In the summer of 1973 the Schenectady Police Force faced their biggest pickle yet. A mysterious fiend began a terrorizing campaign against the city at large. "The Menace" was his nom de plume. Tre noir. Tre magnifique.
On the morning of June 13th a full page ad appeared in the local Daily Newsie. It was an open letter addressed to the Chief of Police, Chief Cherokee Wrangler.
"Dear Chief Wrangler,
This letter is to inform you that I am going to chop everybody's balls off by SUNDOWN.
Wrangler certainly had a big wet pickle on his hands. The town was scared Christmas-less. At high noon he gave a press conference at city hall in front of a panicked audience. But the stage had been set for him.The Menace had somehow distributed fortune cookies across the downtown area with the message:
"Dear Chief Wrangler,
On second thought, I changed my mind. I will not chop everyone's balls off. Instead I will chop off YOUR BALLS. Plus everybody's dick. INCLUDING YOURS!
It was at this moment when Chief Cherokee Wrangler gave his famous "Leads" speech as the rain fell hard on the humdrum town.
"We got to get this guy. Any leads?"
It certainly looked as though the good citizens of Schenectady were in a heap of pickles and meatballs and there was nothing the authorities could do.
Enter Dr. Herman J Kraft.
On the morning of June 21st 1973, as Chief Wrangler sat at his desk eating his curds and whey, a tall, gaunt, white-haired man knocked on the door. He wore a white lab coat over a tweed one-piece. On his pink face sat a pair of circular glasses round as the bottom of Coke bottles. His mustache was bristly like a broom that had been sweeping up salt and pepper, and such was an accurate description of it's color. This is what Chief Wrangler was thinking when the man walked in and introduced himself as Dr. Herman J. Kraft, Professor of Psychology and Polylogics. "I did this last night" the Professor explained, as he pulled out a long document from the back of his pants. "It's for you."
THE MENACE: A PSYCHOLOGICAL PROFILE, by Dr. Herman J Kraft.
The subject is most likely a white male between the age of 13 and 113. He is a native of the area having grown up nearby and attended the local high school. He is somewhere between 100 and 600 lbs. He is single and "ready to mingle." He most likely enjoys the smooth taste of KING BUDDY beer when he gets home from a long day of fly fishin' n' crawdaddy diggin'. He dyes his sideburns bright red. He reads 10 books a day. He is constantly constipated each week until Diarrhea Sunday. He speaks 9 languages including English, German, French, Gailic, Garlic, Apache, Transylvanian, Pygmie, Robot, and French Cruller. He sings in a strong tenor that combines the smart folkiness of CSNY with the gospel infused funk-pop of Bobby Womack. He is a sophisticated keeper-upper with the times who frequently eats microwavable TV dinners and dresses in the finest of polyester garments. He gets over, Jack. And that ain't no jive! He lives in an apartment complex, or possibly a teepee or treehouse or enormous stone castle. His weapons of choice are the hand grenade, the poison dart, and the ninja star, not to mention nuclear missiles should he he get a chance to futz around with one. He wears a chocolate gold medallion around his neck. He uses gummy bears as ear plugs. In all likelihood, he is a white belt in karate and shows a lot of promise according to Sensai Andy. He smokes reefer. His friend is a beaver named Mushroom Man.
He must be stopped.
As Chief Wrangler read on, moving his lips along with the words, voicing out the sounds of the words with his mouth, Dr. Kraft walked to the corner of the room and took a shit (in his pants.)
"Pardon me Cheif, where's the restroom?"
But there would be no rest for this unlikely duo who would later be known as "the pair that held up."
To Be Continued...
In the next installment, entitled The Pair That Held Up, we see how life can often resemble a gift box of chocolate candies. I've always thought so. How about you, mom?