Commas matter, because without them, the phrase, “Don’t screw with me, man!” becomes “Don’t screw with Me Man!” And just like that, the super-egotistical pseudo-hero Me-Man is born!
Me-Man stood on the steps of City Hall, checking his hair in a small hand mirror. He ran his fingers through a tuft of his perfect blonde hair, polished his teeth with the tip of his tongue, then winked at his reflection and said, “You are gorgeous.”
A beeping sounded from his utility belt, me-me-me-me-me . . . me-me-me-me-me . . . Me-Man tucked the mirror back into its holster on his right hip and pulled out his cell phone. He struck a pose, chin held high, and held the phone to his ear. “Me-Man here,” he said. “Does someone need . . . me?”
He laughed at his own private joke. Of course they need me, he thought. I am fabulous.
“Me-Man!” the police chief shouted into the phone. “We need you downtown! There’s a hostage situation at Starbucks!”
“I’ll be right there,” Me-Man said. “You know you can always count on . . . me.”
Me-Man looked around the steps of city hall. It looked like his arch-nemesis, Dr. Social Anxiety, wouldn’t be showing up for their final showdown. Again. “Sorry, folks,” he said to the crowd gathered at the base of the steps. “Duty calls, and it looks like Doctor Too-Shy-To-Show-Up is . . . well, too shy to show up.”
He descended the steps, throwing his bright blue cape back over his shoulder. His insignia, a stylized depiction of his own face, grinned at the spectators from the back of the cape. He hopped on the me-torcycle and sped off, ready to save the day.
Me-Man arrived at Starbucks a short time later. The coffee shop was surrounded by police. They all turned to Me-Man as he approached. “Good day, gentlemen,” he said, dismounting from the me-torcycle. “Tell . . . me exactly what’s going on here?” He gave the police chief an up-nod and winked.
“Me-Man, thank goodness you’re here!” the police chief said. “There’s a man in there with a gun, and he’s going to kill the hostages if they don’t start serving Pumpkin Spice Latte year-round.”
“No problem, Chief,” Me-Man said, grinning. The light of the afternoon sun reflected off his shining teeth. “Sounds like the perfect job for . . . me.”
Me-Man strode forward and entered the Starbucks. The hostages and the wild criminal all turned towards him. “Me-Man!” the criminal shouted, pointing his gun at him. “You’ll never stop me! Not until the pumpkinny goodness is made available regardless of the season!”
“Now, now,” Me-Man said, waving his hands to calm the man down. “Let’s not do anything rash. Why, you wouldn’t shoot . . . me, would you? Just look at . . . me.”
The criminals wild eyes focused on Me-Man’s magnificent hair, his shining teeth, and his cleft chin.
“That’s right,” Me-Man said, raising his chin and planting his fists on his hips. “Take . . . me in.”
The criminal looked over Me-Man’s magnificent uniform, his spiffy utility belt, his perfectly-formed dimples, and the stylized Me-Man face emblazoned across his chest. He was mesmerized.
While Me-Man held the crazy man in his thrall, the police came in and freed the hostages. Then they took the criminal’s gun and handcuffed him. The criminal was so fixated on Me-Man that he didn’t resist.
“Thank you, Me-Man,” the police chief said, clapping Me-Man on his magnificent shoulder. “You’ve done it again.”
“Any time, my slightly inferior friend,” Me-Man said, patting the chief on his round belly. “It’s all in a day’s work for . . . me.”
He looked up at the sky, the sun shining on his golden hair, the wind rustling his cape. He winked.
“It’s good to be . . . me.”