Extracts from The Diaries of 'Professor' Cornelius Crane

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September 22nd, 2001

The reason I’m only making yesterday’s entry under today’s date, is that Nikki was round at my place last night. The expression might be, ‘Say no more!’ but I feel, although physically exhausted, rather inspired to narrate last night’s events in some small detail. In a strange way she is my muse. I was amazed, especially after a little too much alcohol, how incredibly bizarre the conversation had become. But, although she makes me happy and enthuses in me a desire to think outside the box, push back society’s conventional boundaries, she will never impress me enough to convince me to take my vows, or even inspire me to construct great inventions or ziggurats to her magnificent beauty and glory. But, as mentioned, she does make me very happy and contented during times of my own choosing. At least mostly of my own choosing (The lioness had definitely been on the prowl yesterday, but the lion had been hungry too).

For once I am, or at least seem to be, wielding the power. As long as she believes she can convince me to give her that one special ring, she will hopefully keep letting me drink at her water-hole. Of course, she had once fenced it off as a ploy to force my decision, but I am stronger and wiser now. And besides, Erika had come into my life just at the point when the well had run dry. It had all worked out pleasantly to my advantage.

Nikki, thinking that Erika was managing to do what she was unable to accomplish, had literally thrown herself back at me. She had used some rather colorful language to describe the competition.

In my first life I would have found it all very vulgar and offensive. But, now it was my turn to bathe in the glow of victory. For once it was I taking, not one but two, women for a ride.

As long as they believed their shares were high, I had continued to gallop them both at high speed.

Although Nikki never knew it, I too was having a most pleasant fling on the side. And it had been the easiest thing to do, especially knowing that the disappointment in her voice, whenever I told her that I would be working late again, was feigned and, in fact, hiding her delighted approval of my commendable dedication to my workplace. It was the most tiring and enjoyable period of my second life. I had had a similar period during my foray into fleshly pleasures during my downward spiral into alcohol and high class whores in my first. But this time it was far more fun. This time there was more meaning and purpose behind it all. This time the sense of accomplishment was more fulfilling – far more satisfying!

Friday (Yesterday), as I was heading towards the front gate at Global in my new convertible, Nikki walked across my path. I pulled up and she leaned on my door, bending low so that her healthy cleavage was mere inches from my nose. She always made it difficult for men to look her in the eyes.

She said, “I only just heard. I’m so sorry!”

“What?”

“About Erika, of course! Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Who did tell you?”

“Word gets around.”

“I’m not.”

“Not what?”

“Sorry.”

“How can you say that when…”

She smelled delicious, and I was starving. “You wanna hear about it over a drink?”

“She trotted round to the passenger side and got in.”
“Where’s your car? I was thinking I’d meet you at the Balmoral.”

“It’s Friday, so drop me off back here…tomorrow? I’ll pick it up then.”

“Sounds like a splendid idea!’

“I thought you’d like it. Just put the top up, otherwise I’ll look like I was hit by lightning by the time we get there.” I pushed the button and she waited till the top had closed before saying, “I saw Steve last week. He’s married again. Although I guess he probably felt that we were never really married. As you know there was never any…consummation. Before, yeah, but never again after we were…”
“How is he?” I asked hastily.

“We never spoke. I just saw him at a distance, but I could see the ring. They were holding hands. He seemed very happy.”

“Then I’m happy for him too.”

“Me too. We were never meant for each other.”

“I know. He wasn’t rich enough.”

“Then! He’s got his own company now.”

“I know! I’ve been keeping an eye on his…progress. He built it from the ground up all by himself. Doing very well for himself too. Are you sorry now?”

“Not at all. You realize that if what happened, hadn’t a happened, he’d still be just a nobody here at Global?”

I wanted to air my disagreement, but there was a ring of truth in her statement. “So, you’re saying we did him a favor?”

“In a strange…distorted way – yes! Yes, I’d like to think so.”

“I suppose it gives you some piece of mind?”

“Something like that.”

“I wish I could say the same. I was his friend.”

“And I was his wife!”

Malcolm, who worked at the Balmoral’s front desk, was serving behind the bar. He greeted as we approached.

“Mister Crane, so nice to see you again. May I once again express my deepest sympathy at your loss? And as you can see, our loss is just as…traumatic.”

“They got you working the bar, now? Is that a pro- or demotion?”

“It’s a goddamned disaster is what it is! The new guy is only gonna get here next week, so they got me standing in, again, till then.”

