You sit down with your popcorn and the dvd clicker in hand. Maybe you've seen this UnMovie before, maybe you haven't; maybe you're drunk, I don't care. You were a bit unsteady at my video store. This film's more twisty than a boa constrictor and as good at grabbing your attention as a gorilla in a jockstrap. So I recommended it. Just right for wobbly customers like you. Have you seen it before? You can't remember.
You press Play and suddenly-
A Piglet was talking:
It didn’t make sense that I be there. Normally this kind of talking is done by Movie Trailer Announcer Guy. I looked around the big holding cell and saw a heavily overweight bear, an owl and a rabbit. The owl and the rabbit were kind of cozy, but the bear was trying to stay to himself. Everybody knew him, though—or of him. After about two hundred and three seconds of trying tension, the rabbit finally broke the ice.
Rabbit (sitting up from crappy wall-cot): Wassup, Nigger Bear?
Pooh: Fuck you.
Owl: He is only attempting to demonstrate familiarity and friendly intent. Could you not please respond otherwise?
Pooh: Fuck you, too. Jesus Christ, I’m talking to a fucking talking OWL.
Piglet: D-di-Did you roll the truck?
I was questioning the rabbit. He looked the most sly. But he responded:
Rabbit: Yo, what you doin’ trying ta hang dat sign around my neck, brotha? You got nothin’ betta ta do than save ya own skin?
Piglet: Well, one of you did it. I didn’t.
Owl: Be silent about your ridiculous speculations concerning my blood brother—and I use the term correctly, I assure you—lest ye be judged.
Rabbit (to Owl): Hey Bro-han…I knowdat you got my back.
Piglet: Oh yeah? Well whu-whuh-what are you gonna do about it?
Owl: I do not presently know, but let me offer a speculation: mate with your father in the communal washing facility, and then heartily engage on a post-meridian pellet meal?
Pooh intervened: Shut up, you dildos. Leave the midget alone.
They should have known better than to put us all in one cell.
Piglet: I’m sorry. I should backtrack. There was a dinghy in the harbour. It was burning. There were a lot of animal bodies. Several of them were floating in the bay.
Detective McGruff ended up with the case; how, I don’t know. Mine isn’t police business. But in his long gray trenchcoat he lumbered into the port of the Hundred Acre Wood at about nine on the morning after, and he was pretty relaxed about what he saw.
Me, well, it made me think he might be a sociopath. Because I was scared sh-shi-shi-shitless.
I was hiding behind a bramble of rope, barnacles, crates, illegal immigrants, crates, frat kids, and rope. The frat kids were all passed out from alcohol and ecstasy consumption and more than half of them were tied up with rope and I don’t know what that meant, but as a non-drug user and Al-Anon member, I was clean. I was wide awake. And for a goddamn good reason.
That’s where they found me, those stinking cops, and they weren’t satisfied by anything I had to say. They took me down to McGruff, who was borrowing Sergeant Tigger’s office, and there I sat, for all the world looking like the garden club’s cutest lawn ornament perched on a highstool.
McGruff tried to play it bad cop, but it didn’t work. Then he threw some sweetener into the mix, but I wasn’t going for that either.
“Why don’t you just tell me,” the standing dog bandied with me for a third time, “where Pooh is now.”
“He’s dead,” I said, like before.
Finest Laundry Service
Hundred Acres’ Finest Laundry Service was not your normal laundry service. It was the area’s premier clandestine garment-cleaning undertaking. Various persons who wished to have their laundry remain anonymous contacted the 100 Acre Wood PD for this service. And the cops would get it to a discreet washerwoman straight away, sirens blaring.
Well Pooh got the word—but I’m getting ahead of myself.
This was after we were released: we went our separate ways. Rabbit, Owl and me were smoking, resting easy across the street against a handy handrail. Pooh came out of the station and saw us. He started, then blundered into a turn and made off with his lawyer girl, the she-kangaroo.
Rabbit murmured “Yeah, well forget Nigger Bear…we’ll do this fine on our own.”
Not even a glance back.
Later I went to visit him. We greeted each other cordially; then I made an observation about him being a kangaroo-hipped woman’s bitch. He hit me in the spleen for that. I twisted away and mechanically told him: “I’ll probably shit blood tonight.”
After that our conversation was quite productive. Pooh told me he’d been working on a way to make the cops pay for the indecent manner in which the bear had been hauled away from a funding dinner with Kanga and some angel investors for a totally legal honey bar project he’d been pushing. Since I was low to the ground, though, my eye kept glancing at something lying under the entry hall bench. What the heck was that?! As the discussion wound up, I had to move in for a closer look.
I didn’t have to lean down very far to look under the bench. Beneath was a small paper roll with some marble-sized solids spilling out of one end.
Anyways, there we were back in Sergeant Tigger’s office. I looked up at the corkboard on the wall behind where McGruff who had borrowed the room for interrogating me was standing, and I saw it. The nice bit of detail.
“I was in a mailorder catalogue photoshoot in Topeka, Kansas—it was a goodwill thing for crippled kids—”
I told him sure, then when he got back with it sipped and said: “Back when I was in a mailorder catalogue photoshoot in Topeka, Kansas, we had good carrot juice. Not like this, this is shit. But I’m in a cop shop, so whatdya expect.”
