Case Closed! — Conspiracies and Mysteries Solved

"Inspired" by Patricia Cornhole's immodest claim that all those Ripperologists may as well give up their theorizing and debating Jack the Ripper's identity because she's written the final word, "Case Closed!" seeks to solve completely and forevermore the mysteries of the world. Case closed!

21 December 2006

The Kings and I! A Cloneopolis Update!

A Case Closed™ Exclusive
Manny Fatback

They sat you can never have too much of a good thing. Friends. Happiness. Bourbon. Whatever your magical vice, the idea remains the same. No matter how much of it you have, no matter how high you stack it, it never loses that special something. Of course, we all know that’s a load of steaming outhouse treats. No matter how terrific something is, no matter how specialtastic®, eventually not enough becomes too much. There always comes a breaking point.

When it comes to Stephen Kings… how many is too many?

As the dedicated reader of Case Closed™ well remembers, it was yours truly, Manny Fatback, who first broke the astounding story about the numerous Stephen King clones! Never before had a story with such power and magnitude been so graciously ignored by the publishing industry. It was clearly a story that hit too close to home. No matter where I went, no matter who I spoke to, no one seemed willing to acknowledge this amazing discovery. But that didn’t stop the Stephen King Cloneopoly Bullet Train to slow down. It continued on the fast track, moving like a well-buttered lap dancer.

Now, however, it seems that this many might be too many.

As readers know, the latest Kingly offering was a great disappointment. This novel, billed as some kind of love story and terrific stretch for one of the Kings, falls flat. And well it should! There are too many Stephen Kings out there… and too many Stephen Kings spoil the broth! And in this case, the broth is the book! After fighting my way through ‘Lisey’s Story’, I decided to press myself back into service and investigate the Stephen King conspiracy even further. What I found should be enough to convince any executive at Scribner of the truth™!

Even the most casual visitor to the Stephen King website can see the clues. When I made a visit, I noticed that the site listed Mr. King as ‘Stephen Stephen’. Two Stephens? Is that a none-too-subtle way of giving yours truly a reminding jab, letting me know that though I tried to get the secret out there, it’s still going on? It would seem so!

(Stephen Stephen... a typo, or proof of something far more sinister?)

A second visit to the Internet brought me to a foreign language site, which clearly demonstrated incontrovertible proof of the Stephen King clone conspiracy! Even though I can’t read Mexican, what’s written below is as clear as day. There is more than one Stephen King… and even people who don’t speak English know about it!

(Even in this savage tongue, the truth is easy to read!)

Armed with these new pieces of evidence, I decided to return to Maine and pay the Kings a visit. I showed up in my LeBaron, a stack of King hardcovers bunched under one arm. The King mansion, a shameless display of wealth and ego, stood before me like a giant monolith built on words and pages and bricks. I stood in awe for a few moments before carefully wriggling over the front gate and heading for the back of the house. I knew that if Mr. King (or perhaps the other Mr. King, or even the third) spotted me, the gig would be up. I’d brought the books along as a distraction, knowing that when asked, a clone can’t help but try to sign it’s original’s name.

At the back of the house, beyond the recently installed Fountain of Youth (an upcoming story here at Case Closed™), I found a rear window through which I could peer into King’s life. And what I saw amazed me! Seated inside a plush and comfortable looking den was Stephen King.

And Stephen King!
And yet more Stephen Kings!
I quickly grabbed my camera and snapped a picture. Undeniable proof of this conspiracy finally brought to light.

(How many stories would a Stephen King write, if a Stephen King could write stories?)

As I turned to go, however, I realized that I was no longer alone. One of the Stephen Kings, pushing a Toro lawnmower, came around the edge of the house. Knowing that this Steve could be in two places at once, I immediately fell to my plan of attack. Producing my stack of books, I asked for an autograph. This carbon copy King obliged, signing the book with great concentration, tongue jutting from the corner of his mouth. Soon after I escaped, returning to the Case Closed™ offices. Once safe at my own desk, I looked at the signature of the phoney King. Of course, it seemed much different from that of the real Stephen King. I quickly tracked down a sample of the genuine King’s signature and laid it next to the clone’s signature.