“I take it you ain’t coping all that well.”

“That, dear sir, is a major understatement. I’m okay with wine and malt. It’s all those silly damned drinks with the fancy names that drive me crazy. Yesterday this fella asked me for a blowjob. I was almost about to phone the police before he explained that he was referring to a Drambuie cocktail served in a shot glass with a whipped cream topping.”

“Sounds wickedly delightful and sensual,” chirped Nikki.

I introduced them. “Malcolm, this is my, uh…colleague, Nicolette Kurtzman. Nicolette, this is Malcolm who-normally-works-the-front-desk-but-now-gives-out-cheap-blowjobs-in-the-ladies-bar-whatsisface.”

“Malcolm Spitz,” he corrected holding out a droopy hand. “No relation to the swimmer.” They shook hands. “Excuse me for being a bit forward here but, my God, you’re absolutely gorgeous.”

Nikki smiled and said, “At least there’s one guy around here with some good taste.”

I informed her, “Babe, he was referring to your dress, not its contents.”

“Oh, excuse me!” he lamented. “I clean forgot it’s gay-bashing hour. Half price for all bigots and homophobes. So, what’ll it be, darling?”

“Um, Malcolm uh, was that Spitz or Swallows? I forget?”

“That’s very droll, sir. Very droll, indeed. I’ve only heard it about a million times already.”

“The lady wants a Dirty Black Russian with a Long Sloe Screw on the side, or preferably in the front if possible. I’ll have a Bloody Mary with a small Rock Shandy chaser; add a large dash of bitters to that shandy.”

“Oh, Lord, please tell me you’re not serious!”

“Actually,” I smiled. “The lady will have a glass of wine – something pink and sweet like her! I’ll have a whiskey and water – plenty ice. Think you can manage that?”

“Coming right up, sir!”

“And Malcolm?”

“Yes, sir?”

“Add a large dash of speed to those as well.”

“Yes, my lord and master.”

Malcolm moved off and Nikki confessed, “I like him.”

“Me too. Much better than the last guy.” I pointed to the framed photo of Willy on the wall. “That was the last guy.”

“What happened to him?”

“World Trade Centre.”

“No?”

“I kid you not.”

“Shit, most people only know somebody who knew somebody. But you personally knew two people who actually…”

“Three!” I corrected.

“You’re kidding!” I nodded. “No!” I nodded again. “God, I’m so sorry!”

“Why? I already told you I ain’t.”

“How can you say that? The rumors around Global were that you were planning on marrying her?”

Malcolm placed our drinks in front of us. “Forgive me, but I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation. I take it you’re referring to the late Miss Erika Angelo, assistant editor at The Chronicle?”

Nikki answered, “That’s right!”

He continued, “I must confess that those very same rumors were doing the rounds at the Balmoral as well. Do you deny their validity, Mister Crane?”

“You heard talk of a possible marriage between myself and Erika?”

“Indeed! Very little escapes my ears or observations within these walls.”

“Then you must have also known that Willy was screwing her?”

He blushed before saying, “Yes, I’m afraid so. That fact was very…obvious. I often stood in for him at the bar so that they could...retire to his room here on the premises. I do apologize, but Miss Angelo had a rather…persuasive personality.”

“Do the words demanding bitch come to mind?”

“Please sir, it is impolite to speak ill of the departed.”

“I’ll forgive you, if you’re honest?”

“In that case, sir - I couldn’t have phrased it better myself.”

I slapped the counter. “Hah, I like you, Malcolm!”

“Thank you, sir. That’s very…flattering.”

“Malcolm…pour yourself one. I want you to join us in a toast.”

“To what, if I may ask?”

“Just do it.”

“I believe I’ll have the same as Miss Kurtzman here.”

“Yeah, pink and sweet like you.”

“Exactly!” He poured himself a glass of wine and raised his glass high. “Shall we then?”

I raised mine and declared. “To dear departed, demanding bitches and bastards. May they rot in hell!” They both repeated the toast perfectly. I turned to Nikki. “And to all the hypocrites walking the face of this earth! May they go from strength to strength, and from bed to bed.”

“You mean us, don’t you?” asked Nikki frowning. “I don’t think I’m gonna toast to that.”

“‘Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.’ Hell, I threw a whole goddamned building on top of them!”

“You can’t blame yourself!” she had said, obviously noting the sudden irritable tone in my self-condemning statement.

“No?”

“Of course not!”

