Channeling Dead Dick Tracy on the Radio… Prime time material.
So the Story goes...
Get out of bed you lazy fuckwits, shouted Captain Hendrix. GET UP!! GET UP!! The storms a mile off Blinton Lighthouse, GET UP!!
Sawyer reached for his boots, his eyes still blind with sleep. He didn’t know how much longer he could cope with all this. Years ago, when he’d joined the Weather Incident Rescue Team, or WIRT, he’d imagined a relatively easy life, long spells of inactivity in which to play poker with his team-mates, and an occasional exciting incident. Little did he realize that he would be working on average a 100 hour week…and even then, the team was chronically short-staffed.
Jobson Batt and Ernie Young toasted each other with a warm glass of fine French brandy. Disaster Damage Team, or DDT, was doing fabulously well, and they congratulated themselves on their perspicacity and foresight.
Another storm was heading for the west coast, and they chortled happily in anticipation of plenty more work for their booming business.
‘Ask DDT’ was becoming so popular that plans were being made to recruit more ‘dead guys’. The online phone-in radio show, featuring channeled Dead Dick Tracy, was swamped with callers lately, and despite increasing the length of the show to an incredible 5 hours, dozens of callers left disappointed, their questions unanswered.
Felicity sat patiently in the waiting room of DDT Productions, quietly confident in her ability to secure the job. The advertisement had said ‘Do you have the ability to say the first thing that pops into your head? Without doubting it? Then this job is for you!’ Well, thought Felicity, This job’s for me!
Her interview wasn’t scheduled for another half an hour, but she had arrived early purposefully, to get a feel for the place. She smiled; it felt like fun, she decided to get the job.
Annabel Ingman beamed at Felicty. She was delighted that the interviews were going so well: four perfect ‘dead guys’ already, and 57 more applicants to interview.
Welcome to the team Felicity, I’m sure you’ll love it here. We focus on fun, not facts, so just say whatever you want to, and you’ll be fine.
Felicity returned the smile. I can’t wait to start, Annabel, thanks.
Oh, by the way, what’s the name of your DG?
Hhhmmm, Oh, er, Oliver Twist, replied Felicity, Yeah, Oliver Twist.
Oliver Twist, cool, so that’ll be the ‘Ask DOT’ session then. See you on Friday!
When Felicity had taken the job, she had thought at first that it was all a big interstellar joke…
Come on… Dead people speaking though living?
But a few recent experiences made her feel there was kind of warmth surrounding her when she started the radiophonic sessions, and that she was feeling… inspired, for lack of a better word.
Words indeed were coming and flowing, and even though she was rarely speechless, the words did have some different quality.
And people enjoyed the show greatly, and mails kept coming to the radio thanking DDT for all of the marvelous advices…
Till then, as she was conscious of the process, she had refrained issuing some definite statements on future events, as the inspiration was pressing her to do at times. As subtle as all of this was, she was feeling it was not really the same energy as the warm one; it was like incursions of a quicker and less stable bouncy energy.
It was pushing her to make cocky statements, on mass events about to come… Oh, not again self-fulfilling prophecies, please! she couldn’t help but think…
At times, Felicity was even wondering whether she was really going completely crazy.
Oh, it was so much simpler to be a genuine fraud…
— Arky, come here at once!
— But, I’ve done nothing…
— Stop being such a jackanapes, will you… You know very well there is no secret…
Despite his being immaterial, it was obvious that the One referred to as Arky was being scolded.
— And you know perfectly well there is nothing to gain in pushing things…
— But I intended well…
— I know that. As generations of focuses of leaders and presidents have been doing. One would have assumed you’d knew better by now… I can see you’re enjoying being with me on the soapbox, but either you find your own, or you better stay clear next time we get a communication.
— Fine, class dismissed.
Jobson Batt and Ernie Young were taking a vacation in between so called natural disasters, as the financial disaster claimed the populations attention. They knew that the result of the energy being pushed from pillar to post as everyone fretted and worried about the monetary system would manifest in some natural disasters, and they knew they would have their work cut out as highly skilled members of the DDT team (otherwise known as Disaster Damage Team) in due course. Meanwhile, they had the foresight to take a well earned break while the attention of the population was otherwise engaged.
Unable to settle on just one destination, they opted for a World Cruise.
Evangeline Spiggot slammed the telephone down. Another call from someone wanting that other DDT company, Dead Dick Tracy Productions. Business was slow at Disaster Damage Team, with Jobson and Ernie on holiday, but Evangeline was left holding the fort, just in case a major disaster came in, in which case she would inform Jobson and Ernie on their cruise ship. It was boring sitting there alone in the office though, and Evangeline decided that the next wrong number she answered, she would pretend to be Dead Dick Tracy, just for a laugh.
“We need something new, Felicity, something completely different.” Annabel Ingman had invited Felicity Albright, the star of DDT, into her office. “We’ve got 56 channelers on our books now, and they are all saying the same thing! It’s ridiculous!”
