The Things I Will Do if I Am Ever the Sidekick

The Things I Will Do if I Am Ever the Sidekick

   Those of you who read much speculative fiction are familiar with the plot device of having the sidekick do something quite stupid, so that he meets an untimely demise, gets in trouble so that the hero has to save him, etc. Obviously something must be done to straighten out these guys.

   DISCLAIMER:  The use of masculine/feminine pronouns and assignment of gender roles is not intended to preclude a reversal of gender roles. It is, however, intended to offend those who think that the space program is part of a plot to oppress women. Nyah.

  1. If the hero tells me to stay put while he infiltrates the enemy base/camp/office building, I will do so instead of sneaking in and getting captured.

  2. When selecting a love interest, I will keep an eye out for the spunky, moderately attractive tomboy type who is about my height. The stunningly beautiful ones are probably spies from the Evil Overlord, and are only trying to sweet-talk valuable information out of me or tempt me over to the other side.

  3. I will maintain a healthy degree of cynicism about people and life in general. If I find that I cannot resist smiling a lot and having a basically optimistic view about human nature, I will update my will.

  4. I will realize that the Hero values his dog more than me.

  5. If I am the most inventive technological person ever born, I will take some business classes and go into business for myself instead of blindly following around some Hero. If he needs my help, I can help a lot more if I am wealthier than Bill Gates.

  6. I will not assume that I know what's going on.

  7. If I go anywhere for rest and relaxation, I will not take the hero along with me.

  8. I will tell the hero that he can go into town for the information, while I watch the camp.

  9. I will remember that I do have a life of my own.

  10. I will exercise caution when participating in the Hero's plans. Neither the depth of the Hero's anguish over my death nor the heat of his fury to avenge me makes any difference. I'll still be dead.

  11. I will be very quiet, and try to stay sober most of the time. If I get drunk and sing bawdy songs at the top of my lungs, I will attract prostitutes who are really working for the Evil Overlord.

  12. If I am tasked to carry a very important message, I will make copies and use FedEx to get them to their destination.

  13. I will keep in mind that the sexual advances made towards me by the beautiful captured spy are only a lure to kill me and escape.

  14. If I am a noted warrior, I am still allowed to wear clothing with sleeves. My shirt is allowed to be buttoned.

  15. If my partner is named Dirty Harry, I should realize that there is a reason for that and ask for a transfer.

  16. I will learn to recognize a trend. If the last four sidekicks have died gruesomely, so will I.

  17. If the Hero sends me out on some errand, I will go, perform the task, and return. I will not drop by the tavern for a tankard of ale.

  18. If the Hero does something that hurts my feelings, I shall presume that it was an honest mistake. I will not go wandering off by myself in a fit of self-pity, only to be captured by the Evil Overlord.

  19. I will inform the Hero and his associates of any embarrassing secrets of mine or my family's, so that the Evil Overlord cannot use it to blackmail me.

  20. If I am flying a one-man craft which is critically damaged, I will eject instead of belting out a long, despairing, agonized scream as I fly the craft into an enemy structure.

  21. I will make sure that I have one unique skill or characteristic that the hero does not posses, so that the screenwriters will be less likely to kill me off.

  22. If the Hero has any extra-nifty weapons or armor, I will try to obtain like items for myself.

  23. I will not wear a red shirt when beaming down to a planet.

  24. I will not tell the Hero any of my plans regarding settling down after the Evil Overlord is overthrown.

  25. I will never open a package addressed to the Hero, or pick up his laundry, or perform other personal tasks on his behalf.

  26. When the Hero tosses me his car keys, I will toss them back, and take the bus. Let the car bomb blow him up for a change.

   The Things I Will Do if I Am Ever the Sidekick List is a group effort. The following people are to be congratulated on their contributory efforts, and if I am ever the hero will be accepted as sidekicks:

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Copyright 1997 by John VanSickle. Permission to quote for non-commercial use is granted, provided that this copyright notice is included. All other rights reserved.

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