The Weekly Serial Adventures of The Red Rocket! (Episode 1: Coffee Waits for No Man ...)

Our story begins on a seemingly normal Thursday morning, in a seemingly normal neighborhood coffee shop. The usual crowd mills about, sipping at their lattés. It’s a quiet morning – the roads beset by a thick fog. Customers come and go, many on their way to work. The general mood is one of hushed optimism.

But then he arrives. He rumbles into the parking lot in a massive SUV, taking up three and-a-half spaces with his gas-guzzling monstrosity of a vehicle. He hops four feet to the ground in a pair of pressed slacks, a dress shirt and a power tie. He bursts through the door, rambling loudly, apparently to himself. Approximately fifteen pagers, PDAs, palm pilots and cell phones ring his belt, all of them blinking incessantly. A small, flashing ear-bud adorns his left ear.

This is Important Guy, the most feared of all customers. He sighs heavily, checking his watch (which, coincidentally, is also a compass – in case he ever finds himself lost in the middle of a jungle), as he notices a small line of about two people leading up to the register. Important Guy has a schedule to keep, and he just can’t miss the brainstorm meeting with Dick in marketing. He needs his Grande Soy Mocha Latté, and he needs it now. He continues the conversation with his hands-free headset.

“No, no, no! Tell Jackson he just needs to deal with it. I don’t care what Herb says about it. What the hell does he know? Jackson has a presentation tomorrow with the big-wigs, and he needs it ready, without help from PR. No, PR isn’t sending anyone over. Hey, when do they ever, am I right?”

By now, it’s his turn to order. Instead of ending the conversation, or at the very least asking the man on the other end to hang on a moment, he continues.

“Hello, welcome to Java Hut, what can I—”

“Hang on a second, will you?” He sushes the employee with an upright index finger, indicating that he should hang on a second. “Bill, you there? Hello? Yeah, sorry. At the Java Hut. Been waiting FOREVER trying get some damn coffee, you know? Ha, of course. Anyway, Jackson—what? Oh, no, of course not. Who? Yeah, him too.”

“Sir? If you’re not ready to order—”

“Simmer down, nametag.”

A line has formed behind Important Guy now. But he pays them no mind, because he is the most important man on the planet.

A brave patron decides to speak up. “Hey, buddy, we all got places to go.”

Important Guy whirls around, flames spurting from his nostrils. “Bill, I’ll call you back.” He grabs the innocent coffee-drinker by the collar and hoists him into the air, his eyes blazing. “You puny little man! You have nowhere to go, nobody to see! You have no plans, no deadlines and no stresses! I am the most important man in the world, don’t you see? So shut up and let me order my coffee!”

The doors burst open with a gust of wind. The startled customers gasp as a lone figure strides into the Java Hut, shoulders broad and stature rigid. He is a tall man, masked and darkly handsome. He wears a uniform of the deepest red and wields a gleaming shield adorned with the symbol of a crimson rocket ship. His eyes, blue as the deepest ocean, bore into Important Guy as he throttles the customer.

This is the Red Rocket, the protector of the weak and righter of wrongs.

Important Guy drops the poor patron and turns, his cell phones and palm pilots flashing violently. “Red Rocket! I should’ve known you’d show up!”

“Of course,” Rocket replies in his deep, earthy baritone. “I always show up.” He flashes brilliantly luminous grin. A female patron faints.

“Well, what do you want this time? I’m just trying to get some coffee before my brainstorming meeting with Dick in marketing,” Important Guy says impatiently.

“Yes, Important Guy. You are just trying to get some coffee. But you’re doing it in a way that is inconsiderate to others, and rude to this fine employee.” He offers the employee a curt nod. “So how about you go ahead and order that java, climb back into your global-warming machine and get out of here?”

Important Guy stiffens, his lips curling into a sneer. His carefully trimmed goatee quivers with rage. “Sure, Rocket … I’ll order my drink in a polite, courteous and efficient manner … IN HELL!”

Red Rocket moves too fast for the human eyes to detect – he lunges forward, bringing his shield to bear. Important Guy springs towards him. The two collide with the force of a collapsing star, flinging tables about and knocking the Java Hut denizens to the ground.

The two grapple, their teeth gritted.

“You’ll never win, Rocket – you see, I’m too damn important!” Important Guy grunts against the strain.

“No, Important Guy … you’re no more important than any of the fine people here, just looking to get some coffee to help you through the morning drudgery!”

Rocket lands a solid punch in Important Guy’s gut. Important Guy wheezes, doubling over. Our red-suited hero brings his knee up swiftly, shattering Important Guy’s jaw with a sickening crunch. Important Guy falls, his hands-free ear-bud clattering to the ground, still blinking annoyingly.

Rocket stands, his shield gleaming. Important Guy weeps quietly on the ground, unable to speak. As the stunned onlookers rise to their feet shakily, they smile and begin to clap. Rocket hushes them with a gesture of his hand.

“Don’t thank me, good people. Thank your local coffee shop employees for putting up with horrible, egocentric customers such as Important Guy here.”

With a slight wave and a winning grin, the Red Rocket departs, leaving the Java Hut peaceful once again.

Join us next week, for the next episode of the ongoing adventures of the Red Rocket!


  1. If there's one thing that has swiftly become the single rudest thing a person can do, it's talk on their cellphone and simultaneously try to order something or converse with an employee. Like you're too much a peon for them to bother saying "hold on a sec," to whoever they're on the phone with to give you the time of day for a brief, 15 second, conversation.

    How do people NOT know that's rude, honestly?

    Oh, and... Dog the Bounty Hunter is what's wrong with television. That is all.

  2. I want a shirt with the Red Rocket on it.

    Did you draw him, or what?


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