Tag Archives: Satire

Hellecchino by James Secor

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Hellecchino, which means “little devil,” is the pre-popular, peasant name of (Harlequin) of Commedia dell’arte fame (most people will probably know this via Moliere). He came into existence because I saw the need for a new kind of hero, for our modern heroes, resurrected versions of old heroes, is just as violent and destructive and obsessed with his rightness as the villains. And, in the end, he never vanquishes the enemy; the enemy keeps coming back–or more enemies arrive to wreak havoc. I felt the enemy, the bad guy needed to be made to be ridiculous; and the good guy needed to be more non-violent. And, intellectually, a trickster is far more powerful than a big, brawny, masculine hero. Hellecchino follows directly in line with prior tricksters. I am sorry a female did not become involved; but a disabled guy did. Even more than women, the disabled are counted out of society. Hellecchino has affected my writing in general and, also, my life: I’ve watched myself lead “villains” on–and enjoyed it tremendously.

 

 

Out-take from a Hellecchino story

set in Chokepointe Piste in the

East Coahila Brazos River Basin

 

Nobody knows how it happened, but the next morning found Hellecchino perched atop the hitching post before the house of Hacienda loco plátano. In the dawn’s early light, Hellecchino was proudly beheld in all his pink-and-magenta-and-purple majesty by an incredulous Gyorgy Yabu.

“What the hell,” Yabu muttered from behind his big plate glass window and stepped out on the porch. He took a sip of his hot coffee from his extra big clown cup as if he owned the world and Hellecchino was a speck of dust. “What the hell you doin’ on my ranch?”

“Well,” drawled Hellecchino, “I come to talk to a man who done got some enlightenment. Ain’t never met one before.”

“Well, here I am.”

“You don’t look no diff’rent.”

“Diff’rent from what?”

“From anybody else.”

“Looks is deceivin’.”

“I must say. . .tell me about your journey.”

“Up Merengue Montaña?”

“You go anywhere else?”

“Nope. Nowhere else to go for enlightenment these days.” Hellecchino waited. Yabu shifted his teddy bear slippers on the porch. “It was a jolly good time. But Merengue Montaña was larger and higher than I expected.”

“It should be. It’s the most famous mountain in the world. Was there anything interesting at the top?”

“What a silly question.” Yabu sipped his coffee. “Nothing special, ya know. After we entered the state of Roswell we stayed over night at the foot of the mountain. There was a crowd of pilgrims, of course, and in the course of conversation, we younger men thought it would be fun to put a paper bag over Merengue Montaña. The older folks thought it was impossible and laughed at us. We said he could. So. . .” Yabu shifted his teddy beat slippers about, “we brought out bamboo spoons and, each holding one in his mouth, two in his hands and two more in his toes, we began to make paste. In no time, we made it as high as the mountain. Next, we collected all the paper from the provinces of White Sands and Truth or Consequences. I figured we were going to make a huge bag but my fellow journeymen began to paste paper on the mountain sides and, in no time, we were at the top of Merengue Montaña. It was all clothed in a paper bag. Ain’t that a unheard-of thang?”

“Nah! That ain’t so unusual. Last year when I went over to Wasatch-Cache province, the young’uns brewed tea in the Great Salt Lake and then drank it all up. The entire lake.”

“You cain’t trick me! How could anybody drink up an entire lake?”

“Listen. They said, let’s make tea in the lake and they gathered up all the tea leaves, irrespective of quality, from the five neighboring provinces. In no time there was a pile of tea leaves as high as Dante’s View. Well, they put it all into the lake using their mulberry brooms with handles one hundred feet long and began to sir it up. When they was done, they blew off the froth and drank it up just like that. In fact, they drank the whole lake dry but the froth they blew off still remains and it’s known as Plain o’ Froth.”

“What a yarn! The Plain o’ Froth appears in the tale of Paul Bunyan.”

“But you don’t know the new Plain o’ Froth right beside it, which appeared last year.”

“Lie!”

“If you think it’s a lie, you just go and look for yourself.”

