Another Silly Friday Afternoon at the Haikulodeon

Here’s this week’s heap of haikus:

Alone and in doubt,
She went to the seashore and
washed her cares away.

(Photo courtesy Kristina Rebelo)

But all dreams aside,
the simple truth was, she looked
good in anything.

Galileo said,
‘I orbit Copernicus …
that guy gets around.’

My faded old jeans
easy and comfortable;
worn from the wearing.

One luxury of
being rich; you can ignore
all your own failings.


The clouds will gather,
a light breeze will start to blow,
we’ll head for shelter.

(Photo courtesy Kristina Rebelo)

In the stratosphere,
cumulus accumulate
lofty visions soar.

(Photo courtesy Kristina Rebelo)

Can a seagull stand
on the edge of the ocean
and not think of fish?

(Photo courtesy Kristina Rebelo)

Orphan Annie-ku:

If the sun does NOT
come out tomorrow, she’ll lose
her bottom dollar.

For a moment there
appeared a world reflected
but puddles muddle.

(Photo courtesy of me.)

Aided by a breeze,
a cardboard coffee cup
strolls up Fifth Avenue.

Faced with decisions
with no positive outcomes,
he resigned himself.

In a gondola
is not the place to notice
you’ve lost your wallet.

It was sad, but to
be honest, the train clashed with
the environment.

(Photo courtesy Kristina Rebelo)

This Week’s Bonus Material:

The Adventures of Philo Fuselot –

The Stooped Snoop (Who sleeps on a sloop.)

This week’s episode: Pulp Affliction … Or:  The Hurt of the Matter.

(Music under) Announcer:  And now, from the drooled-upon casebook of Philo Fuselot, “The Stooped Snoop who lives on a Sloop,” Pflefly’s Health Bars, is proud to present another spine-stiffening adventure; Remember, If you’ve got questionable health, the answer for you, is Pflefly’s!   Pflefly’s Health Bars, under the counter, but worth it! Remember, the “P’s” and F’s” are never silent in Pflefly’s!   … And now, Pflefly’s brings you Philo Fuselot, the rough, tough, (yet vaguely handsome), scion of one of the founding families of Spondyville, who has chosen to refuse his birth-right and instead earn an honest living as a lowly gumshoe, a private detective, a dick … solving crimes and helping the ‘little guy’ to even the odds against the fat-cats and corporate ‘hoi-polloi’ who always try to rig the ‘system’. The ‘system’ that we know as … ‘America.’ Philo Fuselot, and his faithful amanuensis, Billy-Bam Buspien, and their extremely tight-sweatered receptionist, Miss Payninda Baxter, work out of a dingy and cluttered office on the third floor of the Kyphosis Arms, a dump of a boarding house on the corner of Inflammation Avenue and Lower Hurt St. in Downtown Spondyville. The smell of coffee and cigarettes lingers in the air, as well as the fragrance of Payninda’s favorite perfume, “Irish Sprig” (Potato Blossom #3.)  Crumpled papers overflow the wastebasket like apples at harvest time. Philo’s desk has disappeared under a tsunami of unpaid bills and empty liquor bottles.   Philo’s cleaning lady, Iphegenia Westbank, went on vacation 10 years ago, and hasn’t been seen since. But never mind that.   After a long day’s work, and a few beers with the guys at Paddy McFuddin’s, Philo heads back to Pier 27 and the barnacle-infested, bilge-water-filled sailboat he calls, “Home” and crawls into the used hammock he bought at the Army Surplus store to get some shut-eye. That’s right, our stooped snoop sleeps in a sling on a sloop. He also once left some boy scouts watching a Betty Boop cartoon while he went to the bathroom; Yup, he left the troop with Boop to go poop… but that’s neither here nor there, nor part of our story. So forget I even mentioned it. (Clears throat) Anyway, like I said, this month’s episode is titled, “Pulp Affliction”, or “The Hurt of the matter.”

(Music fades up and out. Philo speaks:)


The far off wail of a lonely saxophone echoed through the rain-spattered streets of the city. It was late. Too Late. In fact, it was mid-morning. The staccato rhythm of my heels as they clicked along the pavement, rat-a-tat-ed through my brain like the sweet thud of a ball peen hammer … repeated a thousand times. My head was throbbing like the neon signs reflected in the oily puddles which caressed the gutters of Gotham like a cheap ermine around a chorine’s shoulders. My hand reached up to wipe away the blood and sweat which inter-mingled on my forehead, but I only got as high as my nose, because I have range of motion issues… but never mind that. Sure, I’d felt better… Plenty of times. But I couldn’t recall feeling worse.  My mind kept telling
me to lie down like a chump and sleep
it off. But I knew if I did, I might never get back up… I had to make it back to the office. I had to clear my head and Payninda’s name. She was a heckuva broad and one tough cookie, but this time, she had bitten off more than she could chew… and believe me, she can chew. (What could I say, the
woman was a first-class masticator.)  
But, in spite of all that, I know I couldn’t do this job without her. And even after the savage beating I’d just received from some hired thugs, I knew I had to see Payninda. She was wearing a sweater this morning that

