The Tibbs Reader: The House at 2814

July 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Ferguson Bunts?

Bunts stood at the counter, admiring the crazy-horse leather journal– coptic-bound with a tie-closure made of the finest island silk. The initials “G.T.” were hand-pressed into the cowhide in pure gold. A strange symbol, specially designed by Bunts himself, was in-laid into the center of the cover in ivory.

“Fine work, fine work indeed Mr. Chester. Why, this is a MOST DELIGHTFUL tablet!”

The stationer looked at the initials. “Thought your name was Bunts.”

“Indeed! Indeed it is,” Bunts replied. “But this exquisite cahier is a birthday offering for my dearest schoolmate and confidant Gertrude Tork.”

“Lady friend,” the stationer said suggestively.

Bunts lowered his voice.

“Our intimacy transcends the lecherous ideas in your head, Mr. Chester.”

Chester looked at the floor.

“Not that I have failed to muse on those things carnal,” Bunts boomed loudly. “But, as the poet said, “the act of fornication is akin to a rose growing in winter!”

“What poet?”

“A 17th-century bard of the continent. You would not be familiar with his work. Tis’ only available in the most obscure libraries.”

Bunts threw several large bills on the counter while Chester wrapped the tablet in brown paper. Bunts then examined a rack of fountain pens but put each back with a sort of nauseous disdain.

He drove into town and into an older neighborhood of run-down homes. At the crest of a hill at a cross-street, bordered on one side by an unkempt graveyard and on another by a mysterious flat factory of nebulous purpose, Bunts parked the shiny new Neptune.

He turned a corner onto a short street and began passing a series of large ancient homes that had been broken into apartments and empty overgrown lots. The homes became progressively smaller as he descended the hill until he arrived at a series of duplexes.

“AHA! THE VENERABLE 2814. THERE SHE IS, THE FROWZY EDIFICE OF ABOMINATION!” Bunts boomed loudly. A nearby neighbor, senselessly hoeing a patch of dirt, looked up with confusion.

He walked around the side of 2814. It was a duplex (one half of which was boarded) and featured a strange inaccessible porch completely covered with plastic latticework. The day was sweltering– all of the windows to 2814 stood open and bereft of screens like wide-open mouths. He banged at the side door loudly and removed a pure silver cigarette case from his white suit coat.

After some time a busty blonde woman, perhaps in her forties, answered the door in a tight bodice.

“MY DEAR!” Bunts boomed. “WHAT AN ABSOLUTE, UNPARALLELED DELIGHT TO SEE YOU AGAIN!”

“Would you keep it down, fer’ Chrissakes,” said the woman, who grabbed the big man’s hand and led him up a stairwell. The walls were all stained yellow with nicotine.

Bunts closely watched her curvy posterior bouncing up the steps.

“WHAT A DELIGHT!” he remarked.

The room was large but stuffy– a dented box fan failed to provide any breeze and oscillated with a loud, slow creak. Clothes and spent food containers were strewn everywhere. A television buzzed senselessly and the large bed was unmade. A wicker papasan chair was covered with tawdry paperbacks.

Bunts pushed them aside and plopped into the chair. “I SEE, MY DEAR, THAT YOU CONTINUE TO READ TRIFLING MATTERS. WHY, HAVE YOU NOT EVEN OPENED THE GREAT WORKS OF LITERATURE THAT I BROUGHT TO YOU?”

“There ain’t nothing wrong with them terrorist attack novels,” she said. Bunts admired her bosom and lit another cigarette.

“I HAVE BROUGHT YOU ANOTHER MEMENTO TO SHOW MY DEEP, ABIDING AFFECTION FOR YOU DEAR. IT’S A TABLET, ONE OF THE FINEST YOU SHALL EVER SEE.” He handed her the gift. She tossed it on the bed.

“Alright, Daddy. What’s it going to be today? Are the teeth in or out?”

“AH. WHAT A DELIGHT! YOU, MY DEAREST LOVE, ARE AN IMMORTAL OFFERING OF FEMININITY STRAIGHT FROM THE GODS! LET US THANK THEM BY REMOVING THE TEETH– THAT WRETCHED CARTILAGE!”

WHAT AN UNMITIGATED DELIGHT THIS SHALL BE!” Bunts said after a long pause.

He rose from the papasan. The woman removed her dentures and placed them on the bed stand.

SCHROPP INVESTIGATES: CHIA SEEDS

July 5, 2017 Leave a comment

By Brian Schropp

“Gotta get there before ten, Brian, if we wait any longer we won’t have a good spot.”

The heat was already unbearable at this EARLY time (9:15) in the morning making it even harder to keep up with hobbled ‘Dr.’ Nickelbee. The poor man was limping harder and looking even more disheveled than last time. His ‘wild man beard’ gave the impression of him being twenty pounds heavier which may or may not have been the case.

My parents still drop me off in front of his current residence (a seedy motel in a very bad section of the downtown area) for my therapy sessions even though I’m pretty sure he isn’t a practicing therapist anymore. I even asked him a few weeks ago after spending half a day with the man in his filthy motel room with neither of us uttering a single word. “Say Nickelbee, are you still my doctor?” He didn’t say anything back but for the first time that day he turned to look at me and that alone said it all. His eyes were absolutely cold and uncaring yet screaming out all the pain and hurt of the universe of his soul. The slight twitch of his lip which wanted to develop further into the full motion of the mouth so he could express the emotions tormenting him. In fact, the next few times, we sat in total silence for my whole ‘session’ which made for an uncomfortable surprise today with his constant non-stop babbling since arriving.

“Come on Brian, gotta get there, gotta hurry, gotta get a good spot–”

Nickelbee at one point was selling cat related crafts online (I never saw a single order come through). This has taken a harsher, darker turn with him now selling cat (and racoon) carcasses at the local open flea market down the street. I figure he now spends his time wandering around looking for these dead, most of the time run over bodies instead on making crafts.

The burlap sack which was being used to drag the goods to the market was leaving a red streak across the parking lot. If the smell wasn’t bad enough the random bloody cat paw or twisted racoon head sticking out of the sack made matters almost vomit-inducing. There was almost a light at the end of the tunnel with the faint speck of the flea market on the horizon but the the unforgiving sun, blazing brightly in the blue sky, was proving too much. The pavement in front of us turned into rolling waves which made the way impossible to navigate.

Dr. Nickelbee in happier times.

‘Dr.’ Nickelbee wiped his forehead with his wrinkled, grimy jacket sleeve and muttered, “here’s a good spot, Brian, I found us a really good spot–” Being nowhere near the actual flea market, he unfurled his flea-infested blanket and sat down next to the burlap sack. “GET YOUR CAT AND RACOON PELTS.” His voice was so loud and unnerving that the few folks who happened to be in the far corners of this empty parking lot were taken aback, tripping over themselves or dropping what they were carrying. He patted the burlap death bag like it was his best friend. “COME GET YOUR FUZZY WUZZY CAT AND RACOON PELTS.”

