Down the street, I see a man who looks like John Travolta, back when he still had hair. He's got a recording device in one hand, and a microphone in the other. He seems to be recording sounds at random. We both look up suddenly when we hear a car tire blow out.
The blow out startles me and is also a darn fine movie, but I really jump back when a strange man suddenly appears out of nowhere. He looks like he could be in the military, brave enough to go to war but not to get a bikini wax.
"Do you need help, ma'am?"
"Kee-rist!" I yell at him. "You scared me!"
I look around for Crockett, but he made like a banana and split.
"I didn't mean to scare you, ma'am. You just look like you need help. The name's Reacher. Jack Reacher."
"Wow," I tell him, "you look just like Tom Cruise."
"No, I don't," he tells me. "Read the books."
Offended at my Tom Cruise comparison, Reacher leaves as stealthily as he showed up. Once he's gone, Crockett reappears.
"Where were you?" I ask him.
"I was ready to pounce," he says, and with shaky knees escorts me inside the Grey home, where I step out of the black & white and into a demented Oz.
We're greeted just inside the door by a hunched-backed man who looks like a balding cadaver, and a heavily made-up woman with red, red lips and curly, curly red hair.
"This is Riff Raff," Crockett says, nodding toward the living dead, "the Grey's handyman, and his sister Magenta."
"Is she the maid?" I ask.
"Quite frankly," Crockett tells me, "I don't know what she is."
A little leprechaun-looking imp of a girl with Kool-Aid-colored hair, gaudy make-up, glittery clothes, and tap-shoes that could take Dorothy back to Kansas, introduces herself.
"I'm Columbia," she says.
"You certainly are," I say back.
When Christian's mother comes up to greet me, I fall into her arms sobbing.
"Oh, my gosh! Oh, my gosh!" I tell Christian's mother. "Your son... he... he... just disappeared!"
"Disappeared?" says a man, walking up to us. "And you need help finding him?"
"Um... who are you?" I ask as politely as I can, considering the rude interruption.
"This," Christian's mother tells me, "is Harry Bosch, a homicide detective with the LAPD."
"Yes," the detective tells me, "that's Harry, short for Hieronymus."
"Did your parents name you Hieronymus because they liked the 15th century Dutch painter?"
"No, they named me Hieronymus because they hated me," he says, and sulks off at the bad memory. I could swear he's trying not to cry.
"You know," someone else interrupts, this time a female, "if you find him, and he's dead, I could perform the autopsy for you."
"Who are you?"
"I'm Dr. Laurie Montgomery, and this is my husband, Dr. Jack Stapleton. We're both medical examiners."
"In El Paso?"
"No," her husband cuts in, "in New York."
"Then you can't help me at all, can you?"
"Not with that attitude," Laurie tells me. "And that's DOCTOR Laurie."
With an interrupting wave of her hand, Christian's mother interrupts us wavily.
"There's nothing to worry about," she assures me. "Christian just enjoys making a grand entrance. He's been that way ever since he saw Rocky Horror. By the way, Angie..."
"Whatever. By the way, I'd like to introduce you to someone."
I turn to look, and see a little bear in a red hat and blue coat.
"I'm Paddington," he tells me in that little bear voice of his.
"Not you," Christian's mother snaps at him, and then turns back to me. "I tried to have him stuffed, but instead was knocked off a roof by a crazy old drunk lady for my trouble," she explains. Her explanation leaves me more confused than ever. "No, Ashley..."
"Whatever. No, my pretty, I'd like to introduce you to this nice couple."
With that, a nerdy-looking young couple walk up to me. The male of the species is quick to stick out his hand.
"Brad Majors," he tells me, "and this is my fiancé Janet Weiss."
"Please to meet you, Mr. Majors," I tell him. "I loved you in The Six Million Dollar Man."
"That's Lee Majors," he corrects me. "I'm Brad."
"Whatever," Christian's mother says and begins to fill in the blanks for me. "They just had a blow out, and wanted to use our phone. I thought perhaps you might know them."
"Because we're all young?" I ask, trying to make the connection.
"No, because you're all poor."
When I don't say anything, Brad turns to his fiancé and tells her, "They're probably foreigners with ways different than our own. They may do some more... folk dancing."
