Friday, January 30, 2009

Mr. Wikiped

Mr. Wikiped strolls down the street.

"Hello, Jane," he remarks to a passing school-girl, tipping his hat. "Doing better in English?"

"Hello, John," he says to a school-boy, slapping him on the shoulder. "How'd the tryouts go?"

"Hello, Jane-" he begins to say to another school-girl; then he leaps backwards, pulling a revolver from beneath the capacious folds of his brown trenchcoat.

"The Devil!" he cries. "Doppelgangers - again!"

This is trouble. If they aren't stopped now, they'll be making bees all over the neighborhood in no time - it'll be a disaster!

But - here's the question. Which Jane is the real Jane?

"Which of you Janes is the real one?" Mr. Wikiped asks.

"I am!" both reply, perfectly astonished. "Can't you tell?"

Mr. Wikiped frowns. He's not entirely sure what to do - usually, the doppelgangers have given themselves away by this point.

"Aha!" he cries, leaping forward. "You have brown eyes," he says, pointing to one of the Janes, "But you have blue eyes!"

"So?" the girls ask in unison.

"Er." Mr. Wikiped says sheepishly. He doesn't actually remember which eye colour the real Jane has - but he's too ashamed to admit it!

"Ah!" he says, confronting a new arrival to the scene. "Perhaps you can help! What is your name?"

"Jane!" the new arrival says brightly. Her eyes are emerald green.

Mr. Wikiped throws his hat down in frustration. "This is impossible!" he cries. "Perhaps if I were better at multiple choice - but no! Ridiculous! Completely unmanagable!"

Then he perks up. His ears wiggle. "Do I hear what I think I hear?" he asks rhetorically. Then he hops in his Edsel and drives to the source of the sound.

It's a brand-new shiny doppelganger factory!

"A-ha!" Mr. Wikiped cries, satisfied. "Now we'll get to the bottom of this! Right, Fido?"

Fido barks, presumably in agreement. It's hard to be certain on the matter, but we'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

The owner of the factory is right inside!

"It is I - Don Harper, owner and managing operator of this doppelganger factory!" the owner shouts. Big guy, red-faced, little too much weight on the paunch, if you know what I mean. "What are you doing here, Mr. Wikiped? We don't much like your type here - justify yourself before I have you thrown out! (This is private property, you know!)"

Mr. Wikiped is unimpressed. Harper is small fish compared to the villains he's used to tackling. "Private property this might be, Mr. Harper, but I'm afraid it won't be your much longer. I came here to shut you down," he says with a grim smile, pressing his fedora firmly onto his brow.

"On what grounds?" Don Harper asks, furious. "You are not the law, Mr. Wikiped! You have no right to just stroll in here and start making threats!"

"You are operating a doppelganger factory, Mr. Harper," Mr. Wikiped tells him, looking about the busy confines of the factory. A completed doppelganger tries to pass by; politely, Mr. Wikiped opens the door for her, and then resumes his diatribe. "Where was I? - ah. Mr. Harper, doppelgangers are prophibited under state law in 47 states - including this one. The law does not smile on those who engage in doppelganger manufacture, covert or otherwise." Mr. Wikiped frowns. "Actually, I'm surprised you had the nerve to operate so blatantly. What's with that?"

"'What's with that', Mr. Wikiped, is this!" Don Harper produces a certificate; there is a flash of light and a burst of sound. Mr. Wikiped reels back. "No!" he cries. "A valid operating license for this factory - signed by the Governor himself!"

"Yes!" Don Harper cries, triumphant. "Flee, Mr. Wikiped! I have defeated you this day, as so many of my brethren tried to - and failed!"

"How did you even get that?" Mr. Wikiped asks, flailing in attempt to buy time.

"Oh, I have my ways," Don Harper gloats. "I'll tell you this much - the good Governor has a terrible weakness for a bit of the ol' Kentucky brandy. One shot of the stuff, and he was putty - oh yes - he would've signed anything I'd put in front of him!" He cackles.

"Wait - your brethren?" Mr. Wikiped interrupts, having finally processed the entirety of Don Harper's last sentence. His gaze slips away from the Don, turning toward the assembly lines behind him.

"Er - I probably shouldn't have said that..." Don Harper says. "Wait - what are you looking at? You're not staring at the Jane doppelgangers, are you? That's sick! She's only - where are you going? Stop! Stop!"

Mr. Wikiped showed no particular inclination to comply. Walking calmly down the assembly lines, he looked at the workers as he passed, giving each a quick visual going-over. Every few workers, he would stop to ask their names - "Pierre," he was told; "Laurent", "Gabriel", "Jean".

At the end of the row, he stops. Raising his voice somewhat to be heard over the din of the factory, he asks, "How many people here have valid visas?"

Dead silence fell. Tools fall from the workers' hands; all production halts. The workers closest to Mr. Wikiped turn to stare at him, their faces blanched with terror. Those further away make a break for the doors.

"What have you done?" Don Harper asks, aghast. "How did you know?"

"That you relied on cheap, immigrant Canadian labor for your factory - damaging America's economy in the process?" Mr. Wikiped asks, a wry grin on his face. "You told me yourself, Steve, with your offhand mention of your 'brethren'." With a flourish, he produces his revolver from beneath the trenchcoat and levels it at Don Harper. "Now you'll go to visit your buddies Trudeau, Pearsen, Diefenbaker and the rest in the big house at Sussex Drive... in the sky!"

But the vile Don was already effecting his escape - aided by a cloud of smoke radiating outward from the smoke bomb he'd dropped!

"Darn!" Mr. Wikiped cried, frustrated. "He got away! Well, I'll chase him down later," he decided. "First I'll have to clean up this mess - there are a lot of doppelgangers to be put away, somewhere their bee-making won't do anyone any harm. Yes, like you," he says, smiling to a doppelganger standing awkwardly nearby.

"I - I like to make bees," she whispers furtively. "I wasn't supposed to say, but - it feels so good to get it off my chest!"

"Yes, I know," Mr. Wikiped says, smiling warmly. "So I'll definitely have to deal with you first. And then - Harper!" He shakes a fist at the ceiling.

"Woof, woof!" Fido barks excitedly.

All the same - another resounding success for the world-famous Mr. Wikiped!

1 comment:

Calvacadeofcats said...

wow so depe on so many levels