I was at a crossroads on what to do. I really didn’t want to leave my former therapist here by himself though the thought of staying here with the smell and the heat was unthinkable. I figured my best bet was to head up to the flea market and try to locate some kind of delicious, delightful snack. I felt like I certainly deserved it after putting up with all this crap. I promised myself if I had any money left over I would buy Nickelbee some type of drink to keep him hydrated. If worse came to worse I could probably find a first aid stand and bring him back one of those paper cones with water.

He took no notice of me as I ventured forth through the blacktop waves towards salvation. My imagination began to run wild on the snack possibilities I might find. Maybe a fried little weiner sandwich since we were just outside of the Deep Northern Suburban line? Or maybe a seven or an eight or if the Gods were kind, a nine layered burrito. My mind continued to spin out of control thinking what could be in each of those layers.

I knew these sweet thoughts and dreams weren’t going to live up to expectations when I neared the place. The brightly colored tents, the endless noise of some loud jam band, the wretched smell of sweat and incense (which was almost on par with Nickelbee’s sack). I wandered upon some sort of hippie community instead of the flea market. Did the relentless heat make me walk up the wrong side of the parking lot? I was already running on fumes and couldn’t fathom turning back now. I was just going to take my chances here.

I soon became lost in the mist of hippiedom. The swirl of colors, the men and women scantly clothed yet equally as hairy, those faces giving me nasty looks with some muttering, “who brought the narc?” Weren’t these people suppose to be the loving, non-judgmental type?

My hunger pangs became too much after a short while. I held out my arms, my face sweating profusely. “Please, please doesn’t anyone know where a nacho cart is? Maybe a hot dog vendor of some type? You can’t tell me that a hippie doesn’t enjoy a mid morning snack?!!”

These heartless so called ‘humanitarians’ could do nothing but laugh at my plight. Finally some dirty hippie with a little sliver of a conscience came over to me. “Hey dude, hold out your hand.”

He took some packaging from his cargo shorts which looked like it came from a supermarket, how bad could it be? Into my innocent, slightly shaking hands was poured what looked like brown seeds. What was this abomination? I looked to the dirty hippie. “Don’t worry man it’s a snack we eat.”

Again I was fooled by the packaging, if it was from a commercial food chain, maybe it was some kind of candy.

Much like the ‘pizza’ I had a few weeks ago I knew instantly once the seeds were in my mouth that I was in for a hell ride. The flavorless bitter taste sucked all moisture in my mouth making it a dry wasteland. The texture of coffee beans rolling over and over again on my sensitive tongue.

I used my hand to get this disgustingness out of my mouth and wiped it on the front of my shirt leaving a foul brown streak. Most of the free-minded onlookers found their inner tolerance meter and decided they had seen enough.

“Dude, what the fuck is wrong with you?” The dirty hippie asked.

“What-what-in President Pondicherry’s name did you give me?” I was on my knees with my arms held wide open, tears streaming out of eyes.

“Just chia seeds, man take it easy.”

What the hell was I given?

“How could you–” my mouth was becoming too dry to speak “-give me something out of a plant to eat? What sort of people are you?—so dry—my mouth–becoming so faint—”

At this point I fell into a fetal position which is not only my standard defense but the position I feel you would fall into so close to death. Eventually a much larger man with his gut sticking out of his dye tie shirt came over with a garden hose and started to hose me down. Maybe, just maybe, I would live to write another article–

The dirty hippie shook his head in free love disgust. “When are people like you going to wake up and realize there is a new dawn rising? Get a clue and listen to a little ‘Unappreciative Living’, the vegan lifestyle is where it at!!”

My mind perked up from the ice cold yet refreshing hosing, ‘vegan’. Did he mean like ‘The Vegan Brothers’ who almost killed Scott Pizzaman and myself with that pizza? Did they have something behind this? Just who were these brothers? I needed to keep my mind (and mouth) open at all times now.

EDITOR’S NOTE- BRIAN, YOU MISSED THE MEETING WE SET UP THE OTHER WEEKEND. WE STILL NEED TO SPEAK WITH YOU, PLEASE CONTACT ASAP.

PEOPLE OF LANKVILLE: There Was This One Day When I Was Livin’ in This Ol’ Shack in the Woods

June 15, 2017 Leave a comment

Joe “Baby Shacks” Allen

Editor’s Note: This interview took place in a bumpkin shack.

LDN: What is your name and what do you do?

JA: John Allen.

LDN: What do you do?

JA: Puts out chairs.

LDN: For what?

JA: Wrasslin’ events, bumpkin public executions…that…

LDN: Bumpkin public executions?

JA: Well, it’s only us [bumpkins] that know about ’em. You wouldn’t ‘a heard of ’em down in Lankville.

LDN: Christ, how often do these happen?

JA: Pretty regular. I got some picture postcards somewhere.

LDN: Why do they call you Baby Shacks?

JA: There was this one day when I was living in this ol’ shack in the woods and one of the men said, “lookit’ ‘at ol’ baby shack!”

LDN: “this one day”?

JA: Well, it was ‘fer more days. ‘Fer more days.

LDN: What’s the cat’s name?

JA: Mitchell. He named afta’ my Pappy. But he passed.

LDN: How would you describe your rather distinctive appearance?

JA: My Pappy, he was…he come over. He come over.

LDN: OK. We’ll be going.

JA: Alright, well, I did’n even ast you, so…

President Pondicherry on the State of Lankville

June 14, 2017 Leave a comment

President Pondicherry

My fellow Lankvillians,

I love each of you. It is a deep, complex love but it is love, there can be no question of this.

In the Manido system we have eagles, geese, and the chthonian snakes. Sometimes birds are invoked in my breed of sexual totemism. The woodpecker and the superb warbler become symbols of how my sex and my liquids of life relate to the plant kingdom. I’m also a gay bozo. I don’t mind saying so.

I shall now consume a carafe of viscous coffee and a plate of steamed little pizzas, to symbolize my love for each of you. Because in the sexual totemist
world, the sorcerer (who is me) exhibits a tamed animal as proof of his power. The animal then lends its services to the sorcerer, by becoming a spy and finding out which of the upstarts has the most exuberant member. If a masculine totem becomes injured in this manner, for example if a tent collapses, then the entire sexual group feels insulted and a dispute will ensue.

But this will not happen. Because Lankville is blessed by the diety. There can be no question of this.

