It often seems as if those who make their living in the business of words possess precocious, if not prodigious origins of their talent. My ascension through the advanced reading group in first grade may have been rapid, but I sure wasn’t churning out chapter books as the rest of my peers toiled with the fundamentals. I never even kept a journal.
Sometimes, beneath the haze of writer’s block, I wonder if this lack of foreshadowing might suggest I haven’t really found my niche after all. How will I ever create something worthy enough to illicit even a mere blurb of recognition when I can’t answer the question, “When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?” I understand the irrationality of this fear, when the fog clears. Nonetheless, I was ecstatic to discover a reply when the recent collapse of my roommate’s hard drive prompted an excavation through the annals of my own.
And it extends beyond the personal, this victory. “Detectives in Drag” illustrates more than my innate grasp of the English language, but the inherence of sexuality.
Our story begins in the PBJ detective agency [no the peanut butter & jelly detective agency], with JJ, Brandon, and Paul.
BARRINGGGGG, BARRINGGGG, rings the phone.
“Hello, PBJ detective agency,” says Paul.
“Yes, hello this is the Spice girls manager,” says he, “and I have a big problem.” “You see the Spice Girls have been Spice napped!”
“What!” exclaims Paul the Spice girl fanatic.
“Paul, stop yelling at the customer!” Shouts Brandon and JJ.
“No, you guys don’t understand, This guy is the Spice Girls manager and he says the Spice Girls have been Spice napped!” Paul explains.
“Whoopee!” Yells JJ.
“God bless the kidnappers good soul,” says Brandon thankfully.
“Hang up and do the world a favor, Paul,” says JJ.
“Come on guys just listen for your selves, if you don’t believe me,” says Paul
“Oh we believe you,” says JJ. “We just don’t care.”
“Come on JJ, let’s just listen to what this guy has to say,” says Brandon.
“Oh all right, give me the phone,” says JJ, sounding quite annoyed. “Umm, hello,” says JJ.
“Hello, this is the spice Girls manager and I’m begging you, please save the Spice Girls!”
“All right, we’ll do it,” says JJ.
“Yessssssss!” Screams Paul very enthusiasticilly.
“Great!” “There is just one problem, they’re being held hostage by the music loving, tone deaf Dr. Hansen, and his hit man Jo-Jo. They’re locked up in his castle somewhere in the Grand Canyon; the entrance is hidden in some boulders. That’s the good news, the bad news is that you have sneak into the castle with his talent search group,” said the Spice Girls manager.
“That doesn’t sound so bad,” states JJ.
“I didn’t finish,” tells the manager. “You have to sneak in disguised as women.”
“What!” They all scream together.
“You mean to tell me that we manly men have to too dress in drag!” Shouts Brandon, speaking for all three of them.
“Yes, I’m afraid that’s the only way,” clarifies the Spice Girls manager.
After a few minutes of stony silence the three detectives had made their decision.
“We’ve come to a decision and we choose to accept your mission,” states Brandon.
“Thank you so very much,” grovels the manager. “You guys were my only hope.”
After they hung up JJ, Brandon, and Paul got talking.
“Do you guys really care if the Spice Girls are kept hostage?” Questions Brandon.
“No,” says JJ.
“Yes,” says Paul. “Because if they’re locked up we’ll never be able to hear their wonderful music again,” states Paul.
“Wrong, if they’re locked up then we never have to hear their awful music again. Except for the forty-eight hour marathon dedicated to them,” JJ brings to mind.
“Any way,” says Brandon. “We have to get going tomorrow. Now let’s go we have to go get our dresses.”
“What!” “Were going to be seen in public buying dresses!” shouts JJ as Paul sits there smiling happily. “Except for Paul this will be our first time buying women’s clothes, and wearing them!”
The only reason I’ve wore women’s clothing,” says Paul, “was because someone dared me to.”
“Yeah, your inner child!” Remarks JJ snidely.
“Humph,” was all Paul said.
“Enough!” Silences Brandon. “Now let’s get going.”
Meanwhile at Victoria Secret, Paul was buying black Gucci, and black high heels.
“Does this make me look fat?” Questioned Paul.