“Wa-all. . .I ain’t about t’ argue with ya, but. . .” Yabu sipped his coffee and shuffled his slippers, “just you listen to this! A few years ago when I went over into the western part of the country, I saw a bull lay down in the Mojave Desert and feed on the Sandwich Islands. Imagine that!–feeding himself across mountains, rivers and the sea. Some big fucking beast, eh?’

‘That’s not so wonderful. Why, when I went over to the Black Hills, I saw a drum nine miles in circumference.”

“Circum–what?”

“Circumference. Around.”

Yabu nodded his head. Smiled out the side of his mouth. “That’s ridiculous, of course. You may be able to make a ring out’n wood slats but you’re not gonna find a hide nine miles large, that’s fer shur.”

“What th’hell do you know? I’m telling the truth. I can verify it was the hide of that bull you saw laying down in the Mojave.”

“Great Scott! You don’t say.” Hellecchino nodded his head. “Well, I’ll be. How come you know all these stories? You’re so clever.”

“Oh, tall tales come easy, though I never tell outsiders my secret.”

“What secret?”

“The secret to successfully makin’ a fool outa people.”

“Shore which I knew it!”

“Well, you got your enlightenment, I got mine.”

“Aw, c’mon. We’re brothers in arms.”

“Oh, alright. But ya gotta promise not to tell anyone.”

“Cross my heart and hope to die.” Yabu did it, spilling the remaining coffee out of his cup.

“There’s a special seed for stories anybody’d believe no matter how outrageous and unfounded. It’s called. . .” here Hellecchino leaned in conspiratorially, “Geoffrey Crayon’s Wives of old Burghers Seed.” Yabu nodded his head and waited. Then he leaned in. “Would you like to have one?” asked Hellecchino.

“Hail yes!”

“Just you wait here a few minutes, I’ll go off and get one.”

Hellecchino jumped down off the hitching post and sauntered down the trail out of the ranch. When he was out of sight, he picked up a round pebble, unlike any other round pebble beside the road, and spoke to it in all earnestness. “Pebble. . .can you believe this shit? He wants a seed of lies and I’m going to give him you. What do you think of this?” The pebble said nothing. “There certainly are some fools in this world, eh what?” Then he loped back to the Hacienda loco plátano hitching post and held up the pebble. “There it is. A Geoffrey Crayon’s Wives of old Burghers Seed. There’s more out there.”

“Where?”

“Buried it just outside your entrance gate, I been told.” He held the little pebble up to his ear. “You hafta dig it up or it ain’t worth nothin’.”

“Hot damn! You jest wait a sec, I’ll git my shovel an’ we’ll go on down t’th’gate and start diggin’.”

“We, white man? If’n you want the secret to tall story tellin’, you gotta dig it up yourself. I can’t help you.”

“What the hell! Fer a prize like that, I’d walk acrosst Kansas.” And with that, Yabu ran round back of the house, hunted around in the tool shed and came back with a flat edge spade. “Let’s go!”

Hellecchino shook his head sadly–this man obviously hadn’t ever been on the business end of a shovel. The ground out here was hard and a pointy-ended shovel was what was needed. But, who the hell was Hellecchino to tell a man what to do?

When they got to the gate, Yabu turned to Hellecchino. “Where is it at?”

“Right there, as I recall,” said Hellecchino, pointing to the right post foot.

“Here?”

“There.”

Yabu began digging. Or, rather, he jammed the shovel down onto the hard, hard earth and watched it jump right back up at him. He scowled and slammed the spade down on the ground again.

“Maybe you might try puttin’ the corner of the shovel into the ground. Gettin’ yourself a little hole.”

“Right.”

Yabu did this and, lo and behold, he began to dig himself a hole. But after an hour or so, he stopped digging. He wiped the sweat from his high brow. He leaned on the handle of the shovel.

“You shore it’s here?”

“Dig a little deeper.”

“Hell! I cain’t dig no deeper!”

“You don’t see it down there?”

Yabu bent over and looked in his hole. “No. I cain’t find nothin’.”

“Ah. Well. Perhaps it was over to this post.” Hellecchino turned around, stopping every once in awhile to consider. “Yes. That’s it. I was standin’ the other way round. It’s here. I remember now.”