“Well I just say what pops into my head, Annabel, that is my job description…” Felicity was feeling defensive.
“What I’m saying, dear” replied Annabel, “Is that we don’t need another 55 all saying the same thing as you. If you are all saying the same thing, then where is the drama? Where is the conflict? For heavens sake, girl, where are the sales?”
“Well I tell you what Annabel, I’m going to the F.U.N. picnic in the Elsespace Arrangement later, I’ll ask around, ok?”
Ann woke up thinking of Annabel Ingram. The name sounded very familiar, quite close to the name Annabel Ingman actually. The funny thing was that Ann had seen images of Annabel’s face, lots of them, a series of faces of all the ages of her life. She felt like a ‘real’ person’, whatever that meant. Ann wondered which came first ~ the ‘real’ woman that inspired the character, or did the character now have a life?
Evangeline Spiggot sat outside the DDT bosses office, nervously twiddling her pony tail. She had no idea why she’d been summoned, but the tone of the memo was ominous. Eventually her boss, The Right Honourable B. F. Deale, was ready to see her.
“What ho!” said Evangeline, in an effort to sound breezy and efficient.
B.F. Deale glared. “Can you explain yourself?” he asked grimly.
“Why, yes, sir! Sumari belonging, Ilda aligned, politic….”
“I’m talking about DDT!” he shouted. “You’ve been diverting all our disaster damage calls to that ridiculous channeling show!”
“Ah” she replied, “Yes, well, it seemed much more fun.”
“Ah” replied B.F. Deale, momentarily non plussed. When he’d finsished unnecesarily shuffling some papers around on his desk, he continued. “Well, what about the disaster damage team? Hhhm? How are they supposed to, er, deal with disasters if they don’t even know about them?”
Evangeline paused, giving the impression that she was deep in thought. In actual fact, she was deep in no thought, due to the influence of the Dead Dick Tracy channeled messages.
“Well, sir, perhaps this indicates a changing trend towards having more fun and less disasters? Perhaps we could diversify, start our own Fun Department?”
“By George, I think you’re on to something, Spiggot! I will hire someone to investigate this trend.”
“Might I suggest Blithe Gambol, P.I.? Very hightly recommended, so I hear.”
Evangeline Spiggot put the phone down, and turned to old Flanigan, the cleaning man. “Another request to investigate the death of Ed Steam! Three already, and it’s not even lunch time. I think this is a case for Blithe Gambol.”
“Lift your feet up, will you, I’m trying to make a clean sweep here” Flannely replied.
“I can tell you the answer to that right away,” replied Blithe. “Yes, and no.”
“Er….thanks, I think…”
“You see, the difficulty with facts these days is that none are true, and all are real ~ well I know you know that dear, but it becomes something of a problem when clients want to know the Truth. Probable realities are pretty loosely woven these days; now, I can stitch together the case, and give you a more definitive answer. Or I can stitch together the case differently, and give you a different answer. The question is, really, what is the answer you want to hear?”
“I’ll confer with the clients and call you back.”
“The possibilities of liverworts are unimaginable. Not many people know this, Pearl” Skye said, “But liverworts have the capability to communicate with any other liverwort anywhere on the planet. Nothing out of the ordinary, you might say, and you’d be right! But what is not ordinarily known is that the liverworts have this sort of fat cell, scientists still don’t understand the function, but what this fat cell does is communicate ripples. Ripples of communications. Sort of a wifi intent distribution system, for want of a better technical name, although some call it wifindilivi for short. Another unusual advantage of liverworts is their colour ~ green. And everyone loves green these days ~ cover something with greenery, nobody complains. Anything covered in green foliage automatically conjures up wholesome natural goodness, mother nature, all that kind of stuff. Nobody objects to it like they do with security cameras and mobile phone masts.”
“I heard about a pyramid they found in the jungle that was covered in liverworts” replied Pearl. “A friend of mine, Blithe, found it ~ well, it just popped in her head I think, and then she saw it in the news.”
“Exactly. No accident that pyramid was covered in liverworts! And the “popped in her head” commincation wasn’t random, either. But nobody suspected a thing, finding a pyramid covered in liverworts in the jungle!”December 17, 2015 at 5:33 pm in Reply To: Cakletown and the Lone Chancers of Custard #3818
“Ed, are you eating peanuts again? Vangie here, just had a call from Muffin Mews, another complaint about the cackler, over in Cakltown this time.”
“Cakltown! I say, she’s frightfully efficient, she must have finished Bunbury already, I must see the boss about giving her a bonus.”
“Oh, I don’t think Bunbury’s finished yet, Ed, you know these freelancer chancers, they don’t usually stick to the plan. Hedging her bets, I expect, covering her trail. Most of Tartlett Terrace has been insantizied, but I haven’t had a single call from Croisssant Crescent in Bunbury yet, nor Pieman Park.”
