You are getting sleepy. No I'm not. Yes you are. No I am. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

by bobsimpson

Insp. Inspector, Owen the little feller, and Wainsley the giant search for one of a twin. From Tampa to Las Vegas to Tampa and Owen travels as carry on luggage.

It looks like Dorothy is going to have the ask the Wizard for a case of feminine protection products.

The Case of the Harmful Hypnotist or Did He Just Think He Was a Hypnotist?
The Case of the Harmful Hypnotist or Did He Just Think He Was a Hypnotist?

Chapter one

Traffic during the morning blush hour

Insp. Inspector lounged in his courtyard, waiting for the briquettes to heat up his $5.99 Hibachi. In Chernobyl Russia, a middle-class couple was NOT sitting down to a five-course dinner nuked in three minutes by an American Home Shopping Network Microwave oven made in China.

For the next 600 years the food will cook by itself and never decay in Chernobyl. The closest habitable Russian town a thousand miles away was celebrating the opening of a new Japanese restaurant. At least the Japanese have a handle on this nuclear power thing.  

Inspector was having trouble keeping the charcoal burning but there was flammable nail polish remover in the bathroom. It had been forgotten by one of Inspector’s rare sleep-over triumphs, left during a hasty retreat the next morning as the previous night’s events started becoming clearer.

He soaked the briquettes again with polish remover and relit the coals. The fire blazed, sending rolling, black clouds into the stratosphere.

Next day the clouds cooled and sank down onto the busy streets of downtown Tampa. The nail shellac of hundreds of unsuspecting working women and two working waiters suddenly dripped onto the now Blushing Pink streets. It happened during Blush hour.

It was Sunday in the Inspector’s backyard when Ms. Joann Snackly arrived. It was also Sunday in the front yard. “I saw your smoke and Oh, oh, my nails.” Joann Snackly, fingernails drizzling. “I must speak with you.”

“Certainly,” said Inspector, “Let me introduce my associates. The big one there with the wrestling magazine and magnifying glass is Wainsley, the giant. The little guy here is Owen, the Little Feller.”

They didn’t acknowledge the woman. With his magnifying glass Wainsley was zooming in on the wrestling magazine’s salute to tight-fitting trunks.

Owen was roasting a Vienna Sausage above a smoldering charcoal filter of an old Marlboro cigarette. He loved that open-fire, outdoors, menthol taste.

 Joann Snackly said, “I would like you to find my sister.  She’s been missing for two days.”

“Which two days?” asked Inspector?

“Thursday and Friday,” replied Joann.

“What about Saturday?”

“Yeah, well sure, but I didn’t know whether you counted work days and weekend days too. She’s been missing four days but only two working days.”

“In most cases, we count both the working days and the weekend days,” said Inspector. “This is Sunday, so that makes your sister even. Two working days and two weekend days. How long have you known your sister?”

“Actually, I’ve known my sister longer than she’s known me, by about half a minute,” said Joann. “We’re identical twins. We still dress the same, wear our hair the same, and listen to the same music. We even watch Patty Duke Show reruns together.”

“What’s your sister’s name?” asked Inspector.

“Her name is Joanne also but she spells it with an ‘E’,” said Joann.

“Let me see if I have it all,” said Inspector. “Your sister has been missing for the last two working days. Her name is Joanne with an ‘E’. She’s your identical twin and she wears her clothes and hair just like you.”

“Yes, that’s correct,” said Joann. “Except I wear my hair like her because she has better taste in hair styles than I do.”

Inspector sighed, “This information helps but without a picture we’re nowhere.”

Joann said, “I have a picture of her in my purse. This was taken at the beach last year.”

“Great,” said Inspector. “Which one is Joanne with an ‘E’?”

“She’s the one in the wheelchair,” said Joann. “Yeah, I’m sure that’s her, otherwise why would I be in my sister’s wheelchair?”

“I’m the one who is supposed to be asking the question, but that is a good question. Wainsley and Owen, have you any idea why she might be sitting in her sister’s wheelchair?”

Owen remarked, “Maybe her mother taught them to share.” Inspector flicked hot cigarette ashes into Owen’s mouth and wondered why he ever asked questions of the smart-mouthed little feller. “Got any more to say now, Owen?”

The little feller mumbled, “No, ash all right.”

“That’s what I thought.” laughed Inspector.

