An Assful of Reruns

Among the Koufaxes we’re not going to win this year is best series, for which someone nominated An Assful of Secrets, the black-and-white noir serial featuring Richard Widmark as a French-Canadian anti-wingnut detective.

It’s a pain to skip around the archives trying to find all the parts in sequence, so here are the original episodes in a special low-budge DVD edition. I might work on the formatting a bit more, switching boldface for italics or vice versa, and there are some links to add, but otherwise it’s strictly no edits. (Gah!)

There are also new episodes currently under production, according to sources familiar with the whatsit. (Ms. Grogan has agreed to work for a special low salary.)

–An Assful of Secrets (a noir in several interstices)

I debarked the plane at Bush Airport in Wingnutopolis, in the great state of Wingnuttia.

At 6AM on a hot, off-season morning, the terminal had only a few travelers on the move: middle-aged men cracker-walking in short-sleeved polyester dress shirts; younger men galumphing around in backwards baseball caps and Toby Keith concert T’s, or in Jr. Attorney suits; frumpy women… And of course the occasional leather-clad hot-cha girlie with a crazy look in her eye.

The terminal was well-swept but seedy — the windows were blurry with dirt, and it smelled like old resentment and boiled carpet. The book shop was pure Regnery, the restaurants deregulated and poorly-run. Wingnutopolis, my old family demesne. I was back.

But this time, I was on a secret mission.


–An Assful of Secrets (episode ii)

I knew it was her standing by the baggage pickup before she even turned around. The woman had baggage all right, and some of it was me.

“Hi Amber,” I smiled. “How are you this fine morning?”

“You…” she explained.

Miss Pawlik looked as stauesque as ever — if the statue was the one the dame dumped down the airshaft in The Fountainhead. She looked like she’d been crying, and her blouse was stained with Miracle Whip. She was carrying a copy of that new Clinton book with the rape stuff in it, and it looked like it had already seen some use, if you know what I’m saying.

“Relax, baby,” I said. “I know things are tough. We shared some wild times all right, but it’s all different now. I’m just a guy passing through on business.”

Amber looked meaner than a sack of weasels. “My boyfriend will be here any second,” she said. “And if I say the word, you’ll be leaving this town like Michael Jackson in a 9-11 Islam. Do I make myself perfectly clear?”

“You’re always talking like that. No, I never can make sense of it actually, Amber.”

A giant goon of a gorilla was muscling his way toward the baggage carousel. It seemed like time to stop hanging around like a bunch of bananas.

“Maybe we’ll have lunch this week,” I said, adjusting my bag. My luggage, that is. “We’ll see how you feel once you’ve had some time to think it over,” I said, walking away.

“I doubt I’ll be doing much thinking,” she called after me. I gave her a “Sadly, No” and thought about old times as I walked through the exit and into the parking lot. I had to admit I missed her.

There are lots of billboards for get-rich-quick schemes and Matt Furey products around Bush Multinational Airport. That’s just one of the things you notice. In fact, it was the last thing I noticed before my head exploded in a nimbus of pain-stars and the world went pitch black.

When I awoke, the next thing I noticed was that I was crammed into a car trunk, and that the car was pulling slowly to a stop on a gravel road. And the thing after that was the unmistakable smell of rubber cement.


–An Assful of Secrets (episode iii)

A car door slammed, then another. The gravel road crunched with footsteps. My head felt like one of those giant balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, only filled with Ow! instead of helium.

Rubber cement could mean only one thing: Kaye Grogan. I had plans to visit Ms. Grogan later, but some rat must have squealed. The footsteps had nearly reached the back of the car.

“Duh, the boss is gonna like this one!” a thick voice said. “Do you think we’ll get a special reward?”

“Shut up, Mugsy!” said a smaller, nasal voice. “And get your hand out of your pants — that’s really disgusting.”

The trunk opened and two henchmen stood there, decked out in matching tiger-stripe velour suits with bouffy Bon Jovi hairdos that they were about twenty years too old to get away with, assuming anyone ever really does.

It was dark and a fat moon hung over the horizon — I’d been under for hours. I’d smuggled a pistol past the incompetent, minimum-wage private security at the airport, but the holster was empty. My flash-bang grenades, Taser, hat with a razor-sharp brim, CS gas canister, and tiny, radio-controlled drone aircraft were gone too. There was also no sign of my suitcase.

One henchman was shaped like a 7-foot bowling pin with its hand down its pants, while the other was what you’d call runty — except not to his face at the moment, because he was holding an automatic rifle. Behind them was a McMansion painted in leopard spots with an enormous, spotlit flag flying in the yard. Topiary jungle cats lined the front walk.

