They Don’t Call Me Skeletor for Nothin’

I’m on vacation in eastern Oklahoma. Yes, people do go to Oklahoma for fun. There’s no need for your snark. If you’re ever looking for the nicest people in the world, you will find them in Oklahoma. You will also find some deadly snakes, a few varieties of venomous spiders, and two beverages called Bubba Cola and Dr. Pop.

Bubba Cola label, 2 liter bottle

Later that day, we met a kid named Bubba. He had a mullet.

If you’re the sort of person who is not particularly fond of deadly snakes (unlike this guy) and venomous spiders, going to a cabin where cottonmouths, water moccasins, black widows, and brown recluses like to hang out may not sound that fun to you. I’m one of those people but I like it here enough that I’m willing to take that risk, as long as I can sleep with a can of Raid on my bedside table and no one laughs too loud when I think every single stick is a snake. I’m a super fun older sister if you’re a boy with a rubber snake, believe me.

This year, opening the cabin and killing anything with a stinger or more than six legs was sort of a chore. By the end of the night, my kill count was higher than John McClane’s and I was considering writing Michael Bay to tell him to put me in his next movie. As I killed Spider 134, though, I caught myself doing something very embarrassing. Something that caused me to conclude that I may not be a real person. There’s a distinct possibility that I may, in fact, be a super villain.

Cat Lady, or Catwoman?

Exhibit A: Stephanie monologues when she kills things.

Spider 134 almost got away from me, I’m ashamed to admit. I had it cornered in the back of a closet, with a flip flop in one hand and a can of insecticide in the other (My hands, that is. If it had been the spider’s hands, that sentence would have read, “A flip flop in one hand, a can of insecticide in the other, a kazoo in the other, a small switchblade in the other, a picture of its girlfriend in the other, a snack in the other, a phone in the other, and a rosary in the other.” Because, as everyone knows, spiders always carry those things. All the time.), when I heard someone laughing maniacally. Since it was not the spider (because it was busy kissing the picture of its girlfriend and counting rosary beads), I was forced to assume it was me. Then I started in on the monologue. “I would have left you alone if you’d stayed outside,” I said. “But no. You had to be brown and reclusive. Well this the end of the line, pal. I’m afraid it’s nothing but beige social events for you after this.” That’s when Spider 134 made a break for it, and I was so busy waxing poetically on spider hell that I almost missed. I threw the flip flop and squirted the Raid and got him, but just barely. Next time I’ll keep my eye on the prize.

Exhibit B: Stephanie needs a nemesis. All the time.

Every year, I pick someone to be my nemesis. I don’t do it consciously, really. It’s just that every year I find someone I work with or go to school with who does the exact same things I do, but way, annoyingly better. They don’t know it, and of course I never tell them, but they then become my arch enemy. I don’t really do anything about it, besides complain about them to other people and roll my eyes when they’re not looking, but they inspire me to work harder at whatever I do. Not because I personally want to excel, but because I want to beat them. That doesn’t seem very heroic, does it?

Exhibit C: Stephanie’s name sounds like it fell out of a comic book.

Do these names sound familiar to you? Peter Parker, Lex Luthor, Bruce Banner, Pepper Potts. The fact is, Stephanie Summar would be perfect for a villain. Or a love interest. Or a secret identity. Regardless, it sounds fake. Like, UFO-crashed-to-earth-and-my-parents-adopted-the-baby-inside kind of fake.

Exhibit D: Stephanie secretly wants a slightly disfiguring, bad ass scar.

I don’t mean Doctor Doom-level stuff here. (Alliteration!) I like my face the way it is. I’m perfectly fine with not having a disfiguring scar, and I can live quite happily without one. But the truth is, if I’m ever in an accident that leaves my face with a gash across my features that doesn’t mess everything up but is pretty dramatic, I’d be totally ok with that. I already have two scars next to my eye, thanks to the chicken pox and an unfortunate incident involving a tree and two swings.

Alternately, I could just rely on my already slightly disfigured face.

Exhibit E: Stephanie really likes evil lairs.

I think a Fortress of Solitude is something I could really get behind. There is nothing I like more than going into my room, shutting the door, and plotting things/napping. An underground cave, or a castle on a mountaintop would suit my tastes nicely, as long as I could get the internet. So if you hear of anything I could get on a college student budget, let me know. I’m willing to have roommates as long as I can refer to them as henchmen.

Exhibit F: Stephanie has super powers.

Besides the amazing ability to turn a liquid into a solid and then back into a liquid, given enough time and the right equipment, I have a super taste in music and an uncanny sense for when meals are meant to occur. I’m pretty good at identifying flavors in food, and I pour a mean bowl of cereal, if I do say so myself. As you can see, the source of most of my powers is food.

…Sorry, but this has been bothering me. That whole “picture of his girlfriend, rosary beads, kazoo” thing made me feel really bad about killing Spider 134. A moment of silence now for my eight-legged nemesis.

Planet of the Spiders

This is what Spider 134 looked like. Maybe A LITTLE smaller.

Now that I think about it, moments of silence for spiders may preclude me from super villainy. Also, I’m not so big on wearing Spandex. I may need to think of a new career.


  1. Mara

    The thing that made me laugh the most was the category “you have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile.”
    Best category name EVER.
    But I do think moments of silence for dead spiders might exclude you from supervillainy (my spellcheck is going crazy over that word. Or non-word).
    Although it *could* just be your weakness.

    • Stephanie

      It’s weird that I’ve been able to use that category more than once. My life is Grinchy, I guess. I like the idea of having a weakness. Dead spiders=my kryptonite.

  2. Michael

    I wouldn’t think moments of silence for spiders would necessarily keep you from a life of supervillainy; after all, look at Killer Moth from Teen Titans. Not only did he have an army of giant mutant moths (thus the name), his daughter Kitten dated a mutant named Fang who had a spider for a head (it was a complicated relationship). Spandex isn’t as much of a problem either; the Joker from The Dark Knight just wore this grungy kinda vagrant costume, and look how well that turned out. (So to speak).

    • Stephanie

      Now I have the Teen Titans theme song stuck in my head and I realize I need to watch more of that show, because that explanation was insane in the best way. I’m not sure I can rock the purple suit, either. I could do a black suit though, like Thin White Duke-era David Bowie. Except shorter and with less cocaine.

    • Stephanie

      Ha. The problem with that particular costume is that a) it’s very constricting, b) I (happily) don’t actually own it, and c) I think I was mistaken for a prostitute while wearing it. Maybe something a little less… pleather-y. Leopard print, cowboy boot-style galoshes, while a fashion crime, are not good for committing real crime either, I’d imagine.

  3. Pingback: You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Ang Lee « Listful Thinking

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