During the fall of 1978, my brother announced that he was going to become a ventriloquist.
This isn’t the sort of news a parent wants to hear from their 8 year-old son. I will never forget the look on my father’s face. Our family was gathered around the kitchen table, having a hurried breakfast before fleeing our separate ways, and my dad was trying to read the morning paper in peace. My brother and I sometimes blurted out whatever wild notion happened to pass through our prepubescent heads, just to get a rise out of our parents.
“If Indiana Jones can climb under a moving car,” we’d wonder aloud over our Boo-Berry cereal, “I don’t see any reason why I can’t”.
Our dad was smarter than that. He knew we were just trying to get his attention. So he smiled and nodded at our every outrageous suggestion and muttered something noncommittal like, “Whatever you think is best.”
But when he heard the word “ventriloquist” trickle out of my brother’s mouth, he somehow sensed that this was different. He couldn’t have looked more disturbed if my brother had said, “Some of the guys and I have been experimenting with bondage, and I think I’m a sub/bottom. Can I use my allowance to buy one of those leather masks with zippers for eyes?”
There are a lot of very valid reasons not to reproduce, but the one they never tell you is this: You may, at some point during your child’s life, need to talk them out of a career in ventriloquism.
My father, wise as he was, couldn’t find the right words to explain exactly why this was a bad, bad, bad idea. What could he have said? “Well, son, you know how some of the boys at your school get teased for doing things that the other kids think are uncool? Well, those are the nerds who beat up ventriloquists! Seriously! Do you want to die alone?”
He didn’t say that, of course. He just listened to my brother and rubbed his chin and frowned without being too obvious about it. I’d never seen him look so flustered before. The only time he’d been this unsure of himself was when he tried to tell us that Darth Vader was a racist stereotype.
We’d dragged him to see Star Wars for the sixth or seventh time, and on the car ride home, he started ranting about how all the negative propaganda against the so-called “Dark Side” of the Force was just a thinly veiled attack on Harlem and Vernon Jordan. We tried to explain to him that it was dark as in night, not dark as in dark-skinned.
“I wish I could believe that,” he said, furiously slapping his hand against the steering wheel. “In that final sword battle with Obi-Kenobbiwon, whatever his name is – who, by the way, has a white beard and an Aryan complexion – I expected that Darth fellow to drop to one knee and start singing Mammy!”
He wasn’t going to make the same mistake again. This time, he was determined to think before he spoke. There were a lot of negative things he could say about ventriloquism – I could see the wheels turning behind his eyes – but he wasn’t going to do it. He’d learned the hard way that when you’re living in the same house with two boys with very long memories, anything you say out loud stays on your permanent record.
“You do what you want,” he finally said, returning to his newspaper. “Just don’t bring it in the house.”
I was stunned. Not by our father’s unwillingness to stage an immediate intervention, but that my brother was spending his hard-earned money on a plastic dummy. We’d spent the last few weeks obsessing over the Johnson Smith catalog, our one-stop shopping source for x-ray specs, fake vomit, and ultra-realistic monster masks (with real human hair!). We had a limited income and some difficult decisions to make. Personally, I was still torn between the Build-Your-Own Hovercraft and the Motion Activated Fart Alarm. I relished the opportunity to make my enemies flatulate from a distance (the perfect crime), but how could I resist a product that combined my two favorite pastimes, hovering and transportation? And if I went for the hovercraft, I’d have enough left over to purchase a Life-Size Frankenstein Monster or the World’s Smallest Harmonica. Or, if I could scrap together the extra nickels, both. Oh sweet lord, can you imagine? My very own golem with a mouth full of tiny harmonicas, wheezing some Muddy Waters tune? It was like the Johnson Smith Company had recorded my dreams, turned them into reality, and then made them available at prices affordable for a pre-teen budget.
My brother had his reasons for being lured to ventriloquism, they just weren’t good reasons. It had something to do with an episode of The Love Boat, which featured an African-American ventriloquist act named Tyler and Lester. It was troubling enough that my brother was taking social cues from The Love Boat, but what really disturbed me was that we were allowed to watch The Love Boat at all. Isn’t there a point when parents walk into a room, realize that their children are looking at Gavin MacLeod in short-shorts, and smash the TV screen with the closest blunt object? And then, if you know anything about parenting, you sit down with your child for a heart-to-heart talk about nautical safe sex and male camel toes.
