It was eight o'clock in the morning, and once again Billy had spent the night in his lab, working on his masterpiece: the freeze ray. This could be the key to all of his schemes; the key that would finally unlock the door that would gain him acceptance into the Evil League of Evil. And it was almost done.
Yawning, Billy glanced at his watch, and was surprised to see how long he had been at this. In the past two days, he had scarcely left the lab. When he was working on an important project, he tended to forget about the mundane duties of everyday life. Like eating. And sleeping. Who has time for those things when world domination is practically within your grasp? He couldn't stop now; not when he was so close to completing his greatest invention.
There was one particularly complicated part of the wiring that he couldn't seem to get right. It was the kind of task that required a third hand, but since he didn't have that at the moment, he was holding a pair of wire cutters between his teeth while his hands were busy twisting a pair of wires together. A knock on the door of the lab caught his attention. "Hey, Doc," he heard Moist call from the other side, "Can I come in?"
"Hold on a sec," Billy answered, or at any rate that was what he meant; it came out as an indistinct mumble. Moist pushed the door open with his elbow, carrying a tray in his hands. "I brought you some breakfast––" he began to say; however, Billy hardly heard him, focusing instead on the whirring noise coming from inside the freeze ray––definitely not a good sound. "Moist, get down!" he yelled.
The words were hardly out of Billy's mouth when a beam of blue-green light shot from the freeze ray. The impact threw Billy up against the drafting table. Moist ducked, attempting to use the tray as a shield; the glass of orange juice and the bowl of cereal he had been carrying flew into the air.
Billy struggled to his feet amidst a pile of sketches for the freeze ray and other inventions. "Moist!" he called out, "Are you okay?"
"I'm…fine…" replied a quavering voice from the other side of the lab. Billy went over and helped his terrified sidekick to his feet. "Sorry about that," he said, "Guess I haven't quite got all the kinks worked out yet." Moist shrugged. "That's okay. I'm sorry about your breakfast," he added, indicating the mess on the floor, "I'll go get the vacuum."
Shards of glass were strewn across the floor; Billy crouched down and started to pick them up. "Hey Doc," he heard Moist say, coming back into the room, "Want a popsicle?" He looked up, and saw Moist holding an orange cylinder molded to the shape of a glass, a plastic straw sticking out of one end. On the floor by his foot lay a lump of cereal and milk, frozen to the shape of the bowl it had been in. "How about that!" Billy exclaimed, almost laughing, "It works! The freeze ray actually works!"
No sooner had he said this than a couple of sparks and a cloud of black smoke burst from the device. "Or not," Billy sighed. He started toward the freeze ray, but felt Moist's hand on his arm. "Give it a rest, Doc," said Moist, "You've been working your head off for the past week. Why don't you take a break? Eat something, take a shower, try to get some sleep."
"I guess you're right," said Billy, "What's there to eat?"
"Not much. I need to go grocery shopping. That was the last of the orange juice, and we're down to the bottom of the cereal box. I mean, I guess we could try to microwave it…"
"Have you eaten yet?" Billy asked.
"I'm thinking this is a Denny's morning. What do you say?"
Moist grinned. "Sounds great! I'll clean up here; you go shower and get dressed."
"I'm dressed," Billy protested.
"You've been wearing those clothes for the past few days." Moist sniffed the air, his nose wrinkling. "We need to get some Febreze in here or something." Billy took an exaggeratedly deep inhale, grinning. "My friend, this is the smell of genius. One percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration, according to Thomas Edison."
"Okay, genius," said Moist, rolling his eyes, "If anyone knows about perspiration, it's me. You can 'perspire' all you want in here, but I'm the one with the car, and I'm not taking you out for breakfast unless you shower."
"Fine," Billy sighed, in the petulant tone of a child who doesn't want to take a bath, as he shuffled out of the lab.