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This was the headline plastered across the newspaper being read by Inspector Walnut Nightcrawler as he sat behind his desk drinking a mixture of beer and battery acid. He frowned at the headline. "Acts of kindness?" he said aloud, "That's appalling! I must investigate further!"

He delved into the news story, which went EXACTLY like this:

Francine Fudderdiekek was having a perfectly normal, acceptably miserable day with her family of four, but she didn't realize that she would soon become subject to a horrific, completely unwarranted act of human kindness. "There I was," she says, "Minding my own business, when out of the blue, this old woman breaks into my house. She...she...OH, it's too HORRIBLE!" Miss Fudderdiekek went on to describe the horrendous act of generosity that the old woman comitted against her. The act is too shocking for us to describe here. But after committing the act of generosity, the old woman then went on to smash her way into Francine's childrens' room, where she committed the same act of gratuitous kindness against them. The neighbors are in shock. "Rape happens all the time around here, but KINDNESS? I don't get it. I really don't. I hope this is an isolated incident. I don't know if our community could survive too much generosity," says local heroine addict Bill Bubbles.

"Good God!" said Inspector Walnut, rolling up the newspaper so he could smoke marijuana with it, "An act of unprovoked generosity? In MY city? Who could have done such a brutally HUMAN thing? And what could possibly have been their motive? I must travel to the home of this Francine and investigate! But first, I need some coffee!"

Walnut called in his assistant, an obese young intern named Linda. "Yes, sir?" she asked.

"I need some coffee before I head out to solve a mystery," said the detective.

"Coffee, sir. Would you like it with cream? Sugar? Pesticide?"


"Yeah, our coffee machine comes with a "pesticide" button, right next to the cream and sugar dispensers."

"Isn't pesticide carcinogenic?"

"Probably. But who cares. It tastes good."

"You're weird!"

Linda rolled her eyes and laughed, causing her massive belly to wiggle grotesquely. "Of COURSE I'm weird!" she said, "What else would you expect? This is surrealism! Everything's weird!"

"Oh yeah. I forgot. It's lousy surrealism though."

"TELL ME ABOUT IT! I didn't want to be in this article! I really didn't!" her eyes welled up with tears. "I originally auditioned for the leading female role in the article about the brother, the sister, and the tree, but TEH told me he was looking for somebody more attractive!" she burst into tears, "Then I tried out to be in the article about slugs discussing the meaning of existence. About halfway through the audition, I suddenly remembered that I'm not a slug! I had a nervous breakdown in the middle of the audition! Oh, I tried to make up for it afterwords. I told TEH I'd get plastic surgery and turn myself into a slug."

"Is that POSSIBLE?"

"Hell yeah, it's possible!" she sniffed and wiped her nose. "The surgeons remove all of your body except a tiny chunk of brain, about an inch long. Then they paint that piece of brain the color of a slug. Voila! You're turned into a slug! But TEH turned me down again, and the only condolence he could offer me was a supporting role in this second-rate article. DAMMIT!" She burst into tears again.

"Uh...I'm sorry to hear that...but I really could use some coffee..."

"Sorry. I'm sorry. I'll stop." she sniffled. "I just hope I'll be impressive enough to land a leading role in another article, maybe by Testostereich or Hindleyite, or someone else more kindly then friggin' TEH." She wandered out of the room. When she came back, she handed Walnut a cup full of dirt.

"Uh...I asked for coffee."

"Yeah, I know. but I thought readers would like my character more if I did eccentric things. So yeah. I filled your cup with dirt."

"Forget it. I have a crime to solve."

"Oh, oh, can I come?"

"If you promise not to give me any more dirt. Seriously. I only eat dirt in bed with my wife. Now let's go."

Inspector Walnut grabbed his trusty heat-seeking missile launcher and tried to stuff it in his pocket. This was very difficult, considering that the missile launcher was 15 cubic feet in size.

"That's not gonna fit into your pocket," observed Linda.

