“Hang on a minute,” Lance intervened, “How, pray tell, is our collective prejudice against all things ugly destroying the world?”

“Well, it’s hyperbole and a half,” Madonna admitted, “but the theory, which is my own, is not without some merit.”

Lance waited, and Madge continued, “I am talking about one specific kind of beauty. Beautiful girls.

“The people who are doing the most harm to Mather Earth are old, white males. And they want pussy. They want sweet, young pussy, attached to beautiful young girls. And the only way they can get sweet, young pussy attached to beautiful young girls is with money. Sure, they can rent it, but such men are not renters. They need to own the pussy. They have to be able to puff themselves up and strut around, like a cock rooster and proclaim, ‘This is my pussy! No one fucks this pussy but me!”

“And that’s expensive real estate. Prime pussy does not come cheap, especially if you’re an ugly, old man. But they absolutely must have sweet, young pussy. More than their libidos, their egos demand it.

“And the criminally insane pack of 50 year old, alpha males, the Masters of the Universe who rule the world, are more than willing to destroy the planet in order to get the power, prestige and money needed to get the sweet, young pussy they absolutely must have.”

“Heaven can wait,” said Lance.

“Heaven? What the fuck do they care about Heaven? If they are actually Christians, they don’t believe there’s any pussy waiting for them in Heaven. Get it now, while the getting’s good.”

“It’s a funny thing about Christian eschatology; whoever came up with that part of the story didn’t bother factoring sex into the afterlife. Not in Heaven, anyway. I guess all the sex is going down in Hell.”

“Jesus! They can’t even deal with sex in the real world.”

“Well, what religion can’t deal with, science can,” said Lance. “In the not too distant future we’ll be cloning humans.”

“If someone isn’t already.”

“No doubt someone, somewhere is working on it. But when they get it rigt, we’ll be able to clone beautiful young girls, and all those Masters of the Universe will be able to get all they want. And they’ll be able to get it on the cheap. Everyone will want their own sex clone, so the price will go down.”

“Yeah, the future is just gonna get weirder and weirder. Buy your own fuck clones. Two for the price of one. Then we’ll see some real battles when the doors open at Wal-Mart on Black Friday!”

“Girls and guys!”

“Hilarious,” Madonna laughed. “I can just see those drunken walruses beating the shit out of each other to get their bacon grease covered hands on the last Luke Bryan clone.

“But the sisters better achieve full equality before that happens, or things are gonna get worse for women. Chris Rock has a great routine about how women have the real power in the world, because although we are 50% of the population, we have 100% of the pussy. But not when the clones come. And they’ll clone them all to be STD resistant.”

Of a sudden, Lance’s face contorted, and he blurted, “Hitler had horse herpes. Himmler gave them to him.”


“Hitler had horse herpes. Himmler gave them to him.”

“Yeah, I heard what you said. What the Hell does it mean?”

“I have no idea. I don’t always wanna think the thinks I think.”

“But you thinks ‘em all the same.”

“Yeah. Sorry. You were saying?”

I was saying that the sisters better achieve fuck equality with men, or dominance over them, before the fuck clones are rolled out. It reminds of a chance encounter I had, just when my career was taking off. I wasn’t a household name, yet, and not everyone recognized me.

“I was in a tavern, somewhere in San Francisco, by myself. There was an old hag sitting down the bar, getting loaded, by herself. We struck up a conversation. She was an old whore. What has always stuck with me was her hatred of the free love girls of the 60s.”

Lance figured it out, rigt away, “She was pissed, because the hot, young hippie chicks were giving it away, so her and hers couldn’t sell it.”

“Exactly! So, when they roll out the sex clones, it’s gonna be a lotta heartache, and worse, especially for the ugly gals, but even the pretty ones, unless we put men in their place, first.”

Laughing, Lance raised a clenched fist in the air and said, “Power to the pussy people!”

“That’s it. We do need power. Over the course of human social evolution, up until the 20th century, the only power we had was pussy power. We were little more, in the eyes of most knuckle dragging men, than cattle. Chatel.”

“Well, maybe some Goddess, armed with a full understanding of what is to come, is helping you along, driving you to rise up, and take what is rigtly yours, before it’s too late. Before some mad scientist, Dr. Strangelove 2.0, unleashes waves of sweet, young pussy clones.”

“Maybe so,” Madge said, with a yawn. “But rigt now, me and Old Leather Pussy need to go to bed. We need our beauty sleep. And, speaking of sweet, young Pussy, we’re having some for breakfast.”

Lance’s eyes opened wide, triggering a roar of laughter from Madonna, “Forget it. It’s Royal Pussy, and you ain’t getting none of that, until Kitty starts clawing your back.”

Still grinning, the boy asked, “When are we expecting the royal runaways?”

“Ten AM, sharp. I told her not to be late, no matter how randy her redheaded boy toy is, when wakes up next to her sweet, young Royal Pussy.”




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Tempted as she was to tell Gotcha to, ‘Get the fuck over her, already; it’s been thirty one years, for fuck’s sake,’ Kitty bit her tongue.

She could think of no reason why he would be faking his pain. The empath in her could feel enough of his anguish to know it was genuine. She couldn’t relate to it, and hoped she’d never be able to. But at that moment, what was most important was that they move along, so she shocked him out of his self-pity party by asking, “Where did the virus come from.”

Gotcha’s eyes locked on Pinky’s. Neither of them said a word. Neither of them so much as twitched a facial muscle. Feeling her eyes on him, waiting for an answer, or at least a response, Gotcha turned to Kitty and said, “We don’t know.”

“You don’t know where it came from, or you don’t know how it originated?” Kitty asked.

“We are not certain. There is a consensus that it came from Wuhan. The majority of those who believe that to be true also believe it did, indeed, start with a bowl of batshit crazy soup. A small minority of my colleagues give credence to the allegations that the Americans brought it with them for the World Military Games, back in November.

“Almost no one believes the virus originated in the virology lab, and was released from there, accidentally or otherwise. Almost none of us believe the virus came from the lab because one of us is inside that lab, and is close to the top of the power structure. And that is why I should know that the lab was evacuated today.”

“Maybe your guy got dead today.”

“Gal. Maybe so. That would partially explain it, but she was not our only ally in Wuhan. Is not, I should say, I hope.”

Gotcha looked at Pinky again, but Pinky was staring across the universe. Kitty took note of this, and wondered if Pinky was deliberately avoiding Gotcha’s eyes, before he felt them on him. ‘What the fuck kind of game is this?’ she wondered.

“How many people do you have n Wuhan?”

“Just the two of them.”

“Maybe they both got dead today.”

