Thursday, December 20, 2012


The whole town is breathing a collective sigh of relief. Today it was announced that the working class antihero ‘Gotchimon’ was arrested. Capable of leaping a tall outhouse with a single bound, faster than a speeding electric scooter, the man of pig iron, the man of kleenex finally got caught.

That’s not to say that he didn’t have admirers, because he did.

Gotchimon had been haunting parks, trails, and remote wooded areas within the city limits.

He liked to jump out and scare people, especially pimply-faced fat girls, who should in the opinion of this writer have appreciated the attention perhaps a little more than they did. Really, they should have been flattered by all the attention. A pudgy man in his Adonis-style underwear and a Nixon mask is a kind of unusual sight, even around here, but not exactly unheard of. The camouflaged, insulated, heavily lugged assault clogs were a nice fashion touch.

It’s hard to say what happened to Gotchimon. He started off well enough, drawing attention to the fact that this is a pretty boring little town, with insufficient recreation facilities for the poor, the lame, the sick, the weak, and those too cheap to buy a movie ticket or spend six dollars for a short glass of watery draft beer. Those who refused to rent a pair of bowling shoes, taking the chance of Plantar’s warts and foot fungus. Those who were too lazy to walk anywhere, or too cheap to get a dog for companionship, or perhaps they were too old to buy a skateboard and commute to the employment centre on a daily basis.

This is top secret, okay? But I used to hang out with Gotchimon. We went to high school together. Gotchimon was the one who was always sneaking into the girl’s shower room when the rest of us were clustered around the physical education instructor’s office, making a poor pretence that we didn’t understand the schedule. We were a diversion, and he did the dirty work.

We made a good team, the small group of us, mostly in our first year of high school.

Although Rene Beddenracker was a college dropout who had a beard, and spent much of the day hanging out in the staff lounge, trying to pick up chicks. Gotchimon had started off as a fairly normal boy, and at the time, the little palm-sized video recorder had seemed like a fun and easy way to make a scene and keep it going. It was all in good fun, and with the mask and the pink polka-dotted briefs, he never got caught. No one could give a description without breaking up in laughs, and the authorities thought it was a prank on the part of the victims. Most people who complained about it, ended up in detention, writing lines and quite frankly learning a valuable lesson about authority.

I think it was the adrenalin. He got addicted to his own brain chemicals. It was the thrill of the chase, the stalking of the game that got him. One wonders what might have happened if he had ever attempted to take it to the next logical step, the next level of the game. Gotchimon was traumatized as a very small boy, and I think it affected him badly.

I got the story from the friend of a friend, so I know it’s true.

It seems that old man Brady was looking for a pet, one that wouldn’t cost too much, and in fact the city had recently passed a cat-bylaw. People were complaining about cats crapping in the window-boxes, although I say it was raccoons and possums, as the window boxes were invariably up about the fourth floor. But no one ever listens to me. Anyhow, some crazy farmer who was going bankrupt, couldn’t wait for the provincial government to hand over five or ten million bucks to bail him out again this year, and so he was giving away all the livestock on his farm, that is to say anything he couldn’t comfortably eat.

Old man Brady was going up and down the side-roads picking up bottles and cans, as he was on a full provincial disability pension, and consequently starving to death, a long, slow, drawn out death. The federal government has just passed the “Right to die with dignity act,” after long consultations with various interest groups, such as the chemical industry, the tobacco industry, the asbestos industry, and the ear-candling and aromatherapy industry. So maybe things will get better for the disabled. It’s hard to say. Old man Brady had terminal flatulence, and so he was unemployable, if not outright disabled.

The short story is that old man Brady offered to take something small off of his hands, and he promised to look after it, and feed it, and walk it, and love it, and sleep with it. He promised that he would be a good owner, and that it was going to a good home, so the farmer gave him a duck.

The farmer gave him a duck out of the sheer goodness of his heart, hard as that is to believe.

