SECRETS DARK AND OLD

by John Jonelis

“I still say da guy deserves what he got. He ran down dat poor animal on purpose! Hates squirrels.  Says so in da papers.”  So proclaims Loop Lonagan regarding Alderman Brookins of Chicago’s 21st Ward.

“Is not true! Right here in Chicago Tribune, it read—how you say—kamikaze squirrel.” Donatis Ludditis thumps a stout digit on a newspaper headline and continues in his broken English. “Creature attack alderman. Throw itself into wheel of bicycle in suicide attack! Here is proof, see?” He points to a photograph—a photograph that Brookins took himself.  It shows the murdered animal lodged in the spokes of his ruined bicycle. “Newspapers in whole country print story.” says Ludditis.  “Not one say alderman cruel to animals! Not one time!”

Photo by Alderman Brookins

Lonagan clutches his brow for a long moment. “So yer tellin’ me dat ever’body believes dis guy’s story?”

The Brookins story has re-surfaced in news outlets because the man is up and taking nourishment after recovering from major injuries. At the time of the accident, he was credited with some rather peculiar remarks.  Apparently, because of his vigorous opposition to the eastern gray squirrel and his call for the extermination of the species, the local underworld of tree dwelling rodents staged a coordinated and premeditated suicide attack against their arch nemesis.  Now he’s on his soap box, again garnering support for his cause. It makes me wonder if this guy read too many comic books in law school.

Lonagan abruptly pounds a fist against my desk. After an involuntary flinch, I roll back my chair to examine the man from a somewhat safer distance. “Okay, lemme tell you a story ‘o my own,” he says. “One fine day, I run down some neighborhood kid—on purpose—’n’ he gets stuck behind da front wheel o’ my Cadillac er Lexus, er whatever politicians drive deeze days. So whaddaya think I do?  I climb outa da driver’s seat and snap a pic o’ da corpse ‘n’ post it online. Den I say, da kid launched hisself at my car’s front wheel in an effort t’ kill me, ‘cause I been crakin’ down on neighborhood gangs.”

 “I object! Loop, that’s just awful.”  But I’m too late to squelch the horrid image.

 Lonagan raises both arms, palms open. “See? You’se is never gonna get anybody t’ buy a story like dat.  What makes dis squirrel any different?”

“I not know,” says Ludditis.  “Back in old country, if you damage party member limosine, you pay!  No matter how it happen.  Is politics!”

Howard Brookins speaks to the medea – Nancy Stone, Chicago Tribune

During this exchange, Jim Kren’s face—never a pleasant sight—screws up tighter and tighter in what I always take as a combination of anger and spite. I’ve been watching him and waiting for an explosion.  It begins with a slow leak. “You two judicial giants know nothing whatsoever of the true ramifications of this matter,” he says. “I can tell you a thing or two about the eastern bloc squirrel. Some of it will curl your hair.  People know they are astoundingly cunning rodents, but there is more—much more!”

Kren looks to be on a roll. “This eastern bloc squirrel represents the most monstrous and pernicious plot against humanity since the fluoridation of water! We face a much larger threat than that posed by the proliferation of common vermin.  These squirrels are more capable than rats and possess a much higher intelligence!” Kren gets increasingly loud and shrill. “Eastern bloc squirrels look out for their kind and know who is persecuting them! If you thwart their plans, they figure a way to take care of the problem! Nothing can stop them from getting what they want!”

Lonagan takes a seat, shaking his head in hopeless abandon. I’ve heard Kren utter such a sentiment before, but never an inkling of this political angle.  The man bears watching.

Greedy Guts the Squirrel

“Agents of sedition started smuggling these iconoclasts to our shores decades back!” shrieks Kren. “And they now represent the dominant species! Think of it! Squirrels in your own back yard—the place where your children play!  Your children!  Talk about infiltration!  And they remain there all night, listening to your every word!  They meet in secret, pass on intelligence, and formulate plans!”

“So,” says Lonagan with a smirk. “How d’ya figure they listen in on City Hall?”

Kren doesn’t miss a beat. “Don’t be so naive, MISTER Lonagan! In an era of central heating, do you actually believe they cannot gain easy access to any building they choose through the HVAC system?  Certainly, gentlemen, it is child’s play for the eastern bloc squirrel to monitor a city council meeting and plan a counter-attack!  I could show you one of their secret websites!  It disseminates information about these scheming rodents to their craven human allies!  It’s written in a code—a code colloquially known as poetry—a cryptic language few speak any more. Let me show you an excerpt.”