I feel like I've just stepped into the middle of an on-going conversation. A very strange conversation. In the distance, I hear the elevator in the foyer start up and head down to our floor. Bug-eyed Janet's big bug-eyes get even bigger and buggier.
"Oh, Brad," she says, looking all the worse for wear from having just come in from out of the rain, "I'm cold, I'm wet, and I'm just plain scared."
"I'm here," he tells her, as they back away from us and toward the lowering elevator. "There's nothing to worry about."
With that the in-door elevator touches bottom, and the wrought-iron gate clanks open with a dramatic flourish.
"How do you do, I..." Christian greets us, one eye cocked, his face an amused smirk.
Janet faints into Brad's arms. While I, I'm shocked into silence. Christian is wearing a shiny black cape with a large white collar. On his head is a wig, a mop of black almost-curly hair. He's wearing a generous amount of white Halloween makeup as a base for his face, red lipstick and black eyeliner.
"...see you've met my," Christian continues, indicating Riff-Raff with a nod of his head, "faithful handyman. He's a little brought down because, when you knocked, he thought you were the candyman. Don't get strung out by the way I look. Don't judge a book by its cover. I'm not much of a man by the light of day, but by night I'm one hell of a lover. I'm just a sweet transvestite from Transsexual Transylvania, ha-ha!"
With that, he throws off his cape with a theatrical spin, revealing the white interior. Underneath, Christian is wearing--or, rather, barely wearing--a black lace-up corset with black thigh-high fishnet stockings held up by a black suspender garter belt. He has on black elbow-length gloves, white pumps, a necklace of chunky white pearls, and tight black underwear. On his upper arm, there's a tattoo of a heart with a dagger through it. The word "boss" is written above the heart, and blood is drawn dripping beneath it.
I must say, he looks diabolically sexy.
"Let me show you around," Christian tells the naive couple, "maybe play you a sound. You look like you're both pretty groovy. Or, if you want something visual, that's not too abysmal, we could take in an old Steve Reeves movie."
"I'm glad we caught you at home," Brad cuts in, offering an ignored hand. "Could we use your phone? We're both in a bit of a hurry."
"Right," agrees Janet, which seems to be what she does best.
Christian takes a flute of champagne from a tray of several that Riff-Raff offers. Distracted, he then walks away from the two of them and greets one of the other guests.
"Pleasure to meet you, Dr. Furter," the guest says, his hand not being ignored.
Like hungry puppies, Brad and Janet quickly follow behind.
"We'll just say where we are," Brad continues, trying to hang on to his alpha maleness, "then go back to the car. We don't want to be any worry."
"Well, you got caught with a flat, well," Christian says, flinging the champagne in an act of alpha maliciousness at an imaginary audience, "how 'bout that. Well, babies, don't you panic. By the light of the night, it'll all seem all right. I'll get you a satanic mechanic! I'm just a sweet transvestite from Transsexual Transylvania, ha-ha!"
"Why don't you stay for the night..."
"Night!" Riff Raff agrees.
"...or maybe a bite."
"Bite!" Columbia seconds that emotion with a chomp of her teeth.
"I could show you my favorite obsession. I've been making a man with blonde hair and a tan, and he's good for relieving my... tension. I'm just a sweet transvestite from Transsexual Transylvania, ha-ha!"
He gives his ass a sexy slap.
"Hit it! Yeah! I'm just a sweet transvestite..."
"...a sweet transvestite..." everybody chimes in.
"...from Transsexual Transylvania, HA-HA!"
Christian stops and looks at them with a bemused seriousness.
"So," he teases, "come up to the lab..." Bam! "...and see what's on the slab..." Bam! "I see you shiver with antici...PAYshun!"
And then in a booming voice he says, "But maybe the rain..."
And then in a softer voice he says, "...isn't really to blame..."
And then in a reasonable voice he says, "...so I'll relieve the cause..."
With that, he pauses, and then chuckles to himself.
"...but NOT the SYMPTOM!"
With that, he plops himself sideways into the chair at the head of the dinner table, the top end of his body lounging over the right armrest, his long legs cocked seductively over the left.
"Oh, no!" he says, surveying the food. "Not meatloaf again!"
Fifty Shades of Funny