to hear it, does the kid make a sound? I think we all know the answer is a resounding no.

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    2. I will teach you the ways of the ninja-glare, if you give me a superhero name.

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    3. You shall henceforth be known as the Black Window. It's like the Black Widow, but you fight bad guys using the dark, pitch black windows into your soul that are your eyeballs.

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    4. Love it!

      Now, grasshoppers, here is the trick to my superpower:

      Have your back facing the parents or be behind the parents back. At no point, should you attempt this dangerous power when you are in their line of vision. If you practice long and hard enough, you can even do the great and powerful triple look- looking at the kid, what they are doing, and back at the kid. Even I haven't mastered the triple look and point yet. (The same as the triple look but you point at what they did.)

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    5. I attempted a single look with a point and poked an eye out. I think I might have to start out slow. Thank you for the invaluable advice, however. I aspire to one day achieve the quadruple look and point (same as triple look and point but after you're done you cast a quick glance back at the parent and just shake your head and sigh).

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  29. Too bad Staredevil wasn't in that movie theater to take care of the nut who murdered all those people!

    I am now officially a Staredevil and Bratman groupie. Can I start a fan club? As a mother who raised a child now 33, I remember that if he ever acted up (which he only did once-then he got spanked and never did it again), I would take him out of the store/wherever. If he was cranky to begin with, I left him home with Daddy or babysitter or else I stayed home. Simple right? Yes, I spanked my kid. And he's got manners now and is well behaved. Imagine that?

    My mother was the Queen of the wooden spoon. There were a few broken over me. Can you even believe that I "Bouncin Barb" warranted punishment as a child? Hahahahaha

    Great post guys! Love you as always!

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    1. There are probably still moments in my life that would warrant a wooden spoon, so I can believe you. :)

      And as much as I joke about the wooden spoon, it's the parents that need it more. As long as we have parents like this in the world, screaming children will always be around.

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  30. Can you expand your powers to the entire planet? Maybe 2 continents?

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    1. We'd be lucky if we could spread our powers to the rest of the state. People will do anything to avoid conflict.

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  31. Bratman and Staredevil! Bodacious!! I've raised my share of squalling brats in a store. Thank goodness they grew up enough to leave at home with the video game sitter.

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    1. Sometimes I stay home with the video game sitter and I'm 31. It's fairly cheap, highly entertaining, reliable babysitting. Plus, I get to run over hookers with my car.

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  32. That's one of the many problems with working in a supermarket. I could have done with Bratman today; someone's kid was screaming nonstop for about half an hour, you could hear them all around the store.

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    1. As Bratman, I only have to deal with them for 4 minutes at most in a checkout line. Working in a supermarket, though, you have to deal with them what, 40 hours a week? I can only imagine how awful that is. Especially since you can't say anything. You can, however, butter the floors the next aisle over and just wait for that screaming to be justified.*

      *Our legal team says please don't do that, ever

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  33. Fortunately, I have the kids about whom all the other parents say with obvious envy, "Wow... Your kids are so well behaved." You can always tell they want to ask, "How do you do that?" but they never ask the question, because they don't really want to hear the answer. The answer requires work on their part, and no one wants to hear that.

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    1. The answer also requires them admitting that they're failing at some aspect of parenting, if you point out something they're not doing but should. Maybe that's your own superpower. Maybe you should just point it out to these people anyway. "Hey dummy - just pay attention to your kid! He doesn't really want a candy bar, he just wants to tell you about his damn day. Listen to him and acted interested."

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  34. Little kids who carry on like that in stores are usually overly tired. Or hungry. Or worse... they're like chained-up dogs who bark incessantly out of boredom, because they're tired of being ignored. I must confess, I make funny faces at those kids, preferably in a way the oblivious parent can't see. The kids are usually so startled, they shut up. Sometimes, they even laugh. Other times? Bratman is definitely needed. Or child welfare services.

    My superpower? My body's magnetism can make some watches stop running. Yeah, I know. Not a particularly useful talent. I'd much rather be able to stare down ignorant people in the movie theater.

