Here’s an interesting twist about moving out of your parents’ house: My parents actually moved out before I did.

Yep, it’s true. My parents decided to move to Seattle after my sophomore year, while I stuck around to complete my move to Santa Barbara.  So during the brief interval between when school ended and my lease in SB began, I had like the entire house to myself while all my crap was just piled up in the garage waiting for me to move it out of Fresno forever.

I came quite close to not being able to stay in California though, as in order to stay in Santa Barbara I had to get a job, otherwise I was stuck moving to Seattle with my parents.

And of course that was a fate worse than death. I’d been living away from them for two years at this point, I had no desire to go back. So I was willing to take a job, any job, to stay.

The problem? I had to go to job interviews. That’s not a problem in and of itself, but at the time I didn’t have a tie handy.

So off I went to go downtown to Macy’s and buy myself a tie to wear for interviews. I’m not one to bother with stores like Macy’s, given that they aren’t really an establishment that would be catering to me. I don’t really wear many suits, and I don’t care enough about brand name fashions to shell out 40 bucks for a T-Shirt. But there’s not really a whole lot of options in SB… It’s either Macy’s or K-Mart. Although to be fair there’s also a Nordstroms and Men’s Wearhouse, but they’re both practically adjacent to Macy’s as it is.

Anyway, I’m an efficient shopper. I went in there, made a beeline for the ties (Well, as best a beeline as one can manage, given the fact that those stores are like Las Vegas casinos insofar that they’re designed to make it as difficult for you to get out as possible so you spend more time looking at their crap.), picked one I liked (I picked red. Thought it went well with my black button-down shirt and slacks.), and tried to figure my way out of store.

On my way out of the store, I wandered near the cosmetics counter. All I could think is, “Wow, that chick working the counter is ugly as sin!” I mean she was like eight feet tall, 4 feet wide, and her skin was all brown and gunky, and… wait a minute! That’s no chick!


“Make a new you with ReNuYou cosmetic products!” he was pitching. “Amazing new breakthrough in makeup technology allows you to pick the person YOU want to be!” To demonstrate, he promptly rearranged his face into some random woman’s face. There was scattered applause amongst the sparse group of shoppers who were rubber necking the spectacle, and some people actually moved closer to take a look at what he was hocking.

After they dispersed, I walked up to him myself. “You sir!” he called, “How would you like to have a new face?”

“Um… Makeup’s not really my thing, man.”

He let out a sigh that shuddered through his clay form. “Yeah, guys never go for this stuff.”

“Isn’t this sort of thing like… a little below you?” I asked.

“Yeah… But this is the best job I can get. No one wants to hire a super villain for anything these days, they always think you’re going to steal company secrets to try and take over the world or something.”

“Well at least you’re making an effort to make a real living now instead of resorting to a life of crime.”

“Yeah, I just wish other people felt that way. Oh no… here he comes again…” he moaned. I looked in the direction of his gaze, and whom should I see strutting down the aisle with a mischievous grin on his face?


“Sooooooooooo… Clayface. How’s it going today?” he asked as he leaned on the makeup counter.

“Man, why don’t you just leave me alone?” muttered Clayface.

Batman glanced around the makeup counter. “You know, you should really do a better job of keeping this place tidy.”

“What are you talking about, it’s immaculate.”

Batman lashed out and upturned a display full of lipstick onto the glass counter, and little multicolored tubes scattered everywhere. “Now it’s not.”

“C’mon man, I don’t need this. I’m trying to go straight!” pleaded Clayface, as Batman crudely scrawled “Clayface is a dork” in plum purple letters on the glass.

“Whatcha gonna do, Clayface? Huh? Whatcha gonna do?” Batman taunted as he pelted poor Clayface with lipstick canisters.

“Don’t make me call security again… I’m barely hanging on to this job as it is.”

“Awwwww… Is Clayface gonna cry? You gonna cry, Clayface? You big blubbering baby, you gonna cry?” He jammed a couple of eye shadow applicators into Clayface’s brow ridge. “Don’t cry, Clayface! You wouldn’t want to smudge that beautiful mascara you’re wearing.”

“Dude. I mean it. Just leave!” hissed Clayface, as people started to stare. Batman was ignoring them as he chucked Batarangs to watch them stick in Clayface’s torso.

Clayface just sat there and took it all, his rage simmering beneath the surface. Eventually Batman got tired of taunting Clayface and left. “See ya around, mudball!” he shouted cheerily as he left.

“Jeeze, what was all THAT about?” I asked.

Clayface set about cleaning up the cosmetics counter. “He’s been in here at least once a week since I started. I think he like caught all the villains or something and is trying to goad me so he can beat me up and take me to Arkham or something.”

That Batman. What an ass.