“Shut up about that and tell me what happened with the laundry service. You say in your statement that…that you stole laundry from Hundred Acre Wood’s Finest. That it was Pooh’s idea.”
“Sure,” I said carelessly. “We wore pantyhose over our faces—well, actually mine was so big on me it slipped down to my knees. Anyways, we mobbed the two cops and the mark. They were flamingos. Cops are so crooked. Rabbit and Owl grabbed the laundry, and Pooh pulled some identifying feathers off the cops which would be sent to Internal Affairs. They squawked, later. Crooked cops always do. Everybody got it right in the ass, from the Chief on down.”
We went to lay low at a hotel. In the lobby there was a pool table, and we were half-heartedly playing 8-ball when the donkey entered and changed everything.
“A donkey,” grumbled McGruff.
“That’s right,” I confirmed, then went on to describe how the gray animal forlornly set down a bundle of folders, then ambled closer.
“My name is Braveheart. I am here to deliver to you a proposal. One that you cannot refuse. You will understand the reason when I inform you that I work for Christopher Robin.”
The whole atmosphere of the room completely changed. Not that it was party time before, but now it was as if somebody had released nerve gas into the lobby. My companions fiddled about, stared at the floor.
I quietly asked: “Who is Christopher Robin?”
Rabbit threw a paw: “Nothin’, a spirit. A ghost. Get outta the ghetto. You’s Minus One-Three-Three-Seven, bee-atch.” He hopped away a bit, then turned back.
“Oh no,” the donkey announced wryly, “I assure you he is very real.”
Braveheart beat us all at pu-poo-pool, then handed out vanilla folders to us all. Pooh tried to taste the one given to him and exclaimed something about it not being up to his usual standard, but then figured out he ought to open it, following the rest of us.
“I am disheartened to tell you,” the donkey explained to us, “that Mr. Robin, my employer, would be most dissatisfied with a half-hearted or meh-response to his perfectly reasonable demands. He would simply rather not spend his time informing the public of your various transgressions.
“You, Mr. Bear, for your chronic addiction to absinthe-infused honey.
“You, Mr. Rabbit, for your incessant need for chomp with members of the anything chomp sex.
“You, Mr. Piglet, for your disturbing lack of height and unholy psychological need to be struck in a vital organ, and inform your then-sorry assailant “I’ll probably shit blood tonight.”
“And you, Mr. Owl, for your casual yet repeated concern with rogering Mr. Tigger’s parental unit in the Tennessee medium security shower.”
Mr. Owl: “Aww, fuck.”
Rabbit just blinked.
With dignity, Braveheart departed.
As soon as the donkey was out of the lobby Owl hooted: “This is representative of a steaming dung heap.”
The rabbit shot back, “I dunno. Word is Robin’s somekinda butcher.”
This was too much for Owl.
“A mere nineteen hundred and seven seconds ago, you expostulated that he was, in fact, a figment of demented conjecture! Hah! And a butcher?! Does he, perchance, manufacture haggis? I find I adore things that come in other things.”
Hopping away and sulking, the long-eared beast cried, “That’s right, you go make funna me wit’ your book-learning—but you don’t know…He’ll flip you. He’ll flip you for real.”
One Day In Turkey
|“|| My favorite story about Christopher Robin…it’s about his time in Turkey. Christopher Robin had built up quite some goodwill locally by setting up a lending library. But he was encroaching on some Hu-Huh-Hu-Hungarians…they had their own library and they sure weren’t going to let any Johnny- Come-Lately lend books for free and pleasure to their clients. One afternoon, while he was away, the Hungarian bookish mob sent some guys in to teach Christopher Robin a lesson. They let themselves into his household…and availed themselves of the pleasures of his reading room. They spread his pages and cracked his spines, and left looseleaf paper lying around the chamber. Well Christopher Robin returned. And he showed those men of will whu-whuh-what a man of will really was:
He picked up three prized tomes and tore them in half. He produced a lighter and set the paperbacks aflame. And through sleight-of-hand he made them believe their expensive Mont Blanc ballpoint pens had turned into peace lilies, and he released them to take this message back to their masters.
For the next four years, he conducted a rampage of terror: he broke into their collections at night and burned their books; those of their families, their friends, their friends’ families…he became an anti-hero of the Bradbury tradition…a ghost, a myth, the bogeyman mothers tell their kids about at night:
“Live a good life, or Christopher Robin will make you!!”
And like that: <fwooh>--he is gone.
Not An Interrogation
Transcript from interrogation room tape:
McGruff: In your statement, you say the papers the donkey gave you were dossiers about your entire
criminal lives, and instructions to stop a rival gang from completing a large drug deal.
Piglet: That’s right…we had all stolen something from Christopher Robin. Not that we knew it—that
was his power. The people we stole from had worked for a guy who worked for a guy who got a tip
from somebody who knew Christopher Robin. That kind of thing. It turned out Rabbit had knocked
over the lettuce truck we’d originally been brought in on the lineup for. Whether Christopher Robin
was real or not, we knew the donkey’d have us killed if we didn’t do as demanded. It was a suicide
McGruff: And you went anyways.
