Chris Brownstein used to be a normal, everyday man in the normal, everyday city of Dullsville. He lived in a normal, everyday house and worked at a normal, everyday supermarket. He would still be living his normal, everyday life if it weren’t for one small quality he had; he was very, very nosy.
One Monday night, he was walking home from his job. He had forgotten to take the bus and so had no choice but to trudge onwards to his house, which was very far from the supermarket. He walked past a chemical factory, when he was startled by the sound of alarms. He looked past the chain-link fence, and saw men wearing black ski masks, running while carrying a barrel with a mysterious liquid inside.
‘Hmm,’ thought Chris, staring at the robbers. ‘Maybe I can help catch the thieves!’ and without further thought, he charged at the thieves, who had slipped under a gap in the chain-link fence and were running to a big, black van.
Chris wasn’t very a very smart man. He also wasn’t very strong, or fit. But worst of all, he couldn’t see without his glasses. His eyesight was so bad, that he was almost entirely blind without his big, thick tortoise-shell spectacles. This was because, like a normal, everyday man, he watched a lot of television, because he had nothing better to do.
Chris had just reached the thieves when his glasses fell off. Since he couldn’t see and wasn’t smart enough to think about putting his glasses back on, he lunged at what he THOUGHT was one of the thieves. What really happened? He practically flew past the astonished thief, and to everybody’s amazement landed right into the barrel of liquid!
While inside the barrel of liquid, which in fact contained top secret and experimental chemicals, strange things started happening to Chris. He started getting stronger, with huge muscles rippling on his arms. His DNA started reshaping itself, giving him all sorts of amazing abilities like flight, super speed and super hearing. But the most profound effect of all was that on his brain. The chemicals were so strong, that they made his brain shrink, making him even dumber than before! He burst out of the barrel at supersonic speed, vaporising any trace of the chemicals in the barrel….as well as the barrel, and the thieves standing around the barrel. When the police arrived, late as always (they were waiting for a vital delivery of donuts with coffee), they found a muscular figure floating over the crime-scene.
‘Have no fear, fair people of Dullsville! You are under my protection!’ yelled Chris from above to the police vehicles and officers below.
‘SIR, PLEASE COME DOWN FROM THE SKY WITH YOUR HANDS UP!’ a police officer yelled into a megaphone. ‘YOU ARE UNDER ARREST, AND IF YOU DO NOT COMPLY, WE WILL HAVE TO USE FORCE TO DETAIN YOU!’
Chris beamed at the policemen below, who were now pulling out their weapons, walkie-talkies and half eaten donuts to use against this strange flying man. Despite having super hearing, Chris was incredibly dumb now, and thought that what they really meant was that they wanted to know his super-hero name. Chris thought as hard as a dumb person could and decided to use the name of Ultra-Flair. After all, he was probably the most stylish hero in the world, with his abilities of flight and super strength.
‘My name is Ultra-Flair,’ yelled Chris to the police, and started flying away. Though the police opened fire on him, he was so strong that the bullets bounced off him, and so ignorant that he didn’t even notice them shooting at him.
Later, when the report on Dullsville’s newest superhero would be written, it would turn out that the name yelled out to the police had been garbled and misheard, leading to the name “Ultra-Fail”. And so, the legend of the world’s worst superhero began.
When Chris flew home, the first thing he thought of was to make a costume. He took a pair of his red pyjamas, which barely fitted him now that he was so muscular and tore them up in order to stitch them up looser, so that they would fit. He got a pair of yellow wellington boots and attached them to the red pyjamas with safety pins. Finally, he got a yellow rag, and made an eye mask out of it by combining it with his glasses. He put on a faded blue towel for a cape, and his costume was complete!
Next day early morning, Chris’s super hearing picked up the sound of an old woman crying for help. Chris donned his costume and zoomed to the sound. On the way, he bragged to himself about his powers. ‘I am Ultra-Flair, the world’s best superhero,’ he thought. ‘I am faster than a cheetah wearing a rocket engine! More powerful a dinosaur wearing boxing gloves! And best of all, I don’t even need to leap over tall buildings in a single bound! Why would you when you can just leap through the building?’
