by John Wyatt
As the sun rises over Gothic City, all seems peaceful. But is it? NO! For at this very moment, police Chief Jones and Super Fink are in deep consultation over some dark and devious occurrence. What could it be? Well, whatever it is, I'm sure that our hero can solve it. After all, when the dreaded Pretzel Man came to town ... Ah! But I haven't told that one yet, have I? Well, let's look in on the conference between our two upholders of justice and see what is happening.
"And so," said Chief Jones, "he ... uh, Super Fink, you look completely bored."
"Huh? Oh. Well, you'd be bored too if you listened to that boring narrator's stupid introduction."
"Oh. Well, I never listen to him anymore. But as I was saying, Mr. Boopin woke about 1:30 am with the feeling that somebody was in the room. He looked up, but saw nothing. He started to lay back down when all of a sudden a hideous face sprang out at him, laughing hysterically! Mr. Boopin sprang out of bed, sprang into his clothes, ran to the bedroom door and sprang out into the hallway, where the face sprang at him again, so he ran out of the house and sprang out on to the lawn!"
"That's horrible!" cried Super Fink.
"Yes, it is! Imagine having to go through what he did!"
"Huh? I don't mean that. I mean that you used the word 'sprang' five times in the last sentence! It's unforgivable!"
"Oh. I'm sorry. But getting back to the case, I could overlook it as a bad dream if it hadn't been for the fact that upon re-entering his house, he found all his valuables gone. And this is the third time this has happened in the past week!"
"This sounds like the work of some terrible super-criminal!" cried Super Fink. "And naturally you called me in to solve the case!"
"Huh? Oh, no. I called you here to see if you wanted to play checkers."
"Sorry, Chief. I never play card games. But I'm going to take a crack at this case. I'm off!" And out he dashed, jumped on his motorized skateboard, and took off for the Super Hut.
Minutes later, Super Fink pulled up outside the Super Hut and ran inside. He quickly briefed Little Fink on the entire story.
"This sounds like the work of the Boogie Man!" said Little Fink.
"The Booger Man?"
"No - the Boogie Man!"
"I didn't know you believed in ghosts." asked Super Fink.
"No, stupid! I mean the super-criminal who disguises himself as a ghost!"
"Oh. Well, how do we catch him?"
"Surely we can figure something out. Why, I remember when the awful Pretzel Man came to town..."
"Please, Little Fink, don't confuse the readers. The narrator hasn't told them that one yet."
"I know. I'll question all of the victims personally. Maybe I can pick up a clue." And so Super Fink set out for town, determined to find some clue that would help him solve the case.
Super Fink stopped at the urban house of the first victim: a Mrs. Wilson. He strode to the door and rang the bell.
<knock, knock> "Bell's out of order."
A middle-aged woman answered the door.
"Yeah? What do you want, creep?" she asked acidly.
"I'm investigating the series of ghost burglaries."
"YOU!??" she laughed. "Why, you don't look like you could whip a wet noodle!"
"Fortunately, I've never been called upon to do that. May I come in please?"
"Oh, alright. But be quick."
He asked Mrs. Wilson several questions, but got essentially the same story as Mr. Boopin's. He then went to the house of the second victim, but again got the same story. Having exhausted his leads, Super Fink returned to police headquarters to see if there were any new developments. Chief Jones greeted him expectantly, but neither one had any clues, so they both sat down to play dominoes.
Several uneventful hours later a car pulled up outside and Lt. Peterson got out, having returned from a week's vacation in Vermont. He strode inside, whistling merrily.
"Hi Chief. Hi Fink. How's it going?"
They quickly told him the entire story up to this point.
"Ha!" cried Lt. Peterson. "That's the whole story, eh?"
"Omitting the stupid narrator's boring introduction." replied Super Fink.
"Oh, Well, I can solve this whole thing right now!" Lt. Peterson proudly claimed.
"WHAT!!!" Chief Jones and Super Fink cried out in unison. "HOW???"
"Easy! I've heard this story before, at a police convention four months ago! Our beloved narrator was there and the told this story to us."
"WHAT!!! You mean it!!??"
"I wonder what the narrator has to say about that!" snarled Chief Jones.
"I thought so! Nothing to say! Well, Peterson, let's hear what you have to say."
So Lt. Peterson told them who the Boogie Man was and where he lived.
"Great!" chortled Super Fink. "Let's go arrest him!"
"Not so fast." replied Chief Jones. "We still don't have court evidence against him. A judge would throw our case out. We have to catch him red-handed!"
So, they aren't out of this yet! (gee...i forgot all about that police convention.....)
Late that night, Chief Jones, Super Fink, and Little Fink left in a police car, pulling up half a block from the criminal's house. They sat and waited, intent upon following the criminal to his next crime. About 1 AM they saw the garage door open and a black sedan back silently out into the street. They followed as closely as they could without being seen. Fifteen minutes later, the car stopped in front of - Chief Jones house! Oh, what audacity! Striking at the police chief's own house!
"Boy, will he be surprised tonight!" said Chief Jones excitedly.
"You mean, because we're here to catch him?" asked Little Fink.
"No. I mean that my wife is going to kill the Boogie Man for waking her up! Why do you think I always sleep at the station when I get off the evening watch?"
"Oh." said Super Fink, puzzled. "Say, Chief, how do you kill a ghost?"
The Boogie Man forced open a window and climbed through, carrying a small movie projector. A few minutes later there was wild yelling and screaming from the house, mingled with frantic cries for help!
"Come on!" yelled Little Fink. "Mrs. Jones needs help!" They all ran to the house, just as the Boogie Man came flying through the bedroom window!
"AND STAY OUT YOU FILTHY RAT!!!!!! WAKING ME UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!!!!"
"You're under arrest, Boogie Man!" Super Fink cried as he blocked the Boogie Man's escape.
"Thank you! Thank You!" the Boogie Man wailed. "Anything! Just get me away from that witch!"
"WITCH!!!CALL ME A WITCH WILL YOU!!! I'LL SHOW YOU...YOU....RAT!!!!!"
"Stay clear of the window!" Jones yelled, just as a chair came flying through, followed by shoes and other solid objects, thrown in Mrs. Jones' anger. Meanwhile, the Boogie Man had given up and was being taken to the police car. Chief Jones followed.
"Hey, Chief," asked Little Fink. "Aren't you going to go calm your wife down?"
"What!!?? Me - go in there??? No way!"
So off they sped for police headquarters.
After confessing his crimes, the Boogie Man asked how they caught him so quickly.
"Well, you see," said Chief Jones, "one of our lieutenants heard this story before, at a police convention."
"What???? Did this narrator tell it?"
"I'm afraid so."
"That's the last time I ever trust him! If he told it before, why's he telling it again?"
well......uh... i sorta forgot about that police convention......uh....<ahem>......