“Maybe they did,” Gotcha admitted. Looking at Pinky, once more, and finding him still preoccupied with the cow jumping over the moon,  Gotcha turned his back to his friend, and asked Kitty, “How do you know the lab was evacuated?” Gotcha spun quickly to see if the question had drawn Pinky’s attention back from the celestial bovine high jump. Sure enough, it had. He didn’t know exactly what to make of it, so he turned his attention back to the girl.

No way in Hell was she going to tell Gotcha how she knew about the lab evacuation, so Kitty smiled, and answered, “Pinky was rigt; I am a witch.”

Clearly, Gotcha was not impressed with Kitty’s smart-assery. “We need to be able to trust each other, if we are going to work together, Kitty,” he said.

The girl wondered if he had said the same thing to her father, a long, long time ago. She wondered if her father had trusted him. She wondered if her father’s death, his murder, his assassination came as a result of him placing his trust in Gotcha. She wondered if she would ever know the truth of that matter.

She had already vowed, to herself, that she would get the truth out of Gotcha, even if it came on his last breath, as she strangled the life out of his naked body, while he lay spazming on a floor somewhere, or a beach somewhere else.

She looked at Pinky, winked, then looked back at Gotcha, and said, “A mystic, named Thunder Babe, met one of Pinky’s long ago abandoned characters, in a tunnel, today. They went to Wuhan, and came back, and told me.”

Gotcha looked at Pinky. Pinky grinned from ear to ear, but said nothing. Gotcha turned back to Kitty and said, “Okay. Fair enough. Trust is earned, not given carte blanche, on a first meeting.”

“Correct,” said Kitty Kaboodle. “Now, if you would like to earn a little more of my trust, by telling me what your theory is about the origin of the virus, I would be appreciative, please and thank you.”

Once again, Gotcha was impressed. She had noted that he had never said that he was included in any of the cabal’s consensus theories about the COVID-19 virus. Somehow, she had also detected that he, in actual fact, had his own ideas, or at least suspicions, about where, when, how, and why the virus came into the world. He could almost fee her inside his head, scanning, decoding, analyzing, millions of files.

There was no point lying to her. She would almost certainly know he was lying, and there would be no way to come back from that mistake.

Conversely, if he told her what he thought, she might, at some point, be instrumental in verifying it as actual fact, or dismissing it, for lack of credible evidence.

“It’s little more than a hunch,” Gotcha prefaced. Kitty and Pinky made no indication that they were averse to entertaining his hunch, so he told them, “I think COVID-19 came from the Gates of Hell, in Turkmenistan.”




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“It’s a fascinating perspective,” said Lance. “Ugliness is a disability in this world.”

“Yes, that’s what I thought, the first time I read it. It’s funny, because I was well aware of the fact that there is power in beauty, but had never given much consideration to the plight of the, how did she put it, the unsightly.”

“You’ve used the power of your beauty to help you achieve what you’ve achieved. No one will deny your talents, but would you have been half as successful if you had been born unsightly, or been the victim of an acid attack, or a car crash that disfigured you?”

Laughing, Madonna answered, “Don’t kid yourself, kid; there are legions of people who hold it to be true that I am a talentless whore, who sucked a mile of cock to get where I am. If it were true that I sucked a mile of cock to help me get where I am, which I will neither confirm, nor deny, I would not have gotten half as far as I have if I were ugly. Simply put, people would rather have sex with beautiful people.”

“Most people, or all people?”

“Good point. There are people who are sexually attracted all sorts of things. Henry Kissinger once quipped that power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. And there’s truth to it, because I may have fucked that ugly Nazi’s lights out, even when I was young and trading at peak bombshell.”

“Why didn’t you?”

“Did I say I didn’t?”

Lance rewound the tape in his head, grinned, and said, “No, you did not. You said you may have, not you would have. Very clever word choice,” the writer said, admiringly.

Because the boy is a wordsmith, a highly intelligent one, a highly intelligent wordsmith, whose body and mind were driven, largely, by sex hormones, Madonna figured she’d better back off on all the smarty-smart wordplay, before they both started getting hot and bothered, so she shifted the topic of conversation.“It’s a prejudice that comes naturally to all but the blind.”

“So, the blind are the best judges of inner beauty.”

“One would think so. Logic would dictate, so long as they are not intellectually or spiritually twisted. People equate beauty with good, and ugly with bad.”

Lance thought some, then said, “I have to assume, since this is a natural prejudice, that discriminating against the ugly has been going on as long as humans have existed. Yet even in this day and age, you don’t see ugly people demanding an end to the injustices they surely suffer, every day of their lives.”

“It’s true, even though it has its own ism; lookism. Once upon a time, in America, up until the 70s, the 1970s, it was actually illegal in some cities for the hideously ugly to go out in public. Ugly laws. There were exceptions, for circuses and scientific presentations. But, so far as I know, there has never been an organized revolt of the unsightly.”

“It would be an amazing movement,” said the easy on the eye boy. “Can you imagine millions of ugly people rising up, taking to the streets, the airwaves, and the Internet, to demand an end to their suffering?”

The socio-political satirist loved the idea, and ran with it, “They could threaten to start having sex in public! The trials would be a riot! The courts filled with ugly people on trial for fucking in the streets. Ugly people in the courtroom removing articles of clothing every time the prosecuting attorney opens his mouth. The judge banging his gavel and demanding, ‘Order in the courtroom!’. But the uglies refusing to obey the order, and even escalating, until they start fucking rigt there, and screaming, ‘We’re just gonna keep fucking, until you get it. We’re gonna keep having ugly sex, and making children, and train them to revolt, until this tyranny ends!’”

Wildly amused, Madge laughed, “Hilarious! It sounds like a Kornbluth story.”


“Oh, dear boy, you don’t know CM Kornbluth?”

“Nyet. Who be who?”

“Only the greatest, the funniest sci-fi writer ever. Long before your time. Before my time, even.”

“Excellent! Thanks, I’ll look him up.”

Madonna brought the conversation back from the gaffawing forest. “I read about a study, once, which showed that workers in orphanages favoured pretty kids over the less fortunate. And, obviously pretty children had much better chances of being adopted than ugly kids.”

“That’s easy to believe. And it makes for an interesting story premise. A future world, where children are confiscated by the state, at birth. Not all of them, of course, but enough for an experiment. The parents are given a lot of money to participate. After a couple years, when it is fairly clear if the kids are gonna have songs written about them, or are gonna have stones hurled at them,  the parents come to collect them. But they are not told which is their child. They can be told, they can even have DNA tested rigt on the spot, or they can pick any kid they want.”

“Wild idea!” said the mother in the room. “The parents would have to draw straws to see who goes first, because all the beauties would get snatched up rigt from the get go. Even the ugly parents, who would surely know that the pretty baby they have their eyes on belongs to one of the pretty couples behind them in the queue, would pick the beauties, rather than submitt to DNA testing.”

