35: The fisherman, his hat, and the cargo

Phaorette was at the table with Mr. Gullet, Rafaella Ellison and Grigor Xanxes.  Rafaella was in her usual legal attire that she presumably wore to bed, to the shower, and while snoozing on water rafts. Grigor wore a bow tie, pork pie hat and a shirt with some distracting diagonal stripes.

Phaorette: Well I suppose that’s why they call it Longing Lake. As soon as you arrive, you’re longing to leave…

Grigor: I thought it was because the fishing was so poor.

Gullet was offering various nuts around the group.

Gullet: Various nuts?

Grigor: [His nose scrunching up] Beyond being various, what type of nuts are these? I don’t believe I recognize a single one of them.

Gullet: I don’t know. What sort of nuts might one expect? Mountain nuts? Moon nuts? Nuts grown in cones in a tunnel under the sea?

Grigor: Hmm well. Fortunately I don’t like nuts.

Gullet: Well now you know about the nuts, in case your attitude towards them changes.

Grigor: It’s too early for attitude changes. [Looking at Rafaella] How is this happening to me? I have a lecture to give today and two papers to review.

Gullet continues to offer the nuts around.

Gullet: [Matter of factly, perhaps belying a sardonic tone] My oh my, two papers.

Rafaella: I also do not like nuts.

Phaorette: Nuts are not a thing I enjoy.

Grigor: One of the papers is an attempt to mathematically model human misery.

Gullet: Isn’t misery so dour! Grapefruit Juice?

Grigor: Worse than nuts. I can see how people would be miserable if they couldn’t even get any enjoyment from measuring the misery around them.

Gullet: Grapefruit juice goes well with nuts. But we don’t have any. Serious problems in the supply.

Phaorette: [Nodding] I heard that you know.

Some noises in the background, consisting of a loud stomping and a shrill jangling, appeared to signal the approach of more people.

Grigor: Is that a land-based whale with a bell around its neck?

Gullet: One option of many… the most likely of which is that our ride has arrived.

The noise was coming from the water side of the plateau.

Grigor: Well I am sure it will be spirited and brimmed full of pep-beans for this early morning/late evening jaunt involving whatever it involves.

Rafaella: Whatever it involves.

Phaorette: I am expecting some type of cabaret.

At this point Tedd Fudd’s head appears at the rim of the plateau, wearing a rather audacious fisherman’s hat. The hat, which had miniature fishing poles dangling from it,  seemed starkly out of character for Fudd.

Phaorette: Is that that fisher-fellow? I guess someone mentioned fishing?

Gullet: A fisherman lures many things from the lake. It’s not just all fish.

As Ted Fudd approaches, stomping greedily, Selia also comes into view stumbling beside him.

Gullet: It’s Ted Fudd, the fisherman, his hat, and the cargo.

Fudd grimaced.

Gullet: Take a seat Mr. Fudd.

Fudd: I’ll tell you straight old man. I don’t sit next to people that are likely to drool on me.

Gullet nodded.

Fudd: We need to push off.

He seemed exhausted after speaking so much, however he found the energy to turn and start trudging off.

Gullet: Selia, my dear, you feel okay back at Longing Lake?

Selia: [Nodding with some bewilderment] Um, okay, yes. Okay.

Gullet: Let’s hop on a boat then!

Rising, Fudd urged the group to start walking in a certain direction. Gullet was finger-pounding his machinery at this point as if to mark a significant event.

Grigor: [Glancing askance at Rafaella] Hurrah, let’s all hop on a boat, for some reason.

Coming to the edge the group saw a modestly impressive boat. It was white, with a pink racing stripe, and big enough to fit 20 people or so. It appeared to be fitted out for a fishing expedition. The name on the side read ‘Lovelocked’.

Fudd urged them down the stairs to a small on-ramp.

As they walked down to the ramp a swarm of moths swooped upon them.

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34: The presumably depraved monster-gentleman

As Phaorette came to the table, Mons Gullet, the presumably depraved monster-gentleman, also approached from another angle. Cadbury Fife stood as the two approached, then, as they reached the table, he stepped backwards in a reverse-bow motion.

Gullet: [Taking Cadbury's spot] Grapefruit Juice, Madam?