.

There are secrets dark and old

Things that make the blood run cold

.

Facts that twist the human brain

And plunge the mind into pain

.

Knowledge that is from long ago

That man was not meant to know

.

But the squirrels know

Don’t have a problem with it

.

See video performance by Bob Badpoet

.

“Gentlemen, what to you say to that?!!!” Krens interogatory smacks of satisfaction—like he’s busting out with a SO THERE! “If you truly want to gain an inside knowledge of the malicious nature of these animals, here is this!”

.

.I am the rodent of your discontent

.

From the bushes I listen as you vent

I know what you said and what you meant

For I am the rodent of your discontent

.

For my services I charge no rent

I encourage every argument

Behold the rodent of your discontent

.

What I do earns me not a cent

But your anger has a sweet scent

Savored by the rodent of your discontent

.

Gnawing on your house until my strength is spent

Just to add to your torment

Despair of the rodent of your discontent

.

I would follow no matter where you went

So that new troubles I could invent

Fear the rodent of your discontent

.

See video performance by Bob Badpoet

.

Kren leans forward and speaks in a more secretive tone. “Most do not know that these eastern bloc squirrels plotted world dominance long before the era of  modern totalitarianism. Men are putty in their paws!  Have any of you read the squirrel manifesto?  No?  It is the most outrageous collection of hate and bile uttered by any animal since the beginning of time!  I keep an excerpt with me—it is written in the same foul poetic code.”.

.

I come seeking nuts and seeds

To get them I do dark deeds

Fear the squirrel

.

I take what I want in food

Even if it hurts your mood

Fear the squirrel

.

I sneak into your house at night

At your groceries I bite

Fear the squirrel

.

Many wonder how I know

Where it is your food you stow

Fear the squirrel

.

Such knowledge is not hard

After all I live in your yard

Fear the squirrel

.

I know secrets lost and deep

I gather them while you sleep

Fear the squirrel

.

I whisper dark knowledge in your ear

Tell you what you don’t want to hear

Fear the squirrel

.

Madness stalks the dreams of man

It is all part of the plan

Fear the squirrel

.

Or you could leave out some sunflower seeds

Up to you

.

See video performance by Bob Badpoet

.

Lonagan opens his eyes wide and his nose almost touches Kren’s. “So I take it you’se is sidin’ with da Alderman?”

“Yes!” says Kren, squaring his shoulders and pushing back. “I take the good Alderman’s side on this issue—and not without reason! I know!  The eastern bloc squirrel is alien to everything we stand for! I can no longer permit alien infiltration, alien sedition, and the international eastern bloc conspiracy to sap and impurify our entire way of life!”

Time for me to pull rank. “Gentlemen,” I say.  “Let us repair to the front room for some refreshment. I have another matter to discuss.”

The front room of our magazine offices is Ludditis’ bar.

 

Go to Part 1 – TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM

 .

Source Material & Links

Kamikaze Squirrel Gets Revenge on Ald. Brookins

Chicago Tribune

.

Alderman, victimized by squirrel, still fighting trash-seeking furry rodents

Chicago Tribune

 

Bob’s Bad Poetry

You Tube

Bob’s Bad Poetry

.

This magazine fully endorses Bob Badpoet, but the remarks by Kren, Lonagan, and Ludditis do not necessarily express the opinions of the editor or this magazine.

.

Graphics and Other Credits

Poetry by Bob Badpoet

Dead squirrel photo by Ald. Howard Brookins

Photograph of Howard Brookins by Nancy Stone, Chicago Tribune

Bob Badpoet graphic by Jennifer Jonelis

Wildlife photography and Tavern graphic by John Jonelis

.

Chicago Venture Magazine is a publication of Nathaniel Press www.ChicagoVentureMagazine.com Comments and re-posts in full or in part are welcomed and encouraged if accompanied by attribution and a web link. This is not investment advice. We do not guarantee accuracy. Please perform your own due diligence. It’s not our fault if you lose money.
.Copyright © 2017 John Jonelis – All Rights Reserved
.
.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Characters, Conflict, Death, Influence, Jim Kren, loop lonagan, Mystery, Story

Comments are closed.