“It’s such a deeply ingrained prejudice in all of us, even the ugly people. They’d rather fuck beautiful people.”

“My God, it’s an industry. A multi-multi billion dollar industry. This will make you beautiful! That will make you beautiful. No one anywhere ever says there’s nothing wrong with being ugly. Sure, we all hear that beauty is only skin deep, but everyone wants to be physically attractive.”

The wordsmith said, “You never hear the word ugly being used in a good way. Bad can be good. Wicked can be good. But ugly is never beautiful. Ugly is never good.”

“And the funniest thing is that, if we live long enough, we all end up ugly in the end. It’s almost as if it’s some kind of trick. It takes most of us our entire lives to understand that ugly ain’t ugly, to understand that what we have always been told, namely that beauty is only skin deep, is true. Deep inside us, we know that to be true, all along, yet there is something else deep inside us that demands that beauty is important. And it’s not limited to people. Ugly art and architecture, even ugly animals are eschewed, even though it’s all subjective. But, when it comes back to people, this prejudice is destroying the world we live in.”




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“Should I ever forget” Margot said to Daisy, “remind me to never play cards with you.”

“The funny thing is that I don’t play cards. I played some, when I was a kid, crazy 8s, and go fish, and what not, but I lost interest in cards by the time I became a teenager. But now, after that hallucination, or whatever it was, I’m kinda interested in playing cards again.”

“What I find most interesting about that hallucination, or whatever it was,” Margot said, “was your ability to know who was bluffing. There’s a similarity in that and you calling the old Holy Shit guys a bunch of phony baloneys, in the other trip you took. Obviously, they’re both rooted in your ability to read people in real life. You have never had any time for insincere, disingenuous people.”

“Fucking bullshitters, is what they are, pardon my French. And, no, I ain’t never had no time for none of ‘em, and I can usually smell ‘em a mile away, even if they’re wearing a gallon of toilet water, pardon my French.”

“That will stead you well in life, girl, especially if you can apply it to your love life.”

“Good golly, Miss Margot, does that ever get anmy easier? ‘cause that was another trip I was on, and even in a God damn acid trip, I still got it all bass ackwards ‘bout a boy.”

Margot laughed out loud, “I don’t know if it gets any easier. I guess it gets easier to spot trouble in someone, but that makes it harder to fall in love. But never mind that, ‘cause everyone has to find out for themselves, so tell me about your psychedelic love affair.”

“God damn, he was pretty, Miss Margot. Pretty smart, and pretty stupid, too, if you know what I’m saying.

“He was an artist. Not really an artsy fartsy artiste, ‘cause I don’t know how much I could take of one of them, no matter how pretty he is. But he was real creative. He could paint, and write, and sing and dance and do most anything creative, I suppose.

“And he was weird, like me. Like me but weirder. Not is  the good way, weirder, but in the bad way weirder., if you take my meaning.”

Margot silently signaled that she kinda did, but kinda didn’t, so Daisy explained.

“If a weirdo is too weird, it don’t matter how brilliant they may be, they can never stop being weird long enough to get their shit together to do the things they need to do to accomplish anything in life.”

“Oh, yeah, I have known a couple of them,” Margot said.

“I suppose they been around forever, and lucky me, I even found one in hallucination!”

“Tell me,” Margot said, with great expectations.

“I don’t even know if this one had a name. he may have been too weird to have a name. His parents may have known it from the second he was born. They just looked at him and said, ‘Oh, fuck it. He‘s a fucking weirdo. It don’t matter what we call him, he ain’t gonna listen to no one who ain’t him,’ so they didn’t bother naming him. But I guess iot will make the story easier if he has a name, so let’s just call him Art, ‘cause that he said about himself, anyways. He said he was art, as if he, and only he, was art. As if everyone else isn’t art. Pretentious twat. How the fuck did I ever fall in love with him?”

“Because he was pretty?”

“Yeah, that’s usually how it starts, ain’t it?” That being a rhetorical question, Daisy continued without waiting for a reply. “But this one was so, so pretty. I swear, when he passed gas, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy came outta his ass.” Daisy laughed, then pressed her point, and the joke, by plugging her index fingers into her ears, mocking Beethoven’s deafness, and humming the chorus, with great comic enthusiasm, which left Margot in hysterics.

The girl concluded her brief musical interlude, and moved back to her story. “So, Halloween was coming, and he didn’t have no money to buy no candy for the kids. And I wouldn’t give him no money, ‘cause I knew he would either spend it on drugs, or buy candy and eat it all himself.

“So, he got kinda snarky. But then he got all artsy weirdo. He said he had ten cans of black spray paint, so he was gonna round up all the neighbourhood cats, and spray paint ‘em black, and hand ‘em out to the kids on Halloween, ‘cause what could be more Halloween than getting a black cat?”

“There’s a Monty Python kinda logic to that,” Margot said, chuckling.

“Well, sure there is, if you’re making a funny film, but he was gonna do it for real, the God damn weirdo. Until I told him he can’t do that, ‘cause he’ll get in trouble with the cops, and the animal rigts people, who I’m friends with already, ‘cause I’m a vegan, and will tell ‘em all about it.

“And he got all artsy fartsy pissy, saying I didn’t understand the genius of it, ‘cause I ain’t no artsy fartsy artiste like him.

“But then just as fast as summer lightning, he changed his mood. He was laughing, and laughing. I asked him what the Hell he was laughing about, ‘cause he was laughing so hard, and so loud, and for so long, that I was starting to laugh along with him, and I wanted to know what the Hell I was laughing about, otherwise they’d be coming to take me away, haha.

“So, he says he has a better idea. He says instead of giving away black cats, he would just invite the kids inside, and they can pick one of the cats, and spray paint them theirselves. That way, he said, if anyone got in any trouble, it would be the kids. And, he said, he could call it an art workshop for kids, and an art experiment for him, and no one nowhere ain’t never done any art anything like it before.

“I didn’t feel like fighting with him, so I just said, ‘Yeah, sure, whatever,’ ‘cause I know he’s a lazy assed weirdo, and ain’t gonna get his shit together long enough to actually do it, anyways.

“So, I just told him he was losing his shit, going insane, and he said, ‘What’s wrong with going insane? If you go the rigt kinda insane, it can be a lotta fun. So, don’t fight it, baby, work it!’

“Then I realized even that didn’t matter anyway, ‘cause it didn’t matter where the fuck he was going in life, he wasn’t getting anywhere, so he can’t even go insane without fucking up and getting lost.

“And sure ‘nuff, he got lost when we was going on vacation. We was flying somewhere, and were supposed to meet at the airport. But he got caught in traffic, or so he said, but I knew he was getting high, or gettin’ some from some jizz guzzling floozy groupie. So, I said fuck it, and got on the plane without him.

