This is the first story story that's really embraced the full cray-cray comedic potential of Dave's, er, special powers. But then some critics might argue the whole series is one long dick joke.
Dave Hooper stirred from his sleep, woken by stray pine needles sticking into his ribs. The chaise lounge on which he slept was an untidy affair of scavenged detritus. A heady scent of longleaf pine, cypress, and bayou trees filled the forest air.
Joint Special Operations Command had set up a base camp in Louisiana’s Kisatchie National Forest. The old growth forest provided shelter and food aplenty and, as yet, the monsters hadn’t picked up their scent, repelled by the ring of anti-monster spray that had been airdropped on the outskirts of the bivouac’s perimeters. It had been one of many scientific breakthroughs created since monsters created havoc around the world. The UV-ray gun had been another innovation.
Dave scratched his flat, hardened belly, grateful that his spare tire, Blubber Eel, had long since departed. He glanced down in annoyance at his latest share of body fat, The Old Persuader. The one-eyed snake was awake.
‘Oh, for fuck’s sake! Pack up your tent,’ Dave muttered to the uncouth erection. The Old Persuader was a source of annoyance, despite having conquered a gluttonous share of orgies. Dave’s Old Persuader was about as useful as flat beer, but good for a man’s sexual appetite. Trouble with his penis was that it nagged him; always on the lookout for further adventure and fresh loins to conquer. Not easy with boners the size of rhino horns big enough to scare off the bravest of women silly enough to dally across Ol’ Percy’s well-worn path. Dave wondered if his Blubber Eel had morphed down into his nether regions and taken up residence in his crotch. You wandering dog. The Old Persuader jerked in his cargo pants as if listening to Dave’s thoughts. Bugger off.
It had gotten to the point where Old Persuader lore had spread beyond the confines of the roving bivouac and the military forces that surrounded the command ops base. The tales of his super penis had grown more outrageous as the days grew longer. Dave had heard stories of how he’d supposedly killed two Hunn with Ol’ Percy; of how he’d clubbed, or speared (those details weren’t clear) bream and bass with his Percy Gun. The story of four elderly bridge-playing women who’d conked it when they’d caught sight of The Old Persuader straining inside Dave’s cargo pants. Heart attacks. Then there was the sorry tale of how he’d serenaded the SEALs with soft rock that drunken karaoke night – singing into his Old Persuader mike – ancient 70s and 80s hits like Katrina and the Waves’ Walking On Sunshine and ABBA’s Chiquitita. Dave cringed. As if! The cruel lies and gibberish of goddamn mongrel munters. No point getting an Old Persuader Complex in this mad world. Dave stood up, unwilling to let his personal demons get the better of him. Can’t keep a good man down.
He dreaded the day when Old Persuader paraphernalia hit the black markets. He imagined Old Persuader blow up dolls and erectile dysfunction pills, Old Persuader beer, Old Persuader pillows, and Old Persuader helium balloons. Then there’d be an Old Persuader Totem Pole erected in his memory. Dave envisaged his epitaph:
Dave Hooper, oil rig safety officer, fought against monsters that invaded Earth in the twenty-first century. Dave was renowned for superpowers that gave him boners of huge proportions. Dave, the Giant Penis, also known as Dave, The Old Persuader, left no stone unturned. Indeed, no man, woman, or monster was safe when The Dave approached.
No, that wasn’t going to happen. Dave’s imagination was getting the better of him. He was Dave, not his penis. He was a dick at times, but he wasn’t The Cock Who Walked. Nobody had the time or money to capitalize on Old Persuader lore in a world gone mad. Not since the Hunn ur Horde had breached the capstone and emerged from the UnderRealms.
Dave was about to let Old Persuader have his way and relieve himself of his erection, when he caught a glimpse of his watch. Scooby Gang time: the regular moonlight meeting of Heath, Allen, Emmeline, Compton, and himself. Dave heard voices in the camp. Sounded like Compton and Emmeline. No time for a wank.
Compton and Emmeline argued in the distance; two professors at war. Emmeline’s voice sounded unusually shrill tonight. The Old Persuader throbbed as Dave pondered his encounter with Emmeline the previous night. Dave swung his legs off the chaise lounge. He stood up and stretched lazily. He’d stood close to Emmeline. He’d been inches away from embracing her when Compton appeared. Bloody Compton. An instant dampener.