"I know, but I need it with me at all times! We're in great danger! Didn't you read the newspaper article? There's somebody out there committing ACTS OF KINDNESS! Our city isn't 100% full of nasty, self-centered people anymore! There's a chance that we might be complimented, or worse, GIVEN A GIFT! Don't you want to be prepared to blast the brains out of anybody who tries?"

"God, I wish I was in a different article."

"STOP COMPLAINING! Make yourself useful and fetch me a wagon."

It just so happened that there was a red, plastic wagon in the office's closet. This was a mere coincidence. It had nothing whatsoever to do with the author being lazy.

"Excellent," said Inspector Walnut, and he placed the missile launcher in the wagon.

WALNUT AND LINDA STEPPED OUT INTO THE STREET. And the text was bold for some strange reason.

Gunshots rang out everywhere. Dead bodies were lying all over the place.

"This is the way our city SHOULD be," began Linda, but Walnut interrupted her.

"--Hey, I'M supposed to say that! Don't steal my lines!"

"I'm sorry but...I thought maybe I could give that speech instead of you! I'm concerned that my character won't play a promiment enough role in this story. I want more dialogue. I want other writers to notice me so they'll hire me and stick me in their stories."

"No writer would want you in their stories! You break the fourth wall every six seconds! It makes for very fractured storytelling."

"No it doesn't! It's zany! It's absurd surrealism!"

"Absurd surrealism, which is a longer way of saying "complete crap." But that's not the point. The point is, I'm supposed to make a speech elaborating on the nastiness of the setting, and I can't if you keep interrupting me with your random outbursts."

"sorry. It won't happen again. At least not for another few paragraphs."

Inspector Walnut carried on with his speech. "This is the way our city SHOULD be, my friend."

"We're not friends. The only reason I haven't killed you is because you pay me. And because it would alienate readers. And I want to be liked by readers."

"Shuttup then. You're ruining my speech AGAIN. How is this satire supposed to progress? Look, we've arrived already!" They had indeed arrived at the scene of the crime: Francine Fudderdiekek's house.

"Well, let's go in, shall we?" said Linda.

"Not without finishing my speech!" bellowed Walnut. "Come on, we're walking around the block again!"

"WHAT? My feet are sore! And we must get to the scene of the crime and investigate the evidence!"


"Fine. Hurry up though."

They started walking around the building, listening to the distant sounds of gunshots, bloodcurtling screams, and collapsing buildings. "This is the way our city SHOULD be, my friend," said Walnut again, lifting his arms and indicating the surrounding graffiti, "A den of misery. That's why this act of kindness is so upsetting. We want our city to remain as nasty and crime-infested as possible. That's the way cities are supposed to be. So when people start being NICE to each other in MY HOME can't happen. It can't. I won't let it. I grew up here, and never ONCE did another human being show me an act of even the slightest compassion. And now I hear this news about kindness...very disturbing, Linda, very disturbing indeed. Very disturbing."

"Are you done yet? We've walked around the house three times now and my feet are in agony."

"Well maybe if you weren't so freakin' FAT, your feet wouldn't hurt as much!"

"Hey! That's not fair! I'm not fat, I'm obese!"

"Same thing."

"Yeah, I know they're the same thing. I'm just trying to be quirky."

"Well it's not working. You're lucky your character hasn't been killed off yet. Now let's get into that house and solve this crime!"

They knocked for eight minutes. Nobody answered. Suddenly, Inspector Walnut noticed that they were in fact missing the door and knocking on the wall. They knocked on the door, and it was opened immediately. A woman opened the door, looking horrified.

"There's no need to be horrified of us, ma'am," said Inspector Walnut, "We're detectives."

"Oh, I'm not horrified of you," said the woman, "I'm just still in shock that somebody actually did something nice to me. I can't believe something like this would happen here. It seemed like such a quiet neighborhood. I'm Francine. Come on in. Just promise you won't compliment me."