She's just going through a stage.

The Case of the Harmful Hypnotist or Did He Just Think He Was a Hypnotist?
The Case of the Harmful Hypnotist or Did He Just Think He Was a Hypnotist?

Chapter Two

She’s just going through a stage.

Inspector turned back to Joann. “Can your sister walk at all?”

“No, not a bit. She was involved in a horrible hypnosis accident. A professional hypnotist called her up on stage during his nightclub act and talked her into a trance. She was convinced that she was a high wire walker. She attempted a stroll across an imaginary wire on stage.

The mesmerist announced, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, I didn’t think she’d fall for it.’ When my sister heard him say ‘fall’ she fell as commanded. The showman clapped his hands until they bled but he couldn’t bring her out of it. She still thinks she fell off the high wire and was paralyzed.”

Inspector asked, “Is she completely paralyzed?”

 “No,” said Joann. “She has full use of her feet from the ankles down.”

“Well, I wouldn’t worry about it,” said Inspector. “I think we can find her. She couldn’t have rolled very far in only two working days."

Inspector ogled Joann’s body. “Would you like to stay over for the night and we can get a fresh start on this in the morning. I’ve never slept with half a twin.”

“It seems like you’re off to a fresh start today. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Inspector called a conference with Wainsley and Owen. Owen was nursing his cindered mouth blister and Wainsley was grumbling because he came too close with the magnifying glass, burning the best part of the wrestling magazine’s centerfold.

Inspector showed them the two sister’s photograph. “I guess you heard the lady’s story. We’re to find her sister. We’ll be looking for the one in the wheelchair.”

 “I’ll start looking in the front yard.” Wainsley, the enthusiastic giant, immediately stepped over the house into the front yard.

Wainsley snagged his big boys in the rooster weather vane. He struggled for a delicate half hour before the wind changed. There were times during the struggle that the metal rooster looked extremely proud of his own carry-on luggage.

Wainsley inspected his situation, nothing damaged, just sore. “This is going to put a damper on the big woods weekend with Hungry Jack. I sure was looking forward to some sleeping bag time with the big bubbly biscuit boy. Hope he’s over that yeast infection.”

Wainsley had been courting Hungry Jack ever since Jolly, the fickle, pickle-colored giant, had switched back to women and gone back to the valley. Now when the Green Giant sang Ho, Ho, Ho, he wasn’t laughing, he was calling for a hooker.

Bring the animal skins over here, give them to Squatting Surveyor, and I think our surveillance Tee Pee will be complete.

The Case of the Harmful Hypnotist or Did He Just Think He Was a Hypnotist?
The Case of the Harmful Hypnotist or Did He Just Think He Was a Hypnotist?

Chapter Three

Topography is not the study of spinning toys

The three friends met at the office over the transmission repair shop. Inspector said, “Wainsley, get a city map showing the topography. The answer simple. All we have to do is find the lowest spot in town and that’s where Joanne with an ‘E’ should have rolled.”

They found the lowest spot in town. There was an address. Owen looked it up; he was expert at looking up. They found that there was a transmission repair shop at the address. Inspector said, “Boys, I’ve gotta hunch.”

“For God’s sake,” said Wainsley. “If you gotta hunch, go outside to do it!”

“Follow me to the basement.” said Inspector. He opened the basement door. There she was. Joanne with an ‘E’ was lying unconscious at the bottom of the stairs, her wheels bent and quiet.

Wainsley carried her upstairs into the transmission repair shop’s fresh air. She roused but swooned again when she saw the craggy-faced midget and baby-faced giant leaning over her.

Inspector said, “Owen, go call Joann and tell her to get over here. We’ve found her sister, Joanne with an E.”

The girl regained consciousness. “Have you found my sister, Joanne with an ‘E’ yet?”

Inspector and Wainsley sat down and sighed. “Joann,” said Inspector. “We thought you were your sister. We assumed it was Joanne with an E’ when we saw you lying there in the broken wheelchair.”

“That’s ridiculous,” said Joann. “If I were my sister, then we’d still have to find me to tell me that we’d found my sister. No one would have ever thought to ask me where I was and one of us would always be missing.”

“I was thinking the same thing,” offered Owen, who had returned from trying to telephone Joann.

Inspector said, “Owen, you were reading minds again. You don’t have enough sense to read your own mind.”