Not even close!

So, friends and readers, it should be clear to you now that Stephen King is not who he says he is. He’s more! And he’s continuing to produce books at a fantastic rate despite being retired! So, the next time you pick up one of his novels and feel vastly disappointed in the decline in quality, just remember… this ain’t your grandma’s Stephen King!

And there is too much of a good thing.

Case Closed™!

20 December 2006

“Freedom’s Just Another Word For Something My Grandfather Did…”

The Abduction of Cletus Hookworm by the Worst Superhero Ever

A Case Closed™ Exclusive
Manny Fatback

The offices of Case Closed™ have felt a lot different since Cletus disappeared. The light isn’t as bright. The plants aren’t as healthy. And the air smells different. Perhaps the reasons are simple. Perhaps there was more light because the sun bounced off Cletus’s balding head. Perhaps the plants were healthier because he watered them. And perhaps the air used to smell minty because Cletus like to carry urinal pucks around in his pockets. Perhaps…

But I like to think things here feel differently because Cletus is still missing!

As the faithful reader of Case Closed™ already knows, our wise if somewhat easily distracted editor disappeared some months ago. After investigating haunted Yugos in Havana, Cletus bounced to Romania and then Hungary. His journey brought him and in and out of the hands, closets and trundle beds of numerous nefarious villains (including Dr. Nefarious himself!). Now, however, Cletus is in the most gravest of perilous dangers… a time traveller billed only as Joe ‘Captain’ Canada has taken him captive. And being involved in a time travel conspiracy will irk Cletus to no end, as time travel is among his greatest pet peeves (along with paying attention, devaluing stamps and making regular and consistent blog posts).

And just how did Cletus end up in this time travel fiasco?

After escaping his captors in a daring midday breakout, Cletus got mixed up with a pot-smoking herbivore known only as Dodos. Dodos claimed he had discovered the secret to time travel and while Cletus imagined it had something to do with Dodo’s constant supply of hand-rolled cigarettes, he decided to investigate (as any daring Case Closed™ reporter is bound to do). What he discovered shocked him straight to the core. Dodos had indeed made a time machine!

(Dodos Amazing Time Machine and Smokeopolis!)

Cletus, brave soul, still suffering from Lazy Brain, decided to test Dodo’s cumbersome looking apparatus. In doing so, the danger-seeking editor of Case Closed™ jaunted all the way back to Europe during the heart of the Second World War! Surrounded on all sides by explosions, tanks, flying bullets and various people’s grandfathers, Cletus believed he was lost forever. Not so! Thanks to the selfless actions of a Canadian soldier (whose name we shall invoke later), Cletus was rescued and brought to safety.

(Did one of these brave soldiers save Cletus? Time Travel Phrenologists Have No Comment!)

Or so he thought.

Against all odds, this soldier turned out to be Joe Canada’s grandfather. And when Cletus failed to honour Joe’s grandfather and sign a paper contractually obligating him to invoke his name regularly, he effectively sealed his own fate. Joe ‘Captain’ Canada, who has the ability to distort time as it suits his purposes, came back to Europe circa 1944, gave a nod to his grandfather, and whisked Cletus back to the present. In doing so, Joe Canada may very well have triggered a bump in time that could lead to chaos and destruction! Perhaps slaves will burn down the plantations! Perhaps the citizens of Germany will overthrow Hitler! Perhaps weapons of mass destruction will be found in Iraq! With Joe Canada screwing around with history, anything is possible!

(Thanks to Joe Canada's Willing Disregard for the Importance of History, The South Descends Rather Than Rises, Dooming the Slaves Forever!)

It was only forty-eight hours ago that Joe Canada contacted Case Closed™ to demand a ransom for Cletus Hookworm. Though Cletus offers little in the way of professional work, he does still owe yours truly ten bucks… so I agreed to set up a meeting with Joe. First, however, I had to figure out who Joe Canada really is. For that, I went to our resident Canadianaologist, Dr. Fantastic.