“So, I’m sitting in my seat, ready for take off, when the stewardess comes and asks me to come with her. Well, Hell, I know he’d done something retarded and it was gonna fuck up my vacation. Sure nuff, they took me off the plane, and said they wanted to talk to me.

“First they stick me in a room, and a minute later in comes Art, grinning like a short-busser who’s been huffing gas. Then a cop comes in rigt behind him, and start asking ‘bout my religious convictions. I told him I ain;lt got none, and ask why the Hell he’s asking me, anyways.

“Well, it turns out Art had spray painted the words ALLAH FUCKIN’ AKBAR on the outside of his suitcase in big yellow letters.

“So, I ask him WTF he done that for, and he says it was to make it easier to find on the carousels, ‘cause everyone’s got a cheap black suitcase, so his was gonna stick out.

“And as he’s explaining this, I’m watching our plane taxi out onto the runway, and I just wanna strange the idiot, ‘specially cause he’s still laughing, and saying he ain’t done nothing illegal, ‘cause it’s just art, and art ain’t illegal.

“And rigt them I knew that he was gonna spend the rest of his life raking his hand through the underwear of the couch, looking for change, and half sucked jawbreakrs to finish off, so just just sighed, and left him there.”

Clapping and laughing, Margot said, “I guess you’ll be staying away from artists, from now on, then, huh?”

Daisy dodged the question, because she knew better than to make a commitment like that.

Shaking her head, she said, “God damn artists. They just spew nonsense, and leave it out there for people to figure out WTF it means. Sooner or later someone does figure it out, then someone else figures something else out about it, then they fight about it, and the artists says fuck all, and then everyone proclaims the artist  a genius, a sage, a visionary, and still ain’t no one knows what the fuck any of it’s about.”




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Looking up into Gotcha’s eyes, Kitty pondered. He truly had made a pathetic first impression. Could he really be the ring leader of a global network of powerful people with benevolence in their hearts?

If so, how competent were they? The world was a mess, and had been a mess long before COVID arrived. So, was Gotcha, the cabal, not the ring leader, nothing more than a troop of nincompoops, and bumbling stumblebums?

Or, conversely, had they managed to keep the vile miscreants who prance atop the world’s power pyramids from turning the planet into a reptiloid dystopia, devoid of hope, never mind joy?

Should she shun Gotcha rigt then, and rigt there? Or should she see what he and his had to offer her cause?

She made her decision fairly quickly, but remained silent for another ten seconds. When she finally spoke, she said, “Hitler had horse herpes.” She had no idea what the fuck it meant, or why she said it, or why she added, “Himmler gave them to him.” She just blurted it out, and let it linger like a pull my finger joke.

Gotcha’s expression turned from bemused to amused, when he said, “Hitler had horse herpes. Himmler gave then t him.”

Pinky was tickled pink by the Seussian nonsense. He pondered and proposed, “That has to be the Gotcha code and counter code, for when we meet other members of the conspiracy that we have never met, or even seen.”

Kitty laughed, looked at Gotcha, and said, “Hitler had horse herpes.”

Gotcha laughed and replied, “Himmler gave them to him.”

Turning serious, Kitty said, “Let’s walk.” They doubled back to the horseshoe shaped driveway that would take them to the steps of Canada’s House of Parliament.

“How long have you been working with dissidents in China,” Kitty asked the international dealer of shade.”

“Since 89. On June 4th, when the CCP rolled the tanks into Tiananmen Square, me and some friends were high as fuck on acid. We got the news the next morning, as we were coming down.”

“It was a Sunday,” Pinky remembered. “I’d been up all night, writing. I knocked off a couple hours after dawn, turned on the radio, and got the news. I laughed to myself that the world is a far more heinous place than I could ever imagine, and the Chinese communists were bigger monsters than I could dream up.”

“Pinky looked at Gotcha, “But you, my friend, getting the news while suffering total serotonin depletion…. Fuck me, that must have been one King Hell, bummer trip. That’s worse than Kris Kristofferson’s worst Sunday Morning Coming Down.”

Gotcha was staring into the void, remembering. “I was here, in Ottawa. I walked to the gates of the Chinese Embassy. There were a few people there, starting a vigil. I silent vigil. I didn’t feel like being silent. I put my head into the bars, and screamed; ‘You fucking bastards! You’ll all burn in fucking Hell for this.’”

“I ranted and raved for a few minutes, cursing them, and their mothers, and the fucking horses they rode in on. A girl put her hands on my shoulders, from behind. I stopped screaming, and turned. She had tears streaming down her face. I’ll never forget her face. Never. She hugged me. I hugged her back. I think I may have swallowed her, just absorbed inside of me, as I sank to the ground. I sat there, with my back up against the gate, and cried.  For hours. I cried all fucking day. And I vowed to myself that I would get the fuckers for what they had done.”

Kitty could feel the agony wafting out of Gotcha. Thirty one years later, he still felt the pain, and she felt his pain, too.

“Six months later, the Berlin Wall came down. I was there. I had to be there. We all knew it was gonna happen, sooner or later. The whole world knew. So, I flew to Berlin, and maxed out my credit card, waiting for it to happen.

“The night the Wall came down, I danced on top of it, while ecstatic Germans pounded away at it with their hammers, and their hearts. I met a girl on top of the Wall. An East German girl. We fell in love, on the spot, and for the next week.

“She had been part of the resistance. A punk princess, if ever there was one. Pussy Riot, before any of those Russian punks were born. In the week we spent together, she told me how it happened. How they brought the Wall down.

“It was years of struggle. Running and hiding to stay out of the gulags. Not all of them were so fortunate as to avoid jail, or being thrown into exile. She told me how they, the punks and the intellectuals, in every country behind the Iron Curtain, had been helped by the independent peace movement in the West. And I got all the gratitude she wanted to bestow upon all those in the West who had supported them, in any and every way they could.

“She told me that the Soviet Politburo understood, in the early 80s, that it was coming apart at the seams. They didn’t know how to handle it, short of killing everyone who even whispered a word of dissent. That’s why they picked Gorbachev to lead the bloc, when Chernenko died. They wanted a reformer. They got more than they bargained for. But without a resistance movement, there’d have been no Gorbachev. They have picked another hardliner, and who knows what the world would be like today? We might have blown it all up with 50,000 nukes.

“That’s when I started looking for Chinese dissidents to help. The wall was down. China was the biggest dragon left in the skies of the East. If that red dragon is gonna be brought down, shot down in flames, if necessary, the people of China are the ones who will slay it.”

Gotcha stopped speaking. He stared at the ground in silence, until Kitty asked, “What happened to the girl?”

