It had been as wonderful a night as you can have in East Greenland in Spring. I was dizzy with Dardenella, who had hopped the secret long-range gyrocopter with me for the Trans Atlantic flight to Hendon air base. That was a cold flight, so cold her nipples probably arrived several seconds before we did.
Probably why I let my guard down. Churchill himself had called- that is, called me a brainless hedgehog buggerer, and demanded that I be held accountable for single-handedly ruining the cruiser HMS Hammerblow
with a straw and a box of uranium powder that clearly should not have been left lying around labeled "confectionary sugar." How was I to know that our impromptu repairs to the radium-powered robotic torso of fake-FDR would lead us to the Hammerblow
instead of home to Heidelberg?
But right then the in-transit "Sweaty" Stacks And His Flinging Fardrops band
was making The Fatty Arbuckle Memorial Air Force Base and Greater Nuuk swing
, and when they played "Ol' Groat's Man-Frog Boogie,"
in A minor, I twirled Dardenella so hard she snapped the Town Quonset's baleen wainscotting with her Mary Janes. I eventually convinced an ingenuous Des Moines Air Corps captain that the decanter of Hennesey was actually fermented walrus vomit, a famous local beverage, and it was free booze till curfew, when a moon-faced MP armed with a harpoon cannon pulled us out of the photo booth at a peculiarly awkward moment when I was arguably flossing with her garter belt.
Snug at the hotel, or by some standards, moth eaten seal fur hut, I stuffed Dardenella in the down comforter, and then I put her to bed.
"Darling, don't ever leave me, " she cooed, like the famous besmitten water yak of Beruit.
"I'll be back to love you momentarily," I replied logically.
Since it was a strictly no-smoking hut, I slammed the flap and stepped outside into the gentle blizzard for a quick pipe of Captain Beemish's Old Tar-Yarn. In the stiff Nor' Easter, the acrid smoke rose and zipped away like an unstable electron with antisocial tendencies.
"Who on earth is reroofing at this time of night?" asked Dardenella.
"No one, Mentholyptus Drops. Go to sleep."
Through the darky dark and blowing snow and sleeting sleet, I noticed a lurking shape lumber in and out a view. Danger! I picked up an ancient whale gun and as I was cramming shot, marbles, razors, dried marmets and some 1937 cupcakes into the barrel a thud thudded on my temple like a Stanley Steamer over a pet gerbil named Larry.
This was the first time I was hit by an aria- an old wax cylinder, which is softer than vinyl, but it was filled with lead, which is heavier. Pain. Darkness. Darkness like a black box of black velvet soaked in pitch and dropped into an underground lake in an abandoned coal mine in a particularly uneducated part of West Virginia.
I woke up zipped inesacapably in an army sleeping bag in a Kayak cutting quitely through the smooth, deadly Arctic water, surprised to see Herman Goering paddling. No, it was Moon-face, the 320 lb MP, wearing an unusual combination of light blue sealskin parka and swastika armband. The Sergeant was a filthy Heinie! And just ahead a Dornier Flying Boat idled ominously in the grabby, pushy, surly, pokey cold. I naturally had a tiny specialty .45, so small it was actually wider than it was long in my wool socks, but it might has well have been on the moon, and as the bag got wetter and colder it got smaller and smaller, so that I felt like a big soggy kidnapped cold wet apple worm being delivered to the Red-breasted Robin of death.
There was one option, riskier than pleasing an excitable floozy in the Buffalo nitroglicerin factory with a 1.5 hp electric massager: I could wriggle in the kayak hole like Josephine Baker for a free box of opium and try to tip Moon-Face out into the deadly North Atlantic. I worked back and forth in my sleeping bag, rocking the boat with my elbows trapped inside the musty down -
"Hey," yelled Moon-Face. "No! Mein Gott in Schnitzel!"
The kayak tipped hard and there was a crack through thin ice and a distinct BLOOOP, like a someone dropped a Wells-Fargo safe in a vat of creme broule. The armband floated up with extra poignancy to the surface of the inky black sea, along with a small plastic duck he kept for company. It finally disappeared, fading into black with a fatalistic squeek.
BRRRAPRPRPRPRPRAP! Automatic weapons fire from the Dornier! Holes and Feathers! The rifle fire ripped through my bag at all kinds of points and the feathers floated in the sky - but nothing hit me, save a couple of rounds grazing my scalp and pouring sticky hot blood on the inside of the fluffy bag, which was still wedged tight in the hole with me flopping around like landed swordfish hopped up on Venezualan Bungo weed. I then realized that a skin kayak was not usually armored against fuzzy bunnies, let alone the newly chattering 20mm cannon, and as growing flurry of feathers hid me, the kayak was sinking faster than Jack Benny's hopes of getting lucky in Stalingrad.
The Dornier started turning into the wind, back towards me, satisfied I was doomed, and there dragging behind was the trailing antenna and my chance, if I could somehow grab it. I got an arm through a feathery cannon hole and searched the kayak - and, in tremendous luck, I found a 25, 000 foot roll of telegraph wire. Apparantly, from the brochure in the bow, Moon-Face Heinie was laying cable literally for once, to the secret German meterological station out on Disagreeable Oyster Point.
The Dornier passed, engines taxiing, it's wake alone ready to swamp what little of me was still above water. I made an sudden roll to the right and managed to grab the antenna dragging in the water with my teeth, and made a one-handed Fisherman's Bend, or was it a Washerwoman's Dalliance? to the telegraph wire, tying down the other end to the painter.