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    1. Don't count yourself out just yet. If someone starts using their new Apple watch during the next movie I see, you're the first person I'll be calling.

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    2. HA! Good point.

      FYI, I finished reading your "Slim Dyson" book, and have posted a review on Goodreads and Amazon. (Yes, I liked it!)

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  35. Hahaha! "Bratman", that is genius! I get really annoyed when I see young children screaming, so I wish he could save me sometime. But until then I'll just wear a Batman t-shirt, are they brothers?

    And hey! Not all 15-25 year olds use their phones at the movies. I'm 21 and I don't! Haha

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    1. Bratman's more closely related to Count Chocula. Don't ask. And not ALL 15-25 year olds use their phones at the movies, but when someone does whip out their phone during a showing, it's almost always that demographic. Haven't ever really seen a 60 year old woman whip out her new Samsung Galaxy Note and start texting Maude about that bitch in homeroom.

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  36. My pet peeve is a combination of the two scenarios-at a movie with lots of loud explosions, there is invariably some frigging idiot with an infant (because infants love Schwarzenegger films), and they refuse to take the kid outside when it screams.

    I do wish that public places (like theaters) would invest in technology that blocks cell phone signals...or even causes the phone to detonate if the "send" button is pressed on a text message.

    They even have the cute PSA about turning off the cell phone (one would hope anyone old enough to go to a movie by themselves would not need such an announcement) but most of the brain surgeons in our society think that the theater means everyone but them.

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    1. I just wish public places would invest in technology that could block out infants. Let's not kid ourselves. An infant can't watch or enjoy a movie. Just hire a damn babysitter.

      (Can you guess? I'm definitely with you on that one)

      At our theater, not only do they have the cutesy PSA, they have slides while everyone's sitting down that intermittently mention it, and they even show one last message before the show starts to please turn off all cell phones. All. And yet people will still ignore that. Humanity is doomed.

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  37. I am afraid my powers aren't as good as Brandon's, being a staredevil has its pros and cons no doubt. Greetings!

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    1. Shhh! Keep it down during the movie!

      (Kidding. Greetings and salutations!)

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  38. Nowadays, if one person says to the parent to shut their kids up, you are branded a child hater and told you have no idea about kids so people are scared. I have spoken up and was told off only to tell them that my parents and former generations taught their kids manners so I agreed with them that it is not the kid's fault but yours and that you should go to parent school. Once I was in a grocery store where a brat kept jumping on the back of my cart. I told him once to get off my cart. When he smiled he evil grin at me, I slapped his fingers and he got off my cart. Now I was suddenly overcome with "Oh,Oh, should not have done that" but the mother did not even notice. The brat? He just stared at me in disbelief and every time I saw him in the aisles he just looked at me. I don't think he was ever disciplined-there is a word the parents need to know! As for irritating a holes in movie theatres? I tell them to turn the phones off and I have left and got the theatre security and had them kicked out-I was full of pride for myself

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    1. Meanwhile, I'm just impressed your theater has security. Around here we just have a bunch of teenagers that don't give a shit, so I fear that if shit hits the fan I'm going to have to just play bouncer myself.

      It sounds like you have some incredible superpowers yourself. Slapping - I like that! So effective! You can totally join our superhero squad.

      Also, you say "Oh oh, should not have done that," but I say it's not his fingers *I* would have slapped. And that's why I just stick to talking. :)

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  39. You should franchise this as a business model and spread the superheroes all over the country. You could help keep normal people sane by inflicting your copyrighted selves on the assholes, both young and old, of America. Money could come from new mental health legislation designed to keep people from going off the deep end when they encounter brat kids and their poor excuses for parents as well as movie theater jerks. This would be a great public service and could even succeed on an international level. The money would come rolling in and you would still have plenty of time to write. You can thank me later.

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    1. And I'm sure if we hired ex-convicts to play our copyrighted selves not only would we be 100% more effective at scaring assholes/asshole children, but we'd cut down immensely on costs. You can look forward to 10% of our profits for coming up with the idea. Enjoy never working again a day in your life.

