"Jeez, boss, you're probably not gonna want to hear what I'm going to say, so don't freak out on me, okay? You know those Arab guys? The Iraqis? They're, uh, kinda like askin' for... look, I'm gonna come right out with it... they're askin' for a timetable. And it's not like what you think. It's like a timetable for us to get outta the country. Ingrates."

When one initially witnesses metabolic changes of such a frenetic nature, outward manifestations... indeed, a transformation wherein the manifestations of the transformation are so shockingly manifested, that one has to really wonder: What if the Hulk were to fight the Thing? I mean a real fight, not just a comic book fight. A real fight, here in reality..

"See, boss, this whole situation transcends family, you gotta see that. The Shiites are playin' kiss-ass with the Sunnis now... A timetable? A fuckin' timetable, that's what it is, after we've explicitly made it very obvious, boss, you have made it very clear that we don't do timetables."

If the Hulk and the Thing really did have a real fight, right here in the real world, there would have to be consequences. I mean, here, in reality, when one gets rammed in the chest with an iron girder, one does not simply jump up and bash ones foe with a massive boulder of concrete ripped from ridge of the crossover to the Cronkite bridge. No, one suffers a little. And so it is with all.

"You're lookin' more than a little green there, boss. C'mon, let me pour you a nice three fingers, cause there's some more I got to tell you. They're sayin'... These cocksuckers are sayin' that all of Z's guys he's got gunnin' for us, they're sayin' that they got a 'legitimate right' to resist us. They're with the terrorists. They are the terrorists. They're all the fuckin' terrorists. This is war, boss, this is fuckin' war."

Or is it mere folly to assign human weaknesses to these graphic characters, even when they are forced to do battle in the real world of reality. If you prick me, do I not bleed? Not necessarily...

"Hold on boss, I'm gettin' the Hulk pants for ya. Pour yourself another one. That's some good shit, idn't it? Laphroaig 40 Year Old. Okay, hold on to your hat, boss. Look, I'm gonna read you somethin' from the AP. Try not to explode, will ya?"

In Egypt, the final communiqué's attempt to define terrorism omitted any reference to attacks against U.S. or Iraqi forces. Delegates from across the political and religious spectrum said the omission was intentional. They spoke anonymously, saying they feared retribution.

"Spoke anonymously? Goddam right they spoke anonymously. Cause there is going to be retribution."

One suspects that at the end of the day, The Thing would emerge victorious in what would surely be an awesome and epic battle, were it indeed taking place here in the real world of reality. Unlike the Hulk, the Thing has many allies, including the brilliant scientist Reed Richards, and it is without doubt that one of these colleagues would provide him with sufficient weaponry to ensure that he defeated  his foe. And let me just say in advance to those who would opine that if the Hulk and the Thing were real but the other characters were not, we might well have arrived at a different outcome - yes, but that is beyond the scope of this discussion.



©2005, Mark Hoback