Subj:   Meet Wanda Pike

Date:   Sometime in the Summer of '96

From:  Bottlenekk

To:      SecraTerri, FifiOToole, Edmundkaz

Ed, Feef and Secra:


Wanda is originally from Louisiana, and always thought it was a shame that most people pick a single profession and do the same thing their entire lives.  So she's already held a variety of jobs in her 30-odd years.

She owned a voodoo shop in the French Quarter for awhile, but had to sell it when she discovered she was allergic to nightshade.

She traveled to Renaissance Fairs around the country, selling jewelry she'd designed.

She has a pilot's license.

She occasionally does stand-up comedy at bars that have Open Mike Night, and more frequently at bars that do not.  Wanda is usually asked to leave the latter establishments.

Currently, she has her own pet-sitting business   -  going to people's houses to feed, water and exercise her pets when the owners are out of town.  While waiting for Fluffy to do her business in the backyard, Wanda occasionally snoops in the houses, but never steals anything.

She lives in an old Winnebago.

Wanda is a reasonably attractive redhead, and believes that she sounds like Reba McIntire when she sings in the shower.  But Wanda has been unlucky in love for a number of reasons.  One of these is the fact that a full-grown python is loose someplace in her Winnebago.

A former client gave her a python to watch while he was out of town, and he never returned.  The snake apparently found a place to hide in the motorhome.  Wanda's boyfriends generally find this fact to be unsettling, but Wanda is not afraid of snakes.  It's true that she cannot fall asleep in front of the TV set and expect her half-eaten tuna sandwich to still be on the coffee table when she wakes up.  But it's also true that Wanda never, ever had a problem with mice in the Winnebago.

Wanda has an enormous crush on Sean Connery.   She did not especially care for him during the James Bond days, but began finding him attractive once he started losing his hair.  Wanda has a thing for bald guys in general.

She also likes cashews, Dr. Pepper, motorcycles, buttermilk pancakes, pinball machines, button-fly jeans, Sue Grafton novels and old Johnny Rivers records.


"I'm sorry, but the velvet painting of the dogs playing poker is absolutely not for sale."







Subj:   Meet Caspar Mouse

Date:  Sometime in the Summer of '96

From: SecraTerri

To:      Bottlenekk, FifiOToole, Edmundkaz

Caspar Mouse.

It says "Casper" on his birth certificate but he thinks "Caspar" is more exotic.

Tells people he comes from the future.

Lactose intolerant, but unfortunately addicted to Dairy Queen Cookies 'n Cream Blizzards.

Spends an inordinate amount of time in the BATHROOM (which he calls "The Library").

More details to follow  ...  whenever the little jackhammer guy in Secra's brain takes a break ...

Subplot?  Uhhh  ...  I dunno.

(Secra, DESPERATE to not have to write the first chapter ...)

Something involving a plot to kidnap Tori Spelling for cloning purposes, I guess.

Do not repeat DO NOT look for "inspired" at 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning, gang.

But I believe this officially means I don't have to go first.







Subj:   Meet Frank Lee Peking

Date:   Sometime in the Summer of '96

From:  FifiOToole

To:      SecraTerri, Bottlenekk, Edmundkaz


Frank Lee is a former pimp-turned-sausage-magnate.   His given name is Jimmy Preen, but he changed both his name and his occupation after doing time at Anderson for trading in pork bellies with insider info  --   at which he made some seriously big bucks, btw.

Anderson is one of those white collar country-club type prisons, so Frank Lee didn't suffer too much during the 18 months he spent there (he got time off for good behavior) and he managed to establish a whole new network of potential business associates who may prove to be invaluable, now that he's back on the outside.

The greatest indignity Frank Lee underwent during his incarceration was having to work in the prison sewage plant with a Southern Baptist TV evangelist who kept trying to baptize him on the job.  Peking is planning revenge though.  His sister dates a Disney exec, and when the time is right ...

But for now, Peking owns and operates a small detective agency out of his mother's garage in Rumford, Maine (about 12 miles northwest of Livermore Falls).  However, with the exception of your occasional Hostess Twinkie theft from the local Stop 'n Shop, there's not much to detect in a town like Rumford, so Frank Lee advertises in the yellow pages of 27 states and spends a great deal of time on the road.

