Po-Boy Views: The Cross Eye Bear Or A B C M Puppies?

16:30 March 23, 2015
By: Phil LaMancusa

This year at the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival (March 25–29), a panel was held in an upstairs banquet room at a great New Orleans restaurant (you know, the one on the corner by Jackson Square); the name of the panel was “The Alleviation of Accepted Intelligence.” At this gathering, the new Pi-Phone “Infinity 3.14” was presented; this is the device that will finally make thinking for yourself an obsolete concept. It phones, texts, tweets, Skypes, wakes you up, puts you to sleep and reminds you to floss. It chooses your reading material for you and then reads it to you. It makes reservations at the restaurant of its choice, powers the GPS in the car that will drive itself (and you) to its destination and holds a pleasant dinner conversation with you. You need never have another independent thought; it’s better than beer. However, during its presentation, by the inventor himself, it was stolen. 

Of course, the inventor/prominent professor was an accomplice to the theft. Yes, a party to the heist with a pair of lovely cat burglars and a burglar that happens to be a cat. Also three accomplices who were working at the restaurant and a “little person” (don’t call him a midget) who drove a mule with a buggy behind (pun intended).

This is the device that will finally make thinking for yourself an obsolete concept. 

They trained for this like Ocean’s Eleven in a house on Conti Street that was purchased by them with a $4 million winning lottery ticket, supplied by the Chinese government (you knew the game was rigged, didn’t you?). The plan was to steal the device for the Chinese in exchange for another winning lottery ticket (a really BIG one) but, before the handover, double-cross them and ransom it to the CIA for even more money. Achieving this will be tricky because, in reality, the gadget is a fake.

The plan (allegedly) was that the two cat burglars would construct a bogus model of the phone with the appropriate bells and whistles. Then, at the right moment, the hostess would lock the restaurant’s doors and scream bloody murder, the bartender would douse the lights and set off some firecrackers and a cook would run from the kitchen yelling, “Liar, liar, pants on fire! Run for your lives!” The cat burglars would then high-wire themselves to the Cathedral tower, grab the professor and drop him and the contraption into the passing surrey. The little guy (Hinch the Hunchback Henchman) would then drive them away. The carriage would be immobilized on Chartres Street, blocking traffic, and everyone would fade into the woodwork and sell the phony phone to whoever can pony up the most money first. They would then go back to their other lives—not any wiser, but richer than crème brûlée gelato.

What happened, in reality, is that a sudden storm came out of nowhere and a bolt of lightning hit the high-wire and zapped the contrivance and the inventor/professor, whose essence (mind, spirit, intellect) is imprisoned in the fake device (making it quite real). The cat burglars were likewise zapped into a state of semi-consciousness. The cook ran out of the kitchen and grabbed the professor and the gadget and dropped them into the passing buggy. The bartender and hostess abandoned the caper, instead leading all patrons to “safety,” and the feline was picked up by a passing helicopter, only to reveal the entire plot to Russian agents posing as local weather reporters (Bob and Margaret). Hinch (the Hunchback Henchman) was the only one with a cool enough head to abandon the rig (as planned), grab the mechanism (which now houses the professor’s brain) and the lifeless body of the prof, scale a twenty-foot fence (strong little f**ker), steal a car and make it to Mexico, through Laredo, before morning. There, he awaited the other gang members and either worked out a solution for reuniting the professor with his soul and spirit or said “screw it” and sold everything to the highest bidder.

Things really got strange when Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins showed up to give advice and get a piece of the action. The cat burglars, who have become lovers, arrive in a Land Rover that has a tracking device planted by the KGB, who come in by helicopter with the feline double agent. The bartender and the hostess, who have also become lovers, arrive by motorboat held at gunpoint by Chinese agents. The cook hacks his way out of the jungle with a chef’s knife followed by a SWAT team from Quantico and the device powers itself up and creates a tsunami, hoping to escape with Hinch to Tahiti and from there rule the world. The question being: who gave the lifeless professor those hickeys and why is there a smile on his face?

How do I know this? Am I the professor? The felonious feline? Hinch the Hunchback Henchman? Or did I just punk you for an April Fool? 

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