I suppose it was for the best. Better my brother get seduced by a saucy and afro’d dummy prone to calling white people “jive-turkey” and not the other sub-plot in the very same episode, in which a pair of identical twin sisters decided to swap fiances. The Love Boat was many things, but it was not a wellspring of prudent life lessons.
There was no talking my brother out of his choice. He’d even picked out his dummy, carefully selected from a diverse selection of three. It came with a monocle and a top hat, and vaguely resembled Charlie McCarthy, if Charlie McCarthy had made some major career missteps and ended up doing dinner theater in Michigan and developed an addiction to pain pills.
Its most noticeable feature was a smug sneer unlike anything my brother and I ever seen before. It was the kind of arrogant expression that, as time and experience would teach us, usually indicates an utter lack of confidence masked with an obnoxious superiority complex. (And really, what else could you ask from a comedy sidekick?) Every time I looked at it, I thought it was saying, “Hey, good news, I talked some underage girls into coming backstage after the show. I got dibs on the brunette. (Flicks tongue obscenely.)”
Of course, if my brother decided to do something, I had to imitate him. Never mind that I was two years older, and long past the age when an interest in ventriloquism, however casual, could be easily dismissed as “just a stage he’s going through.” Not wanting to be too obvious in my plagiarism, I picked the next most appealing dummy in the Johnson Smith catalogue: a freckled redhead named Danny O’Day, dressed in a plaid jacket and bow-tie. One look at Danny and you already knew his entire backstory. He was probably the manager of a Cinnabon at his local mall, and he enjoyed playing the French Horn, chaperoning church social hay rides, and crying himself to sleep. He’d kissed a guy once, but it was in college and he’d had too many wine coolers so he didn’t think it counted. His favorite karaoke song was “Playground In My Mind”, he’d seriously contemplated growing a mustache, and he’d eventually die in his mid-40s after a botched attempt at erotic asphyxiation.
Our friend Mike, who lived down the block, also caught the ventriloquism bug. (Apparently hack vaudeville routines, at least during the late 70s, were as contagious as Chicken Pox.) But by the time he got his hands on the catalog, there was only one dummy not yet claimed by my brother and me: “Drunk Clown”. We assumed, rightly or wrongly, that this was just the dummy’s stage name, and Johnson Smith wasn’t seriously selling children a plastic doll with a history of alcoholism. To his credit, Mike never complained or cried foul. He just smiled and pretended that the only thing he’d ever wanted in the world was a midget best friend covered in clown makeup and stinking of whiskey.
(Footnote: My brother is convinced that ads for the Drunk Clown dummy also described it as a “Child Molester”. Neither Mike nor I have any memory of this. My brother is adamant that his recollection is accurate, and will concede only that the pederast subtitle “might have been in parentheses.” It is also unconfirmed by Mike, who refused to answer the question, whether he ever engaged in sodomy with his puppet, either as a “catcher” or “receiver.”)
When our dummies arrived, we devoted ourselves to learning the craft of ventriloquy. I figured out how to make the doll’s mouth move, which really wasn’t all that difficult. You just stuck your hand into the gapping wound in its back and pulled the string. As for the whole “lips not moving” part, I was clueless. My brother tried to give me pointers. “Say ‘v’ instead of ‘b’ and ‘t’ instead of ‘p’,” he told me. I just stared back at him like he was speaking Latin. I didn’t have the time or patience to learn another language. I just wanted to perform comedy for my peers and win their respect and unconditional love.
I locked myself in my bedroom every night for weeks and rehearsed with my doll, mastering an exciting and innovative new form called Almost Entirely Mute Ventriloquism. Some of my soon-to-be classic routines included “What’s the matter, Danny O’Day? Are you choking?!” and “Okay, fine, be like that. I’m not talking to you either until you apologize,” and the crowd favorite, “I think Danny’s trying to tell us, with a series of winks and nods, that he’s being held hostage and there’s somebody standing behind the door with a gun.”
My brother was the first of our threesome to go public. He performed for a 4th grade talent show, and by his own admission, it did not go well. He didn’t get a single laugh, not even a pity laugh. In hindsight, his show business shunning may’ve had less to do with his ventriloquist skills and more with his comedy material. His entire act consisted of jokes that ended with the same uninspired punchline: “Don’t ask me, I’m made out of wood.” A careful observer would’ve noticed that his dummy wasn’t wood at all, but rather constructed out of cheap, low-quality plastic that melts at room temperature. But the inconsistencies aren’t what killed him. His gags were ultimately too sophisticated for his audience, who had bowl cuts and ate their own boogers and preferred less intellectual and more observational humor; like, for instance, “Hey, did you hear how that kid in Mr. Henderson’s class crapped his pants during recess? What’s up with that?”
