FLAPJACKS: I have a question.
ME: Oh, good.
FLAPJACKS: Why is Spider-Man poor?
ME: Because he can’t hold down a steady job because of great responsibility and so forth.
FLAPJACKS: Yeah, I get that, but why is he poor? Why doesn’t he just go on a reality TV show and make a lot of money?
ME: Because he would have to reveal his identity as Spider-Man?
FLAPJACKS: Can other people see the Spider-Sense waves shooting out of his head when he uses his Spider-Sense?
FLAPJACKS: Then what’s the problem? He goes on Survivor. Whenever somebody is lying to him about their alliance, he will know in advance. “Spider-Sense… tingling! I think Lonnie plans to vote against me at tribal council tonight!”
ME: Would he be able to form alliances, though?
FLAPJACKS: He doesn’t need to form alliances that badly. He is spider-agile and spider-strong, so he can dominate at the challenges – he just needs to make sure that it looks realistic. Hey presto, million dollars.
ME: Isn’t that kind of cheating?
FLAPJACKS: Peter Parker has spent his entire professional career using his spider-powers to get amazing photographs that no other photographer can get. Isn’t that cheating? Clearly, Peter has no problems with cheating if he gets some money out of it. It’s “great responsibility,” not “total honesty.”
ME: Yes, but –
FLAPJACKS: And then when he wins Survivor he can go win Wipeout so he has beer money. It’s only $50,000, but beer money is beer money.
ME: I think you’re forgetting that –
FLAPJACKS: I don’t know who he’d team up with on The Amazing Race. Aunt May is frail, yes, but she’s also very clever and Peter could handle the challenges. On the other hand, Mary Jane would be the ideal partner if he wants a dramatic situation that would make the show’s producers want to cast him.
ME: Ahem. The Parker Luck.
ME: You’re forgetting about the Parker Luck. Peter Parker can never go on a reality show because if he did, a supervillain would just attack the set or the island or whatever.
FLAPJACKS: Come on. Survivor is on tropical islands. What supervillain hangs out on remote tropical islands?
ME: Think that sentence over for a second.
FLAPJACKS: … damn.
ME: It’d be either a HYDRA base or some villain who had decided to get away from it all and who would get extremely angry when Spider-Man shows up.
FLAPJACKS: “Curse you, Spider-Man! I was in comfortable semi-retirement and now you come to take it away from me! I will kill you! And all these witnesses.”
ME: Exactly. And if it somehow wasn’t a supervillain or evil organization, a hurricane would hit and Peter would be forced to become Spider-Man to save some villagers. And then people ask “what is Spider-Man doing in Fiji?” And then J. Jonah Jameson would start a trade war with Fiji. And Peter wouldn’t want that on his conscience.
FLAPJACKS: You’ve given this a lot of thought.
ME: I get bored easily.