Then Brandon bought a long lacy, hot pink dress and hot yellow high heels.
“Grrrrrrr,” said Brandon as he looked in the mirror.
Next JJ bought a long, hot blue and hot yellow dress and hot green high heels.
As they were paying for there stuff JJ said to Paul,
“Paul do you realize that you’re going to have to shave your legs when you were that?”
“Yes,” answered Paul very enthusiastically.
“Paul I think your getting a little bit to into this,” says Brandon.
“O.K., now were off to the accessories,” said JJ.
After they bought their make up and their purses, then they left on their way home. When they got home they got everything ready. Just as JJ was walking out the door with his stuff to put in the van Paul says
“I don’t think you should leave that in there over night, somebody might steal it.”
“Were in New York, what could hap…,” JJ didn’t get to finish his sentence cause just then there was a loud gunshot, followed by a blood-curdling scream. “I think your right Paul,” said JJ as he shut the door and locked it.
The next morning they woke up bright and early so they could get a good start. They put on their dresses, styled up their wigs, put on their makeup, and loaded their guns and put them in their purses. Then they hopped in their high-tech van and drove on their way.
Two hours later they pulled into a gas station to get gas and ask for directions.
“Could you tell me which way to the Grand Canyon,” asked Brandon in his most feminine voice.
“Go straight down W-57 for four miles then take a left onto W-58, then ride that for thirty-seven miles, then take a left and your there,” said the gawking attendant, because Brandon was suprisingly attractive as a woman.
“Thank you,” said Brandon politely.
Then they were off again.
A half-hour later they arrived at the Grand Canyon.
“The Spice Girl’s manager said the entrance to the castle is hidden somewhere in theses towering boulders,” said JJ beginning to search along the boulders.
“I don’t see how were ever going to find the stupid entrance,” said Paul glumly as he kicked the side of one of the giant boulders when all of a sudden… “AHHH!” Screamed Paul as the side of the boulder moves out.
“Paul your a genius,” complimented JJ. “You found the entrance!”
“I knew it was there the whole time,” said Paul.
“Sure ya did,” said Brandon sarcastically.
“Who cares,” said JJ, “let’s get going.”
As they walked down the hallway they heard voices.
“Wait,” stops JJ, “ I think I hear voices, listen.”
Sure enough, there was a group of people standing in front of a double set of French doors.
“Are you here for the talent search?” Questioned a guy.
“Yes,” said Paul.
“Well then go right on through,” said the man.
“Woo-hoo,” whistled a couple of guys as they walked by.
“Somebody’s looken hot tonight,” said another guy.
“Humph!” They all three said together.
As they got through the door they saw a long corridor to the left, and a big area with a stage at the back, straight a head. They started walking to the corridor to the left when a man came out of one of the rooms.
“Hi there, my name is Jo-Jo. And who might you fine young ladies be?” Questioned Jo-Jo.
“I am Paula,” said Paul.
“And I am Jilly,” said JJ.
“And I am Brandy,” said Brandon.
“Paula, by any chance are you single?” asked Jo-Jo.
“Why yes,” said Paula [Paul] smiling shyly, but then seeing stares from JJ and Brandon, screamed “Stop hitting on me!” and slapped him in the face.
“Sorry,” apologized Jo-Jo as he walked away with his head down.
“O.K. now that that’s over can we start looking around,” said JJ.
“Now he’ s really getting into his work,” JJ whispered to Brandon.
“Yes he is,” replied Brandon.
Paul pretended not to hear.
After about an hour of looking they still had no luck.
“Man, my feet are killing me!” exclaimed Brandon.
“Yeah, I just can’t imagine running in these,” just as JJ finished his sentence Jo-Jo came around the corner, and stepped into a room.
“Whew, I don’t think he saw us,” said JJ quite relieved.
Just then Jo-Jo came out of the room and as he was about to turn the corner and saw them. Jo-Jo broke into a trot and came towards them with a smile on his face.
“Hey, I wondered were you girls went,” he said, “I’ve been looking all over for you girls!”
They didn’t wait any longer, the three of them broke into a full sprint, or what came close to it in high heels.
“Man is it hard to run in high heels,” Paul said as they were slipping and sliding on the linoleum. Not long after that Jo-Jo caught up with them.
