Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Getting Our Slacks Dirty

While Clark and Michael searched for the 'adjacent room' where the beam ray was housed, I tried to get a few answers from the three guys who were installed inside the little boxes. But since they were unable to talk, I had to look around me for clues. I saw three lab coats hanging up on hooks just inside the door. I looked at the guys in the boxes and said "These yours?"
They nodded.
I looked at the name tags on the lab coats. Shadrach, Meshach, and Bob. All highly qualified astronomers.

I tried to open the door of one of the boxes. It was impossible - no handle, and nothing to get any good grip on.


Just then, the others joined us.

"Jeff - you gotta see this!" They dragged me into an adjoining chamber, where I was confronted by this giant piece of machinery, sitting where the telescope used to be, pointing up towards the heavens through the open roof.


Yikes.

"Wow... it's like... straight out of H.G. Wells!" I breathed.

"Yeah, and it's like, bolted to the floor, too." replied Michael.

"Big bolts," added Clark.

In the dim light I could see that there were wires extending from the machine into the wall. They had to be the ones keeping the three guys sitting in their boxes, not daring to move lest they should die in some unknown yet horrible way.

Suddenly the light flicked on, followed by a creepy voice. "So! You have found it! My glorious Moon River Ray!"

We turned in unison to see Dr. Oldschool - a typical mad scientist type.

Heh heh heh!
"It wasn't difficult, Oldschool - it's in the next room."

"Yeah, OK, you got me on that one. but you're still going to have to get your slacks dirty in order to defeat me! Heh heh heh heh!"

"What is this obsession with dirty slacks? That's like, the third time you've mentioned it."

"Silence, Unbelieva-twit! Use your noggin!"

"Noggin, nothin'" growled Clark. "Imma put you in a frickin' headlock, you old coot!"

"Hold it, Clark, that's just what he wants you to do!" I exclaimed. "If you go after him he'll probably flick some switch and we're all goners!"

"Ah, so one of you does have a whisker of common sense about you, then! How perceptive!"

"Ah shaddap and let me think, you crackpot!" cried Michael. "Lads, let's go!"

We turned and left the room. I could tell that Michael had a plan.

"To the roof, boys - our slacks (which we still aren't wearing) are not only going to get dirty - they'll be positively filthy once I'm done with them!"

"The roof?" I gulped.

"Yes, the roof - if Oldschool can't get the roof open..."

"Then he can't bring down the moon!" Clark said.

"Pre-cisely!" said Michael.

Tune in Friday for the thrilling conclusion!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Oldschool: The Confrontation (sort of)



At the Observatorium we happened on one of its docents.

"Excuse me," I chimed. "You wouldn't happen to know if a certain Dr. Oldschool is about, would you?"

The docent looked at me curiously, then at Jeff and Clark. Back to me he asked "Would you three happen to be The Unbelievables?"

"Why, yes ... yes we are," I replied.

"Can I see your passports for proof?" The docent held out his hand expectantly.

"Well ... erm ... you see, we don't exactly ..." Jeff muttered.

"What Jeff is trying to say" I offered "is that were not exactly sporting anything in the way of proof if you know what I mean ..." Outside our snowboots we were still doffed in nothing but our pantsless snowboard training attire. 



Not much pocket room for passports, even if they were current and we had'em.
But ... we look good.

"I've noticed" the docent sneered. "Still, I need a little proof. Answer me this: Where, exactly, in the state of Wyoming is this Wendigo Flats from which you hail?"

"Stiletto Flats. And it's in Nevada, not Wyoming," Clark corrected.

"Proof enough" he responded. "There's a room at the top floor of the observatorium that leads to the rotating dome. It's marked. You'll find it when you take the elevator down the hall," he pointed.

Exiting the elevator, we found the room without a problem. And it was marked.

"Caution: Giant moon-pulling ray beam thingamujig inside" it stated.

"Well isn't this quaint," I commented. I gripped the doorknob. "It's unlocked. This seems a little too convenient." I opened the door.



Sinister!

In the room three bulky, rather plain looking steel contraptions sat with men stuffed inside, only their heads exposed. They looked uncomfortable and they couldn't talk; they could only look at us, pleadingly. A note was on the floor addressed "Unbelievables: Read" in block letters.

"Another damned note," Clark huffed as he picked it up to see what it said. It was, of course, from Oldschool.