“Out of the car, bub!” said the runty, nasal one. “And that ain’t ‘just my opinion,’ see?”

A shriek came from the house. “Get in here, you jerks!” Grogan screamed. “I have some beautiful poetry to get out of my system!”

Suddenly I realized what was happening. The world spun, and I fell back into sweet, black unconsciousness.


–An Assful of Secrets (intermission and episode iv)

My secretary is gone for the night, and I’ve had a few pops from the bottle of Marie Brizard that lives in the big bottom desk drawer.

A man has to get his thinking done, even if it takes until daybreak with a bottle vacated and a couple of ashtrays filled.

My name is Leno. Sal Leno. Says so on the door. I don’t give out business cards — people come when they need to come.

I knew when the goth dame came in last week that it was going to be a rough job. I just didn’t know how rough.

“He’s missing,” she said, rolling her tongue piercing against her teeth. “No sign of him for months, and you could say he’d made some enemies.”

“No last name?” I said.

“No, just Pete M.” She handed me a photo.

“Good-looking guy,” I said. “Maybe there was another girl, and…”

“No, you don’t understand,” she broke in. She made the international loony-loony sign, spinning her finger around her ear with her tongue sticking out like, ‘Blar!’

“Oh, wingnuts,” I said.

“Wingnuts,” she said.

I pointed to my file cabinet. “See how those drawers are alphabetized? That top one is A through V. See the three drawers under it?”


“Right. Then there’s X through Z. I honestly don’t do that much business with X through Z.”

“You’ve dealt with wingnuts before.”

“Sister,” I said, “You can either come to me or go to Ms. O’Crap down the hall, or P. T. Boggington if you’re looking for the quick denouement, but frankly, I come cheaper.”

Ten minutes later, my secretary was booking the flight.


–An Assful of Secrets (intermission and episode v)

As I lost consciousness in the car trunk, with Kaye Grogan’s shrieks rending the night air, I fell into a dream.

The sun hung blood red over the Hollywood Hills and the last dying gasps of day staggered weakly down Highland toward Santa Monica. This was slightly perplexing to meteorologists of the time because it was also foggy and rainy and a hot, dry Santa Ana wind was blowing in from the west.

Sal, oblivious to the current debates within the innermost circles of atmospheric physics, leaned back in his chair and stared vacantly at the pebbled glass door in front of his desk. ‘Sal Leno,’ it read. ‘Private Dick’ And beneath that, in a slightly smaller script: ‘Saab Enthusiast.’

There was a sudden sound like the whip-crack of a leather belt and the glass in the door was shattered instantly. Thinking he’d been shot, Sal clutched his chest and sank to the floor. His life passed quickly before his eyes ? a strange mix of raucous night clubs, questionable dames, and broken down cars.

After a bit of self-reflection, though, he realized that he was, in fact, fine and he slowly got to his feet. Standing before him was a tiny troll of a man wearing a white linen suit and enough perfume to make Ann Coulter smell like a lady.

“Eh…Sorry,” said the man in a heavy French-Canadian accent. “I always seem to be doing zat when I close doors. Must be ze growth hormones. De toute facon, I believe I can be of some assistance to you.”

Leno sat down heavily in his chair and pushed his hat to the back of his head. He fished into his pocket for a cigarette but, before he could reach for a match, the strange little man in front of him had his arm extended, holding a blazing Seinfeld lighter.

Sal took a long drag on his cigarette (‘Ahhhh…Menthol.’) and growled, “I don’t like French Fries. I find them a little too…greasy.”

The miniature man winced a little and then said, “You misunderstand me, Monsieur Leno. I am not French. I am Canadienne. And more importantly, I am a psychologiste. My name is Docteur No. But you can call me Seb.”

“Yeah? Well whaddya want, Doctor No? I’m busy here tryin’ to solve a case.”

“I’m here to clear up zis whole Pete M. business,” said the shriveled shrink as he pulled a monogrammed handkerchief from his pocket and proceeded to wipe his brow. Sal couldn’t help noticing that the monogram read: ‘A.P.’

“May I sit down?” asked the doctor.

Sal motioned to an empty wooden chair and then listened to the doctor’s story, astonished. “So you’re saying this Pete guy never existed?”

“Zat is precisely what I’m saying,” said the pint-sized psychologist. “He was created as a marketing tool by a Christian t-shirt company but zen some zing went horribly wrong.”

“Yeah, I know,” said Sal. “I’ve read his website.”

“Non, non,” said the frighteningly wrinkled little man. “Worse zan zat, even.”

