’Net Junkie

Shawn "Speedy" Lopes

Humor at home with DC heroes

I will go on record right now and say that the most hilarious Flash animation site I've come across can be found at Bay area comedian Rex Navarrete and animator Dino Ignacio are the masterminds behind this side-splitting creation.

"Maritess vs. The Superfriends" is a 2.3 MB file and takes a few minutes to load, but it's worth the short wait. In the opening scene, we are introduced to a homely Filipino domestic worker in distress. "Hello, my name is Maritess," the heavily accented cartoon character says between sobs. "I don't want to say my last name. I want to protect my employers." She tries to hold back the tears welling up in her saucer-sized eyeballs. "This is hard for me. ... I have been working for the Superfriends for 18 months now." Laughter resounds.

That's because it's an animated interpretation of one of Navarrete's live performances (you can see what the jocular Fil-Am comic is up to at The premise is downright wacky; a woman residing in the Philippine countryside responds to an ad in her local newspaper looking for domestic help. The ad takers? The Superfriends, that fanciful DC Comics superhero group we children of the '70s and '80s watched religiously every Saturday.

Wonder Woman picks Maritess up in her invisible jet, and, well ... I must fight the urge to give away more of the hilarious story, but you can imagine the ridiculous situations that erupt when these worlds collide. Maritess initially enjoys her work ("I get friendly for them, they like me, there's no children -- except Wonder Twins ...") but slowly grows disenchanted as she reluctantly serves up greasy American grub to her employers ("I don't like to eat that ... hot dog, chili fries, hamburger ...") and picks up after the untidy heroes ("But I don't have to worry about the Flash because he's very fast. He's in, he's out, I don't see him!")

While a select minority of Web surfers has taken issue with "Maritess vs. The Superfriends" on the Web site's message board, it's clear they don't see the humorous project for what it is -- a genuine piece of comedy. It's not Maritess' plight as an overseas worker we laugh at but the absurdity of the entire situation.

As one poster notes: "If we all laugh loud enough, we can drown out the cries of these workers! Then everything will be well. That's the ticket!"

Net Junkie drops every Monday.
Contact Shawn "Speedy" Lopes at

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