Sunday, January 23, 2011

Outwitting the Common Burglar

Needing advice on a way to secrete valuables in his Utter Despair, NJ dwelling, THE FUTURIST! asked an acquaintance on security procedures on the best way to foil the common burglar. Bud Baxter, retired Utter Despair law enforcer and heavy drinker at The Third Man Cinema Pub, was the man to see. THE FUTURIST! encountered Bud last Wednesday night as he quaffed several Fritz Lang Lagers. Bud was, also, watching old Michael Shayne, Private Eye films (starring Lloyd Nolan) in one of the private booths in the Pub. THE FUTURIST! slid into the booth just as Bud was finishing off his suds and the end of THE MAN WHO WOULDN'T DIE (1942). Bud raised his mug as a signal to the waiter for another refill and as a salute to the end of the film.

"Ah, that Mike Shayne is one tough cookie. The besht private dick in the boo-(urp) -oook," he said as he stared with bleary eyes at THE FUTURIST!. "Wha' do you want, Bow Tie Man?"

THE FUTURIST! told Bud exactly what he needed. A way to hide his valuables from intruders that might unlawfully enter his home. Utter Despair had been having a rash of break-ins in recent weeks.

Bud rubbed his right eye and sputtered, "What ya got to hide? Diamonds? Purl necklashes? Some kind of gems? ... you got gold, Fancy Pants? I bet ya got a tiara or somethin' HA HA HA!"

THE FUTURIST! denied the assertions of hoarding pirate booty and, at the same time, steadied Bud before he fell into the path of Otto the waiter as he was gliding by with a tray of Joan Crawford Shoulder Pork Rinds for Film Projection Booth 12. Bud raised his head and said, "Whatcha' want a safe or somethin'?"

THE FUTURIST! told Bud he needed to hide away his collection of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN comics from the late 1960s, his Pee-Wee Herman talking Doll (with Chairy), his grandfather's pocket watch, his Dick Tracy Big Little Books, insurance papers, birth certificate, his collection of George Segal DVDs and some cash.

"Well, let me tell ya, FUSHTURISHT ... as a retired law offisher and now a reshpected private detective, I gotta tell ya that the besht way to foil or, as we say, bamboozle the catshup burglars is to use ordinary things to hide extra-ordinary things ... you undershtand?"

THE FUTURIST! nodded and asked if he meant a safe behind a painting. He did own a beautiful painting of Jack Nicholson as J.J. Gittes in CHINATOWN done by his former aide de-camp haiku. Bud grimaced and waved his hand wildly about.

"Nah, that's dumb ... that's really dumb. You've seen too many movies. The bad guys always look for safes behind paintings ... you use somethin' more unsushpecting ... like a phony outlet."

THE FUTURIST! did not quite understand. Did Bud mean an electrical outlet?

"Yesh, a goddamn electrical plug thingee in da wall! You know? The thing you plug your vibrator into, Franklin Pangborn."

THE FUTURIST! took umbrage to Bud's comment. He didn't look a thing like Franklin Pangborn. He signaled for Otto the waiter to refill Bud's glass in hope of calming down his obvious aggression and need for alcoholic sedation. THE FUTURIST! told Bud he could not understand how he could fit his cache of priceless items into a fake wall socket.

Bud smiled as he watched the Fritz Lang Lager foam in his glass. "Don't worry, my boy. I got a solution to that very thing. I will be over tomorrow with my assistant and we will inshtall a very unobstrushive common wall outlet that will remedy your little worries with perfect precishion and expert craftman - (urp) - manship. I promise you ... no crook will ever think to look in this thing .. all he'll shee is a common ordinary socket. Count on it." Bud sipped his drink. "Oh ... we only take cash. NO Spider-Man comic books or talking dolls. HA HA HA!!"

The following day, THE FUTURIST! returned from work to find the described "unobtrusive wall outlet" that would readily handle his large collection of valuables.