Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Big Dick Pickles - Part 2

Semi-retirement is great because, except for the "semi" part and whatever limits are imposed by my checkbook and my current wife*, I get to do what I damn well please in life. During that portion of semi-retirement that I call my own, I have been pretending to be a Writer.  Fiction, that's the ticket.  I don't write that stuff here because Eye of Newt is reserved for God's Truth, as you know.  But I occasionally bend the rules - they are, after all, my rules, and arbitrary and capricious rules at that.  So sue me.  Anyway, having temporarily exhausted my supply of Truth, I offer some untruths for your consideration.  Here is the long-awaited second installment of Incident at a Motel, the soggy, bloody saga of Big Dick Pickles.  If you did not see the first installment, the following will make not one jot of sense.  You can catch up here . I'll still be here when you get back.

Back so soon?  Okay, here we go:

Incident at a Motel
Part 2 of an Occasional Series

Unable to control two crime scenes at once, Big Dick made the call for backup.  When Officer Mary Ann Hotchkiss responded, he left her to cope with the mess while he chugged up the stairs to 401 to complete the mission that had begun with his dyslexic misstep.  Stormtroopering still another door, he surprised two potential perps in flagrante and wide-eyed delicto, their attention suddenly diverted to the jack-booted and slightly out-of-breath police sergeant standing where the door used to be.  Pleased to find the occupants with heads intact and demonstrably well, Big Dick got down to business. “Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?”

The perp on the bottom croaked out an answer that could have been “Okay,” so Big Dick continued. “We have a heinous crime in progress down in Room 104.  Well, not actually in progress, but it was probably in progress a little while back.  Did you hear anything unusual downstairs?”

“Would you mind terribly closing that door?” asked the perp on the top.  Big Dick hated it when people answered questions with questions.  The top perp withdrew toward a chair, selfishly swaddling himself in the only unoccupied sheet in the room.  His accomplice glared at him nakedly from the bed.

“Oh, yeah, sure.”  Big Dick tried to force the splintered door back into its frame when he suddenly recalled that the original report of a disturbance in Room 401 was a 520/NV – noise without violence – and he began to contemplate his lack of a warrant.  “We, ah, thought that the noise reported in here might be somehow connected with two folks, victims actually, who lost their heads in Room 104.  But I see you both have all your parts in order. Maybe you might have heard something?”  He paused to ponder the likelihood that these enthusiastic but nonviolent bystanders might be helpful.  “Depends on how seriously you treat foreplay, I guess.”

The perps shook their heads.

“Okay.  Please don’t leave town until we have had time to question you further.”  He ducked out through the remnants of the door without checking ID’s as storm clouds gathered on the horizontal perp’s face.

When he arrived back in the bloody mess that was Room 104, he found that Benny the Nose had arrived.  Benny was Tampa’s only visually impaired detective – he claimed to be blind as a bat with a nose like a bloodhound – and he was accompanied as always by his Seeing Eye police dog, Spot.  Both were sniffing around the room. “Big Dick,” said Benny, “what do you think happened here?”

“I’m guessing sawed-off shotgun, 12 gauge, no choke, up close.  Just vaporized the vics’ heads. Hearts kept pumping long enough to paint the whole damn room red.”  Big Dick had paid close attention during the weapons session at Forensics School.

“Nope,” sniffed Benny.  “What do you smell?”


“My point exactly.  No gunpowder smell. I will wager that the team will find no bullets, no shot pellets, and no shell casings anywhere in the room.”

“So – what  – ?“  Big Dick trailed off in confusion.

“And there’s more,” said Benny the Nose.  “I smell brains.”


“Yes, cooked.”

“Cooked brains?”

“Yeah, if you rinse off the layer of sprayed blood, you’re going to find cooked brain underneath.  Medium rare, I think.” 

To Be Continued, Perhaps

* I use the term "current wife" advisedly.  First, it will let me know whether or not she actually reads these things.  Second, it gives readers some reason to read all the way to the bottom to see how I get out of the hole I just dug myself.  I'll let you know on that last part.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Short Puppies Got No Reason

Sugar Creek, the densely populated manufactured home community (read: trailer park) where I live, has rules that cover the full range of human experience, including pet ownership. I live in the abbreviated "pet section," a cloister within a conclave that permits inmates to own dogs small enough to fit comfortably in the box your toaster oven came in.  One would think a canine size limitation a salutary rule.  One would be grimly mistaken unless one were deaf as a post.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I don't own a dog.  That's because I was born without the patience gene.  The problem with other people's puppies is that, unless you whisper to the little darlings (abbreviated "LB's") like the buffoon on the National Geographic Channel (we've come a long way from the magazines of my youth with the photos of naked aboriginals), the LB's invariably go about their doggy business in the most annoying fashion.  And don't get me started on cats, although I live with two. (See "My Hyphenated Cat," August 2009.)

