My mother was a detective named Regina DeGregor, you may have heard of her. Honestly, I'd be surprised if you hadn't. She was the detective who caught the Comox Clutcher, the Indecent Italian and most famously, the Boat-dock Bludgeoner. You see, my Mother was all about chasing villains. No matter wether it was a megalomaniacal cyborg or a mosquito king, she knew everything there was to know about catching the crook. During a particularly hot summer in Venice she was given the key to the city for her amazing capture of the Venice Vivisector. She’d originally gone there to get away from work for a while, but as she explained to me; before she left me alone in the room for the rest of the week, “Sometimes, you need to help people even when you should be helping yourself.”
As awesome as it sounds like it would be to have a famous detective for a Mother, it was usually unbearable. As a youngster whenever my mother would throw her famous ‘Crook’tail parties, everyone would always pester me to death with questions like “When will you become a detective like Mummy?” and “Catch any criminals lately, DeGregor Jr.?” These were both stupid questions because I was obviously too young to catch criminals and too terrified by crowds to answer any question asked of me. You see, contrary to popular belief, people rarely actually want to become just like their famous parents.
My Mother was always good about not asking me about being a detective, but I was only seven when she died. My father was the king of the Tramps so he hardly had time to raise a child, so I was bounced between orphanages until I was eighteen. It was a terrible time, but I don’t like to linger in the past. Once I was out of the system, I applied to a number of colleges and universities; trying to get accepted into a writing program. You see, it had been my dream to become a journalist ever since I read a particularly scathing review of Lenin's hands-on approach to governing in The New Hampshire Trotter. Unfortunately, despite my persuasive entry letters, every institution I applied to rejected my application and told me I’d need a high-school diploma before I could become part of their ‘student body’. This was totally stupid though because while I was bouncing from orphanage to orphanage I’d picked up Grade 12 Calculus, English, History and Writing from various felons and other louts. I know it sounds unlikely, but it’s one-hundred percent true.
However, despite my initial rejection I still had my heart set on becoming a world-famous journalist, so I formulated a plan. The first step was to move to Manhattan and penetrate the nitty-gritty underbelly. Once I was in I'd have an endless supply of material to write a revealing tell-all of the city's seedy reality. Sadly, that plan was scratched when I realized that I couldn’t even afford to be homeless in New York City. Such was also the case with my back-up choices Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, Anaheim, Calgary, Toronto, Chicago, Miami, Edmonton, Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal and the entire province of New Brunswick. Left with no other choice, I set out for Manitoba, the only place so derelict of life that I could probably just settle a house anywhere and nobody would charge me any rent due to the fact that nobody lives in Manitoba.
Manitoba was cold. Manitoba was very very cold. For the first few months I was there I was afraid to pee outdoors just in-case it was possible to have your pee freeze mid-stream and result in terribly complicated surgery on your manhood. Maybe that’s graphic, but I need you to understand just how cold it was in Manitoba. I keep referring to the place as Manitoba because to be honest I don’t think the place I lived even counted as a town. The locals called it 'Winnipeg', but I’m pretty sure that was just some local joke. Nobody could be dumb enough to name a town Winnipeg. However, for the sake of convenience, I’ll refer to the town as Winnipeg from here on.
The first day I arrived in ‘Winnipeg’ it was snowing. A lot. I really had no choice but to pull over to the side of the road and bundle up in a bunch of blankets and wait out the blizzard. I was warm enough to be comfortable, and it gave me some time to catch up on my reading. However, as I was sitting comfy-cozy in my bundle of wool blankets, I heard a terrifying scratching at my window. I figured it would just be one of the wild Manitoban raccoons, but as I dropped the book into my lap I saw that the thing making the scratching was a person! I couldn’t make out anything in the darkness of the winter night except for a large monocle magnifying his left eye. He was scratching away some of the snow on my window, making himself a little peep-hole into my car. I was a little bit awestruck by the total randomness of the event so I didn’t move or alert him to the fact that i was aware of his presence.
