And so The Quest began. Using old-fashioned methods, I might add. Yes, in the same way that Some Famous Guy (whose name escapes me) climbed all the way up the World’s Tallest Mountain (whose name also escapes me) armed only with an ice-pick, a tent, and a packet of menthol cigarettes (in case of nasal congestion), I too have embarked on my quest using similar primitive tools. Namely, the phone book. It was gruelling. It was harrowing. My fingers did so much walking they had to sit down. But I gave it my best shot.
Who’d have thought there’d be so many “G. Authenticos” in the phone book– especially when there were none at all in the PHACE book?
It strains not only my fingers and my eyes, but also my belief. Half a Yellow Page of Authenticos?? Car MON! I bet most of ’em are actually FAKE-Os, too. In fact, I’m sure of it. When I phoned one up and he (glibly) told me that his first name wasn’t “The Great”, it was “Graham” I decided this whole method of searching would not bare fruit, so I gave up in dismay, tossing the phone book in the “Too Hard” (AKA “waste paper”) “Basket”– because there had to be an easier way than sitting in a chair physically dialling that number I dialled.
And sure enough, I found it.
Perhaps I neglected to mention that one of the reasons the “bouncers” flung me out of the Rissole Club (with more of a “splat” than a “bounce”, I should say. Which means, technically those bouncers should’a been called “splatters”) that fateful night was because of the bold way that I tonged at the Great Authentico’s trouser cuffs. I tonged ’em so fiercely that I actually tonged off a few inches of cuff– and kept it as a Holy Relic.
Originally, I planned on auctioning this authentic Authentico hem-loom on the AUSSIE AUCTION ACTION website, but it suddenly dawned on me that I might find another use for it. And so I decided the best way to hunt the Great One down and harness his miracle working powers (for myself, the Ganoosh Boys, my Aunty Beryl, and myself) would be to press the Sacred Cuff up agin the snout of a random bloodhound, and use that dog to fetch Him.
The bad news is I couldn’t find a bloodhound.
The good news is I DID find a labradoodle!
It was wearing a harness, which in turn was connected to the hand of a BLIND GUY. My Hedlock Holmes-like powers led me to guess this Labradood was (therefore) probably some sort of (quote) “Seeing Eye Dog”– which, of course, would pose a problem for me, because I was lookin’ for something more along the lines of… ohhh, I dunno… a “Smelling Nose Dog”? Maybe? That’s because– in the same way that a blind guy develops quasi-super powers in his other sense organs to compensate for his blindness– a seeing eye dog would probably just watch helplessly as his own under-used smelling organs went all flabby from… y’know… under-use.
Which meant there was no time to waste. Every wasted second of mine was a wasted sense-ability of that Labradood. Now, as a busy student I couldn’t really afford to haggle with a blind guy (both time-wise and money-wise) and so, instead of wrangling over something as trivial as “dog ownership”, I quietly promised myself that this Blind Guy would be next-cab-off-the-rank (after Aunty Beryl) when The Healing Times came. Oh, sure, to the uninformed onlooker it may well have looked as though I was “stealing” that Labradoodle, but you and I both know that I was merely “borrowing”.
And this is how I pulled off the Great Borrowing Heist:
I tapped the soon-to-be-healed-but-currently-blind guy on the shoulder, pointed off into the hazy distance, and said: “LOOK OVER THERE!!” And blow me down, he did. I mean, he didn’t look exactly where I pointed, but it was definitely “ball park”, as they say in the classics. Meanwhile, as the (allegedly) Blind Guy looked, I quietly (so quietly, in fact, that he– ironically– didn’t hear me) prised his creaking fingers off the harness-handle, put the Labradood over my shoulder, and swiftly walked away.
(NOTE: If you’re reading this, Blind Guy, never fear. I won’t forget ya, dude, I promise! Just wait ‘n’ see!)
Soon as I’d gotten us out of sight, I pressed the Sacred Cuff (like I said I would) up against the Labradoodle’s wet– and therefore healthy– nose. At first his nose was a bit rusty (probably due to wetness), but after the Dog twigged, he nodded his head knowingly, took the hem-loom out of my hand, held it up to his ear (to hear the ocean, prob’ly), then ran it thoughtfully through his paw-fingers, before (finally!) giving it a sniff. And, Reader! Never before have I seen such a dramatic transformation in a seeing-eye-slash-smelling-nose dog! Sniffing like an old hand, he led me braying frantically down the street. (He did the sniffing. I did the braying. Asthma.)
Finally, after wheezing and stumbling at full speed for at least half a block, the Labradoodle and me stopped on our hind legs and caught my breath. As I squatted there gasping, I could see the dog become alert. Then he puffed up his chest and let fly the immortal cry: “LABRA-DOODLE-DOO!!” and pointed at the sort of building often called a “Policing Station”.
“Well!” I thought. “The Great Authentico must be a COPPER in his day job.”
And so– his work done– I released the Sniffing Nose Dog back into the wild, and went into the cop shop.
Once indoors, I asked if I could speak to “Captain Authentico”– because I couldn’t believe that a miracle worker like him would have a rank lower than captain. The DESK MAN said that “Mister” Authentico was
a) not a captain;
b) not a police dude;
c) not at liberty; an’
d) not allowed visitors.
That was when I realized Our Miracle Worker was– how can I put this?– ON THE WRONG SIDE O’ THE BARS. Oh! Like the famous escape artist, Harry Whodunnit– minus the escaping. I wondered aloud why the Great One was locked up, and the Jockey O’ Desk replied:
“He was doin’ a magic show at some retirement village where he got a heavily-medicined old volunteer from the audience.”
“Cool!” I said. “As a miracle worker, he would’a cured that person of Oldness.”
“Not quite,” said the Thick Blue Line. “He literally sawed the poor bugger in half.”
“Oo,” said I.
“Then he went through his pockets an’ stole his pension money.”
“Ah,” said I.
“Right in front of all those other surprisingly alert old people.”
“Hm,” said I. “And… errm… I don’t..? suppose..? any of ’em..? got a look at the old boy’s nipples before he died?”
The answer was “No”. (Actually, the answer was “Get out, you sick fuck”, but I sensed it was leaning towards “No”.)