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March 23, 2009


Why do you wear that mask?

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Jim: 99...98...

“I bet I can guess why you’re wearing a mask,” Denny said.


“My first thought was that you’re hiding some horrible disfigurement. But that wasn’t right because it would mean these other people are disfigured, too.”


“Then I thought you might all be villains, hiding your identities so nobody could track you down after you commit your nefarious deeds. Or maybe superheroes hiding loved ones from vengeance. Then I noticed all the nametags.”

“I see.”

“That’s how I came to guess this is an elaborate costume party.”

“Interesting,” replied the anesthesiologist, increasing the drip. Denny promptly fell asleep.

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Ted: Proscribed

The respirator wasn't strictly required for this sort of work, since the hooded chamber had almost a zero percent chance of failure, but Jake didn't get where he was by being careless.

The reagents were happily bubbling away, sublimating into one of the most potent poisons in the history of humanity's attempts to manipulate it's environment. That it was only one step in a long chain of events made the respirator even more vital to Jake's utterly orderly mind. Once started, the chain couldn't be broken and failure would kill millions.

But the payoff... virtual immortality.

Now, to stay awake.

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Jeff R.: Mistaken

"What do you mean? It is a costume party, after all."

"No, I mean that particular mask. I thought you were going as Betty."

"Oh, that. Me and Rita decided to switch at the last minute."



"Yes. You see, Johnny and Red switched masks too."



"Oh, you thought that there might be some comedy of errors involving mutually unwitting infidelity going on? As if everyone involved were totally deaf, and somehow capable of making out wearing a plastic mask?"

"Actually, I was just hoping for a single spectacularly inappropriate flirtation. But your way is much better."

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LJ: Break Me

Why do I wear a mask? Because I have to.

Because I swore on my parents' grave that I would save this city from the evil that lived and bred within it. And that was my life's work for over a decade. One by one, the ones who rise fell again, brought down by none other than I, the one they call Dark Knight.

But it's all over. I finally met my match, and ended up with a broken back for my trouble. Now, here I lay, wondering if I'll ever walk again, breathing oxygen.

One mask earned me another.

With a tip of the hat to Bob Kane and all who followed.

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