Phaorette: Orange?

Gullet: We only have Grapefruit. And, we are, well, out of that. [Looking at Cadbury who was carrying a glass of GJ]

Phaorette: It’s okay, I really don’t like grapefruit.

At this point Cadbury was wandering off towards the rear edge of the structure.

Gullet: That is probably good. Grapefruit supplies are extremely low. Way of the world, I fear. Also, there is a certain mortality rate among those that aren’t accustomed to this brand.

Phaorette: [Looking around] Where is the music?

Reaching the end of the tableaux, Cadbury descended out of sight.

Gullet: I do not rightly know. This was something The Detective recorded earlier. You been to Longing Lake before?

Phaorette continued peering quizzically into the air around where Cadbury had disappeared.

Phaorette: No. I don’t like bodies of water larger than, or colder than, a hot tub. [Indicating towards where Cadbury had disappeared] That is a most peculiar man.

Gullet: Did Mark von Cola never take you down here?

Phaorette: [Turning her attention back] Hmmm, no. He didn’t take me anywhere. I was a mistress, do you know what that is? Maybe he came here sometimes though. Might explain all the poles.

Gullet: Are you anxious, Madam? Do you miss Mark?

Phaorette: Mark was… this is saying something coming from me… remote and detached. Not really someone you missed. Representing the people apparently sucks the person out of you.

Gullet: Did he talk to you about Selia?

Phaorette: I don’t think so. He didn’t talk much and I listened even less. Although… [she trailed off]

Gullet: Although?

Phaorette: Well, he did on occasion like to dress up like a bit of a woman… now that I think about it, she looked a bit like this Selia. Never thought about it at the time.

Gullet: That was normal for him or you?

Phaorette: No idea. I don’t curry favor with normality. Not something I have time for. Funny thing is though I thought he did it when he was feeling demented, bent or strung out or something… but maybe it was that the woman he was role-playing was demented?

Gullet: He was role-playing as Selia? You know that Selia only became disturbed due to Mark disappearing?

Phaorette: [Ponders a moment] Maybe so. Who knows?

Gullet: [Ponders a moment, briefly drumming his fingers] I need to understand the details of your sex life.

Phaorette: [Looking askance at the aged beast] Why would I tell you any such thing?

Gullet: Just the intimate details. These are the things that I need to know.

Phaorette: Well, strangely, I’d be more prone to telling you if you didn’t need to know. The need to know is really what’s scaring me. Even if I believed your story.

Gullet is taking notes on a few electronic devices with one hand and moving table items around with the other. His eyes though remain fixed on Phaorette.

Gullet: Please don’t think this type of business stimulates me whatsoever. Nothing could be further from the truth in fact. Yet still…

Some foam appeared at his lips, so he quickly licked it away.

Phaorette: What a lovely man you are. The secrets of my sex life are available in several public media outlets. Telling you here and now just seems… redundant, if not repulsive.

Gullet: I am very sorry, ma’am. I assure you… well no, I can’t do that, at this point, but erm… in any case I do need this information.

Phaorette: Why is this whole thing so entirely apocalyptic? What are hoping to get out of these questions? Are you planning on solving this mystery at all?

Gullet: The mystery was solved long ago according to our call sheet. We’re really just mopping up the high level details…. Motivation; Victim; Detective.

Phaorette: Where does my sex life fit in to that?

Gullet: The answers to some questions, question the basis for their answers. [Pauses] If you swim with the tide, you end up over-stroking yourself, see.

At this point a bug flew into Phaorette’s face, and she flailed a little in swatting it away.

Phaorette: No, no, not entirely. What are you doing with your fingers?

Gullet’s fingers were in constant motion, on multiple devices, some of which seemed familiar, others not so. It was astonishing how nimble they were, and most people were prone to assume he was just manipulating them at random to give the impression of activity.

Gullet: Data capture. Communications. PR. Finger exercises.

She shot him the look of a burnt scone.

Gullet: Do you support the Politician’s Strike?

Phaorette: Don’t understand it, really at all. What it is about?

Gullet: Mark never discussed this?

Phaorette: I don’t know. Maybe. I would black out for stretches. Yes.

Gullet: While in a bed?

