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Author Topic: EP080: Union Dues - Cleanup in Aisle Five  (Read 3289 times)
Russell Nash
« on: April 23, 2008, 02:19:01 PM »

EP080: Union Dues - Cleanup in Aisle Five

By Jeffrey R. DeRego.
Read by Rich Sigfrit (of Requiem of the Outcast and Amazing Pulp Adventures).

“Which one are you?”

The kid fans out a small stack of super hero trading cards, but it’s not a Union deck. Figures. “Lemme see what you got there.” I flip through and remember my old baseball card collection. I knew there was something special about me, when at nine-years-old, I accurately calculated the probable batting stats of each player, on every team, in the 1996 season after opening only one pack. The Union recruited me five years later after my dad beat a couple of Atlantic City casinos for ten million bucks. I was caught on security camera tape telling him when and how to bet at the roulette wheel.

“These don’t look like you.”

The card displays a blue-costumed man leaping between buildings. I hand it back to him. “Those guys aren’t real, but I am.” Wow. Did I just say that? Maybe I’ll tell the kid that Santa and the Easter Bunny aren’t real either. He’s staring at me now, I can almost see his little brain struggling to make sense of my answer. I should tell him to buy Union Cards but, you know, he’s five.

Rated R. Contains profanity, some violence involving children, and retail corporate exploitation.

Referenced Sites:
The Union Dues Series

Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
Sir Postsalot
Posts: 8660

« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2010, 01:08:12 PM »

A decent Union Dues story, showing the conflict between humans and supers.

But this one's my least favorite of the bunch.  I liked it while I was listening to it, but someone's comments on the blog post swayed me in the other direction.  The guy's supposed superpower of strategy seems to be rather atrophied here.  The person who commented on the blog had a psychology background and knew better how to help diffuse this situation than the hero did.  Presumably any strategy super would have extensive psychology training as well as the intuition to reach some sort of resolution without violence.  Sure, I didn't think of any better methods, but I'm not super.

The resolution suggested there was to single people out of the crowd to get them to help you.  Instead of yelling "Somebody help me," single out an individual "Hey, you in the blue shirt, give me a hand."  And if that person doesn't respond, then single out another individual until someone helps you.  That made perfect sense to me, by separating out the individuals you can shock someone out of "Someone else'll do it" paralysis and can actually get some action done.  This made such perfect sense that any belief in the character's ability to strategize was forever shattered.
Posts: 46

« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2016, 02:09:57 PM »

Another great Dues story, I really like the idea of a series of stories in this podcast. I hope it continues.
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