After his shameful debut, my brother threw in the towel in disgrace. His dummy was put into permanent retirement, and because Mike and I considered him our cannery in a coalmine, we abandoned our performance ambitions. Mike seemed especially relieved, as he was having trouble sleeping. As it turns out, sharing a bedroom with a clown with yellow teeth and bloodshot eyes isn’t all its cracked up to be.
But while the tide of popular opinion had turned, I opted to hold on to my ligneous companion. I had no interest in ventriloquism anymore, but it was still nice to have the company. I liked coming home from school and finding my red-headed cohort waiting for me. Sometimes, if I thought nobody was listening, I’d sit on my bed and tell him about my day.
I never mentioned Danny to my family. He was a secret, and I didn’t expect them to understand. Actually, I didn’t understand. I was a little too old to be playing with toys, much less a toy that resembled an adult male with emotional problems. Forget the inanimate object part of it, he just wasn’t an appropriate best friend. But he was a good listener. And it was easy to feel superior to him. I may’ve been an insecure and painfully shy 11 year-old kid, but Danny was a grown adult living in a boy’s bedroom with no discernable source of income. Obviously he didn’t have a lot going for him.
“So what’d you do with yourself today?” I’d ask Danny every afternoon. “Watched a few Sanford & Son reruns? Made some mac-and-cheese for one? Don’t worry, man, things are gonna pick up. Maybe you should update your resume. Okay, okay, don’t get defensive. I’m just trying to help.”
Have you ever noticed how some pet-owners start to resemble their dogs? The same thing happens when you live with a ventriloquist dummy for too long. I never wore a plaid jacket or bowtie, but as the weeks and months went by, I noticed that we had the same haircut and facial structure. Sometimes I’d glance over at Danny and it felt like I was looking in the mirror, staring at my myself 20 years in the future.
I never had the courage to get rid of Danny. That ugly task was left to my parents. They didn’t make a big deal of it, thank god. That would’ve been unpleasant and awkward for everybody involved. I think my father would’ve been more comfortable sitting me down and saying, “Okay, son, it’s time you learned about masturbation. I’m going to show you the correct way to do it. Drop your drawers and grab that hand lotion.” That would’ve been less mortifying to him than saying, “Listen, uh… wow, there’s no easy way to put this… That puppet you’re so fond of? Yeah, it’s starting to creep everybody out. Maybe you find a friend who’s more age-appropriate… or real.”
So they did what any loving parent would do; they waited until I went to school and then got rid of the doll. When I came home, it was gone. When I asked them about it, they just shrugged and feigned ignorance. There were no long talks about how “this hurts me more than it hurts you” or “we took it to live on a farm.” They just laughed and said, “Oh, that old thing? I didn’t even know you still had it. Hey, tell us again about that girl at school you think is cute.”
Their poker face was exquisite. It was if Danny never existed at all. The mafia hadn’t been this subtle when disposing of Jimmy Hoffa’s body. I mourned my plastic sidekick, but I eventually moved on, forgetting that I’d ever had an enfeebled, aphasic pal.
Until ten years later…
* * *
“Oh holy hell,” I muttered, my voice trembling with pseudo-panic. “Please tell me you see that too.”
“See what?” Carol giggled, inching closer as if we were sharing a conspiratorial secret.
My eyes were wide and bloodshot, like dinner plates decorated with crayons by autistic children. “That little green alien dude with the huge head and the antennas,” I said, pointing at nothing. “He’s floating right there in front of us!”
Carol looked at the empty air and tried to paint a mental picture. “It sounds the Great Gazoo,” she said. “Are you hallucinating the Great Gazoo?”
I was hoping she hadn’t seen that particular season of The Flintstones. But this was a woman well-versed in the ways of LSD, so of course she watched a ridiculous amount of cartoons. To be honest, I’d never hallucinated before, so I had no frame of reference. I didn’t know what I was supposed to be seeing or feeling, just that something dramatic had to happen soon or Carol would start crying again.