Piglet: Y-ye-yeah. Pooh always said he didn’t believe in God, but he was afraid of him. Well,
Detective McGruff, I believe in God, and I’m afraid of Christopher Robin.
McGruff: And it was Pooh’s plan for stopping the drug deal?
Piglet: Uh huh. It was supposed to go down on a dinghy in the harbour. There were a bunch of
Hungarians and badgers that were doing business with them. The deal went down at night. Pooh went
right up to them on the pier and then Rabbit started throwing nuts and they began to run away.
Owl hooted from the sidelines and Pooh punched a few badgers and then leapt on board the boat.
Then I heard him roar: ‘There is no dope on this boat!’ We couldn’t believe it. Owl called across
the water, ‘Are you certain?’ and Pooh screamed back, ‘There…is…NO…coke!’ Sometime around now
Rabbit was shot. His body ended up in the water I guess; Pooh jumped out of the dinghy and I saw
another form lying in it, but didn’t have time to look more closely because there was gunfire and
Owl exploded in a hoot and a holler and a burst of feathers. I hobbled and hid behind a bunch of
crates. The boat was set aflame. That’s when I saw Pooh get shot. He fell and slumped against a
lifejacket on the dock. The silhouette of a boy came up to him. They spoke briefly. I heard Pooh
say, ‘Are you gonna kill me now…Christopher Robin?’ And it happened. The boy fired twice and the
bear was dead.
McGruff: You expect me to believe that? You say you saw Winnie-the-Pooh dead?!
Piglet: Believe what you want. I saw him die.
McGruff: I don’t think so. I think you’re covering up for him. You’re lying to me! Don’t cover
for that lousy mercenary!
Piglet: I-I’m not! Why would I—
McGruff: Because you’re stupid, Piglet…because you’re weaker than they are.
Piglet: I don-done-don’t know!! He was my friend!
McGruff: Winnie-the-Pooh is an asshole.
McGruff: He lured you all into that deal in order to kill the one person who could positively
identify him as Christopher Robin! Ruff! Winnie-the-Pooh was Christopher Robin! Yes, Piglet! A
user of others! The kind of bear who could wrangle the wills of animals like Owl and Rabbit! The
kind of bear who could make people enjoy watching sticks float down a river! The kind of bear who
could kill Kanga!
Piglet: …Kanga’s dead?!
McGruff: Her body was found in the Outback, shot twice.
The Writing On The Wall
The animals took time out for karaoke in the hotel lounge. Piglet sang a melancholy tune.
Concluding, Piglet appreciated the sparse applause emanating from the dimly-lit and unfilled bar; but his mind flashed back to the good times, those eight long years ago: a boy, in raincoat and galoshes, willing to jump in mudpuddles, save you from a flood…the boy who lead a ragtag group of animals on treasure hunts, told stories and listened to yours…the boy who had been BUSY now all these long years, gone so long everyone had all but forgotten about him…the shaded memory, the departure of their shining star—the reason for their being—the encroachment of their bitterness, their descent from proud homeowners to squatters, occasional indulgers to full-blown alcoholics…Piglet remembered, and wallowed in the thing he had become.
McGruff returned Piglet's attention to reality by telling him to turn state’s evidence, that they would protect him.
“Sure, buh-ba-bang-up job so far, Detective. No, I’ll take my chances on the street. I got a whole different set of problems when I post bail.”
“You posted bail forty-five minutes ago.” McGruff let him go.
After Piglet left his office, Sergeant Tigger returned. McGruff was pondering.
“What’s the matter with you?” asked Tigger. Looking up, McGruff roughly gestured with a paw towards the billboard behind the chief’s desk. “How the hell do you keep track of what’s going on in here?”
Tigger, bouncing, enthusiastically advised: “You gotta stand back—take in the whole thing. There’s a system to it!”
McGruff did just that. His hardboiled character assessed and started to nail things into place. A Victoria’s Secret girl. A poster of Braveheart, the movie. A memo reminding the reader to attend a meeting four months ago. A torn-off back page from a mailorder catalogue with a return address to Topeka, Kansas printed on it. McGruff dropped his cup of carrot juice: it meaninglessly shattered in slow motion because it cost $0.17 and was from Wal-Mart. The next moments were consumed by the dog running out of the police station and into the street. He barked and looked left and right.
Twenty-odd seconds earlier, Piglet emerges from the police station and proceeds down the sidewalk. But now he’s changing: his hobbling ceases…he’s three-and-a-half feet—no five—no seven feet tall…his ears shrink back, certainly not totally normal, but definitely less-than-Prince Charles-sized…his eyes become unglazed as he removes his contact lenses…he appears to be a white pro basketball player.
…round the corner comes a black Jag…it purrs to the curb; the passenger door opens. It is Eeyore, leaning across and looking gloomily up at his ruthless master. Piglet gets in. And through a spotless windshield they smirk as they depart this tumultuous, self-controlled world…
Piglet: “And like that: <fwooh>—he is gone.”