We must dismiss the meatless bagatelles and streamless micturations issuing forth from the mouths of our critics. They are many but they will be defeated. We are a great nation and we will prevail.

God bless you and God bless Lankville,

President Pondicherry

Come, Young Lurker, I’ve Much to Tell You

June 14, 2017 Leave a comment

By Otis Nixon

Everything is in constant flux on this earth. Nothing keeps the same unchanging shape, and our affections, being attached to things outside us, necessarily change and pass away as they do. What say you, young lurker? Is there not a longing for immortality in your activity? To stalk among these fleeting affections—to watch them pass, like a large jungle cat fasting. You who dare to affront Nature!

Those very same fleeting affections, always out ahead of us or lagging behind, recall a past which is gone or anticipate a future which may never come into being; there is nothing solid there for the heart to attach itself to. Do you not, young lurker, in your refusal to make contact with the object of your gaze, dabble in some dark art? Do you not extend the boundaries of feeling which depend on acknowledgement and attachment? The lurker knows that, by erasing this element of humanity, he becomes inhuman. Society calls him an outcast. ‘Yes,’ he replies, ‘but it is I who have cast you out.’

Our earthly joys are almost without exception the creatures of a moment; I doubt whether any of us knows the meaning of lasting happiness. Yet we lurkers know what it is to suspend time by the rejection of worldly pleasures. The devil knows we are hungry but he doesn’t know that we are fed from a wellspring deeper than those at his command. We prowl in holy communion, invincible.

In the keenest pleasures of your ordinary Lankvillian, there is scarcely a single moment of which the heart could truthfully say: ‘Would that this moment could last for ever!’ And how can we give the name of happiness to a fleeting state which leaves our hearts still empty and anxious, either regretting something that is past or desiring something that is yet to come?

But if there is a state where the soul can find a lurking-place secure enough (say, a hedge or small tree) or to establish itself (say, the back seat of car or underneath an upended wheelbarrow) and concentrate its entire being there, with no need to remember the past or reach into the future, where time is nothing to it, where the present runs on indefinitely but this duration goes unnoticed, with no sign of the passing of time, and no other feeling of deprivation or enjoyment, pleasure or pain, desire or fear than the simple feeling of existence, a feeling that fills our soul entirely, as long as this state lasts, we can call ourselves happy, not with a poor, incomplete and relative happiness such as we find in the pleasures of life, but with a sufficient, complete and perfect happiness which leaves no emptiness to be filled in the soul.

Come, young lurker, I’ve much to tell you.

The Tibbs Reader: Officer Gentry

June 9, 2017 Leave a comment

Officer Gil Gentry

Officer Gentry was interviewed in 2014.

Listen, let me first tell you that Gil Gentry is no bullshitter. So, I’ll tell you exactly how it happened, best I can remember.

Steve and I were on patrol and we was parked behind a laundromat and on the second floor of the laundromat was this apartment and in that apartment was a girl named Agnes. Now, Agnes worked at The Holiday House which was a meat and potatoes kind of place but upscale. Nice, you know? Kind of place you’d take your mother out or somethin’, provided you didn’t want to blow a lot of scratch. Anyway, everybody in town liked Agnes. Not only did she have a good personality but she had, and let me tell you, two of the best god damn melons you could ever hope for. And I ain’t talking about god damn produce. I’m talking just the most perfect god damn gazongas. I mean, these things were so god damn perfect that you’d think that somebody said to God, “Hey God, how about making the best bazooms ever imagined” and God said, “Yeah, sure, I’m out for that challenge” and BOOM, he come up with Agnes.

The interview asked Officer Gentry to get to the point.

OK, look, anyways Steve and I– I’ll admit it– we was watching Agnes undress. I know…I know…we shouldn’t a’ been doing that but there you go.

Anyway, a call comes over the radio. Shots fired out at Lake Rancho Berries.

Steve says, “Anybody hurt?”

“No. Nobody hurt. A couple of people pretty scared though.”

“Shit,” Steve said once the call was over. “Might as well take our time on this one, Gil. Look, Agnes is taking her panties off.”

Well, anyway, I ain’t proud of it. But anyway, after about two hours of watching Agnes undress repeatedly for some reason, we finally get out there to the Lake. Connie Ryan from over Almond County was already there.

“What the hell took you rubes so long to get here?” he barked.

“Pressing matter,” Steve said. “What do we have here?”

It was at that point, I observed two kids wrapped in towels and sitting on the curb.

“This here is Mike Ferron and Leslie Porchtops. These two was making out…”

“We were NOT making out,” the girl named Leslie called out.

Connie leaned in close. “I like to think they were making out. Spices things up, you know.”

“Absolutely,” Steve said. “Roll with that.”

Ferguson Bunts?

“OK, anyway these two were making out (Leslie started shaking her head indignantly) and I believe that Mike here had her bra half off with her perky breasts partially exposed and the next thing you know, shots are hitting the water all in front of them. Well, Leslie, who by now was completely nude (Leslie barked out again), well, she an’ Mike jumped in the water.”

“He didn’t fire again?” I asked.

“No sir,” Connie answered. “Just packed up his gun, actually told them to have a good day, and drove off.”

Connie reached into his pocket. “Recovered a couple of casings– looking like he unloaded with an AR-15, my guess.”

“Sounds like he didn’t intend to hit you, then?” Steve asked.

The boy spoke first. “Every shot hit the water.”

“Get a good look at him?” Steve asked.

“Yeah, absolutely…he…”

“I DID NOT HAVE MY BRA OR PANTIES OFF!” Leslie suddenly called out.

“Listen, clam up would you?” Steve said.

“He was a big guy, I’d say maybe 250 pounds. He had a beard and he wore a three-piece white suit.”

We all stared at each other. It was a long time before Steve spoke.

“Well, listen, kids– nobody was hurt. What do you say we just call it square, huh?”

“CALL IT SQUARE?” Leslie hollered. “He shot at us!”

“YEAH!” Mike followed.

“Listen, you,” Connie said, pointing to the girl,”one more outburst and I’m hauling your lovely, fully-blossomed, doubtlessly firm and supple ass downtown.”

“But, aren’t you even going to fill out a report?” Mike asked.

“Let’s just call it square,” Steve said again– a little more firm this time around.

So, anyway, we saw the kids off in their fancy pants car and Steve and I– we went back to the parking lot behind the laundromat where, for reasons unclear, Agnes was still dressing and undressing. I think maybe later we got milkshakes. But that really was the last we heard of the whole thing.

Origins of a Lurker

June 9, 2017 Leave a comment

By Otis Nixon

I should like to take a moment to describe my father.