“What could be worse zan zat?!” stammered Sal.

(To be continued…)

Posted by Pete M. at June 17, 2005 10:37 PM


–An Assful of Secrets (episode vi) [up-dated]

When I woke up, I was strapped to a zebra-patterned reclining chair in a tiger-striped rumpus room with leopard-skin carpeting. Kaye Grogan stood in front of me, dressed in a robe patterned after some cat the species of which I couldn’t immediately identify.

“What’s that, ocelot?” I said, pointing with my nose. “Jaguarundi?” My head felt like a moonwalk with bikers jumping around in it. Kaye’s goons were standing by the door. The big one cracked his knuckles.

“Silence!” Kaye shrieked with big eyes. “I wobba-wobba-wobba! I wibba-wobba-wobba!” She shuddered and took a big huff from a flag-patterned rag. “I will not stand for impertinence!” The goons tried to hide it, but they were snickering.

“Madame,” I said oleaginously, “I would very much like to hear your poems. Perhaps we might introduce ourselves. My name is…” I fumbled for a name. “Amso Notgay. I am a patriot with true disdain for the liberal agenda.”

Kaye brightened. She didn’t know who I was after all, but apparently kidnapped people from the airport just to have an audience.

Her robe was gapping in the front, and it was unpleasant to see a certain thing that I was seeing.

“Well, Mr. Notgay. I am gaaaah wobble-wobble. Wooo yurkle-yunkle-blah!” She raised the rag to her face again. “Silence! I will not tolerate…”

“Read the poem!” the smaller guard called out.

“Ahem,” she cleared her throat. “Sorry,” she said congenially, to me.

So Un-American

For what gives you the right to suppress my religion?

I have the right to worship God and scorn radical division.

For what gives you the right to try and silence my voice?

To serve God and my country, should be my fundamental choice.

For what gives you the right to hide behind groups who practice hate?

You hide behind pretty words that will one day seal your fate.

“That has a good meter.” I said. “Liberals are always hiding behind pretty words.”

For you lie in wait with the enemy to tear down what is good.

And you do everything evil… giving no thought to doing things you should.

And what gives you the right to halt prayers in school?

“You have no right at all,” I said, “You foolish, foolish fool!”

Kaye wagged her index finger, mock-chidingly.

You try to take away holidays and support liberal judges who misrule.

And what gives you the right to burn and stomp the American flag?

“Anyone who does that — why, they’re a flaming fag!”

“That’s not bad,” Kaye said, continuing.

While you think nothing of the sacrifices and the high price tag.

For what gives you the right to anoint killing little babies in the womb?

“You do not have the right at all, for killing babies will spell your ultimate and final doom!”

Her robe was seriously gapping. I reflexively felt around with my tongue for the hollow molar with the cyanide in it.

You wait to block pathways of righteousness…all the while weaving your deception, from a big loom.

“And you had better watch out, for someday you will be in a big tomb!”

Kaye picked up the freestyle. “And your flower of evil will then be dead and not in bloom!”

“And God’s judgement will come like, ‘Zoom!'”

“And you will be the bride and Satan will be the groom!”

“For your kind of anti-American thinking belongs in the bathroom!”

Kaye paused and spread her arms declamatorily.

So what does give you the right to be so un-American?

My hands were strapped to the chair, but I applauded by thumping my fingers against the armrests.

“Bravo, madame! That was quite a tour de force — as the nasty French might say.”

“Well, it’s just something I thought up in my spare time,” she said. “I have another if you’d like to hear it.”

[Poem (C)2004 by Kaye Grogan]


–An Assful of Secrets (episode vii)

I was strapped to the zebra-striped Barcalounger in Kaye Grogan’s rumpus room. She was about to read another poem. If I’d had a hand free I would have reached up my nose and yanked out my skull, and beat myself in the head with it.

“Just one more,” I said. “And then perhaps…”

“Yes, Mr. Notgay?” Kaye said with big eyes and the same disturbing gap in her Jaguarundi-skin robe. You could say I’d seen an opening.

Her perfume was one of those rosy floral fragrances that young girls wear, but it blended with the solvents in the rubber cement into a volatile, limbic fume like a battlefield nerve agent. She was fluttering her flag-patterned huff-rag near her face like a lace hankie.

“Perhaps you would care to join me in a Pledge of Allegiance.”

The guards were in the Margay-patterned kitchen nipping from a bottle.

“Why certainly,” Kaye said in her raspy smoker’s voice, “And that reminds me…”

The American Way

As long as I can stand and speak,
I will proudly recite the pledge.
No matter who I may offend, I refuse to be placed on a,
Silenced cutting edge.

