American Spy (Walter Jid story #20)

Two years had passed since Walter had become a millionaire.  The president Calvin Eddino ran for a second term, but was strongly defeated by Democrat Dan Druff.  Walter’s luck was better; for he had started a company he christened ‘The Plinusian Information Society.’  Most scoffed at him and thought he was a rich idiot, but Tom Taggo, Ralph Gornit, and Joey Jid decided to join the business.

Now, for people who are WJ-impaired, we will explain these four chaps who happen to have common first names and gibberish-sounding last names.  So, WJ-impaired beings, put on your thinking caps, for this may be the only explanation you’ll receive.

 

  1. Walter Jid has been the star of his stories since the first story in August 2001, which was, is, and will always be titled something simple yet famous: Hilko’s Help.  If you hate characters that don’t have personalities, then you shouldn’t read some of the older tales.  But, never fear, Walter Jid is considered by many unintelligent, and truthfully, he has gotten so angry he murdered a Plinusian (an alien race) with an odd-looking dagger.  Then, how come he has had so many friends?  Well, his first “adventure helper,” the eight-year old Willy Jib, died when the “hunter” Jeremy Rastik decided to test out his rifle.  Poor kid.  But, when Jerome “Curly” Horwitz of the Three Stooges passed away, the Stooges got a replacement: his brother Shemp.  When Shemp died, the answer to the missing Stooge was Joe Besser.  And lastly, there was Curly Joe.  However, this is not an essay on our friends Moe, Larry and Curly; this is a Walter Jid story.  Willy’s replacement was a “policeman” named Tom Taggo who turned out to be an ex-burglar.  What else is Tom, you ask?  Well:
  2. Tom Taggo is obviously a former burglar, but that’s not all!  He has an odd circle of friends who include the gabble-speaking Victor and Naughty Naut, Walter Jid’s futuristic descendant who was one of the first Americans to travel to the past.  Tom has a habit of lying, and has shown signs of cowardliness.
  3. Joey Jid is Walter’s wealthy twin brother.  It’s safe to say that before becoming a millionaire, Walter didn’t have very much money.  At the age of fifteen, an ashamed Joey left the Jid household without telling his parents and went to downtown San Francisco.  There, Joey met a middle-class man named Stuart who, thinking Joey had been abandoned by his parents while it was the other way around, developed a liking for the kid and raised him as his own son.  Joey went on a flight with the man to Boston.  Joey ended up going to Yale and in one story Walter found his long-lost brother when he used a foreign summoning device.  Joey never told Walter about his wrongdoing past.
  4. Ralph Gornit (are you still reading?) is a thirty something-year old man who still has childish fantasies, plus his strong obsession with animals.  To make it even weirder, Ralph let a mysterious homeless man known only as “Joe the Wanderer” into his house to live.

 

Meanwhile, back on the ranch, or more correctly, at the P.I.S., Walter’s employees made eccentric discoveries and worked hard wondering why the heck they were even bothering to believe in such madness as the planet Plinus—except for Tom, of course.  You could say Tom was the best of the workers, but he would still argue with his colleagues that he had been to Plinus (he was sort of known to argue) and met all of the wacky inhabitants: Udlikrop, Jiparolch, Rebmun, Ip, Lamiced, Algeb, and Hykbar…

However, miles away from the P.I.A., something vile was going on.  Walter’s school rival Hank Jabbo’s cloned son, “Hankie;” and Max McNommer, a no-good-triple-crosser; and Carl Glep and Lenny Jumguts (the first of Larry and Fred’s relatives to be found) were meeting together about the hamsterization of Jabbo!  This couldn’t be good, so let’s zoom in.

“For all we know, the hamster called Hank Jabbo could be dead,” warned Hankie.

“You’d be dead too.  Studies have found that when a man who was cloned dies, so do all of the man’s clones,” revised Max McNommer, who had lied to be Walter’s friend.

“That’s absurd,” responded Hankie.  “When Dolly the Sheep’s clone died, Dolly himself didn’t!”

“Er, how do you know Dolly’s clone is dead?” replied Lenny.

“And I’m pretty sure Dolly is a female name.  You know that one President’s wife?” added Carl.

“No one cares.  Anyway, we must rid the world of the two that started this significant mess: Walter Jid and Joseph Jid!”

“Oh yessss, the Brothers Jid.  They don’t happen to be the same Brothers Jid that weren’t very nice to my fourth cousin-once removed,” wondered Carl.

“DOWN WITH JID W!  DOWN WITH JID J!” shouted Lenny randomly.

Max sighed.  “This may be harder than I thought.”

*                                                          *                                              *

“Walter!  The door is making dingy noises!” cried Ralph.

“Um, I think the doorbell’s ringing,” said Walter, who had experienced countless mishaps with Ralph, and had fired him in his rage, and then he rehired Ralph.

ExcellentI’ll get the door,” snickered Joey.