"Unbelievables: Attached to these men is my beam ray of which I spoke previously. You'll find it in another room adjacent to this one. The poor men before you are an integral part of the ray's workings. Try and free them and they die. Try and dismantle my beam ray and they die. The moon has precious little time left before it is brought down once and for all into the river. It's almost Moon River time! You have but one chance to save it, save these men and redeem yourselves as the protectors you claim to be ... but I'm not telling you how. I told you you're going to have to get your slacks dirty yourselves - no one else can take your place! It's almost Friday! Let's see what you can do ..."

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Thrills, Spills and Chills

"The first thing we need to do," I said to the lads on Monday over lunch, "is to figure out exactly where this 'Dr. Oldschool' -  if indeed that is his name - is going to fire this supposed 'beam ray' from. If it's as cataclysmic as he makes it sound, it's gotta be pretty huge, and therefore a bit difficult to hide, surely?"

"Not necessarily," warned Clark. "It could be easily hidden in a mountain, or a volcano, or a very large building like the White House, for example. A building with a dome like that'd be ideal."

"It's not gonna be in the White House!" hissed Michael.

"I didn't say it was," retorted Clark. "I just said, LIKE the White House."

"Don't forget, it's gotta be near a river. Moon River, remember?"

Well, this went on for some time.

Meanwhile, I had a thought. I went to the bin and pulled an envelope out of the trash. Marching over to the table, I hollered at the guys, "Who's the idiot that forgot to put this in the recycle bin?!"

They stopped and stared. "That's brilliant, Jeff!"

"It is?"

"Yes," said Clark, "that's the envelope the letter came in. Check to see if there's a postmark!"

There was. In no time we were headed to Switzerland. Dr. Oldschool had mentioned skiing in his letter, so we were packed accordingly. 


Here's Michael in his usual ski attire.

And here's the three of us at one of Michael's "Pantsless Snowboarding" training weekends.

Naturally, along our journey to Switzerland we'd been studying all we could about the country and where a a giant moon-pulling ray beam thingumajig could be hidden.

"It'd have to be high ground," said Michael.

"Hence Switzerland. Hence skiing. Mountains. The Alps." Clark replied.

"Good job we're prepared for that" I added.

The others nodded in agreement.

As we parachuted down from our Unbelieva-Jet towards our secret safe house on the outskirts of Bern, I looked over at Clark and shouted, "This is so cool! Who needs airports, eh?"

"Yeah!" he replied. "I haven't even renewed my passport in twenty years! HAHAHAHAHA!!"

"HAHAHA!! Me either!"

We opened the hidden underground garage at our secret safe house and discovered the battery flat on our souped-up mountain-ready Yugo.


Two hot cylinders of throbbing power!
"I guess we DO need airports after all. We're gonna have to rent a car." said Michael.

We strapped on our snowshoes and lumbered into town to rendezvous with our pointman, Hertz Van Rentl, to see if he couldn't rustle us up a set of wheels, with big knobbly tires and some snow chains, and preferably some of those nice beaded sheepskin seat covers that give you a back massage.

Where were we headed? To the most obvious place, really. A place on high ground - at the top of a mountain, actually. And the perfect place for looking up at the heavens - an observatory, no less.

That's right, I'm talking about the Sphinx Observatorium, not far from the Eiger.


Like something straight outta James Bond.



Clark will let you know how we got on tomorrow (even though you know we succeeded, because the Moon didn't fall in a river on Friday, but what the hey...)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Only Thing "New" Will Be A Fresh Schooling Of Dr. Oldschool



He caused my frittata to become a bit cold. What a jerk.



"I hope you can stop me, but I'm not sure you can, given how you've let yourselves go."


It was Wednesday morning. Reading what Clark had handed me - the warning letter from Dr. Oldschool (and in particular the above line) - I put down the forkful of frittata I was about to bite into, took a quick sip of mimosa, got up and ran to the restroom. 

Gazing in the mirror I said to myself: "I don't know what he's talking about. I haven't let myself go in the least."

I opened a cabinet door and pulled out a pair of Lobster Rage Fists. (Multiple pairs are stashed all over the Unbelieva-Base; you never know when a need may arise.) I attached them and looked in the mirror once more, striking a pose: "I'll show this Dr. Oldschool how we 'beat up some henchmen'" I thought.



