Captain Ginger #2

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How many cats is too many? Captain Ginger has his hands full—literally—when his starship undergoes a rapid population explosion. Meanwhile, Sergeant Mittens learns the horrors of Litterbox Duty! Extra story: The heroes of HASHTAG: DANGER learn that being super-evolved doesn’t make you smart. Plus more AHOY illustrated-story extras!

Captain Ginger #2

Rubble Paul By Bryce Ingman

Former “rock man” Paul Mirg addresses 23rd annual Rock Person Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Wow. Great to see so many rock people in one place. The hotel did a fantastic job setting up the reinforced chairs this year. Can everyone in the back hear me OK? I'm not saying most of you don't have outer ears, but... most of you don't have outer ears.

Big laugh from the crowd.

Friends, this is my tenth time addressing the convention since I was cured back in 2006. I've told the stories- what happened the night I broke David Letterman's hand, the time I got lost for three days inside an active volcano, the epic battle with the Slime Twins, my wardrobe malfunction at President Nixon's funeral, sitting on that cat... You've heard them all.

So. Tonight I'd like to focus on some of the things that rock people, current and former, have in common. Because it doesn't matter if you became a rock person through a friend's scientific experiment, alien brain transplantation, or, that old classic, faulty rocket-ship design; we all end up in the same place- with hundreds of pounds of rock-like flesh, superhuman strength, and no hair.

We are all rock people.

And sometimes. Sometimes being a rock person is, well, hard.

Chuckles and groans from audience.

In 1977, I became a rock person. Decided to call myself “Rubble.” Tough, right? Unfortunately, the public quickly began referring to me as “Rubble Paul.” Not so tough. But it stuck. And many of you in tonight's audience know there's nothing you can do when that happens. I see you out there, Soft Rock. Poor guy cries a couple tears during a 60 Minutes interview, and the public goes to work. You'll always be Hard Rock to me, buddy.

Soft Rock wipes away a tear, bangs his rocky hands together applause-style.

Raise your hand if you've been sued for accidentally injuring a normal? Come on, hands up. Don't be shy if you only have four fingers; we're all family here.

In rock form, I was six-three, 575 pounds. I know I accidentally hug-broke a few ribs and crushed a few hands, you've all seen the Letterman clip, because it's tricky being super-strong and having almost no sense of touch. I mean, rock people aren't banned from owning pets in 14 states for no reason. We tend to be a little clumsy.

But I was sued 147 times over my thirty years as a rock person, and a lot of those lawsuits were total BS. Rock people are easy targets. And not just when we play paintball.

Mix of laughter and rock hands banging together applause-style.

One guy sued me for stepping on his foot, was awarded $50,000 by the court, and then, a year later, sued me again for stepping on his OTHER foot. I'd bet you anything that he just dropped a concrete block on his foot the second time.

Yeah. The public can be cruel. But that's not the worst part of being a rock person. And I'm not talking about chipping. Chipping's annoying, but it can be managed by soaking for a few hours in your giant, steel bathtubs.

I'm talking about not having a neck. There's no way to sugarcoat it, being neckless stinks. Since I was cured, I miss a lot of things about being a rock person, but I LOVE having a neck again. I may not be able to lift a building off its foundation anymore, but I CAN glance to my right or left. And that's-

Wait. What's happening? My arms. Whole body. So heavy. Gotta sit down. Just for a minute...

Rubble Paul slides down, out of view, behind his podium. The podium begins to shake.

No! Not again! Ahhhh!

Suddenly, Rubble Paul pops back into view, a cheap rock person mask on his face.

Gotcha! I'm fine. Really. Haven't had an incident in over a decade.

Laughter from the audience. Rubble Paul removes the mask.

That's my time. You've been a great crowd. Don't sit on any cats, and enjoy the rest of the convention.

An avalanche of applause.