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!

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™!


At 4:36 PM, Blogger Dodos said...

That was the best story ever. I am going to tell my grandkids that one, then they can invoke my name in an attempt to prove how valuable freedom is.

BTW - The time machine is warmed up and ready to go. If you need directions, it will cost you a dime bag.

At 8:25 PM, Blogger Cletus Hookworm said...

Dammit, Fatback, you're gonna get me killed! Joe thinks I'm some crazed leftist radical and he keeps going on about there being pieces of guys like me in his stool. Fuck, here he comes. Fuck, he hates it when I swear. Fuck …

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Manny Fatback said...

Sorry, Cletus, but the story had to be told! I sure hope that you remember to keep invoking Joe Canada's grandfather. Remember: his sacrifice is worth more than yours. And you should be willing to endure ANYTHING to live in a free country!

Dodos, thanks for the invite to the old time machine, but I haven't had much luck moving through time. I keep getting my hips wedged in wormholes.

Oh, Cletus, by the way: do you know the boiling point of glue?

At 10:41 AM, Blogger Cletus Hookworm said...

Don't boil that stuff, idiot—you'll lose your hearing. Room temperature, seal the doors and windows, breathe deeply—and have a baby monitor set up for someone to rescue you if you pass out.

(Joe seems to have fallen asleep hugging a Stephen Harper teddy bear. I'm gonna make a break for it …)


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