“Okay.”

Yabu dug into the dry, dry earth, Hellecchino reminding him to put the corner of his square spade into the ground first. After awhile, though, Yabu stopped digging and looked into his little hole.

“I don’t see nothin’.”

“You ain’t dug deep enough yet.”

“The hell you say!”

“Well, if you want the Geoffrey Crayon’s Wives of old Burghers Seed, you’ll keep digging, even if you dig all the way to China.”

“You think the Chinese got it?”

“Could be.”

“Well, I’ll be damned!”

“You come get me when you found the Geoffrey Crayon’s Wives of old Burghers Seed. I got business in town.”

“Alright. I’ll do that.”

And Hellecchino went jauntily on down the road to Chokepointe Piste just a-whistlin’ Dixie to a shovel counterpoint.

The Realm of the Hungry by James L. Secor

 

She was a widow, a lady mourning for her lost husband. She cut off her hair, her dress lay loose about her boney shoulders. Perhaps she had grieved too long. She cared little about herself. Or her two children. They were fed. Housed in old clothing. Silent, sullen.

The world couldn’t go on like this. Not forever. For forever is time and time is movement. No part of life is still. Even the mold growing on the stagnant water is movement.

So, it came to pass that the village headman’s son came of age. He was handsome and very well-built. Accomplished. Robust. Desirable. All the girls in the village drooled over him. Giggled, pranced and primped for him.

Despairing of her long mourning, the widow thought she should put it away. So, she said to herself, “I’m tired of mourning. The village asks too much of me, grieving the rest of my life. Caring for children is burdensome. Widow’s weeds aren’t a life. Perhaps, if I paint myself red, the young man will take me as his.”

She went down by the river. The snow and ice made bathing difficult. But she broke through the surface crust and washed away the signs of mourning. Washed off the dirt. By evening, she had painted herself red. She decked herself out so the boy would be taken by her. And so it was; he would have no one but this bright painted lady. With his father’s good graces he wed the red woman, a widow no more, and her children grew cold and hungry left alone. How sad. How sad to be abandoned.

The little girl took her brother’s hand and together went to grandma’s house. Grandma was poor and had little. What did an old person need? Death couldn’t be held off forever. Yet she welcomed her two grandchildren. They were family, after all, and family should be as one.

“Where has mother gone?” asked the little girl, wiping tears.

Grandma sighed, rocked, fed the fire. “I suspect,” she said, “your mother painted her face. Don’t try to find her. The headman’s son has wed her. She’ll not want to be burdened by you two children now she has found happiness.”

The old woman was right. Old people are often burdened by wisdom and the need to speak of it. Sometimes silence is best; words are hurtful.

Down by the river, near a healed hole in the ice, the bereft daughter found the filth her mother had washed off. A second hole, too, was filthy. A third was clean but the ice around was stained crimson red.

So, it was as grandma said.

What could the little lost girl do?

The girl went to the village headman’s lodging and opened the door and there sat her mother at her wedding feast and enjoying the son. The girl walked up to her red-painted mother. She hurled the filth in her mother’s face and said, “Take that! You have forsaken us, your two children, the memory of your husband.”

At once the mother-bride became a hideous and crabbed and bent old woman.

The house was in an uproar. The groom’s father raged. The son did not put away the love for his once red-painted now ugly bride. He believed that his love for her would cure her and she would become young and beautiful again. Love makes the world go around.

Devotion is touching.

But this did not stop him from having the girl and the boy bound and brought to him.

Judgment demanded payment.

“You have defiled this good place, now we must move. You will be left here to die to pay for your sins and cleanse this polluted ground,” he said.

“No,” said the old hag mother. “Take them back to their old lodging. I will take care of them there.” She yanked the crying children to their feet and shoved them to the door. “There is a hidden keep of meat,” she lisped to the little dears, “and a flint for a fire. When I come to stab you, I shall cut your bonds.” And she kicked them out.

The people departed the village for undefiled ground, while the ugly old woman took a spear and went to take care of the children. Shadows cast through the window showed her stabbing the little ones over and again. The ground and the walls grew dark, the stain spread beyond the house.