The Old Persuader battled inside his cargo pants. Emmeline wanted him. There was chemistry there, no doubt about it. Dave’s pants strained further in protest. Don’t think of her. If it hadn’t been for Compton appearing . . . the kiss that woulda if it coulda. Too late. Pop, pop, pop. The buttons fell onto the grass and Dave’s trousers unleashed their contents – one helluva persuasive snake. Dave needed a dress with all these improper boners. Buttons would not do. Damn you, Old Persuader! He couldn’t deal with all these erections. His buttons had popped four times that month; all erection casualties of Horny Dave. The Old Persuader was a double-edged sword of lust and loathing.
There were, Dave knew, four sides to him: Asshole Dave, Ur Dave aka The Dave, Horny Dave, and Contrite Dave. Asshole Dave was an unkempt, filthy, no-good, womanising, hookers and blow, piss-guzzling, drug-besotted excuse of an ex-husband and father. The Dave was all hero, endowed with useful superpowers after killing Urgon Htoth Ur Hunn, BattleMaster of the Fourth Legion. Horny Dave wasn’t far removed from The Dave and Asshole Dave, but The Dave didn’t heed Old Persuader’s superman boners when he was busy flying around killing monsters and saving the world with his splitting maul, Lucille. Ah, Lucille. Beautiful singing Lucille and her thrumming vibrations. Dave secretly fantasized that Lucille would one day transform into a woman. She’d be a fine, fine lover. A classy bit of Magick. Stop, cock! There he was, being a horny, sexist dick again. That was Contrite Dave; remorseful Dave.
Compton and Emmeline had stopped moving beside the bald cypress grove. Good. Dave needed time to resolve his Old Persuader problem. A sheet would do. No time for sewing on buttons. This was not a good way to start an outing with the Scooby Gang. Dave heard a rustling nearby.
‘Rise and shine!’ Crap! Don’t panic. Chief Zach Allen had emerged from his humpy beside a bayou tree and approached Dave’s boudoir, or chaise lounge, such as it was.
‘Coming out to the Doobie Tree? Scooby Gang Moon time. Oh . . . Sorry.’ How astute of the Chief Petty Officer to note his erectile dilemma.
‘Dude, I’d like buttons and a chocolate bar first,’ Dave said, placing his hands over The Old Persuader, although they didn’t conceal the entire dimensions of his glory. Allen smiled slyly. Allen was a commanding, but laidback man; a chilled ex-surfer and lifeguard Olympian. He’d proved a good friend throughout these past seven months of craziness – since the daemon monsters had breached the capstone.
Allen was a reliable source of chocolate bars, Dave’s quality food of choice. He stowed chocolate and protein bars like other men carried coins or cigarettes.
‘Here. Get this into you,’ Allen grinned, handing him a chocolate Rice Krispie from his cargo pants. ‘Keep the snake beast at bay.’ Dave reluctantly moved a hand from The Old Persuader to retrieve the chewy goodness.
‘Thanks. My trouser buttons blew again. Yes, they’re made battle ready, but this here shlong beats the pants off me. I gotta wear something loose.’ He gestured towards Old Persuader. ‘Like a sheet. Something a man can swing his boner in.’
‘Not a problem. One sheet coming up. Wait here,’ Allen said. Dave wasn’t heading anywhere with his erection fired up like dar Drakon. Allen slipped off to his makeshift humpy to get a sheet and, hopefully, an Eat Smart Choc Peanut Caramel Crunch. They were Dave’s favorite bars.
Allen was a damn candy man. He had a mega stash of chocolate, protein bars and energy gels, paid for courtesy of US taxpayers. It couldn’t last forever, though, not with the rapid encroachment of the monsters. Dave focused again on the problem at hand: his inappropriate boner.