Joann interrupted, “I rented that wheelchair to duplicate my sister’s movements rolling out of control. In Broadway lingo, I was trying to recreate the role of my sister. If Joanne with an ‘E’ had rolled to the lowest part of town, then I thought I would find her once I stopped rolling. I probably should have practiced more before I tried stairs.”

Owen spoke up as all Tom Thumbs do, “Inspector, since Joanne with an ‘E’ is not here, and it means that there was someone along her roll who steered her from this basement. I believe she has wheeled to the hypnotist’s nightclub. Yes, it’s coming to me now. She has, indeed, gone to that nightclub.”

Inspector said, “You’re probably right. It just bothers me to be hanging around a mind reading, intermittently clairvoyant dwarf.”

Another rousing game of Stupid Poker. I sure hope nobody else has another two.

The Case of the Harmful Hypnotist or Did He Just Think He Was a Hypnotist?
The Case of the Harmful Hypnotist or ...

Chapter Four

She played poker with her feet but she won hands down.

The group headed for the nightclub. They walked though the lobby. There was the poster:
Happy Herman the Hypnotist, Appearing Nightly in the Lounge.

Happy Herman was already on stage when they walked into the lounge. “Ladies and Gentlemen. I need a volunteer from the audience for my next trick. You there . . . walking in the door. . . The little guy. Come on up here.”

The audience applauded as Owen, the little feller walked on stage. He stood there blinking and smiling. He felt strong and powerful on stage. The hypnotist knelt in a crouching position. “Look into my eyes. You are getting sleepy, sleepy, sleepy.”

Owen said, “No, I am not getting sleepy, sleepy, sleepy. YOU are getting sleepy, sleepy, sleepy.

Happy Herman closed his eyes and was asleep. The powerful pygmy proclaimed, “You will tell me where to find Joanne with an ‘E’. When you awaken you will think that I am very tall.”

Happy Herman droned, “Joanne with an ‘E’ is in Las Vegas.  She is dealing poker and doing card tricks with her feet. She never has a winning hand because she plays with her feet.”

Owen, the still powerful midget, commanded, “Awake!”

Herman blinked. “My, my, my, you’re awfully tall” The ever increasingly powerful munchkin smiled, bowed to the audience, and walked off stage.

Herman continued, “Awfully tall . . . For a midget, that is.” The crowd roared with laughter as the not so powerful Owen skulked out of the lounge.

Inspector yelled at Happy Herman, “Thanks a lot for embarrassing my little buddy here in front of all these people. Thanks. Thanks a lot.”

“Not atall,” quipped the hypnotist. “Get it Ladies and Gentlemen? Not A Tall.” Again, the audience convulsed.

Inspector tried to slink out of the lounge. The last thing he heard as he reached the exit was. “Yes Sir. I believe we could get that little guy a job right here in our very own kitchen . . . as a short order cook.” The laughter drowned out the rest as Inspector made it out into the street.

Owen, the weak midget, was standing in the street leaning against the curb. He was crying into a storm sewer. Once again the midget had publicly embarrassed Inspector. “Owen, You did it again.”

“I’m sorry. I just feel like killing myself. Maybe I should just leap down this storm sewer and commit sewercide.”

Owen, now the funny midget, had cheered himself up with his little pun. Wainsley was giggling too but Wainsley always giggled.

Inspector scuffed his shoe on Owen’s front tooth as he kicked the dwarf up onto the sidewalk. “Come on,” said Inspector. “Let’s get on with this. We only have 30 more paragraphs remaining in this case.” 

AAA sure got us some good seats.

The Case of the Harmful Hypnotist or Did He Just Think He Was a Hypnotist?
The Case of the Harmful Hypnotist or ...

Chapter Five

Six nights a week.

Inspector, Joann, Wainsley, and Owen boarded the next flight to Las Vegas. Owen was carry-on baggage and was wedged under Joann’s seat, so close and yet so far. Stuffed under Joann’s chair, the frustrated little man mashed his potatoes all the way to Las Vegas.

They arrived in Las Vegas and checked the newspaper’s entertainment section. Wainsley found what they were looking for right below a large ad for female impersonators. He was still mad because he missed the classic in-flight movie. “Ten Tall Men” had always been his favorite.

