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Hulk Smash! Pop-up Books
by J.R. Antrim

I always dreamt of being a children's show host. Those guys get everything, from lucrative merchandizing deals to special key cards that grant them access to the highest levels of government.

They also get to read crappy pop-up books out loud, which sounds like a whole heap and a half of fun to me. So gather 'round, don your official Sexypants, and shut the hell up.

Hulk to the Rescue

"Hulk! Help!" The Incredible Hulk stopped squashing frogs and turned around. Two kids ran towards him. Wait, two kids? Well, that's what it says here... Okay, so there were three kids, but the third was mistaken for a frog and thrown head first into the shallow pond.

"Can you help our pony?" the kids asked. Hulk got a sinister look in his eyes and nodded, mumbling "Hulk Smash!" under his breath.

The horse was in trouble. Hulk had been staring at its ass for the past five minutes, and it was starting to get nervous. Then Hulk declared he would hold up the bridge (no doubt to get a better look), and "swam" over... in ankle deep water.


Hulk ripped the bridge in two.

The kids pulled their pony to safety — physically speaking. The mental scarring was a different story, and it would take years of therapy before the pony could look at a bridge without crying.

Hooray for Hulk!

A Walk in the Park

Another generic trio of children laughed as they played in the sandbox. Unbeknownst to them, the Hulk crept closer, arms outstretched, a look of murderous glee on his face. But before Hulk could strangle a single child "accidentally" — hey, it worked for Frankenstein's monster — some witnesses older kids ran up.

Hulk Smash! Pop-up Books "Time to go home to your mommies, this is our park now!" Sounds reasonable enough. If it's the bullies' park, the kids probably should go home to their mommies.

But the Hulk, too filled with rage and ignorance, is unable to grasp such simple concepts as property ownership. "Hulk say park is for everyone but mean people."


Hulk ripped the bullies in two.

I'm not really sure what the moral of this story is, kiddies. But frankly, I'm a little concerned with Hulk's reckless brand of justice. Just what guidelines does Hulk use to determine who's mean and who isn't? If a squirrel or blue jay was mean enough, would it be forced from its natural habitat? And what about mean old ladies? Without their steady supply of bread crumbs, the pigeon population would plummet and the entire park ecosystem would crumble.

The Incredible Hulk Storm

Hulk was having fun at the park… until a cloud covered the sun and the sky grew dark. "Hark!" Hulk said. "Is that shadow a lark? Or perhaps it's a cracksmackity snicksnorkity snark!"

Hulk looked up and a lightning bolt flashed in the sky. You know what that means: It's Thor! Woohoo! "Grr!" Hulk began to growl.

"Grrawl!" Thor replied, and merrily pissed on his head.


"If rain will not leave Hulk alone, Hulk smash!"

Ha! This should be good. What's he going to do, smash a cloud?

Hulk leapt in the sky and… the hell? He landed on the ground so hard, the rain stopped and the sun began to shine. "Hulk smash the puny rain!"

I don't think so. Here's how it really went down:


Hulk Smash! Pop-up Books Thor stopped, like, humping this really hot goddess long enough to leap off his cloud and unleash a nightmare of pain on Hulk, who did blubber and beg for mercy, and verily did Thor kick his ass. "Now go 'smash' a couple of eggs and make me some breakfast," Thor laughed.

Show and Tell

Hulk was arrested after telling children they could show, but couldn't tell.

Naw, too easy.

Hulk Smash! Pop-up Books It was Derek's turn for show and tell, and he was determined to show all the kids who laughed when he brought in his lingering Pokémon collection. This time he had something almost as cool: the Incredible Hulk.

(Who wants to bet that this is all an excuse for Hulk to wig out and scream RRRARGH?)

Hulk Smash! Pop-up Books After Hulk was stumped by a simple math problem, Derek decided to interrupt. "Um... He's really strong." Hulk picked up a desk, the big showoff, and clearly failed to impress Derek's 30 year old classmate (lower left). One might wonder why the Hulk would lower himself to such paltry public appearances, but after the Thor fiasco, he had to lay low for a while.

Derek droned on: "He can also leap higher than anyone else. Show him, Hulk!" In one fast leap, Hulk flew out the window… and over the flagpole!

A flagpole? That's it? Superman can leap tall buildings. Just what kind of a superhero is Hulk, anyway? He gets mad and smashes stuff – big deal! So does my brother. You don't see anyone bringing HIM to Show & Tell.

Now, at this point the rest of the children would be laughing at that pathetic display. Derek smiled, oblivious to the glares of disgust. "Want to hear something?"


Hulk screamed at the top of his crybaby lungs.

Hulk Smash! Pop-up Books The classroom was silent... but only because Hulk had blown out everyone's eardrums. The children were rushed to the hospital, except for Derek, who wanted to stick around and show off his burgeoning collection of busted eardrums, and Hulk, who was shot in the face for being such a big green idiot. The end.

Now kids, what have we learned?

  • We learned that Mother Nature is no match for a second-rate Superman's conniption fit.
  • We learned that you can get a job writing children's books without even a basic understanding of math.
  • We learned that violence solves everything. From playground bullies to natural disasters, all you have to do is scream rrrargh! and start breaking shit.

So remember kids, next time Mom won't shell out for that new action figure you want, smash a lamp or two and threaten her with the broken glass. Chances are she'll give in, and even if she doesn't, child abuse prevention laws ensure she can't fight back!

- J.R. Antrim makes Pee Wee Herman look like Mr. Rogers.

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