“I don’t know what it is, but it’s freaking my shit out,” I said, burrowing my face into my knees. “He keeps calling me dum-dum.”
Carol burst into crunchy laughter. “Oh man, you are tripping balls,” she cackled.
Sadly, I wasn’t tripping, balls or otherwise. My zonked-out brain hadn’t conjured a Hanna/Barbera-inspired phantasm. I was just being nice. In fact, I don’t think I was even mildly stoned. But when an extremely hot drug dealer sells you a tab of acid that turns out to be an LSD-free scrap of wax paper with a winking, Tolkien-esque wizard drawn on the front, it’s best not to make any waves. Especially if you’re hoping to sleep with said attractive drug dealer.
It was a major disappointment for me. I’d been looking forward to my first acid experience, and I say that with a modicum of personal shame. The year was 1992, and I was fast approaching the age when trying any drug for the first time betrays a moral weakness. There was no good reason for my abstinence from psychedelics. I had gone to a liberal arts college. I owned several unironic tie-dyed shirts. I didn’t play guitar but I still knew all the chord changes to “Mr. Tambourine Man”. I had friends who owned Highlander and Evil Dead II on VHS. How could I have made it to 22 without doing LSD?
Not that I was a complete drug novice. I’d smoked enough recreational pot to ensure several public executions in Singapore, but I’d never gotten around to acid. It wasn’t for lack of trying. I’d made two prior attempts to take a magic carpet ride, and it always ended in disaster.
ATTEMPT #1: Mid-November, 1987. My college roommate claimed to have a friend who knew a guy who could hook us up with a dude who had access to a blotter of “White Fluff”. I had no idea what that was, but it sounded vaguely like something from The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, which I was currently reading with the unblinking devotion I hadn’t given to the written word since I was 13 and discovered a dog-eared copy of Penthouse Forum in the woods near my family’s house. I wanted to be like Ken Kesey, or at least a version of Ken Kesey who didn’t own a van, had never left the Midwest, and whose entire understanding of eastern philosophy came from one-liners in Woody Allen short stories.
I paid for my cut of the acid, which my roommate agreed to buy on our behalf, and then spent the rest of the day worried that the money could be traced back to me. My paranoia only deepened when my roommate failed to show up for our scheduled cerebral meltdown. I waited for hours, carefully plotting my alibi. If worse came to worse, I could file down my fingerprints, dye my hair black, and hitchhike to Canada before the heat caught wind of my trail.
Foolishly, I went looking for him. I wandered the campus, yelling out his name like he was a lost puppy. Just after midnight, I finally returned to our dorm and found him in the lounge, sitting on the couch next to a skinny, pale dude with a frizzy afro and pencil-thin goatee. Their pupils were big as walnuts, so I was reasonably certain they were already well into their acid trip. But that didn’t explain why they were both buck-ass naked and eating peanut butter directly from a jar.
“Oh wow, I’m totally sorry, ma’man,” my roommate giggled, making no attempt to conceal his flaccid penis. “We got started without you. Help yourself to a few tabs. I left the blotter on my dresser.”
I said something noncommittal and slipped away. And then I spent the night on the floor of the student center, re-reading Tom Wolfe’s book from cover to cover and looking for any references to unnecessary nudity or peanut butter. Apparently he’d left that part out.
ATTEMPT #2: September-ish, 1990. Now a senior in college, I was determined to let my freak flag fly. I met a girl in my dorm who sold drugs to pay her tuition. I wouldn’t have been any less impressed if I’d learned she was smuggling weapons out of Nigeria. I grilled her for details, wanting to hear everything about her dangerous lifestyle. I liked to imagine she was falling in love with me, even though I knew our relationship was doomed from the start. I could see our future so clearly: I’d be sunning myself by the pool in some exotic mansion, waiting anxiously for her call, just as she was being gunned down in Colombia as she boarded a helicopter filled with crates of China White.
“How do you smuggle your drugs onto campus?” I’d ask her. “Wait, don’t tell me. You hide them inside a shipment of miniature Virgin Mary statues, right?”
“No,” she said, eyeing me suspiciously. “I drive them in the trunk of my Volvo. Are you a fucking narc?”
“Oh, that is sweet,” I laughed with girlish delight. “You have the lingo down perfectly. Now, by ‘narc’ you mean ‘undercover narcotics agent’? Can you imagine if I was? That would be so unbelievably cool. Do you think the FDA has a financial aid program for student narcs? I would totally sign up for that. Kidding, kidding, I’m kidding.”
