I got this idea after watching an episode of The Colbert Report. It brought something very important to my attention, and I felt it should be brought to Alfred's as well. :D
As far as Alfred could tell, life wasn't worth living anymore.
This is a question one would naturally ask.
The answer is simple, involving two equally simple concepts.
One: The FDA
Alfred stared at the piece of paper in his hands, horrified at the printed word. How could this have happened? It was so sick, so wrong… It was downright un-heroic.
Pringles had been recalled.
Was it the nostalgic original, the flavorful sour cream and onion, the bitter salt and vinegar?
Was it the ranch, the bacon ranch, the multigrain ranch?
Pizza? Cheddar? Multigrain cheddar? Multigrain original?
Loaded baked potato? Jalapeño? Dill pickle?
Buffalo wing? Extreme cheddar? Guacamole?
Reduced fat tomato and mozzarella? Light original?
It just had to be his two favorite flavors of the stackable potato chips.
Tacos and cheeseburgers.
"Al? Are you home? Look, I know you hate doing paper work but we really have to do it."
"Alfred, my brother. Don't you remember him?"
"Of course I do. Who are you?"
Matthew sighed and decided not to answer the polar bear snuggled in his arms. Taking the spare key out of his pocket (he had found it inside a plastic lawn flamingo) he inserted it in the lock and opened the door.
The house was quiet, which honestly surprised him. Usually there were at least three TVs on with one normally displaying ESPN, one Cartoon Network, and the last Project Runway repeats. And even then he would be blaring music and video chatting with random booksellers to see if he could find an audio book of The Atmosphere.
So yes, a quiet house was a very strange sight.
Stepping farther into the front hall, he placed Kumajiro on the floor and gently closed the door. Then again, Alfred had done some pretty elaborate things to get out of paper work. Like the one time he had attempted to dig a 'hero-cave' (as he had so dubbed it) in Antonio's back yard. He was there for over a week and the man didn't even notice until he fell in and broke his arm. Now that took a lot of explaining at the next world summit.
Matthew looked up just in time to see Kumajiro slinking away into the kitchen. Alfred had probably spilled something or other and forgotten to clean it up. Slipping his hands into the pocket of his pullover he slowly followed the animal into the depths of the house, his footsteps muffled by the thick carpeting.
"Al? Come on out, I know you're here. Every one of your cars is in the driveway including your mo-ped so don't even think about getting out of this paperwork."
Flipping on the light as he entered the kitchen Matthew stopped short. There, sitting at the island, was Alfred. Or rather, lying on top of the island. Surrounding him were empty Jell-o cups and cans of spray cheese and whipped cream. Kumajiro had already taken to licking what appeared to be mustard off his fingers.
He rushed forward, and shook Alfred's shoulder, "Al? What happened? Its me, Matthew."
Matthew shot the bear a look before turning back to Alfred as the man groaned and mumbled something, "Sorry, I didn't hear that."
"Why, Mattie, why?"
Suddenly Alfred shot up, grabbing the front of his shirt and pulling him close. His glasses were missing, his eyes red and puffy, and his voice shook, "I-I-I always trusted him! A-a-a-a-and he let me down!"
Awkwardly he placed an arm around his brother. What the heck was he supposed to do in a situation like this? The last time Alfred had broken down like this was… Okay, he had never broken down like this. Although he did once chug fifteen Oreo-flavored pudding cups. But that information wasn't exactly helpful at that moment.
"Its alright, Al. Who let you down?"
He jumped a bit when Alfred dug his face into his sweatshirt and started to sob. He started sobbing, "The-the-the Pringles man!"
Matthew blinked. What?
"He-he was always so good! He was always s-s-smiling at you and eating potato chips! But he betrayed me!"
No way. This couldn't be happening. Alfred, the self-proclaimed 'genius savior of the world' was crying over potato chips? In what sort of alternate reality did that make sense?
"I-I-I'm so happy you came!"
Well… he reminded himself with a sigh, this is the United States we're talking about. The only thing that makes sense here is… is…
He'd think of something later.
But in the mean time, how in the world was he going to get Alfred to stop drowning his clothes?
And how was that paperwork going to get done?