The lot of a Lankvillian lurker of his days frequently meant ‘moving on.’ And so father transferred the family to the Mid-Outlands, and finally retired on a small government pension there. But this was not to mean a rest from lurking for the old man. The son of a poor cottage person, even in his childhood he had not been able to stay at home and lurk. Not yet thirteen years old, the little boy then bundled up his things and ran away from his homeland, the Deep Central Forest Area. Despite the dissuasion of ‘experienced’ inhabitants of the village he had gone to the capital to learn a trade there (and also to be free to lurk without molestation).

A bitter resolve it must have been to take to the road, into the unknown, with only three dollars (Lankville) for traveling money. But by the time the thirteen-year-old lad was seventeen, he had passed his tire shredder apprentice’s examination, but he had not yet found lurking satisfaction. It was rather the opposite. The long time of hardship through which he then passed, of endless poverty and misery, strengthened his resolve to give up the tire shredding trade after all in order to become something ‘better.’ If once the village tire shredder had seemed to the little boy the incarnation of all obtainable human success, now, in the big city which had so widened his perspective, the rank of the high lurker became the ideal. With all the tenacity of one who had grown old through want and sorrow while still half a child, the seventeen-year-old youth clung to his decision . . . and became a high lurker. The goal was reached, I believe, after nearly twenty-three years. Now there had been realized the premise of the vow that the poor boy once had sworn, not to return to his dear native village before he had become something.

Now the goal was reached, but nobody in the village remembered the little boy of long ago, and the village had become a stranger to him.

When he retired at the age of fifty-six, he was unable to spend a single day in ‘not lurking.’ He bought a farm near the Border Area which he worked himself (and also lurked about the fields, both fertile and fallow, and thus returning, after a long and active life, to the origin of his ancestors.

Lurkers.

SCHROPP INVESTIGATES: Little Weiners

June 9, 2017 Leave a comment

By Brian Schropp

Anybody who lives near the Deep Northern Suburban area knows that ‘little weiners’ are strictly banned here. This goes back to a time well before I was born when the then Mayor choked on a little weiner at some public function and nearly died. The city council was swift to act and issued an order making them ‘illegal contraband’ in the Suburban limits. Now, all weiners, packaged or made at home to be sold, have to be measured to meet local government standards. Me, like many other liberal-minded weiner connoisseurs in the area, see this as a ridiculous outdated order. I understand that a public official almost kicked the bucket but that was a long time ago plus I heard that this particular Mayor wasn’t the brightest to begin with.

My folks for some reason put up with this ridiculousness just because it’s the law. “That’s just the way it is,” my Mom usually barks when I wave a petition in her face to sign. “You can go to other parts of Lankville if you want weiners that small.”

Which is true, it’s just such a pain in the booty to travel when I could just enjoy the little devils in the comfort of my own basement apartment. And let me just tell you, I’m a very very big fan of little weiners. Pile those diminutive delights on a paper plate or put three or four on top of a fork. It’s just plain deliciousness all round. I LOVE LITTLE WEINERS!!!

Sure, there have been trailblazers in the past few years who have tried to push this door open. Ms. Swanson for example, who at the summer bake off laced the bottom of her apple pie with those guys. The ‘LWEA’ (The Little Weiner Enforcement Agency-WHICH OUR TAXPAYER MONEY PAYS FOR) was swift and harsh, barging in and taking Ms. Swanson and her whole family away from the bake off (who knows where they are now, no one has seen them since last year). Luckily I was able to get a piece that an agent accidentally dropped in the ruckus. And let me just tell you that slice was pretty damn good. After wiping off the dirt and ants (and maybe a little blood from one of the Swanson family members), I was treated to the sweet taste of apple mixed with the squish of the little weiner in that baked crust. Such a shame-such a shame.

It was the other day when I answered the phone in my basement apartment. “Hey, are you that kid who writes for the paper? You know the really good one?”

“Uh-yes-I think.”

“Got a tip for your new article, it’s what I think you guys call a hot one.”

“Something is hot? Is it on fire?”

“No Bri, a hot tip, you guys use that lingo.”

“Do I know you? You sound familiar.”

Delicious little weiners (file photo).

“Don’t worry about that shit. Remember that jack off who owns ‘Mr. Pizza Slice’? You know the place that can’t roll out their dough worth a damn? I think they are selling little weiners on the sly. Can you believe that? Where is The LWEA when you need them?”

“Scott, is that you?”

“Hey Bri.” It was indeed my former manager and still top dog at ‘The Pizza-A-Round’, Scott Pizzaman. Not sure if he was trying to be clever using a fake voice (which sounded like a high screeching old lady) or if he was just joking around. Either way I’m just glad he stopped.

“So is true about ‘Mr. Pizza Slice’?”

“Damn straight it is. Selling little weiners left and right with no regard for the law.”

“How do you know?”

There was a slight pause where I could only hear his breathing, I thought maybe I crossed a line and he was going to explode. The Gods were kind. “I just know, it’s common knowledge all around the pizza trade. PLUS the fool has been spreading coupons on my turf. How dare someone who makes a pie so poorly try and take my business.”

I felt myself at an ethical crossroads. My gut (which was rumbling because it was time for my mid-morning snack) told me that Scott was fabricating this story just to get back at ‘Mr. Pizza Slice’. Yet that little voice in the back of my head– yes, the new investigating reporter voice, was saying if there really was some backroom weiner selling going on I could have the story of the year!!

An hour later I was in Scott’s ’87 Neptune across the street from the establishment. Scott was using oversized, almost comical in size, binoculars to stare into the place. He was also leaning halfway out of the window not giving a damn who saw him. “Don’t see anything shady going on at the moment-eh-doesn’t seem all that busy for it being lunchtime. What losers.” He fully got back into the car “Say Bri, why don’t you walk down the block then come back up the other side and go in. See if that fool in there will sell you some little weiners.” I guess my face said it all. “Come on, I’m right across the street, if anything starts going down I got your back.”

It was a real gut check moment for me (and yes, Scott was nice enough to stop and get me a couple fried fish sandwiches plus some strawberry milk for my mid- morning snack). I had to step it up now, I was a reporter for ‘The Lankville Daily News, a real investigative reporter. After a deep fish smelling belch I nodded and was ready to go.

The block was longer than I realized and I almost didn’t make it. Being hassled by the more ‘street wise’ citizens of the area, I had lost all my money, my belt and pants (luckily I had large shorts on), my sports jacket and one of my shoes. I thanked the Gods I left my camera on loan in the car with Scott. When I walked into ‘Mr. Pizza Slice’ I was a right mess physically and mentally.

Mr. Pizza Slice (photo by Scott Pizzaman).

The guy behind the counter looked me up and down quickly. “You gotta get out of here.”

I hung my head low and turned to leave. NO, I told myself, I can do this!

“Uh, can I get a free sample?”