A minute later, Joey returned to Walter with two old men in black suits, black ties and sunglasses, and Bert Ernus in his usual annoying cameo.  The second man had a deep scar on his cheek.  They reminded Walter of his good friend Johnny Lurg, and an annoying pal of Johnny’s, Frank Ramut.

“Oh, hello.  I’m Agent Top Hat, and this is Agent Trunks.  I know we’re not wearing top hats or swimming trunks, yes.  (Ralph had raised his right hand like a schoolboy, about to ask that.)

“We have come to warn you about a new situation.  Remember Hank Jabbo?”

“Yes, and we don’t want to be reminded again of him,” harshly stated Tom.

“Well, his cloned son has started a terrorist organization called “Jabbo’s Journey to Jewels.”

“Even from the name of his corporation, I don’t like this.  Who’s…?”

“Jewels?  Money’s cooler!” blurted Joey.

“Anyhow, the only people who would bother to stop this organization would be us and you.

“What about the police?” questioned Tom Taggo.

“I doubt the police have more intelligence than your friend Ralph here,” added Top Hat.
Ralph was the only foolish enough to respond to that.  Actually, it wouldn’t be too foolish to respond to it if you were insulted, but the response was definitely foolish.  It went a little like: “Mr. Hat on Top, what’s intelligence?  I think I hear that word from Joe once.  Joe the Wanderer.”  Scary, yes!

“You know guys; we sorta have some errands to do.  Can you guys come along?” said Trunks.

“Um…sure.  I’d hate to be in Max’s shoes; alive we were there and alive we are now, nothing will set us apart!” Walter responded.

“Indefinitely!  You know, I’m finally letting go of my pa…er…let’s not get to that one,” Tom responded, about to say “past.”

“Super-de-duperly!” Ralph responded.

“Only if there’s money,” snickered the greedy Joey.

“I’m distressed.  I’m moving the Pizza Palace to North Beach on account of that no one noticed a small pizza place here in a parking lot near Fisherman’s Wharf, and they wouldn’t go there anyway because there was already a Pizza Hut in the structure and a Domino’s nearby,” rambled Bert Ernus.  “Fine, even my only friends don’t care.”

 

So, our four lovable friends traveled with the secret agent men to a ranch house on Bush Street, not too far from Tom’s pad on Pine Street.  The house was gray and medium-sized.  Walter decided to ring the bell, and just that instant, a haggard-looking man with a long, light gray beard, answered.  His presence reminded Tom and Walter of Victor, Ernest, and Jacques, three of Tom’s friends.  He reminded Ralph of his great friend Joe the Wanderer.  You don’t want to know who (or what) he reminded Joey of.

“Wow, nice house.  Got cable?” asked Joey.

“Who am I in the honor of meeting?” stuttered Walter in his usual amazed and friendly tone.  Joey’s tone is usually careless and sarcastic.
“Willie Nero,” said the man, reminding only Walter of his lost buddy Willy Jib.

Top Hat was unusually friendly.  “Hi Willie!  We’ve got a mystery to solve.”

“Yes, I can see it now.  Shaggy, Velma, Fred, Daphne, and Scooby-Doo.  And Scrappy.  The brown-haired guy with the mustache is Scrappy,” he said, referring to Ralph.

*                                              *                                              *

Next was the supermarket, your usual Vons.  But when Walter and Co. entered they saw a few old friends.

Right at the checkout counter was…could it be?  Louis the Ticket Man from A Case at First Base?  And then there was Bert Ernus again.  Walter approached his two acquaintances at the checkout station.

Bert, in the same exact mood as before, was telling Louis in exact word, “You think it’s all fun and games to work in a pizzeria?  Well, did it come to you that I do every job at Bert’s?  And, did it ever enter your head that many think of Bert’s Pizza Palace as the best pizzeria in town?  I have other interests besides pizza-making, yesiree.  I can play a great electric guitar.  Walter has never tried the guitar, and he has a million dollars.”

“Say what?” yelled Walter, but he felt the familiar tug on his shoulder, and after a bit of reasoning with security officer Don Ut, they were off.

“Next it’s off to Beta Kappa Pi,” decided Top Hat.

“What the heck do you have to do there?” wondered Walter.

“Check up on my nephew Melvin.”

“Well, we’ve got to get to the pit of the mystery!  We’re still on the fuzzy skin of the peach!”

“Walter’s right,” agreed Tom.  “First visiting some weirdo, then going to the supermarket to get absolutely nothing, then to a Stanford fraternity, I think someone’s gone off their rocker.”

“Hey!  I’m no weirdo!  I just have…drinking problems,” snapped Nero.

 

“Isn’t it obvious?  Out of everywhere in San Francisco, one of the last places we’d check is the answer!  ‘Mr. Blinn’s’ previous office is where Hankie, Max, and whoever else must be!” decided Tom.

“You must be correct.  That facility was the property of Hank Jabbo, Max McNommer, Larry Jumguts, and Fred Glep until all but Max died,” Walter realized.

“Yeah!  We could do some major hacking on it!” laughed Joey.

