The Spider-Man Monologue

by Jeff Goode

copyright © 1989

[note: this is the "El Ride" version of the monologue as performed for American Blues Theatre's Monsters III: The El Ride]

[Spider-Man sitting at a bench on the El platform. He wears an old Spider-Man t-shirt like you would buy at K-Mart.]

[Kid enters, notices SPIDER-MAN]

Hey, I know you, man. You're Spider-man. [to someone offstage:] Hey, Mickey! Look, it's Spider-Man!
[Spider-Man is uncomfortable with the attention]

Hey, I know you, Spider-Man. [to Mickey again:] Hey, Mickey, it's Spider-Man I told you about! [to Spider-Man:] Spider-Man, you cannot believe what a privilege it is to see you in person like this. Spider-man... Hey, Spider-man, I want to shake your hand.

[Spider-man looks at him apprehensively at first, but then gives the kid his hand.]
[Kid spits in his face, exits.]

You know, when I gave up being the Amazing Spider-Man, the thing that hurt most -- besides the chest pains -- was that most people were glad.

Not, like, the criminals -- they didn't care -- But the ordinary people were glad. They had a parade to celebrate. Spider-Man pi¤atas for the kids. They thought I might object to being burned in effigy, so they held it while I was still hospitalized.

When I started going around to schools to give talks about cancer, most people assumed it was because I was bitten by a radioactive spider which gave me my super powers. Especially the "No Nukes" people. They really wanted me to have cancer from being bitten by a radioactive spider.

Actually, it was the cigarettes.

You know, you'd be standing on the El platform, waiting for a B train to take you to the Loop in time to stop Electro from robbing a bank there. But the train is late and you're trying to look inconspicous in your bright red Spider-Speedos. (he fidgets) And you get really tense, you know?

So it's good to have a smoke, relax.

Then the train shows up you snuff your cig, toss your butt on the tracks and you go downtown and kick his ass.

And next thing you know you're on a platform waiting for an express during rush hour, and everyone's staring at you, and you have to make it to the Madison and Wells in time to stop Juggernaut AND the Rhino from trashing the Merc. And Captain America STILL hasn't showed up yet to help you out, and you're gonna have to take on these two huge fuckers by yourself!

So you have another smoke.

And the next thing you know, you're chain smoking two or three packs of Lucky Strikes just on one job.

I'll never forget this time I caught The Human Flame Thrower in a jewelry store and I came crashing through the front window, and I said "Human Flame Thrower, you're coming with me." And he whipped around and said "Oh no! Spider-Man!" -- I love it when they say "Oh no! Spider-Man!"

And he was just about to blast me when I just started coughing like you wouldn't believe! I was doubled over on one of those display cases, coughing and hacking up this brown spittle crap. And the Human Flame Thrower had to run over and help me out to the car so his henchman could run me to a hospital while he finished up at the jewelry store. God, that was embarrassing!

Do you remember The Flash? -- Now, this would be embarrassing -- Now, this guy is fast. I don't know what kind of steroids he's on, but this guy is fast, so it makes sense they call him "The Flash", right? But that's not really how he got his name.

See, he used to be called the Scarlet Dasher. But one time there was this new supervillain, Mothman, who was pretty puss, and we all joked about "Yeah, right, what does he do? Eat cloth?"

So one day he robs the bank down at Clark and Division, which is on the Dasher's turf, and Mothman takes off running, not even a getaway car, makes it to the Ravenswood El, northbound. So Dash runs ahead to the Belmont stop and he's waiting on the platform when it pulls in.

Well, when Mothman goes to get off the train and he sees the Scarlet Dasher standing in the doorway, he's so surprised his eyes bug out - more. And the Dasher gets a little cocky and he says "Take your best shot Mothman."

...And if you think the Flash is fast, you should have seen Mothman's lips.

Next thing you know, the Scarlet Dasher is standing there stark naked as the train pulls away with Mothman chewing on what's left of his Scarlet jockeys.

...So we joked about it alot and called him the Blue Streak and the Scarlet Flasher and it sort of stuck.

So one time, me and The Flash and Ironman and this guy we called Psycho Kid -- because this guy was fucking wacko. The Psycho Kid was always decked out like Rambo, right? Here's this guy maybe 5'6" and 100 pounds soaking wet, and he's got a pair of Uzis in hip holsters and ammo belts everywhere. He never used them, but he thought they looked cool.

So the four of us are out by the Howard El stop, waiting for the Inhuman Destructors to come trash this soup kitchen across the street, but they're running late, so we're taking a smoke break. And the Flash broke out some pot and we were passing it around talking about "Who scares you the most?"

And I had to say The Multiple Man because this guy has eight bodies, and he's all over you when you fight him, and also because he lives in my building.

And we said "Ironman, who scares you most?"

And he said "Death"

And we said "oh"

And then, across the street we see this asshole parked in a handicapped spot, and we thought, let's give this guy a scare. So we go marching over there, the four of us, and Ironman in his Sherman tank costume. I mean, talk about overkill.

And the Psycho Kid is waving his Uzi and giggling and saying "This is just like the U.S. Marines". And we got over to this guy and we're all standing around him, and the Flash is scraping his paintjob with a car key, and I said "Excuse me, sir, this is a handicapped spot." And the Kid giggled and stuck a gun in his face. And this guy's wife is sitting in the car with their baby, and she sees us and she is terrified. "Excuse me, sir, this is a handicapped spot."

And this little guy looks at me and he says, "Don't fuck with me."

And I thought, I took on Doctor Octopus and The Vulture single handed, plus here's the Invincible Iron Man, and the Fastest Man on Earth and this asshole is too stupid to be afraid of us.

"Don't fuck with me."

And then he hit me with a crowbar.

And the next thing I know there's an explosion of gunfire and I guess the Psycho Kid freaked out and blew this guy away at 200 rounds per minute.

And so there was this little guy's body splattered against a wall at the other side of the parking lot. And the Flash was dead. And I was okay because I was already lying on the ground. Bleeding. With a concussion. I couldn't see straight for a while, but I could hear the baby in the car crying...

...And Captain America pulled some strings to have the story kind of hushed up, to spare us the embarrassment, but I guess that's the real reason I retired. I just got tired of playing Policeman To The World.