Constructionman Vs. Titaniumhead

By GREG MAFFETT | Published: July 9, 2011

"Hey Grampa, tell me a bed time story!"

This is why I signed up for this role. Having the needy grandson asking for a story. This is why I stopped eating meat at age 14, why I lived to this ripe old age. Unlike my oh so inconsiderate grandparents who had the temerity to drop dead before I ran out of the requirement for bedtime stories. I have scars, is all I'm saying. But now I need to muck around and dig up a story too.

"How about Constructionman vs. Titaniumhead!" I offer.

"Bring it!"

OK, truth is, I don't know the story. But the kid is only 4 years old. Surely I can pull the wool over his eyes, no?

"Which one is the good guy?" He asks.

I'm lucky to have a grandson. Not that I'd have been unhappy with a granddaughter, but my daughter insisted that she have a boy and it turns out that the Mom decides. Not only do I get a grandson, but she was kind enough to name him after me and my father father-in -law. Two EE's, meaning he is like E to the fourth power. And like really smart. Like scary smart. Maybe I can't bluff the kid. Then again, he's only 4, I can do this.

"Titaniumhead is the bad guy, he has this head that is made out of like the strongest stuff in the world and he can bust through anything, so he is the kind of evildoer who has access to anything he wants to bust into."

"Does he have any other power?"

"No arch enemies are always one-dimensional, that is a subtle subtext that is supposed to encourage you to grow up to be multi-dimensional."

"Who wants me to grow up that way?"

"Marketers. People who want to sell you a multitude of products."

"Oh, so this single skilled guy can crack anything with his head. Can he crack into NSA approved cybercodes?"

"Um, no but he can break into the building and steal the codes and these are the codes that keep everything running, so with the codes he can sell them to smart bad guys who can shut down the air traffic and the road traffic and turn of the electric and unplug the Internet. Turns out that is exactly what he did" I say with a twinkle in my eye.

"Wait a minute, no Internet? No ice cream? How will we survive?"

"Exactly, that is why we need Constructionman to save the day."

"So Constructionman comes in and builds a building around this guy that he can't bust out of?"

"Nah, that would be boring."

"Really? People love peeking into construction sites through the holes they make in the barriers, it's like a national pasttime."

"True but it doesn't make much of a superhero story. We need an arc and a plot and stuff."

"Ok, G-pops so what is the deal on the hero.."

"Ok, so he has one arm that can turn into any type of construction material and the other arm can turn into any kind of tool."

"Cool, like a crane or a back hoe or a nail gun?"

From the living room I hear "Can he turn one arm into wallpaper and paper the guest room?"

"Sure, sure he could" Technically, I'm here to renovate the guest room, but the kid wants a story ya know? My daughter can wait on the wallpaper.

"Ok so here we go, T-head has stolen the codes and put them in the trunk of his car and is screaming down the highway with C-man in hot pursuit. C man gets ahead of him and turns his arm into a nail gun and shoots nails into the road way to shred the tires and make the bad guy stop."

"But it doesn't work."

"It doesn't?"

"Of course not, the muzzle velocity of a nail gun is only like 70 mph, same speed as a car on a highway, so the relative velocity to the ground is zero. Shooting backwards, there is no hope. Shooting forward maybe, but then he flats his own tires."

"Right I was just getting to that, the nail gun doesn't work! So instead he turns his other arm into a wide flange beam."

"Do they call it a wide flange beam because the flange is bigger than the web?"

"No it's narrower than the web, it's just wider than a narrow flange beam."

"Really? This is how Engineer's name things?"

"I'm not making this up. So he takes the wide flange beam and um, extends it and uses it kinda of like a chop stick to spear the car behind him. "

"Does that work?"

"Nah the T head uses his head as a shield and deflects the beam."

"Wow. Cool!"

"Yeah the second unit director is going to have fun shooting this when we film the pilot."

"Huh?"

"Nevermind."

"Ok, then what?"

"Well now it looks like the bad guy will get away and the country will perish and everyone will wake up with only three days of canned food left and no way to fly to the coast for a holiday. It's looking bleak for America when...The bad guy's car sputters to a halt."

"Huh?"

"He headed butted a guy to steal the car while the guy was on his way to get gas. When he stole the car he didn't check to see how much gas was in it."

"Details, its always the details isn't it?"

"Seems that way. So now the bad guy is on foot."

"And constructionman runs over him with his car?"

"Kid! Kid! we need to make this sporting."

"Why?"

"Its another subtext, this one is about fairness."

"Isn't that a fiction?"

"Of course it, but people change the channel when the score is 13 to 0 in the first inning, no one likes a blow out. We loike close games, so we need to make this close."

"And have the good guy win?"

"Hrmm."

"Nah this time the bad guy is going to win"

"Really?"

And as if by magic, the lights in the room go off...and grandpa leaves the room to the sound of

"Nice one, Grampy!"



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