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Body Talk

Posted on June 27, 2014 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)



 Robert D. Richards


There was nothing special about it, not in the beginning, at least: a simple red heart, like the kind on a Valentine, within which were the words JOE LOVES KAREN. It was the sort of testimonial tattoo a man got to please his woman—or in Joe’s case, to appease, because when he left for the long haul to Denver, Karen was angry with him. 

She had been rooting around in his rig, and she started grumbling about his dirty clothes-strewn mattress in the sleeper compartment. The grumbling had soon stopped and the wailing and bastard-calling began after she hooked her hands into what she at first took to be a pair of her husband’s skivvies. 

Jesus, Joe!” she said. “You’re such a slob.” She was about to toss them back down when two thoughts struck her simultaneously.

  First, she realized that Joe, to whom she’d been marred for better than five years, always wore boxer shorts. It was a preference he claimed he’d acquired back in his “Navy days,” as he liked to refer to that particularly brief and utterly unromantic period in his life (shortly after his enlistment, a bum knee made sure that a sailor he would never be). Second, she knew that even if by some vagary he’d decided to switch to ball-huggers, Joe wasn’t the type to go around sporting sheer silk and lace. He wasn’t the most masculine man in the world, or anything—but he was a tad homophobic.

  Joe humbly accepted his ass-chewing, but while he supposed Karen was in her rights to be miffed, he also felt there were two sides to every issue. This was his: He made his living—their living—on the road, and the road got lonely. Besides, none of those women meant anything to him. They were just truck-stop hookers . . . although they did let him do things Karen didn’t. Anymore, she wouldn’t even go down on him without making a fuss. And going in through her out door? Forget it.

  Leaving out the part about the hookers, he apprised Karen of his lonesome livelihood.

“You’re the only woman I love, can’t you see that?” he said, then added ruefully: “But sometimes I need more than you’re willing to give.”

  Like a lynx she lashed out at him, whacking him upside the head with an open hand. “Selfish shithead!” she spat. “Sometimes I need more too—like a real cock, for instance. That little pee-pee of yours stopped growing when you were in kindergarten. I feel like a pedophile every time you put it in me.”

  Joe’s face felt hot. For one long, tumultuous moment he was seized by a strong desire to clout her in the mouth, but instead he just climbed aboard his Freightliner.

  Taking to the road, Joe was thankful for the load awaiting him. Karen, he knew from experience, was best left alone when in one of her moods.

* * *

  The run from Pittsburgh to Denver was one he tended to look forward to. The landscape went from hills to plains, then erupted into mountains. Joe liked variety (which was another reason he had a hard time being faithful to one woman). But it was a long ride, and as he approached the shipping yard, an uneasy feeling began to steal over him. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to be away from Karen for too long, the way she’d been talking and all.

Joe shifted gears instinctively and farted, reflecting grimly on how spiteful his wife could sometimes be.

  He recalled the time he had paid an unsolicited visit to Karen’s fudge factory. It was a few months after they’d married, and he was bopping her from behind, as she sometimes let him do, when he nonchalantly withdrew and nudged up against her anus. Wiggling himself in little circles, using his juice to make her more receptive, he whispered in her ear, “Ready for this, baby?”  In Joe’s mind it wasn’t actually a question. 

“Don’t even think about it,” she told him. But he paid her no mind. He’d already slid his head in when she started to clamber away. He grabbed her by the shoulder with one arm and wrapped the other around her waist—and thrust and tugged at the same time. Karen yelped.

  “Take it, baby, take it!” he urged her, excited beyond his dreams. Seconds later he came. Winded, he lay down beside her on his stomach.

  “Did I hurt you?” he asked.

  ”Don’t flatter yourself.” Then, without preamble, she buried her thumb in his ass and commenced plunging it in and out with frantic fervor. He uttered a shocked screech, and as he felt his erection returning, his sense of manliness momentarily forsook him.

  Spiteful, he thought now as he downshifted. A mile farther down the road his tractor hissed to a stop and he hopped out. Across the lot a familiar Peterbilt caught his eye. And as it did, an idea struck him.

