THE TEXAS TOOTHPICK ANNOYANCE

"Captain. Oh, Captain Lorenz."

 

"What?"

 

"There’s been another attack."

 

"Where?"

 

"In Texas."

 

"No. Not the..."

 

"Yes I’m afraid so."

 

The news delivered by Lumpy Stevios shook Lorenz to his core. He felt sick, consumed by panic because he knew exactly what had happened.

Captain Lorenz, a true veteran of the force rose dramatically from his chair, removed his hat and walked with authority over to his drinks cabinet.

 

"I don’t think now is the time to be…"

 

"Shut up. Now is not the time to be looking at the clock. As my old mother used to say, paint it pink and let it stink."

 

Lorenz scanned his options and selected an old bottle of Bacardi.

He pulled the bottle from its place on the shelf and placed it in the middle of the floor.

 

"Go and get the woman, you know the one with the big maracas," Lorenz barked.

 

“Yes Captain," sighed Lumpy.

 

As Freida walked in, Captain Lorenz removed his trousers.

 

For the next 96 seconds no one spoke as Captain Lorenz walked in small circles around the half empty Bacardi bottle accompanied by the sound of Freida shaking her big, wooden maracas.

 

On the 97th second Lorenz bellowed “I got it!” and proceeded to put his trousers back on.

 

Lumpy knew the routine by now. He reached around behind the desk and picked up the Shoo'in Stick.

Shoo, shoo.” he said, wiggling his stick at Freida.

 

"Good work Lumpy, good work.”

 

"So captain what is your plan?" 

 

"Well, as my mother used to say, you can not hurt a dentist if you approach him without teeth. Come with me and I will show you how to trap a beast."

 

Both men climbed into the car and set off for Dusty Ridge, the location of the latest, horrific attack.

 

There was quite a commotion around the old dusty windmill when Lorenz arrived.

 

"I have my stick sir. Shall I shoo them?”

 

"No, no Lumpy. Let them grieve."

 

Captain Lorenz climbed out of the car and walked through the crowd of dusty people.

In the middle of the group stood the most beautiful woman Lorenz had ever seen. At that very moment, the sun dipped behind a cloud and projected the most beautiful, warm orange tones that reflected off the sand, and painted her as a vision that Captain Lorenz could not ignore. His heart rate quickened and he felt as if his breath had been forced from his lungs. She was the Goddess he had been waiting for. Beauty like no other.

 

'What happened to you?" Lorenz asked.

 

The woman removed her hand from her left shoulder to reveal a slight scratch.

Her soft skin ruined by this one inch abomination. How could the world be so cruel?

An old man dressed in a blue floral jumpsuit approached Lorenz, "Sir, may I be allowed to speak?

"Of course old man," replied Lorenz.

Sir she cannot speak. God blessed her with incredible beauty, so out of spite the devil removed her tongue.”

 

"Ok thank you old man. I understand." Lorenz turned his attention back to the victim of the attack. “What is your name?”

 

She did not answer.

 

“Dear sir, I did say that she is mute. Born without speech.”

 

Lorenz looked down at the old man, “I know but I only asked for her name.”

 

Looking back to the beautiful woman he asked again, “What is your name?”

 

The woman shook her head.

 

“You are clearly in shock from the attack. Lumpy, gather as much information as you can from any witnesses and I will search the area for clues. As my old mother used to say, you can not kick a donkey without a lions leg”

 

Lorenz glanced at the floor.  He looked left, he looked right. Nothing. 

 

“Captain I have spoken to all of the witnesses and very little information was shared. I think perhaps they are shielding the attacker.

 

"How many witnesses were there?" asked Lorenz.

 

"Six."

 

Suddenly they heard a scream.

 

“No, Jesse!”

 

Lorenz ran over to the location of the scream and there, on the floor lay a woman with a small scratch on her arm.

 

"The attacker is here," shouted Lorenz. "Lumpy, arrest everyone!”

 

“A man, he was here and just attacked my wife right under my very nose.”

 

"Your very nose?” Lorenz pushed his finger hard into his chin to signify he was thinking.