Dr. Oldschool might have all manor of glowing dials and tubes
and levers and pulleys and various gadgets.
But ... does he have one weapons? I highly doubt it.

I stored the Fists and returned to my breakfast. An Unbelieva-Babe had freshened my mimosa while I had taken leave.


 This guy's supposedly giving us until Friday, huh?

"I'm not the least bit concerned," I thought as I picked up that bite of frittata once more.

After all ... we know what needs to be done. 


Monday, June 19, 2017

Everything old is new again

As is oddly standard procedure, we received a warning in the form of a letter this morning:
"Dear Unbelievables,
Look at how soft you've become. So comfortable in your routine, mundane lifestyle which now consists of attending Hollywood award shows and just wandering off for days at a time with no consequences. Sad!!
For your sake and the sake of those you are supposed to be serving and protecting, I have taken it upon myself to challenge you to get back to your butt-kicking roots. My name (for the sake of this premise) is Dr. Oldschool and you should see my laboratory. It's just filled with all manor of glowing dials and tubes and levers and pulleys and various gadgets. I have invented a beam ray that I will use to pull the moon from it's orbit and crash it into the Earth! Why? For no good purpose other than making you stop me. 
In order to do so, you won't be able outsource this to any of your silly little splinter groups or just punch a few things into a computer. You're going to have to drive fast, jump out of airplanes, do some skiing, beat up some henchmen, maybe kick me out of a window. All while wearing spectacular outfits. You know, like in the good ol' days! No mailboys, no "guest operatives", no lazy tricks. You're going to have to scale the walls of a compound, defuse some devices and maybe (hopefully) get your slacks dirty. Sorry, but this is for your own good (I'm actually a fan of yours; I hope you can stop me, but I'm not sure you can, given how you've let yourselves go). You have until Friday, and then it's Moon River, in that I will crash the moon into a river.
Sincerely,
Dr. Oldschool"
Well, I think we know what needs to be done, right?
Right!!

Friday, June 16, 2017

A Little Bit Of Mole Envy




Clark and I had a little chat post 'Stanford Student' interview at the Mole Fair ...

"I'm not so sure about this 'Stanford Student' ..." I noted after the applicant left.

Clark was shuffling paperwork, the applicant's resume and other necessaries for tax information and putting it in a file for later use. "Why not? He seems capable enough."

"I just don't see where he'll be of any use. He'll be languishing on the payroll, sitting around waiting for our call ..."

"So? It's not like he'll be hanging out at The Unbelieva-Base. You know moles aren't allowed there. Why the concern?"

"Well ... it's just that ..."

"What?"

"Well, his 'claimed abilities.' I mean ... I'm irreverent. I've got a playful-yet-sarcastically-biting lack of respect for authority. I'm even kinda funny under the right circumstances. Under a ton of circumstances ... and you know that."

"Funny looking, maybe ..."

"What? Hardly?.Who's got the combined good looks of Ian McShane and a young Cliff Robertson, huh? This guy ... that's who." I thumbed my thumb my way, boastfully.





My uncanny resemblance to Cliff Robertson and Ian McShane is ... well, uncanny.


Clark looked at me sternly. "Oh. My. Gosh. You're jealous, aren't you? You're jealous of a newly hired mole we're not even certain we're going to use in the field! Come on! What ... you think we'd ever pit you or compare your credentials and character against any of the hired help? Hell no! No way! We're a team, the three of us! You, Jeff and me. That's never going to change! Truth be told, I just liked the ungapotchkin the dude's got. You've got to give it up to a guy who looks like a crooked Christmas tree with marshmallow eyes and Botox-infused lips who calls himself 'Stanford Student.' Am I right?" 

Clark bowed his head and looked me straight in the eye.

"Am I right ... ???"

"I guess ..." I conceded.

"Good. And look: How many villains do you really think are going to pop up with roots at Cal or Iowa where we can employ the guy? Besides, the contract he signed has him working on commission anyway, so our financial obligation is practically nil. That should cheer you up ..."

Clark had a point there.

"Now, I don't want to hear any more whining about him. Got it?"

"Ooooooooooooooookay ..." I conceded.

"Good. We're done here anyway. Let's vamoose. Hey ... you know what will cheer you up? A good old fashioned game of nude volleyball, just you and me and eight Unbelieva-Babes. We'll be captains! Whaddaya say ... ?!?"

Clark sure knows how to turn a frown upside down, you know?





Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Some of the new moles

"And the guys? Well, they're relieved to have me back in the fold, so to speak. I'll let them tell you about some other new recruits later in the week."
Ironically, without knowing what Jeff was up to last week, we hosted a Mole Fair (a job fair for moles) at the Stilleto Falls Galleria mall.
This year's turnout: underwhelming
We didn't get as many applicants as we might have liked. I think the prevailing mindset of "snitches get stitches" has probably had an effect. That would be okay, since quality is often preferable to quantity anyway. But many of the applicants who did show up insisted on doing so as their "super hero" identities. For this, I blame the popularity of movies like "The Avengers" and "Wonder Woman." That's fine, I guess, but running around in an attention-grabbing rubber suit is not the best way to do the job of a mole. Here are some of the candidates who showed up and that we hired, reluctantly, on a conditional basis:
ANGRY SUN

Claimed abilities: Furiously angry, very heated
Presumed actual abilities: Annoyed (annoying), uncomfortably sweaty
Where we'll probably use him/her: To infiltrate groups that complain about the weather


PINK ZEUS
Claimed abilities: "I...am...a...GOD!"
Presumed actual abilities: Burpees; Also, apparently popular with cheerleaders
Where we'll probably use him/her: To infiltrate hot yoga studios


STANFORD STUDENT
Claimed abilities: Irreverence, playful-yet-sarcastically-biting lack of respect for authority
Presumed actual abilities: Kinda funny, under the right circumstances
Where we'll probably use him/her: To infiltrate any groups of villains with roots at Cal or Iowa


ARTIE CHOKE
Claimed abilities: Delicious, in spite of appearance
Presumed actual abilities: Doubtful
Where we'll probably use him/her: Salad bars and other places where people eat things they hate


KING BABY
Claimed abilities: Weird, not clearly understood icon of Mardi Gras
Presumed actual abilities: Weird, not clearly understood
Where we'll probably use him/her: To infiltrate giant cakes


LUMPY LIGHTNING
Claimed abilities: "I'm strong and fast, bro!"
Presumed actual abilities: Acne, blurred vision, cataracts or glaucoma, easy bruising, difficulty sleeping, high blood pressure, increased appetite, weight gain, increased growth of body hair, etc.
Where we'll probably use him/her: Gyms, where "supplements" are easier to obtain than treadmills.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Welcome To The Gang

Alright, fellas. Allow me to explain my sudden and unexpected absence last week. It was one of those last-minute situations. I didn't even have time to grab my laptop or even my tablet. Hence the old-fashioned telegram.

I was called away suddenly to a top-secret location on the South Coast of the UK, a location that is hidden in plain sight, disguised as a holiday resort, replete with three hotels and bars and restaurants. The people that vacation there are blissfully unaware of its alternate use as one of the bases (refueling stations, if you will) for members of our vast network of moles and informants and other 'special ops' folk from the entertainment world.

The reason for my being there was two-fold. Firstly I was there to meet our point-man PG, known to millions of adoring under-5's as TV's Mister Maker.


Every year, children and parents flock to said holiday resort (as well as many theatres) to see their arty TV hero and his sidekicks, The Shapes, perform for them live on stage.


I took in his show and met up with him afterwards to discuss developments on a hush-hush matter. Now - I told you my reason for meeting him was twofold. The second reason was that he was going to help me introduce some new recruits to the fold - a group of performers known as The Skyline Gang!

The Skyline Gang with a fan during one of their frequent photo opportunities. Clockwise from top left: Pip the rock chick, Rainbow the dog, Sprout, who always likes a laugh, Bud, the resident boffin; Dude, who's always in the mood for a game of basketball, Mimi, the self-absorbed cutie; Candi, who thinks it would be dandy if everything in the world was pink (I'm not making this up); and Misty, the mischievous one. Truth be told, my heart went a-flutter when I met Misty - she's not only hot, but naughty too, and you know I have a thing for bad girls.
The Skyline Gang have their own lines of clothing and toys and books, etc. They are clearly masters of disguise and they look different in every picture, which we told them was a useful asset in avoiding suspicion when on a case.






So there, in a nutshell, is the full story. Well, not quite.

While I was there, I spotted two operatives of the nefarious David The Gnome gang pretending to be mere garden ornaments by a flowing stream.


