Read Crime Stories Online

Authors: Jack Kilborn

Crime Stories (8 page)

BOOK: Crime Stories
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GADGET
Surfboard with concealed explosives, combat knife, and mini computer, used by Bond in Die Another Day.
USES
Hang ten, then kill seven.
COOLNESS
Super cool. You can shred that gnarly barrel, and at the same time Google what the hell that means.
REALITY
It’s possible to produce, but be careful you don’t wax your mini-computer.
DO YOU WANT IT?
Of course. But instead of weapons and electronics, you can fill your board with soda and snacks (that you got for free at the vending machine.)
SAFETY TIP
Make sure the combat knife is properly secured before you hit the waves, or you’ll be hanging nine.
GADGET
X-Ray eyeglasses, used by Bond in The World Is Not Enough.
USES
Seeing though things like playing cards, safes, walls, doors, and clothing (to look for concealed weapons and stick-on third nipples.)
COOLNESS
Perhaps Bond’s coolest gadget. It would sure make everyday life a lot more interesting.
REALITY
If you ever sent away for a pair of these in the back of a comic book, you know they don’t work, but what did you expect for $2.95? Your mother told you they wouldn’t work, didn’t she? Real versions may exist, but they probably cost big bucks. And cause cancer.
DO YOU WANT IT?
Sure you do. Just don’t take them to family reunions. Or retirement homes.
SAFETY TIP
Wear baggy pants.
GADGET
Underwater manta ray cloak, used by Bond in License To Kill.
USES
Pretend you’re a manta ray, get close to other manta rays, get sexually assaulted by a manta ray.
COOLNESS
Not cool, unless you have a secret thing for manta rays.
REALITY
Can be made in real life, but for God’s sake why?
DO YOU WANT IT?
Only if you’re really lonely. You might also consider getting the seagull snorkel as well, and you can pretend you’re a ray chasing a seagull. You can play that one for hours and hours.
SAFETY TIP
If you spend more than $30 for this, you’re a real moron.
GADGET
Lotus Esprit sports car that turns into a submarine, complete with mines, missiles, underwater ink jets, and self-destruct mechanism, that Bond used in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker.
USES
Never take the ferry again, drive into swimming pool to fetch the quarters Grandpa throws in there.
COOLNESS
A hot car, and a hot submersible, all in one. Plus rockets.
REALITY
Boat cars do exist in real life, but they’re actually dorky looking, and driven by people who can’t get dates.
DO YOU WANT IT?
You know you do. But when purchasing options, go for an Alpine stereo and Bose speakers instead of a self-destruct button—it’s more practical.
UNDERWATER TIP
If you drive over a starfish and cut it in half, it will grow into two new starfishes, both of them very pissed off at you.
GADGET
Dinner jacket which turns into a black sniper’s outfit, used by Bond in The Living Daylights.
USES
When black tie events become boring.
COOLNESS
Cooler than the light blue tux with the ruffle shirt which turns into an adult diaper, but not by much.
REALITY
They already have these for rent at Gingiss. You’ll need two forms of ID, and there’s a mandatory 14 day waiting period.
DO YOU WANT IT?
You don’t want to admit it, but yes you do. But then, you never had much taste in clothing.
FASHION TIP
Belts are okay, but the trendy sniper prefers suspenders.
GADGET
Cigarette lighter grenade, used by Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies.
USES
No smoking means no smoking.
COOLNESS
Anything that blows up is cool (see plastic explosive watch.)
REALITY
You can put explosives into anything; lighters, bottles, cans, small animals, etc.
DO YOU WANT IT?
Absolutely. Think about taking it to a heavy metal concert when the power ballad is playing.
SAFETY TIP
Don’t get it confused with your real lighter because you might accidentally throw your real lighter at the bad guys and they’ll say, “Why’d you throw a lighter at us, stupid? Are we supposed to be scared?” Also, you might blow your face off.
GADGET
Piton gun with retractable wire, used by Bond in Diamonds Are Forever and Goldeneye.
USES
Climb up buildings and rock faces, retrieve the remote control without getting up from the couch.
COOLNESS
Climbing, swinging, and shooting things are all cool.
REALITY
Wouldn’t actually be strong enough to hold a man’s weight, but you could have fun letting your buddies try it out.
DO YOU WANT IT?
Yes. It’s like being Spiderman, but without the webby discharge.
SAFETY TIP
Don’t point it at your own face, or at family members, unless you’re trying to climb them.
GADGET
Exploding talcum powder tear gas, used by Bond in From Russia With Love.
USES
Personal hygiene, making enemies cry.
COOLNESS
Talc isn’t very cool. Neither is tear gas. But it does explode, which counts for something.
REALITY
It might already exist. It might not. Who cares?
DO YOU WANT IT?
No. You make your significant other cry all the time without gas, and no one uses talc anymore.
SAFETY TIP
Wear a gas mask before applying to your underarms.
GADGET
Magnetic watch with circular saw, used by Bond in Live And Let Die.
USES
Cutting through rope tied around your wrists, finding screws you dropped on the carpeting.
COOLNESS
Having your watch face spin around really fast is cool. Cutting off your own hand at the wrist is uncool.
REALITY
Buy a chainsaw that tells time instead. It’s cheaper and more effective.
DO YOU WANT IT?
No. If you want a cool Bond timepiece, get the plastic explosive watch. Or the laser bean watch from Tomorrow Never Dies. Or the grappling hook watch from The World Is Not Enough. Or the ticker tape message watch from The Spy Who Loved Me. Or the digital radio watch from For Your Eyes Only. Or even the Geiger counter watch from Thunderball—you can’t have too many Geiger counters around the house.
SAFETY TIP
Careful you don’t lose any fingers when you reset for different time zones.

