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irregular times logoThe Obligatory Super Bowl Story

A few years ago, in a kitchen somewhere between Van Nuys and Bar Harbor, a hurried teenager conducted a secret experiment with the dinner she had promised to cook for her little brother. Government scientists refuse to release details, but it had something to do with the substitution of pesto for guacamole.

Just as the evening meal was put into the oven to bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees, a freak wintertime thunderstorm struck an electrical converter 60 miles away. The surge of electricity that resulted pulsed at the speed of light through the electrical lines into the oven, and a devastating explosion occurred.

It was only when the smoke cleared, and the insurance agents had all gone away, that the teenage cook realized that the meal she had prepared was missing - not a trace of it was left, not even the mixing bowl in which it had been made.

One week later, north of Kansas City, a chef in a hotel restaurant dropped a dish of chicken parmesan on the floor, and was stooping to pick it up and put it back on the plate to go out to a table of eager diners when - BAM! The cook was struck by an unseen force and hurtled into the corner against a bucket and mop. The last thing the cook heard before he lost consciousness was a mysterious voice saying, "That'll teach you about proper kitchen hygiene! Hi ho and away!"

The following night, a couple in Arcata were getting ready to serve dinner, and had just put a $125 bottle of merlot into their wine cooling appliance when the lights went out and the sound of breaking glass was heard. After they put in a new fuse and returned to the kitchen, they found the bottle broken on the floor, and on their teakwood cutting board, they found a note scrawled in red wine, reading: "Curse you, villains! Don't you know that merlot is best served at room temperature?"

It took a while for the Department of Homeland Security to put the pieces together, but soon a pattern emerged. In Missoula, a young lawyer had her tires deflated after she walked into a Starbucks and asked for an "expresso". A supermarket manager in Napierville found his inventory records dissolving in a vat of acid after he placed an order for a shipment of Velveeta. A mailman in Sacketts Harbor received a mysterious slap in the face after putting a bag of frozen vegetables into a pot of clam chowder he was preparing for lunch.

All across America, people were finding themselves warned, humiliated, robbed or assaulted as a result of their food faux pas. In each case, the culprit was never seen.

Then, after six months of such incidents, the Food and Drug Administration received an anonymous note from someone claiming to be the secret food avenger. The note promised to meet the Secretary for Health and Human Services at the base of the Washington Monument at 5:00 AM the following day. The note was signed merely "S.B."

Of course, the Secretary for Health and Human Services did not go to the Washington Monument alone. A small army of special government operatives, law enforcement units, and military commandos watched the obelisk from just out of sight. And so, the Secretary arrived at the base of the Washington Monument at exactly 5:00 AM, to find... no one.

super bowl super hero cartoonThe Secretary was just turning to leave when a voice came from above, and a sudden wind seemed to come from all directions at once, like a quickly tilting whirlwind. When the wind died down, the Secretary saw the strangest sight ever found on the National Mall. Ten feet in the air was what appeared to be a miniature super hero, barely over a yard tall, floating. Its musclebound body was clothed in a blue and red suit, with a red cape flapping in the wind. Strangest of all, where its head should have been there was merely a bright yellow mixing bowl.

"I am Super Bowl," the apparition spoke. "I will not harm you if you give my message to the President of the United States. Know this: The time for sloppy food etiquette is over. No more pre-packaged meals. No more will cuisine be spelled with two letter Es. I'm expecting the American people to learn to serve and appreciate a proper meal, or else."

"But, but, how..." stammered the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

"How did I come to be this way? Why have I begun my Crusade against barbaric eating habits?" The bowl swooped down until it was inches away from the the Secretary's face. "The answer to both questions is the same. I came into existence as the result of a young American's careless experimentation in the kitchen. If she hadn't just thrown together a bunch of ingredients and thought it would be okay, I would never have come into my freakish life. I'm not going to let it happen again, do you understand? It's time to return morality to America's kitchen, one saucepan at a time, and if you fools in the American government won't do what's necessary, then I will. There is a right way and a wrong way to cook, and by gum, I won't stop fighting until America is cooking the right way!"

Just then, Super Bowl caught a glimpse with his super vision of a soldier hiding next to the Lincoln Memorial. "You have betrayed me!" he hissed, and flew up towards the top of the Washington Monument. The government's army started firing its weapons right away, blowing so many holes in the marble veneer of the monument that it looked like an overambitious chunk of swiss cheese. Yet, when the smoke cleared, Super Bowl was not to be found.

The last thing they heard from Super Bowl that day was a voice, booming from beyond the clouds. "You haven't seen the last of me! I'll be watching you all, and never forget - I always remember which side of the plate the fork is supposed to go on!"

Faster than an egg beater, more powerful than a pint of tobasco sauce, able to sweeten large batches of cookies without adding any calories, it's a satellite dish, it's a wok... no, it's Super Bowl!

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