I immediately put the gang on high alert to watch these guys for any suspicious activity, then after thanking the Skyline Gang - Sprout, Mimi, Candi, Rainbow, Bud, Dude, Pip and most especially the lovely Misty -  and Mister Maker for their hospitality, I hot-footed it back to the Unbelievabase.

Hopefully this means that now the South Coast of the UK is under even greater protection than before.

And the guys? Well, they're relieved to have me back in the fold, so to speak. I'll let them tell you about some other new recruits later in the week.


Friday, June 9, 2017

What to do, what to do?

This is not the first time one of us has gone missing. I'm pretty sure it won't be the last. As such, we have two established protocols in place for when it happens. The hard part being, which one to use?

  • PLAN A: Go get him (whomever the 'him' is)
  • PLAN B: Wait for him to come home

PLAN A - Pros:
  • Gets us out of the house
  • Usually resolves the situation quickly
PLAN A - Cons:
  • Lots and lots of detective work
  • Might not even be a dangerous situation
  • Gas prices

PLAN B - Pros:
  • Allows us to stay planted on the couch
  • The couch is super-comfy
PLAN B - Cons:
  • Might be an extremely dangerous situation
  • Somebody might die
So, what are we going to do?
That's an excellent question.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Jeff Didn't Tell Us He'd Be On Assignment ...




... Wednesday at The Unbelieva-Base ...

"Clark ... have you seen this?"

"What?"

"This note from Jeff. Well ... it's not a note exactly. It's a telegram ..."

"From Jeff?"

"Yep."

"Who sends telegrams anymore?"

"Jeff, apparently. But ... the weird thing is it's written as if it were addressed to the general public."

"How do you mean?"

"It says 'Hi folks ... Jeff here' ... and then it says he's on a 'secret mission' and the details will be revealed next week ..."

"Damn. That's really weird. And you say it's from Jeff?"

"Yep ..."

"Sounds fishy."

"You're telling me. A bit loosey goosey if you ask me."

"Kind of like when you answer the door without pants ..."



Monday, June 5, 2017

I'm On Assignment (Not On Vacation, Honest)

Hi folks stop
Jeff here stop
On tip top secret mission stop
Will tell all next week stop
Best regards stop
Jeff stop

Friday, June 2, 2017

Well, That Was Easy ...




Don't you love it when things fall into place by circumstance outside your control? 

(Don't get me wrong - it's good to have things work out from good old fashioned elbow grease and ingenuity of your own accord. But when the clouds dissipate and the sun comes shining through without any effort at all, you just have to smile wide and take it in for all it's worth.)

That's exactly what happened with the Turklington gang.

Out of the blue, the captain at Stiletto Flats P.D. rang us up and delivered the news: "Guys? Turns out the Turklington gang has turned themselves in. I wanted you to know first hand so you could come down yourselves and hear what they have to say ..."

We jumped in the 'Vette (I called shotgun a second before Jeff so he had to ride in the back) and skedaddled down to the station. In a holding room were the three hooligans comprising the Turklington Sisters Robbery Gang: Maude, Daphne and Fiona. 

Except they weren't in feminine attire. Not a hint of womanliness. Which was a relief because they made really unattractive looking women. 

"I'm going to give you guys 5 minutes with them, okay?" the captain told us. He left the room and we were alone, just the six of us. Maude looked sheepishly at Clark, Daphne wouldn't look at Jeff to save his life and Fiona fidgeted in his seat. 

"We're sorry, guys," Maude began confessing. "We just couldn't take it any more. Mostly because it's hard dressing up as women. I might have been a whole different story if the wigs weren't so damned hot and uncomfortable, if we could run in high heels more easily and if the friggin' underwires weren't digging into us every time we bent over ... but we're sorry."

Clark, Jeff and I exchanged looks then returned our stares back at the three of them. We walked out of the holding room without a word. 

We thanked the captain who was standing just outside (Clark murmured something under his breath about not letting the shoddy police work that started the whole mess happen again) and we left. 

"Well, that was sad" I stated. "Easy but sad. If you can't stand the heat ..."

"Little intrigue, nothing really devious or noteworthy, nothing ..." Jeff commented.

"I actually felt sorry for them. Just a little bit." I thought I heard Clark uncharacteristically sniffle, ever so slightly. But he perked up a moment later. "Hey, let's swing over to Petit's place and throw him out a window. That'll do the trick! Whattaya say, guys?"

The 'Vette peeled off happily down the road.