I don’t know why she tolerated me. I was definitely a nuisance. I just hung around her room and asked nettlesome questions, like “What’s that scale for? Is it for gold? Are you like an old-timey prospector?” Maybe she thought I was cute, or maybe I was just the perfect fall-guy if the cops ever kicked down her door. Whatever the case, I finally mustered the courage to make the leap from annoying hanger-on to paying customer. She tried to talk me into doing mescaline, but I didn’t want to go on a vision quest and get lectured to by a fox spirit guide in the desert. So I convinced her to sell me some plain old LSD.
When the big day arrived, I went to her room equipped with the acid essentials: a jug of unconcentrated orange juice, a cassette tape of Pink Floyd’s Meddle, and directions to the nearest hospital emergency room. But when I showed up, expecting my first LSD experience to be a private affair between me and the woman I desperately wanted to see naked, there was another guy there. He was a greasy man-weasel, dressed like an extra from a renaissance faire. He instinctively knew the perfect thing to say to creep out everyone around him, whether it was quoting Joy Division lyrics or describing how his belt was made from real rattlesnake.
“Oh my little friend, you’re in for a treat,” he hissed in his Middle Earth wheeze. “I’ve tried this particular strain of LSD, and believe you me, it’s the real deal. It’s an intense high, my brutha. Last time I dosed on this shit, one of my balls disappeared for a week.”
That wasn’t the reassurance I needed. I suddenly remembered all of my mom’s frantic drug warnings, like the time she told me about the high school teacher who’d been slipped some acid by one of his students and never… stopped… tripping. I’d laughed off her apocalyptic predictions before, but now I wasn’t so sure. Maybe I’d be one of those unfortunate few whose DNA was permanently altered by LSD, and I’d be confined to an asylum bedroom, my arms and legs restrained with leather straps, my brain a rollercoaster of fucked-up imagery, my testicles still MIA.
The panic washed over me, the perfect storm, and I mumbled something about not having exact change and got the hell out of there.
And here I was, just a few years later, sitting in a field with a bunch of strangers at a suburban Chicago blues festival, trying to pop my acid cherry yet again.
Perhaps I’d put too much pressure on myself. I was like a virgin at a whorehouse, determined to feel the same euphoric fireworks that he’d heard so much about. When I swallowed the tab, my endorphins likely cancelled out any hallucinogenic effects. Either that, or Carol had sold me a very overpriced post-it note.
I wanted to believe she hadn’t purposively duped me. Her constant apologies did seem sincere. And if nothing else, I liked all the attention. Carol was beautiful. She was pocket-sized, tiny as a dwarf but without the waddling stride, and she had purple dreadlocks. Seriously, purple dreadlocks. It was so exotic and foreign to me, she might as well have had gills. When I met her, I couldn’t stop staring at her head. I almost blurted out, “Forget the acid, could I just touch your hair?”
I’d come up to Evanston with a group of guys from Chicago, lured by promises of easy drugs and scantily-clad college girls. Carol, our LSD connection, was a friend of a friend of a friend (aren’t they always?). She sold us enough hits for the group, we downed them in the bathroom of a Bennigan’s, and then went our separate ways. But for some reason Carol remained by my side. She was either committed to customer satisfaction or she had the same bewildering attraction to me that I had for her.
We ended up wandering away from the festival and sitting on the rocks next to Lake Michigan, waiting for something, anything, that passed for a psychedelic episode. But aside from my (entirely fictional) Great Gazoo sighting, it was a bust. So we just stared out at the water with contemplative expressions, our knees hovering just inches away from each other, narrowly avoiding holding hands every time we shifted positions. I tried to think of something to say that would let her know, funny story, I was actually relieved that her LSD was as potent as a communion wafer. While my friends were probably miffed to be watching a Dr. John performance completely sober, I felt like I had dodged a bullet, and I kinda preferred sitting next to the shoreline with her and doing nothing at all, especially when the alternative involved hanging out with a bunch of monosyllabic hippie wanna-be’s, making color-trails with my hands and making asinine observations like “god is dog spelled backwards.”
But I wasn’t quite so eloquent with her. I spoke in hiccups, saying only what was absolutely necessary. Before long, I was terrified (with good reason) that she was growing bored with my lame attempts at conversation. So I took a leap of faith and shared something I’d never confessed to another human being.
