Road To Portland: Part 16: Expensive Automotive Repairs

Thousands of miles away the Analyst was seething. He was crumpling his car repair bill in his left hand and then smoothing it flat with his right. Then he’d alternate; crumpling with his right and smoothing it with his left. The goddamn mechanic was screwing him! Meanwhile this project was turning pear shaped. His finely tuned mind was feeling brittle from the combined stresses.

Watching from a hidden camera (one of dozens) the Cigarette Smoking Man was worried. He could hire analysts by the dozen but they were college educated nitwits with scarcely the brain power to chew gum and walk at the same time. He was convinced the talent pool of America was being hollowed out by… something. He didn’t know who but was working on it.

Regardless, he was currently dependent on the small but terribly sharp cadre that made up his inner circle (none of whom was aware of the other). Chief among them was the most devious, pattern recognizing, amoral, database sniffing bastard in all creation. Who was right now starting to fracture. He might lose him.

He. Might. Lose. The. Analyst!

The squirrel thing. That’s what was doing it. Someone was playing head games with his Analyst. Squirrel or not, this individual (or individuals) was either brilliant, or more likely, insane.

An icon on one of the Analyst’s many screens lit up. Dropping his paper in his lap, he hunched forward. It was go time!

The Analyst was frowning when the Cigarette Smoking Man approached silently and from the rear. “Creepy.” He muttered without turning around.

The Cigarette Smoking Man was momentarily disappointed. His top-notch slithering entrance didn’t even merit a shudder? He shook it off. “What have you found?”

“A meth head. The squirrels are working with a meth head.”

“And you know this because…”

“Because I have a list of every meth head in America. This guy’s on the list.”

He had a list? A list of every methamphetamine addict in the US? How’d he do that? The Cigarette Smoking Man was shocked to encounter a level of sneakiness and privacy violation in which he wasn’t actively participating.

“So, let’s kill them on the spot?” The Cigarette Smoking Man proposed.

“No, it’s a ploy.”

“You’re sure?”

“No doubt about it. Meth heads can’t comprehend Abba. It’s misdirection.” He scanned lists of purchases. Some looked like tantalizing clues, others looked random. Something wasn’t right.

The Cigarette Smoking Man eyed a satellite photo of the trailer park on one of the screens. “Burn the park down?” He offered hopefully. He was worried about his Analyst and desperate for an idea to cheer him up.

The icon went dark. The connection was severed. Whatever was going on had ceased. It had been a very short time to execute so many transactions. “No. Leave him there. Maybe our squirrels will return again. Perhaps next time they’ll trip up. Let them think they were undetected.” He sighed sadly.

“There’s nothing I can do at this juncture?”

The Analyst shook his head and then brightened. He handed the crumpled bill to the Cigarette Smoking Man. “Here.”

“Kill him? Burn the business to the ground? What do you want?”

“Whatever. Just get my car back and…” He paused. What did he want? Was it asymmetrical to unleash the full fury of government backed evil upon a mechanic who was probably more incompetent than criminal? Yes, it was. He tapped his fingers on the table; thinking. Finally he decided. $1150 for front brakes? The guy had it coming.

“Just get my car back.” He hissed.

The Cigarette Smoking Man was relieved. Something to do. Waiting was always the hardest. He strode out the door, closing it behind him.

As soon as he was out of earshot he dialed one of his phones. “Wind up the chopper. I need three ‘extreme greeters’ sent to Paul’s Chrysler.”

If you’ve ever had Death Wobble in a Dodge, feel free to click below:


About AdaptiveCurmudgeon

Adaptive Curmudgeon is handsome, brave, and wise.

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9 Responses to Road To Portland: Part 16: Expensive Automotive Repairs

  1. Mark Matis says:

    My bet is that when the truck returns, it has turned into a 1972 Randall Gremlin:

    Gremlins RULE!!!

    • AdaptiveCurmudgeon says:

      60K? Not possible.

    • AdaptiveCurmudgeon says:

      60K? Not possible.

      • Mark Matis says:

        Your Lebanese squirrels say it’s worth every penny, and are buying it with your tax dollars, courtesy of the Cigarette Smoking Man. Just think of all the onion sammiches you coulda made with those $$$. But instead you threw it away and told them to Fokker off. And now it’s going to buy a 12-second Gremlin instead. Oh, the irony!

      • Phil B says:

        It would be possible if you were an extreme masochist with more money than sense …

        When every possible explanation is discarded and the impossible remains, then the impossible becomes possible.

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