“This mission is taking a good deal longer that I imagined,” replied Ed. “Might have to see if we can insantitize en masse at the bake sale next week at Lemoine Meringue Hall.”December 18, 2015 at 3:09 am in Reply To: Cakletown and the Lone Chancers of Custard #3819
“Oh, what a perfectly splendid idea.You are a genius.” Evangeline smiled to herself as she imagined Ed fingering his moustache—a sweet little habit he had whenever he felt embarrased— and blushing at her praise.
“Well I don’t know about that; let’s see if it works first,” said Ed gruffly. “Insanitization en masse at a bake sale is no piece of cake.”
He paused significantly but when nothing was forthcoming from the lovely Evangeline he added a little impatiently: “No piece of cake. Get it?”
Evangeline (who had not got it) quickly tried to make amends. “Hahahahahaha you are a droll fellow!” she chuckled, just a tad too loudly. It almost sounded like a cackle and if there was one thing Ed Steam was renowned for it was his ability to sort out the chuckles from the cackles.
There was a strained silence.
“Anyway, Evangeline, who made this latest cackling complaint? Are they going to cause any trouble or are they just your usual run of the mill cackle complainer?
“Bea somebody. She just moved to Cackletown recently and we don’t know much about her yet. Or what she is capable of. I think we need to keep a close eye on that one.”December 22, 2015 at 6:37 am in Reply To: Cakletown and the Lone Chancers of Custard #3831
“Sorry to bother you again, Ed.”
This was a lie; Evangeline wasn’t at all sorry. There was nothing she loved better than to be the bearer of bad news and she was rather pleased to have an excuse to call Ed Steam so soon after their last conversation.
Evangeline sniffed dismissively, eager to pass on her next tantalising morsel. She tried to keep the excitement out of her voice and sound appropriately serious.
“The other concerning thing is that the Contumacious Cackler is in town. There have been several verified hearings of him.”
“The Contumacious Cackler!” Ed’s horrified reaction was music to Evangeline’s ears, although she was not entirely sure who the Contumacious Cackler was or why the mention of his name elicited such horror. She decided to ask.
“It’s rather a sad story. His mother ran away from home when he was just 3 years old, due to his father’s incessant cackling. The Contumacious Cackler never saw his mother again and he grew up with an obsessive hatred of cackling. He vowed to put an end to cackling. He cackles so evilly that he stirs up trouble wherever he goes. His dastardly plan is to create so much resistance to cackling that the people are inflamed sufficiently to rise up against cacklers. He is reported to be responsible for the demise of cackling in 2 of the provinces.”March 9, 2016 at 6:54 pm in Reply To: Cakletown and the Lone Chancers of Custard #3986
Ed Steam was all but overwhelmed by the complexity of the situation.
He was up to his moustache in paperwork as he attempted to resolve the thread entanglement dilemma. At the same time he was striving to keep tabs on the various cacklers and manage the PR for the crowd gas experiments.
“What a jolly brouhaha,” he moaned.
“I am sorry to add to your woes,” said Evangeline cheerfully, “but there have been recent reports of a Cautacious Cackler cackling in various threads, although this may just be a typo for the Audacious Cackler or another strong possibility put forward by the experts is that the Cautacious Cackler has been confused for the Contumacious Cackler.“
She paused to see the effect this information was having on Ed, noting with pleasure the drops of sweat forming on his brow. She leaned over the desk and gently mopped them away with her handkerchief.
“And there have been unverified reports of a possible granite termitation on this thread,” she said softly.
It was too much for Ed.
“I want you to trace it back to when the first signs of entanglement began,” he screamed at Evangeline.March 9, 2016 at 7:13 pm in Reply To: The Precious Life and Rambles of Liz Tattler #3987March 9, 2016 at 7:28 pm in Reply To: Cakletown and the Lone Chancers of Custard #3989March 9, 2016 at 7:44 pm in Reply To: Cakletown and the Lone Chancers of Custard #3990
But he was not speechless for long.
“Or was he?” asked an irritating voice from seemingly nowhere.
Snooty tart and what a bloody mess there will be to clean up tonight after the party.
“Don’t worry, Mr Steam, I will untangle this tangled web of threads for you! And I can mop your sweaty brow,” she added sarcastically, rolling her eyes at Evangeline.March 11, 2016 at 6:58 pm in Reply To: Cakletown and the Lone Chancers of Custard #4000March 30, 2016 at 10:10 am in Reply To: Cakletown and the Lone Chancers of Custard #4016March 31, 2016 at 6:24 am in Reply To: Cakletown and the Lone Chancers of Custard #4017
This scene is getting ridiculous, she thought, and started to cackle at the absurdity.
“Poor show!” retorted the erstwhile cleaner. “Increasingly rubbish!”
She had a point.
Or did she?