“What are you mumbling about?”

“Your sign out front says a free sample.”

“If it gets you out of here. You wanna try a cheese or a meat bits slice?”

“Oh no my friend.” I leaned on the counter, the confidence surged in me all at once. I tipped down my ultra cool reporter glasses (which you can see in my photo at the beginning of this article) “I’m talking about the other type of ‘free sample’.” I gave him my most wicked schoolboy grin in hopes he knew what I was talking about.

The man paused for a moment and then grabbed one of the biggest pizza peels I have ever seen, wasting no time hitting me over the head with it. I stumbled out the door with the guy close behind. I would have fallen over on the gum encrusted sidewalk but I was able to balance myself on the huge pizza man statue they have out front. For some sorry reason the locals called the statue ‘Mr.Slice’.

“Don’t you ever come back here you freak, you understand?!!”

And to see if I fully understood he took one home run swing at me with the peel. With my reporter instincts back on track I was able to duck making him take off the head of ‘Mr. Slice’ instead. Then, my dear readers, it started to rain– rain little weiners!!. They were in the statue!

I turned to Scott who was already running across the street. “I think I found the–”

That was all I remembered, putting my back to the pizza peel dude he gave a good thump on my head. When I came to, ‘The LWEA’ was swarming all over the place. They were not only in ‘Mr. Pizza Slice’ but the businesses around it taking out people in cuffs. Like I said, these folks do not play around.

I was lying on the hood of Scott’s Neptune– for some reason they neglected to call any medical services. Scott was sitting next to me taking a swig from his flask and watching the chaos go on around him. He saw I was awake. “I did–I mean you did it Bri! Those goofs are going to jail for life!!” With the laugh of a madman he took a longer swig.

I closed my eyes happily, some fine investigative work done.

Editor’s Note- After a thorough investigation by the LWEA, there is no proof that ‘Mr. Pizza Slice’ was selling little weiners. We are also not sure if Brian ever completed the second part of his ‘Vegan Pizza’ article. We have left numerous office voicemails and when we called his residence someone hangs up immediately. Brian, if you are reading this please come by offices tomorrow at 2 PM for a performance discussion.

The Tibbs Reader: Incident at Lake Rancho Berries

June 9, 2017 Leave a comment

Ferguson Bunts?

Bunts sat in his darkened study loading a Prince of Lankville AR-15. He attached the laser sight and versa pod.

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE ULTIMATE IN ACCURACY OUT OF AN AR-15 RIFLE, LOOK NO FURTHER! he boomed. He then laughed senselessly for a full minute until tears began to run down his bearded cheeks.

He placed the weapon into a duffel bag, walked outside into blinding sunlight, and tumbled into the white sports car, parked at an odd angle in the driveway.

He drove at a leisurely pace down Route 55 and turned onto Rural Route 9 away from Almond Beach towards Lake Rancho Berries. The surrounding countryside and rolling hills soon became visible.

LAKE RANCHO BERRIES IS THE PERRRRRFECT DESTINATION TO RELAX FOR A WEEKEND. He was nearly screaming now. WHETHER YOU’RE LOOKING TO ENJOY THE LAKE IN AN RV OR A TENT… He suddenly nodded off and nearly drove the car off the road. He pulled to the side, listening to the crunch of gravel beneath. He dozed for a full half hour.

When he woke, he was briefly unaware of where he was. OF COURSE, MRS. STOCKSDALE, OF COURSE DEAR– AS YOU KNOW, I AM QUITE SKILLED AT THAT MOST DELIGHTFUL ACT OF STIMULATION, he blurted out, his mouth dry and his voice hoarse.

There was a bottle of Old Lankville on the floor. It was warm from the sun but he took a long swig anyway until the bottle was nearly empty. He tossed it into the trees along the road.

He pulled away, passing the pumping station on the left. A worker, standing by the gate, took notice.

WELL, I SHALL HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT HIM, Bunts declared to no one.

He made a U-turn and pulled into the lot at an odd angle. The man began fiddling with the padlock on the gate. Bunts stared hard at him through the sun-spattered windshield. Then, he rolled down the window.

I wonder, did you take notice of the man in the white sports car? he asked in a low, menacing voice.

The man tugged at his cap.

Did you take note of his unusual appearance perhaps? The beard, the white three-piece suit? These are the sort of things an observant man might perceive. But he would be wise to forget. To forget.

THE COW KNOWS NO BOREDOM OR PAIN, he suddenly boomed. SHE CANNOT REMEMBER!

“She also gets slaughtered after a time,” the man noted.

EXACTLY! Bunts responded. I COULD TELL RIGHT AWAY THAT YOU WERE A MAN OF SENSE!

Bunts backed the car onto the highway and began laughing hysterically.

 

He scanned the parking lot overlooking the lake. A luxury car, spotlessly clean, sat idle and empty.

WHAT A DELIGHTFUL DAY, Bunts boomed. He took notice of another half bottle of Old Lankville which had emerged from beneath the passenger seat upon stopping.

AND EVEN MORE DELIGHTFUL NOW!  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

He clicked on the radio and found a station out of the East playing light trumpets. He drained the rest of the bottle.

The sun disappeared behind some clouds and the lake grew darker.

Bunts slowly lifted himself out of the car. On unsteady legs, he removed the duffel bag from the trunk and began negotiating the long hill that ran down to the water.

He had spotted them from the parking lot. A young couple, sunning themselves on a picnic blanket, at the end of the promontory that jutted out into Lake Rancho Berries.

AH, YOUNG JEJUNE LOVE. WHAT A DELIGHT!  Bunts removed the AR-15 from the bag, attached the sight and folded down the versa pod. He then fired nine shots in a perfect semi-circle into the water in front of the couple.

The man and the woman both covered their heads and then the woman began screaming. The man grabbed her and the two jumped into the water. They were under for a full half minute.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, Tibbs boomed.

He disengaged the sight, folded up the versa pod and placed everything into the duffel bag. Then, he ambled up the hill.

When he got to the parking lot, he looked back. The couple had their heads half out of the water, staring at him. He waved.

HAVE A GOOD DAY, he yelled.

 

He got into the car and drove back to Almond Beach. When he passed the pumping station, he saw no one.

The Tibbs Reader: Rex Poffo, Neighbor

June 6, 2017 Leave a comment

By Rex Poffo

It was about 1998 that Debbie and I bought the house in Almond Beach. It was our first house and it needed some work but it was all ours.

I had a job as a night watchman at the Twin Pines Double-Tiered Strip Mall and Debbie worked nights as an orderly at the Eastern Lankville Memorial Cheaper Hospital. On the weekends, we mostly worked on the garden and I did some painting and Debbie put fresh sheets on the bed and then she watched teevee for the rest of the day. It was nice.