Phaorette: Yes I suppose so.

Gullet: In what type of pose?

Phaorette: What type of pose? What?

Gullet: Pose. [He proceeded to render various type of poses. Some came with pursed lips, which was problematic because his lips didn't entirely function properly.]

Phaorette: I don’t remember poses. Though I would probably remember those, as they seem unique.

Gullet: What color were his eyes?

Phaorette: The color of fear. All men’s eyes are filled with fear, poor creatures.

Gullet: [Taking several long blinks] Why would that be? What fills the eyes with fear?

Phaorette: No idea. Men’s concerns are no concern of mine. The stiffness of collars, the limpness of penises, it’s all the same to me.

Gullet: Indeed, yes.

Phaorette: It is all precisely the same. Seriously, if they want to keep their crushing unfulfilled desires buried deep inside, then great. Positively fantastic in fact. I don’t want that repressed smut getting in the way of what I want.

Gullet: What is it that you want?

Phaorette: Sex and cuteness.

Gullet: Hmmmm.

Phaorette: It’s all any woman wants. Brutal sex and unbearable cuteness. They are the cure for a world too full of nothing… and also the antidotes for each other.

Gullet: Do you support the Politician’s Strike?

Phaorette: You never explained it to me. [A moth strikes her eye.] Why are these things not attacking you!?

Gullet: The moths are moving west, purging guilt from the land.

Gullet looked directly up and sighted the moon. He made an unsavory sucking noise with his lips.

Gullet: So it’s time to move this along.

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33: A hard demonic presence in between layers of silken skin and cloth

The pier at Longing Lake was an extended, narrow construction of rickety wood leading out to a wide, round, raised plateau.

Phaorette Muhajerin approached the pier with some trepidation. Walking wasn’t especially her thing, and this pier looked like it demanded a lot of walking. She was also quite put off, to say the least, to have been sent to the common end of Longing Lake, a large body of water with a wide variety of lifestyle and experiential choices.

The wooden boards were not exactly a pleasure to walk on. It was almost as though this whole exercise was designed to deliberately make her look stupid. Six inch heels required floorboards with less that six inch gaps between them. Also, some lake creatures kept flying into her face.

Phaorette: I need some help here. This is not working.

The moon was up. A hovering ball, hanging in the sky with a clear smirk on its countenance, shedding unnecessary light on an unfortunate situation.

The walk was going on forever, with Phaorette taking breaks every minute or so. Leaning on a small rail she would adjust her  tight two-piece outfit, the shiny blue velvet sparkling with moonbeams bounced from the water.

Phaorette: ‘Come alone’, my painted nails. [Looking at her nails which were painted a bold red] This better be worth it.

As she approached the plateau she began to pick up some sound, at first a steady beat of a kettle drum, then some tuba and cello, gradually growing into the completeness of a full orchestra. It was not clear what they were performing, but it definitely seemed as though they were doing so at the end of the pier.

As she grew nearer the plateau she noted that it was large and raised. Suddenly she felt that just maybe this insane scheme may have been worthwhile. Coming to Longing Lake at 3AM may not, in and of itself, have been that unusual, but having to do this walk of the absurd along a maddening bridge created out of matchsticks was truly beyond her pale. However, Phaorette Muharajerin had always been someone that sought the thing that was just beyond the pale.

Phaorette: Hmmmm.

Approaching the plateau now her hand slid down her thigh and into a pocket. Inside she fondled her piece. It felt nice, a hard demonic presence in between layers of silken skin and cloth. She smiled devilishly, wondering if this morning might be the demon’s time.

The music grew louder, and more layered. She could hear flutes now, oboes, perhaps a harp. It was impressive, a work of some majesty. Yet she could not place it.

Now she could see that around the plateau were a series of docks, some with boats attached. Unlike the music, the boats were modest and bobbling under the command of the lake.

Phaorette: Okay then, let’s see…

Coming to the foot of the plateau, she was getting stimulating mentally, which was another way of saying sexually. The music appeared to be building to a climax, rising in both tone and volume and unleashing perhaps the world’s largest chorus of harps.

The plateau she noted was much larger that it had seemed from a distance. She was climbing it as rapidly as maintaining extreme composure allowed, however the steps were seemingly taller than her legs. Also, around that point a small horde of flying creatures attacked her.