Without lifting his head, Gotcha covered his face with clinched fists. “Nena. Nena was her name. She disappeared one night. We were at a party, having a great time. And then she wasn’t there, anymore. I looked for her all over Berlin. Then all over Germany. Truth told, I’ve never stopped looking for her, nor will I.”

Kitty felt for the man. But she wondered, at the same time, if his failure to find Nena was another indication that Gotcha and his cabal were nothing more than a troop of nincompoops, and bumbling stumblebums.




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When the laughter subsided, Madonna looked at Lance Lear. He didn’t have to tell her that he was relieved that she’d taken Old Leather Pussy for the farce it was. “It’s never gonna be a Bond film, of course,” she told him.

“Of that there is no doubt.”

“But it could make for great parody. Mike Myers made a fortune from his Austin Powers series, and I made a small fortune off it myself, and a Grammy, for Beautiful Stranger. This could be a raunchy riff on that trope.”

“I really hadn’t given it any thought, but I suppose you’re rigt. Would you do it? Would you play Old Leather Pussy?”

“Maybe. I mean, who could play her better than me?”

“No one, obviously.”

“I’m not sure I’d do something that’s just pure nonsense. Satire that doesn’t kick you in the head, while you’re laughing, is so safe. So… suburban. There’s a lot of funny in what you already have, and based on what you did in Die Laughing, I’m sure you can load a lot more hahaha into it.  But there’s potential to do more with it. We could really mule-kick people in the head.”

“We could. You’d be willing to collaborate?”

“Yes, why not?”

“I’m flattered.”

“As am I, Lance!”

“Beating on the Catholic Church is fish in barrel stuff. No offense. You’ve done it really well.”

“No offense taken, and thank you.”

“So, what else can we take a swing at? The casting couch?”

Madonna’s eyes closed, and her face contorted. Lance could feel her mind grinding on something unsavory. He waited until she looked at him before asking, “What?”

Walking to her laptop, Madonna said, “Me Too. One of the most disturbing things I came across in the Me Too maelstrom was written by an actress, who had never been asked to get dirty on a casting couch.”

She found the piece. “Here it is:

“Dorothy Parker once quipped, ‘Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.’

“The same could be said of girl’s with fat asses, at least until Freddie Mercury exclaimed, ‘Fat bottomed girls, you make the rocking world go round!’

“Not to be outdone, Sir Mix a Lot proclaimed, ‘I like big butts, and I cannot lie.’

“Today, girls who employ spectacles to enhance their vision can have men fawning over them, drooling all over them, and pawing at them, whether or not, ‘Baby’s got back,’ so long as she is not ugly.

“There it is! The ugly truth.

“With rare exceptions, ugly girls, like me, are not sexually harassed, or even objectified.

“To be fair, nor are ugly men. Even the most lascivious of God’s creatures, the libertine homosexual male, will not cast a sideways glance at an ugly man, unless, that is, he suspects the poor, aesthetically crippled beast is packing something the size of a baby’s arm in his jeans. But, I digress.

“I am an actress, or actor if you prefer the politically correct, sexless term. When God was passing out beauty, he passed me over.

“I am the progeny of ugly parents. Unfortunately, I inherited my mother’s large, hooked nose, and may father’s oversized chin. Fortunately, I also inherited their cognitive capabilities.

“Both my parents were highly respected university professors. If I had a lick of sense in my not so pretty, not so little head, I’d have followed in their footsteps, and gone into academia.  But no! The Ivory Towers are not for me, Fawlty Towers being far more appealing.

“I am a born thespian, and from an early age I lusted for the brigt lights of Tinseltown. So, off to Hollywood I went, way back when I was so much younger, and so much less unsightly.

“Despite the fact that I happen to be very good at acting (I do a wicked Lady McBeth – pun intended), I have never earned a starring role. Why? C’mon, do you even have to ask?

“The simple truth is that people prefer gazing rapturously upon beauty, to recoiling from the sight of me, and my ilk, myself included.

“Be that as it is, I was somewhat puzzled over the whole #MeToo movement. That Hollywood males had been sexually preying on women since the silver screen was created surely came as no surprise to anyone in the business, or even remotely connected to it, after all.

“And it’s not as if you have to have read Andrea Dworkin’s entire canon to know that men are pigs.

“That is not to say that the sisters who are standing up, finally, and denouncing the filthy role of the casting couch in our profession are to be ignored. Nay, far from it. More power to you, and indeed all of us, sisters. The libidinous swine who expect to be serviced by wannabe sirens of the silver screen should be exorcized, once and for all.

“All that said, and I say this with all sincerity, I wish I’d had the opportunity to sex my way up the ladder.  I wish that getting a starring role was wholly, or even primarily dependent on my willingness to get down on my knees, or up on my shoulder blades.

“I could have an Oscar, or two, under my 30 inch belt, if God had been sharing the wealth, instead of spilling it all over Pamela Anderson et al.

“At the very least, ‘I coulda been a contenda,’ damn it!

“So, I say to you, sisters, who are easy on the eye: walk a mile in my (size 12) shoes. Then you will know a whole different kind of pain and suffering. Until you do so, which you’ll not be able to, until your looks have faded, which they certainly will, your truly rigteous fist-shaking has a distinct air of a first world problem to it; so much pretty-privilege, n’est-ce pas?

“And let’s not pretend all you stunningly beautiful bitches aren’t lording your looks over those of us who did not win the luscious lottery. You think us homely gals don’t know you mock us, when we’re not around? Hell, you even get all catty about girls who are just as beautiful as you are.

“Being ugly is not a sin. There is nothing wrong with being ugly. Being ugly does not make anyone a bad person. So, why are we punished for our aesthetic short-comings?

“That is not a rhetorical question. I want answers, damn it!”

Looking up from the screen, Madonna concluded the sermon by saying, “She signed it with a hashtag: #UglyLikeMeToo”




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Assessing the immediate situation quickly, and accurately, Pinky understood that Gotcha was first stunned by Kitty’s rebuke, and then stung by his own laughter. He looked at Gotcha and said, with a serious, almost paternal tone, “Tell your ego to shut the fuck up, and take it like a man. Then compose yourself, and answer Kitty’s question.”

The international dealer of shade’s ego shrieked at the load of salt Pinky had dumped into a gushing wound. But Gotcha’s superego told his ego to shut the fuck up, or there would be more insults hurled at it. ‘Look, dumbass, that girl there is going to launch a blitzkrieg on you, if you go off half-cocked. If you’ll quit your caterwauling for a few seconds, you’ll realize that she’s a master strategist of this game, a natural born killer of thin-skinned egos. If you chirp her, rigt now, she’ll bury you.’

That seemed to settle things in Gotcha’s mind, and he was able to compose himself. But he wasn’t able to compose himself enough to come up with an answer to Kitty’s question, so he stalled for time by simply repeating it: “Why would you want to throw in with me and my collection of Keystone Kops?”