“I used to be a ventriloquist,” I said.
I regretted it as soon as the word escaped my mouth. She turned to me and glared, like I’d just told her I was a hermaphrodite.
“I don’t mean like a professional ventriloquist,” I said, backpedaling. “I just dabbled in it for a few weeks as a kid. It was my brother’s idea, really. He forced me to get a ventriloquist dummy.”
She didn’t say anything. She just stared at me, and it was difficult to tell if I’d repulsed her irrevocably or if her silence was meant as compassion.
“Okay, fine, I caved to peer pressure,” I continued. “But it was just a one-time thing, and it’s not like I ever took it seriously or asked my parents to send me to magic camp or anything.”
She didn’t stop me, so I kept talking. I told her about Danny O’Day, my redheaded comedy sidekick with the plaid jacket and bow-tie, who lived with me for almost a month, long after my ventriloquism ambitions had died. I told her how my parents had kidnapped Danny, and it wasn’t until years later that I found him in the basement, stored in an old cardboard box with all of the other abandoned toys from my youth.
“What’d you do with him?” She asked.
“Nothing,” I laughed. “I just left him there.”
“But aren’t you worried? What if he comes to life and hunts you down?”
I winked at her, playing along. “I guess I’ll just take my chances.”
She lunged at me, straddling my chest and holding my wrists firmly against the cold stone. “You have to promise me something,” she said, her voice suddenly severe. “Promise me that you’ll find Danny, and you’ll get rid of him. Can you do that for me? I’m asking you as a friend. Get rid of him.”
“I-I don’t think…”
“I’ve seen this happen before,” she barked at me. “There’s voodoo in those goddamn dolls. You can’t begin to understand what I’m talking about. You’re just going to have to trust me. They will kill you if you give them the chance.”
There were only two plausible explanations. Either Carol’s LSD had finally kicked in and she was having some truly bizarre hallucinations about murderous ventriloquist puppets, or she was genuinely crazy. Whatever the reasons, I didn’t argue with her. And honestly, I was a little turned on by it. I wanted to believe she was thinking rationally, and there was a part of her that thought my safety was in real jeopardy, that Danny O’Day could actually crawl out of my parents’ basement and come after me with a steak knife.
There’s something sexy about clinical insanity. Maybe it’s the unpredictability. You never know if she’s going to take a bite out of your neck or warn you that the ghost of H.P. Lovecraft is living in her crawl space. Whatever happens, it’s bound to be entertaining. And worst case scenario, you get a few conjugal visits (prison sex is the hottest sex) before deciding that you need something more stable.
I assured her that Danny would be taken care of. “He’s not going to bother either of us ever again,” I told her. And then she grabbed the back of my neck and kissed me hard. And let me tell you, there is nothing better than making out with a dreadlocked drug dealer who may or may not be silly high on LSD after you’ve just promised to protect her from a blood-thirsty ventriloquist dummy.
I felt a little bad about it later. She obviously wasn’t firing on all cylinders. I probably shouldn’t have mashed with a woman so clearly suffering from paranoid delusions. But in hindsight, it wasn’t the make-out session I regret the most. If I could take any of it back, I wouldn’t have sent her those pictures of Danny.
True to my word, the very next day I took an Amtrak to my parents’ home, found the doll and… well, a promise is a promise. I wrapped Danny’s wrists and ankles in duct tape, and tied a handkerchief around his mouth. And then I used a sharpie marker to give him a black eye, so it appeared like I’d roughed him up for good measure. I took a polaroid of the grisly scene, and then wrote on the back: “Don’t worry, Carol. You’re safe.”
I guess it was a little creepy. I couldn’t blame Carol for never calling me again, especially if it turned out that she’d been tripping all along and didn’t actually believe that ventriloquist dummies were hunting humans for sport. I can only imagine what she thought, opening her mail to find a letter from a guy she barely remembered, who had for some reason taken it upon himself to send her a photo of a bound-and-gagged puppet.
I never saw her or those beautiful purple dreads ever again, but it wasn’t a complete waste. I did feel better knowing that Danny was incapacitated. Not that I thought he’d ever come after me but… well, better safe than sorry.
Hmmm. Y’know, now that I think about it, maybe I never needed LSD after all. I did an Abu Ghraib on a puppet while completely sober, so god only knows what I would’ve done in an altered state. I guess sometimes ignorance really is bliss.