Death Attends The Matinee

The dame walks into your office without knocking, and boy, does she look uneasy.

She stares at you with piercing gray eyes and asks, Are you Sam Stonemarrow, the private detective?

The dame immediately turns around and leaves. You sit back in your chair and look around at your empty office. Even though nobody is there to see it, you give a thumbs-up. The day passes without any other incident, and 50 years later you die of old age.

I saw your name and office address spray-painted onto a stray dog outside and I came straight to you.

My name is Vera Calypso, says the dame.

Im afraid Im being blackmailed, says Vera Calypso.

His name is Benedict Kane. Hes a very wealthy man. A billionaire, in fact. We used to be…close…and during that time he managed to get his hands on a photograph of me writing the words Im glad the Titanic sank on a sleeping police officer. If that picture gets out, its curtains for me. Ill have to go to jail for the rest of my life. Will you help me get it back, Mr. Stonemarrow?

Oh, its not money Bens after. He wants something else. You see, he recently bought a Komodo dragon egg from Indonesia for $250 million, only to find out that Komodo dragon eggs need to be incubated for no less than seven months.

Ben says that hell release the photograph of me unless I sit on the Komodo dragon egg until it hatches. Thats such a long time, and I dont want to do it. You have to help me, Mr. Stonemarrow!

And whats that, Mr. Stonemarrow?

Name your price, says Vera Calypso.

Youve got yourself a deal, detective, says Vera. She seems calmer now, calm like a tired ghost or a calm doctor. She starts to leave your office, but she stops at the door and turns.

Oh, and if youre looking for Benedict Kane, you should try the Grand Picador Theater today at three. Theres a new play opening there called The Hogg Brothers Eat Each Other. Kane will be in a luxury skybox at the matinee showing. There wont be a better time to get to him.

The Hogg Brothers Eat Each Other is the latest play in the beloved Hogg Brothers franchise, says the dame. Its the sequel to the theatrical classics The Hogg Brothers Murder A Wizard and The Hogg Brothers Run Over A Benevolent King.

Call me Vera, she says before disappearing through the door.

And with that, the dame is gone. Youre alone in your office now, with nothing to keep you company but a double of Cruel Boys Bourbon youve nursed down to less than a single, and the smoldering remains of a cigarette you just cant bring yourself to snub.

But thats the way you like it. Friends are just well-meaning distractions.

Especially now that youve got a case.

No sense in waiting around. You take your cases like you take your bourbons: whenever you can get them, and polished off as fast as possible. You toss a revolver into your Gun Pouch and leave your office.

You arrive at the Grand Picador Theater. You better go buy your ticket to The Hogg Brothers Eat Each Other.

You walk up to the box office. The man working there is wearing a T-shirt that says I went Hogg Wild at the Grand Picador Theater.

Oh, Mr. Stonemarrow, we already have a ticket waiting for you, says the man at the box office. He gives you a grin so big you could eat dinner off of his teeth. Ms. Vera Calypso took the liberty of reserving you a seat to this afternoons matinee.

The box office guy hands you your ticket.

All right, you have your ticket. You better head inside the theater now. The play is going to start any minute.

You take your seat in the Grand Picador Theater. Out of the corner of your eye, you can see Benedict Kane sitting in the luxury skybox, just like Vera said he would be.

And now the lights go down and the curtains come up. A hush falls over the audience. The Hogg Brothers Eat Each Other is about to begin.

The Hogg Brothers Eat Each Other: A Tragedy

[Enter GORDON HOGG. He looks out over the audience and speaks.]

Gordon Hogg: Here I am. Gordon Hogg, the eldest of the three Hogg brothers. I love my brothers too much. I just cant get enough of them. In fact, I only like doing three things: Looking at my brothers, thinking about my brothers, and dreaming that an insane doctor is sewing my brothers and me together.

Gordon Hogg (contd): Hark! I hear the approach of a man. By the sound of the footsteps, I can tell that it is my middle brother, Prentice Hogg.

