The Best Thing to Happen to Me Since 'The Tony Danza Show'
It all happened so fast. Last night I was writing my review of Catwoman for my friend's super sci-fi 'zine, Paula Muellenhoth's Favorite Sci-Fi Movies and Basic Cable TV Shows, which has already had two full eight-page issues you can get just by sending her $2 in a self-addressed, stamped envelope, when I reached a heartbreaking dead end. I couldn't finish my review because I just couldn't express how much I hated Catwoman through a set number of cows (Paula uses a 1 through 4 cow system instead of a 1 through 4 star system because she just loves cows). I suppose I could have gotten away with giving Catwoman zero cows out of four, but it wouldn't have accurately reflected how bad the movie really was. Oh, how I wished in that moment, at ten past nine, that I could give Catwoman---get this---negative 10 cows! But of course that would have been physically impossible. You can't give something negative cows; mathematics won't let you. Something can only get zero through four cows, and that's just the world we live in.
But then it happened. As if having read my mind, the Lord appeared in the corner of my room with a great cymbal crash, holding his staff and wearing his captain's hat. I almost cried out in disbelief and shock.
"SOREN," the Lord said, "I HAVE COME HERE FROM HEAVEN TO GRANT THE SPECIAL WISH WHOSE FULFILLMENT YOU SO PINE FOR. YOU HAVE LED A JUST LIFE, AND SO FOR THIS ONE AND ONLY TIME, I WILL ALTER THE LAWS OF THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE SO THAT IT IS POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO GIVE CATWOMAN AS MANY NEGATIVE COWS AS YOU WISH. BEHOLD!"
And with that, the Lord pointed his staff at the wall and a thousand different numbers appeared spread out over my Baltimore Orioles wallpaper---numbers in all shapes, sizes, and colors, from 1,000 to negative 50! They floated and shifted and bobbed and turned upside down. My eyes nearly popped out of my head!
I thanked the Lord profusely, and then he threw back his head and began to laugh and laugh and laugh with that deep rich throaty laugh he has, and then he snapped his fingers and vanished in a cloud of grey smoke that smelled a little like car exhaust, and the numbers disappeared and I was all alone again, and I turned to my typewriter and after the word Catwoman on the page I typed the words MINUS TWENTY COWS! and with the paper still in the platen I leaned forward and very carefully drew twenty teeny tiny cows beside it which almost took me completely off the page, and then I put the pen down and exhaled and wiped my brow. And the negative twenty cows stayed on the page!
Now I'm wondering, did I push it too far? Did I take advantage of the Lord? Should I have been content to give Catwoman negative ten cows instead of letting my hubris get to me and going for twenty? Was it a test? And even if it wasn't, what if, like, that's the only time I ever get to see the Lord? So now I'm filled with doubt and uncertainty, though at least I can go to sleep knowing I really let Catwoman have it---with a little assist from the Creator.
Actually, there were some parts of Catwoman that were okay.