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Daniel M. Shapiro

The Orange Menace on Vacation

I used to love the beach when I thought it was beautiful. I tore up my feet on the rocks but loved it. The water had oil in it, waste from stinky factories. I loved the oily, stinky water. Loved it! Then we drove to Miami Beach, just before the accident. I realized what I had thought was beautiful was really disgusting. It was the worst thing ever. A disaster. Sad. And Miami Beach was like a supermodel: too beautiful to touch. All I wanted to do was walk into that gorgeous, untouchable water and take a piss. Then and there, I promised myself I would turn all the beautiful beaches into my beaches. I own several, and I’ve touched them all.

The Secret Ingredients of a Supervillain

The Orange Menace is bored again.
He tires of watching himself on TV
when he can’t hear whoops, can’t see
throngs revel in what they want him to be.

The Orange Menace leaves the penthouse
in his robe and slippers, selects a fast car,
ignores traffic lights en route to the drive-thru.
He owns this chain, knows no one by name.

The Orange Menace orders a Billion $ Burger.
So few know how his most delicious food is made.
The recipe handed down from his father slipped
through death-bed lips, such a cherished inheritance.

The Orange Menace makes food from what he lacks.
Every burger from the Thousand $ Slider up the ladder
contains the stolen spines and thick skins of his enemies.
He scarfs down the meal, U-turns illegally into the pre-dawn.

The Orange Menace on Vacation (Part II: The Parthenon)

One of my guys told me people used to get together here, a cult drawn to huge spectacle. Such a temple. Can you imagine? And the statue of that broad, Athena—a god, really. Or goddess. Whatever. And it had gold inside. If a real broad could be like that, right? Such a historical place. Really, really historical. Or historic; it doesn't matter. We were going to do a casino just like this. It’s true! But then I thought it would look really, really bad. This place is like, it’s in disarray. Disgusting in a lot of ways. So much of it got smashed by a bunch of Italians—greedy, greedy Italians before there was an Italy, OK. But you have to respect that—going in and just destroying someplace because you want to, saying goodbye to sculptures that would be worth a fortune. Why the hell not? They just came in and blew it up. Kablooey, right? No insurance. But it’s still really, really historical. So it means a lot to be here. I mean, I’ve been to nicer places that are in one piece, but this is neat!

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