[Enter PRENTICE HOGG.]

Prentice Hogg: Hello my brother Gordon Hogg. I love you too much.

Gordon Hogg: Hello Prentice Hogg my brother, I was just thinking of you and dreaming of you at the same time. I love you too much. How are you today?

Prentice Hogg: I have a fatal and incurable case of Brother Fever. Other than that, I am extremely strong. I just came from our three-tiered bunk bed, where I lay sleeping in the middle bunk dreaming that my two brothers were taking turns picking me up and putting me down for 1,000 years.

Gordon Hogg: Prentice Hogg my brother, that dream about your brothers is so good. That dream is my king now. I hate God, and I love my two brothers.

Prentice Hogg: Thank you for understanding that you are my brother named Gordon Hogg. My love for my brothers is the only thing stronger than my hatred for God.

Prentice Hogg: Hark! I hear the sound of a mans legs doing a walk. From the sounds of the footsteps, I know that it is the youngest of the Hogg brothers, our beloved brother named Whipple Hogg.

[Enter WHIPPLE HOGG.]

Whipple Hogg: Hello my two brothers. I love you too much. Your names are Gordon Hogg and Prentice Hogg. I wish I could kill God.

Prentice Hogg: Hello Whipple Hogg my brother. When it comes to dreaming about you, I am the worlds champ. I love you too much.

Gordon Hogg: Our mother gave birth to us at the same time, but we are not triplets.

Prentice Hogg: Whipple Hogg my brother, how are you feeling?

Whipple Hogg: My Brother Fever threatens to claim my life at any moment. Other than that, I am endlessly powerful. I have just come from our three-tiered bunk bed, where I lay sleeping in the bottom bunk dreaming that I was getting a haircut from both of my brothers at the same time.

Gordon Hogg: Whipple Hogg, you are my brother. Your dream is magnificent. When your brothers were finished cutting your hair, what did you do with the hair?

Whipple Hogg: I dumped the hair on the floor in Room 242 of the San Torero Hotel.

Prentice Hogg: I wish a magician would rip God in half.

All Three Hogg Brothers In Unison: These have been the nice and brother-haunted dreams of the glorious Hogg Brothers. May we never die, for if we do, we will surely go to Heaven, the house of God the monster. We love each other too much, and now we will go eat each other. Amen.

[The HOGG BROTHERS exit. The sounds of tearing flesh, snapping bones, and three mouths chewing are heard from offstage.]

The actors take a bow. The Hogg Brothers Eat Each Other has come to an end.

The audience is on its feet. The play is receiving a well-deserved standing ovation.

Do you mind? says the man sitting next to you as he scribbles something in a notebook. You are not allowed to see what Im writing because it is very important and good.

My name is Peter Leroy. Im a critic for Nautical Stage Magazine, the only theater magazine written entirely by former sailors for a general audience of non-sailors. Perhaps youve read my column.

Well, its very popular. Now, if you dont mind, I need to finish writing notes. Why dont you leave me alone?

Its not my fault that Ive never seen a bad play. Now, if you dont mind, I need to finish writing notes. Why dont you leave me alone?

Do you mind? says the man sitting next to you as he scribbles something in a notebook. You are not allowed to see what Im writing because it is very important and good.

My name is Peter Leroy. Im a critic for Nautical Stage Magazine, the only theater magazine written entirely by former sailors for a general audience of non-sailors. Perhaps youve read my column.

Well, its very popular. Now, if you dont mind, I need to finish writing notes. Why dont you leave me alone?

Its not my fault that Ive never seen a bad play. Now, if you dont mind, I need to finish writing notes. Why dont you leave me alone?

Gordon Hogg (contd): Hark! I hear the approach of a man. By the sound of the footsteps, I can tell that it is my middle brother, Prentice Hogg.

[Enter PRENTICE HOGG.]

Prentice Hogg: Hello my brother Gordon Hogg. I love you too much.