Phaorette: [Panting somewhat] I can do without the facebugs.

Finally, with one final heave, she rose upon the upper rim of the top step and, with the music rising to a rather astonishing crescendo, she stood hunched over, bone-still in stupefied amazement.

The orchestra was quieted as the battle of 100 harps struck a sudden and perilous chord that hung in the air like a parachute outside an airplane cargo door.

The plateau was empty, except for a table.

At the table sat Cadbury Fife.

Cadbury: Good morning.

Cadbury stood and motioned at the table.

Cadbury: Welcome to breakfast.

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32: Ego bubbles, designed to give you boners of the head

Cadbury sits on the private balcony of Cadbury’s Detective Agency, alone. A beautiful, yet somehow disturbing sight.

Cadbury: People are toxic to the human condition.

He raised a glass of GJ and swooshed it.

Cadbury: This is an idea that is only just occurring to me and it is brilliant. [Nodding] It is the Decision Mutation Theory. The Decision Mutation Theory says that after 9 correct decisions, the 10th will be a Mutant. Because the Human is wired to err, to break patterns… to fix what may or may not be broke.

Cadbury stood up suddenly and released his arms from their shoulders in a broad sweeping motion. He wore a long-tailed, red Detective’s Robe, open and flowing with the wind.

He strode briefly to a wall cupboard and opened it. His hands made the motion of cracking his knuckles, without cracking his knuckles. In the night an almost outrageous stillness swept in.

Cadbury reached into the cupboard and pulled out a fishing pole.

Cadbury: Let’s do this.

With the pole he walked to the edge of his balcony while removing from his pocket a small hook. He proceeded to bait a hook that was already on the fishing rod with the hook from his pocket.

Cadbury: When you’re fishing for fishermen, you need a hook for bait.

Hook baited, he expertly threw the rod over his shoulder, then robustly swung it forward.

The line swam with a zing into space. Unspooling seemingly forever, the starlight glittered off the hooks as it cut a long arc across the night.

As the hooks eventually drifted below his line of sight, Cadbury settled back into his deck chair, which was perhaps an elaborate construction of high-end discarded buckets.

He picked up his GJ with one hand, while with the other gentling handling the reel. The reel made a clean metallic sound that reverberated insultingly.

Cadbury: People, I used to think I could solve all your problems.

He took a small sip of GJ and grimaced.

Cadbury: Then I realized that your biggest problem was that most of your problems are made up. [Now firmly molesting the reel.] In fact they’re not really problems at all, they’re bubble. Ego bubbles, designed to give you boners of the head. [Pulling the line] At some point I came to the epiphany that by my very endeavors, I was masturbating all of humanity. And I felt abused.

The line jerked heavily. Cadbury leaned back, arching his back and taking the load.

Cadbury: Ah, yes. Here you come. [Cadbury undulated his body in a slow rolling wave, while pulling on the rod and reeling the line] Let me take you. [Lean] Let me fish you into my soul.

As he continued to roll rigorously but gracefully with the line, Cadbury raised the last of his GJ to his lips and downed it. He then threw the glass across the balcony grinning as it smashed.

Cadbury: [Continuing to wind the line] Oh yes… this case is coming to a start.

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31: Sorry for moving quickly, people, but there’s no time for this

Jeb Smithikins: This whiskey is too wet!

Cadbury: Jeb makes a good point, but he’s pointing at it the wrong way.

Cadbury was in a position that was precisely halfway between standing and sitting. It may have seemed strange except it was so effortless. He looked around the table, then at Gullet.

Cadbury: It is getting very wet in general. Gullet, please bring my raincoat.

Gullet: We did not prepare for indoor rain, Detective.

Cadbury: Fallibility is such an ugly characteristic, Gullet. [Glaring at him] I’ll have your coat then.

Gullet removed his coat and brought it to Cadbury, who threw it behind him as Gullet walked back to his seat.

Cadbury:  Jeb, your whiskey is not wet. You are dry. You are dry despite pouring fluids into yourself, bathing in them, diving into a bottomless pool of them every day, and sinking to the bottom curled into a ball… you still remain dry, don’t you Jeb?