“Why did you girls run away from me,” questioned Jo-Jo, panting.
Then before he hear their answer, SLAM!!, JJ gave him a mean karate kick right in the gut. Then WACK!!, Brandon landed a mean left hook to his jaw. Then finally when you would think the guy had had enough CRACK!!, Paul laid a judo chop to his neck.
The trio moved the unconscious and badly beaten Jo-Jo to one of the many rooms. Then they tied him up and gagged him with panty hose. Then the trio walked out of the room and down the hall. When to their luck they bumped into Dr. Hansen!
“Why hello ladies,” greeted Dr. Hansen smirking.
“Hello,” they reply.
“Where, may I ask are you going?” questions Dr. Hansen.
“None of your dang business!” smart-mouths Paula [Paul].
“Paula!” whispers Brandy [Brandon], poking Paul in the ribs.
“You have to excuse my friend,” apologizes Brandy [Brandon]. “She’s a little bit to secretive.”
“What’s there to be secretive about,” snoops Dr. Hansen.
“Paula’s right,” snapped Jilly [JJ]. “You are getting to snoopy.”
“Wha…,” Dr. Hansen didn’t get to finish his sentence, because JJ judo chopped him in the back of the neck.
“O.K., now let’s search some more while they’re unconscious,” said JJ.
But Dr. Hansen must have been a quick healer because when they went into one of the rooms he got up and went after them.
“Now you’re trapped!” Laughed Dr. Hansen very cynical.
They looked around as they were backing up.
“Quick out the window!” Screamed Paul.
Luckily there was a postal truck outside the window so they had a soft landing. A half-hour later they got to a town and they needed to eat.
“Let’s go to McDonalds,” suggested Paul.
“Great idea Paul,” complemented Brandon.
“I second that,” said JJ.
They got to McDonalds and ordered their food. When they were half way through their meal Paul had to go to the bathroom. Paul got up from his seat and walked to the bathrooms.
Ten minutes later Paul came back from the bathroom because it took him seven minutes for him to decide which bathroom to go into. When he walked around the corner there was no one there and there was half eaten big Macs at the tables.
“Hey where is every one?” Paul wondered out loud.
“PING!” A bullet whizzed by Paul’s head.
“Whoa!” Paul screamed.
Looking in the direction that the bullet came from, Paul saw none other than Dr. Hansen and his hitman Jo-Jo.
He heard a whisper as he dropped to the floor.
“Paula, down here,” whispered Brandy [Brandon] and Jilly [JJ].
Paula [Paul] crawled over to where Brandon and JJ were, ducked behind a turned over table, with their guns out.
“PING!, PING!, PING!” Just as Paul got out his gun Dr. Hansen and Jo-Jo started shooting.
“Everybody duck!” shouted Brandy [Brandon].
“BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!” Went JJ’s gun.
On and on went the shooting for five minutes straight.
“Follow me,” commanded JJ. “I have an idea.”
Brandon and Paul followed JJ into the Play Place room, and they then climbed into the tubes.
“I saw them go in there,” said Jo-Jo, pointing at the Play Place room.
Then Dr. Hansen and his hit man Jo-Jo ran into the Play Place room with their guns out stretched.
Once in the Play Place room Dr. Hansen said to Jo-Jo “I saw them go into the tubes.”
“You first,” said Dr. Hansen to Jo-Jo.
Jo-Jo crawled into the tubes and hurried up. Then Dr. Hansen ran around the back.
As soon as Jo-Jo was half way up the three detectives slid down the slide and as soon as they were out…
“BLAM! BLAM!, BLAM!” Shot the three detectives.
“CREAKKK! CREAKKK! CRUNCHHH! The whole Play Place came crunching down on top of Jo-Jo!
Lucky for Jo-Jo he was still alive, because he was in the middle of a tube when it came crashing down.
The detectives made a run towards the door, but when they got there Dr. Hansen was in their paths.
“Don’t take another step or I’ll….”
“BLAM!” Dr. Hansen didn’t get to finish his sentence because JJ shot his gun right out of his hand!
Before you could say Niconpoop, Dr. Hansen was making a mad dash to get out of McDonalds.
