Monday, December 30, 2013

Hercule Poirot, Episode 4

Phone rings. Miss Lemon dashes over to it. “Hello? Miss Lemon speaking. To whom am I speaking? . . . Hello, hello, is anyone there?” (Nervously twisting her pearls. Inspector Japp and Captain Hastings have been gone an hour) If you do not reply by the time I count to three, I shall hang up . . . One . . . Two . . . Two-in-a-half . . . Three!” (bangs down the receiver) How very rude!”  (Begins to pace. Then mutters), “Oh, what was I thinking? What if that call came from the kidnappers? I should have been more patient.”  (stares at phone, willing it to ring again. It does.)

“Hello, hello, hello . . . This is Miss Lemon speaking. I won’t hang up this time, I promise. Please don’t hurt Mr. Poirot. Please, please, please. We’ll do anything to get him back. Anything.”

Bonjour, Miss Lemon. This is Hercule Poirot speak—”

“Oh Mr. Poirot I am so glad to hear your voice, are you alright? did they hurt you? where are you?”

“Please listen to me very carefully, Miss Lemon, and do not reply to anything I say.”

“What? I don’t—Mr. Poirot are you—?”

“Miss Lemon. I will repeat once more, and only once more. You must not reply to anything which I may say to you . . . anything. Is that understood?”


Tres bien. The letter I received a few days ago, I must have. If not, there will be dire consequences. Very dire. The entire security of our nation rests in your hands, Miss Lemon. Now, I will tell you where to find this letter. Listen very carefully. It is in the center drawer of my desk, in a lavender envelope. Unlock the drawer with a key. The key I have taped underneath the third bookshelf.  Look to the center of the bookcase. There will be a book called, “Muses and Criminals,” by Hercule Poirot. After you have retrieved the letter, immediately, and without fail, take it to the post box.”

(Replies in a rush) “Mr. Poirot, have you been kidnapped? And for the love of all that's holy, why are you are phoning in your own ransom demand?!”

“Miss Lemon, please. Do not say another word if you value my life. I will repeat my carefully worded instruction concerning the letter: immediately, and without fail, take it to the post box. Au revoir, mademoiselle.

“Wait, wait, Mr. Poirot. Please — oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.” (runs over to the bookcase. Does not see the book. Runs over to the the desk and tries the drawer. It opens immediately. She’s briefly puzzled. But then panics when she doesn’t find the letter) “This can’t be. What shall I do now? Oh, why is Inspector Japp never around when you really need him.” (She straightens up resolutely) “Well, there’s nothing for it. I shall just have to go out to Whitechapel myself and find him.” (She marches out the front door. A few seconds later, the phone rings. )


“Captain Hastings, exactly where were you and Mr. Poirot standing when he disappeared?” (Inspector Japp himself is standing on a sidewalk beside a long hedge that borders a flower garden and the courtyard of the church)

“Ah, I believe we were standing in the center of the garden looking out over the courtyard. Although . . . wait . . . now that I think more about it, maybe we were standing closer to the courtyard and away from the center of the garden. When I heard the noise, I left Poirot, for just a second mind you. I then distinctly remember leaving the courtyard, and going round to about where you’re standing now, Inspector Japp.”

“Can you show me where the noise originated from, Captain Hastings?” 

“Yes, as a matter of fact.” (He heads toward a suspicious looking gap in the middle of the hedge).  Right here, old boy. There’s even a tell tale sign that I was here. Look how the hedge is frumpled.”

(Inspector Japp takes a gander) “Hmm . . . so Mr. Poirot was standing approximately 10 feet away at the time you had your nose in this hedge. You then left the hedge to return to his side, but he was gone.”

“Yes, I believe that’s exactly quite the way it was, Inspector Japp. Though I can’t be certain as to some of the details as the lighting was very poor.”

(Inspector Japp walks over the spot where Hastings and Poirot had stood together) “So, let’s review the circumstances, shall we? You were standing side by side with Mr. Poirot off center of the garden and near the courtyard with your backs to the hedge. You were conversing. Then you heard a noise from behind. You immediately left Mr. Poirot, and walked over to the hedge, where you thought you heard the noise, and ruffled the leaves looking for god knows what before returning to Mr. Poirot. But he’d disappeared. Are you quite sure you heard nothing else, Captain Hastings? Perhaps footsteps, or scruffling, anything to indicate that Mr. Poirot was forceably taken away only ten feet away from you? Seems hard to believe you wouldn’t hear that . . . (Japp scrunches his face) Unless . . .

“Unless what, Chief Inspector?”

“Unless . . . Mr. Poirot  wasn’t  forced.”

“What are you saying, old boy? That Poirot planned this whole charade? Why would he do that? And to me, his nearest and dearest friend?”

“Hard to say. The little Belgian is quite peculiar in his ways, brilliant though he may be. You above all should know that. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t put it past him to create such theatrical goings on just to have a case to work on. Things been a bit slow lately, have they?” (Japp sneezes and pulls out a hanky)

(Dismay, then outrage crosses Hastings face) “What? I beg your pardon, Japp, but that’s going much to0 far.  Much too far! Such mindless conjecture is not only a insult to my dear friend, but an insult to me as well.”

