The Time Machine Did It
slid under the door, giving all my meals a similar
thickness and appearance. And I was expected to go to the bathroom under this
same door. The guy who designed that place should have been shot.
    They kept me in a half-conscious
state most of the time. Drugged enough so I wouldn’t cause them any trouble,
but conscious enough so that when they beat me I was capable of giving out a
real good yell. I held up under all this pretty well. I was sleeping like a
baby – waking up every three hours screaming and crapping my pants.
    The only time escape was a
possibility was when the doctor came in twice a week to administer additional
drugs to me and slap me around a little. I hoped I might get a chance to
overpower him, but he had a lot of experience in places like this and didn’t
even let me get close to him. He administered the drugs using a nine foot
needle, and slapped me with a glove on a pole.
    But one week the regular doctor didn’t
show up – I think I heard he was skiing in Nazi Germany - and there was a
substitute doctor doing his rounds. I informed this substitute that not only
were his shoes seriously untied but there was something completely on his back.
While he was tying himself into knots addressing these problems, I hit him over
the head with my bed.
    A few minutes later I was in the
corridor, dressed as a doctor. All I had to do now was talk my way past the
guard and I was home free. Despite my optimism, I shouldn’t have been able to
convince the guard that I was one of the staff doctors, because I was still
heavily drugged and my smock was on backwards and I was drooling and one eye
wouldn’t stay open. I certainly didn’t look like a very stylish doctor.
    But I did manage to talk my way
out because the guy I was talking to, a dazed drooling guard, with his uniform
only partially covering his institutional pajamas, was also trying to talk his
way out.
    So we both got out together and
ran like hell in all directions, both of us ending up in the same getaway car,
with me driving and him yelling to turn left.
    I was back to normal physically in
a day or two, but I was still angry for another week. Once I had recovered, I
decided to go see Mandible and talk to him about maybe upping my daily rate a
little. This case was dangerous. Only additional money would fix that. I headed
downtown in my car.
    I never got there. Somebody had
been doing some major league tampering to my car. The brake lines were cut. The
tires were on fire. There was carbon monoxide coming out of everything. And the
radio was tuned to a station I didn’t like. I had to tip my booby-trapped hat
to whoever tampered with this car.
    I was late with my payments on the
car anyway, and it looked like a lot of repair work was going to have to be
done no matter how this came out, so I figured let the finance company worry
about it. I called them up on my cell phone, told them where the car was, and
jumped out.
    I was going over sixty at the
time, but luckily I didn’t hit the ground. There was a cliff there and I just
went harmlessly over that. But just when you’re sailing along, thinking
everything is going to be okay, something unexpected comes along to jar you out
of your complacency. For me, in this case, it was the bottom of the cliff. I
got bruised up pretty bad – they say I bounced for an hour - but luckily no
bones were broken. That’s where that protective layer of fat I was telling you
about comes in.
    After word got out that I had
escaped from their clutches and defied death yet again, the criminals held
another emergency meeting. Apparently I was too tough and stupid to be stopped
by normal means. Tough and stupid is a hard combination to beat, say the
experts. So they decided to try another tack. Maybe beauty would tame the
beast. They would get the irresistible vamp, Cola, to lure me to my doom.

    Cola was reclining
on silken cushions, getting a quick touchup from her makeup team, and last
minute instructions from

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