 

“My wife. My beautiful Jesse, will she survive.”

 

Lorenz looked down at the woman.

 

“Beautiful you say. Interesting use of the word.”

 

“Sir you must help. Why is there no ambulance?”

 

“It is coming, just stay with your Jesse and the professionals will see to her.”

 

News of the double attack had spread fast throughout the dusty old town.

 

“It’s a crimewave!” people shouted. “Who will save us!” screamed others.

 

Lumpy was getting nervous. "Captain we need to get this under control. The attacks are building up and we have almost reached double figures."

 

How many?

 

"Three."

 

"Does that include the 2 from today?"

 

"Yes captain."

 

"Do we have any leads? Any descriptions?"

 

"Just this." Lumpy handed Lorenz a sheet of paper. "This is what we have so far in terms of what the attacker looks like."

 

"So he has been observed attacking people? This is very useful. Let’s see what the sheet says."

 

Male.

Between 5 foot 8 and 5 foot 10 inches tall.

Olive complexion.

Distinctive blue eyes.

Dark brown, curly hair.

Strong jaw covered with a rough stubble.

On the right side of his jaw he has a noticeable bald spot where the hair does not grow.

He has poor oral hygiene and has a number of teeth missing.

He walks with a slight limp.

His name is Colorado Hoolie.

He lives on the outskirts of Dusty Ridge and is married to Cinnamon Bombay, the retired porn actress famous for being the first midget porn star to be in a scene with two blind Canadian Mounties.

Derek and Cinnamon married four years ago and their wedding video can be watched online.

 

Lorenz let out a scream of frustration and screwed up the piece of paper.

“Why is being a Captain so hard! Lumpy, get a shovel and some water. As my old mother used to say, words on paper are as believable as dust on a magpie. Oh, and find me a bottle of alcohol. It's that time."

"But Captain, Frieda can not be here."

Lorenz stared out into the middle distance, "Then sweet Lumpy, bring me two bottles."

 

Lumpy did as he was told and under instruction began to dig a hole. Once complete, Captain Lorenz poured the water.

He then placed the sheet of screwed up paper into the newly formed watery hole and told Lumpy to fill it all back in.

 

"But captain, the sheet?"

 

"It is worthless. Bury it in this watery grave so no man nor woman need see it ever again."

 

Lorenz walked away and placed the two bottles Lumpy gave him on the ground. A bottle of gin, almost empty and an unopened bottle of Cointreau.

He stood tall and removed the belt from his trousers. As they slipped down over his knees and onto the floor he felt a sense of liberation and inspiration.

For 129 seconds Captain Lorenz walked in a circle around the bottles and on the 130th second he stopped, and laughed.

"We have been tricked," he bellowed. "There is no attacker. No man. No vulgar imposture inflicting scratches upon your arms with a toothpick."

He pulled his trousers up and continued. "The enemy is not man. It is nature!"

Everyone gasped.

 

“Lumpy, un-arrest everyone. I have found our attacker.”

 

“Yes captain.”

 

“And Lumpy… fetch me my axe. We have some work to do.”

 

Within three days the town was free. Free of all cactus, lizards and, most importantly, monstrous attacks.

The town celebrated their new found freedom by erecting a statue in honour of the great Captain Lorenz.

 

“I don’t know how you did it Captain but you have saved an entire town from the inconvenience of having little scratches. The effects to wildlife will no doubt be devastating because of all the chopping down of everything but Captain Lorenz, you are a true hero.”

 

Everyone cheered.

 

Captain Lorenz stood tall and with the strongest of sounds he shouted “FRIEDA."

 

Everyone cheered again as Frieda walked into the town centre shaking her maracas.

All of the men were encouraged to remove their trousers and walk in circles around whatever bottles they could find.

Some walked around Whiskey bottles and others walked around Port bottles.

Over time this tradition grew and every year the town of Dusty Ridge celebrate the day Captain Lorenz liberated them by removing their trousers and walking in circles around bottles of alcohol to the thunderous accompaniment of giant maracas. 

The End