He is deathly afraid of flying and avoids it whenever possible by traveling in a 1961 Cadillac, which was a tax write-off for his first business enterprise.  The Peking Pimpmobile's speedometer is fast approaching turnover to its second 100,000 miles, making it a somewhat uncomfortable and unreliable means of transportation.  When asked to propel the vehicle over 35 mph, the entire engine shimmies violently  --  frequently causing our detective to arrive on the job several days late and ten or more pounds lighter than when he started out.  He finds it safest to keep his weapons of choice  --  a .38 snub nose automatic and a 410 over/under  --  unloaded until his Caddy has come to a complete stop and the ignition is in the "off" position.

Frank Lee is in the market for a new car but first he either has to catch up with his ex-wife (Tori Spelling's Aunt Candide) who absconded with the profits of the stock market scam while he was vacationing at Anderson  --   or he must solve the crime of the century and become a sought-after darling of the broadcast media industry.  He is more hopeful of the latter than the former.

An avowed bachelor after 1.) failing to control a stable of prostitutes, and 2.) a semi-miserable marriage to a former Nashville debutante, Peking's motto is "love 'em and leave 'em.  Before daylight, if possible."   He rarely lives up to his motto.  He is a sucker for brunettes with big inquisitive blue eyes, and not at all adverse to blondes, but redheads scare the shit out of him.  He finds them extremely unpredictable and often hazardous to his mental health.

Frank Lee has thick gray hair, but it's at a dead run for the back of his head and he secretly uses Rogaine in hopes of impeding its progress.  Although he is aging with more than a little grace, he has a fondness for buttered popcorn, fried clams, bacon-wrapped meatballs and St. Pauli Girl beer  --   so if he ever gets rid of the vibrating Pimpmobile, he will have to join the nearest YMCA immediately or else change his name to Chubby Chan.

His hobbies are his pets  --  a Dachsund named Irving and a Talking Amazon Parrot named Dick.  He also has a high powered pair of binoculars that afford him hours of amusement, and he likes to lay around on the couch and surf the TV channels or read other people's mail in his spare time.  His favorite type of music is The Oldies  --  pop rock from the 50's and 60's, with a heavy emphasis on Elvis Presley.  He has been known to stand in front of the mirror and practice the "Elvis" leer  --  one side of the upper lift at half-mast   --  because he fancies it makes him look sexy.

Frank lee will dance if the lady is willing, but he prefers a slow dance shuffle to anything with specific steps or movements.  He can,after a few beers, imitate the Elvis "bump, grind and slide" to perfection, though.

He acts the tough guy, but all the women who know him secretly call him "The Peking Pussycat."

Frank Lee is just naturally nosy as hell.  At age 45, he seems to have found his niche in life.


Tom Brokenjaw, greatly venerated reporter of UBC Slightly News, has mysteriously disappeared from his hotel room in Baton Rouge, while working on a story about Geraldo Rivera's possible affiliation with the CIA.


Whew.  Just in under the wire, Thank Gawd.   Kazman  ..  you're "it!"





A moment of minor controversy:


Date:   Sometime in the Summer of '96

From:  Edmundkaz

To:      FifiOToole, Bottlenekk, SecraTerri

Secra's was INCOMPLETE therefore I am not "it" YET!




My empathetic reply:

Subj:   Re: WAIT A SECOND!

Date:   Sometime in the Summer of '96

From:  SecraTerri

To:      EdmundKaz, FifiOToole, Bottlenekk


Quit being such a crybaby.  It is NOT a good look for you.

Secra's assignment was as follows:

<<<  Secra: Invent one main male character, and give us a one-sentence sub-plot for the novel  >>>

* Character: INVENTED

* Sub-plot: PROVIDED







A day or two later  ...  he finally "produces"

Subj:   Introducing "Courtney Bombeck"

Date:   Sometime in the Summer of '96

From:  EdmundKaz

To:      SecraTerri, FifiOToole, Bottlenekk

Everyone say hello to COURTNEY BOMBECK.