was so tight, you could see more than the sun rise, if you know what I mean.  But I digress. I did a slow pivot to scope out the neighborhood. I looked up… strike that. I looked down… strike that, I looked straight ahead, but with a decidedly downward tilt, and saw the familiar broken sidewalk outside the Kyphosis Arms and so, I wearily, (and, by the way, painfully), made my way up the three flights of stairs to my office. The door was a jar. How that was possible, I don’t know. Maybe I was hallucinating. I drew my gat and cautiously opened the door. My eyes widened. I was having an iritis flareup, and it hurt like heck, but no big deal.   And then, suddenly, there she was … Payninda Baxter. Five foot nine inches of solid woman.  She had more curves than the roller coaster at Spondyberry Farm, and she made my stomach feel the same way.  Her brunette hair massaged her shoulders like a good rub-down at the Westside “Y”.  When my head cleared from taking inventory, I looked her straight in her 38 and a half inch pulchritude. (Well, whaddya want, my neck is fused and I’m a little stooped, okay? It just so happens that my…) Payninda cleared her throat to interupt my thought process and I leaned back a little so that our eyes met. “Hiya Doll, what are you doin’ here so early?” She responded with a sob of, “Oh Philo!”   What can I say?  The dame threw her arms around me.  Dames do that sometimes. “Easy kid,  I’m hurtin’ big-time.”


“Oh my gosh, Philo, what happened?!”


“The usual. A few of the “boys” down on the docks, did a flamenco on my face with their Florsheims … either that or I forgot to take my anti-inflammatories again. I don’t remember.


“The boys? You mean…?”


“Yeah, and I swear this time they must have been eight or nine years old at least… and big for their age.”


“Oh, Philo.”


Payninda shook her head in that disapproving way that I knew meant she disapproved of something I said.  “What?”

“Jeepers, stealing lines
from old Woody Allen movies, have you no pride?”
“Listen Doll, Pride is a
luxury I can only afford to pay half-price for.” That shut her up… for about five seconds.

Pwew … “Well, Philo, I’m afraid we’re going need more than your usual bravado and snappy patter.  That low-life camera-bug said he’s going to print those pictures he tookof me last year at the Grand Canyon and sell them to the Police Gazette!”  

Dollface became to sob again, this
time uncontrollably.

“How did I know
that campground shower had peepholes?”

Immediately, my mind wandered down
the street, across the country, all the way to the Grand Canyon campground … But just as I began to imagine the size of those peepholes,  BillyBam Buspien, my trusted amanuensis, burst into the room.

Billy Bam
“HEY! I’ve been lookin’ all over town for youse two!”

Billybam was not known for his
mental acuity. To say that he wasn’t the sharpest cheddar in the grater, would, unfortunately, elevate him to the intelligence of cheese. Somehow, Billybam had managed to NOT look for us in the one most obvious place; our office… but never mind that. “What’s happened, Billybam?”
“That photog that snapped the pics of Miss Baxter, has been found… moidered, down by the docks.  The police have put out an APB for you, Philo!”


Billy Bam:
“Yeah, Inspector Bekterev
said YOU’RE the prime suspect! It’ll be in all the papers tomorrow morning.”

I tried to remain calm, so
as not to panic Billybam and Payninda, “Eh, don’t worry, that guy’s been wrong more times than the cast of ‘What’s my Line.’   Suddenly, a voice came from the shadows:
Bennett Cerf and Dorothy Killgallen have a very high rate of conviction … err, I mean, guessing correctly.”

A man with a gun stepped into the room.  It was Inspector Bekterev!! He must have snuck in through the back door!  (I’ve been meaning to fix that lock!) I had a thought about making a move and diving behind the sofa, but I quickly remembered that Spondy detectives just can’t do that sort of thing with alacrity, or, in fact, at all.  Instead, I did what Spondys do best: I froze… and then, slowly pivoted.

“Well, hello Inspector. How’s every little thing?”  Inspector Bekterev kept his gun trained on the three of us, as he surveyed the room.  He turned his attention back to me, and said,

“Well, if it isn’t the stoop … stoop … stoop …”

(Bekterev always stuttered when he got angry or excited.) I tried to help him out:
“The stooped snoop… Yeah, that’s what they call me…” I laughed a bit to try to put him at ease, but he shook his head and continued to stutter.

