Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Further Adventures of Paul the Crime Fighter

The Big Mag

It was a dark and stormy night (really!) and Paul the Crime Fighter and I, his trusty assistant, Stupid, were sneaking down a particularly nasty street in a particularly nasty section of town. What were we doing there, you ask?

“What are we doing here?” I asked, obviously wondering the same thing and possibly having a mild panic attack.

“We’re fighting crime,” Paul said and gave me a strange look. I thanked him and placed the look carefully in my wallet, intending to give it a closer inspection once I returned home.

Glancing around at all the lawlessness and criminalism, I cleared my throat nervously. “Uh, which one?”

Paul stretched to his full height and flexed his biceps, which, once I had found my magnifying glass, proved to be quite impressive. “All of them!” he hooted and cackled maniacally. “I…we,” he amended, awarding me a pitying glance, “are Crime Fighters and this is what we do. Fight crime!” He paused and then rubbed his hands together in glee. “Eewww,” he said, looking down at his palms in disgust. “This glee is slimy!”

I took the glee from him and checked the bottom of the container. “Expired,” I said. “I’ll order some fresh from the Tangible Emotion Farm first thing tomorrow. For now, though, I think we should be heading…”

“Hey, you.”

The voice came from the depths of a dark alley and both Paul and I stopped in our tracks and glanced nervously at one another. Neither of us is particularly fond of dark alleys and we never venture into their depths, voices or no voices. Before we could move on, however, the voice spoke again, this time with a bit more insistence.

“Hey, you.” Okay, so it sounded exactly the same as before. I was just trying to liven up the story.

As we watched, a figure slowly detached itself from the darkness of the alley and came toward us. It was a man wearing a long overcoat and a fedora. With a certain flair for style, the man was wearing the fedora on his head. Unsure of his intentions, Paul and I drew back as the man advanced and from the corner of my eye, I saw Paul reach into his pocket for a weapon. He gave me a quick, sideways glance and grinned confidently.

“It’s okay. I have my little LED flashlight.”

Not particularly comforted, I continued backing slowly toward the street. The strange man continued to approach, growing ever nearer and more menacing. Finally, he stopped and smiled at us. It was not a nice smile and had an attitude problem.

“So, kids,” the man said, slipping a hand inside his overcoat. “You wanna buy a dirty magazine?”

“No, thank you,” we said in unison. “No money.”

“Aw, but my prices are so reasonable and I might be convinced to take credit.”

“No, really,” Paul said. “I don’t think…”

Suddenly, the man whipped open his coat, revealing rows of magazines sewed into pockets on the inside. He was right. The magazines were filthy.

“I use ‘em to change the oil in my car,” the man said, giving us a grin that was not much more polite than his smile. “Then I bring ‘em down here. Be surprised how much I can get for ‘em. People seem to like dirty magazines.”

“Well, you’ve really stepped in it now, buddy,” Paul said, stepping forward authoritatively. “I’m Paul the Crime Fighter and this is my assistant, Stupid. You’re coming downtown with us!”

The man just stood there, looking at us like we were two young twerps pretending to be Crime Fighters. “We’re already downtown,” he pointed out.

Paul hesitated and then turned to me. “Is that right?”

I shrugged, having left the map in my other pair of pants.

As we stood there trying to decide on a course of action (after all, what does one do with a suspect once he is taken downtown?), the man slipped into the dark depths of the alley and disappeared.

“Well, that was a close one,” Paul said, after a few moments of silence. “We’ve had a very successful outing. Now I shall go home and eat some Fluff. Be sure to write this up in the files accurately, now. None of your embellishing! In fact, you might want to tone it down a little. Appearing incredibly manly and heroic makes me self-conscious.” With that, he walked away, his confident stride broken only once by an unseen pothole.

Read more about Paul the Crime Fighter


Paul FooDaddy Brand said...

This is great stuff, Stupid! I got a particularly good hoot out of the LED flashlight bit. That, and of course the tried-and-true "taking things literally" treatment you gave the rubbing hands in glee expression. Classic!

Anonymous said...

Great Story it cracked me up. Got any super glue?

Jack W. Regan said...

You're treading on thin ice, Peekle Wisel.

Anonymous said...

The pinecone encomium (or, in Latin, Pineconiad) was a mini classic, as my boy said. Made me go haw haw haw haw haw.

Liked the Paul the CrimeFighter(R) story too. I will now reveal the heretofore unknown source of the hooting and maniacal cackulations mentioned in the fifth paragraph. Paul doesn't make these intimidating noises himself. It's actually Paul's tiny animal-kingdom sidekick, Phnabth the CrimeFighting(R) pygmy marmoset, an intelligent yet squirrelish primate, providing tactical audio misdirection countermeasures.

The next time you're out with Paul fighting Crepuscular Crime(TM), watch his pants carefully and you may see Phnabth in action.

Interestingly, we really do have a kitchen cabinet full of Fluff. We're thinking of keeping it jars, because sometimes it gets away.

Anonymous said...

[sings, to the tune Little Liza Jane]

O, Li'l Slimy
Li'l Slimy Glee..


Paul FooDaddy Brand said...

I like the idea of the Fluff trying to sneak away. I must have totally missed this one. Well, no more of that! I get emails now!

And so do you, TSB old lad. Heh.

Jack W. Regan said...

Yeah, you're right, Foo. It is Phnabth. A relief, since I find this version easier to pronounce.