We're not really sure if it's her real name.  She claims it is, but no birth records exist after the unfortunate napalming of the Trailer Town Hall of Records by a disgruntled S&H Green Stamp employee in 1972.

Five foot ten and a natural redhead, Courtney always dyes her hair blue black.  She's of those naturally beautiful types; never EVER needed makeup.   "Why fix what ain't ugly?" is what Nesushi, the assistant manager of Trailer Town Grocers, was always fond of saying.

Nesushi always said that if a talent scout for Sudzy Soap ever made a stop in Trailer Town he's absolutely positive that Courtney would be discovered.  Perhaps she might even be the next Phyllis Newman.

But Nesushi and everyone are secretly happy that Courtney chose to remain in Trailer Town.  There is just SOMETHING about her ...

Maybe it's because her hedges are always immaculately manicured.

Maybe it's because of the way she squeaks with delight whenever Nesushi would play his London Lee albums for her.

Maybe it's because of the way she drinks a Slurpee without a straw.

Maybe it's because she cries whenever an Al Hirt song comes on the local radio station: WTRT AM.

But to know Courtney Bombeck, one must know and understand Trailer Town.

Trailer Town is located exactly two miles outside of Bangor, Maine.  Interestingly enough, there is not a trailer park anywhere to be found.   Local myth has it that the founder of Trailer Town, the venerably erstwhile Peter Paulanmari  -  the uncredited inventor of ketchup  -  would frequent the Bangor Picture Show only to depart immediately after the coming attractions  -   he had not the time OR the attention span to sit still for a ninety minute film.   But everyone knew how Peter LIVED for the "trailers."

T Town's main industry is "wicker."  Nesushi says is was discovered here, and that would be very easy to believe, given the fact that it's just about EVERYWHERE.  A newcomer would need a bit of time to get accustomed to the constant "crunching sound" in the air; the direct result of folks getting up and sitting down.

Courtney's only son, Cale (who everyone lovingly calls "Little Bastard"), is now almost sixteen, and working part-time at the T Town Videe-Go.  Cale's job is to place the little stickers on the new releases that say "Be Kind. Please Rewind."

Just recently Cale has begun to harbor a barely-contained rage at those who return videos un-rewound.  "HOW could ANYONE be so inconsiderate!" he thinks to himself, as he plunks the SEVENTH tape of the evening into the auto-rewinder.  The mere thought of an unsuspecting renter sitting down to enjoy their freshly rented video, only to have to GET UP and REWIND, caused Cale to tremble with hostility.

And this Tuesday (two-fer night) Cale's anger started to manifest itself in a new way: As a homicidal fantasy about the NEXT creep who would return a video in that most undesirable condition.

The beads of sweat forming on Cale's large quivering forehead were clearly visible under the blinking fluorescents of Videe-Go.  Unsuspecting renters just figured it was because it was June and Cale was wearing a sweater.

About Cale:

Cale is the product of a brief dalliance his mom had when The Lettermen were performing on a double bill with Leo Sayer in 1980 at the Great Auditorium.   Until only recently (it ended abruptly after the unfortunate Jack Jones "incident") local custom called for all current and former Miss Fire Preventions to meet and greet performers who appeared there.

One of the Lettermen  -  let's call him "Phil"  -  seduced Courtney (Miss Fire Prevention 1968-1970) after the show by telling her that he wrote "Shangrila" THAT VERY EVENING JUST FOR HER.   They made wild, unprotected love that night and nine months later Cale was the newest citizen of T Town.

Courtney never married, and never chose to tell the townfolk who the father was; however, Cale's fondness for smooth four-part harmony and comfy cardigans always caused the T Towners to collectively furrow their brows with suspicion.

Although her thirty seven years on the planet were relatively inconsequential, Courtney Bombeck always had dreams that something new and exciting was just around the corner.

And around that corner was Frank Lee Peking.

And Frank wanted a Slurpee ..


.. and a video.


First Line of Dialogue (spoken by Frank Lee):

"Where does a man get a cool refreshment and a video rental in this noisy god-fersaken town?"



Subj:   And Furthermore

Date:   Sometime in the Summer of '96

From:  SecraTerri

To:      Edmundkaz, FifiOToole, Bottlenekk


OK.  Secra admits that her earlier "contribution" was somewhat  ...  sketchy.  (Although she would prefer to call it "refreshingly uncomplicated.")