Mr. Bunts lived across the street. He was the first one to come over and say hello. He was a big guy with a beard and he always wore a white three-piece suit.

“You going to church, Mr. Bunts?” I asked. It was Saturday but there were some of those people that go to Church on Saturday.

He looked confused. “OF COURSE NOT MR. POFFO! OF COURSE NOT! I HAVE NO SUCH ILLUSIONS OF A FROWNING DIVINE POWER WHO SWATS US WHEN WE ARRIVE INTO THE DARKNESS, AS THE POET SAID,” he noted in his booming voice.

He presented me with a cake in a box wrapped in a gold bow.

After that he began to bring us cakes pretty regular. One time, my car broke down in the next village and when I looked up, the next thing you know, Mr. Bunts is sitting right there in a big giant orange Neptune.

“WHY, MR. POFFO! IT APPEARS YOU COULD USE SOME ASSISTANCE!”

I was happy to see him but confused by his surprising appearance.

“OH, I’M EVERYWHERE MR. POFFO! EVERYWHERE.”

He removed a delicate looking porcelain box from the backseat. It appeared to have real diamonds all around the handle. Imagine my shock when he opened it to reveal a gold wrench.

“RELEASE THE HOOD MECHANISM, MR. POFFO,” he said.

I did and Mr. Bunts leaned in, made a few abrupt adjustments and then, the next thing I knew, the car fired right up on the first try.

“WHAT A DELIGHT!”

 

One morning, early, Mr. Bunts appeared on our stoop. He had a pearl-handled suitcase in his hand. I looked past him and saw another Neptune, this one a red perfectly-restored antique model, idling by the side of the road.

“MR. POFFO!” he boomed. “I WANTED TO APPRISE YOU AND YOUR MOST FETCHING BRIDE THAT I SHALL BE AWAY FOR TWO WEEKS TIME. I HAVE BUSINESS.”

I didn’t know what business he might have. I mostly just saw him driving around or hammering stakes into his yard or bringing back shopping bags full of inflatable balls. It was all he seemed to buy.

“COULD I IMPOSE UPON YOUR KINDNESS MR. POFFO TO, UPON OCCASION, GLANCE AT MY HOMESTEAD TO SEE THAT NO ONE HAS MOLESTED ANYTHING?”

“Sure,” I agreed.

His voice lowered suddenly.

Ferguson Bunts?

“While I don’t expect there to be any such pother, I would advise you that if you should observe anything untoward, please shoot to kill.”

“WHAT A DELIGHT!”

He turned on his heel with the pearl-handled suitcase and plopped into the driver’s seat. He laughed loudly the entire time. Then he sped off.

 

It seemed that he was gone for nearly a month. And then, one day, I noticed a brand new sports car in his driveway.

I walked over, took a look around (hesitatingly) and then knocked on the door.

Bunts appeared almost instantly as though he were waiting right there.

“MR. POFFO!  I AM MOST APOLOGETIC THAT I DID NOT BID YOU GREETINGS UPON MY RETURN. SADLY, I HAVE BEEN ILL.”

I noticed a large mass of something that seemed to jut out from his chest beneath the suit vest.

“That’s alright, Mr. Bunts. I just wanted to see if that was you and not somebody that might be…molesting your house.”

“OH, NO!  IT IS ME, MR. POFFO!  IT IS MOST DEFINITELY ME.”

He laughed loudly but I noticed he was holding his chest the entire time as though in pain.

 

That night, I brought the trash out. Bunts had already placed his at the curb.

It was then that I noticed something odd about the contents. I creeped up to the bag while keeping an eye on the house. It was eerily dark and silent.

There was a white suit visible inside. It was spattered with blood around the chest.

 

I didn’t tell Debbie. She was watching The Love Canoe on teevee anyway and wouldn’t have responded.

I went down to the basement to think.

 

The Tibbs Reader will continue in future issues.

PEOPLE OF LANKVILLE: The Ferry Crashed Into Another Ferry and That Was the End of That

June 5, 2017 Leave a comment

Bob Sheds

LDN: What is your name and what do you do?

BS: By name is Bob Sheds.

LDN: …and what do you do?

BS: I’m unemployed.

LDN: What did you do?

BS: Ferry boat captain on the Great Southern Puddly River. One of my passengers had some interesting laser discs. He said, “hey, you want to watch these laser discs?” and I said, “sure, I’d like to watch those laser discs” and he said, “well, do you have a laser disc player” and I said, “I sure do have a laser disc player, it’s below deck.” Well, the next thing you know, we’re below deck and we’re watching the laser discs, we end up with our pants off and the ferry crashed into another ferry and that was the end of that.

LDN:  Did anyone die?

BS:  Oh yeah. Oh yeah, they died.

LDN: Are you married?

BS: In my early twenties I was married to a girl named Tammy. It was kind of just for show. Her family and my family- we grew up on the same street and I think everybody had this fantasy about us being childhood sweethearts or some shit. Anyway, she ended up going with some other guy. I think he sells tires or something. I ain’t had much interest since.

LDN: What’s a typical day in Lankville like for Bob Sheds?

BS: Who?

LDN: For Bob Sheds.

BS: You confused me. No idea why you had to say it like that. You coulda’ just said, “what’s a typical day in Lankville like for you.”  What, you need to sound fancy for the paper or something?

LDN: What’s a typical day like for you?

BS: I don’t know– wake up about 10. After that, it’s wide open.

LDN: Finally, tell us your thoughts on a particular issue.

BS: Well, I do think something needs to be done about these postcards I keep getting from this guy Brock Belvedere, Jr. I mean, sure, I used to know him. But he sends me blank postcards, sometimes three or four a day. When I called him up, I said, “why you sending me all these god damn postcards, Brock?” and he said, “Because I can Bob.” That was that.

LDN: We’ll look into it.

BS: OK.
The interview was ended.

SCHROPP INVESTIGATES: Vegan Pizza

June 1, 2017 Leave a comment

By Brian Schropp

It was a few nights ago around bedtime, I was in my ‘basement bachelor pad’ stirring up my strawberry milk nightcap when I heard whispering by the window. “Hey Bri, are you up buddy?” Of course it was none other than my former manager, now ‘pizza brother’, Scott Pizzaman.

“Sneak around the backdoor and I’ll let you in.” Scott is always real respectful when it comes to dealing with my home and parents which you, my dear readers, might find hard to believe given he is a being of total chaos. Why this is I could not tell you, I’m just glad he hasn’t drunkenly driven his car into our house like a certain other individual whose name appears frequently in this paper.

