Monday, April 16, 2007

BigCrunch - Murder's Beginnings

As I mentioned in my first post on this blog, Murder by Burger started off as a weird story about men in weird shirts that evolved into a story about a big detective dog called BigCrunch. This was way back in 1988. I barely knew how to turn on a computer at the time ... though I had just bought a Tandy 1000 (with no hard drive)and considered myself the technological dandy.

But ... I searched my files and came across the original BigCrunch manuscript. It's not finished and it's very old. I'm not sure if I even write like this anymore. But here's the first few paragraphs ...

Fleaboat arrived at a quarter after twelve. He was a dog. A damned dog. And I was working with him again. But why not? These are the nineties, just a few months away from the big two-triple-zero. These are the wind down years, the years of definition and lavish This-Was-The-Nineties-And-This-Was-The-Century-And-This-Was-The-Second-Millenium photo spreads that turn events into trends. These are the final days when, instead of asking "What next?" everyone is asking "What happened?"

But it's hard to get used to working with a genetically engineered dog wearing a corduroy suit with patches on the elbows, a Harris tweed shirt and a deerstalker hat. At least he didn't wear shoes. There was that much dog left in him. That, and the blood hound head with the big floppy ears spilling out of the brim of his hat. The front paws had been modified to look human, give or take a clump of fur, and his hind legs had been designed for walking upright.

And one other thing was still definitely dog in him. The scratching. He blamed the scratching on the tweed. I blamed it on the dog.

What bothered me most was his voice, or more exactly, his accent. The genetic company, Designer Animals – the company that gave us chickens that laid square eggs and calm gerbils – built a DNA code to produce a talking dog for dog food commercials in Canada, but the team they contracted to train the dog was pulled in from Japan, and the specialist in speech training got his info from a two week vacation in Newfoundland, Quebec and Ontario. When Fleaboat was presented to the board of the dog food company, there was general approval over the matter of leaving out sex organs. They'd also left out the tail, but that could be faked. Then Fleaboat opened his mouth and said in a deep completely non-houndlike voice: "Aye, bejeezuz, I loves dese damn beef nugget. All other taste like the merde, ma chers. It's the bloody beef I loves." He went on for fifteen minutes, teeth flashing and snout twisting around the words, while the dog food barons threw a collective tantrum and cancelled the contract. They decided to go with Clamations.

Jeez ... I hope my writing's progressed since then.

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