Phoning it in, Part 1

I looked up sceptically at the tree.

It wasn’t a fir tree, or a pine tree, or any of the other sorts of trees that one would normally associate with Christmas. It wasn’t even a pear tree, with an amusingly-placed Partridge Family reference. It certainly wasn’t anything like Yool, the grotesquely buff Christmas tree who has been here the whole time.

It wasn’t decorated in any way.

It wasn’t a Groot, and as far as I could tell it wasn’t an Ent. Although I suppose, in my supremely nerdy taxonomic way, it would have to be an Enting anyway, since it was only about chest-high. Too big to be a bonsai anything, too small to be much use to anyone or a challenge to even the most weedy lumberjack. And it was in our living room, which would normally provide it with ample lumberjack-protection anyway.

It was also right in front of the television, which was downright unprecedented.

Maybe, I thought, it was watching the television.

I rummaged for the remote, then turned back – noting as I did so that it was quite bizarre to actually have plant life in the living room that wasn’t being chewed by Creepy’s clearly-apex-omnivore teeth in a complete and disgraceful slap in the face to nature – and switched the television on.

I watched what happened for a moment.

Then I turned the television off.

Then the phone rang.

“Creepy,” I said as soon as I picked up, “that had better be you.”

“Hatboy!” Creepy’s voice came after a three-second delay that I had come to associate with him calling from somewhere strange, like a spacecraft or alternative timeline or the telephone box down the road at the deli. “Don’t turn on the television!”

About Hatboy

I’m not often driven to introspection or reflection, but the question does come up sometimes. The big question. So big, there’s just no containing it within the puny boundaries of a single set of punctuationary bookends. Who are these mysterious and unsung heroes of obscurity and shadow? What is their origin story? Do they have a prequel trilogy? What are their secret identities? What are their public identities, for that matter? What are their powers? Their abilities? Their haunted pasts and troubled futures? Their modus operandi? Where do they live anyway, and when? What do they do for a living? Do they really have these fantastical adventures, or is it a dazzlingly intellectual and overwrought metaphor? Or is it perhaps a smug and post-modern sort of metaphor? Is it a plain stupid metaphor, hedged around with thick wads of plausible deniability, a soap bubble of illusory plot dependent upon readers who don’t dare question it for fear of looking foolish? A flight of fancy, having dozed off in front of the television during an episode of something suitably spaceship-oriented? Do they have a quest, a handler, a mission statement, a department-level development objective in five stages? I am Hatboy.
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