Jeb just sat staring at his three-quarter-full glass, his head slightly tilted with confusion. It was not clear he has heard anything Cadbury had said.

Cadbury: You are like a log baking in the sun, covered in sawdust, covered in paper, covered in tinder. And your team of well-heeled attorneys are like matches, each ready to strike and ignite this campfire of your self.

Jeb had started slumping, which wasn’t a natural seating position on a bucket.

Cadbury: We all want to see you burn Jeb, and you know it. You keep screaming “I’m dry” and throwing liquids on yourself… but in a nifty twist of something approaching irony, turns out the liquids are flammable.

Jeb: Who’s the talking idiot?

Cadbury: You’re going to blow Jeb. It’s going to make a mess. Gullet, get me a raincoat for protection.

Gullet began moving in the direction of his previously discarded coat.

Cadbury: Gullet, before that, please take a course on Introductory Advanced Rhetoric.  Actually a better way to learn is to give courses, so please compose a course, and slot me in as a student. Be ready because I yell a lot of questions. Also a course on Understanding Clues would be good. That topic has been bothering me lately.

Cadbury: Okay, back to Jeb Smithikins…

Jeb Smithikins had keeled off his bucket and was slumped on the floor with some foam bubbling at his cracked, parched lips. Jezzebel stuffed a napkin into his shirt.

Cadbury: I see Jeb is preoccupied with some dribbling. Let’s talk about Eastman Piper. Sorry for moving quickly, people, but there’s no time for this, truly, and I worry that there may not be space either.

Eastman reach for his napkin, unused as the food had been inedible, and began putting it in place.

Cadbury: Eastman Piper, I posit that the deep sea invertebrate under your skirt, as it were, is nothing but a perverted concern for the plight of the unfortunate.

Eastman: Mr. Detective Sir, you are nothing if not the opposite of something…. correct.

Cadbury: Correctness is far from my personal concern. I assure you if you understood my concerns you would appreciate this. Meanwhile, tell us about your donations to the Hope for the Hopeless foundation?

Eastman: I-

Cadbury: Spare me the fanciful excuses. [Taking a moment to glance around the table while seemingly moving on from Piper] Is everyone enjoying the fishing expedition? Amazing how many soulful boots you dredge up from the depths, when you use psychoterrorist worms as your bait.

Cadbury: But tomorrow we’ll be looking to catch some fish!

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Just Settle For Nothing

Something is just nothing in transition,
So just settle for nothing,
For God’s sake man,
Just settle,
Nothing is quite as good as anything,
What’s your dysfunction seeking something?
It’s really a distasteful waste of time,
Such a sordid, sorry quest for a completely hollow outcome,
The filling of space with things that have form,
Shape, motion, spin, position, passion,
Why bother with passion?

Why bother with bothering, what does it matter?
Matter is just vacuum trapped in a moment of doubt,
Just settle for nothing!
For Lucifer’s sake boy,
Nothing is every bit as worthwhile as anything,
Pretty much similar to something,
All this seeking is uncouth to say the least,
The ceaseless quest to fill a void with stuff,
Only to have it collapse into itself and disappear.

Just Settle For Nothing!!


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30: The problem with Modern, Historic, and Ancient Detectives

Cadbury: In any case, let me now give a grand speech on The Case Of The Missing Self.

A mild rustling around the table indicated a modest increase in the general level of attention being paid.

Cadbury: The problem with Modern, Historic, and Ancient Detectives is that they try to reverse engineer the Crime Process by working backwards from the Scene, through the Victim, to get to the Culprit. Well, that’s exactly what the Culprit would have you do! So much easier for them to lay false paths while you are moving in the opposite direction.

Jeb Smithikins was pleased to receive a new whiskey.

Cadbury: Cadbury’s Detective Agency instead starts with the Culprit and moves forward through the Crime in the same direction as it was committed. This makes 99% sense, which is an extremely high degree of sense. If you’ve heard that Cadbury solves your case backwards, nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, Cadbury is only Detective that solves your case forwards, in exactly the same direction it was created.

Some seat rocking on this point may have, from a distance, been  interpreted as nodding.

Cadbury: So it is that whereupon we get the case, we say that it Is Solved, and then we move onto details such as who the Victim is, what the Subject is, and how to handle the PR.