* * *

  He found Elmo in the restroom. Taking the urinal next to him, Joe said, “I thought that was your Peter.” Belatedly he registered his blunder. He felt his face reddening. Quickly: “Your rig—I knew I recognized it.”

  Elmo greeted him boisterously, a beer-drinking buddy from way back, and insisted that the two of them get together sometime soon and toss back a few. Joe said he looked forward to it, then asked where the other was headed.

 “Down Columbus way,” Elmo said. “You?”

  “Denver.”  Elmo, who hadn’t been in the union as long as Joe, didn’t land many long hauls. Joe was well aware of this.

  “Big money run. Who you been blowin’?” Elmo said amiably.

  Joe went to the sink, pretending not to have heard this last bit of banter. He washed his hands, his lips pressed into a single hard line. Finally he said, “I was just thinking, how would you feel about a little switcheroo?”

  When Joe explained what he had in mind, Elmo eagerly agreed.

  A short time later the two truckers shook hands, their loads hitched and ready for the road. Joe, staring wonderingly at Elmo’s illustrated arm, said, "You know, I’ve been thinking of getting one of those."

  Elmo gave him directions to a parlor just outside of Columbus.

 * * *

  Searching for a station to listen to, Joe settled at last on a talk show. Realizing it was that freak from New York City, the one who sometimes appeared on TV dressed up as a woman, Joe grimaced and popped in Johnny Cash.

  He thought about the tattoo, and decided what he wanted. Maybe if he wore his heart on his sleeve, as the saying went, then Karen would see how much he loved her. After all, marriage was just words on a piece of paper, but even Karen could appreciate what a personal, permanent commitment a tattoo was.

  Joe whistled along as The Man in Black lamented about Folsom Prison. After a while he began to feel a little randy, so he swapped Johnny for Gene Tracy.

* * *

That night, Joe rolled into his driveway two full days ahead of schedule. He got out. Gravel crunched under his Dingoes. The wind tingled the patch of tender tattooed flesh on his right forearm.

  Letting himself in, his first thought was that Karen was being murdered. Her screams, reverberating down the hallway, sent hectic cold fingers up his spine. Hurriedly he got his turkey gun from the rack in the living room. He shoved three shells into the magazine, pumped one into the chamber. His heart trying to pound through his chest, he headed toward the bedroom.

  The screams died to silence. Joe backed against the wall and cocked his head, listening. He sidled closer to the bedroom door. Then, the way the cops did on TV, he pivoted on one foot and kicked the door with the other.

  The jamb splintered instantly and the door flew open, rebounding off the rubber-topped spring affixed to the baseboard. It made a goofy boing! sound, but all Joe heard was the tidal rush of his own blood in his ears. He flipped on the lights.

  Immediately he understood that the man in bed with his wife wasn’t there to kill her—the greedy way she gripped his oversized penis told Joe that much.

  The man reacted to Joe and his shotgun much as an animal reacts to a pair of onrushing headlights: He was too terrified to move. The initial look of surprise on Karen’s face became a sardonic grin. “Got me some real cock,” she said triumphantly. She shook it at him in a waving gesture. She believed she knew her husband well; believed he didn’t have the heart to shoot anyone. Hoping to get under his skin a little, she said, “Come on over, Joe; there’s cock enough here for two.”

  Joe’s eyes blurred with tears and fury. He considered killing both of them, then told the man to leave. The latter opened his mouth to say something, then closed it again. He snatched up his clothes and in ten seconds was out the front door, streaking down the street.

  “Look what I did for you.” Joe held out his right arm for Karen to see. She snorted laughter. He leveled the 12-gauge at her, and squeezed the trigger.

 * * *

  Just before noon the next day Joe bolted upright in bed. Globules of sweat clung to his brow. He’d had a terrible dream in which Karen had been chasing him with a tattoo gun the size of a jackhammer. He was naked in the dream, and she kept telling him to Take it, baby, take it, the giant needle chugging in and out with a sound like the Singer sewing machine he’d bought her for Christmas one year.

