My favourite piece pre-roomyverse was always this little number, which reimagined TV doc turned detective Quincy as a drug-addled conspiracy theorist obsessed with Mormons. The idea was that every month Quincy would investigate a famous celebrity death and each time manage to somehow pin it on the Latter-day Saints through some elaborate trick of his tripping brain. On reflection this concept didn’t really have much legs, but here are both attempts at trying to write it, the first being far more successful than the second, in my opinion, but see what you think:
The Murder of John F. Kennedy
Before I go on I have to ask a question. Please don’t be offended, but I have to know if you’re a Mormon. If you are, I recommend that you turn away from this page right now – in fact, take it from me, this page doesn’t even exist, it’s a mirage, a phantom, a trick of your tiny Mormon mind, so turn away now you Mormon sonofabitch, and whatever you do, don’t even think of squealing to your Salt Lake City masters or I’ll take a bone cutter to your ass.
Now, if you’re not one of those Mormon bastards I recommend you siddown, ’cause this stuff is dynamite. It all began back in the ‘sixties. I was a hipster back then, and one of the hottest M.E.’s on the block in my trademark Sharkskin apron. Janis Joplin, Lassie, they all came to me, but my abiding memory is still that day in Dallas when they wheeled in poor J.F.K.
They’d got that poor sap good. There was an entry wound in his throat you could drive a Buick through and the back of his head was flapping like some kind of weird Muppet Mouth – Animal maybe, or Beaker. I was just about to zip him up when I spotted something in the throat wound. Get this, it was a scroll, about the size of a thumbnail. When the Feds weren’t looking a slipped it in my pocket and packed him off to Jackie O.
Back on my boat I took out my tweezers and unrolled the tiny parchment. Here’s what it said:
Now this didn’t make any sense. Obviously it was a major clue because it must have been written by the killer. I dusted it for prints but came up with zip. it was getting late and Dino, Frank, and Sammy J. had invited me round to their yacht to embalm Jill St. John, so I threw that scroll into a drawer and tried hard to forget about it. What else could I do? Take it to the cops and have them lose it under a donut? Besides, they caught Oswald soon enough, so I figured the whole thing was written in some kinda Commie code anyway.
Fast Forward a decade, and a cheeky little song hits big. Little Jimmy Osmond’s ‘Long Haired Lover from Liverpool’ takes the nation by storm, and I always remember the first time I heard it because I was wrist deep in David Niven, feeling around for the guy’s heart, when the radio rolled out the words from the scroll and I was so shocked I almost snapped the poor dead Limey’s sternum in two. What could it mean??? And then it hit me. What if the fatal bullet wounds hadn’t come from a high calibre rifle at long range after all? What if they’d come from a low calibre pistol nearby? The wounds would have been identical. Little Jimmy Osmond hadn’t even been born on the day JFK died, but he was into his fourth month in his mom’s womb, so maybe, just maybe, he’d somehow assassinated the president as a foetus!
It was a long shot, but it’d certainly explain the lack of prints on the scroll. The fingertips of a foetus are not fully formed, in fact they’re perfectly smooth. If anything it would be even more effective than wearing gloves!
I stripped off my diamond studded autopsy apron and stormed into Lt. Monahan’s office.
“I want everything you’ve got on Little Jimmy Osmond.”
“We haven’t got anything on Little Jimmy Osmond.”
“For crying out loud Lieutenant, this kid killed the president!”
“……As a foetus??”
If the Lieutenant wouldn’t take me seriously I knew I had to take matters into my own hands. I went down to Danny Tovo’s and paid a guy fifty bucks to get me everything on the Kennedy assassination from the local public library. Late that night I was pouring over the evidence and had nearly finished with the Warren Commission diagrams detailing the flight of the ‘magic bullet’ when I found a smaller diagram taped to the back of one of the larger sections:
That caption at the top – ‘Not for the eyes of Quincy’ – drove me insane. How dare they withhold information from me! All this time the Warren Commission knew that Little Jimmy Osmond was involved in the murder of John F. Kennedy and they’d done nothing! Well I wasn’t going to let them play me for a schmuck any longer, so I went back to Danny’s and started drinking. Heavily.
