Schammmbourg Shenanigans

CJ says the Village of Schammmbourg ain’t exactly sweet on him. He’s got the impression that it (the village) or some faction of it, some faction of its community theatre community, is out to “get” him. “Get” him or “get rid of” him. Maybe get him and then get rid of him. Either way, seems they don’t dig him, “oh but for sure” they’ll bury him, if they catch him. “With pleasure,” he says, they will. 

Could be CJ’s just having bad luck in Schammmmbourg. 

So check this out: Two nights ago he gets outta rehearsal for The Music Man. (Community theatre, that’s where he meets his chicks, where he cocks his doodle-doos.) He’s driving south on Randy Ave, spots something in the middle of the road, steers clear of it. Tells me, later, it’s a “body.” That’s what I’m telling you. Calls it a “small body.” And there he saw it, there lying face down across the stretch of double yellows. And to CJ, it looks human. 

Does he stop? Hell no. Don’t exactly make him a coward, though. Just lemme finish. 

Lampposts are few and far between along a lot of Randy Ave. You’ve got a forest preserve on one side and a “major” underdeveloped “retail opportunity” on the other. 

So CJ’s zoom-zooming along, sees what he thinks he saw, and floors it to the Phil-R-Up at the stoplight ahead. From his distance, the light’s just a little bit bigger than a bright red pin prick. He stops his Mazda Miata alongside the Phil-R-Up’s Phil-N-Shop, hops out with the motor running, leaves the driver’s side door flung open, and shoves into the Phil-N-Shop. At the teenager behind the counter he shouts, “Dial nine-one-one!

The attendant teen keeps his hands under the counter for the whole time they wait, like maybe something’s fishy about CJ. Could be CJ’s got his eyes on the Phil-N-Dunks donut display. (I love me some Phil-N-Dunks. If I get the munchies I go to my local Phil-R-Up just for the Phil-N-Dunks.) Or, could be, CJ’s still got his stage makeup on. 

So the cops arrive and CJ tells ‘em something like what I’ve just told you. And the cops, being cops, they wanna check it out. So they follow CJ, “OJ-style,” all the miles back to the spot. 

Ah, but the body? Poof! Gone. I mean, no, it didn’t, like, disappear before CJ’s eyes. No, it just wasn’t where he said he steered out of its way twenty-very-odd minutes ago. 

As the search begins, they ask CJ to stick around. He’s introduced to an officer friendly who’d like to get to know him a little better. 

One cop finds clumps of hair in a ditch. He tells CJ that these clumps look to be gummed together. Gummed together with… and you’re not gonna believe this… jizz. Now I ask you: Exactly how does a cop—how does anybody—come to that particular conclusion? I mean lickety-split. What, from the smell of it? 

Now from here, it gets just a little bit stranger… 

Some I dunno how, the cops figure the jizzed-up hair clumps are fake. (Nothing about the authenticity of the “jizz,” though.) 

Ah, but in that same vicinity, another cop comes across something else, something worse: blood splatted clothes. But then they figure the blood’s just ketchup. Now, I ask you, how exactly do they figure that? Some kinda field test kit? Did they lick it? I’m guessing they sniffed it. But is that good enough? I mean, at the police academy, are the cadets trained to smell the difference between blood and condiments? 

So was it all a hoax? A trap? Sure you could blame Halloween, if it was Halloween, but it wasn’t Halloween. This was the middle of summer. So like CJ’s convinced of, had the Village of Schammmmmbourg come together to send him a message? A warning? A shot across the bow of his candy apple red Miata? They don’t want him on their stage. Or backstage, more like. Watching the costume changes. Offering, I dunno, shoulder rubs to soccer moms. Could be he’s worked up a reputation among all the community theaters of the western burbs. Seems to me he senses that. Can’t say about all this other stuff, though. 

I’ll tell ya, CJ, he’s a friendly guy, great sense of humor. But on the spectrum of studmuffins, he’s closer to Rick Moranis than he is to Brad Pitt.

20 July 1997

*[04/03/22: The bones of this tale are real.]

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