The paper had a nice write-up about Joanne with an ‘E’.  She was doing card tricks six nights a week at the Mohave’ Nohave’ Hotel. She had quite a following. She dealt card tricks with her feet while wearing miniskirt and thong underwear. The big finale was shuffling three Canasta decks while wearing fishnet hose.

They found the Mohave Nohave Hotel that evening. Joanne with an ‘E’ had just started the show. She shuffled the cards with her feet and drew five Clubs off the top with her left foot. She announced this trick as the “Club Foot”.

Inspector’s group were being seated while a heckler yelled at Joanne with an ‘E’, “Honey, if I take you out on the town, will you foot the bill? If I do something wrong, don’t say, ‘I toed you so.’ In the bathroom, do you go wee, wee, wee all the way home?”

Joanne with an ‘E’ quipped, “I may play with my feet but you’re a real heel.”

The heckler shouted back, “You are so forceful when you put your foot down. You really got a lot of sole, baby. I bet all your jokes are corny. Maybe you should go out on a date with Paul Bunion or Charlie Callas. Do you have any arch enemies? I bet if you ran for political office you’d be shoe-in. Put your running shoes in your mouth and you could do tongue in cheek humor or a running gag. When you’re angry, do you go all the way to the Post Office just to stamp your feet?

Joanne with an ‘E’ retorted, “Shut up!” He shut up and Joanne with an ‘E’ finished her act. She rolled up to Inspector’s table. She set the wheelchair brake and smiled at her sister at the table.

Joann spoke first, “What are you doing here in Las Vegas?”

“Six nights a week.” replied Joanne with an ‘E’.

“Let me rephrase that,” said Joann. “Why are you here in Las Vegas?”

Joanne with an ‘E’ answered, “They pay very well out here. I needed to raise enough money to buy my way out of this chair.”

Inspector interrupted, “How can you possibly buy your way out of a crippling condition?”

I can pay Happy Herman to cure me.  I’ll be able to run again.”

“What about walking?” asked Inspector?

“That too. My plan is to ask Happy Herman to put me under again. He’ll tell me that I fell off a high wire but that I fell into a safety net and wasn’t hurt.”

Sometimes Inspector loved to break the built-up emotional tension by asking a nonsensical question. This was one of those times. “Joanne with an ‘E’, what are you going to do with the wheelchair when you’re cured?”

No one at the table smiled or answered his question. Inspector reflected, “Humor is so easy if you just listen carefully to what people say.” No one was listening. Everyone was leaving and no one felt like listening or becoming easily humorous.

Owen, however, had been listening. “Inspector, what would happen if everyone wanted to be funny at the same time? Everyone would be carefully listening, not talking. If there were no talking, then there would be no easy humor.”

Inspector usually would argue with Owen and probably would have protested the small man’s logic if he had been carefully listening and had wanted to be easily funny. Inspector had already left the table even before Owen started speaking. The little guy was talking to the tablecloth. 

The tablecloth was listening carefully in order to be funny and eventually break into comedy. It never did.

Can I adjust your harness just one more time?

The Case of the Harmful Hypnotist or Did He Just Think He Was a Hypnotist?
The Case of the Harmful Hypnotist or ...

Chapter Six

I didn’t think she would fall for it.

Back in Tampa, they took a cab straight to the nightclub. Happy Herman agreed to cure Joanne with an ‘E’ during the next show.

Happy Herman the Hypnotist opened his show and called Joanne with an ‘E’ out onto the stage. Owen and Wainsley helped push her wheelchair up the stage ramp.

Herman hypnotized her, convincing her that she again was up on the high wire. “Joanne with an ‘E’, when I say FALL you will fall into a safety net. You will not be hurt. You will walk away from the accident."

“Will I be able to run also?”

“That too,” answered Herman. “Now FALL.”

She tumbled from her wheelchair and then stood up. The audience cheered. She walked off the stage and fell 7 feet onto her back.  

She was fortunate to land on a paunchy meaty fan in the front row and was not hurt. Joanne with an ‘E’ strode away smiling and they all left the nightclub.

It would have been ironic if that fat lady’s name was Annette. Her name was not Annette and there was no irony … yet.  

Inspector’s cases usually end with a twist or ironic turn of events. Inspector feels that because there is no ironic ending that this, in itself, is ironic. The case is now closed.  How ironic can you not get?

Updated: 10/31/2018, bobsimpson
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