Five hours later, I was sitting in the gutter of the alley round the back of Danny’s, cradling my eighth bottle of JD, and talking to this piss-stained bearded guy who swore he was JFK’s bodyguard on Deeley Plaza. I explained my theory to him and wondered aloud how Little Jimmy could possibly have survived for so long outside Mrs. Osmond. Then the guy told me a tale that sent a shiver down my spine.
Apparently, in 1962 J.F.K discovered that he was allergic to prophylactics, and so ordered his tailors to convert the breast pockets of all his jackets into amniotic sacks, in which he could dump the aborted foetuses of all the bastards he’d sired on his travels. Whenever he returned to the Whitehouse it was then the bodyguard’s job to wipe these pockets clean, and the guy told me that on one occasion the sheer volume of ‘Little Johnnies’ had broken the waste disposal. The guy then swore that on that fateful day in Dallas there had only been one foetus in JFK’s top pocket. He didn’t know who it was, but he’d been sure of the number.
I thanked my friend by not pissing on his shoes, then headed off to Sam’s to borrow his video tape of the Zapruder footage. Back in the lab I ran it through my electron microscope with the X-ray filter, looking for a clean shot of the president’s breast pocket. I’d almost given up hope when I finally discovered the truth:
Little Jimmy, safely secreted in the amniotic sack of the President’s breast pocket, holding in his fingerprint-free hands a miniature 44. Magnum. Who would have believed it? Certainly not the cops, who failed to frisk the stiff JFK for either weapons or foetuses. Once the deed had been done it would have been simplicity itself for Little Jimmy to just wait in that pocket till the CIA had left the blood-splattered jacket hanging up in a closet somewhere, then slip out and back into his momma – a perfect hiding place for the perfect crime – waiting to enter a world ruined by his evil.
First thing the next afternoon, once I’d checked out of the Betty Ford, I ran over to the precinct to confront Lt. Monahan with my evidence.
“Right Lieutenant, I’ve got it all right here! Everything we need to nail Little Jimmy Osmond for the assassination of JFK.”
“It’s all here – photo’s, X-rays, diagrams, a signed affidavit from a certified crack-dealing alcoholic abortionist, and a tiny scroll inscribed with the lyrics to ‘Long Haired Lover from Liverpool” which Little Jimmy wrote in his mother’s womb. Look – he’s even crossed out the last line and wrote “I’m gonna blow the head off JFK”! For the love of Mike, Lieutenant, this is virtually a signed confession!”
“Have you been drinking again?”
And that’s when I spot it, on the Lieutenant’s bookshelf, between the Sven Hassel Compendium and Delia Smith’s Donuts. I have to tilt my head slightly to read the spine, but there’s no mistaking it. It’s The Book of Mormon.
“What’s that book for?”
“The Book of Mormon.”
“The main purpose of the Book of Mormon is to convince all people “that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations”. Through the spiritual experiences of its writers, many of whom were prophets and eyewitnesses of Christ’s glory, the Book of Mormon communicates clear, personal knowledge that Jesus Christ lives. It explains his mission from the Creation to the Final Judgment, and expresses his pure and atoning love for all mankind.”
“My God, that’s an exact quote from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.”
“It may be.”
“You’re a goddamn Mormon.”
“You’re damn right I am!”
And I walked right out of his office, dumbstruck. The Lieutenant was a Mormon, and who were the most powerful Mormon family in America? I guess that just made him another tiny cog in their machine, and for a while I felt sorry for him till further investigations revealed to me the true extent of the Osmonds’ global Mormon conspiracy. If you honestly think Jim Morrison just drowned in the bath, or that Mark Chapman actually killed John Lennon, be prepared for a shock. The Mormon’s have their little Latter-Day pinkies in everything, and I’ve been shouting this thing from the rooftops for years, but they’ve always somehow managed to discredit me – telling people I’m a schizoid drunk, a paranoid pill-popper. Well, thanks to Roomybonce, they can’t silence me anymore, and it’ll be up to you, the people, to make up your minds, because in the coming months I’m gonna force feed you the truth till you puke. Believe me, the Mormons are everywhere. Hell, for all I know you might even be a Mormon yourself. Hey, maybe you are – spying on me, eating my ludes, stealing my beer – sweet Jesus, you’d better get outta here you Mormon scumsucker, d’ya hear me? SCRAM!