Waiting for an answer, Kitty rolled her eyes. Gotcha’s ego shrieked again, and let fly, “Who says me and my collection of Keystone Kops want you to throw In with us?”

Shaking her head, Kitty said, “Okay, that’s it. Amateur hour is over. Bye.” The girl turned, and started walking in the direction of the Chateau Laurier.

“Kitty, wait,” Pinky said.

Turning, the girl snapped, “What?”

Pinky looked at Gotcha, who was at a loss for words. Then he turned his eyes back to the girl, and said, “If you’re walking, I’m going with you.” He took a couple steps, turned, and stood beside her.

Pinky and Kitty looked at Gotcha, who made no response, until the two of them turned and started walking,” Okay, hold on. Time out,” said Gotcha. Kitty and Pinky kept walking. Gotcha scrambled his feet to catch up. “Wait a minute,” he pleaded. “Let’s start this again. Please.”

Kitty stopped, as did Pinky. “Please accept my apologies,” Gotcha said to Kitty. “I do want you to join my team. But I assure you, we are not a collection of Keystone Kops.”

With Kitty’s eyes on him, Pinky said, “I would not be working with him, if they were all rank amateurs. That said,” he added, “where you go, I go.”

Moving her eyes from Pinky to Gotcha, Kitty once again asked, “Why would I want to throw in with you and… yours?”

Looking briefly up at the stars, then lowering his head to meet the girl’s eyes, Gotcha answered, “Because, like it or not, believe it or not, and despite all you have to offer, you need us, as much as we need you.”

“Maybe, maybe not,” Kitty said.

“Kitty, please,” said Gotcha. “We are an international network, a web of influential experts ensconced in the upper echelons of business, politics, diplomacy, the arts, and even religion, in every corner of the world. Stephen can confirm that.”

Pinky nodded, but cautioned, “So far as I know, based on what I have seen, that is true.”

“We are not a formal organization,” Gotcha said. “We are a loose collection of individuals, a cabal, if you will, with similar morals, and motives. Without us, you won’t get far.”

Taking one step to get rigt in Gotcha’s face, Kitty told him, “What you don’t know is that this has all been foretold. Some force, call it providence, if you want, I know you Canucks are sensitive about the term manifest destiny, has brought Lance and I together, and we will do what we have to do, one way or another, with or without you.”

Gotcha stared down into Kitty’s bottomless, big, black eyes, and saw truth. Rigt then, and rigt there, he realized that the girl was so much more than any creature he had ever encountered. If she was being driven by a force, she was also becoming that force.

“If we are to bake the bread of life, upon which all of humanity will feed,” Gotcha said to the girl, “me and my cabal of Keystone Kops are essential ingredients, but you are the yeast that will make us rise together.”




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Noticing that Daisy had finished her Beaver Duck, Margot asked if she wanted another. The girl gratefully accepted, saying, “Yes, please and thank you, Miss Margot.”

“I may want to score some of that acid,” the guru said, only half jokingly.

“Really? You do acid?”

“Not for almost thirty years, and I never tripped like you did, just now, but once upon a time I was young and wild.”

“I bet you were! And I bet you still got a lotta wild left in you.”

Contemplating whether or not she was still wild at heart, and wondering just how wild she could get, again, if she were to take another walk on the wild side, Margot said, “Most people tend to live their lives vicariously, when they get old. I think a lot of people have kids because they run out of ideas. They just succumb to the banal minutia of the social contract. It’s all so tedious, so mundane, that they have kids to kill the boredom of it all.

“So, first they live through their children, as they go through the motions, doing not much more than paying the bills. Then they live vicariously through their grandchildren. Then they die.

“The irony is that they laugh that youth is wasted on the young, but they never even attempt to be young and wild again, if they ever were young and wild.

“If they didn’t do wild things when they were young, they ain’t gonna do them when they’re old. Actually, if they didn’t do wild things when they were young, they don’t even know what wild is, except that it’s scary.

“They’re too scared. They say that they are older, and wiser, too wise to be wild. They do understand that wisdom comes with scars, but they don’t understand that laughter removes wrinkles.”

“Wow, Miss Margot! Just wow! You’re wise, and wild, too. I would love to do acid with you.”

“It’s an enticing offer, Daisy. If I ever do acid, or any other psychedelic, again, I would love to have the honour of tripping with you. I might be able to make a tether between us, before we dose, that’s strong enough to keep us together, so we could have the same trip, or at least share the same trip, while both experiencing it in our own ways.”

Almost squealing, Daisy said, “Oh, Miss Margot, that would be so cool. I’d do that with you anytime, anywhere.”

“I’ll think on it, Daisy. I really will. So, the thunder that the dragon made when he was turning the Holy Shit guys into gay toads, that was the real thunder that’s happening outside, and that’s when you came back?”

Pondering, Daisy said, “I don’t know. Maybe. But there was more. I don’t know if I’m telling these stories in order, ‘cause they kinda all just ran together, almost as if they were happening at the same time, if you know what I mean.”

“I do know what you mean, Daisy. Eating psychedelics isn’t the only way to get outside the mind and body, so I do know what you’re talking about.”

“I bet you do.”

“So, you had more adventures.”

“I sure did.”

“Tell me.”

Well, I was a horse doctor.”

“A vet?”

“Yes. And no. I was a vet, but I was a horse.”

“Of course of course,” Margot chuckled.

“And I was a witness in the Nazi trials.”

“At Nuremberg?”

“Yes. Nuremberg. They were asking me what was wrong with Hitler. And I told ‘em, ‘Hitler had horse herpes. Himmler gave then to him.’”

“Hitler had horse herpes, and Himmler gave them to him?”

“Yeah, ‘Hitler had horse herpes. Himmler gave them to him,’ is what I told ‘em.”

“How did you know Hitler had horse herpes, and Himmler gave them to him?”

“I guess it’s just one of those things you know, when you’re a horse.”

“Of course, of course. And what did they say?”

“Nothing. They didn’t say nothing, ‘cause then I was playing poker.”

“With a bunch of Nazis? Or a bunch of other horses?”

“No, neither. Totally different. This may have been the weirdest of them all. I was playing poker. I was playing Samurai poker, with a harem of lepers, before the hillbilly orgy started.

“’There are no holidays for the damned,’ said I, when I drew the Ace of Hades.

“The cannibal exorcist, who was sipping a tsunami of swill, got mad, and said, ‘You’ll burn!

“I ignored his warning, and carried on with my bluff, ‘A harvest of hokum i hold in my hand,’ I said, pretending that I was contemplating capitulation, which I for sure, wasn’t, ‘cause I knew I could bluff ‘em all under the table.