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  40. I HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE TEXT AT THE MOVIES! Do they really think that bright ass light isn't distracting?!?! ARGHHH!

    (But no, I don't usually confront people. Sigh.)

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    1. It's not that hard to become a superhero like us. You don't need to get bitten by a radioactive spider or roll in toxic waste. Just drink a bottle of wine before going anywhere. You'll get bravery you never even knew you had.

      Hey, small child that won't shut up, you wanna fight? I'll wreck you, son!

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  41. Oh yes, I definitely have these super powers. I was in Walmart years ago with my mother and the lady in front of us had a kid who appeared to be about 6 years old who was screaming and crying and hanging onto the bars when the mother tried prying him off it to leave he wouldn't go. I asked the mother if she would like some help and she said yes and pushed the cart my way but I ignored it and went over to the kid, picked him up and carried him out to the car all the while my mother was standing there with her jaw on the floor at what I did. lol Oh and I can't g to the movie theatre anymore because I usually yell at the kids who kick the back of my chair, open their iphones while I'm trying to watch the movie, or throw popcorn at each other. I almost got kicked out for causing problems years ago and my daughter refuses to go with me now. lol But there's no way that I'll just stand there and take shit like that and not say something.

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    1. Okay, you're in your own special league of superhero. We bow down to you. As for the movie thing, you know what one of my biggest fears is? That one day someone won't stop being a jerk when I ask nicely, and I'll do something that will get me kicked out (like take away his phone and tell him he'll get it back at the end of the movie, etc).

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  42. What this country needs is more superheroes like THE BOFFO BEER BOYS!

    My only superpower seems to be the ability to consistently make really awful decisions. However, my semi-super ability to consume mass quantities of alcohol help to even things out a bit.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. That's interesting, because our semi-super ability to consume mass quantities of alcohol usually leads to us confronting an asshole, which can lead to either a great decision or an awful decision depending on if you applaud getting kicked out of a Wal-Mart.

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  43. Oh I know exactly what you mean. My mother had the superpower for stopping a misbehaving kid from picking up my valuable ornaments, I, being the hostess, was sitting there putting up with it and terrified the child would break something. However, many, many years later, I too would probably say something today. I will take a leaf out of Bratman's book.

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    1. I hear it's handy to keep a fly swatter around the house for such things. You'd better believe any kind of pest won't be touching your valuable ornaments once they've been swatted. Best of all, no talking!

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  44. That does take guts. Often when I'm at an aussie rules football game, a player will line up to kick a goal and there be a fan in front of me standing up in excitement, blocking the view of the people behind him. The player will kick the goal, the rest of the crowd stands and claps and waves their flags and I'll just remain in my seat with my arms folded. The worst thing is that these evil bad guys have supporters. Anyone who tells someone else to sit down while a player is kicking a goal is often laughed at for being the fun police.

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    1. Have you tried waving around the official badge? I hear that helps. From one member of the fun police to another. Now if you'll excuse me, comrade, I have a young one that I must instruct to quiet their hippity hop music.

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  45. Those are awesome superpowers! Wish we could clone Bratman!

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    1. With a shot of liquid courage, you too could be Bratman. No cloning or test tube babies required.

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    2. I could write a comment longer than this blog post regarding the issues of parents who refuse to parent. It makes my blood boil. But my head is pounding and my fingers not only hurt they don't want to work too good, so I'm just going to say BRAVO to both of you. I sincerely hope you are in the supermarket or movie theatre the next time I venture out.

      I had a person once tell me my daughters were really good, and she thought that I was too hard on them. Well, dumb-ass, how do you think they got that way?

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    3. That reminds me of an old episode of The Simpsons where it was revealed that Ned Flanders was a terror as a child. His parents were beatniks, and the joke was that they wanted him to behave, but they also didn't want to discipline him.

      Psychiatrist: You don't believe in rules, yet you want to control Ned's anger.
      Ned's parents: You've got to help us, Doc! We've tried nothing, and we're all out of ideas!

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  46. I need you both. HERE! It doesn't matter where I am, bratty kids are everywhere. I have to admit that some of my friend's kids are brats. Living in Germany has its perks. The worst though is being on an airplane. If I was rich, I'd buy an airline and prohibit anyone under the age of 25. That would be soooo nice!