As for you, Little Jimmy Osmond. Me & Sam have got something special waiting for you.
The Murder of Lady Diana Spencer, Princess of Hearts
That guy Lord Stevens has got this so wrong you should bust his ass back to private. I knew this stank from day one, and it all started back in ’74. I was seeing a snazzy broad, and I’m not gonna name names, but let’s just say she was real high class, a diamond-studded-panties-kinda lady, I’m talkin’ – oh for chrissakes she’s dead anyway so what does it matter, it was Princess Margaret for the luvva mike, and she loved her booze. I’m no slouch when it comes to knocking back the Jack D, but this lady could match me magnum for magnum.
I remember her dropping by the office one night when I had that poor schmuck Bud Abbott on the slab, the tubes primed in his arteries & veins ready to switch his blood for embalming fluid. I’d already drained his abdomen and chest, so I let ol’ Maggie suck the gas out of his pelvic cavity (and holy moly could that girl suck) I took time out to rearrange Bud’s features into a comical grin and then set to cranking up the fluid pumps. Only when his entire circulatory system collapsed, deflating the bloated fuck like a putrid soufflé, did I realise Maggie had necked all the embalming fluid. Eight quarts in less than five minutes! Whatta gal!
I woulda married her if she hadn’t been so hung up on Donny Osmond. You gotta remember this wasn’t long after I’d discovered little Jimmy Osmond was the foetal assassin in JFK’s top pocket at Deeley Plaza (see the top of the page if you want the whole nine yards on that nightmare) Getting me to go to any Osmond gig woulda taken nothing less than a holy miracle, or, in Maggie’s case, access to my bodyweight in the best crack cocaine your cute British Pound could buy. Before I knew it I was slouching in the front row of the Hollywood Bowl, bloody froth bubbling from both nostrils, wondering how the hell I was gonna get through ‘Puppy Love’ without puking over Maggie’s velvet slippers (luckily her bodyguard had a very large hat)
My brain has blocked out most of that hellish night, but one thing did stick with me. At the end of the first encore – ‘Crazy Horses’ or some such dogshit – the gig took a turn for the weird. Donny’s voice got croakier & croakier till he was speaking in some kinda crazy alien language, and that’s when the whole deal really started heading for the shitter. His adoring fans couldn’t have cared less if he’d been shooting glass darts out of his ass, but I soon had to ask Maggie if she could see what I was seeing. Frogs, hundreds of them, advancing on the stage till they surrounded Donny, their shiny green faces raised to him in supplication, as if to some amphibian deity. Scrabbling for my bag I managed to snatch this quick photo:
Donny, croaking on & on in his Frog God voice, didn’t seem to notice his new playmates till one shat on his hush puppies and then all hell broke loose. With one bog-eyed Mormon bellow – ‘CROOOAAAAAAAK!’ – the frogs scattered, leaping over our heads and disappearing into the night. Then Donny started singing ‘Hey there, lonely girl’ and I had to hurl down Maggie’s humongous décolletage.
Skip forward to the fall of ’97 and I’m sat in the office halfway through a jumbo stack of Sam’s mom’s falafels, wondering if they’re going to give me the shits again, when I get a call from that slimy shyster Rob Asten. “Get your ass to Paris, pronto!”
“What gives Bobby?”
“Lady Di just bought the farm and I want you on a plane in twenty minutes.”
Three hours later I was palpating Princess Di’s heart with one hand and probing into her thoracic cavity for the piece of falafel that’d just fallen out my sleeve with the other, all the while tightly clenching my buttcheeks to stop the liquefied falafel in my guts raining onto the examination room floor like so much rancid mud.