Predictably enough, the local denizens - rule-obeyers all - have loaded up on pocket puppies: Peek-a-Poos and Chihua-Poos and every other bastardly breed of miniature mutt and teacup terrorist.  Something in the evolution of the  tiniest breeds favors snarling ankle-biting over civil doggery.  In dogs, nasty disposition is inversely proportional to shoulder height at maturity.  Ever seen a nasty retriever?  Damn right. Ever seen a placid Lhasa Apso or a mellow Bichon Frise (now, there's a well-named breed)?  Neither has anyone else.  The LB's in Sugar Creek run on some combination of crystal meth and Mace.
Sugar Creek's pet section has only fifteen or twenty households with dogs, but there is a pooch parade every night around dusk, highlighted not only by the ferocity of the dogs' territorialism but also by their owners' sad enthusiasm for walking around carrying baggies of warm dog poo.

Some years back, the pond around which Sugar Creek is situated became infested with a middlin'-sized alligator.  People of a certain bent, as you might expect, fed the gator bits of this and that, all from a safe distance, of course.  I mention this because, during the alligator's short tenure, the nasty-little-dog problem abated admirably. Or so I'm told. Well, the locals complained, as locals do, and the alligator was dispatched to a purse-factory somewhere.  Whereupon there followed a resurgence of nasty little dogs.

Meanwhile, back at the pet ranch, the old Arkansasians next door to us (see "Little Bastards," July 2009) have recently vacated for cooler climes, but before they left they added another Pug-eranian to their personal kennel.  Every time I farted in the driveway, the LB's next door went off like Tasmanian Devils in a bee-eating contest.  They're gone now, and peace has descended, at least in the near prospect.  That, however, leaves the transients, the casual dog-walkers who are happy to let their LB's cross-pollinate with all the other LB's in the neighborhood.  Every time one of them passes another, the resulting snarl-fest sounds like a concerto for two chain saws.  Yesterday, I watched two of them chase each other in circles of ever-decreasing radius and ever-increasing speed until they flew up each other's tiny little bungholes.  That quieted them down somewhat.

We need another alligator in the pond.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Bergsten Belly & the Newton Butt

My older sister, Kathy, was the first to complain.  In our common lineage are the Bergstens, late of Sweden with some stray Norwegianism in the mix.  Martin begat Elsie, who begat Arline, who begat Kathy and the rest of us.  Martin, though I barely recall the old gent, apparently carried the dominant pot-belly gene  I understand there is a genealogy extant in Sweden which traces the Bergsten Belly back to the Vikings.  We all have it, except perhaps Steve, who we think was conceived of a donor mother.

No matter how you try to suppress it, the Bergsten Belly piggles and jiggles just below the waistline, spoiling the profile and making us - OK, some of us - look like old Uncle George, who was also begat by Martin and who was afflicted by the family problem even more grievously than was Elsie.

Of course, it takes two to tango, which brings us to the Newton Butt.  It's called that because it came upon us through the Newton side of the family, but it ought really be called the Sears Butt, since Nana Newton, its most prominent - if you will - victim, was a Sears.  So Miles began Otis, who begat Violet (that's Nana N), who begat Everett, who along with Arline of Bergsten begat the rest of us, again with the possible exception of Steve. The Newton Butt in its most pristine form protrudes rearward from the hips like a permanently hitched U-Haul trailer.  You could store all your junk handily in the trunk.

Kathy, of course, complains of having the deadly combination of both Bergsten Belly and Newton Butt.  Donna, on the other hand, hasn't raised the issue, and the rest of us see no profit in inquiring.  She dresses well, so who knows what goes on there.  As for Kathy, I take her at her word and shut up (until - God help me - now).  Steve, the apparent spawn of a different gene pool, is built like a stick, and the rest of us secretly hate him.

The point of this anatomical exploration is the tragic imbalance that arises if, like your humble reporter, you lack the Newton Butt but instead have two Bergsten Bellies.  Keep in mind the function of Bergsten-Newton syndrome is to provide a couple of cushy hooks to hang your belt on, thereby reliably holding your pants up. As I age and my personal condition approaches perigee, I find that the Bergsten Belly functions admirably to support the front of my jeans.  The deficient butt, however, doesn't hold up its end - if you will - of the bargain.  That's right - the Bergsten Belly, in the absence of the Newton Butt, causes posterior droopy drawer syndrome, which in its final stages begets Plumber's Crack.

Maybe I'll get me some of those swell padded skivvies I see advertised in the back of certain magazines.  Or implants - yeah, that's the ticket.


PS: That bit at the beginning about Kathy being my "older sister" should not be confused with a claim that she is older than I, because she may not be.  Our relative ages are of no significance.  What matters is that, of my two sisters, Kathy is my older sister.