Several minutes later, I was clearly the world sea speed holder for small skin canoes as I skimmed the waves at 137 mph with the Dornier high ahead at about 7000 feet. In this way I also set several trans-Atlantic records that have generally gone unrecognized, and 16 hours later I let the line go, skimming my way neatly into Brest Harbor, as the suddenly unburdened Dornier rose up too quickly, stalled, and spun in, finally crashing into Francois' Boulangerie D'Obsene,
scattering titty cakes and penis-shaped eclairs high into the air. This created enough of a distraction for me to alight softly on the beach and begin running away, but the sleeping bag zipper was still stuck and I was eventually captured by a recuperating 15th Panzer division accountant whose legs had been amputated after a experimental hydrogen-powered calculator explosion, and were replaced with roller skates. Embarassing. Soon, I was in the hands of the SS, and at the sight of the " SS Quality Assurance Customer Service Questionairre" passed out cold, exhausted, but not before accidently stabbing myself in the leg with the pen.
It was a sound, familiar and ugly. By now, I knew it well. No one forgets the sound of being pounded in the head with a complete RCA cylinder copy of Wagner's Ring cycle, featuring Helga Clauswitz with Austro-Hungarian State Orchestra at Der Swankinmeister
Opera House in Vienna in 1917. It's just that this time, as I looked down, I was becoming dimly aware -between blows in C minor- that I was in the bomb-bay of a Heinkel 177 strapped to a 5oolb HE bomb looking over what must be lower Manhattan in the evening, because I could also smell Newark. This partly explained my dizzyness, and that there was no plane, blimp, gyrocopter or plump downy goose between me and the questionable mercies of the East River.
A humorless Luft-Kraut gave me a look that was the curiously precise opposite of pleasant. He waved a sinister greeting with a black fingerless glove, by which I mean he had no fingers, and made to pull a red lever that, though I couldn't read Hun, most certainly did not say "Candy Corn Dispenser."
"How does it feel to know that your whole life has led up to this moment, as merely another munition for Third Reich?"
Before I could reply, a tall, black haired cookie with a Louise Brooks haircut, a yard long cigarette holder made out of a leopard tibia decorated with Disney characters, black fingernails an inch long and wearing a form-fitting black jacket and black leather boots so high they were technically guilty of statutory rape in 42 states, smacked me in the neck with another yet pompous aria. She was a looker, all right, the kind of tomato that's usually the last thing you ever see.
"Some clowns pay for this sort of thing, Toots, and here the Luftwaffe's giving it away." I burbled. This would have been more bitterly witty if my broken teeth bits hadn't muffed up the delivery, making "Luftwaffe giving it away" sound more "Let's Alfalfa sitting lady," a phrase I had actually heard once in a bar in Winnipeg.
"And now I must offer you my regrets," said the humorless hatchet faced fascist fly boy.
Then Cookie kicked me in the ribs, spiked me in the throat with her heel, squirted me with a soda bottle and gave me an Indian burn. Finally she bent down to sarcastically kiss me on the head and said one of the most welcome sentences I've ever heard.
Cookie leaned over me andwhispered "Darling Brain, there's a parachute taped to the underside of the bomb. A parachute! You have a chance if..."
"Farewell, Dr. Brain!"
And now I was being sent return mail to Amerika on the biggest bomb since Gone With the Wind II: The Reconstruction Era.
I looked at the officer with his corpsy white hovering over the red handle of my doom. "Do you expect me to talk?"
"Talk?" He paused, looked a little confused, inspected a thick set of paperwork on a clipboard marked "SS" in large, weirdly cartoony letters. "Errr...Excuse me...," he said, grabbing an intercom handset for an abrupt conversation. He whipped out a pencil and went over a checklist, and looked up, crestfallen.
"I am...zis is most embarassing....we have a had something of a bureaucratic error, and it has now come to my attention zat no one has marked off 'interogated throughly' on the list. I must apologize"
I looked down at Empire State through the night clouds. "Not at all. Happens all the time."
"Ah here it is! Under ze 'Emergency Exceptions for Amerikanzer Detective Scum.'"
He tripped the lever without ceremony, and I was falling faster then Belgian Endive futures in October '29, the airstream whacking me like a Norwegian whacking whale. I could just see Cookie pointing vigorously to the left, and the big bomber veered off north into the night, while I had a date of infamy with the Big Apple.
I was able to wriggle my wrist out of the ropes - I could just reach my right jacket pocket. A knife! She'd slipped it to me like a picture of The Uterus in Hygine class. I promised myself to look Cookie up after the war.. Then I fumbled around with the knife, and dropped it, 25,000 feet over the best hot pastrami on the Lower East Side.
Fortunately, I was falling at the time, and I was able to reach out and get it back. As New York was getting noticeably closer and the warhead was screaming, I sawed myself free, reached around the bomb and found the parachute pack. A note was attached: "Dear Mack - Hope this works! - Love, Liebchen, " signed with a little heart and smiley face. Who was this dame? I struggled to get the pack on, and with about 2000 feet left managed it and pulled the ripcord, watching the bomb fall away in front of me - a new problem, as it occured to me I was about to parachute into a huge explosion.
But a gust caught it and it hit the East River. No force known to man could explode the East River, except itself, and the muck swallowed the monster like a fallen Catholic girl with a penis-shaped eclair. Then I heard the second monstrous BLOOOOP! I'd heard that week, and floated gently down to Clinton Street, smelling the pastrami of freedom.CLICK HERE FOR THE COMPLETE STORIES OF REBAR FOR TOOTSIE ROLLS