"I promise," said the Inspector. "I'm Walnut, and this is my assistant, Linda."

Linda shook Francine's hand and said, "I'm hoping to become a main character someday. Right now I'm just a lowly supporting character like you."

"Don't mind Linda, she's upset about being in this article," said the Inspector, "May I sit down?"

"Sure," said Francine, "My couch is in the room on the left."

The three of them went into the room and sat down. Francine seemed agitated.

"So," said Walnut, "I'm out to catch the twisted bitch who thought she could get away with committing acts of humanity in our town. But if I'm gonna actually catch her, I'll need as much information from you as you can give me. Tell me everything you remember."

"Oh...well, I'll try," said Francine, fidgeting nervously, "But it's a painful memory. It'll be hard to relive it so soon. But...I'll try. I had just finished putting the kids to bed with "The Cat in the Hat."

"You read them the story?" asked Walnut.

"Hell no. I beat them into unconsciousness with it."

"Oh. I see. Go on."

"Well, I was about to watch some TV when I heard somebody picking the lock on my front door. I ignored it, of course. I assumed it was another rapist. I loosened my bathrobe so it would be easier for him to rip it off. I wanted to get it over with quickly, you see, so I wouldn't miss any Grey's Anatomy. Little did I know that it WASN'T a Rapist, it wasn't a murderer, it wasn't even a robber. If I had known she'd be doing something KIND, I would have called the police on her. Instead, I just sat there. Then she came in."


"The old woman."

"Describe her."

"She was old. And she was a woman."

"I see. Go on!"

"WAIT" Linda screamed, "Don't go on yet." She stood up, removed all of her clothes, did four jumping jacks while nude, and then put her clothes on again. "Just trying to keep my character in the spotlight!" said Linda. "Okay, carry on, Francine."

"Oooookay...well, the old woman came in holding a bag. I assumed it was full of instruments of torture...but...but..." Francine began to sob... "The bag had...cookies in it."

"COOKIES?" screamed inspector walnut, jumping in shock. Cookies had been outlawed in Cementville for 17 years.

"Yes. Chocolate chip cookies."

Linda fainted. Inspector Walnut felt dizzy. "Jesus Christ, no wonder they didn't put this in the paper!"

"I couldn't believe it. The old woman approached me and she...she...she...GAVE ME ONE OF THE COOKIES!!!" Francine burst into hysterical tears. A thunderbolt conveniently added drama to the moment. Inspector Walnut lept up into a standing position, appalled.

"I can't believe this!" said Walnut, pacing back and forth, "She...GAVE YOU A COOKIE? I'm speechless. In all my years of detective work I've seen decapitations, hangings, strangulation, drownings...I've seen forms of murder I had to invent new words for. Like "Grugging," which involves coat hangers and toothpaste. But never, NEVER in all my days have I encountered something as horriffic as this. NEVER. EVER. And I mean NEVER EVER EVER."

"It gets worse."

"WORSE?" Walnut fell back onto the couch, his hand on his heart. "I'm getting too old for this sort of thing. What happened?"

"After giving me cookies, she...GOT ME A GLASS OF MILK!!!!"

Walnut vomited onto the floor.

Francine continued: "After getting me the milk, she brought the cookies into the kids' room, and she gave each kid a cookie with extra chocolate chips."

"PLEASE, PLEASE tell me she left after that."

"No, the worst was yet to come. She went into my kitchen and...and...and..."

"AND WHAT? What happened?"

"SHE DECORATED IT!!! It was pleasantly ugly before, but she made it look....COZY!!!!"

Francine dissolved into tears on the floor. There, she rolled around, screaming. The screams woke Linda up.

"Jesus," said Linda, looking down at the distraught Francine, "She's a mess."

"You'd be a mess too if you endured the same ordeal that she did," said Walnut, frowning. "This is scary. We've got an old woman running around town giving people cookies and milk, and decorating their houses. This is an outrage. An OUTRAGE!!!"