“Stoop, Stoop, Stoop…”

“Yeah, yeah, we got
that part” He smiled wanly and finally managed to spit out:

“Stoop-id Shlub who sleeps in a tub.” 

That wasn’t a shinola-eating grin that was spreading across his face …
Payninda stifled a chuckle at his little witticism, but Billybam had the bad taste to actually laugh out loud.  I was insulted that Bekterev thought my houseboat was a tub, but I overlooked that, and reprimanded Billybam. “Don’t encourage him, Billybam. He’s not as funny as you think he is.” Bekterev took offense at that, as I knew he would.

“Aren’t I, Fuselot?”

“Cut to the
chase, Bekterev. Are you here to arrest me for murdering that photog?”
Bekterev tried reverse psychology:

“Why? Are you confessing?”

I played
dumb. “Nah, I didn’t do nothing! You know me, I’m not a killer. I’m a lover.”  As I said that, I noticed that Payninda raised her eyebrows, as if that
thought had never occurred to her. I
found that more than a little depressing. But then, Bekterev lowered his gun.

“Yeah, I know that.
  Besides this shutterbug was strangled to death, and let’s face it, you don’t have the hand strength or range of motion in your arms to do that anymore.”

didn’t know whether to thank him or kick him in the shins for that remark, but just as I was making up my mind, he continued.

“The truth is, I think
there’s someone else that was interested in this photog’s demise. Ever hear of the “Ma” Toid crime family?

Sure I had. Rue “Ma” Toid and
her gang had been shaking down the good citizens of Spondyville for decades. I confided to Bekterev, “Sure, I got the goods on a couple of “Ma” Toid’s sons a few years ago as part of a divorce/murder case. They were smuggling Enbrel out of Vancouver. Billybam interrupted me with his usual thoughtful interjection:

“Rue ‘Ma’ Toid? I loved her on The
Golden Girls.”

Bekterev shot BillyBam
a look which would have killed a sentient being. I cleared my throat and whispered to BillyBam, “That was Rue McClanahan.” But the big guy was
already distracted, looking out the
window watching the air move.  I glanced at Bekterev. “So what’s ‘Ma’ Toid got to do with this photog?”  Bekterev frowned,

“We’re not sure.
  But we know that he was hired to take some photos for a former Miss Ecuador, Plantaar Fascii, who was once married to ‘Ma’ Toid’s brother, Plasma.

“I don’t know, Bekterev, that
connection’s a bit tenuous, don’t you think?” I liked using big words like ‘tenuous’ in front of Bekterev. It makes his eyes squint.

“Yeah, I know,
he squinted, “but these photos he took of Miss Ecuador are all we got, so far.” 
He showed me the photos and
my eyes bulged so far out of their sockets I looked like a Tex Avery cartoon.  Bekterev pretended not to notice and kept talking …

Bekterev:  “Oh and we also got an anonymous tip about a guy named Hy Lee Erratic. Ever hear of him?”

I laughed. Then I laughed
again.   Sometimes I do that.  “Sure, I’ve heard of him. He’s one of the most unreliable people to ever run for the Spondyville town council. I ran a background check on him once. He’s a flake. He didn’t even show up for his own swearing-in ceremony.”  Bekterev frowned even more, if that was possible.

“Well, did
you know his brother, H. “Mo” Erratic runs the largest health insurance company in the tri-state area?”

their motto is ‘When it comes to your health, we’re Erratic.’ But what’s the connection?”

Evidently Miss Ecuador is now the main squeeze of Hy Lee Erratic, the Health
Insurance Magnate.

BillyBam:  He’s a magnet?
Bekterev: Not a magnet, a magnate!! 
Billybam: How does he carry a wallet? Doesn’t he ruin his own credit cards?
Bekterev:  He’s NOT A MAGNET!!


Philo: Just then, Payninda did us all a favor and took a very deep breath. Then, she exhaled.  We all watched.

“Jeez, you guys talk a
lot. Can we at least sit down while you give the rest of the exposition?”
I was about to answer her when the
Announcer cut me off:

Announcer:  Well, that’s all the time we have for this week’s episode, join us again next time, when Pflefly’s Health Bars brings you another thrilling episode of ‘Philo Fuselot, the Stooped Snoop.’

Philo:  Jeez, I guess we ran a little long… Well, at least we’re all sitting down now… Join us next week for another episode …

I just said that.

Philo: Okay.  Well … Until then, fellow Spondys, keep reaching for the things you can reach, and remember, keep your head in your hat and your feet in your shoes.  So long till next time!

(Music up and out)


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