“It’s just a theory is all, Captain Hastings. As you know, I have to consider every possibility when a crime is suspected but not proven to have been committed.”

“But the letter. He told you about the letter. How much more proof do you need?”

“I’ve seen no letter, Captain Hastings. For all I know it’s a red herring.”

“Well . . . it’s not. I happen to have it right here in my pocket.” (He turns it over) “I found it just before you walked into the apartment. I didn’t let that cat out of the bag in case . . . well . . .”

(Sternly, as stern as Hastings has ever seen Japp) “In case wot, Captain Hastings? You lied to me. By omission. I could charge you with perverting the course of justice if we find out that Mr. Poirot was kidnapped. Worse, the delay may cost him his life. What do you have to say for yourself, man?” 

“I . . . I . . . don't know really . . . I guess . . . I guess I just wasn't thinking . . . And I s'pose I wanted the challenge of solving this case myself. It was Miss Lemon who called you into it.

"I see.  Well . . . what's done is done." (glaring at Hastings) And don't you ever withhold evidence again!"

"No chance of that, old man. I quite learned my lesson. Now, where do we go from here?"

(Still glaring at Hastings)"You go home. I'll take charge of this case. I'll let you know if there are any new developments. And you will not go careening off on your own, understood?"

"Yes, of course. And I do most sincerely apologize for my foolishness. Goodnight, Chief Inspector Japp." (walks away, dejected)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"Sucks, Doesn't It?" A Memoir, Part 32


“She’s not even blinking now, Lizzie. Boy, is this getting worser and worser, or what?” Psycho Voice giggles.
I am not amused. In point of fact, I’m so stunned, I don’t know what to say.
Finally Pen shifts in her seat, and sighs like her world just crashed into an invisible force field. Very quietly she asks, “Liz, did you really record that? It didn’t sound like you.
Mortified, I barely nod. “I-I must have. Nobody else had access to my tape recorder.” I stand up and pace. Anxiety floods the marrow of my bones. “But I don’t remember saying these things when I played around with it the other day.” I have the good grace to blush. “I mean I was just testing it, Pen. Kinda cursed into it. Made me laugh, because I have this high screechy voice. And then last night, I erased what I’d done to get the recorder ready for tonight. But I was in like a fog, so I don’t remember exactly what I did after that.”
The chilling words from the tape recorder reverberate through my psyche with all the force and destruction of a ricocheting bullet off the sides of my skull.
“Hi Pen. You don’t know me, yet, but I sure as hell know you. You’re not very good at this therapy stuff are you? You know how I can tell? ‘Cos you blink a lot, like you’re searching for answers. Tells me you don’t know what you’re doin’. Which, when you think about it, is really good news for me.
What is a pastoral counselor, anyway? Therapy backed by God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost? The Big Three, huh? Hmm . . . Well, you’ll need more than them to beat me, lady. Which, when you think about it, is very bad news for you. Although, I’ll buy you a vowel here. I don’t have your religious clout. I hope that makes you feel better and gets the ol’ confidence thing goin’. At least when you get into trouble, you can pray your way out of it. And let’s face it, Pen, you’ll need a prayer or two, or maybe even a hundred to get through me. I don’t fuck around, lady. And I always win. ALWAYS.
By the time I’m finished with you, you’ll be wishing you’d taken a climb up another mountain. Like in Switzerland or something. Dressed like your name. In trouble with Mother Superior ‘cos you sing too much. So she sends you off to be a governess for some rich, handsome pervert dude who has like fifty children. And you all happily sing yourselves to death falling out of trees.
This is the only warning you’re gonna get, lady. From here on out, you’d best have your knee pads shined to perfection, and your hands joined together in holy matrimony.
In God you better trust!”
Omg! where did this come from? I desperately try to remember what I’d done after I erased the tape the night before. But there’s a head full of air attached to my neck.
“Liz?” . . . “Liz, can you hear me?”
Sure I can hear you, Pen. But the fog is coming, so you better talk fast. Aw, too late, everlastingly too late. Pen’s face begins to lose symmetry as the smoky veil drops over my eyes first, then wraps me up in a suffocating embrace like a damn mummy.
Oh God. How could things possibly get any worse for me? Haven’t I already been through hell? And, correct me if I'm wrong, isn't hell basically as low as you can go? Well, what a crock of poo if it isn't.
Hark, I doth hear a voice in the vast wilderness of fogdom. A gentle voice, methinks. As soft as the feathery down of a virgin dove’s breast. I must awake. “Aye.”
Ah, the womanly voice doth stumble. No matter. “Aye, milady.”
A throat clears. “To whom am I speaking?”
“Thou art addressing the Lady Charlotte, milady. Dost thou jest?”
“N-no. Forgive me Lady Charlotte, I’ve had a bit of a shock.”
“Thou art forgiven. Now prithee, why hast thou called me from yon? And speak quickly, milady. My wit, though ‘tis lively and sharp as King Arthur’s sword, be taxing. I needs must have rest. ‘Tis a journey long I have made.”
“Of course, Lady Charlotte. I quite understand, and I'll try to make this very short. First, can you tell me where you come from?”
“Of course, Dr. Penguin. I come from Somewhere Over The Rainbow. Care to join me? We’ll go digging for a bigass pot of goldshit!”

