"Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our next guest, Professor Charles Xavier of the Xavier Institute for Gifted Children."
I stiffened my shoulders and forced a smile on my face. I was getting quite tired of having to do press for the Amazing Mutant Race 3. Oh well, at least I didn't have to fight Apocalypse.
As I rolled out onto the stage, the audience politely applauded. "Good morning, ladies," I said, turning and smiling to each of the four women seated around the coffee table.
"Now Charlie, let me find out something here," the short stout woman with black hair said. Her voice was most abrasive. I think her name was Rosie O'Donnell. "When you say your kids are 'special', do you mean that they're gay?"
"What? No, of course not."
"Oh what, there's something wrong with being gay?" She sounded rather insulted.
"No. Not at all. It's just . . they aren't."
"None of them? That seems a little against the odds, you know what I mean? You don't let gay kids in? That's discriminatory!"
"Please. We do not discriminate. Trust me."
"Well if you don't have any gay kids," she insisted, "you must discriminate."
"Actually, we do have one of them."
"Them? Them?! Oh well thank you very much Mister Homophobe! Girls, I think I feel a boycott coming on." The others started nodding and the audience burst out in applause.
"Now wait just a minute," I said as firmly as I could. "My school does not discriminate. Not against homosexuals anyway. But I'm hear to talk about the Amazing Mutant Race."
"And that's another thing," Barbara Walters interjected. "Don't you think it's rather superior of you to call mutants 'amazing'? What about mutant terrorists like Magneto or Apocalypse? Wouldn't 'nefarious' or 'dangerous' be more appropriate?"
"Yeah," the pudgy woman on my left chimmed in. "And what about those mutants whose powers aren't amazing? There are some mutants out there who are just plain dopey. Like the Blob. His power is just to be really fat. Or Toad can eat flies with his tongue. Whoop-de-doo!"
The audience started laughing at this.
"I don't know," the ditzy blonde on the end said. "Toad's power doesn't sound so bad."
We all just stared at her for a moment. Then a plan occured to me. If I played my cards right, CBS wouldn't try to get me to do any more of these press events.
"I'll be sure to give him your number the next time I see him," I said to the blonde. "And as for the rest of you . . . yes, I do think mutants are pretty amazing. They put up with abuse, fear and discrimination and yet still they try to reach out in friendship to mankind. That's what this race is about. You see, each team is composed of two members, one mutant and one human.
"Or, um, one humanoid," I corrected after a moment. "There's actually a couple of aliens playing. So far the teams are working quite well together. Mutants and other species getting along in harmony. That's what the race is about."
"Oh come on," Behar snorted. "The race is about winning!"
"The racers are competing hard," I admitted. "The race is very physically demanding."I glanced around the couch. "You ladies wouldn't have made it half way through the first leg."
They all gasped. "I don't think I've ever seen a group of flabbier, more out of shape women in desperate need of a regular exercise regieme."
There mouths all hung open in shock. I had them right where I wanted them. "All I can say is, you're lucky your job requires you to sit down."
The women were stunned into speechlessness. An impressive feat for this crew. I nodded to the camera pointing at me. "Stay tuned for this word from out sponsors," I said with a smile.
Hopefully that will teach the CBS executives a lesson and they won't send me on any more of these things.