  The turpentine odor of Pine-Sol smote his nostrils. He had spent the entire night scrubbing the bedroom: every piece of furniture, every inch of space. He’d stripped the bedclothes and stuffed them into Glad lawn-and-leaf bags, as well as the plastic cover with which Karen had protected the floral-pattern mattress ticking. (Once, after Joe had complained about the irritating way the plastic had of rucking up under the sheet, Karen had replied, Women sometimes leak. Well, he supposed she’d been right about that.) As for Karen herself, he’d wrapped her in a tarpaulin and stuck her out back in the tool shed. 

He had it all figured out. All traces of blood and gunpowder were gone. The day after tomorrow, when he went back out on the road, he would take Karen’s body and the soiled bedclothes with him, dump them someplace between here and Hackensack. He would let at least twelve hours pass after he’d returned, then report her as missing.

  Joe cast a contemptuous glance at his tattoo as he lay back down. What he didn’t perceive was that it had changed: not the heart itself but the words inside it. They were gone.

  A minute after his head hit the pillow, Joe slipped back into sleep. Eventually, his legs began to peddle and his breathing grew erratic, as though something were chasing him.

 * * *

  Two hours later Joe stood in front of the bathroom mirror. His mouth hung open in an amazed O; out of it came a faint moan of fear.

  The words JOE KILLED KAREN were tattooed on his torso (they were perfectly readable, which meant that they were written inversely on his skin). His brain struggled to make some kind of sense out of the image his eyes were sending—any kind of sense other than the inevitable conclusion, that he was losing his mind. Yet a small part of him found the prospect of madness oddly comforting. It at least meant that what he was seeing was only a hallucination.

  His eyes surveyed the heart on his arm. The words were still gone. He’d first noticed they were missing as he was reaching toward the toaster. An Eggo waffle pinched between forefinger and thumb, he thought: Now, that’s damned peculiar. By the time he finished eating, though, he’d convinced himself that the ink simply hadn’t held the way it was supposed to, and regarded it as a good omen.

Now, Joe scratched a fingernail over one of the letters, watching with frightened fascination as some of the skin flaked off but nothing else. He clamped his eyes closed, gulped air into his lungs, and slowly let it out.

  When he opened his eyes, the words had disappeared, and JOE LOVES KAREN once again embroidered his arm.

* * *

  At an interstate truck stop outside of Harrisburg, Joe was arrested—all, he would think later, because he got horny . . . and because he was too touchy about the size of his pecker.

  He was seated at a counter stool, demolishing a bowl of chili con carne, when a sultry little beaver with glued-on jeans and a tube top plopped down beside him.

  Joe felt an anticipatory stirring in his crotch. He decided to dispense with the preliminaries. “The white Freightliner parked near the scales.” He picked up his check and left. The hooker let five attention-averting minutes pass before going to meet him.

  When she asked why they couldn’t take care of business in the sleeper instead of in the cab, Joe couldn’t very well say, Because my dead wife is back there drawing flies. He just pointed at his lap, a large lewd smile splitting his face.

  She began unzipping him, and suddenly his eyes took notice of his tattoo. Once again the words were missing from the heart.

  Anxiety raced through him; his mouth went dry. Like a sudden, surprising slap in the face, the hooker’s words jolted him from his thoughts: “Oh, that’s so cute. Little pee-pee!”  She chortled for a moment, then took him in her mouth.

Joe seethed for several minutes, wholly unmindful of the blow job he was receiving, and then he balled his hands into fists and hammered her twice in the head (good thing for him she’d come up for air). Her face smacked against the steering wheel. One of her teeth glanced off a spoke, snapping at the gumline. She scrabbled for the door, flung it open, and ran away shrieking.

Joe looked down at his penis—still erect but from adrenaline not desire—and hysterical laughter gusted from his lungs. Tattooed around the rim of his circumcised head was: Li'l pp.

  He continued to laugh, sure that he had gone insane. But you haven’t, some part of him spoke up. The hooker—she saw it too. So he went looking for her, his pants still unzipped, his big bronze belt-buckle slapping against his thigh, and his penis poking sheepishly out of his open barn door.