The children were not heard from again. Grandma died.

The ugly old painted lady and her young husband lived a long, prosperous life of love.

 

 Jim Secor is a satirist, holds a doctorate in play writing and is the author of Det. Lupèe: The Impossible Cases, available to order from most stores.

The Case of an Ape Gone Berserk

The Case of an Ape Gone Berserk:

an “I Was There Mystery”

by

James L. Secor, B.A., M.S., Ph.D., Q.P.Q.

Any PI just out of school could have solved this case but it came to me because the Zoo was my territory. Perhaps this was because of my circus background. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. I was there. I had a job to do.

I was called about 6 PM. I was just sitting down to a nice TV dinner, beef bourgoyne with mashed potatoes and gravy, and a can of Hamm’s Special Light Lager when the phone rang. Damn! I thought. Just when Dialing For Dollars was getting exciting. I reached over to the end table and picked up the phone, a red Nextel I took off my belt when I got home. As always.

“Hyellow,” I said.

“Is this Sammy Thimblerigger?”

“Sypeaking. Syammy Thimblerigger in person. Nyot an answering machine. Hate the dyamned things. Whyat d’ya want?”

“This is the Downtown Zoo. We got a problem with an ape. She’s gone mad. Jeez, you should see her! We can’t do nothing with her. We think it was something somebody gave her.”

“Syounds like the yape’s gone berserk. Tried a byaseball byat? Thyirty-four inch signed Reggie Jackson issue?”

“No.”

“Hyow about an aluminum byaseball byat?”

“No. We can’t get near her.”

“You got a case there. They usually respond to this kyind of treatment. Yonly thing they understand.”

“This is a different kind of ape. Baba’s special.”

“Thyat’s what they yall say. They’re all alike. Yan ape’s an ape’s an ape. I’ll be right dyown.”

I sighed. No TV. No beef bourgoyne. What could be worse of an evening? So, I lifted my TV tray away, cursing the day I’d left the bargain on the wheeled variety go by, and carried my dinner to the kitchen. I drained the Hamm’s and put the dinner in the fridge carefully wrapped in Best Buy clear plastic wrap. It didn’t stick well. Maybe I’d break down and buy the more expensive brand next time. Be that as it may, I’d be back before too long. “Styupid yape,” I muttered under my breath as I crushed the can and tossed it in the garbage under the sink.

I got to the Zoo in no time flat. Lucky I guess. Hit a pocket of light traffic at traffic time. Even these people should be at home, I thought. What’s the matter with them?

They were waiting for me at the front gate. There was alot of growling and hooting and hollering going on behind them. The Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Secretary to the Superintendent in spine-tingling short skirt, Head Zookeeper, Assistant Head Zookeeper, the Ape House Supervisor and Winkin, Blinkin and Nod the three Ape House Attendant Drudges led me to the screaming meany. The Superintendent, dressed in white linen suit, shouted at me the entire way. The din was unbearable. I was literally deaf by the time we reached the offensive primate.

“Baba is special. She’s one of Koko’s apes. Speaks sign language.”

Yeah, right, I thought. An intelligent ape. A berserk intelligent ape. Sheesh.

We gathered around the eight-foot square cage. As the black hairy beast flung itself, not for the first time, at the iron bars and shouted at us incoherently, pearly whites flashing, we stepped back. She dropped to the concrete floor and began hooing and hawing and making furious hand signals. Baba was clearly disturbed. She beat her chest in cliché fashion. She jumped up and down. She flung herself at the bars again, reaching through and punching a huge undulating fist at us. We took another step back. This was one ticked off simian.

The lot of us retreated to the Superintendent’s office. He sat behind his oaken desk with the burnished gold pen and pencil set and the marble paperweight in the shape of a seated elephant and the glass ashtray that looked all the world like a turtle giving birth. The others took up their respective positions, Winkin, Blinkin and Nod on the fringes, near the door. I sat in one of the wing-back brown leather chairs with brass studs.

“Yokay. What’s the big yape saying?”

“We don’t know.”

