Spider-Mensch

“Okay, so the woman then steps out of the limo and says to the driver…no, no. She doesn’t say a-anything to the driver. The driver just knows…”

Woody Allen is sitting at his computer, which has a blank screen. On his desk, however are hundreds of tiny sheets of paper, containing the script of his next untitled film.

“What about if he just, just says, ‘it was nice getting to know you,’ and she replies, ‘it was nice getting to know me, too,’ and then she steps out of the limo to a hundred flashing lights, and–what is this, a soap opera? That’s s-so cheesy.”

Woody leans back in his chair. Scattered across the floor are several crumbled up pieces of paper.

“I need to go get some coffee or a…or a prune Danish or something.”

Woody gets up and puts on his jacket. He opens the door of his townhouse, and walks into the noisy Manhattan street. As he walks through the crowd, few people seem to notice him. He seems oblivious to the ones that do. He continues to walk a few blocks before entering a small café. He picks up a New York Times and stands on line. The man in front of him turns around briefly, looks at Woody, turns back around, stops, and looks back at Woody.

“Woody Allen,” the man excitedly says, “Woody freakin’ Allen!”

A slightly embarrassed Woody looks up from his newspaper and gives a polite smile and nod before returning to the article.

“You have no idea how big a fan I am of yours,” then man continues, “in fact, I just bought Annie Hall on DVD. You know, big stars come into this place all of the time, but I never even notice them. But you, Woody Allen, you’re a genius. I have seen them all. Manhattan. Zelig. The one–what’s the one that takes place in the–oh, Sleeper!”

“Th-thank you,” Woody sheepishly says, “but I think the girl is ready to take your order.”

The man turns around to see that the line in front of his has disappeared, and he steps forward to order. Woody rolls his eyes. The man orders his drink and steps aside.

“Yeah, uh,”

“Woody freakin’ Allen. I can’t believe it.”

“Yeah. I’d like a latte and a prune Danish.”

“Nice meeting you. Really, it was so incredibly awesome to meet you, dude.”

“And a cyanide pill, with that.”

Woody takes his coffee and Danish and sits down at a table. He sips his drink, pauses, and then grabs a pen from his pocket. He begins writing more of the script on a napkin. After twenty minutes, he has amassed a small stack of napkins, containing several pages of dialogue. As he is writing, a small spider climbs up the table. He takes a sip of coffee, as the spider crawls across the table, towards the uneaten danish. Woody unknowingly puts his hand down, blocking the spider. The spider climbs up Woody’s hand and bites him.

“Owww,” he screams, “It’s a spider! This place is in-infested!”

Woody gets up and throws out his uneaten danish and coffee. He puts on his coat, grabs the stack of napkins and leaves. As he is walking down the street, he can’t help but nervously stare at the spider bite, occasionally looking up as he bumps into people. He walks into an alley to regain his composure, and takes out his cell phone.

“Hello, Dr. Green? Yeah, I was–I can’t believe this is happening–I was j-j-just bitten by a spider! I was in this place drinking my coffee, and this gigantic spider crawled towards me and bit a huge chunk out of m-my hand! What if I come down with something? What if I have some sort of incurable disease that exists only in Somalia, and I get ill? What…(pause) well yeah, I know you’re only a psychiatrist, but this is a problem for me. Even if I don’t get sick, I know have this huge psychosomatic problem now. I’ll never be able to drink coffee again! I love coffee– I…yeah, I’d like to make an appointment.”

Woody finishes his call, and leans back against the brick wall behind him, staring at the spider bite. He puts pressure on the bite, to stop the small amount of bleeding. As he squeezes his hand, a grey discharge shoots out of his lower wrist, attaching to the wall across the alley. Woody looks at the dicharge, which has a web-like quality to it. Panicked, he reaches for his cell phone again, but gets his hand stuck in his coat pocket. Now really panicked, he goes to shake the webbing from his wrist, shooting an even larger web in front of him. He backs up closer to the wall and looks down, noticing that he is actually climbing up the wall. Woody leans his head back and closes his eyes.

“God, I know I ignored that annoying fan before, but this punishment is waaay worse than the crime.”

Woody nervously climbs up the wall, onto the rooftop. He nervously touches his palm and shoots web out to the building across the street, and swings across.

-

It has been one week since Woody Allen was bitten by a radioactive spider, and discovered his new found superpowers. Currently he is meeting with a therapist, who is sitting in silence, taking notes on a small brown notepad.

“I feel like an outcast, Doc. Well, to be honest, I’ve always felt like an outcast. Now it’s multiplied by about a million. I mean, how am I going to convince a woman to go to bed with me if I’ve got webbing shooting out of my palms before I even ask her name?”

Woody Allen is hanging off of the ceiling.

“Once again Doc, I apologize for this upside-down thing. I just feel more comfortable this way.”

“Whatever helps you convey your emotions.”

