The Unbent Spoon
“I’m off to the corn exchange,” I said to no one in particular as no one listens to me anyway. “I need to straighten those fuckers out, CORN IS LIFE.” I had just finished listening to “Vegetable Man” by the, soon to be chemically damaged or just clinically insane, Syd Barrett, which for some reason always put me in the mood to club people on their heads with a mandolin and make my eyes feel like they need a shower.
I wasn’t really going to the corn exchange. Corn is way over rated, but. . . pretty darn versatile stuff, it doesn’t need my help. I think Jimmy Page probably eats a lot of corn but don’t quote me on that as I’ve never read him saying it any place, he just seems like a big corn kinda guy. Although I did read someplace that Page was inspired by Orville Redenbacher when he penned the tune “Stairway to heavenly buttered goodness”. . That was the working title, later the song was actually released as “Bron – Yr – Aur” which is pronounced Bron Rawr for those of you in America that just can’t get a handle on how to pronounce English words that aren’t American. Bron -Yr – Aur is not to be confused with the Bron – Yr – Stomp however which is a completely different song written by Page and inspired by the L’angostino serial killer who killed his victims by stomping shrimp through their self esteems.
In truth I was working on a case. . Of twinkees. . Not really, Hostess just offered to pay me if I plugged their products. No, this case was far more important then any crème filled snack cake with a two thousand year shelf life and an eight thousand year half life, although very impressive and did make me wonder if a guy ate enough of them would he be able save the price of embalming when he leapt the mortal coil. It wasn’t nearly as important as the task I had undertaken. I had been hired to find a missing mind.
Sure you have heard some one at some time say they are losing their mind or you are out of your mind and it is true that peoples minds sometimes become less efficient or begin to think along uncharted paths but a true dyed in the wool mind loss is a tragic thing and the chances of anyone ever finding the lost mind are about the same as the Government telling you something that isn’t a lie.
I started by asking myself why a mind would go missing. Of course that was the wrong way to start but I am new at this private eye stuff. A thought suddenly occurred to me. . Enchiladas. . . They sound tasty but really aren’t all that great. That thought passed and I had another thought, how can a detective detect something that’s undetectable. That’s what I needed to find out. But It could wait until after lunch, after all I was being paid for expenses.
Having just eaten a lunch of enchiladas (that weren’t all that great) and firing up a doob (that might not be considered great but wasn’t bad) I was ready to detect something. So off I went spending the next three hours questioning the person who had actually lost the mind. I needed clues. Questioning the guy was like talking into a hole, not like a black hole that is so compact with mass not even light can’t penetrate, but the normal kind. I left the guy feeling clueless but also feeling relieved for I just had found a place to store my boat over the winter, that is. . unless I happened to find the missing mind. I needed to find that mind.
I remember, years ago, seeing on television those commercials that said “A mind is a terrible thing to waste” and thought whoever made that commercial was a mind expert and should be talked to, maybe he could give me some clues. After spending the next two hours on the horn to the people who make those psa’s I found out that the mind expert who was responsible for that particular commercial was now living at the “I am a rutabaga” home for the less than normal after losing a battle with a triple helping of magic mushrooms with a garlic dipping butter sauce on the side. I guess the guy should have watched his own commercial. This was getting frustrating. . . Dead ends suck. ..
I wasn’t sure quite what to do or in what direction to go next. I thought about trying to question the guy who had lost his mind again but thought better of it not wishing to have another conversation with a blank cd. (compact disk for you guys in America) I recalled the movie “The Shining” in which “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy Torrence” had a mind problem. His mind wasn’t exactly missing but might as well have been. Maybe he had some insight that might help me. It was worth a try.. . After an hour and a half on the phone I discovered that Jack Torrence was a fictional character and pretty much impossible to reach by phone. I could have talked to Jack’s creator Stephen King but opted instead to call Jack Nicholson who played Torrence in the movie since I’ve read King is a real asshole in real life and as Jack Torrence and Jack Nicholson share the same first name this seemed to be the more logical move.
It was very late by the time I reached Nicholson on the phone who said he was too busy to talk “ busy doing what I asked?” “sharpening my axe” he said as he hung up on me but not before inviting me over the following day for grilled chops. Lunch with Jack Nicholson would be very cool, and chops on the grill is one of my favorite foods. I only hoped there would be some clues for dessert.. . I needed clues.
I was thinking if I could somehow get the lunch with Nicholson on the expense report as I drove to his house the next day. When I arrived there I was shocked to see that Jack Nicholson lived in a crappy trailer house. . But after a second it became clear as crystal that I had made a mistake and had been talking to the wrong Jack Nicholson on the phone the night before. I guess there are two people named Jack Nicholson. But not wanting to miss out on free chops I went in anyway.
This Jack Nicholson turned out to be the black Jack Nicholson from Georgia who had never seen “The Shining” but could tell you anything you wanted to know about solar evaporators and white women. He was also the same Jack Nicholson who two years later would make the front page of the newspaper for being shot by police after being spotted sniffing the clothing hung out to dry at the women’s reformatory. Jack would survive that shooting but would die a year later when a white woman shoots him for being a know it all. The chops were delicious and it was good time but I got no new information. I was getting nowhere fast.
Later that afternoon I finally got the real Jack Nicholson’s maid on the phone. She said Jack was out of town and couldn’t be reached until the Milwaukee porn festival was over but offered to sell me souvenir Nicholson items from his house. “I’ll keep that in mind” I said hanging up the phone not knowing what to do next. Another dead end, I started considering the possibility of foul play. . . I wondered.. . .