“The girl beside me, a three dressed up as a nine, the prophet of purloined narcissism, said, ‘My jalapeno champagne enema’s gonna trump that,’ but I knew she didn’t have no jalapeno champagne enema in her hands. She’d have pushed all in, rigt off the flop, if she was holding pocket jacks. She may be able to bluff drunk guys, in dark bars, that she’s a beauty, but she ain’t got no poker face when she’s sitting at the table.

“Then the Listerine gargoyle across the table started running his stupid mouth. ‘As will this Beavis and Butthead Bukkake Buffet of mine,’ he laughed. But he wasn’t foolin’ no one, with that jive. Everyone knew he didn’t have no Beavis and Butthead Bukkake Buffet. Hell, he wouldn’t even know a Beavis and Butthead Bukkake Buffet if he had one, ‘cause he didn’t even know what it is. He just heard real players taking about the fabled hand, when he was watching the World Series of Poker on the Internet with his gargoyle buddies, and dreaming about having one of them bracelets.

“That’s when I figured out they were all cheating. ‘Phuk Yu,’ I yelled, hailing my barrister. ‘You’re all dealing from the bottom of the deck!’

“Then the Minister of Eternal Taxation got all pissy, ‘Gno, phuk yu,’ he yelled, summoning his serpentine solicitor, who said to me, ‘You, Madame, are hiding the joker in your rectum, and that card will never be played.’

“’Now that would be a shitty hand,’ I protested to no avail.

“Then they all pulled on latex gloves, and demanded a cavity search. They’d found me out, Miss Margot, and called my bluff. There was only one thing left for me to do, so I did it

“I fingered the button under the table, and in waltzed my monkey, with his flame thrower, and a jar of Maker’s Mark BBQ sauce.

“Well, my monkey didn’t take no more than ten seconds to torch the lot of their sorry asses.

“’Another Gordie Howe hat trick,’ I cackled, high-fiving my smiling, sinister simian, while reaching for a box of stainless steel tooth picks.

“My monkey he just turned to the TV camera, smiled and said, ‘That’s why it’s called home ice advantage, kids.’”




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Although Madonna had asked him, twice now, to tell her all about Old Leather Pussy, Lance was still a bit hesitant. “You sure you wanna hear this?”

“Yes,” was Madonna’s one word answer, which was given with no facial expression.

Starting to rise to the challenge, and attempting to embrace the madness of it all, the boy said, “You want it hard, huh? You want it nasty? You want me to make you laugh your tits off, and beg for more?”

Madge could feel Lance’s energy, and it felt good. She had a feeling she was gonna be the world’s first Old Leather Pussy fan. “Hit me, baby! Hit me!”

“Okay, here it is. Old Leather Pussy is a crusty old fag hag, a crazy cat lady, a haggard, unshaven, defrocked nun, thrice excommunicated for lewd and lascivious acts perpetrated on pre-pubescent catholic girls.”

“Hang on,” Madonna objected. Lance stopped. “Pre-pubescent Catholic girls? She’s a pedophile?”

“It’s a first draft. It’s not even a draft, just a character sketch. But I agree, that’s pretty heavy and ugly, so I’ll flag it.”

“And thrice excommunicated? How the Hell did she get back into the church,after her first excommunication?”

Lance nodded, and said, “Noted and flagged. Put it down to a late night penchant for hyperbole and a half. The rest of it’s okay? Fag hag, cat lady, haggard, unshaven, defrocked?”

“I imagine I would love it, if it were someone else, not me.”

“It’s not you,” Lance assured her. “It’s a character.”

“A character based on me.”

“No. Not based on you.”

“Don’t sugarcoat shit, kid. Based on me, inspired by me, whatever. Same thing. Give it to me. Make it nasty.”

“You sure? You want me to stop?”

“Not until I’m laughing, and only long enough to make me beg for more, funny boy.”

“Okay. She’s hopelessly addicted to hillbilly heroin, hippie crack, and malt liquor.”

Noting that the long-In-the-fang sex kitten was not exactly purring, Lance aid, “I think you’ll appreciate this. Unlike all the other Bond villains before her, Old Leather Pussy is not out to destroy, or enslave the world.”

“A virtuous villain?”

“I don’t know. Maybe. Just jamming gibberish, at this point.” Madge nodded, and the boy carried on.”She’s convinced she is Madonna. Not you, but the Madonna.”

“And maybe she is?”

“Sure. Why not? Maybe she is. Anything is possible, especially at this stage.”

“Sorry, I keep interrupting. I’ll shut up and let you get it all out.”

“No, it’s okay. You’re not attacking anything, so you’re not crushing my balls. There’s nothing wrong with questions and feedback.” Madge nodded, and Lance carried on.

“She’s 100% convinced that she can bring about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. And that’s the working title: Come Again!”

“You’re rigt, I do like this.”

Pleased with the positive feedback, the boy continued. “But it’s gonna take a miracle. Another miracle, because she is post menopausal.”

“Oh!” Madonna squealed, delightedly, waving her arm up in the air, like a school kid wanting to answer a question from the teacher.

Lance grinned and pointed at her, and she said, with great enthusiasm, “She has to fuck the Pope. The Pope has to bring her dead uterus back to life with his magic Papal seed. Has magic Papal seed that God himself has given him! The Pope has to fill her with God jizz!”

Thrilled that she was enjoying it, Lance laughed, and admitted, that’s exactly what Old Leather Pussy is out to do; fuck the Pope. But you are so much more enthusiastic about it than I was, when it came to me.”

“That’s because you haven’t wanted to fuck the Pope for fifty years.”

“You’ve wanted to fuck the Pope for fifty years?”

“Since before I started bleeding. I have wanted to fuck every Pope there has been in my lifetime. If I could bring them all back to life, I would do so, and let them run a train ion me. Every fucking one of them, since the origin of the Church.

“But I would kill every one of them in the act of coitus. I would literally fuck them all to death. I would give them a shining moment of absolute bliss, absolute harmony, absolute carnal and spiritual completion, before dispatching them all to the Lake of Fire.”

Her laughter infected Lance, and he laughed and laughed, and laughed out loud, “There’s mighty white of you.”

“It’s how I’m gonna get beatified!”

“Do I wanna know what you’re gonna do to get canonized?” the boy asked.

“I’m still working on that.”

“I bet you are!”

“Sorry, Lance, but you were rigt. I love the idea of Old Leather Pussy having to fuck the Pope. Milk the God seed, the Jesus jizz outta him, to bring about the Second Coming! It’s hilarious!

“And that she’s such a piece of poor, white trash is discordant as fuck, but works, somehow.”

“Wow! You’re taking this much better than I could have dreamed.”

“It’s not me, Lance. It’s just a character.”

“Correct. Old Leather Pussy is just a character.

“Tell me!”