“Then why am I suddenly in the mood to do a lot of drinking tonight?”

“Be careful! You know what they say about alcohol, ‘It improves the desire, but ruins the performance.’”

“Don’t you worry yourself, honeybunch. I won’t disappoint you tonight. I can hold my liquor.”

I was locking my large front door when Nikki asked, “How did you know? What made you suspect?”

“Suspect what?” I slurred.

“About Erika and Willy?”

“Woman’s intuition. So, I had them followed by a private dick – a very big dick.”

“And?”

“Stupid bastard did his job too well. Ended up getting killed along with them.”

“The third person?”

“Bingo!” I started singing the Bingo song again, but Nikki interrupted.

“When did you find out that he was also in the…”

I interrupted her right back. “Trust me! I know! I was on the phone when it happened - crash, boom, bang.” I laughed stupidly through my drunken delirium. At the time it felt as though I was sprouting great profound words of wisdom. “See if you can answer this question? Who said these famous last words? ‘Shit, should that guy be flying so low. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was heading straight for…for…! Oh…my…fuuuu…?’” I laughed even louder, then said, “I gotta pee - now!”

“I thought you could hold your liquor?”

“Hell, woman, I didn’t mean indefinitely!” She laughed, so I added, “I just might need you to help me hold Mister Winky, though? My aim might not be quite what it should be.”

“Later, cowboy! Lucky my aim is always true!”

“Sounds promising! Listen, I’ve forgotten where my bedroom is. Sally forth, Sally, and if you should find it give me a holler.”

“I’ll do that!”

“Shit!”

“What now?”

“I’ve forgotten where the can is as well?”

I relieved myself, but on exiting the toilet, found Nikki in the passage leading to my room. She was admiring my art collection that lined the long corridor walls.

She was extremely fascinated by my Frazettas.

“I just love your place.”

“I doubt that, I don’t think it’s pink and frilly enough to suit your taste.”

“Did I ever tell you that I once did a nude shoot for a photographer?”

I was suddenly sober. “No! No, never.”

“Well it was my idea actually. It cost me quite a packet too.”

“You paid the guy. I would have thought…”

“It was a girl. A young college student doing a photographic course. She needed the money. Although she did use some of the artier black and white prints for her portfolio.”

“Why did you do it?”

“I was planning on sending them off to some of the major magazines, but I got cold feet in the end.”

“Coming from you, that’s hard to believe.”

“Well, let’s just say that I felt it might be detrimental to my future.”

“I understand. You didn’t want your…targets to think badly of you. You needed to successfully portray yourself as shy and innocent.”

“Something like that,” she smiled.

“Hmm, the only problem was that you ended up attracting the wrong sort of man.”

“What do you mean?”

“Prim and proper and prudish – definitely the wrong sort of man for the likes of you.”

“Your honesty turns me on.”

“And I rest my case.”

“Would you like to see them?”

“The Photos?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Why, especially when I can see the real thing.”

She seemed genuinely disappointed. “I still got all the negatives and test sheets too. I was hoping you might want to make a few extra-large blow-ups to hang in your hallway. Something to…tide you over between my visits.”

“Sounds like a great idea. I’ll replace one or two of these.”

“Really?”

“Why not?”

“That’s marvelous!” Then she pointed to the picture of the naked man resting between the cleavage of the giantess’ large bosom. “Just not this one, okay? I’m crazy about this one.”

“Yeah, that’s definitely one of my favorites too.”

“Most men are intimidated by my size, but not you?”

“I’m like Robert Crumb. I find large woman extremely attractive.”

She placed a finger on the giantess’ cleavage. “That’s you!” She shifted the finger to the giantess’ face. “And that’s me.” She giggled. “What do you say?”

“I say that I can only wish!”

“I bet you do too? But it could never work out.”

“Why not?”

“The pleasure in that relationship would be all one-sided. He’s so small! I mean really, really small where it counts. If you know what I mean?”

“Not necessarily!”

“Of course! Look at him? How do you suppose he could ever…”

“Use your imagination. Have you never heard it said that, ‘A man originally crawls out of a special hole, and then spends the rest of his life trying to get back into a similar one?”

She giggled and said, “That pretty much describes it.”

“Yeah, only in this little guy’s case,” I said pointing at the picture, “He could literally do it. The possibilities are mind-boggling! Just think how popular he’d be. Like some sort of superhero.”

“Superhero?”