“And this whole Doctor/patient confidentiality thing, it extends to people with freak Kafka-esque powers, right?”

“Yes it does. But, I believe our session is over.”

“But, I’m still so confused! Am I, am I going to have to become some sort of, of superhero? I can’t even kill a centipede without having a nervous breakdown, so how am I going to save someone from a burning building or stop a bank robbery?”

“Well, you’re going to have to do some thinking on your own on this one, Mr. Allen.”

Woody leaves the therapist’s office and begins walking down the crowded Manhattan street. As he is walking, he begins to get a massive headache.

“Oh great, a migraine. Just what this day needed.”

As he walks towards a Duane Reade, to pick up some aspirin, a man in a black ski mask bumps into him, and continues running. An old woman begins screaming.

“Stop that man, he took my purse! Help!”

Woody tries to ignore the situation, until he hears the voice of an Jewish woman in his head.

“You’re just going to stand there while that poor woman gets her purse stolen? She’s going to lose all her money! She’ll have to spend the next week canceling credit cards, getting new IDs, buying a new wallet, new glasses, new pocket-sized tissues, not to mention the irreplaceables, oh! She’s a defenseless old woman, and you’ve got super powers, who do you think you are, some big shot?”

“Just because I have super powers doesn’t mean I this…courageous hero, Mom.”

“You’re a real schmuck, you know that? Just like your father.”

Woody sighs, and runs in the direction of the thief. Once he catches him in sight, he shoots a long rope of webbing that catches the robber’s sneaker and trips him. He yanks the web in his direction and the crook slides back towards Woody, scraping his face on the pavement. Woody rips the purse out of the man’s hands and hands it to awestruck old woman her purse. He notices a huge crowd of shocked and amazed people have surrounded him, and are snapping pictures with their cameras and cell phones. A police car pulls up to the scene.

“Oh, brother,” Woody says, as he looks down at the robber, “this is your fault, you know that?”

-

Months have passed since the incident. Woody was released from police custody, after convincing them that he tripped the crook with some fishing wire, however investigation continued. He was exonerated for any criminal charges by a grand jury, but the endless media attention to the story has caused Allen to become a recluse, keeping out of touch with most of his associates, and keeping himself locked in his East 70th Street townhouse.

A loud buzz is heard in the apartment. A voice is heard over the intercom.

“Woody, it’s me. Alan Alda. Will you open up? I just want to talk to you. Are you going to stay holed up in there for the rest of your life?”

Woody grudgingly unlocks the gate, and opens the door of his townhouse. Several camera flashes blind Woody for the few seconds his door is opened, as he lets Alda into his home.

“What are you doing here?”

“I have been trying to get in touch with you. I just wanted to make sure you were okay. Where are the kids and Soon-Yi?”

“They’re in L.A.. I didn’t want them to get caught up in all of this.”

Alda looks up at the corner of the living room, where there is a huge web covering the walls.

“You know you’re the most famous man in the country. You’re a national hero! Everybody has been coming out of the woodwork to get interviewed. Have you been reading the papers?”

“No, I stopped reading reviews about me since 1979. It’s too depressing. You know the government is probably investigating me. Next thing you know, they’re going to ship me off to Iraq or something.”

“Are you kidding me? You know you’ll never make another film again if you don’t leave the house ever again. Let’s go get some coffee.”

“Okay, okay.”

The two men exit the townhouse, and the press outside begins snapping pictures, asking Woody questions, and following the two men down the street.

Just then, a man with robotic octopus claws tosses a car in the direction of Woody, who catches the car before it crushes the mob of paparazzi and reporters surrounding him, and tosses it into the street!

“What w-w-was that for?”

“HAHAHA! Yes, it is I, Dr. Octopus! I am just one rod of plutonium away from world domination! And there’s nothing that YOU, or anyone else for that matter, can do to STOP ME, HAHAHAHAAA!”

“You know, you should really seek therapy. Freud would have a field day with you. I could only imagine the lack of attention that would lead to such drastic measures. I mean, really, who throws a car? Somebody could have been hurt! I can’t…that’s it, I knew this was a bad idea.”

Woody turns around, and walks back towards his home.

“But we need a hero,” screams a reporter, “you’re our only hope!”

“I’m not a hero,” Woody replies, “I’m too neurotic.”

Woody enters the access code to unlock the gate in front of his home. The mob of press just stands there in confusion. Alan Alda rubs his forehead, and hails a taxi. Dr. Octopus is left standing in the center of the street, with his mechanical arms flailing. Woody sits back down at his desk, pulls a pen out of the breast pocket of his tweed jacket, and begins writing.

-

In the months and years that followed Woody’s last public appearance, the media attention dwindled, and his story became a legend. He remained a recluse, spending his time at home, trying to write his screenplay, battling an endless case of writer’s block.

“Okay, then uh…he catches the car, saving the bothersome people around him. No, no…that’s too unrealistic.”

THE END