Thursday, April 5, 2012

Part Twenty-One, Chapter Six - It's Not Illegal If A Consul Does It

Now one of the more baffling characteristics of this series has been its self-censorship - despite the wanton murders and prostitution and faces being torn off by baseball cleats and sex slaves, naughty language is a no-no.  "Hell," or more commonly "Hells," is about as severe as it gets, with everything else being rendered as (Bleepard) or (Bleeptch) or God (Bleeped) or just (Bleep).

The word "nigger" appears a good five or six times in this chapter, uncensored. 

Heller locks up the posh stone bootlegger fortress/pleasure palace and hits the road again, pulling into a diner to phone Izzy to work out the details on the property.  He has lunch.  It consists of five hamburgers, five Seven Ups, and a chocolate sundae.  To Gris' surprise, Heller's blackface causes him no problems with the waitress.

On the road again, Heller ignores Izzy's advice to stay out of trouble ("Connecticut is way out in the wilds.  They may still have Indians there.") and quite deliberately does twice the speed limit as he passes the sheriffs' speed trap from last chapter (Chekhov's gun!).  We get a full page of Gris narrating another Hubbard Action Sequence as the cops chase the cab, but it doesn't matter so I'll skip it.  Instead Heller soon pulls over, gets out, and assumes the frisking position, something so out of procedure that he's lucky he isn't shot.

While one n-bomb-dropping Connecticut redneck sheriff marvels at Blackface Heller's jewel-encrusted golden gun, the other checks out a folder full of documents left on the cab's seat, searching for a gun license but finding something more complicated.  After Heller, in his high-pitched African Voice, suggests "Mebbe so you better call in on beautiful radio, checkee license plate," the other officer is horrified to learn that they're dealing with Rangtango Blowah of the Republic of Maysabongo, a man with "diplomatic imboomity" allowing him to commit murder and get away with it.

They keep calling him "nigger" even after learning this.

"Rangtango"... Hubbard just didn't care, did he?  Well, "Rangtango" drops another bombshell, that thanks to some important phone calls, the sheriffs are now standing on the property of Maysabongo, a land that he didn't make up.  But, Blackface Heller goes on, that whole speeding thing was in fact a test to see if the local constables were up to the task of policing the property of that nonfictional country.  He gives each redneck a "tip" and promises more to come each month, so long as they do a good job of keeping undesirables away.  He even swears them in as honorary part-time deputies with the legitimate, left-handed Maysabongo oath.

They keep calling him "nigger" even after doing this.

Blackface Heller wraps things up by describing a certain white fellow, an engineer, who will be coming around to inspect the property later.  With one last round of not-bribes he's off, and Gris grimly notes that now his foe has got the local law enforcement in his pocket.  "How perfectly awful of Heller!  We couldn't get our noses into either place to sabotage things!"  Yes, those poor alien intelligence operatives with radar-proof camouflage and magical light rays that instantly knock people out have no way of overcoming two moronic traffic cops.

That wasn't sarcasm.

Back to Part Twenty-One, Chapter Five

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