Once I was able to hustle him inside (careful not to wake my folks) and down the steps to my pad, he slammed a funky-smelling pizza box on my table. My curiosity and stomach rumbled over what lay before me, I started to lift the lid but Scott quickly slammed it back down. “Be careful Bri, it’s not what you think.” He answered my questioning gaze quickly. “Remember the rumors going around the pizza industry recently? Something that was brewing on the fringes of society, something so radical, so fucking crazy, it was going to change the life of every pizza worker in existence? Well, I think it’s here–”

I remembered these rumors well. In fact, I recalled one of Scott’s old pizza buddies who came into ‘The Round’ right before I left and the look of horror on his face and fright in his eyes. It will be something I won’t soon forget. “I have seen it” he muttered, his face sweaty and pale, “I have tasted it–“. Then the guy collapsed right there in front of everybody! Scott dragged his buddy into his office and was able to get him to come around after pouring huge amounts of vodka down his throat. The conversation they had afterward was long and tense.

I stared at the funky-smelling box in front of me before whispering “So this…this is the anti-pizza?”

Scott wiped his forehead with a well-used pizza rag and took a long swig of vodka from a hip flask. “Sure is. I forget it has some real name, begins with a ‘V’ or somethin’ like that.”

“A pizza that’s supposed to be a pizza but yet it isn’t,” I whispered before saying, “Where did you get it?”

“If you can believe this shit, some new restaurant in the Middle Northern District. You know that cleaned up area where those rich liberal types now live?. Supposed to be a group of hippie brothers or somethin’ who are running it. Hippie but for some fucking reason they look clean as a whistle. I think their last name is ‘Vegan’ or some shit like that.”

The monstrosity– the “Anti-Pizza”.

I was pretty sure this ‘type’ of pizza was called vegan not the name of the brothers but I wasn’t going to correct him. “So what are we going to do with it?”

After a dramatic pause– “Taste it, we need to know what we’re up against. That’s why I came to see you, if there was a stomach that could handle this monstrosity, it’s yours.”

“But if what they say is true–with no real cheese, no real crust, how can it–how can it–?”

“Just open the box slowly, Bri, ever so slowly–”

Of course the first thing that hits you is the smell, some rank foul odor which was a cross between rotting vegetables and a sewer. I have included a picture of this ‘pizza’ so you can witness the horror with me. The bland, unappealing color palate which hurts not only your eyes and stomach but your very soul. I did my best not to vomit immediately.

“What type of toppings are those?”
Scott was taking an extra long swing from the flask. “Dirt? Grime? Looks like it’s from another dimension. Haven’t they heard of black olives, that’s a type of veggie, right?”

I went to get my extra sleek pizza cutter from the half-kitchenette. “No Bri, you can’t risk using your utensils. I bought a plastic cutter from the dollar store.”

It was almost impossible to cut through the so called ‘crust’ (it was like a hardened crater from a distant planet). Scott kept muttering that the crust was made from ‘dark magic.’ Somehow using more physical effort than I prefer, I had two slices ready.

We looked at the slices sitting rigid and firm on paper plates (also from the dollar store) for a long while. “They don’t even sag on the plate” Scott noted. “No grease, I guess.” It was agreed both of us were just stalling and the time had come. We each grabbed a plate and prayed for the best.

Looking back it was probably not a wise idea to down a whole slice at once. I remember the hardness of the crust almost breaking my teeth. That horrid smell enveloping my senses from the inside. The taste of the so-called toppings which had the consistency of wet slimy bread left out in a rainstorm. The ‘sauce’ which was beyond describing, the best I can do is to say it was something along the lines of using a moldy bottle of ‘Thousand Lankville Island Sauce’ mixed with a stinky egg. I was overwhelmed– my mouth became instantly dry, desperately crying out for some sweet strawberry milk. I went to grab my plastic cup on the table but was totally disoriented, I knocked the cup off the table and onto the floor. As the vile slice slid down my throat the very air around me became hot and uncomfortable. After an intense flash of light where all the colors around the room became bright and vivid, I myself joined the spilled glass on the floor.

I’m not sure how long I was down for, the noises coming from my small half bathroom must have brought me around. The cries and howling coming from Scott Pizzaman made me shutter. It was like a fierce wild wolf being made to taste dog food for the first time. The other sounds made it clear that the ingredients were not agreeing with his stomach, I cringed thinking about the mess my mom would have to clean up tomorrow. I sat up, putting the nearby plastic cup on my forehead to help me from sweating. Soon the bathroom door opened and Scott came crawling out with his pants half on. Vast stink trails raced past him and into the air. He crawled halfway to me before saying ,”Bri, Bri, I think those damn Vegan brothers are trying to poison us!”

Some time later after composing ourselves, we snuck out of the house and headed for the Northern Suburban Landfill to dispose of the rest of this ‘pizza’. We thought the landfill was the best place– it would be safely away from others. After climbing the fence (with some help from Scott) the perfect spot was found and the bonfire was soon blazing. Under the somewhat starry night the box was thrown in with a silent prayer that the fire would destroy the thing that dwelled inside. Scott and I sat for a long time around the firelight before he turned to me with what I call ‘The Scott Look’. “Bri, I really think those dudes tried to poison us. Who knows what they might try and pull next. We can’t have this so called pizza in the community destroying lives. We gotta do something.”
But what could we do against such evil? Find out next week in Pt.2 of this amazing story!!

Brian Schropp won a trophy for this report.

Reveries of a Solitary Lurker

June 1, 2017 Leave a comment

By Otis Nixon

Since the days of my youth I had fixed on the age of forty as the end of my efforts to succeed, the final term of my various ambitions. I had the firm intention, when I reached this age, of making no further effort to climb out of whatever situation I was in and of spending the rest of my life living from day to day with no thought for the future. I would give the entirety of my substance over to the lives of others. I would become one with them without their knowledge. If I reached the high bar I set for myself, I would disappear from the eyes of the world entirely, but not it from mine.

When the time came I carried out my plan without difficulty, and although my fortune at the time seemed to be on the point of changing permanently for the better, it was not only without regret but with real pleasure that I gave up these prospects.

In shaking off all these lures and vain hopes, I abandoned myself entirely to the nonchalant tranquility which has always been my dominant taste and most lasting inclination. I quitted the world and its vanities, I gave up all finery–no more sword, no more watch, no more shoeshines, no more daily applications of lotion, uncture and balm, but a simple pair of binoculars and a trusty leather duster–and what is more than all the rest, I uprooted from my heart the greed and covetousness which gave value to all I was leaving behind. I gave up the position I was then occupying, a position for which I was quite unsuited, and set myself to lurking, an occupation for which I had always had a distinct liking.

All the sharpest torments lose their sting if one can confidently expect a glorious recompense, and the certainty of this recompense was the principal fruit of my earlier meditations.