“There’s not a lot more, but here’s what there is. Knowing that they will have a Hell of a lot of explaining to do, if Jesus returns, and not wanting to risk their 2000 year old empire, and global tax exempt status, the Vatican wants to stop you.”



“Her. The Vatican wants to stop her, Old Leather Pussy, not me. Old Leather Pussy is just a character.”

“Rigt. Sorry,” Lance said, with an apologetic chuckle. “So they contract 007 to kill you.”

“Love it!”

“But Bond is no match for Old Leather Pussy. She always escapes his traps, dodges his bullets, etc. but never kills him, which she could do on several occasions.”

“She’s toying with him!”

“She is. She is extremely bitter, because she has been passed over as a Bond girl for decades, despite the fact that she has been an insatiable, A-list, global sex kitten.”

Hey! That’s me! That’s me, not Old Leather Pussy!” Madge laughed.

Since the sexagenarian was laughing, the teen didn’t bother dealing with her observation. “The whole thing culminates when you lead an army of Kung Fu fighting, singing and dancing altar boys to Vatican City.”

“And girls. Choir girls, too.”

“Sure. An army of altar boys and choir girls. The kids beat the bejesus out of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, and you all enter St. Peter’s Basilica.”

“They. They all. Old Leather Pussy is just a character.”

“Yes! Rigt. Old Leather Pussy uses her feline sense of smell to hunt down the Pope, who is hiding in a closet.”

Madonna laughed. “Nice touch. Hiding in there with a lot of others”

“Yeah. If we twist it enough, The Closet could be the name of an underground leather bar, literally underground, underneath Saint Pete’s.”

“There’s a potential musical in that!”

“Sure. So, when you find the Pope, you force feed him a dozen Viagras, and rape him. You ride the Papal baloney pony like a broncin’ buck, as a score of transvestite exorcists belt out Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.

“But, before you rape him, you saunter up to the Pope, and sing

Don’t just stand there
let’s get to it
fuck me Pope
there’s nothing to it

Madge roared laughter. “Genius! Hilarious!

Don’t just stand there
let’s get to it
fuck me Pope
there’s nothing to it!

“And then you sing,

Come on, Pope
Let your body move to the music

And Madonna echoed him

Move to the music

And together they sang,

Hey hey hey
Come on, Pope
et your body go with the flow
go with the flow

“And, that’s all I have, so far,” said Lance.

Madonna walked over to the boy, laughing all the way, threw her arms around him, hugged him, pulled back, and sang

It would be
it would be so nice!




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“If I may,” Gotcha said to the Kitty, “That strange power could be very useful.”

“Perhaps,” admitted the girl, “but you will have noticed that I could do nothing to stop anything from happening, just because I knew it was gonna happen. Nor could you stop yourselves from saying what I knew you were about to say, even though I told you you were about to say it.”

“Yes, but the power could, perhaps, be developed.”

Kitty thought about it, understood that Gotcha was rigt, and asked, “Do you have the ability to examine everything about the watch, and find out where it was made?”

“I do.” Gotcha said. “It’ll take a while.” The two looked at each other, as if there was any question as to who was going to gather up the pieces of the watch from the sidewalk.

Smiling at Kitty, Gotcha got down on his knees in front of her, and gathered the remains of the fake Rolex.

As Pinky, Kitty and Gotcha started walking the horseshoe shaped driveway that would take them to the steps of Canada’s House of Parliament, Gotcha looked at Kitty and said, quite honestly, “You make one Hell of a first impression.” Kitty completely ignored the flattery, not even bothering to look at him, so he carried on by asking, “How do you know the Wuhan virology lab was evacuated today?”

“How do you not know that?” Kitty answered, once again not bothering to look at him.

“I don’t know that it was, or that it was not.”

“Once again begging the question, wanna bet?” was Kitty’s answer.

Gotcha opted to dodge the dare by saying, “It doesn’t make any sense. If that happened, I should know about it.”

“Well, that a downgrade, isn’t it? Just a minute ago you said you would know about it. I suspect your intel is not as strong as you like to think. In fact, I know it to be true. Ask Pinky about how I beat him for a million bucks.”

Gotcha looked at Pinky, who grinned and shook his head. “I can’t hold you responsible for me underestimating Kitty’s powers of persuasion, so I’ll save you the long story, and give you the short one, as it pertains to your faulty intel; Kitty’s a vegan.”

That stopped Gotcha in his tracks. The other two stopped along with him. Gotcha looked first at Pinky, then at Kitty, but said nothing, leaving it to the girl to ask the obvious question. “How long have you been watching me?”

“About three and a half years. How long have you been vegan?”

“A lot longer than that,” was Kitty’s answer.

“Okay,” said Gotcha, “that’s sloppy work on our part. But it’s pissant stuff, compared to me not knowing about the Wuhan lab being evacuated.”

“Maybe your people in Wuhan are dead,” said Kitty.

Gotcha doubled back, and asked, “Are you sure about this?”

Kitty laughed, and once again baited him, “Wanna bet?”

“No, I believe you,” was Gotcha’s answer. “I wanna know what the fuck is going on in Wuhan, and I wanna know why the fuck I don’t know what the fuck going on in Wuhan, and I wanna know why the fuck you know more about what the fuck is going on in Wuhan than I do.”

Gotcha was not fucking around. He was genuinely pissed, and that fact greatly amused Kitty, who masked her amusement, until a quick smile broke across her face, and she said, “I believe you.”

Then the girl turned serious, herself, “I, too, wanna know why the fuck you don’t know what the fuck is going on in Wuhan.

“And I wanna know why the fuck you didn’t know I’m vegan, after watching me for three and a half years.

“And I wanna know why the fuck you, the international dealer of shade, got chumped for a fake Rolex.

“And, this, my friend, is the most important of my fucking questions; I wanna know why the fuck I would want to throw in with you, and your collection of Keystone Kops, when we’re playing big league hardball, and my pretty, little Kitty ass is on the line, not to mention the future of the human species, because, unlike my pretty, little Kitty self, you, I’m sorry to inform you, are not making one Hell of a first impression.”

Pinky, who had been greatly enjoying the beat down of his partner in grime, who could be annoying as fuck, at times, laughed out loud, when it was obvious that Kitty was done laying waste to Gotcha. “I told you she’s fuckin’ eh good, Gotcha. And she’s just gonna keep getting better, and better.”

Gotcha didn’t like having his ass handed to him, but was man enough to accept that Kitty was rigt, on every count.

What he really, really didn’t like was Pinky laughing at his dressing down. He stole a quick look at the girl, and was relieved to see that she was not laughing at him.

He tried to compose himself, to come up with a convincing answer to Kitty’s dead serious question, but when he looked at Pinky, who was still grinning like a shit eating monkey who just won Wimbledon, he went blind.




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