“BLAM!” The bullet from JJ’s gun broke the glass door to smithereens.
Just when Dr. Hansen thought he was safe something happened.
“BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!” Went the detective’s guns.
“PLINK! PLINK! PLINK! PLINK!” Went the strings holding up the Ronald McDonald statue.
Then to Dr. Hansen’s amazement the statue toppled on top of him.
The three detectives stood there staring at the unconscious and badly beaten, Dr. Hansen.
Finally breaking the silence Paul said “That’s going to leave a mark!”
“O.K., enough standing around, let’s get this show on the road!” Said JJ.
The three detectives took a cab back to the secret castle. As soon as they got there they started searching.
After about an hour and a half they begin to loose hope, so they decided to take a break. They begin to get thirsty so they went to the stage area to see if there was any water. Not only did they find water but they found a throne too!
“Hey check it out there’s a throne here, this guy must think he’s a king!” Exclaimed Brandon.
Brandon hopped up onto the throne and begins drumming his fingers on the sides. Then all of a sudden the ground started to move.
“Oh mylanta!” Screamed Paul. “I think it’s an earthquake!”
Then all of a sudden they slid down and down, the throne following them down on an elevator shaft above.
“WHUMPH!” They hit the floor with a thud.
“OOUCH!” Said Brandon.
“Ditto,” said JJ.
“SHHHH!” Demanded Paul. “I think I hear voices.”
Sure enough, they heard what sounded like complaining with an English accent.
They all three looked at each other and said “The Spice Girls!”
They broke into a sprint in the direction of the voices. Soon they came into an open clearing where five women were sitting. These five women were the Spice Girls.
Scary Spice was clinking her tongue ring, Posh Spice was filing her finger nails, Baby Spice was sucking on a sucker, Sporty Spice was running laps, and Ginger Spice was trying to walk-in, her new high-platform shoes.
“Hello, [clink] there [clink],” said Scary Spice clinking her tongue ring.
“Hi,” answered Paul cheerfully.
“Are you here for a make over?” Asked Ginger Spice.
“No, were her to save you,” replied Paul.
“First, we need to save your wardrobe,” replied the fashion sense Posh Spice.
“No, I don’t think there’s any chance of that,” said Ginger Spice, the other fashion sense.
“Listen, do you want to get out of this joint or not?” Questioned Brandon, getting a little annoyed.
“How are you going to do that?” Questioned Sporty. “You are just as helpless as we are.”
“Well for one thing, we’re trained FBI agents and secondly we’re men.” Said JJ, taking off his wig.
“Oh, I thought you guys were so pretty ugly women," ”aid Baby Spice.
”I’m about this far from leaving you guys here!” Said Brandon making a motion with his hand.
“You guys, these are the Spice Girls!” Said Paul.
“That’s the whole point,” responds JJ.
Just then a very battered and beaten Dr. Hansen comes down from the Chair elevator followed by his hit man Jo-Jo.
“This is the last straw ladies, err…gentlemen,” snapped Dr. Hansen.
“BEWAOUWEHFGHJ!” Barfs Jo-Jo. “You are men, and just think I was trying to hit on you.”
The detectives started looking for an exit, but the only way out was the chair elevator.
Dr. Hansen saw what they were doing and said as he was pulling out his uzi “Nice try, but the only exit is the chair.”
They were doomed; their guns were in their purses on the floor behind them. But then Paul got an idea, as quick as a flash Paul kicked his black high-heel at Dr. Hansen.
“WHAM!” The shoe hit with precise aim, knocking the uzi right out of Dr. Hansens hand. It skidded in the corner with a thud.
The detectives made a mad scramble for their guns and Dr. Hansen for his uzi. But Paul was now quicker with only one shoe, and he had his gun aimed at Dr. Hansen’s head.
“One wrong move and your dead!” Threatened Paul.
The detectives grabbed their purses and moved around to the elevator chair. Some how they all managed to fit on. Then up, up, up they went leaving Dr. Hansen, Jo-Jo, and the Spice Girls behind.
“You can’t leave us!” Screamed the Spice Girls.
“Watch us!” Shouted JJ and Brandon together, Paul didn’t say anything.