He continued to wipe away snow until he had a patch about six-inches wide and four inches high, he took another quick peer in; to make sure I wasn’t aware. His giant green eye magnified a hundred times by his monocle. Then he raised an old-fashioned camera to the window and took a photo. The flash was huge, and totally blinded me. I heard the sound of the driver door opening, then my keys being plucked from the ignition and then the sound of the little scoundrel scampering off! “Hey!” I shouted, “What’s the big idea?”, I rubbed my eyes furiously, but the little man was gone by the time my vision was back. I leapt to my knees (as the car was rather cramped) and sprung out the door into the freezing ‘Winnipeg’ air.
The man was gone from my sight, but I found his trail of footprints in the snow. I decided foolishly to leave my car behind, and followed the trail of footprints he’d carelessly left in the snow. The footprints were wide enough that I could easily step in them, avoiding getting my sneakers cold and wet. If there’s one thing I hate it’s wet, cold sneakers. As I followed the green-eyed monocle man’s footprints, I noticed that in the distance I could hear what sounded like polka music. At first I dismissed this as ridiculous, but as I followed the footprints further the music became clear. It was definitely polka.
The music was coming from a small shack to my left, there was a small circular window in the door that a warm, flickering light was shining out of. I passed it, intrigued but still intent on catching the little man. Unfortunately, had I been paying more attention I’d have noticed that the tracks had turned into the little shack. I took one step too many and my foot plunged into the snow. My sneaker was soaked...
I walked up to the door of the shack, my foot freezing half to death, and pushed on the door. It swung half-way open then knocked against something solid. A muffled grunt came from the other side and after a brief scrambling an oblong little man appeared in the crack of the door. He was wearing a monocle, but I could see from the small light which silhouetted him that his eye was blue.
“What’s your business!” The oblong man shouted through the wide crack in the door. “Don’t you know you’re supposed to knock and say the password!”
“But the door was unlocked.” I replied, “I assumed that nobody would mind if I came in, you see-”
“Well when you assume you make an ass of you and me!” He shouted, cutting me off.
“Right, definetly.” I began again, “ But you see, I came here to find a man.”
“Sorry, this isn’t that kind of place, try the cottage three miles to the north. Good-day.” He shouted then slammed the door. Feeling rather daring and irritated because of my soaked sneaker, I shoved the door again, opening it to the same spot. There was a louder thump that time, it seemed the oblong man had been sitting on a stool and I’d just knocked it over.
“Bugger off you scurvy beast!” He cursed, “Say the password or get lost and stop knocking over my stool!”
“Well if you’ll listen for just a second!” I shouted, “Some ghastly little creeper just tramped up to my car and yanked my keys!” He slammed the door on me again, barely missing my nose. I was officially fed up.
I quickly ambled back to my car, little tears forming at the sides of my eyes from the sheer discomfort in my feet. I popped my trunk, I didn’t need to worry about it being locked due to the fact that I haven’t driven a single car in my life that’s had a functioning trunk-lock. I reached in and rustled around for a moment, the tips of my fingers brushed over a whole plethora of objects before I found what I wanted. I pulled it out and brandished it over my head, had the sun been up it would have reflected menacingly off it’s steely-black body, but it was night so you couldn’t really see it against the sky.
I trampled my way back to the shack, holding the heavy black tool in my arms. I balanced it on one shoulder and pounded menacingly with my free fist.
“What’s the password?” The oblong man grunted from the other side.
“I’m carrying a huge typewriter, my feet are soggy and a troll stole my car keys! More importantly, I’m not afraid of you and I will beat your ass!” I shouted mightily.
“Incorrect.” The oblong man replied nonchalantly. I’d expected this, but I had a back-up plan. I took half a dozen big-steps backwards and cleared a little path in the snow between myself and the door. I gave a quick knock then jumped back to the end of my cleared path. “What’s the password?” the oblong man grunted again, I could tell he had his ear pressed against the door to listen for a response. I started to barrel full-speed towards the door, my hulking typewriter prepared for a mighty swing.
I let loose a primal scream of “Reeeunnnghaaaaaa!” and jumped with all my force towards the sturdy wooden door.