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My name is Matt Saticoy and I’m a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department in the year of our Lord 1952. I can handle an angry dame poking a stiletto at my jugular or a jealous husband swinging a baseball bat at my noggin, but I go bonkers at the sight of a spider. My shrink says I have a “phobia,” whatever that means.

I was headed to Cole’s in downtown LA last week for a French dipped sandwich when Captain Gordley barked words I hate to hear.

“Saticoy, get your keister over to the carnival in Pomona. There’s a dead body upstaging the freaks.”

Nuts! The last time I went to the carnival I took one gander at the spiders in the freak show pavilion and I passed out into the bearded lady’s derriere. Not a good place to be. 

I’ve seen this flick before, so I phoned those Home Defenders, the ones with the stories in the newspaper. They get the job done!

After the spiders were blasted to kingdom come, I started my investigation. It turned out the whole affair was a put-on. You see, the strongman had been involved in a sordid love triangle with the Siamese twins and the one-armed geek. Whenever the geek went onstage, screaming like a banshee and biting the heads off snakes and chickens, the strongman—intent on stealing the geek’s thunder—would change into a dead body disguise and draw the audience away from the geek. The ruse almost cost the geek his job and geek jobs are rare—a far cry from the 1920s when geek shows played presidential inaugurations and royal weddings.

We charged the strongman with impersonating a corpse for immoral purposes. He was convicted and old judge Kowalski sentenced him to return to the freak show. The case was closed, but I’ll leave it to you, reader, to try and make sense of this crazy freak show of a world we live in. Have a spider free week, everyone!

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(This week I continue my look at how a high school yearbook, complete with senior quotes, would describe our mountain animals.)

Bobcat — Senior quote: “If you love something, set it free… then chase it down and eat it!” 

 His fur is sweatshirt gray… “Property of Mother Nature Athletic Dept”… excels at running, jumping, and tree climbing… homecoming king… marks his territory in the principal’s office… spends a lot of time in detention.

 Raccoon — “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses… and I’ll make ‘em laugh!”

 He’s the class clown in night class… put a whoopee cushion under Sister Mary Nicole’s seat… set off a stink bomb in Miss Garcia’s Spanish class… has a restraining order to stay fifty feet away from all fire extinguishers… put itching powder in Bobcat’s gym shorts… never knows when to quit.

 Black Widow Spider — “Alone again, naturally.”

  She was Goth before Goth was a thing… eats bug, moths, flies and male black widows… spent a week in detention hall for eating a male who tried to mate with her… ate all the other males in there too… “OMG, you guys, like Halloween is so lame!”… loves Johnny Cash… voted most likely to stay single for life.

Tree Squirrel — “Gimme, gimme some loving!”

 Happily accepts peanuts and sunflower seeds from mountain homeowners… “Come on, guys, don’t tell anyone I’m just a rat with a big, fluffy tail”… high jump champion… stores nuts for the winter… “Hey Raccoon, you keep your thievin’ paws off my nuts or you’ll rue the day you were born!”… last seen getting run over by a Porsche.

  Well, readers, that’s all for this week. And thanks to you critters for helping out, let’s work together again in the future. Uh-oh, I accidentally winked at Black Widow. Darn it! Quick, Mike, you had better think on your feet and say something smart. 

   “Uh, hello Black Widow, sorry for winking at you, I have, uh, Congenital Eye Twitch Syndrome and I swear I never, ever… oh nooooooooooooo!”

  (We regret to inform you that this column has been canceled indefinitely.)

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I have a high school reunion in August, and I was flipping through my senior yearbook, thinking of the old gang, when I wondered how a yearbook would describe our mountain animals. Here’s my guess:

Flying Squirrel — Senior quote: “I wanna rock and roll all night… and doze off every day.” 

Glides like a butterfly, floats from a tree… nocturnal by nature… loves truffles, nuts, and seeds… hangs out in attics and wall voids… looks like a cute stuffed animal… voted most likely to get eaten by a Great Horned Owl.

Robin — “My boyfriend’s back and you’re gonna be in trouble.” 

Loves to eat worms… no one calls it brain food… fights his own reflection in car side mirrors… “You checking out my chick, tough guy?!”… not the brightest bird on the wire… chirps with a chipped beak… never been to any class ever.

Gopher — “A rose by any other name would taste as sweet.”

He’s the tunneling terror on the school grounds… “I never met a flower I didn’t like”… has carpal tunnel syndrome in his middle claw from flipping the bird at the groundskeeping crew… heads to the golf course on weekends… never gets invited to parties because he’s impossible to get rid of.

Bear — “Bears who need bears are the luckiest bears… as long as they stay out of my territory!”  

He wears a cruelty-free fur coat… sleeps all study hall, and all winter…  could climb a tree at two months old… eats peanuts with the hulls on… has a real sweet fang… president of FBA. (Future Beekeepers of America)

Fox — “Live fast, die young, leave a beautiful stuffed corpse.”

She has beauty and brains… “the sum of a lake shore circumference equals the sum of the square of the adjacent shoreline”… a real territorial prima donna… “Watch it, vixen, keep your paws off my mate or I’ll scratch up that pretty face of yours!”…  digs mice… future model/astronaut.

  (to be continued next week…)