  He found her back in the dining room. She was talking with Smokey Bear.

“That’s the son of a bitch!” she yelled, pointing at Joe.

He ignored the cop and said, “Li’l pp? I have to know if you saw Li’pp.”

“Yeah, she saw it, buddy,” the cop said. “We all see it.”

  Joe looked down, startled to see his exposed penis . . . and startled, too, to see that nothing was written on it. He looked at his arm, confirming what he already suspected.

  Once he was sitting manacled in the back seat of a state police cruiser, Joe knew it would only be a matter of minutes until Smokey Bear started snooping around his sleeper.

 * * *

  Joe was afraid. The other cons had been sending him some ungenerous looks. Whenever this happened, he would glance apprehensively at his arm to see if his tattoo was still intact. If the words were missing, beads of sweat would pop out on his forehead and his testicles would climb up into his groin. In memory he would hear the Assistant DA addressing the jury: “This man has guilty written all over his face.” Joe's attorney had promptly objected, a young public defender who, while competent, was in way over his head. The judge looked at Joe, then back at the public defender. “Objection overruled. He’s merely stating a fact.”

 * * * 

Joe stepped into the crowded shower room. Taking off his towel, he observed with trepidation that the heart on his arm was once again empty of words. He was totally unaware that TUNNEL OF LOVE was inscribed across his buttocks. 




Posted on October 11, 2013 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

A few years before the French and Indian War, a surveyor for the Ohio Land Company met with Chief Tusca of a western Delaware subtribe. The surveyor bestowed upon the chief furs, trinkets and gin in exchange for a tour of the valley. His belly full of this bittersweet beverage that tasted like pine berries, the chief obliged and after some less-than-sure-footed hiking, personally led the surveyor to a steep precipice overlooking the river.


As the surveyor fixed his gaze through his spyglass, the besotted chief slipped and slid on his buttocks several feet down the sheer stony slope they had climbed, his loincloth rucking up behind him.


Oblivious to his guide’s pratfall, the surveyor inquired about the landscape still in his focus. “What call you this?”


The language of the surveyor still new to him, the chief mistook the other’s question to be about his wellbeing. He rose to his feet, rubbed his abraded backside, and replied, “Tusca . . . raw ass.”


Nokia Plans to Produce Dumbwatch in Response to Samsung's Galaxy Gear

Posted on October 7, 2013 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Nokia has announced that it is producing a not-so-smart watch called the Nokia Nitwit. The device will have an analog-style circular dial and hour and minute hands that are nonfunctional. The hands can be adjusted with the crown of the watch but are unable to keep time. Each watch will come with an Android app that will send text messages or e-mails to the owner’s phone twice each day to alert them when their watch’s time is correct. While Nokia has not disclosed the device’s price tag, marketing analyst Steve Hammond expects it to be quite reasonable. According to Hammond, the Nitwit is all about strategy.


“It really isn’t that dumb. It’s a clever way of pointing out to consumers that maybe the Galaxy Gear smartwatch isn’t so smart. It, too, requires users to have a smartphone for it to be of any use.”


Billy Bob Thornton Announces Open Casting Call for New Musical

Posted on October 5, 2013 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (1)

Crossfire Sound and Pictures, the production company co-owned by Billy Bob Thornton and Dwight Yoakam, will hold an open casting call next month for various roles in the upcoming theatrical production Sling Blade: The Musical. Arnold Robinson, Thornton’s publicist, announced in a press release today that the production is slated to debut Off-Broadway next summer but that a Broadway transfer could be in the offing. Few details of the starring cast have been disclosed, although Robinson has said that the role of Karl Childers, which was played by Thornton in the 1996 Academy Award-winning film, has been filled. The casting directors are primarily on the lookout for dancers, as well as a few actors for minor roles that are still vacant. The script has been finalized and all songs have been composed, so no writers are being sought. Those interested in auditioning should bring a current, non-returnable photograph and a résumé. While a full list of the musical arrangements for the production has not been released, Thornton said on his Twitter account that everyone can look forward to performances of original songs such as “All Right, Then,” “I Call It a Kaiser Blade,” “Coffee Makes Me Nervous When I Drink It,” “Biscuits and Mustard,” and “Not Funny ‘Ha-Ha,’ Funny Queer.” Protocols, locations and dates for the casting call will be announced next week on Thornton’s official website BillyBobThornton.net.