Old man Brady was going home with that duck under his arm, when he passed a movie theatre. He couldn’t help but notice that a movie he had been waiting months to see was in town.

Old man Brady still had forty bucks left from his cheque. I guess it must have been cheque day, and he wanted to see that movie real bad. His rent was paid, and his dope dealer was on vacation in Cozumel, so he figured what did he need forty bucks for? He could always go to the soup kitchen a day earlier, or tomorrow, in other words.

So he shoved the duck down his pants, bought a ticket and went in to see the movie. At first, everything was fine, as he didn’t get out much. So even the opening credits, the grand symphonic overture to the film, was the best music he had heard in years and he was enjoying himself. It was nice to forget his problems for a while.

The movie theatre was crowded, and the movie got going, and old man Brady was really enjoying himself, when the duck began to get a little cramped in there. It started squirming around, and it was clearly uncomfortable in such close quarters. Taking a quick look around, old man Brady made sure all eyes were on the screen. Feeling himself to be safe enough, he opened up his zipper, and gently pulled the duck’s head out so that it could breathe properly, and look around, and that was fine as far as it went. He figured the duck might like to watch ‘Rocky XIV.’

But my old friend Gotchimon was sitting in the seat right next to him, as it was his birthday and his Aunt Shelley had taken him to the movies, as a special birthday treat. I guess he must have been about fourteen years old at that point, which is a pretty impressionable age.

All of a sudden he was pulling on Aunt Shelley’s arm, and whispering fiercely, and she just wanted to watch the movie.

“What is it?” she hissed in some impatience.

“The man next to me is exposing himself,” gasped the young fellow who would go on to become Gotchimon.

“Just ignore it,” advised his Aunt Shelley. “Maybe he’ll stop…”

“But it’s eating my popcorn!” complained Gotchimon.

So that’s probably what set Gotchimon off all those years ago, the ruckus, the uproar, all the women in the audience screaming, and all the men running around trying to catch that darned duck…all the attention that old man Brady got for that little escapade. It was in all the papers, and he was even on the TV, although at first the cops couldn’t figure out what to charge him with. Eventually they decided he was insane, and now he lives in a town not far from here. He wrote my weird Uncle Bob, once, and told him he’s doing fine, with his own room and everything, and all the crazy sex he ever wanted, and he even has pets, although why anyone would want to keep a rat in a hat-box is anyone’s guess.

It sleeps on the corner of his bed, or so Uncle Bob told me.

So that’s probably why Gotchimon was running round in a mask and his underwear—that’s what the slang word ‘gotchies’ means here in Canada—and according to Occam’s Razor, ‘all other things being equal, the simplest explanation must be the truth.’

Gotchimon had admirers, almost as many as the Mayor, one of those perpetual bachelors, although his secretary would marry him if she could just get him in front of a preacher. I figure if she can’t marry the Mayor, there’s plenty of guys on death row in the States, and why not try one of them guys? It would be about as much fun as marrying the Mayor, that’s for sure.

I know the police sergeant that busted him, a habitual liar, who shaves his legs, and claims to be a cyclist, although no one has ever seen him on a bike. But that’s another story. Anyhow, they got Gotchimon for ‘voyeurism,’ and ‘wearing a mask while committing an indictable offence.’

The sergeant, who earns about ninety thousand bucks a year, and allegedly an expert on psychological crimes, doesn’t apparently know the difference between voyeurism and exhibitionism! But that’s okay, as neither do the local criminal court judges. They’re all fifty-year-old unmarried women, and quite frankly it looks pretty bad for Gotchimon.

I figure they’ll send him up the creek for a long time. Maybe he’ll end up sharing a room with old man Brady, and they can talk about old times, sit there and watch porn movies, and compare notes on how best to abuse oneself.

I guess you could say the story has come full circle. And everybody likes a happy ending.


(Photo by 'Noodle Snacks, Wiki Commons.)

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