The Philanthropist’s Guide to Complete Success
“Mr. Stark! Do you have a few minutes?” A familiar blond woman appeared in the way as soon as the aforementioned man re-entered Stark Tower from wherever he had been to. According to the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist’s standard, this woman would only score a ‘B’ or maybe ‘B+’ as he had already graded her an ‘alright’ from their first meeting. However, it was due to her job that made Tony Stark immediately recognize her; not as Vanity Fair magazine’s Christine Everheart but as Ms. Brown who asked a lot of questions.
“Hi, what questions do you have for me today?” He inquired, already to the point. After a long day out, he just wanted nothing more than to soak himself in a comfy bubble bath. Yes, bubble bath. With lots of bubbles and floating duckies. But hold on a minute, ladies and gentlemen, before you conjure a very wrong idea in your lovely head, let me tell you that the genius Tony Stark, being ever the genius that he was, only interested in spending his bath time studying the mathematical problem of minimal surfaces of the duckies that were wondrously properly illustrated by the soap films. And if you happen to know about the Marangoni effect…
Wait. We are digressing. Let us get back to the B-graded Ms. Brown. The grade being her overall grade; not the size of her breast, by the way.
“Not too many, I can assure you, Mr. Stark.” Christine smiled as she took out her recorder. Wasting not any more second, she fired her first question. “So…the city - or should we say the world - is saved by the Avengers. Is that what you call yourselves?”
“Yes.” Then, a few seconds later, he added; “Not that I got to name it, though.”
“To be honest, the news is still very shocking to the media. Not to be rude, Mr. Stark, but you are said not to be a man of teamwork.” At Tony’s not-so-subtle raise of eyebrow, she quickly continued; “What do you think of your team? It is rumored that you are now quite close to Captain America.”
“Ah, the Captain. 70 years of being a Capsicle has made him pretty retarded in understanding modern terms, especially when we are in the era of fast developing technology. I understand why people of my father’s generation very much treasure him.” Tony replied in a very business-like tone despite his dead pan face. He paused, though, for a dramatic effect.
“…And that reason is?” Deciding to play along with his game, Christine asked.
“Different people have different scale of free time in the world, Ms. Brown. I am a pretty busy man. So that will be all for today. If you have time, you can always find an archeologist and ask him questions regarding his discovery of prehistoric fossils.” With that, the billionaire whirled, ready to make his way up to the top floor where the bubble bath and the rubber duckies are waiting.
“Wait, Mr. Stark! I have but one more question!” Having gotten to be the first to interview the Avengers’ Ironman personally, she wouldn’t let the chance slip away. “Last question. And I won’t be bothering you for the rest of the day.”
It was her last sentence that halted Tony Stark from taking another long step. He turned back, one hand in his pocket as he gave her an impatient look. “I am listening.”
“Yes. Well, last question for today: Mr. Stark - Ironman as part of the team, what do you think is the most important thing for the Avengers?”
“Now, that’s an interesting question.” Tony admitted, lifting a finger as if pointing to heaven. Yet, if Tony Stark was to point in that direction at something, it either be a bomb was dropping or he was asking the person he was talking to to spend time together in his very room. (As Tony believed more in himself than spending time for hopeless prayers.) However, this was not the case of pointing and if it had to mean something, it would be the symbol that ‘Tony Stark is The One’.
And certainly, what The One had to say would be extremely important.
“Let me say there was a cause - a motivation - that brought the team together…as a team.” He began, putting a hand on his supposed heart. “However, I am not just a man in the armor fighting for humanity’s sake. For the love of humanity, yes, I am still at heart a philanthropist.”
To be honest, Christine Everheart had never really adorn Tony Stark as a person ever since before their first meeting. Despite his intelligence earning him the title ‘Da Vinci of the age’, she had always viewed him as a war profiteer who was nothing more than a rich source of big news that satisfied her own curiosity and earning. But Tony Stark had changed. He had saved the city more than twice. And now, she was more than eager to listen earnestly, with more respect, to what he had to say. That, nevertheless, excluded Tony’s snarky comments.
And so she listened as Tony spoke on.
“We, philanthropists, Ms. Brown, are striving to make the quality of life better. And that includes a lot of re-engineering. What is the most important factor here is the human resource. Therefore, the most important thing for the Avengers, Ms. Brown, is the improvement of the members.”
“Can you give an example?”
“Ah, that’s another question but since I am quite…generous. I am willing to spend a little more of my precious time to elaborate. The most obvious example, Ms. Brown, is Capsil. While sometimes doing things the old way can be more effective, Capsil still lacks in certain areas that will make his life in this era a complete one. A mere canon ball - well, let’s make that two - can never compare to the might and power of my Jericho.”
“Well, I think nobody is too old to learn. That being said, are you willing to teach him the way of this era?”
Tony almost laughed.
“This is just a guide to complete success. The thing about a guide is that it will be just a guide if one doesn’t want to start first with oneself. Look at Thor and his hair. That, Ms. Brown, is a sign that he has been looking after himself…” He then added; “A little bit too well.”
Tony made a face as he remembered how the said Asgardian’s hair swished like L’Oreal even in the pouring rain and shook his head. Either he was hiding some kind of combs in his precious Mjolnir or there was some kind of relation between L’Oreal hair and thunder - those ions in the air…
“It is possibly why his…adopted brother has become a bit too lonely. I am pretty sure, though, that Hulk will be happy to play with Loki. He is usually an ill-tempered company. But with Loki around, you will be able to hear a lot of laughter in the cinema.”
Christine nodded. “I actually love that scene.”
“And then we have Legolas - I mean Hawkeye - and Black Widow. Those two surely have something going on. But, I will tell you, without the right improvement, they are going nowhere at all.”
“And that is…?” Again, Christine asked just for the sake of making an interview an interview instead of having Tony one-manned everything.
“Legolas - I mean Hawkeye - needs to come into the spotlight. This is easier said than done but believe me, if he he has guts, it will happen someday.” With that said, the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist then looked at his watch. “Okay, that’s all for today’s interview. Though if you still want further information, I don’t mind if you accompany me. I am always prepared to show you my Jericho.”
“No, thank you, Mr. Stark. As I’ve said, that will be the last for the day. I will be leaving now. And I hope you also enjoy the discovery of fossil.” Putting on her best smile, Christine excused herself for a goodbye. Looking at her recorder, the woman wondered if the publication of the news would be worth the damage of superheroes fighting. She looked back at Stark Tower and a smile crept on her lips.
Well, maybe the news of their fighting would be worth it.