‘Be gone! Diminish, you unseemly cock!’ Dave directed The Old Persuader as Compton’s and Emmeline’s voices grew louder. He decided not to tune in on their argument. Dave had his own worries. He looked around to make sure no one was in his immediate vicinity, before taking his penis to task. He drew his mighty claymore, Old Persuader, unsheathed as it was from his trousers, and in nine quick yanks came with a satisfied grunt, unyielding his hefty load of semen beneath the bayou behind his chaise lounge. Hmm, hmm. Thank you, sir. Damn, that had been a nice quickie. Dave loved the intensity and pleasure of orgasm that replenished his body, mind, and spirit. He sighed in relief, breathing in the forest air, and stared down at The Old Persuader who had retreated like a happy puppy with a bone.
Allen was taking his time, Compton and Emmeline knackered on, and sleepiness again overcame Dave. He considered giving tonight’s meetup a miss. No, best go. It was good for networking, not that there was much networking going on between Heath, Allen, Compton (the prick), Emmeline, and himself. Still, for appearances.
Dave sighed. A one-man wonder band, he was. Ur Dave had conquered daemons aplenty, but they kept coming. There were too many of them. Dave had seen news reports of the Hunn ur Horde devouring people atop the Story Bridge in Brisbane, on Circular Quay in Sydney, and even in the quiets of Civic Square in Canberra. Poor souls. But what if he used his powers to conquer all monsters?
It was too much for one superhero and JCOC, and the UN wasn’t going to nuke the entire planet to be rid of the Grand Horde. The UnderRealms had to be recapped or destroyed. The monsters were killing and eating thousands of people. Dave needed a superhuman army and super technology. He imagined an army of baby Super Daves. They’d sprout up in no time, given their super powers. They’d be physically strong enough by age two. An army of superboys and supergirls. Dave dismissed the thought at once. Idiot. There wasn’t time and it was unethical. Besides, he had his own boys, Jack and Toby. His ex-wife, Annie, had hitched up with her goofball lawyer, Vietch, so she wouldn’t be putting her hand up for further baby breeding duties. Too old. Sexist pig. Yeah, yeah. Dave stretched again on his chaise lounge, giving in to melancholy. No, Ur Dave wouldn’t be a superfucker or a superbreeder.
Dave heard Allen returning with Heath, captain of Joint Special Operations Command. Heath had barked that out clearly on meeting Dave. He’d changed these past few weeks. Conditions, Dave reasoned. That, and monsters. Lord knows, a few of the best had snapped since the emergence of the Hunn ur Horde. Heath commanded the force, per se, but Dave wasn’t sure how long that would last. Heath walked, uniformed, and strangely smiling in the moonlight. He’d barely smiled before. He was all a-good feelin’ happy dude. Scary indeed.
‘Evening, Dave,’ Heath said. ‘I trust your snake is in order.’ His eyes darted around, up and down Dave, over to Allen, and out to Compton and Emmeline. The man carried a good supply of joints, hash, snacks, and the stinky plastic bottle bong.
‘Ah, yes, all good, sir.’ Dave said grabbing the sheet Allen proffered. ‘Thanks.’ The Old Persuader was at rest, mercifully, and Dave donned the sheet around his waist.
‘Jeez,’ Dave said. ‘May as well do this right. Please avert your eyes for a moment.’ He took off his black t-shirt and buttonless cargo pants and draped the sheet around his body, finally satisfied with the self-styled toga.
‘Stylish,’ Allen smirked. ‘Togas are cool.’
‘Survival wear,’ Dave said. ‘Boner proof. I can breathe now.’
Emmeline was blowing a fuse in the distance.
‘I don’t think this is such a good idea, Heath,’ he said, nodding towards Emmeline and Compton. ‘Not a happy camp that-a-way.’
‘Nonsense. All will be set right with the passing of the spliff,’ Heath said. Nope, Heath wasn’t his old self at all.
Dave focused on Heath’s unshaven face, saddened for the man before him. Compton and Emmeline’s argument, it seemed, had abated as they finally reached Dave, Heath, and Allen. Emmeline looked annoyed, but she cut a striking figure, even while frowning in the full moonlight.
‘Evening all. We’ve been discussing our thresh specimens. It’s critical we start the thresh cell study as soon as possible.’ Compton addressed all present as if the matter were closed.
‘Impractical,’ Emmeline snapped.
‘Nonsense,’ Compton said. ‘There are numerous tests to carry out.’