"After decorating the kitchen, she washed the graffiti off my car!" screamed Francine from the floor.

"Holy God," said Linda. "Why couldn't I have been in a more pleasant article?"

"Stop whining. You're stuck in here for at least another chapter."

"This story doesn't have chapters. It's just a big, hideous block of text."

Chapter Two[edit | edit source]

"Okay," said Linda, "I stand corrected."

"Yes, but that doesn't bring us any closer to solving the crime," said Walnut, "We've got to find this crazy old woman and take her out before it's too late."

"Take her out? As in, take her out and buy her dinner?"

"Of course not, you imbecile. I mean we've gotta blow her brains out with my missile launcher!" He indicated the wagon, which still contained the missile launcher.

"But we have no idea which old lady it is! This city has thousands of old ladies."

"The solution to that is easy. We can do one of two things. The first option is to dismantle this house and take it to a science lab, where we'll analyze it for fingerprints, one piece at a time."

"What's the second option?"

"The second option is to take our missile launcher out into the city and obliterate every single old woman we see."

"The first option sounds more sensible," said Linda, "But the second option is much more satirical."

"Agreed. And killing old women sounds like fun. Our city could use a few less old women. They smell."

"But then again, if I participate in something as cold-blooded as this, readers might not like me and then I wouldn't be able to land any starring role in another article. And I desperately want to be in another article."

"But Linda, it's satire. Readers will understand."

"But it's kind of cold-blooded satire. I mean honestly, killing old women? It's kind of nasty and dark. Even for a TEH article."

"What are you talking about, killing old people is HILARIOUS! Let's get out there!"

Chapter Three[edit | edit source]

The missile launcher had three settings: "kill," "obliterate" and "pulverize."

Chapter Three and a half[edit | edit source]

Walnut set it to "pulverize."

Chapter Four[edit | edit source]


Chapter Five[edit | edit source]

"Dammit, Linda, you're right," said Walnut, "These chapter breaks totally disrupt the flow of the story."

Chapter Six[edit | edit source]

"It's kinda beyond our control though," said Linda. "God, I hate this article."

Chapter Seven[edit | edit source]

"OKAY, THAT'S IT!!!" screamed Walnut. He grabbed the missile launcher and pointed it at himself. "Keep doing the chapter breaks, TEH, and I'll kill myself, and Linda too. Your story will have no main character and no supporting character. You'll be forced to end it prematurely. Is that what you want? Huh?"

No more chapters appeared. Walnut smugly put the missile launcher back on the wagon.

"Alright, let's go kick some old lady buttox!"

They wandered out into the street, and waited behind a garbage can. Several middle-aged men walked by. Then, down the street came a little old lady.

"AHA!!!" bellowed Walnut, "Our first target!" He blasted the old lady with one pull of the trigger. All that was left was a charred pair of dentures.

"This is very bleak humor," complained Linda.

"Shut up and help me reload the missile launcher. There's another old lady coming."

Linda did as she was told, and they blew up the second old lady just like the first.

"Doesn't this seem kind of tasteless to you?" asked Linda.

"WAIT! Here come TWO old ladies!"

"Come ON, Walnut. Those are both middle-aged men."

And so they were. Two middle-aged men, one with a mustache and the other with a beard, were walking towards them.

Walnut lifted the missile launcher, "They're probably old ladies in disguise. You can't be too careful." He blew up the men. Only the beard survived.

"We've gotta move from this spot," said Walnut, "We're on the outskirts of town. We want to move to the center if we're to catch this psychotic woman. First, let's blow up this fire hydrant."


"It could be our old woman criminal, folded up into a very small costume." He blasted the fire hydrant, sending a torrent of water 300 feet into the air.

They continued into the heart of the city. Walnut decided that simply shooting individual people was insufficent. "The old woman could be hiding in one of these buildings!" he exclaimed, as he set fire to one.