Gordon Hogg: Hello Prentice Hogg my brother, I was just thinking of you and dreaming of you at the same time. I love you too much. How are you today?

Prentice Hogg: I have a fatal and incurable case of Brother Fever. Other than that, I am extremely strong. I just came from our three-tiered bunk bed, where I lay sleeping in the middle bunk dreaming that my two brothers were taking turns picking me up and putting me down for 1,000 years.

Gordon Hogg: Prentice Hogg my brother, that dream about your brothers is so good. That dream is my king now. I hate God, and I love my two brothers.

Prentice Hogg: Thank you for understanding that you are my brother named Gordon Hogg. My love for my brothers is the only thing stronger than my hatred for God.

Prentice Hogg: Hark! I hear the sound of a mans legs doing a walk. From the sounds of the footsteps, I know that it is the youngest of the Hogg brothers, our beloved brother named Whipple Hogg.

[Enter WHIPPLE HOGG.]

Whipple Hogg: Hello my two brothers. I love you too much. Your names are Gordon Hogg and Prentice Hogg. I wish I could kill God.

Prentice Hogg: Hello Whipple Hogg my brother. When it comes to dreaming about you, I am the worlds champ. I love you too much.

Gordon Hogg: Our mother gave birth to us at the same time, but we are not triplets.

Prentice Hogg: Whipple Hogg my brother, how are you feeling?

Whipple Hogg: My Brother Fever threatens to claim my life at any moment. Other than that, I am endlessly powerful. I have just come from our three-tiered bunk bed, where I lay sleeping in the bottom bunk dreaming that I was getting a haircut from both of my brothers at the same time.

Gordon Hogg: Whipple Hogg you are my brother. Your dream is magnificent. When your brothers were finished cutting your hair, what did you do with the hair?

Whipple Hogg: I dumped the hair on the floor in Room 242 of the San Torero Hotel.

Prentice Hogg: I wish a magician would rip God in half.

All Three Hogg Brothers In Unison: These have been the nice and brother-haunted dreams of the glorious Hogg Brothers. May we never die, for if we do, we will surely go to Heaven, the house of God the monster. We love each other too much, and now we will go eat each other. Amen.

[The HOGG BROTHERS exit. The sounds of tearing flesh, snapping bones, and three mouths chewing are heard from offstage.]

The actors take a bow. The Hogg Brothers Eat Each Other has come to an end.

The audience is on its feet. The play is receiving a well-deserved standing ovation.

Do you mind? says the man sitting next to you as he scribbles something in a notebook. You are not allowed to see what Im writing because it is very important and good.

My name is Peter Leroy. Im a critic for Nautical Stage Magazine, the only theater magazine written entirely by former sailors for a general audience of non-sailors. Perhaps youve read my column.

Well, its very popular. Now, if you dont mind, I need to finish writing notes. Why dont you leave me alone?

Its not my fault that Ive never seen a bad play. Now, if you dont mind, I need to finish writing notes. Why dont you leave me alone?

Do you mind? says the man sitting next to you as he scribbles something in a notebook. You are not allowed to see what Im writing because it is very important and good.

My name is Peter Leroy. Im a critic for Nautical Stage Magazine, the only theater magazine written entirely by former sailors for a general audience of non-sailors. Perhaps youve read my column.

Well, its very popular. Now, if you dont mind, I need to finish writing notes. Why dont you leave me alone?

Its not my fault that Ive never seen a bad play. Now, if you dont mind, I need to finish writing notes. Why dont you leave me alone?

Do you mind? says the man sitting next to you as he scribbles something in a notebook. You are not allowed to see what Im writing because it is very important and good.

My name is Peter Leroy. Im a critic for Nautical Stage Magazine, the only theater magazine written entirely by former sailors for a general audience of non-sailors. Perhaps youve read my column.

Well, its very popular. Now, if you dont mind, I need to finish writing notes. Why dont you leave me alone?

Its not my fault that Ive never seen a bad play. Now, if you dont mind, I need to finish writing notes. Why dont you leave me alone?