“Um, I think that’s illegal,” said Walter.

“Don’t you know your slang words?  ‘Hack’ means to search inside.  Do you live in 2004 or something?” said Joey.

“I know I do.  Such great things happened that year, and I just can’t keep my mind off them.  I mean, who could forget that election?  I voted for Nader.  And I voted for him in 2008 and this year,” stated Ralph.

“Wow, that’s the smartest thing you’ve ever said,” said Walter in awe.  “Not that I agree with your voting, though.”

So, the gang reached Mr. Blinn’s office, where instead of saying, “T. Blinn,” it read simply, “The Phone Company.”

“Don’t trust that sign,” Tom told his friends.  “Everyone knows Cingular, CelluarOne, and Verizon are not even in this district.  At least I do.”

Trunks was the first one to enter, with Top Hat following.  (If you want to know the order they entered, it was Trunks, Top Hat, Tom, Walter, Joey, Ralph, and Nero.)

 

When they all entered, they saw what looked like a 17-year old Hank Jabbo.  “So, we’re all here.  Lucky you chose so many friends, ‘cuz that’s more people for me to terminate.”

“That’s disgusting talk,” mumbled Joey.

“Hey, hey, Ralphie!  I once owned a dog that was smarter than you!” howled Hankie.

“He must have taught you everything you know,” chuckled Tom.  “Why don’t you just travel to Citobor and find Hank Jabbo?”

“We lost it,” Hankie fibbed.

“It was stolen!” decided Max.

“We haven’t got a button,” regretted Carl, who always told the truth.

“I DO!” shouted Trunks, as he held out the one and only black button.

Lenny and Carl flipped a coin over who would travel.  It ended up going to Lenny, who pressed it and was off, leaving the entire cast surrounded in a four-second long blast of yellow light.

“Think we’ll ever see them again?” asked Max.

“Nope,” giggled Joey.

But sure as could be, Lenny came back in prime form.  “Got the hamster.”

“WHAT?” screamed Hankie as he held the red-furred hamster in his hands.  “YOU DIDN’T UNHAMSTERIZE HIM, YOU SENILE TEEN!  YOU’RE FIRED!!!”  In his rage, Hankie squished the hamster, leaving his hands covered in blood and gore.

“NO!  FATHER!  ME!”  In a strange poof, Hankie disappeared into space, and was sure to receive a great beating in the afterlife.

“Well, that ends the mystery,” chuckled Nero.  “Wait!  Where am I?  Oh jeez.  Guys, I have a confession to make.  I’m Naughty Naut.  And this beard, hideous I know, is real.”

“Yeah, you probably figured it out by now, but we are Johnny Lurg and Frank Ramut in disguise.  It was several years ago when Frank Ramut watched The Matrix, loved it, and made two costumes, one for him and one for me,” said Johnny Lurg.

In the exact same place that Hank Jabbo had died, a new figure appeared.  This one was a green-skinned old man, the ghost of George Hiltrus, Walter and Tom’s scariest enemy.  He died when he was trapped on the metallic planet Citobor.

“This may make me a quadruple-crosser, but I’ll get the vacuum,” stammered Max McNommer.  He went to the broom closet, and pulled out a gas-powered vacuum to suck in the ghost.

“I think it’s out of gas,” moped Max.  “And we have no time to get any.”

“WAIT.  Is that blood and guts on the floor?  I’m sc-sc-scared of blood!  I’m leaving!” cried Hiltrus.

“Then how come you killed Willy Jib and tried to kill Walter and me?” questioned Johnny.

“The stories were G-rated back then,” Hiltrus admitted, and the creepy ghost was gone.  Walter, Tom, and Joey were surprised by Hiltrus’ phobia which would be the subject of many future conversations, and they deeply wondered what Hiltrus meant by “the stories.”

*                                              *                                              *

After Max McNommer had become a new friend of our friends and Tom Taggo had expelled Lenny and Carl from the building, a new figure was in the doorway.  This figure was the Plinusian Citem, the owner of the silvery POF spacecraft.  “Dad (Tom), I’m your long-lost son Cedric.”

“What the—how did you become a Plinusian?”
“Well, I happened to be adopted by a Plinusian named Ifroplox, and as a teenager I made the mistake of getting plastic surgery to look like the rest of us.  It’s an extremely difficult and painful process, and it’s outlawed on the planet nowadays.  I happened to develop the Plinusian accent, for except for the accent, the Plinusian tongue is completely like English.  So, will you get to know your son?”
Terrified of the statement about plastic surgery, Tom told his lost son to leave, and the rest of them never saw, heard from, or mentioned Cedric again.  Tom no longer wailed “I miss Cedric,” and eventually developed a phobia himself, the fear of teenagers.  Walter went on to have more adventures which will probably be read by fans next year.  Joey surprisingly went bankrupt five years later.  Ralph stayed the same way, and Naughty Naut lived the rest of his life in disguise, an outcast from the year 2012.

 

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