    I don't know why I don't say something when a child is misbehaving, but I do give the Brandon stare when it comes to stupid dog owners. When a dog is off the leash, I give them the evil eye. When they don't pick up their dog's crap, I give them the evil eye, and then tell my husband to tell them to pick up the poop in German. He normally goes into the house. LOL! Maybe I should just shout, "Scheiße" so everyone can hear.

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    1. I don't mind if a dog is off leash if it's not acting like a dick, but if a dog poops in my yard and the owner doesn't pick it up, expect much more than an evil eye. Monkeys aren't the only ones capable of lobbing a shit grenade.

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    2. I wish I could say I'm okay with dogs off the leash. In Germany, there have been many issues with big dogs attacking and killing little dogs. The stupid owners are like, "Hmmm... He's never done that before." Most of the time, the dogs don't listen to the owners, so I feel much safer with them on leashes. As for pooping, it used to not always be a law in Germany. Some still feel they don't need to.

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    3. That sucks. Here in yuppieville, we don't have big vicious dogs attacking each other. We have dogs in polyester sweaters and bandannas that get carried when their legs are too tired. So you can see where I'm coming from with not really minding if they're off leash. :)

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  47. Well, why weren't you guys at the drive-in last night? I had to rage shriek at a family of assholes. However, after I lost my shit, they were silent the rest of the movie. And they put their damn cell phones away. Their older kids were arguing at the top of their lungs, while the younger kids ran around screaming. Useless human beings. Apparently, I'm still angry at having missed part of Ant Man.

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    1. Meanwhile, I'm just reeling over the fact that you guys still have a drive-in. We lost all of ours years ago. And you know, you'd think with 4,000 lbs of steel between each of you that it'd be easier to not annoy the shit out of people. I guess not.

      Next time they don't shut up, just point your car straight at them, put on the high beams, and then rev the engine a few times. Maybe kick up some dirt. They'll get the point.

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    2. We've got a drive-in near us too.

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    3. I could drive my car full speed into a movie theater but I feel like that's not quite the same experience.

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  48. I am your superhero sister! Mr. RK always gets embarrassed when I speak up, but why shouldn't I? If someone's going to have the balls to be on their bright phone in a dark theater during a $11.50 movie, I'm going to have the balls to tell them to turn it off!

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    1. That's awesome, and we couldn't agree with you more! We love a woman with balls. Wait...

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  49. This made me think of the short story " Why Don't we Complain?" by William F. Buckley. Not the superhero part, but the staying silent thing.
    Yes, I have a kid. No, it never did not drive me nuts to hear kids bawl in stores. If the kid throws a fit in restaurant or store, you take them out. I am glad you are using your powers for good.

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    1. That's a great story, and just as true today as it was when it was written. Funny what people are willing to put up with if it means avoiding confrontation or conflict. Meanwhile, it just reminds me of this comic.

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  50. Finally, we have someone to thwart the evils of our meaningless lives. Whew!
    I recently became a superhero myself. I sprayed my yard with mosquito control and I am now known as...The Skeeter Beater... whereas I was formally known as just the Peter Beater.

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    1. Hey, sometimes a man needs practice beating a Peter before he can take on an army of Skeeters.

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  51. DustFinder: I find and eliminate dust from places no one else can.

    At our theater, people sometimes ask us to go in and stop customers who are being loud or distracting, saying they're afraid of being "beaten-up." Seems strange to us in a small town, local theaters, but then again, look at yesterday's news headlines - another theater shooting.

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    1. According to my wife my special power is creating dust, so we're practically archenemies!

      And yes, I think I'm a lot more scared of getting shot in a theater than I am getting punched in the face.

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  52. Will Bratman and Staredevil just pop up randomly when innocent civilians are on the streets (or in grocery stores or movies) and need a little help? Because I could sure use them sometimes when I don't want to get all confrontational.

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    1. Who doesn't want to get confrontational? That's like the best 45 seconds of my day outside of sex.

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