being the mental and occasionally scholastic wanderings of Collie Collier
Copyright © 1999 B. A. "Collie" Collier
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little
temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
--Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
reply of the Pennsylvania Assembly to the governor, November 11, 1755
YEAH! End of quarter, I survived, AND I think I got a B+ on my first quarter of calculus! I'm still drifting in mental euphoria... and I've promised myself a summer off from school as well, yay! Oddly enough, one of my most enjoyed pastimes so far has been catching up on my assigned readings for the last year... it's so nice to be able to read without any pressures hanging over my head! I've also gotten to do more fun things recently, since I have more free time now... I even got to just play the other day! -which has put me in both an exceedingly good, but also a somewhat silly mood. None of the neighbors or roomies have complained, so I'm not too worried -- yet... but I'm feeling much more lighthearted than usual, so consider yourselves forewarned. ;-)
Also, I'm not sure how I managed to screw up the numbering on my zines. Last ish should have been #14, and this one should have been #15. Somehow I did, and consequently they're not. So this should fix it up, and in the interests of not being as terribly serious as I've been far too often recently, I decided to dust off a former zine-that-wasn't, and see if it was resucitatable. Silliness alert firmly ON, of course... ;-)
Wherein I share some of my (sometimes embarrassingly painfully ;-) accumulated knowledge with you all. I don't know if any of you are in a supers game, but let's face it -- if you're starting out as a super, a costume is one of the first things you need. To horribly paraphrase Mark Twain, 'Costumes make the hero. Naked supers have little or no influence on society.' Hopefully this will allow you to bypass those embarrassing 'newbie' mistakes, and look suave and sleekly sophisticated in your spiffy spandex sartorial splendor!
Okay, enough with the S's...
First, put all your pre-conceived notions aside -- the hotbed of paranormal activity isn't going to be New York. It's going to be in the South -- Florida, or California, maybe. The reason for this is simple: it's warm there, and spandex is really insufficient for snow. Heck, it's insufficient for a brisk rain, let alone hail, sleet, snow, or dark of night. Well... maybe dark of night. Still, the US Post Office will never be turning up in spandex... thank goodness.
The only thing New York is going to be a hotbed of is people in armored suits, fanatics (Hey! Not all supers are fanatics!), and villains. After all, villains always cover more than heroes do. Well, the male ones do. And we all know how much nicer wandering around in skimpy outfits is when you're not freezing to death.
Incidentally, if you're a flyer or speedster, go for the flesh-toned stuff. Cover everything! The more you cover, the less likely you'll develop frostbite. No, frostbite blue is not an acceptable skin tone. If you hate flesh-tone, add on long gloves, high boots... you should be able to find the skin tight variety.
It is a simple fact that spandex darkens when damp. This can allow for artistic darkening -- that sweaty, sincere, hard-working-hero-of-the-people look. However, it can also embarrass the hell out of you -- better sometimes to simply jump into a convenient nearby fountain and get wet all over, rather than have distressing splotches. It's hard to scare the villains when they're giggling, after all.
Unfortunately spandex does stain. Have more than one costume, wash in cold/cold, and never toss it into the dryer on hot... unless your super ability is to shrink permanently, of course. Fortunately spandex dries pretty darned quick. Also, spandex holds scent relatively well. On a strenuous day, stay downwind of admirers! Don't ask me how I know this, please. Just remember, baby powder is the friendly super's friend. It may be a touch um... cute-sy for a Grim Avenger of the Night, of course.
Bear in mind also that if you are a romantic at heart, going with your sweetie to a sad movie or play or whatever in costume is a Bad Idea. Dark spots where the tears fall is very embarrassing! Anyone looking at you when the lights come up always gets that 'awww, how cute!' look. This also will do Terrible Things for your fierce, no-nonsense, Grim Avenger of the Night reputation.
To be blunt: if you've got it, it's gonna show.
Spandex does not hide much. Hmm. Perhaps I should say, spandex does not hide, period. Believe me, your anatomy will become more umm... clearly observable under that suit. You know those few pounds your sweetie assures you make you 'more interestingly curvy'? Uh-uh... don't believe 'em. Lose those few pounds, or see them in every photo of you, showing dismayingly clearly through the spandex, topped with lurid headlines like "Is Squeaky-Clean Lass Pregnant?!" or "What's Super Studly Lad Hiding Under that Suit?!"