Holistic Baby Huey Banned from Ritz-Carlton, or No Room at the Inn for Smelly Fat Dude in Diaper

Posted on October 2, 2013 at 7:10 PM Comments comments (0)

The following is a letter that was mailed to the General Manager of the Cleveland Ritz-Carlton


To Whom It May Concern:


For many decades my family has elected to avoid conventional medical treatment, opting instead to treat most ailments with time-proven, natural remedies. During the Depression my great-grandmother compiled into a journal over a hundred Old and New World cures and restoratives, most of which can be made from inexpensive, easily obtainable herbal and organic substances. Copies of that journal have since been passed down for generations in my family (and several entries have even appeared in Mother Earth News and Natural Health magazines). My grandparents in particular hold tremendous faith in my great-grandmother's remedies. You might say that they are dogmatic in their convictions.


I am writing to you because in two weeks I am to accompany my family to the Ritz-Carlton for the celebration of my grandparents' golden anniversary. However, I am presently suffering from a rather sizable cyst on my posterior. My wife made the mistake of mentioning this cyst to my mother, and now my entire family is aware of it—including my grandparents.


A family remedy for such a cyst is the prolonged application of a poultice. This poultice is composed of large amounts of Limburger cheese and linseed oil (the journal also calls for chicken guano, but nitric fertilizer serves as an adequate substitute). It must be kept hot and moist to ensure penetration of the epidermis. Because the ingredients tend to absorb moisture rapidly, steaming water must be applied at regular, and frequent, intervals. Also, the cyst must be allowed to "breathe."


Here is the problem: The most accommodating means of applying the poultice to the posterior is to wear a large diaper into which the Limburger cheese, etc., is packed. Although along with the diaper I'll be wearing a dinner jacket and tie, I'm afraid that pants are impracticable under the circumstances. They would block the flow of air and make it difficult to apply the hot water. (Truly, I wish that pants were an option; the cheese has a way of oozing from the diaper and running down my legs.)


I would like to know if your restaurant has a policy against customers wearing such a poultice. Believe me, I would rather not wear it myself, given the rancid odor of Limburger. I am a 40-year-old, 300-pound man, and needless to say, a diaper doesn't exactly make me look like an Adonis (I look more like Baby Huey). But my family would never forgive me if I did not both minister to my medical needs and honor the family tradition. My grandparents would be affronted the most; and as it is their anniversary dinner, I wouldn't want to disappoint them.


I hope you have no objections to my diaper. Please let me know.



Ernest Mountebank


The following is the General Manager's reply:

Dear Mr. Mountebank:


I recently received your letter concerning your upcoming plans to visit The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland. I was pleased to learn your family chose our hotel as the location to celebrate your grandparents' golden anniversary.


The hotel does have a policy ensuring our guests are in appropriate attire. This includes pants and we strictly enforce this policy in The Riverview Room. Should you arrive and not be in proper attire, you will unfortunately be denied access to our facility. In addition, any guest who may cause another guest to be uncomfortable, including odor, would be asked to leave our hotel.


Mr. Mountebank, I am sorry that your present condition will prevent you from dining in our hotel. I hope we can be of service to you in the near future.





Movie Review: Sharknado

Posted on July 26, 2013 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (0)

We're gonna need a bigger chopper!

Let me just say that I watched this movie to be entertained—not enthralled or hanging on the edge of my seat but just distracted and carefree for a couple of hours. I got what I wanted. Only, I didn't expect to laugh so much. I'm thankful for the laughter, though, because it kept at bay any sort of aesthetic sense that might have interfered with my viewing pleasure.


Regardless of genre, most movies are a construction of thoughtfully planned scenes, each of which presenting plot points and character motivations that, together, form a plausible narrative, allowing for the proverbial "suspension of disbelief." Such careful craftsmanship is never more important than at a film's beginning. The creators of Sharknado didn't bother with any of that.


