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Writing Competition Winner 3/8/17

by Trevor S. James

The Phantom Pooper Strikes Back

Tue, Mar 7th 2017 05:45 pm

 They threw me out of the dean's office at about noon. I had snuck in hoping to pow-wow with the dean about a menace who had reappeared on the Brockport Campus. It was the kind of day that made you say; "gee-wiz, I could go for a Big Mac and Chalupas." Yeah.  I sat down before the suit could tell me otherwise and started yammering; "Nice college you got here Dean, it sure would be a shame if someone pooped on it"-" Um, what? Are you the Nigerian Prince?" alleged the suddenly flinty-eyed dean. A jazzy noir score abruptly came on with sizzling cascades of brush strokes and a lonesome minor key tenor sax wailing with long reverb decay. "Oops, wrong button, so how can I help you? "The music faded as I took a heavy pull on my school bottle, and laid it all out for the dean.

"Now I don't want to start a panic, but there have been a number of unspeakable incidents perpetrated on campus this semester.  Evil, barbaric deeds; stinky ones you could say. Acts committed in a seemingly random pattern from the SERC all the way to the Canal. I know what's happening, because I've seen it before. Back in high school, peculiar poo phenomena occurred. For several months straight, the student body was aghast to find communiques, written with poo. The poo perpetrator simply took hold of his (or God help us, another's!) fecal remains, and well in hand, wrote with it like a piece of chalk. The artist started simply, with crude smear marks and bunny rabbits, but soon progressed to dastardly political theatre, and finally stuck with simply signing his name, PP, or the Phantom Pooper around the high school. Occasionally there would be a chilling refrain such as: "the Phantom Pooper strikes again, "Beware the Phantom Pooper", or even "Revenge of the Phantom Pooper". The Phantom was never caught. I believe the Phantom has graduated from high school and come to college, with his devilish inclinations still intact. While, your administration covers up the facts, this man-made pandemic will continue unabated. The student body must be warned! We must stop the fiend! The Phantom has progressed in fiendishness and gusto; I have heard rumors of turds being found in unattended sneakers, mink vases, milk cartons, aquariums. With my deep reservoir of knowledge about this monster, and the financial backing of the college, I believe I can stop the menace once and for all!"

There was a silence, the words hanging heavy, like an androgynous cyborg Orangutan leaping on your sister. There appeared several large security goons rubbing their hands, wickedly. The dean grinned at me. I said "Now, there's no need for the gorillas, I can throw myself out. I can assure you I've had years of experience, and will perform free of charge as a special favor to the schoolboard." Abruptly, a large blackjack rapped me about the head. "Ow, Hey quit it fellas that smarts". I yipped and   everything went dark. "Oops, wrong button again." sang the Dean while flipping a switch. Everything went light as the swell fella's womped me a few more times with their clubs just to even me out. Smack bonk bop!  Then they grabbed me and flung me out onto the stairs; "Get out and stay out ya lousy bum, and keep your crazy pottymouth to yourself, or else."  Or else what indeed? I walked on down commencement drive and took a swig from my school bottle.

I decided that I was on my own in this investigation and that night started a stakeout. I dressed all in black and headed out. I slunk around the residential streets just outside the college and hid behind a large tree. As soon as I saw somebody walking by I would stealthily rush up to them and blare a bright flashlight in their face and yell; "aha, halt wrongdoer, are you the Phantom Pooper?!" This didn't seem to work out so well. On the second suspect I apprehended, I was maced heavily. I managed to crawl back home and got tight with the remains of my school bottle.

The next night I was out again, waiting in the shadows like an alley cat (a jiminy cricket of an alley cat by golly!), when I saw a mysterious black shape moving down the street. I creeped up slowly, using the bushes as cover. I was feeling pretty smart about how clever I was when thick hands grab me from behind and I felt something poke me. A whispered voice said; "keep quiet or ill ventilate you right here". It could have been a gun or it could have been Aunt Betty's missing thimble, but I decided not to find. "This is our town, punk, see, we run the rackets and we don't need no dick like you wandering around and hassling the fine folks in this neighborhood."

 I was brought to a dimly lit basement by three drooling sasquatches. On the way I asked about the phantom pooper "We don't know anything about that. Is that how you get your kicks? Pooing all over the place, you make me sick. The boss is gonna have a little chat with you now." said the biggest goon.  I said; "so what are you, his three wisemen? Larry, Curly, and Moe?" That remark seemed a few notches above them so I didn't take it the wrong when they didn't laugh. I sat down at a desk across from the Chief hooligan, the pied piper of this merry band of rapscallions. He looked a little like a crowbar, but colder, a little like a Pitbull, but meaner, and a little like a potato, because his physical body was a thin porous membrane of skin surrounding cells that are composed mainly of water and empty space much like the potato, which also has a thin porous membrane of skin surrounding cells composed mainly of water and empty space, He wore a blue pinstripe suit and a bemused face. I chided him; "so, you must be the top hoodlum in these parts?" He grinned; "and what are you J. Edgar Loser?" His goons tittered. The boss got serious. "So, Mac, whatcha doing sneaking around at night like some kind of bum?" I told him "I was on my way to a brain transplant, but I changed my mind." Ha! The boss brought out a pair of hand rolled cigarettes and said; "here relax, have a smoke, and we'll chat." He handed me the cigarette. I inhaled after seeing him inhale. I was good that night, good, but not good enough. I fell for the oldest trick in the book, the old rope- a-dope with a marihuana Trojan horse.  "Hmmm that's a curious smelling tobacco" I swooned, the boss smiled. Next thing I knew the lights began to melt away and I fell into a marihuana blackout ... I figured those 3 drags off the devil weed had me nearly overdose on the drug, when suddenly, a rival gang bust in for some kind of mad final showdown. The gangs puffed themselves up and snapped their fingers and started a desperate break dancing competition to see who controlled the neighborhood. "My God, it's a massacre" I whispered as several hoodlums spun on their heads and one did the snake wriggle past me. I managed to stumble out in the haze and walked out into the night.

There, right outside was the Phantom Pooper. I caught him brown handed so to speak. I saw the outline of a man squatting, in the process of his, well, process. I saw him pick it up, smell it briefly and then squeezed the turd like some sick form of grapefruit inspection. I yelled and gave chase. My trench coat flapped iconically in the black and white night down alleyways with the clip clop of heels. We ended up by the canal, the moonlight echoing past the tree branches casting shifting parallaxes of the branches. 

I tackled him from behind but lost my footing and fell to see the Phantom Pooper clamber up the side of a tower. "There's nowhere left to go villain! "I yelled. He up and posed triumphantly on the cross on top of the old Brockport teacher's school, his robe flowing majestically with the wind. The Phantom made several bizarre faces and zebra  noises before  he lifted his hands up in the air like he was surrendering, and cried; "You may think I've gone insane but I promise I will poop again!" and jumped. But it was the old hay barrel at the bottom of the spire trick again. The Phantom was long gone. I took a pull off my new school bottle and walked home. Back at my apartment there was a foul message written on my door; "beware the wrath of the Phantom Pooper!"


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