Monday, December 02, 2013

Teenage Philosopher's Chatroom, Episode 3, Part 1

Episode 3, pt. 1

New Chat Started

TheGreatPlato and Lil’Con are logged on.

TheGreatPlato: Hello Confucius.

Lil’Con: Hi Plato, where’s Aristotle?

TheGreatPlato: I don’t know, I was just about to ask if you’ve 
heard from him. It’s not like him to be late.

Lil’Con: Perhaps that’s why he’s late.


TheGreatPlato: Explain.

Lil’Con: Being punctual has been apart of Aristotle’s ritual for some time, with that of course being because it made him content. It’s conceivable that his content has faded away, and he is reforming this ritual to find another way to make himself content; i.e., by not being punctual.

TheGreatPlato: That’s a very interesting explanation Confucius, but here’s a good one. He got tied up with something else or he’s fallen ill.

Lil’Con: The simplest answer isn’t always the correct one, Plato.

TheGreatPlato: No, but the plausible one usually is.

Lil’Con: YOU BETTER Check yourself before you wreck yourself 

TheGreatPlato: What?!

Lil’Con: Did I just type that?!

TheGreatPlato: Yes! Why would you say such a thing?

Lil’Con: I don’t know! Perhaps with Aristotle and Socrates not 
here, the universe is trying to correct the balance of the 
atmosphere by morphing and modifying our personalities.

TheGreatPlato: Nonsense. I have not changed one bit!

Lil’Con: Considering your constant obliviousness I GUESS it 
shouldn’t be a surprise that you don’t see how much MORE OF A 
BUTTMUNCH you’re being today

TheGreatPlato: Confucius! 



Lil’Con: Oh dear! I better leave now before this gets worse. 
Message me when Aristotle gets on, hopefully this will stop 

TheGreatPlato: ...Okay...

*Five minutes later*

CorpusOrgan1: Anyone here?

TheGreatPlato: Aristotle! You’re late, what happened?

CorpusOrgan1: My apologies, mother got pulled over for another 
DUI today. I had to post her bail and work on her legal 

TheGreatPlato: That can’t be going well. What’s the penalty for 
three DUIs?

CorpusOrgan1: High. But I think I can work around it.



CorpusOrgan1: Excuse me?

TheGreatPlato: What the hell? I didn’t type that!


CorpusOrgan1:...Plato, what is happening?

TheGreatPlato: I don’t know! This was just happening with 
Confucius. Let me get him on.

Lil’Con: Hey, what’s going on?

TheGreatPlato: Confucius, words are appearing next to my name 
but I didn’t type them!

Lil’Con: Are you sure? Maybe your personality is being modified 
like mine was.


TheGreatPlato: No its not! Shut up!

Lil’Con: I am so confused :(.


TheGreatPlato: I am not!

CorpusOrgan1: Wait a moment, who does this caps lock remind 
you of?

TheGreatPlato: It couldn’t be. Socrates isn’t smart enough to 
hack into our accounts.

Lil’Con: He’s smarter than you jackasses!

CorpusOrgan1: Confucius?

Lil’Con: Sorry!

TheGreatPlato: Everyone stop typing!


TheGreatPlato: Get out of here Soc-

TheGreatPlato has logged off.

*One Minute Later*

TheGreatPlato has logged on.

CorpusOrgan1: Boys?

Lil’Con: Yes?

CorpusOrgan1: Plato?

TheGreatPlato: It’s me.

Lil’Con: Consistent you or caps lock you?

TheGreatPlato: Consistent me.

CorpusOrgan1: How did Socrates get into your accounts?

TheGreatPlato: I don’t know. But I’ve changed my password.

Lil’Con: So we are going with the Socrates explanation?

CorpusOrgan1: Yes, Confucius.

Lil’Con: But what if-

TheGreatPlato: Confucius, please to get off your idea. The 
universe is doing nothing; it is incapable of thought, being 
that it is inanimate. 

Lil’Con: That’s what you believe.

TheGreatPlato: That’s what I know.

CorpusOrgan1: -_- It’s Plato alright.

TheGreatPlato: Are you changing your password, Confucius?

CorpusOrgan1: Yes.

TheGreatPlato: Good. None of us have spouted out anything vulgar 
so far so I think its safe to say he’s gone.

CorpusOrgan1: Shall we proceed with the meeting then?

TheGreatPlato: ...Yes...We shall ;).

CorpusOrgan1: Why did you add a winking emoticon?


TheGreatPlato: That was, um, supposed to be a smiley face :)


CorpusOrgan1: Socrates is that you?


TheGreatPlato: NO SHUT UP

CorpusOrgan1: Dammit, Socrates, give Plato his account back!

TheGreatPlato: NEVER

TheGreatPlato has logged off.