The Eighth Page


Unlike other superheroes, Ozoneman walks along the sidewalk among the common folk. His appearance is average and ordinary in every aspect, save for a bright red spandex suit with a big yellow “O” insignia emblazoned on his chest. He walks confidently, then pauses for a second and sniffs the air. He thrusts his hands outward and a hissing noise Presenting Ozoneman, the greatest releaser of gasses since Jabba the Hutt! Catchphrase “You’re about to enter the O-zone!” Ozoneman in Action Citizen #1: Yo dude, what are you doing? Ozoneman: Why just saving the earth from global warming of course. You see, I’m releasing ozone gas into the air. Citizen #1: (starts violently coughing) What the heck, man? Stop! Stop! You’re choking me! Ozoneman: I apologize for any inconveniences my heroics have inadvertently caused, but if your well-being must be sacrificed for the betterment of the world, so be it. I’m just doing my part in protecting the Earth from harmful UV rays. Citizen #2: Wait… what? I’m pretty sure ozone is bad for the air. Ozoneman: Actually, my misinformed friend, ozone gas is the reason your flesh doesn’t burn every time you step outside. You see, there’s this thing called ozone layer, and it— Citizen #2: Yeah, yeah, I know what the ozone layer is, idiot. But ground-level ozone is a dangerous pollutant. It’s bad for our lungs, you see. We breathe it in and we die. You’re killing people with your gas. Citizen #1: I’ve heard that one before. Citizen #2: Nice! The two citizens high five each other. Ozoneman: What? That can’t be! The ozone layer! My fifth grade science textbook! It said ozone was good! I’ve got to patch up those holes! Citizen #2: Yeah, in the stratosphere. Not here. Citizen #1: Maybe you can fly up there or something like that? You know, put your powers to actual use? Ozoneman: But… I can’t fly. My only superpower is ozone emission. Citizen #2: Well a lot of good that does. Citizen #1: You know what? Just take it easy from now on. Leave the environment-saving to Al Gore. He’s got a Nobel Prize and an Oscar, you know. Ozoneman: Pssfth… Al Gore… Sure, he’s great and all, but what’s he done for us lately? —Lawrence Dai