Just another day in small town America
It all happened in the first part of the 21st Century.
Sparked by an intense barrage of superhero movies, graphic novels, and television shows, superheroes with amazing powers became more popular than chocolate sprinkles. Soon virtually everyone in America who did not already possess powers beyond those of mortal men began devising whatever cockamamie scheme they could to acquire them now.
People stood in pools of hydrochloric acid in lighting storms, drank volumes of random chemicals while clasping on to frayed electrical wiring, blasted off to distant planets where complicit aliens might blast them back imbued with whatever powers one may possess from birth on Planet Shmoolu, and slept with their heads in the microwave.
From every corner of America there sprang up mighty heroes like Amazo (able to read minds, but only up to a third grade level), Spin Cycle (power to dry anything really fast), Womb Woman (capable of transporting arch villains back to their mother's wombs, where they could do no harm), Mighty Minion (ten shapeshifting Jews), Nose Rider (possessing the power to smell spills and messes that have long since been cleaned up), Cyclone Woman (she who controls the elements, especially cadmium), and Captain Chipmunk.
By the year 2032 the Chairman of the US Department of Federal Statistics, Wonder Man, estimated that over 45% of the entire population of the United States consisted of superheroes, 27% were sidekicks, and 19% were cutesy human friends to the hero with names like Scooter, Maxie, and Li’l JoJo. Even at noon the skies were so filled with costumed and caped crime fighters that pigeons couldn’t fight their way through to shit on cars and remaining non-superheroes.
Business reaped a bonanza. Skilled costume designers and tailors couldn’t pump out fresh costumes, logos, and identity concealing headgear fast enough. It wasn’t uncommon for dry cleaners to have dozens of crime fighting costumes marked for special delivery on Thursday, creating a massive back-log as most dry cleaning personnel were off battling Dr. Mephisto, leaving only Zebra Man behind to clean and press.
Arch villains also benefited. Whenever the Bat Signal shattered the night sky so too did the sky signage of every other resident superhero within the surrounding multi-state area.
"This burglar’s mine, Ocular Hombre!”
“I saw him first, UltraDick!”
“No fair! You have X-Ray vision.”
“And you have a Macro-Extended Penis! You could have nabbed him all the way from Cleveland!”
"Who the fuck are you?”
"I’m the Kantian Kid! I’ll bore all three of you with a lecture on “The Critique of Pure Reason” and grab the burglar while you two are busy taking the quiz!”
And in the resulting melee, the burglar would routinely get away.
There did remain some Americans who were not superheroes, approximately 30% of the population as computed by Wonder Man and his chief assistant, Kid Speedy. One such person was Lyle Lumpkin of Dinkleville, Kansas.
"I’m happy being a regular guy,” Lumpkin was wont to say. “Y’know, if we get word that Lex Luther is about to blow up the town’s bicycle shop or 7-11 - Luther comes here occasionally when he can’t get a reservation to blow up Metropolis, what with all the superheroes there - the missus (I mean, Danger Dame), Teen Terrific, and Commander Baby leap into action while I sit here and watch “The Chew.”
Unfortunately the three of them have to take their turns with the other superheroes - we got three Green Lanterns in Dinkleville alone - which makes it tough for them to get a superpower in edgewise!”
Gradually as times changed interest in superheroes waned and a new generation opted for other professions, becoming doctors, lawyers, and apologists for the Trump Administration.
“Business is lousy these days, Electric Chick,” said the Joker when he appeared on Fox Business Channel’s Market Mornings with Electric Chick, whose ratings were steadily declining.
“How can you get away in a melee anymore when no more than 7 superheroes show up whenever you’re trying to murder Batman’s girlfriend?”