“Joe Canada?” Dr. Fantastic said. “Sure, I’ve heard of him. He’s the worst superhero ever.”

“Worse than Superfriends' Marv?” I asked.

(Marv, Just a Certain Curly Hair Above Joe Canada in Superhero Status)

“I’m afraid so,” admitted the fantastic doctor. “You see, Joe Canada is only a superhero in the vaguest sense of the word. He thinks that he has great things to offer the free world, but he always falls short. And his superpowers… laughable. His powers include arguing from a faulty standpoint, taking things out of context, misquoting rivals, overusing Wikpedia, subjectively defining what is or is not objective, and affixing odd important to grandfatherly figures. In general, he’s just annoying. But you do have to take him seriously. He’s like a bad case of herpes… he might quiet down, but he never goes away.”

Could it be true? Was Cletus in the clutches of a bad case of herpes?

Aware of just what I was up against, I met face-to-face with Joe Canada. He wasn’t exactly what I had been expecting. Still, I had to give this man the benefit of the doubt. I immediately asked him to disclose the whereabouts of Cletus and let me know that my faithful and easily bored editor was alive and well.

(Joe Canada, Worst Superhero Ever)

“You’re a freaking madman if you believe I’ll tell you that!” Joe Canada expostulated. “I value freedom over all else, especially my own! Hookworm is my bargaining chip, Fatback. And why do they call you Fatback? Is your back fat?”

“Why do you have an ‘A’ on your shirt? Perhaps it demonstrates the country in which your mindset truly belongs?”

“Don’t lie, you freaking madman!” Joe shouted at me. “My grandfather didn’t fight and die in World War II so you could go around mocking my freedom of expression! Would you rather we live in a totalitarian state like Iraq, hoarding weapons of mass destruction while disenfranchising women voters? My grandfather sure wouldn’t!” (Bowing his head, he whispered: Oh grandfather, I invoke your name to help me understand the true ignorance of everyone else, Rub-a-Dub-Dub, Raisins on Toast. Spectacles, Testicles, Wallet and Watch).

Clearly, Joe Canada had a screw loose. And I wasn’t about to lend him a screwdriver.

“So,” I went on. “You have Cletus and want a ransom?”

“Don’t lie!” Captain Joe bellowed, pointing a finger. “Liars never prosper, though I’m not calling you a liar. That’s a completely different kettle of semanticals. And you sure wouldn’t prosper in 1930s Russia. Would you rather live in 1930s Russia or in 1930s Canada?”

I could tell that this discussion was going nowhere. Rather than civil discourse, things had degenerated into rambling nonsense, with Joe Canada invoking the name of his grandfather, my grandfather and three other elderly men who often hang out at the bus station. Very slowly I retreated from Joe’s sight, hurrying to my Chrysler LeBaron and speeding away to safety.

Safety for me, but certainly not for Cletus! As much as it pained me to abandon him to whatever fate Joe Canada had in store, my options were limited. I returned to Case Closed™ none the wiser, but a bit less hungry (having stopped at the Arby’s drive-through on the drive back). As I sat down at my desk to hammer out this story, my mind kept turning back to Joe Canada’s words. “Would you rather live in 1930s Russia or in 1930s Canada?”

Does Joe plan to continue warping history? Is his intention to deposit Cletus in 1930s Russia… or even 1930s Canada? Perhaps he’s willing to go as far as placing Cletus in present-day Cleveland! Regardless of what Joe Canada intends on doing, yours truly, Manny Fatback, refuses to give up. I ask that you, faithful reader, remain vigilant and loyal to Case Closed™! Keep coming back for further updates… and if you happen to see Joe Canada, make sure to invoke his grandfather’s name… then give Case Closed™ a call!

This case is never closed!

Case Closed™!

(Except for this case, which is never closed!)

Case Closed™!