Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The smell was unbelievable.
424 members of Local 185 United Gutter Cleaners of America gathered in the main hotel in Vincennes, Indiana to protest David Boyer, the Vincennes, Indiana plagiarist.
"Get Boyer out of our gutters," shouted a sallow faced man whose long nose and coal black eyes reminded me of a nasty smelling scarecrow.
There were signs everywere.
"Boyer Should Flush After Using His Brain," said one. "Boyer Backs Up Sewers," said another.
There were no television cameras present. Even the cable channels are ashamed of Boyer.
"Excuse me," I said to a skinny woman with thinning hair with an authoritative look. "I'm a reporter trying to get the scoop on David Boyer the plagiarist. Can you tell me what's going on here."
She gave me a suspicious look, then poked a finger against my chest as though trying to see if I was well done yet.
"You don't know?"
"No ma'am. I was hoping you would tell me."
"You going to sign our petition?"
Her voice reminded of gears grinding.
"Ma'am, I'm a reporter, I can't sign anything. My boss would take away my reporter badge."
"Management bullshit," she said. "Well, here's the scoop Jimmy Olsen. That no-talent plagiarist is clogging the sewers of Vincennes so there's nowhere for the doo-doo to go."
"That's French for shit."
"Of course. I'm writing that down."
"Well, write this down while you're at it. Every damn time someone buys a book from that human parasite, then finds out its plagiarized they get so mad they flush the whole damned book down the toilet. And he's published so much plagiarized stuff that it's out of control. Sewer system in this town is like an underground library of wet, soppy, bad smelling books. Let your imagination run wild, slick. You want to go down and see for yourself?"
I began backing away.
"No, no thank you. I have an appointment for a root canal I don't want to miss."
"Uh-huh. Well, you might think this isn't a big news story now, but it's going on all of the country. More people every day are finding out his stuff is stuffed with plagiarisms and they end up flushing them down the commode. Getting dangerous underground I heard reports sewers backing up all over the country. That's the real reason we got a recession. That's why they say the economy's going down the sewer. Think about it."
But I didn't have time to think.
I had to find a town where the toilets still worked or I was in trouble.
Friday, September 16, 2011
We met at midnight in the EPA headquarters.
The hallways were dark, but my informant still wore sunglasses and a large rubber nose to conceal his identity. A black fedora and trenchcoat completed the disguise.
"Keep your voice down," he whispered, "and call me JoJo."
"But your name's Bob," I said.
"Do you want the story or not?"
I thought it over.
"So, Jojo, is it true the EPA is considering a special David Boyer smog alert for the area surrounding Vincennes, Indiana?"
He glanced furtively up and down the hallway. His real job was night shift janitor for the EPA. All good reporters know that janitors are the best spies. The dirt, as my old editor always said, is usually in the waste basket.
"Can we step into this broomcloset?" he asked.
"I'm not that kind of guy."
"Neither am I, but this is confidential stuff. Director is going on TV soon to announce a quarantine of the whole town. Pollution's so bad you can't tell clouds from the air. It's all the people driving away from Vincennes, Indiana. Town's got a bad name because of David Boyer's plagiarism. Nobody wants to live in the same town with a scam artist like him. Tailpipe exhaust from all of those people trying to escape has caused a cloud of smog over that city that's starting to block out the sun."
This reporter was stunned.
"All the trees will die," I said. "People will have to wear face masks just to breathe. Incredible. How long do I have to break the story?"
"Better hurry," he said. "Word is Boyer is plagiarizing faster than you can type."
That offended me. All good reporters type quickly and this reported is darned proud of his typing speed.
"But I type 106 words per minute," I said.
He faded back into the shadows.
"Better type quicker," he whispered from the darkness. "You're falling behind."