Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Root Of All Evil

One of the wonderful things that occurs from time to time when writing these adventures is that one or two of our past cases become declassified, allowing us to finally tell the story. Such is the case with this tale. What follows is the death-defying dossier on one Günther Parsifal McParshnipp, a Scots/German well-dressed gent and root-vegetable obsessed maniac.

How did he gain our attention? Funny story, really. He, as you can see, was a somewhat well-to-do fellow with a reputation for being somewhat eccentric, no more, no less. The ladies swooned for him whenever and wherever he appeared - we know what that's like (Hello, ladies!). But that was the extent of our knowledge about the chap - as far as we could tell, he'd never had any run-ins with the law, aliases or other things that might cause concern. 

So one day, we received an invitation from him, quite out of the blue, to a social gathering he was hosting at his mountain retreat in glorious Humboldt, Iowa.

"But hang on a second, " I hear you cry, "Iowa is as flat as the proverbial really thin crêpe! There cannot be any mountains!"

Oh, believe me - we thought the same thing, until we got there. We'd accepted the invitation more out of curiosity than anything. "If there's an Iowan mountain, boys, I gotta see it at least once before I die!" said Clark, and we concurred.

As it turned out, you cannot see the mountain just by looking, as it is in fact, a sunken mountain. A prehistoric mountain that just got swallowed whole one day during some Paleolithic super-quake, and is preserved, complete, underground - peak and all. If someone were to dig up Humboldt Municipal Airport and remove all the dirt, you'd see it. (Please don't, though - it's a lovely little airport.)

When we arrived at the airport, one of McParshnipp's aides (I think his name was Smedley, but I can't swear to it) ushered us to a small door marked BROOM CUPBOARD and bade us enter. We ended up going down a tremendously long spiral staircase until we reached another door, cut into the solid rock.

Inside was a palatial bachelor pad, elegantly designed and well-appointed. We were greeted by our host effusively.

"Ach du Himmel, Der Unbelievables, you have kommt zu meine party, ja? Och aye, see you, Jimmy!"

"Err... yeah. Nice place you have here," said Michael, then turning to me "Which one is Jimmy?".

"Come, have a drink! Scotch, or perhaps ein Bier, hein? You fellas must be a wee bit thirsty. Ein McEwan's Export do yiz?"

Clark leaned in to me and whispered, "I can't understand a frickin' thing he's saying!"

"Don't worry, boys," I replied, " he's veering wildly between Scottish and German - just follow my lead."

We all accepted our tinnies of Export Ale and followed Günther into the main area where several guests, mainly lovely Teutonic and ginger-haired ladies, were already mingling. On the tables were dotted little bowls of snacks, which looked great, although quite unlike traditional party fare.

Beet and Sweet Potato Chips...

Lotus Fries...

and a parsnip,  mushroom and barley thingy. 
All of it was delicious, but as you can see, it all seemed to be made from root vegetables. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it just seemed... a little extreme.

"How're ye likin' the grub the noo, fellas?" our host enquired. "Pretty wunderbar, if I may say so myself!"

"Yes, we were wondering actually..." began Michael, but McParshnipp cut him off.

"Och, d'ye want tae ken aboot the root veggies, hein? Kommt mit mir und I will show you something verrry cool, ja?"

We followed McParshnipp into his kitchen (I was drooling over that kitchen, let me tell you! It had EVERYTHING!) and he led us to a door at the back of the room. The door was marked STAFF ONLY and we were obliged to put on face masks and rubber gloves before entering.

Inside was the biggest hydroponic greenhouse I'd ever seen. All he was growing was row upon row of root vegetables - carrots, turnips, swedes, potatoes, radishes, beets, the list goes on.

"I bet you are wonderink why I only have the root veg, eh Jimmy?"

"There he goes with that Jimmy again! What is that about?" hissed Clark.

"I am sorry, mein Herr - I was born aus Deutschland but spent a great deal of my youth on the back streets o' Glasgie, d'ye ken? So occasionally I slip intae the auld slang, ja? You understand."

The guys gave me blank looks.

"Mein passion is farming the vegetables - the root vegetables I am not being allergic to, so I grow only those. If I so much as look at a pea or piece of broccoli I swell up and become like, a big truffle-puff! Hahahahahaaaa!"


"Ja, and now that I have you Unbelievables here , I can put ze next part of meine Action-Plan into action, know what ah mean, jimmy?"


With that, we were bundled into another cupboard, tied and our mouths taped. Before he closed the door on us, Günther looked us in the eye and said, "You might as well take a nap, boys, because when you wake up, the world will only have root veg for breakfast, Mittagessen und dinner!  HHAAAHAHAAA!", and within seconds, three more henchmen, armed with hypodermics, entered the cupboard and administered a sleeping drug to each of us.

Now, I'm not averse to root vegetables, but trying turn the world into a root-veg-only buffet, well, that's fascism. 

I'll let the guys tell you what transpired once we awoke...

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