The Outlet Store
Original Release Date: September 15, 2000
I see that this page was released four months after the last one, so apparently I had just come off the first of many lengthy "vacations" I took throughout the run of Mike and the Ninja. In my defense, it was not the greatest summer--a good friend was killed in a freak accident, so I understandably took a lot of time to recover from that. I probably could have used my creativity to help me work through it, but I didn't think about that at the time. I was also hip-deep in my Ultima Online obsession at the time and spent much of the summer battling the forces of evil. It was also a summer of self-discovery. I watched a ton of inspirational movies and suddenly had lots of profound feelings about...y'know, stuff and junk. Also, by the time school started, I had lost about fifteen pounds and was feeling pretty good about myself. I came out of my shell a bit (that's not saying much--I've had about twenty layers of shell I've come out of in my lifetime), and even managed to convince myself that girls might like me...someday.
Anyway, we've gotta talk about Evil Bad Guy Ninja. First of all, I think some kid in third grade came up with the name, and it was floating around in the lexicon for all that time, so I put it to good (evil?) use by naming the evil bad guy ninja of the story...well, what else? Second, I love how he casually fesses up to "just being evil, as always." You don't walk around with a name like that and then not claim to be evil, after all. If that wasn't enough, he then admits he's totally cool with killing his friends for money. That's dedication to evil. This guy is awful, and I love it.
Of course, after all of that and a heated argument with Stu, we get the totally nonviolent chess match punchline. I'm also fond of the bathroom conversation between Mike and that other ninja. I don't remember where that came from, but the ninja's insistence on complete silence in the men's room is an axiom to which I adhere to this day.