When he reached the source of the sound, he saw an old woman trying to call a chihuahua down from a tree. ‘Have no fear, madam! I will have your pet dog down in a jiffy!’ he declared, and before the old lady could even say a word, he uprooted the tree that the Chihuahua was stuck in and shook it tremendously. The bewildered dog fell into the astonished old lady’s arms, and promptly upchucked all over her.
Ultra-Flair stopped shaking the tree and planted it back down where it was before…upside-down. The old woman screeched at him in a shrill voice, saying, ‘Why couldn’t you just PICK UP the dog, and HAND IT OVER LIKE A NORMAL PERSON WOULD?!?’
Ultra-Flair smiled, and replied, ‘Why, good lady, I am not a normal person! I am a superhero!’ and with that, he took off with a burst of energy, ruining the old lady’s hairdo. ‘No WONDER your name is ULTRA-FAIL!’ she screamed at him as he took off.
As he flew across the city looking for crime, he frowned and thought, ‘Why did that lady call me Ultra-Fail? Not that it’s a bad superhero name, but I have an entirely different superhero name. I mean, Ultra-Flair and Ultra-Fail! Just LOOK at the difference! Honestly!’ And with that remark, he swooped down into a neighbourhood in the city known for its illegal and criminal activities and dealings.
He was just in time, too, for he was able to spot a bunch of thugs mugging a man in a side-alley. He landed between the man and the thugs, shouting, ‘Stop right there!’
One of the thugs gasped, saying, ‘It’s Ultra-Fail, that weird buff dude we saw on the telly!’ Ultra-Flair frowned and said, ‘No, I’m not Ultra-Fail, I’m Ultra-Flair!”
The thugs glanced at one another. ‘Never heard of you,’ said the first thug that had talked. ‘And even if we had, we wouldn’t care. I mean, Ultra-Flair is a pretty lame and unintimidating name, if you ask me.’ The other thugs murmured and nodded their heads in agreement.
‘Really?’ Ultra-Flair asked. ‘Gosh…I mean, this gives me a lot to think about…’ and without a further word, he flew off, leaving the thugs and the man in the alley. ‘Now,’ said the first thug, ‘Where were we?’
While the bandits in the alleyway went on with their own business, Chris flew off to the tallest building he could see in the vicinity, and promptly plonked down onto its roof so hard that he fell through the building, with a great deal of crashing, banging and yelling, all the way to the building’s second floor. After Chris flew out of the building and landed on its roof again (this time with dignity), his miniscule mind began to think. This was terrifying, as even back when he wasn’t a hero, Chris didn’t do a lot of thinking, and last time he thought about something thoroughly, there was a power outage in the whole city as a result of his “idea”.
‘Hmm,’ murmured Chris as he used his towel cape to wipe his glasses. ‘If the world recognises me as Ultra-Fail, and NOT Ultra-Flair…shouldn’t I start calling myself Ultra-Fail? I mean, people would recognise me, bad guys would fear me…I could even get some of those T-shirts they sell at roadsides and nerd conventions!’ He got up abruptly, and stood in a pose which, although he considered heroic, was in fact more suited to a ballerina than a superhero. ‘It’s settled!’ He declared to Dullsville and the rest of the world. ‘You asked for Ultra-Fail, so you will get Ultra-Fail!’ And with that, he burst off into the evening sky, ready to bring pain and utter misery to both criminals and civilians alike.
With the acceptance of this non-fear inspiring name, the legend of Ultra-Fail began. But just because something has become legend, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s amazing. In the case of our dim-witted protagonist, it was horrid. Take the sinister incident of the East Blackville Gunfight, for instance. A notorious group of masked gangsters raiding a local bank led to Ultra-Fail making an entrance to stop the criminals. He proceeded to stop the “oppressors”-who just happened to be the policemen-and helped the poor helpless “victims” to get out of the bank with their lawful transaction of Seven Thousand dollars.
Then, take the odious ordeal of the Brickfly Boulevard disaster! A thug accidentally cracked Ultra-Fail’s glasses with a crowbar. Ultra-Fail got the offender, but he had flailed about blindly for about ten minutes before doing so, and when he remembered that he had a spare pair, he put them on, only to see almost every building on that street demolished, along with several residents who had been buried under bricks; hence the name, ”Brickfly Boulevard”.
This isn’t all that Ultra-Fail did in his days of crime-fighting. He performed many other disastrous feats, but these are tales for another place, another time….and another story.
WRITTEN BY ALLAHYAR UZAIR