There is an opening sequence involving a fishing boat on a stormy sea. On board a greedy captain in a raincoat and an Asian man in a three- piece suit squabble about money (presumably for some nefarious service performed by the captain). Handguns are soon brandished, bullets are fired, and chomping sharks are washed on deck by the waves (à la The Perfect Storm). People are shot or eaten, and a massive water spout filled with digitally-rendered sharks stretches into the sky. Then the opening credits begin rolling, and it's as if that scene never happened. Other than the brief preview of the "sharknado" to come at the end of the second act (yes, I'm taking some liberties by using standard film vernacular to describe this storyline), it was as if this scene was jumbled together from leftover footage of some other SyFy shark movie. Did this bother me? Nope. In fact, it wasn't until after the movie's end that I even remembered the ship's captain and the shootout on the water. By then, I was still grinning too much to care.


One grin-evoking moment occurs when Nova, the leading female character played by Cassie Scerbo, stabs a shark to death with a cue stick in a bar. While this isn't the first shark encounter for the protagonists or even the first shark-on-land encounter, it does seem to set the tone for the rest of the movie. Anthony Ferrante, the director, wants everyone to realize that this is not—and does not aspire to be—Jaws.


Though he need not worry about anyone mistaking this shark movie for Steven Spielberg's classic, Ferrante repeatedly makes references to it. I won't use terms such as "allusion" or even "homage" to describe these references. Perhaps "farcical" might be more appropriate, or maybe "comic relief," but even those terms lend themselves to a more contemplative critique than I am attempting.


I think Ferrante's purpose was to preemptively counter all would-be critics who might say things like "This is no Jaws." He could have just titled the movie Another Killer Shark Film That Is Not Jaws. But that would have been too self-effacing and certainly not as much fun.


In carrying out this strategy, Ferrante doesn't waste much time. Moments after the sharks begin plopping onto the streets and docks, Fin—a bar-owner, father and former pro-surfer played by Ian Ziering of Beverly Hills, 90210 fame—makes quick work of one by shooting a diver's air tank that is jutting out of its gullet, causing it and the shark to explode. Remind you of anything? Yep, there's even a corny one-liner: "That's what you get for trying to eat me."


Later we have a quasi-touching expository scene that reveals Nova's pre-established hatred of sharks. The character of Fin's son, Matt, played by Chuck Hittinger, notices an unusual scar on Nova's thigh. To get her to talk about it, he lifts up his shirt and reveals a scar on his abdomen and explains its not-so-dramatic origin. When he asks Nova how she got her scar, she says she had a tattoo removed. Not buying it, Matt prods further and Nova tells a story about going fishing with her grandfather and his friends when she was a little girl. She says that their boat sank and sharks began to circle and attack them. The men managed to lift her out of the water and onto something floating nearby, but a shark still managed to take a hunk out of her leg. In summation, Nova says: "Six people went into the water and one little girl came out. The sharks took the rest."

The scene in Jaws in which Robert Shaw's character Quint tells the tale of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis is arguably one of the most memorable scenes in film history. Ferrante knows this. Nova's scar story, in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way, serves to again make the director's statement: I am aware of Jaws, as is everyone in the civilized world, and this is not that movie!


Later, this same point is made again, this time even more comically and pointedly. After fabricating some propane bombs, Nova and Matt take to the skies in a helicopter to hunt the tornadoes. Matt flies perilously close to one of the funnel clouds so that Nova can toss one of the bombs into it. She sees an enormous shark coming straight at them and declares: "We're gonna need a bigger chopper."


If you want to be moderately entertained, then I don't think you will be disappointed with Sharknado. Don't expect too much going into it—and bring with you a willingness to suspend your own sense of disbelief. Most important, keep in mind that this is not Jaws. I don't think that fact will slip you mind, however. The director made sure of it. 