Soon the screams and moans were no longer heard.
After about twenty-five minutes of thinking and drinking [water] the detectives started talking.
“I have to pee,” said Paul rushing for the bathroom.
“JJ, I’ve been thinking,” said Brandon.
“Yeah, me too,” said JJ.
“We should go save the Spice Girls,” said JJ and Brandon at the same time.
“Even though I could care less about what happens to the Spice Girls,” said JJ to Brandon. “We gave our word to their manager.”
“Yes, I know,” said Brandon, disappointedly.
Paul comes back from the bathroom adjusting his pantyhose.
“Paul, we’ve come to a decision, and we’re going to save the Spice Girls after all,” says JJ.
“Yessssssssss!” Screams Paul as he almost wets his pants. “All right, let’s get going.”
“Wait Paul, first we have to stratigize,” explains JJ.
“Oh, all right, but hurry up,” complains Paul.
“O.K., first we’ve got to get some plastiques,” says JJ. “Anybody got some?”
“I do,” says Brandon pulling out a lipstick container.
“But Brandon, that’s lipstick,” says JJ.
“No it isn’t,” insists Brandon. “Watch this.” Brandon spreads a smear of lipstick in the middle of the stage, and ten seconds later…”BOOOOM!” The stage is blown to smithereens!
“Wow, that’s some heavy duty stuff!” Says Paul.
“O.K., now we need some nets,” says JJ. “Anybody got a net in their purse.”
“I don’t have a net,” Paul says but I have something that we can tie together to make a net,” says Paul pulling twenty-three packs of pantyhose out of his purse.
“Holy cow Paul, why do you have all those in your purse?” Questions Brandon.
“Well I brought them in case I get a run in one,” says Paul as if to say Du. “We can tie them together to make a net.”
“Good idea Paul, you’re a genius!” Compliments JJ.
“I know,” brags Paul.
“All right Brandon, go around back and Paul you stay with me, I’ll take the net,” commands JJ.
Ten minutes later Brandon was in place. “BOOOOOM!” The back wall of the hidden dungeon splintered into a million and one pieces.
Startled by the explosion, Baby Spice swallowed her sucker, stick and all! Posh Spice, who was now filing her toenails, stabbed her nail file right into her foot! Ginger Spice, who was just getting used to her new high-plat-form shoes tripped and broke the platforms in half. Sporty Spice who was still running laps was so startled by the blast, that she ran right into the back wall. Scary Spice, still clinkety-clinking her tongue ring swallowed it with her tongue halfway down her throat.
“OUGH, OUGH, AUGH, OUGHT!” Choked Scary.
“WHOOP,” Ginger slapped Scary on the back.
“OUUF,” thank you, grovels Scary.
“Let’s get out of here!” Screamed Dr. Hansen to Jo-Jo, as they make a run for the hole in the wall.
“Not so fast!” Says Brandon, as he steps in front of the hole with two uzis in his hands.
“Let’s get him!” Screams Posh as she gets the nail file out, and Dr. Hansen and Jo-Jo run towards the elevator chair which had mysteriously come down.
“OOOOW!” Screamed Dr. Hansen and Jo-Jo as the Spice girls started slapping and hitting them. Then they started singing Wannabe.
“I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want,” screeched Sporty.
“OOOOW! OOOOW!” Screamed Dr. Hansen and Jo-Jo, holding their ears in pain.
As they reached the elevator chair they got caught in a net of pantyhose!
“OOOH-NOO, we’re captured!” Screamed Dr. Hansen.
“Yes you are,” states JJ.
“Are you guys all right?” Questions Paul.
“Yes we are,” say the Spice Girls together. “And thank you all so very much.”
“Great!” Says Paul very excited. “Now I can hear you all sing your wonderful music again!”
“No, not all of us!” Says Ginger. “Because I quit!” “I’m fed-up with being a Spice Girl!” “From being bombarded with fans, well that was for the first couple of months. And now being held hostage!” “Well I quit!” “Ya hear that, I quit!”
“I always knew she couldn’t handle it,” said Posh.
“One down, four to go,” says JJ.
“Right, on my man!” Says Brandon giving a high five.