I write in the hope that other lurkers, solitary though we may be, find comfort in these very same meditations; indeed, that, in the lonely yet emotionally charged hours interceding the visual capture of our subjects, we may fix our minds in reflection; moreover, that such hours spent in solemn reflection return to us during the ecstatic moments of a marathon lurk, thereby adding a new subtle color to our palette. Dare I say we achieve the rank of artist?

A lurker is solitary by profession; he achieves higher ground (and on it meets his spiritual brethren) by this very same profession.

Samways and Fick: Identity Theft

June 1, 2017 1 comment

Dr. Samways

According to the Restrained Lankville Trade Probing Unit, identity theft was the number one fraud complaint during calendar year 2016. And limiting the use of personal computers and robots may not help much: a study banged out by Samways and Fick over lunch at a buffet (it was terrible) reported that in 2015 most identity thefts were taking place offline, not online. One other troubling finding: the study found that 97 percent of all identity thefts are committed by someone the victim knows such as friends, casual lovers, pharmacists and that guy that sells flowers by the side of the road.

Identity theft is reported every day (and sometimes in the evening). Concerned citizens worry that an identity thief will run up charges on their credit card or purloin™ their bank account while their back is turned. But with the Samways and Fick Gravitational Blockade™ there is no longer any reason to worry. Once you know the facts about SFGB and some preventive measures you can take, your business can win the fight against identity theft!

Identity thieves commit their crime in several ways:

They steal credit card payments and other outgoing mail from mailboxes.
They dig through garbage cans, dumpsters or trash holes in search of cancelled checks, credit card and bank statements and posters.
They hack into robots that contain personal records and steal the data.
They file a change of address form, divorce papers, or sex offender registrations in the victim’s name to divert mail and gather personal and financial data.

But with the Samways and Fick Gravitational Blockade™, these tricks are no longer possible.

Construction of a Samways and Fick Gravitational Blockade (take note of the shovel).

Here’s how it works:

Samways and Fick will arrive at your business or home (in a van) and construct trenches around the perimeter of your building and your trash receptacles (if you use a trash hole, trenches cannot be constructed so we recommend ceasing this hayseed practice). These trenches are then outfitted with virtual gravitational pull quasars which, when penetrated by a thief, pull him (or her) into the powerful Samways and Fick Gravitational Field™ from which nothing, not even the most savvy of thieves, can escape. Your business now possesses key information about the thief (and sometimes their condensed bodies) allowing you to notify local law enforcement.

But that’s not all! The Samways and Fick Gravitational Field also deters would-be thieves. That’s because we construct large signs around your home or business (in block letters) that read VORTEX.  A thief would have to be a fool to challenge such a sign. You are now fully protected.

So, talk to Samways and Fick now about installing a Gravitational Blockade to protect your valuable data. Our friendly lower-class contractors are prompt, courteous and often bring a pizza (thick crust). Find out today if you qualify.

Samways and Fick: Helping You Get to the Area Near the Top of Your Mountain.

The Tibbs Reader: 1851

June 1, 2017 Leave a comment

Elijah Pangborn and a woman.

Fort Conifer, 27th September, 1851.

SIR,— Having in my report, dated at the Pendleton River on the 10th June, and addressed to Sir A. von Klacik J. Grant, communicated the details and result of my spring journey over the ice, snow, and slippery little frosts along the Lankville Boreal Shores, I have now the honour to acquaint you that the boats expedition under my command, which visited the Great Polar Ocean this summer, arrived here yesterday in safety, but I regret to say without having gained any information of Sir J. Tibbs and party.

The morning of the 4th August being lusciously fine and clear, land was seen in one or two directions in which it had not been previously noticed, and bearings were taken of it. The islands were bereft of all flora and fauna although we did then discover a small satchel of groceries upon the shore of the nearer which did contain therein curious canisters of beans and many empty bottles of diverse spirits. The young ice did not thaw until after the tenth hour after which, by great perseverance, we made very tolerable progress. Working all night, and sometimes aided by the sails and the burner, at 7h. 15m. a.m., on the 5th, we landed on the Western shore of Heinish Bay, and after staying 3 hours again probed on; but the ice being thinner, and consequently more closely packed on the shore, we had great difficulty in making headway, and were at last obliged to wait the rise of the tide at a point in Krimpett Bay.

We remained here 3 hours, and had an interview with a party of Region Natives. Our interpreter, a Region Native named Whapcornuck had intercourse (verbal) with this tribe who did report the presence some time ago of a large white man holding a sphere to the heavens on many an occasion.  We then again commenced creeping along the shore, and had proceeded but a short distance when we did discover a rounded sphere of pine-wood which excited feverish interest and seemed to corroborate the account of these savages. In appearance it was remarkable– nigh so perfectly spherical as to appear other-worldly. It had a curious mark, resembling the letters “t” and “d” and apparently stamped upon one side, and at a few feet distant from the globe there was a bit of white line in the form of a loop nailed into a crude cross with two copper tacks. Both the line and the tacks bore the Ninth Republic Government mark, the broad arrow being stamped on the latter, and the former having a red worsted thread running through it.

We had not advanced a 1/2 mile when another sphere was discovered lying in the water, but touching the beach. This was a piece of oak, perhaps 9.0-9.5 inches in diameter and uniformly round. The sphere had the appearance of having been pushed into or through a clasp or band of iron, as there was a mark of 3 inches broad across it and small pocks and dents which circumnavigated the mysterious orb. And it was also discovered, quite nearby, the remaining part of a stanchion (as I suppose it to have been) which had been formed in a turning-lathe, and was 3 inches in diameter.

As there may be some difference of opinion regarding the direction from which these globes of wood came, it may not be out of place to express here my own opinion on the subject.

From the circumstance of the flood-tide coming from the northward, along the Eastern shore of Upper Craughing Land, there can be no doubt but there is a water-channel dividing Upper Craughing Land from The Northern Cloister, and through this channel I believe these globes have been carried along with the immense quantities of ice that a long continuance of northerly and north-easterly winds, aided by the flood-tide, had driven southward. I shall here opine that this same flood-tide carried forth the satchel of groceries. The ebb-tide not having power enough to carry these items back again against the wind, the large bay immediately S. of Medium Craughing Strait became perfectly filled with ice, even up to the S. shore of Northern Cloiser Land. Both orbs of wood appear to have come to shore about the same time, and they must have been carried in by the flood-tide that was at the time flowing on during the previous ebb ; for the simple reason, that although they were touching the beach they did not rest upon it.

The spot where they were found was in lat. 61′ 49′ N. ; long. 98° 17′ W.

I have the honour to remain,

Sir, your most obedient servant,

Elijah Pangborn