"This is REALLY getting out of hand," said Linda, while Walnut cackled and demolished a skyscraper, "I think we crossed the line from bleak humor to just plain bleakness a few paragraphs ago."

"Look, bitch. I don't CARE what kind of humor this is. I've got a job to do. Do you want any more innocent families being given COOKIES? We want our city to be a HELLHOLE! We don't want acts of KINDNESS being committed here! Is that understood?"


The rest of her words were drowned out by the sound of Walnut's next missile obliterating an entire intersection full of cars.

After a week, the entire city had been flattened and everyone in it was dead. Except Walnut and Linda. They sat in the rubble, Walnut eating sandwiches from a picnic basket and Linda elaborating on why she should have been the female lead character in The Barber and the Gerbilsucker.

"I would have been GREAT as that character! Sure, I've never done drugs before, but I could easily take up sucking on gerbils if it could mean being in the same story as that sexy barber."

"Look, Linda. SHUT UP. God! I'm trying to kill this ant!" Walnut blew up the ant before looking up and gasping. "It's the police cheiieiieief!" he said. "He left the city to go on a vacation to his favorite brothel in New York city. He's back!"

The chief, whose name was Joe, approached Linda and Walnut. "What happened here?" he asked, slowly surveying the ruins of the once prosperous city.

"I killed everybody," said Walnut cheerfully. "Want a sandwhich?"

"YOU KILLED EVERYBODY? WHY?" asked Joe, shocked.

"I was fighting crime," said Walnut. "Some crazy woman was handing out cookies. I got rid of her, though."

"Actually," said Linda, "You didn't." She pulled a cookie out of her pocket.

Joe and Walnut gasped. "What the hell?" said Walnut. "IT WAS YOU ALL ALONG? But you're not old!"

"I wore a disguise so you wouldn't suspect me." she cackled. "But I wanted to play a prominent role in this article. I wasn't content with simply being the assistant. So I gave Francine some cookies while disguised as an old woman! TEH might not have intended it, but I HAVE MADE MYSELF THE MAIN CHARACTER OF THIS ARTICLE!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAH!"

"Oh no you haven't!" bellowed Walnut, "I'm the main character! And you, you sick, twisted feind! You've been planning to double-cross me all along!"

"You were coming between me and my starring role."

"Why are you so obsessed with becoming a lead character in an article?"

"It was my dream ever since I was young. My mother made me promise to never give up on my dream. So when she died by decapitating herself with a piece of toast, I swore an oath to myself that I would someday become a main character in an illogicopedia article. THAT's why I gave cookies to Francine."

"Wait a minute, wait a minute," said Joe, "Did you say that your mother died by cutting her own head off with TOAST?"

"Yes," sighed Linda, "She had intended to put it in her mouth, but she had forgotten to put her glasses on and her aim was poor. She sliced her head clean off. Doctors described it as "tragically hilarious."

"But that's beside the point," said Walnut, lifting the missile launcher, "The point is that I AM GONNA TAKE YOU OUT!!!" He pulled the trigger. The launcher didn't do anything.

"CRAP!!!" bellowed Walnut, "I used up all the ammunition destroying everything in the city! And now that the REAL criminal is here, I can't do anything! I'm helpless!"

"I've got a gun," said Joe. But then he froze in horror.

Linda was holding the cookie in front of his face.

"You want it?" she said, "Take it. Go on. It's got LOTS of chocolate. I can get you some warm milk, too!"

"PLEASE! NOT KINDNESS!!! ANYTHING BUT KINDNESS!!!" Joe dropped the gun and fell on the ground, cowering. Walnut was wimpering as well, eyeing the cookie in fear.

"I am the main character." said Linda, threatening the two of them with the cookie.

"Yes." said Joe and Walnut together.

"I want to hear you SAY IT!" said Linda.

"You are the main character." they said in unison.

Linda lowered the cookie, and walked away, smiling and leaving her two victims in the wreckage of their city.

Incidentally, I have absolutely no idea why I called this article "Gertrude."