As the sweat poured down my ass I damned Sam’s mom for the thousandth time. I’d told her Paprika gave me the squits, what was wrong with Oregano once in a while? If only her falafel weren’t so goddamn tasty. Elbow deep in the Princess’s shattered ribcage I finally got a pinkie on the rogue confectionary and threw a shred of Di’s diaphragm across the room to distract the Frenchies while I popped it in my mouth. Holy cow. Sam’s mom thought she’d perfected the recipe, but when I got back I’d have to break the bad news that her falafel tasted even better soaked in royal blood.
The princess, by the way, was a no hoper from the start. Her heart had been displaced from one side of her chest to the other and was so beat up they coulda served it rare with french fries at Le Cupola that night. I felt sorry for the dame, sure, but that didn’t stop me copping a feel while the Frenchies were juggling a slippery rib I’d tossed over my shoulder. Hey, she was supposed to be one of the world’s most beautiful women, right? What’s a red-blooded M.E. to do, for crying out loud?!
Henri Paul, however, was another story. That DUI dickweed should never have been allowed out the hotel, let alone behind the wheel of a two-tonne cruisemobile in a ton-up chase with paparazzi pricks in tow. Pity I couldn’t find some valid medical excuse for castrating the bozo and stitching his schlong to his tongue. As it was I had to make-do with perforating his balls with a Hagedorn needle. Shows what a schmuck I was, because Mr. Paul was just about to make my night very interesting indeed.
I was cleaning him up ready for wheeling out when I spotted an obstruction in his left ear. Closer inspection revealed the large toe pad of a Litoria Tyleri. What in god’s name was a Tree Frog doing in this a-hole’s ear? I tugged at the pad till the whole leg flopped outta his lughole. What was it with this guy? Was he come kinda crazy French food fetishist? It was only then that the ghoulish events at the Hollywood Bowl came back to me, staggering my mind like a roundhouse kick to the temple. Could it be?? Further frog’s leg tugging proved fruitless, and latching on with my best toothed forceps only tore the limb clean off, leaving what I assumed to be the torso lodged in his ear canal. That’s when my phone rang.
“Quincy? Aren’t you done yet?”. It was Asten again, the shithead.
“Almost Bobby. Hey, guess what I just found in Henri Paul’s left ear?”
“Stow it. Get your ass on a plane to Delhi right now, Mother Theresa’s being attacked by a devil and the freakin’ Archbishop of Calcutta’s trying to exorcise the bitch before she carks it in the hands of Beelzebub.”
“What the hell was that?!”
“That, Bobby boy, was twelve hours of backed-up falafel hitting the floor like the hail from hell. Listen, the Queen Nun’s gonna hang on for a few days yet believe me. I’m on to something big here, and if I’m right this’ll bring down those Salt Lake sonbitches once and for all.”
“Will you lay off the Mormons already?”
“I’m on my way back. See you in the office first thing tomorrow.”
I’ve never felt better than I did at that moment, gliding out the examination room on my own Richard Widmarks. I was finally gonna nail those Mormon bastards for twisting our lives inside out these past decades. I just needed a little more proof, which is why I stopped by the Ritz Hotel on my way to Charles de Gaulle.
Eight hours later I was back in the lab, having finally changed out of my reeking apron to the sound of my secretary’s vomit bouncing around her tin wastebasket. Maybe it’d been the two dozen advocaat miniatures on the red-eye, or the four pints of Napoleon Brandy round the back of Danny’s this morning, but Jeez I stank. Quickly slapping a Jane Doe’s liver round my more odorous regions, I dusted off my best pair of Farrah slacks and made for Asten’s office. He was listening to some piss poor soft rock on his Alba midi-system when I barged in and slapped the evidence on his desk.
“What is this shit?” he sighed, fingering my papers.
“This ‘shit’ Dr. Asten is what’s finally gonna blow the whistle on the whole cockamamie Mormon conspiracy! I’ve got transcripts from taped interviews with the late Princess Margaret, swearing on her life that Donny Osmond can talk to frogs. I’ve got Henri Paul’s autopsy report detailing the presence of a Tree Frog in his ear canal, and I’ve got this.” I brandished the final piece of paper triumphantly before tossing it in his face. “Check out who was staying in the Ritz’s Hemingway suite in Paris last night.”