‘I’ve told you. We don’t have the resources, Compton. This is about survival – surviving a fucking monster invasion.’
‘Balderdash, woman. You know nothing of the potential research at stake. Our stem cell research has barely begun. Think of the grants, the markets for this. If you are unable to cooperate, why don’t you stand down as my assistant?’
‘Assistant! How dare you. And grants?! You just don’t get it, do you? Get with reality, Compton. You wouldn’t have survived one day in this hellhole without me. Go fuck yourself, dickbrain.’ Compton was stunned silent. He fidgeted nervously with his red neckbeard. Dave was impressed with Emmeline’s cussing and felt a twinge of compassion for Compton. The short, fat, bald man looked decidedly shaken by Emmeline’s outburst.
Heath broke the silence. ‘Alright, everyone. Let’s take a breather, people. We need to stay focused as a team.’ Great. Let’s have a pow wow, scout leader.
Emmeline had changed of late. She’d loosened up; no longer the serious woman Dave had first encountered. She was sexy, even if unhinged. Dammit. Dave knew he was being an asshole, but The Old Persuader didn’t care. The penis was alive once more. Dave nonchalantly propped up a leg on a nearby bayou, hoping his pose would diminish the size of his boner. As if. Nice try, Dave. Compton was on to him already.
‘Wind’s up. Blowing hard. Should change direction soon,’ he said, glaring at Horny Dave through the moonlight. So much for feeling sorry for the beady-eyed git. Dave considered whipping out Old Persuader and whacking Compton over his bald head with it. Emmeline averted her eyes from Dave, although he knew she’d caught a glimpse, nay, an in-your-face gawk at Dave’s monstrosity that rose pointedly from beneath the toga. Jeez. Should be used to it. His leg-on-bayou-tree ploy had not worked. Doggone penile crap! Dave wanted a new penis, fast.
Emmeline laughed, anger fizzled. Dave blushed, certain all noted his crimson-faced hue in the full moon’s gaze. Unholy sword, confounded sperm whale. The Old Persuader mocked him. But Emmeline . . . was she hormonal, or what? Arguing, cussing like a sailor, laughing, arguing, laughing, laughing again. Why would Dave the Ur, Dave The Dave, be turned on by such a loopy, emotional . . . but look at those perky breasts, and her white teeth, and her strong, feline body. Man, she moved that booty smoothly. The Old Persuader listened to lust over reason. I gotta get a handle on this bad boy.
‘Back to the thresh business,’ Heath said. ‘It’s not going to happen, Compton. Simple as that. Emmeline is right. The research will have to wait because we’re resuming our journey towards Houston tomorrow. Matter closed.’ Compton scowled but said nothing.
Dave’s stomach rumbled loudly as hunger pangs started. They all looked at him. His stomach rumbled again like an approaching train. It broke the tension in the air.
‘Hungry again?’ Allen asked. Dave nodded.
‘Starving.’ Allen handed him an OhYeah! peanut-and-caramel flavored bar. Dave nodded his gratitude as the sugar surge hit his brain.
‘Genius. Thanks, buddy.’
‘To the tree,’ Emmeline said, grabbing a chocolate bar off Allen.
‘Scooby doobie, let’s go,’ Heath said, leading them to the old pine a short walk upstream from their campsite. He sorted his array of goodies on the ground. ‘Pity we don’t have a picnic blanket.’
‘No smoke for me, not tonight,’ Dave said. ‘I have a headache.’
‘A headache? That’s not all you’ve got,’ Compton said, eyeing Dave’s outspoken boner profile with malice. Give a man a break! Dave scowled. Compton’s jokes inevitably flopped like wilted celery stalks.
‘My mind is on purer matters,’ Dave deadpanned, ‘like how the fuck we’re gonna get to Houston before the Hunn ur Horde get there. NASA are expecting us, although God knows why.’
‘Not getting there any time soon,’ Compton said. ‘Not with all the choppers down. And no hornets. No air power to speak of.’ He continued to gaze at Dave’s erection. ‘I think you should call your friendly fellow Pinocchio.’ Weirdo.