She steadfastly stands by her assertion that her contribution, refreshingly uncomplicated though it may be, met ALL the requirements.

She was operating this morning under a noxious cloud of exhaustion, hangover and bad coffee.  (As a result of last night's "festivities," she now possesses 18,340,351 fewer brain cells and $3.98 fewer dollars ... the price of a good bottle of chab and a beef by-product stick at Trailer Town Grocery).

The very fact that she crawled off the ouch, strapped herself into the computer chair and wrote ANYTHING AT ALL should, she feels, be noted with compassion, gratitude and admiration.  But nooooo ...



"Caspar"  ...  I'm spelling it his way, to indulge the lad  ...  is one of those unfortunate souls who truly believes he is witty, fun, loaded with sex appeal and Destined For Greatness  ...   when in fact he is none of those things.  And less.

His origins are murky.  Rumor has it that his mother birthed him in a rice paddy during her lunch hour.  (No word on who the father was, altho that may be *revealed* down the road.)  Mom, sadly, thought she was merely passing a kidney stone, and went directly back to the Rice A Roni factory afterwards, where her job was sorting the rice and the vermicilli into separate containers. (At that point it was the Rice Factory and the Roni Factory.  Several months later, Caspar's mom came to work hungover and accidentally knocked the Roni into the Rice vat, forever changing culinary history.  But I digress.)

Caspar fortunately was rescued from the rice paddy moments after his birth by a wandering mime and his lovely albeit obscenely overweight girlfriend, who brought him home to San Francisco and raised him as their own.  They hoped that Caspar would one day follow in "Dad's" footsteps.  Caspar, unfortunately, was seriously allergic to makeup.  He also didn't quite "get" the whole mime thingy, as evidenced by his disastrous attempt to create a high school All-Mime Format Radio Station.

His secret dream, which he never revealed to his adoptive parents, was to become a matador.

He graduated in the bottom third of his high school class, which was remarkable insofar as there was only one other person in the class.   In the yearbook he was voted "Most Likely To Enjoy A Lobotomy Sans Drugs."

After high school he took a job as a burrito assembler at Taco Time, a job he loathed. When he thought the supervisor wasn't looking, he spit into the little containers of hot sauce.

That was in 1978.

He's still working there.

Saving his money  ..  hoping to go to Matador School someday.

Caspar feels he meets ALL the criteria for Matadorhood.

He has:

A red cape.

(At the moment he uses it as a shower curtain but he showers so infrequently that it remains more or less pristine.)

Caspar feels that were he to realize his dream and in fact become a MATADOR, Tori Spelling might finally take notice of him.  Tori Spelling has more or less been a driving force in his life (and feverish dreams) for years, ever since he first beheld her amazing countenance on "Saved By The Bell."  One look at her pallid complexion, bulging eyes and surgically-rendered-perky nose sent him over the edge, and he he has never been quite the same.

On a good hair day read that: all four strands combed to the left, cleverely camouflaging his inherent baldness), he has a certain gacklike charm.  He feels that polyester has taken a bad rap in recent years, and he is determined to keep the Puka Shells Mystique alive in the 90's.  People often mistake him for a young Andy Griffith, sans hair.  He's a little shrimp of a guy but he feels that the Pee Wee Herman shoes lend him a certain stature.

Caspar shares a swinging bachelor pad with three other swinging bachelor types.  It is heavy on bean bag chairs, fish swimming upside down in the unplugged aquarium, and unopened Notices of Disconnection from assorted utility companies.

Caspar feels the world is in desperate need of:

1.)  Better french fries

2.)  A Firefall Reunion Tour

3.)  Caspar

Face it, gang. 

The guy is a total putz.

What ARE we going to do with him?


There now.  Secra has quite exhausted herselves for a Sunday night.

She would NOT in fact be doing this for anyone on the planet except for




Mr. Crybaby Snotty Pants.



If this does NOT in fact meet your expectations   ...

...  tough. 

And I still say the Kazman is "it."


xoxoxoxox all three of you demented yet curiously omnipresent people


The First Chapter!

Table of Contents