“We need a plan to stop Doomerang,” Wanda said.

Craig shrugged. “He seems like a self-solving problem to me.” (More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

Welcome back to Tuesday’s Tale, a weekly feature where we collaborate to write a story. Previous Tuesday’s Tales include The Spice Rack and Dead Leftovers Walking. We follow the basic rules of the “Yes, And” improvisational game – accept everything written so far as part of the story, and add your own paragraph (or so) where the last addition left off – except you needn’t begin your addition with “Yes, and.” I’ll start the story….

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A waitress by day, Wanda gathered empty plates from now-vacant booths at the Superfund Diner. But by night she was Flyswatter, a caped crime-fighter, if a red-checked tablecloth tied at her neck counted as a cape. She leaped over the counter and executed a perfect three-point landing. Or it would have been perfect, had she been holding the plates in her upraised hand.

“You gotta work on that,” Craig said.

He was the diner’s cook by day. By night he was … Ratman.

“Yeah,” Wanda agreed as she swept up broken crockery. She nodded toward his butt. “Your tail is hanging out.”

“Dammit,” Craig said. He stuffed it down the back of his pants. “That’s what I get for wearing my costume under my work clothes.”

“And we still need a plan to stop Doomerang,” Wanda added as she dumped the dustpan into the trash can.

“I don’t see why,” Craig replied. “He claims he invented a nuclear-armed boomerang. Okay, fine. He throws it. It comes back. It explodes. Like I said, a self-solving problem.”

“What if he takes half of East Greensludge with him?” Wanda asked.

Craig looked at her. “Honestly, would anyone miss this place?”

“But if we don’t stop Doomerang,” Wanda insisted, “we have no villain. No plot. No reason to exist.”

“We could exposit our T-O-S-es,” Craig suggested.

“Terms of Service?” Wanda asked.

He shook his head. “No, our Tragic Origin Stories.”

Wanda flicked her trademark weapon against the counter, then wiped away the remains with a rag that might have been clean back in the Nixon administration. She looked at Craig as she cleaned her flyswatter. “You have a Tragic Origin Story?”

“Of course,” Craig said. “My parents won the lottery.”

“That doesn’t sound like a tragedy,” Wanda said.

“They were on their way to cash in their ticket when dad dropped it,” Craig continued. “It fell into a storm drain, so they went in after it. By the time they reached the end of the storm drain, they were in Pennsylvania. Never came back.”

Wanda’s eyes widened. “They left you here?”

“Well sure,” Craig said. “That happened last year. The tragedy is that I’m still here in New Jersey.”

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Have fun!