“You don’t know?”

“We don’t know.”
“Hyave you called an interpreter?”

“We thought it best to wait til you got here.”

I knew just who to call. I’d worked with her before. Had several of her cards in my card catalogue at home. She’d had lots of experience with outrage before.

“I know just hywho to call. Lyet me see your phone.”

The Superintendent handed me a 1920’s stand-up job that looked all the world like a giraffe. I dialed the orange and white dialer. Modern kitsch, I thought. A dial pulse tone phone.

“Hyellow. Is Deb Brown in?. . .Thyis is Sammy Thimblerigger. . . .Hi to you too, officer. Heh-heh. . . .Dyebbie old girl. Y-it’s Sammy. Hyow ya doin’?. . . . Syorry about that but they’re gonna hafta fend for themselves. I got a hot one. . . Yat the Zoo. . . .Dyowntown. . . .Yeh. . . .Meetcha at the front gate.” I hung up. Passed the giraffe back to the Superintendent. “Problem solved. Dyebbie Brown is a Level III Interpreter. Shye’s good at dealing with myad people. Yif they don’t cuss too much. Shye doesn’t like signing them words. Makes her hyands feel dirty. Yif you know what I mean.”

They nodded. We waited. I went to the gate. Deb was there in no time.

“Hi, Sammy.”

“Hi, Deb.”

“What have you got?”

“A myad ape.”

“And you need an Interpreter!?”

“Thyis is Baba. Yone of Koko’s breed.”

“Oh. I see.”

Baba was still acting up. She quieted down as soon as Deb started in with the hand jive. After a few frantic exchanges, Deb turned to me.

“I can’t say all that, Sammy. She says she wants George.”

“George is a male?”

“George is a human male. She says she loves him and must have him.”

“Thyat’s disgusting.”

“She says they talked for some time. He said he loved her, blew her a kiss and disappeared.”

“Yand she wants him back?”

“Yes. She says she’s ready to make a commitment.”

“Yokay. Lyet’s go byack to the office. They’ve got cameras. Syee?” I pointed upward and waved.

We got back to the office. Deb and I sat down in the wing-back brown leather chairs with the brass studs.

“She wants George. Apparently some guy came by and made a pass at her. She’s ready,” Debbie reported matter of factly.

“I see you have video camera coverage. Cyan we see the filum?”

“Boys?”

Winkin, Blinkin and Nod departed. We waited.

“They should be ready now. Shall we go?”

The Superintendent led us all to the Security Booth. We all crammed into the small room behind the seated Security Guard in his mauve and blue epauletted uniform. He sat before a wall of 12″ TV screens. TNTC. He pointed to one.

“Dis heah is da ape cage camra.”

“Whyat time did Baba begin exhibiting this behavior?”

“I dunno. I wadn’t on den.”

“Syuper?”

“Winkin, Blinkin and Nod?” he asked in turn.

“About 2 PM,” they chorused in three-part harmony.

So, we had the Security Guard backtrack to about 1 PM. Sure enough, there was a man dressed in blue serge and red tie signing to Baba. Baba became excited. She came right down to the bars. They signed some more. The gent signed “I love you” and blew Baba a kiss. As he turned away, the camera caught a full facial.

“Thyat’s our man! Whyat’d he say?”

“I’m embarrassed to say. But the nicer parts were that he loved her and he wanted to marry her and something about a big banana. He’s kind of awkward at signing. She’s easier to understand.”

“Thyat’s our George!”

“Georgie Porgy puddin’n pie, kissed the girls and made them cry.”

“You’re perverse, Deb.”

“Just a little levity. May I go home now? I’ll send you the bill.”

She left. We got a picture of the perp. I went about my business. I’m a private eye.

To make a long story short, we found our man. Baba was insistent. There was nothing we could do. The long and the short of it is, if you go to the Downtown Zoo, you’ll see Baba and George together at last. George looks a little sheepish, though, without his suit.

 

 

Jimsecor is a long time social activist. As a playwright, he fell in love with Absurdism and this approach to writing has stayed with him. He’s written essays and articles and award winning tanka, become over-educated and traveled the world. His latest work is Det. Lupée: The Impossible Cases. But the very first detective mystery was the above, a flight of fancy. He can be found at home or at http://labelleotero.wordpress.com.