For my ancestors fought bravely and died,
To give me the right to honor the flag.

And as long as there is a breath in me, I will fly “Ole Glory,”
Fighting diligently…to remove every…


“Snag.” Kaye said.

“The meter is delicious. I simply can’t resist a woman with such…”

“What, Mr. Notgay?” she flirted.

“Iambs,” I purred.

“Why sir!” she teased, “I was not aware you had a fondness for cat food!”

I couldn’t think of anything to say. “More poetry, please!” I lied flamboyantly. Where had Kaye’s goons put my pistol, my flash-bang grenades, my robotic claw-arm, my watch with the tiny nuke in it, and the other things I’d smuggled past the dazed airport guards while waving a Jeb Bush ’08 flag? All I had with me was a box cutter and a Bic lighter, and my exploding shoes.

For my freedoms are not yours to tread upon…
Nor will I stand idly by, while you strive to abolish everything good.

I will fight till the end to prove what your true motives are,
While you try to act so misunderstood.

“They do that, you know,” I said. “Call a liberal a traitor, and the next thing you know he’s accusing you of accusing him of treason! Do you know what traiteur means in French?”

“Why, no. Wah. Wobble-wobble-wah! Wubba-wubba…”

“Delicatessen!” I said. “It’s just like ordering a sandwich to them.”

Kaye took a big huff from her rag of rubber cement.

“Wah… What does it mean?”

“It means a sandwich!” the little guard shouted. “In French!”

“I simply can’t stand to hear French,” Kaye said. “It makes me nervous and unable to think.”

“Barbaric language,” I said.

Your secret goal is to rid the country of traditional values,
And leave behind a trail of devastation…
While you secretly strive to make communistic laws,
And build a one world nation.

As long as there is a breath in me,
I will profess that God is real and openly pray,
And no matter how much you object,
I refuse to come under your dictatorship or let my inner strength stray…

For this is the American way.

“Yay!” I said. “Ok! Hey! Touche?! — sorry if that sounded French.”

“Guards!” Kaye yelled. “You are dismissed for the evening.” They vanished like smoke, taking the bottle with them. Kaye pointed a cat-shaped remote control at the Barcalounger, and the restraints snapped open.

“Mr. Notgay — Mr. Amso Notgay — my name is Kaye Grogan, and I believe we are on a first-name basis. May I show you my collection of patriotic etchings?”

A robotic gun turret popped out of a trap door in the ceiling. Kaye popped it back up again with her cat-shaped controller.

I stood rubbing my wrists. “My heart would swell with pride,” I said with mind racing. “Tabernac!” I thought. “Quelle arme ai-je contre cette schizo-greluche? Je dois penser…

Poem copyright 2004, Kaye Grogan
All rights reserved


[To Be Continued…]


Comments: 12


Le Dang.

This is amazing.


Boy, I hope them poems ain’t for real.


Man, that is so good! I must have missed the last few episodes. Well done! I do believe those poems are real, aren’t they? As Kaye would say, they’re real, and they’re,, spec…tac-ular! *gag*


Nominated by someone? I can’t believe they accept an unfinished series as a nominee, but won’t accept 3B! as an expert blog!


Well you’ll surely win the last category once they get the nominees posted

While MB and Eric bask in the Florida sun, I will attempt to compile the last category (Best Bog, unsponsored division) and post the nominations soon. Once that is posted, all the categories will be opened for voting.


I can’t believe those poems are real. But dang and double dang, they really are.


Oh, fine, ya get nominated for an award, and then you show some interest in doing new episodes of “An Assful O’ Secrets.” It’s a good thing you don’t do many “series”-type posts, or we’d have to nominate you every year. Oh, wait, i see… It’s all been a stunningly clever plan. Hmph!


Ah, memories…

I still wish Maglalangalangadingdong had snatched a role…


O ye of little faith. In poetry.

When the Vogons come, who but Kaye Grogan will woo them with her celestial verses? For the Vogons,as you know, recognize kindred poets.

And therefore, contrary to the early Hitchhiker books, the Earth will not be destroyed for interstellar traffic purposes. Instead Kaye Grogan will be summoned to the heavens, and immortalized as the greatest Vogon poet ever.


Well, she’s got the face for it, that’s for sure….


Noir perfection, Sal, you big palooka, you.

And I believed the poetry was real instantly. Because, as the old saying goes, you can’t make that stuff up. You must feel it in your geniune wingy gut, and it must then be extruded thru the genuine talentlessness of your brain.


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