“Yeah, like, ‘Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s The Human Dildo. Lock away your daughters. Get the chastity belts out of mothballs, the Super Human Dildo is in town! They’ll use him! They’ll abuse him! But he just bounces back and asks for more! Faster than a three-speed vibrator! More powerful than an involuntary muscle spasm! Able to leap over twin peaks in a single bound! No forest too dense! No cave too deep or too dank! He awaits your call in his Condom Condominium of Solitude! In the day he’s Stark-Naked Bent, but at night he becomes Dildo Man. Ta-daa!’”

She shook her head despairingly. “You need some serious help! As a kid, you obviously read too many comic books, and as an adult, too much porn! Your mind’s gone all screwy!”

“I thought you liked my screwy mind?”

She suddenly remembered something. “Ooh, that special hole story of yours reminds me about this other really weird story I read some time ago. I just gotta tell you about it. There was this married conservationist couple camping out in the Grand Canyon somewhere. They were there on a special grant from some institute or other. And it was their job to observe the mating habits and so on of one of the endangered species. I’m not sure, but it might have been some California Condors or Bald Eagles or whatever.”

“Probably condors if they were out in the canyon.”

“It could have been some other birds too, but anyway they were way out in the wilds observing this nest, you know, so that they could figure out a way to help increase the population.”

“What? Nobody ever told them about the birds and the bees? Must have been a pretty dull marriage?”

“The bird population, stupid! You know what I meant!”

“Go on?” I said putting on my very interested face.

“Then after about a month they were absolutely thrilled when the birds managed to produce a single egg – just one! Probably the very reason for them becoming endangered?” I nodded and she continued. “Every day the birds would take turns to protect and keep it warm. Then about six weeks after the egg was laid, the male flew off and failed to return. They’re not certain what happened to him, but I expect he just decided to shirk his duties as a father; as is so often the case.”

I laughed sarcastically. “Ho! Ho! Very amusing! Go on?”

“About two weeks later a double tragedy occurred. A mountain lion or wolf or coyote or something managed to get onto the ledge where the nest was and killed the mother. At the same time an unusually cold front had already begun to creep into the canyon. They both knew that the egg was close to hatching, but would never survive the night without the warmth that only a mother could provide. They decided to take the egg back to the institute where they could hand-raise the fledging themselves. But they were a good three day’s walk into the canyon, and they had no way of keeping the egg safe and warm until it could be placed into one of their special incubators. At least they thought they didn’t, not until the husband figured out the solution.”

“I got a sick feeling where this is going!”

She nodded wide-eyed. “You gotta remember they were both very…dedicated to their job. They had just spent about three months alone out in the wilds, and they weren’t gonna see all that time and effort go to waste.”

“Yeah, three months alone in the wilds will do that to you.”

“Anyhow, the wife was very impressed that her husband had come up with such an ingenious plan, but the wife…”

“Ingenious? Totally loony if you ask me. That is definitely taking your love for your job way too far!”

“Shush, I’m telling the story! But the wife was obviously concerned that she might pick up an infection or something.”

“If it was his ingenious idea, I would have told him to shove it up his…”

“That wouldn’t work. It was too big and might have broken.”

“They actually considered that as well?”

“No, I’m saying so. Anyhow, after giving it a good wash, and then rinsing it in a weak disinfectant solution, they put baby to bed.”

“That is so sick.”

“And the good news is that they got it back safe and sound and eventually raised it to a full-grown adult.”

“I bet they named it, Cookie?” I laughed. “I wonder what she would have done if it had hatched prematurely?”

“Gosh, I hadn’t thought of that!” she sniggered. “Imagine if they were busy doing it when it happened, and the chick had thought that it was a nice big fat juicy worm?”

I roared with laughter and said, “Then he would have really discovered what it means to be dedicated to your job. And why not? After all, mommy had completed her part of the project, now it was time for daddy to bring home the bacon.”

“Or what if they had stopped at one of those busy roadside cafes on the way back, and junior finally decided it was time to stick his head out during a batch of breakfast flapjacks?”

“That sounds almost like an old joke I once heard.”

“Yeah? How does it go?”

“This guy bought a long-neck goose at the market, and on his way home he passed the local movie theater and noticed that it was the last-showing of a movie that he really wanted to see. So, knowing that they weren’t gonna allow him into the theatre with an animal, he duly stuffed the poor creature into the front of his trousers and proceeded to purchase a ticket.”

“Nobody noticed he had a duck in the front of his trouser? Sure?”