You know how men's nipples are never drawn in, and women's only rarely? Here's the secret... duct tape. Ooooow-chie. No wonder supers are usually so cranky... however, it's not all duct tape. Smart supers wear a cup or dance belt or something else protective and comfortingly sexless-looking under their costume. The males don't necessarily want to let everyone know their um... state of anatomical correctness -- and it's great protection. The females need the protection too. Imagine your embarrassment if some sadistic villain sneaks up behind you and -- gives you a wedgie! And of course, that will be the time the photographer is standing right in front of you.
And speaking of wedgies... let's face it, ladies. You may plan on wearing a leotard, but have you ever noticed the back end always sags and/or slides down at the most inconvenient moments? Or it bunches up tightly right where you most don't want it to? You may not have intended to be wearing the equivalent of a thong, but that's what you're going to end up with, if you're not careful. So save yourself the endless yanking at your costume's rear end -- it looks silly in photos, and you wear out the elastic. Get a well-made thong right away and wear it on the outside of the leotard to help hold it up. It'll make you more comfortable, and everyone around you will be happy -- although probably not for the same reasons.
Wearing a skimpy costume has its benefits -- you can always claim your tan lines came from your swimsuit, people of either gender want to spend time with you, your photo is everywhere, you get to turn down Plaything's offer of a photo spread, and you can actually fit the suit under your civvies. However, it also has detriments. If your suit is being held up by, um... force of will alone, what are you going to do if you're knocked out? True, people may go to their knees in heart-felt, grateful tears when you pass by in your Raging-Hormones-Lass suit, but you never know when Wind Tunnel Lad is going to turn up!
Spandex is great for a wide, wild variety of colors and patterns. It's useable in sewing machines -- barely. It allows you to design a Look[TM]. However, it will eventually wear out. You'll know when this is occurring by the sort of whitish, worn looking patches.
When you see these, get a new suit immediately! The stretchy part of the spandex in that spot is wearing away. It may not sound that worrisome, but I assure you the first time that worn patch gets wet and the crowd gets that wide-eyed, awed look, you'll realize just how clearly transparent worn and wet spandex is. Do you really want everyone to know if you're wearing anything under your suit?
For you people in worlds with a CC, I have only one thing to say -- I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.
Having gotten that spate of envy over with, I will advise you to run, do not walk, to your nearest costume store. Buy something -- anything! -- you like immediately. As long as it has the CC stamp of approval where the clothing tags usually go, you can do anything you want -- no, really, anything! -- and you will never have your naughty bits show in public. You may get artistically messy, your clothes may get demolished into decorative strips and nothing more, humungous megaton bombs may explode (repeatedly!) on top of you, Godzilla may wipe his feet (all of them!) on you. But after the obligatory horrified gasp from the crowd, and the awed murmur, "No-one could have survived that!", you get to claw your way out of the rubble, stand up and brush yourself off, smile and wave to the grateful, cheering crowd, and there will be just enough scraps of cloth... all strategically placed, of course, so that no-one will be too um... offended.
This is definitely a world to aim for. If you're not in one of these worlds, lobby for it! The things you can get away with in a world with cloth made from unstable molecules is frightening.
This kind of cloth is great. You can do anything, go anywhere with it. You can be Nuclear Blast Kid, and your suit will always be there, untouched by the flaming holocaust your powers create. You can grow or shrink, sprout fur, claws, wings -- as many new appendages as you please! -- go into any environment... and voila! your clothing will be there with you, as dapper and elegant as usual.Definitely try to get some mad scientist to design this stuff for you. It's better than Wild Kingdom: "While Jim and his costume wrestle with the dangerous man-eating alligator, I'm going to tell you about Mutual of..."
Okay, I've had my fun. Anyone that actually tries this, or that believes the above commentary was serious -- good luck! You're going to need it... ;-)
Comments on Interregnums #30 & 31
Last Updated: Sat Jan 30 2000