How They Add Up: Jimmy Hoffa, a Soviet Sleeper-Cell, Captain Kangaroo and Dancing Bear

Posted on June 20, 2013 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (0)


New information has been released regarding the Dancing Bear costume found buried in a grassy field near Detroit during a search for the remains of Jimmy Hoffa. A tag on the costume was discovered and, with the cooperation of CBS and a Captain Kangaroo historian, the costume is believed to have been last issued to Boris Laskin on July 28, 1975—just two days prior to Hoffa’s disappearance.

Fedor Popov, a former KGB agent who was granted asylum and, for reasons authorities won’t reveal, put into the Witness Protection Program, said that Laskin was part of a Soviet sleeper-cell during the height of the Cold War. His mission was to substitute for actor Cosmos Allegretti as the Dancing Bear so that, during the program's telecast, orders could be relayed to other “sleepers” in the country. Laskin used a cryptic form of sign language which, Popov said, usually made the Dancing Bear character look “neurotic, a bit wonky.” Popov went on to say that he thought the plan was ingenious but that he personally disliked the television program. “This silly bear, bunny and moose, not to mention Mr. Green Jeans. Oh, we all hated him. The Captain, he was okay. Fat, silly, yes—but he remind me of a grandfather. No, not my grandfather; he was sent to gulag. Thinking about it, I say he remind me of my grandmother. She had no mustache, if she shave once a week, but both had big pockets on clothes, though hers were on apron, not coat.”

When asked how they could arrange for Laskin to substitute for Allegretti, who played Dancing Bear almost exclusively during the program’s run from 1955 to 1984, Popov said, “Boris gave him laxative—much laxative. Nobody wants to see Pooping Bear while watching Captain Kangaroo and eating their Captain Crunch, no?”

He was guaranteed that no charges would be brought against him for any information he could provide during this investigation, as long as—according to a statement from Popov himself—he did not admit to any violations of the U.S. embargo which prohibits trading with or investing in Cuba. “I have no cigars, yes? You know what I mean? Yes, I have no bananas either.”

Theories and speculation about Hoffa’s being a communist and a Soviet sympathizer have abounded over the years, making Popov’s next statement all the more compelling. When asked if Laskin was ordered to assassinate the Teamsters’ boss, Popov emphatically said, “No. He was comrade. Bear was protecting him.”

When Popov was asked what happened to the other sleeper-cell operatives, the federal agents at the interview promptly intervened. As Popov was being escorted from the conference room, he told the reporters that the other sleeper-cell operatives obtained employment at a large discount department store chain. One reporter asked him the name of the store to which he was referring.

“I can not tell you,” Popov responded, adding: “Let me just say that it has yellow smiling faces everywhere.”

One person at the conference, who can only be identified by a badge on his lapel which said “NSA,” told the reporters: “We may not be able to get Fedor Popov to reveal the name of the store, but we will find it—no matter what it costs or how long it takes. If a Chinese connection really does exist, it will be uncovered as well. You can bank on that.”

Check back to Pop News Feed for more details as they emerge.


Search for Hoffa Reveals Baffling Bear

Posted on June 19, 2013 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)


While the FBI announced Wednesday that the search for the remains of former Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa has revealed no evidence of a body buried in a rural field northwest of Detroit, an earlier announcement that authorities were closing down the excavation site appears premature.


“I don’t think we are quite finished here, not yet,” said one investigator who declined to give his name and had no further comments.


When questioned about any new developments in the investigation, a forensic anthropologist at the site, who also requested to remain anonymous, told reporters that an article of clothing has been unearthed this afternoon and that it appears to be a full-body costume closely resembling the character Dancing Bear from the television program Captain Kangaroo.


“It’s been in this field for decades,” the anthropologist replied when asked how long the costume had been buried. “I’d say the bear has been underground since Khrushchev was still in the Kremlin.”


When asked if his usage of the word “bear,” which is a symbol for Russia as well as the former Soviet Union, had any special significance, the anthropologist waved his hand in front of his face, said, “I have said too much,” and walked away from the reporters.


Adding to the intrigue at the scene were rumors that a representative of the National Security Agency had arrived. All reporters there have since turned off their computers and cell phones.

Check back to Pop News Feed for more details as they emerge.