‘Shut up, will you? Anyone would think you wanted a piece of the action. What is it with you and Dave’s penis? You wanna fuck it?’ Emmeline, Emmeline, still testy. Dave took a deep breath. Count, two, three, four. He would remain patient with Compton. Allen, the ever reliable candy man, came to Dave’s aid.
‘Eat this,’ he said, offering Dave another chocolate bar. ‘Keep your strength up, man, and save your breath.’ Dave thanked Allen and devoured the bar within seconds. Dave was relieved that all sided with him against Compton’s constant petty penile taunts, not that they were worth worrying about. Nobody liked Compton.
‘I’m simply curious as to how Dave deals with his enlarged handicap.’ Compton pointed at Dave’s superboner. ‘It’s obviously a scientific curiosity. I mean, look at it!’ All gazed at the monstrosity beneath Dave’s toga. Fine. Let’s get this over and done with. The Old Persuader was obviously a topic of renown. Dave would confront their issues with the Ol’ Percy head on. The only way out is through.
‘Yup, The Old Persuader, eh?’ Dave said. ‘My cock is big alright, Compton. It’s fucking hu-uuuge. Humongous. A fucking cannon ball. A monster shlong. An almighty weapon of mass destruction. It has inappropriate boners and inappropriate ejaculations. It’s a whacking nuisance at times. What do you want me to do about it? What ya gonna do?’ Silence. Dave sighed loudly. That had been cathartic.
‘Chop it off,’ Compton said. ‘Donate it to science.’ Another attempt at a joke. Lord, spare me.
‘For the love of . . . Shut it, Compton.’
‘C’mon, Dave, he’s not worth it,’ Emmeline said.
‘Let’s chill under this here tree. Get a little stoned and unwind.’ Heath said. ‘We’ll all relax and forget our troubles for the moment. No talk of monsters.’ The man made sense for a captain who’d flipped. Heath was sounding more reasonable by the minute. Perhaps he wasn’t mad, and had undergone a Greenified Transformation. Or not. They sat beneath the pine tree and Dave calmed down.
Doobies passed hands and they all relaxed under the clouds of white smoke. Heath packed the water bottle bong and passed it around. Dave joined in, eager to forget his worries for a night. Toke by toke, cone by cone, they got quietly stoned. Dave lay down and gazed up at the stars. That big beautiful sky. Who’da thunk there were monsters tearing around, eating people? Who’da thunk the world had gone to ape shit? Emmeline lay down next to him and they stargazed in silence. Allen and Heath joined them, then Compton, all lying down under the pine, eyes to the sky. Thank God, peace prevails. Dave closed his eyes, when the stillness was pervaded by a strange sound like bleating crippled sheep. Baa-baa-baa. Bwa-bwa-bwaaa. Compton was crying.
‘I’m sorry, brother. Dave. I miss . . . I can’t get hard ons, not anymore,’ Compton gasped between sobs, pointing to Dave’s now deflated Old Persuader. ‘I wish I got boners. Doesn’t have to be big. Just one boner would do. It’s been two years. Not since Lily, my darling, departed wife. She died in a car crash. Horribly.’ Great. Nothing like a party downer.
‘Forget it,’ Dave said. He wondered why Compton hadn’t tried erectile dysfunction pills. Maybe he had. Dave couldn’t be bothered asking. He didn’t want to hear Compton’s hard luck stories.
‘There’ll be a drug out there for you, Compton,’ Emmeline said, as if reading Dave’s mind. ‘Think of poor Dave. His problem is pressing. Dave has a problem akin to the Man Flu. It’s like his manhood goes into overdrive with his superpowers.’ Stoned Emmeline elaborated.
‘It’s entirely probable that Dave’s penile erection dysfunction is caused by a surplus of testosterone. I’d like to take a few samples, Dave. You may have a case of tritium atoms gone awry.’
‘Terrific.’ Dave smiled to himself. ‘You reckon it’s a case of atomic penis?’ Emmeline moved closer.
‘It’d be a go-ood idea to sample you,’ Emmeline said. Dave’s ears pricked up. What had Emmeline said? Go-ood.
‘Samples?’ he asked. ‘What for?’
‘To determine the likelihood of reducing the unfortunate side effects of having such an active penile organ.’ The Old Persuader perked up afresh.