Remember:
You’re never too old to play with toys. Especially explosive, potentially deadly, extremely expensive toys. Just think about how envious your friends and family will be when they see you driving around in your sporty new BMW 750 iL with the electrified door handles, bulletproof glass, re-inflating tires, and rear nail ejectors.

Go ahead. Think about it. Because that’s as close as you’ll ever get to owning one, spy-boy.

Now go boil your seagull snorkel—that thing is riddled with germs.

A story about being a writer. It’s humorous, but there is a lot of truth behind the jokes.

“W
hat do you think?”

I was a cup, waiting to be filled with praise. Instead I got silence. She sat there, my pages in her hands, staring at a point over my shoulder.

“How about that ending?” I prodded. “Weren’t your surprised?”

Miranda clucked her tongue. “I guessed the ending.”

“You did?”

“Yeah. And I really don’t think you need the first few paragraphs.”

“Hold on a sec.” I motioned time-out with my hands. “The first paragraphs set the scene.”

“Sorry—I didn’t think you needed them.”

I looked away, then back at her. My friend, wife, companion for eight years.

“Did you like anything?”

“Joe, you’re a wonderful writer. But this story—I think you were just trying too hard.” She brightened. “I thought the middle part was funny.”

My eyes narrowed. “When the character died?”

“Yeah. It was cute how you did that.”

“That wasn’t supposed to be funny.”

“Oh.”

There was a ticking sound. The hands of my watch. Miranda tried on a smile.

“I like the title.”

Great. I remembered how much I loved her, and somehow found the strength to thank her for her opinion. Just because we were man and wife didn’t mean we had to agree on everything.

This particular piece didn’t speak to her, but that was probably a matter of taste. I was certain that others would view it differently.

“It stinks.”

“Excuse me?”

Gerald pinched his nostrils closed. “The story stinks, Joe. Sorry, but it isn’t your best.”

“What about the surprise ending?”

“Saw it coming.”

“You did?”

“It was obvious.”

I took the story from my brother’s hands and paid too much attention to lining up the sheets of paper.

“You probably guessed it because you know me too well.”

“I guessed it because it was cliché. The middle part was kind of funny, though. What did Miranda think of it?”

“She loved it.”

“Well, there you go. My opinion probably means nothing, then. I liked that other story you did. The one about the otters.”

“I wrote that in second grade.”

“Yeah, that was a good one.”

I looked at my bare wrist. “Damn, I gotta run, Gerald. Thanks for the input.”

“It’s a good title, Joe. Maybe you can write a different story using the same title.”

“Wow. Great story.”

“You liked it?”

“Loved it.”

The relief was better than a foot massage.

“How about the ending?”

“Terrific.”

“What was your favorite part?”

My mother’s smile faltered for a split second. “Oh—there were so many.”

Mr. Dubious took over my body. “Mom…?”

“The middle part. I have to say that was my favorite. Very funny.”

So much for my relief.

“You thought the death scene was funny?”

Caught in the lie, her demeanor cracked.

“No, not that. But there were some other funny parts.”

“What parts were funny, Mom?”

“Well…you had some pretty funny typos.”

I rubbed my eyes. “Did you like anything?”

“Joe, I’m your mother. Everything you do is precious to me.”

“How about the title?”

Mom shook her head sadly.

“Not even the title?”

“Joe, I’m not a good judge of fiction. You should ask your wife or your brother. I’m sure they’ll love it.

“Poopy.”

I stared at my four-year-old, a child who is captivated by his own toes.

“Why is it poopy?”

“You should have Spider Man in it.”

“I don’t want Spider Man in it.”

My son looked at me, serious. “Spider Man can climb walls.”

“I know he can. But let’s talk about Daddy’s story. Did you think it was sad when the character died?”

“Does Spider Man tie people up and suck their blood?”

“What?”

“Spiders tie up bugs and suck their blood.”

I sighed and looked at Fluffy, the family cat.

Why the hell not?

“Fluffy, dammit, get back in this house!”

But the feline had beat a retreat only two pages into the narrative. Gone to tree, sitting ten feet out of reach in the crook of an elm branch.

“I’m serious, Fluffy.”

He stared back down at me with indifferent eyes and then began to groom.

“Fine. Count the days until you get tuna again, cat.”

BOOK: Crime Stories
9.02Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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