This Halloween I dressed up as Col. Nick Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.. I wore my costume to work and went trick-or-treating with my little girl, who earlier in the day had been traumatized by one of those life-size singing skeleton robots. If in a few years I have to put my daughter through therapy because of a skeleton in a bow-tie singing "Rollin' On A River," so help me, I'm going to sue somebody.
Anyway, I looked pretty good in my Nick Fury costume, despite the fact that everybody thought I was dressed up as Snake Plissken. That wouldn't have been so bad, except more than one person said, "Are you the dude from Escape From L.A.?" First of all, no. I'm Nick Fury, bitches. Second, if I was Snake Plissken, I would be from Escape From New York, not that other movie that I pretend doesn't exist. I mean, really. It's insulting.
"I'm Nick Fury, bitches."
Being the geek that I am, I decided that I would turn my costume into a multi-media extravaganza. I printed out "Don't Yield, Back S.H.I.E.L.D." stickers and invited everyone in my department to a S.H.I.E.L.D. Career Power Seminar, hosted by Nick Fury. I reserved a training room and some audio-video equipment and for about an hour and a half I gave a series of five-minute presentations. People trickled in and out on their lunch breaks and listened to Col. Fury explain why they should join his super-spy organization. It was generally well-received; people laughed in all the right places.
So here, then, are the PowerPoint slides from my S.H.I.E.L.D. Career Power Seminar. Imagine I'm up at the front of the room dressed as Nick Fury, cigar clenched in mouth, delivering my dialogue in a clipped tough guy from New York voice. I know - pretty geeky, huh? I was a theater major, what can I say?
Fury: "Alright, you screwheads, listen up. I'm Colonel Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D., and I'm here to tell you all why you might want to join my secret superspy organization - if you can cut the mustard. So eyes front and lips zipped."
"What is S.H.I.E.L.D.? We're America's top superspy organization, keeping our country safe 24/7 from all manner of freaks, subversives, and supervillains. We were also featured in a made-for-TV movie starring David Hasselhoff of Baywatch and Baywatch Nights fame."
"Be part of a winning team with S.H.I.E.L.D.. You'll take pride in knowing that you're keeping the American dream safe. The opportunities for personal growth are endless, what with S.H.I.E.L.D.'s training programs and all. And there are always new challenges ahead, whether it's a rampaging Dreadnought robot or a gamma bomb ticking under Philly. Variety is the spice of life here at S.H.I.E.L.D.."
"S.H.I.E.L.D. offers generous benefits for all full-time agents. You can enjoy our sports programs, like wrasslin', or put your runts in our state of the art day care centers. We've got a great medical plan, including vision. Have fun at a S.H.I.E.L.D. mixer. Nobody knows how to pound booze like S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, let me tell ya. We work hard, we play hard."
"Be a part of something special with S.H.I.E.L.D.. Travel to exotic locations. Liaise with the military and State Department. Or just skulk around in the shadows with your cigar, looking like a bad-ass. At the end of the day you'll have a sense of pride."
"S.H.I.E.L.D. agents get all the cool swag. Whether it's the latest nightvision optics, a fancy ray gun, a jetpack, or our new TWIKI model field-support droid - S.H.I.E.L.D. plays with the best toys."
"Maybe you're an egghead or a computer jock. No problem, we've got a place for you here at S.H.I.E.L.D.. We're currently looking for polygraph experts to sniff out double-agents, forensic scientists like this dame here, and High Altitude Low Opening parachuters. It's not all fisticuffs and death rays here at S.H.I.E.L.D.."
"S.H.I.E.L.D. is based out of the helicarrier, a massive flying aircraft carrier held aloft by huge turbines. It floats 10,000 feet above Bethesda, Maryland, hidden from public view by a smoke screen - looks just like a cloud. You can join our Aqua Strike Force and tool around in a high speed assault catamaran, or travel in style in a flying car like yours truly. Nobody knows how to pimp your ride like S.H.I.E.L.D., baby."
"Get a cut of the pie. Once you reach director level you get your own comic book, and if you play your cards right you can get a line of toys, hats, leather jackets - you name it. Try finding a better deal at any other government agency - you won't find it, pal. S.H.I.E.L.D. knows how to take care of their own."
"Plus, you get the satisfaction of crushing the forces of evil and keeping America safe for apple pie and grandma. Like these bums: HYDRA. Not to be confused with Cobra, the G.I. Joe bad guys. Hydra are a pack of freedom-hating creeps bent on destroying our way of life, and we're here to put our collective foot up their butts. Those Hydra sonsabitches really get under my skin. But don't worry: the current Hydra Alert Level is yellow, so you can go out trick-or-treating or drinking or whatever tonight knowing that S.H.I.E.L.D. is on the case."
"So now you've heard what S.H.I.E.L.D. has to offer and you want to know what it takes to join. Well, you gotta be a U.S. citizen in top shape, you gotta be 21 of course, and pass our violating background investigation, which includes a telepathic probe. Oh, and you gotta be willing to lose vision in one of your eyes."
"OK, I've said what I gotta say. The rest is up to you. Do you have what it takes to join S.H.I.E.L.D.? Thanks for listening, and don't forget to pick up a sticker on your way out. Now amscray."
So there you go. It went over pretty well, I think. I mean, come on, wouldn't you be psyched if your boss or co-worker did something like that at work? Most importantly, after my presentation nobody referred to me as "that guy from Escape From L.A.."
UPDATED! Here's an OK picture of me as Nick Fury, with ubiquitous cigar. It's sort of a poor man's David Hasselhoff look, really. And although you can't tell, take my word for it that I have grey temples and a Howling Commandos unit badge on one arm. That's geek authenticity, baby.