‘Is that necessary? I mean, I can live with it . . .’
‘Really?’ Emmeline said, ‘I don’t think that’s practical. We’ll find a solution that keeps the best of you, yet diminishes the size, inconvenience, and frequency of these unwanted erections.’
‘You bear your affliction with great forbearance,’ Compton said. He’d stopped sobbing.
‘A heavy burden, I’d imagine,’ Allen said, throwing Dave an energy gel. ‘Here, take this.’ Allen was useful and practical, even stoned.
‘Thanks,’ Dave said, sitting up and swallowing the PowerBar Gel Double Latte in one mouthful.
‘Yes, I’d say you have a sizeable battle on your hands, Dave,’ Heath said. ‘Your old fella isn’t one I’d want to be logging around. I’d take Emmeline’s advice. This research wouldn’t be as troublesome for us as thresh cell research. It’s not like you’re a heavy carcass. You can move around. It’s not like we’d have to freeze you on route.’ Great. They were all in on the act.
‘Down the track, we may find your specimen useful for eugenics research.’ Emmeline said. ‘If we found desirable qualities for breeding.’ What?! Slow down, woman!
‘Ah, I’m not really the kinda fella who’s suitable breeding stock. And I don’t want Ol’ Percy removed, if it’s all the same to you.’
‘Absolutely not,’ Emmeline said. ‘But I’ll reduce the ill effects of your penis overdrive.’ Dave smirked. The lady was forthright. ‘I mean, fuck, how can you live with it?’ Emmeline was on all fours gawking over his erect Old Persuader. Dave wished he could shift his massive boner out of the glare of the moonlight and the stares of the Scooby Gang. The Old Persuader protruded under his toga like a Scooby Gang flagpole.
‘Aha. Well, your research sounds advantageous.’
‘We can start tonight,’ Emmeline said. Dave coughed in surprise, while Allen, Compton, and Heath exchanged knowing glances between themselves. OK . . . Dave noted that Allen and Heath were adjusting their crotches. Even Compton was looking down at his pants.
‘I’m stoned,’ Dave said. He pondered the options: remain toga man and have this raging superboner upsetting his daily life, or manage the penis issue with the hot lady professor. The Old Persuader steered his decision.
‘Stoned? We can work with that,’ Emmeline said. She was persistent.
‘Alrighty, let’s give it a whirl. Couldn’t hurt,’ Dave said. ‘But I’m not fuckin’ dishing out under the Scooby Tree.’
‘No, naturally,’ Emmeline laughed. ‘Not here. We’ll walk and talk and fuck. I mean, we’ll pursue the issue further over a whiskey.’ Dave saw Allan, Heath, and Compton’s jaws drop.
‘A glass of water is fine by me,’ Dave said. Dork. Emmeline smiled a slow, easy smile. Dave’s heart raced. Brave woman. Or the effect of ganja. Dave didn’t care in his own stoned world. Emmeline got up off the ground like a languid cat, and stepped towards Dave, her eyes shining and intense. Compton, Heath, and Allen sat up in anticipation. What was the woman going to do next? Emmeline dragged Dave to his feet. He shifted around and looked down at the superboner that stood between himself and the ground. Emmeline with Old Persuader and Dave. Old Persuader was on task.
‘Fine, I’m all ears,’ Dave said. ‘Anything to be rid of this toga.’ Emmeline turned to Heath, Allen, and Compton with an open smile.
‘Catch you later. Thanks for tonight, Heath,’ Emmeline said. The three men returned bashful smiles.
Dave grinned. Poor munters.
‘Not a problem,’ Heath said. ‘Good luck with your research.’ Emmeline took hold of Dave’s arm and led him away from the safety of the Scooby Gang Moonlight Meetup.
‘I’ll take good care of you, although I may take advantage,’ Emmeline purred. Dave’s eyes almost popped out of his head like thresh eyestalks. Yes please. Emmeline moved her arm from his, and placed it on the back of Dave’s neck, stroking it lightly. His entire body tingled in anticipation.
‘I’m easily persuaded, Emmeline,’ Dave replied. They smiled at each other and The Old Persuader twitched inside Dave’s toga. Mission stations manned.