“This is so sad,” cries Paul.
“Get over it,” says Brandon.
“I’ll try,” sniffles Paul.
“All right, now to cart these guys off,” reminds JJ, pointing to Dr. Hansen and Jo-Jo.
“I’ll call the cops,” sniffles Paul.
One hour later they heard the screech of police sirens. “RERU, RERU, RERU,” screeched the police siren.
“That’s the cops,” said Brandon.
Two minutes later a swarm of cops came rushing in through the hole that Brandon had blasted in the wall.
“We’ll take over from here,” said one of the many cops.
“SCREECH, HONK, HONK,” goes a car.
Then in comes the Spice Girls manager.
“Oh, thank goodness you guys are all right,” exclaims the Spice Girls manager, very relieved. “I don’t know how I can ever thank you,” says the manager.
“A reward would be nice,” Brandon suggests.
“Oh yes, that sounds like a great idea,” says the manager. “Here's $50,000 a piece, and that’s all I can afford, because these girls don’t bring in that much extra income.”
“Umm, we have some bad news,” says Posh to the manager. “Ginger quit.”
“What!” screamed the manager, “She quit!”
“Yes I’m afraid so,” clarifies Scary.
“Waaaaaaahhh!” Wailed the manager.
“Waaaaaaahhh!” Wailed Paul.
“Oh great, now you got him started again!” Complains Brandon to the manager. “Let’s go you guys,” said Brandon.
Later back at their office they were talking about what had happened.
“That was a good day,” said JJ. “We did our job of saving the Spice Girls, and got $50,000. Also Ginger quit, so that’s one down, four to go!”
“Yeah, and the dressing up as women wasn’t so bad after all,” Brandon brings to mind.
“I loved it!” Said Paul very enthusiastically, as JJ and Brandon just look at him and roll their eyes. “But I still can’t get over the fact that Ginger quit,” said Paul starting to sniffle.
“Oh no, now don’t start that again,” said Brandon, very annoyed.
Two weeks later, every thing had been going fine. JJ was in the living room watching the news and Paul and Brandon were in the kitchen making pizza.
“Oh my gosh!” Shouted JJ. “It just said on the news that Dr. Hansen and his hit man Jo-Jo have escaped from prison. And they’ve taken hostages!”
“RINGGG, RINGGG,” went the phone.
“Paul don’t answer the…” Said JJ, getting cut off.
“Hello,” said Paul.
“…Phone,” finished JJ.
“Yes this is the PBJ detective agency,” Said Paul.
“Oh no, not again!” Said JJ and Brandon together.
Poor Paul, despite my obvious lack of color coordination and fashion sense, it’s clear I was projecting my budding homosexuality onto him. Yet, while I may have been years from finding the words to express my sexual identity, “Detectives in Drag” provided my first major experimentation in plot, in flourish. This revelation may not signify a destiny of literary greatness, a journey to success as short as I once assumed the distance between New York and Arizona to be; but I can only benefit from re-channeling the enthusiasm radiating from those preternaturally vibrant adjectives. And at the very least, my grasp of grammar and punctuation has increased exponentially since the seventh grade.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
"So, what do you think?!" I implored, giving my roommate a 360 of my new haircut, grinning as widely as a circus performer.The expectation plunged from my face. My stylist did say he thought it butched up my look. I guess I just assumed he meant it more in the Cassidy, than the lesbian sense.
"Ah - Joan Jett," she concurred after a brief appraisal. "Yeah, that's who I'm thinking of."
Eh. Could be worse. Joan is a bad ass. And I've been mistook before. Mostly by edgier incarnations of Rachel Maddow. One in particular kept dancin' on me even after I flashed her the five o'clock shadow.
It may have been closer to 1:30; but still, I can only shrug again. This time in acknowledgment of the undeniable - my sexuality is transcendent. Some might say. That or "Androgynous," as Joan herself croons (the cover) on her 2006 album, "Sinner."
YEAH. Picture book that!
I can do it. I can rock a quasi-mullet for six weeks. Sure. At least. And it's much more than an aesthetic adventure, it's a social contribution. This JJ agrees; we should all exert our identities as brazenly as rock stars.