The PR division of Cadbury’s Detective Agency, under the umbrella of its marketing department, was an undisputed leader in the detective industry.

Cadbury: In this case, The Case of The Missing Self, the Victim is the young lady that sits, in a distressing state, before you. Selia. And the Victim is her former boyfriend, Mark von Cola, the Politician. Occasionally those two get mixed up and I don’t want to be clear about whether they have been in this case or not.

Jeb Smithikins was pleased to receive a new whiskey.

Cadbury: However, what is certain is that Mark von Cola has walked into something and has not walked out. And that is not in keeping with the long history of a man that typically walks out of things that he walks into.

Cadbury smiled knowingly at the audience. They may have been less attentive had their food been edible.

Cadbury: Well, the latest news is that I have deduced what that last thing he walked into was. I am not talking about his relationship with Selia. I think we all know the real story with that. I am talking about fishing.

Jeb Smithikins was pleased to receive a new whiskey.

Cadbury: No, I am not talking about some abstract concept of extracting our embedded desires from our soul, I am talking about [He stood up and opened his arms, in an invitational fashion] FISHING.

Most of the table looked perturbed. Ted Fudd looked distressed.

Cadbury: [Looking around] Who here does not enjoy a rambunctious fishing expedition? [At Selia] Selia, you like to fish, no?

Selia: [Reeling slightly before shaking her head] Even less than I like this. Which is saying something since I’ve never done it.

Cadbury: That’s the spirit! We’re all going fishing!


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I Am In Command Of This Day

It is 7AM,
The alarm goes off like a shot,
And I explode out of bed,
Across the room,
And turn the noise off with a button.

I am in command of this day.

My alarm has no snooze function,
That I know of,
You snooze and, subsequently, you lose,
Instead I choose to arise,
And take command of this day.

It is 7AM, Sunday,
The alarm goes off like a shot,
And I explode out of bed,
Across the room,
And turn the noise off with a button,
For there is no day I do not command.

Complain all you want,
Sleeping people, ringing alarms,
I don’t care,
I have taken control,
And nothing will stop me,
Nothing will slow me down,
It doesn’t matter what you say,
I am in command of this day.

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it’s not necessarily going to get better

hey, i see you’re down,
and that’s a downer, in and of itself,
in fact it’s making me sad,
and i wish it would stop,
but i’m not terribly sure that it will,
i feel so horrible and really i think that,
it’s not necessarily going to get better.

now i know that experience suggests,
that things in general improve,
but sometimes experience,
is the very beast carrying the weight that drops on you,
and melts your hopes into the concrete,
of a world that is coming to a rather dull conclusion,
so i assume sometimes experience must be thinking of something else,
when it suggests that things can only get better.

seems to me, that things have more options than that,
but, anyway, that’s not what’s important,
because i hear you don’t feel good,
and the thought of it is truly crushing me,
in fact i’m not sure my spirit can support the weight,
of this despondent news,
it’s really cramping my soul’s style, you must know,
and i do wish it would all go away,
but, i cannot be sure of anything, other than,
it’s not necessarily going to get better.

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The Search For Ghosts In The Heavy Ant Collider

I awoke laughing, as  I usually do,

but this time because a most peculiar thought

had occurred to me

as I emerged from a dream about ghosts,

the regular kind,

this idea strutted into my brain like the walking dead back from a night on the town,

and the idea was that we haven’t found any ghosts

scientifically speaking, they are like the Higg’s Boson,

a lot of buzz, but you can’t catch one at a zoo,

and maybe this is because we keep looking for a ghost

where we think we detect the signs of a ghost,

but maybe that’s not how ghosts work,

so maybe we need to set up an experiment,

realizing that if there are ghosts of people,

there should be ghosts of ants,

so what we need is a Particle Collider

for ants,

and we kill millions and millions of ants

by smashing them into each other at high velocity,

and we watch for ant ghosts,

as the byproduct of ant death,

in a controlled scientific way,


i built the collider

and i call it the The Heavy Ant Collider,

and just to be clear: the collider is heavy, the ants are normal


all i need now is a lot of ants,

i think i need 108 trillion ants.

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