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!

11 February 2007

The Return of Cletus Hookworm

It’s hard to remember what exactly has happened to me these past months when I’ve been missing—that is, missing from where I and others expect me to be, but not missing from where I was. Where I was was right where I was, and certainly not missing. If that reads as confusing, maybe you need to patch the gaps on your aluminum foil hats.

Yes! That’s what had happened! After my near fatal encounter with a rabid, murderous, vindictive, and malodourous Uncle Ned, I realized that my aluminum foil hat had ripped. Maybe it through normal wear and tear, maybe Uncle Ned had torn it when I wasn’t paying attention. The latter possibility made a lot of sense because it’s just the kind of thing Uncle Ned would do. Hadn’t he tricked Doctor Tongue into joining the Peace Corps? Hadn’t he once tried to karate kick The Fonz? Of course he had—he was capable of anything. Yes, yes, yes. Where was I?

Ah, in my bunker, fixing my aluminum foil hat. That must have been when the mind control ray got me. My subordinate, Manny Fatback, is prone to blaming Stephen King’s rogue clones and, more often than not, they are to blame for the ills of this world. (And other worlds—scienticianologists have long wondered why Jupiter is unsafe for humans. Think about it: Jupiter was the king of the Roman gods. King. Obviously Stephen King’s clones rule that planet at the exclusion of human beings. Jupiter is also the fifth planet from the sun. His fifth book? The Dead Zone. Jupiter is a dead zone for human beings. There’s more, much more, including his failed attempt to kill Jack Lemmon, Meadowlark Lemon, and the Lennon Sisters, but I don’t want to pee on Manny’s hydrant.)

The mind ray. Whoever was controlling it, the next thing I knew I was in a gypsy camp in Gypsania, somewhere in Europe. What did they want? At first I thought it was a nefarious plot—fixing a tribal volleyball match or securing cheap trenchcoats from my Inuit connections (if so, my reputation would indeed have been the cause of my present fate). However, it was my editorial skill, in turning literary urine into wine and papering over the holes in Manny’s investigative stories. (I mean, really, Manny originally thought that Big Bird was involved in Reagan’s assassination. Absurd when you really think about it.) So I fixed up the gypsy manuscript, Gypsgoria—a puerile rip-off of Fangoria Magazine; the absence of Wes Craven or Robert Englund interviews made it little more than a Vincent “The Gypsy Prince” Price fanzine. I think that they smelled my contempt. After all, without my trusted Irish Spring, there was little to whistle about.

So, one night, while my captors slept off a Mr. Pibb-fueled donnybrook, I stole away, eventually coming across a dimensional transporter run by a kindly gnome named Lonnie. This led to a whole series of adventures, the gist of which Manny got right in his updates as to my whereabouts. Eventually, a chain-smoking, hard-drinking private eye named Johnny Carcinoma—a man who any smart publisher would pay big money for the rights to his own exploits—rescued me while working on a case involving a man dressed like a cat eating macaroni and cheese in rubber boots. Fantastic, sure, but I don’t make this stuff up. Indeed, our own Dr. Fantastic, inventor of the Tell Whether A Person Is Lying 4050, said that my story was 51% likely to be true. In other words, I passed.

Still, nagging questions remain. What are gypsies doing with mind control devices? Why do they live in tents? Is it a coincidence that Jack Lemmon and the Lennon Sisters are dead, yet Meadowlark Lemon lives? Is that Uncle Ned sitting in a Ford Taurus down the block from me? Does Uncle Ned have clones? Does anyone really believe that a painter with an obsession with the ghoulish was really Jack the Ripper, especially in light of what happened to Suzanne Sommers house? It all makes sense if you have the grapes to make wine, folks. This case might never be closed, but for now, Case Closed!™


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