 

 

The Case of an Ape Gone Berserk: an “I Was There Mystery” by James L. Secor, B.A., M.S., Ph.D., Q.P.Q.

moustachois monkey

Any PI just out of school could have solved this case but it came to me because the Zoo was my territory. Perhaps this was because of my circus background. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. I was there. I had a job to do.

I was called about 6 PM. I was just sitting down to a nice TV dinner, beef bourgoyne with mashed potatoes and gravy, and a can of Hamm’s Special Light Lager when the phone rang. Damn! I thought. Just when Dialing For Dollars was getting exciting. I reached over to the end table and picked up the phone, a red Nextel I took off my belt when I got home. As always.

“Hyellow,” I said.

“Is this Sammy Thimblerigger?”

“Sypeaking. Syammy Thimblerigger in person. Nyot an answering machine. Hate the dyamned things. Whyat d’ya want?”

“This is the Downtown Zoo. We got a problem with an ape. She’s gone mad. Jeez, you should see her! We can’t do nothing with her. We think it was something somebody gave her.”

“Syounds like the yape’s gone berserk. Tried a byaseball byat? Thyirty-four inch signed Reggie Jackson issue?”

“No.”

“Hyow about an aluminum byaseball byat?”

“No. We can’t get near her.”

“You got a case there. They usually respond to this kyind of treatment. Yonly thing they understand.”

“This is a different kind of ape. Baba’s special.”

“Thyat’s what they yall say. They’re all alike. Yan ape’s an ape’s an ape. I’ll be right dyown.”

I sighed. No TV. No beef bourgoyne. What could be worse of an evening? So, I lifted my TV tray away, cursing the day I’d left the bargain on the wheeled variety go by, and carried my dinner to the kitchen. I drained the Hamm’s and put the dinner in the fridge carefully wrapped in Best Buy clear plastic wrap. It didn’t stick well. Maybe I’d break down and buy the more expensive brand next time. Be that as it may, I’d be back before too long. “Styupid yape,” I muttered under my breath as I crushed the can and tossed it in the garbage under the sink.

I got to the Zoo in no time flat. Lucky I guess. Hit a pocket of light traffic at traffic time. Even these people should be at home, I thought. What’s the matter with them?

They were waiting for me at the front gate. There was alot of growling and hooting and hollering going on behind them. The Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Secretary to the Superintendent in spine-tingling short skirt, Head Zookeeper, Assistant Head Zookeeper, the Ape House Supervisor and Winkin, Blinkin and Nod the three Ape House Attendant Drudges led me to the screaming meany. The Superintendent, dressed in white linen suit, shouted at me the entire way. The din was unbearable. I was literally deaf by the time we reached the offensive primate.

“Baba is special. She’s one of Koko’s apes. Speaks sign language.”

Yeah, right, I thought. An intelligent ape. A berserk intelligent ape. Sheesh.

We gathered around the eight-foot square cage. As the black hairy beast flung itself, not for the first time, at the iron bars and shouted at us incoherently, pearly whites flashing, we stepped back. She dropped to the concrete floor and began hooing and hawing and making furious hand signals. Baba was clearly disturbed. She beat her chest in cliché fashion. She jumped up and down. She flung herself at the bars again, reaching through and punching a huge undulating fist at us. We took another step back. This was one ticked off simian.

The lot of us retreated to the Superintendent’s office. He sat behind his oaken desk with the burnished gold pen and pencil set and the marble paperweight in the shape of a seated elephant and the glass ashtray that looked all the world like a turtle giving birth. The others took up their respective positions, Winkin, Blinkin and Nod on the fringes, near the door. I sat in one of the wing-back brown leather chairs with brass studs.

“Yokay. What’s the big yape saying?”

“We don’t know.”

“You don’t know?”

“We don’t know.”

“Hyave you called an interpreter?”

“We thought it best to wait til you got here.”