When he finally found the name Asten’s face turned ashen: “Donny Osmond?”
“Damn right. He must’ve talked his amphibious assassin through it step by step. Jump into Henri Paul’s ear, upset his equilibrium at a crucial moment – maybe kick his eardrum as they entered the tunnel under the Place de l’Alma, who knows and who cares? The deed’s done. Osmond’s probably sipping champagne in his Pan Am VIP seat right now while an entire nation mourns, the toad-tongued bastard.”
“Enough! Look, can you give me five minutes Quincy? I’ll be right back.”
Alone in Asten’s office I tried to work out why he was so shaken all of a sudden, but I just couldn’t concentrate with that lousy muzak buzzing round the room. I walked over to his Alba piece of shit hi-fi and quickly stopped the tape. I don’t know what made me eject the cassette, but on my darkest nights I wish I hadn’t. I turned the crappy slab of plastic over in my hand, trying to read the faded artist’s name, and then it jumped out at me: Bachman Turner Overdrive.
My eyes wandered over to Asten’s rack of tapes, hoping I was wrong, but they were all there: Gladys Knight, The Jets, Jenny Oaks Baker, Rancid, The New York Dolls, Eric Herman, The Killers, and, in a sumptuous ten-tape box set, The Osmonds.
Asten strode back in, but stopped in his tracks when he saw me by the tape rack. “What the hell are you doing?”
“Funny how your tape collection reads like a who’s-who of showbiz Mormons Bob. Anything you wanna tell me?”
“Oh come on, Bachman Turner Overdrive?”
“You know Randy Bachman’s a Mormon Bobby, don’t try to bullshit me!”
“And don’t try to railroad me Quincy! You’ve been trying it for too long! The tapes prove nothing!”
“And what about these?”
There were three gilt-framed photos on Asten’s desk, all facing his chair. Going to the hi-fi had brought me round to his side, the side I usually never saw. Each photo was a family portrait. Asten with his wife and kids, all nice n’ cosy. But in each photo there was a different wife, different kids. I gave it to him straight: “You’re a polygamist Bob.”
“So what if I am?!”
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints stopped sanctioning polygamy as a doctrine back in 1890.”
“You know your Mormonism Quincy.”
“I say ‘know thy enemy’. You’re a goddamn Mormon Fundamentalist!”
“You’re damn right I am!”
“The Apostolic United Brethren?”
“The Kingston Clan.”
“Holy Mother of God.”
I was the one reeling now, and Asten knew it. He slowly lit a cigarette and fixed me with a dispassionate glare. Hell, he almost laughed. “Who are you going to tell Quincy? And who’d listen to you? A washed-up pill-popping paranoid alcoholic with a Mormon fixation.”
“Why you no-good bum. Plenty’ll listen if I shout loud n’ long enough.”
“You won’t say a word,” Asten said confidently, advancing on me, “but I do have a word for you. A single word of warning.” He leant forward till we were finally nose-to-nose.
I let Asten have his little victory. He was right, after all. What chance did two blow-brained drunks have against the righteous might of the Mormon Empire? It was their word against ours – Maggie’s & mine. But now she’s gone, and I’m left to walk the world a terrorist target. I tell my friends it’s batrachophobia – a fear of amphibeans – but this is no phobia. It’s the most rational fear there is. I can’t walk past a lake or drive within a mile of wetlands without jamming balls of wax into every orifice, and for that I blame Donny Osmond. He may be one of the biggest selling pop idols of all time, but that cuts little ice if, like me, you have to shit through fishnet tights just in case there are killer frogs in the john ready to jump up your ass. Giorgio, the guy who runs my corner store, things I’m some kinda kinky transsexual the amount of fishnets I get through, but for me it’s just another reason to hate Mormons, and it ain’t gonna stop me.
Y’hear me Donny?! I’m comin’ for you if I have to kill every frog on this planet, so help me God!