“Shut up! It’s called suspension of disbelieve!”

“Go on?”

“Well, no sooner had he taken his seat inside the movie, when two ladies from the local old-age home plonked themselves down next to him. A moment later the lights dimmed and the flick began.”

“Uh-huh?”

“Well, it wasn’t long before the goose started feeling a little cramped and claustrophobic, and began desperately seeking a way out. So, the guy decided to pull down his zipper and give the poor creature some air. It stuck its head and long neck out of the opening, and having never been to a movie theater proceeded to also watch the show.” I waited for her to stop laughing before saying, “And everything was hunky dory until…” I paused again, this time for dramatic effect.

“Yeah?”

“Well, the old lady sitting next to him, turned to her friend and said, ‘Mavis, I’m very concerned. The man next to me has undone his zipper and whipped out his you-know-what?’ So the friend replied, ‘That perverted sort are always looking for attention, Loretta. So just ignore him.’ So Loretta lamented, ‘Well, that’s far easier said than done. Especially when his you-know-what keeps pecking at my pop corn.’” I allowed Nikki to finish laughing before saying, “You know it’s bullshit, of course?”
“What?”

“That business about the egg. Sounds like typical tabloid bullshit to me? You probably read it in one of those papers that are always on about two-headed dogs and alien abductions?”

Her permanent pout increased substantially before she said, “I guess you’re right? Just all sensationalistic twaddle to make a buck.”

“You mean sensationalistic twattle!”

“Not only that! I mean I never believed that other story about that woman who cut off her husband’s goodies after he fell asleep in front of the TV.”

“You mean the Bobbitts? That was very real. Why he even…”

“No, not them. By the way that was her silly loss. Shit, that was the end of Mrs. Bobbitt’s apple bobbin’.” Nikki allowed me to finish laughing before she continued. “I said goodies, not goody. Apparently she used one of those large Shopping Channel steak knives that come as part of a set, to do the job. Those ones that can cut through just about anything.”

“You mean any thing! I guess that must have done wonders for sales. I bet every woman with an unfaithful or abusive husband ordered a set the very next day.” She sniggered before adding, “Apparently she then used his…” She shaped her hand into a bowl. “…you know…skin to cover her gear lever knob in her car.”

“What?”

“Right! Total bullshit, of course! If she hated him that much, then why keep a souvenir around to remind herself? Especially since her excuse for doing it was because she finally couldn’t take it anymore…the way he kept scratching himself all the time in front of the TV.” Her voice gained an octave. “‘Scratch, scratch, scratch – day and night! When I complained, he’d just say, “Nothing worse than having an itch you can’t scratch.” And off he’d go again. Scratch, scratch, scratch. And he got really angry when I said he’d probably picked up something nasty doing what he shouldn’t outta be doin’. Well, he got what he deserved when it finally drove me crazy!’”

“Crazy? That is definitely an understatement.”

“No,” smiled Nikki wryly using only the left side of her face. “She was being considerate. She just wanted to help him scratch is all.”

“There are times when I don’t like the way your mind works – at all! And just in case you were wondering. No, I ain’t itchy at all. No, ma’am, not one little bit.”

The smile shifted to her right side. “Oh, yeah? Well, remember that itch I once had?”

“How could I ever forget? It’s branded into my memory!”

“Well, I got some bad news.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah,” she had said pushing me towards the bedroom. “It’s back with a terrible vengeance.”

“Relax, I’ll go get the back-scrubber!”

“No need, you already got a built-in one!” After a short deliberation she asked, “You wouldn’t by any chance, have any champagne on ice?”

“Yeah, but unfortunately it ain’t pink!”

“In an emergency, any old port will do!”

“Make yourself comfortable in the emergency room, Nurse Nikki. I’ll just be a moment fetching the…operating equipment.”

“I’ll be sure to have the patient fully prepared and ready on your arrival, doctor!” I watched, mesmerized, as she dotted the long hallway to my bedroom at regular intervals with her clothing. The intriguing sight began with her high-heeled shoes, and ended by the bedroom door with a pink g-string. She had been dressed to kill. Beyond that doorway she was now undressed to thrill.

I had moved with serious haste and determination towards my large, German, stainless steel, imported wine refrigerator.

It wasn’t the idea of having more alcohol that concerned me that my performance might be affected, it was the thought of human egg-incubators and shopping channel steak knives.

Yep, that woman could sure whip up some pretty bizarre conversation!!!

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