I knew just who to call. I’d worked with her before. Had several of her cards in my card catalogue at home. She’d had lots of experience with outrage before.

“I know just hywho to call. Lyet me see your phone.”

The Superintendent handed me a 1920’s stand-up job that looked all the world like a giraffe. I dialed the orange and white dialer. Modern kitsch, I thought. A dial pulse tone phone.

“Hyellow. Is Deb Brown in?. . .Thyis is Sammy Thimblerigger. . . .Hi to you too, officer. Heh-heh. . . .Dyebbie old girl. Y-it’s Sammy. Hyow ya doin’?. . . . Syorry about that but they’re gonna hafta fend for themselves. I got a hot one. . . Yat the Zoo. . . .Dyowntown. . . .Yeh. . . .Meetcha at the front gate.” I hung up. Passed the giraffe back to the Superintendent. “Problem solved. Dyebbie Brown is a Level III Interpreter. Shye’s good at dealing with myad people. Yif they don’t cuss too much. Shye doesn’t like signing them words. Makes her hyands feel dirty. Yif you know what I mean.”

They nodded. We waited. I went to the gate. Deb was there in no time.

“Hi, Sammy.”

“Hi, Deb.”

“What have you got?”

“A myad ape.”

“And you need an Interpreter!?”

“Thyis is Baba. Yone of Koko’s breed.”

“Oh. I see.”

Baba was still acting up. She quieted down as soon as Deb started in with the hand jive. After a few frantic exchanges, Deb turned to me.

“I can’t say all that, Sammy. She says she wants George.”

“George is a male?”

“George is a human male. She says she loves him and must have him.”

“Thyat’s disgusting.”

“She says they talked for some time. He said he loved her, blew her a kiss and disappeared.”

“Yand she wants him back?”

“Yes. She says she’s ready to make a commitment.”

“Yokay. Lyet’s go byack to the office. They’ve got cameras. Syee?” I pointed upward and waved.

We got back to the office. Deb and I sat down in the wing-back brown leather chairs with the brass studs.

“She wants George. Apparently some guy came by and made a pass at her. She’s ready,” Debbie reported matter of factly.

“I see you have video camera coverage. Cyan we see the filum?”

“Boys?”

Winkin, Blinkin and Nod departed. We waited.

“They should be ready now. Shall we go?”

The Superintendent led us all to the Security Booth. We all crammed into the small room behind the seated Security Guard in his mauve and blue epauletted uniform. He sat before a wall of 12″ TV screens. TNTC. He pointed to one.

“Dis heah is da ape cage camra.”

“Whyat time did Baba begin exhibiting this behavior?”

“I dunno. I wadn’t on den.”

“Syuper?”

“Winkin, Blinkin and Nod?” he asked in turn.

“About 2 PM,” they chorused in three-part harmony.

So, we had the Security Guard backtrack to about 1 PM. Sure enough, there was a man dressed in blue serge and red tie signing to Baba. Baba became excited. She came right down to the bars. They signed some more. The gent signed “I love you” and blew Baba a kiss. As he turned away, the camera caught a full facial.

“Thyat’s our man! Whyat’d he say?”

“I’m embarrassed to say. But the nicer parts were that he loved her and he wanted to marry her and something about a big banana. He’s kind of awkward at signing. She’s easier to understand.”

“Thyat’s our George!”

“Georgie Porgy puddin’n pie, kissed the girls and made them cry.”

“You’re perverse, Deb.”

“Just a little levity. May I go home now? I’ll send you the bill.”

She left. We got a picture of the perp. I went about my business. I’m a private eye.

To make a long story short, we found our man. Baba was insistent. There was nothing we could do. The long and the short of it is, if you go to the Downtown Zoo, you’ll see Baba and George together at last. George looks a little sheepish, though, without his suit.

 

Jimsecor is a long time social activist. As a playwright, he fell in love with Absurdism and this approach to writing has stayed with him. He’s written essays and articles and award winning tanka, become over-educated and traveled the world. His latest work is Det. Lupée: The Impossible Cases. But the very first detective mystery was the above, a flight of fancy. He can be found at home or at http://labelleotero.wordpress.com.