Nov 19, 2016

The Dinosaur Fakers - 5

"Why, uh, no, in fact," said Bernhard, sweating nervously.
"Oh, don't ye worry now---I helped plenty o' them dino fakers over the years... Lemme see now... I've some claws and 'orns might be good... An' ye're gonna be wantin' a skull, o' course... Old fish skulls kin be good, jes be sure ye mix 'em up nice..."
"But I tell you," said Bernhard, "we're not.. er.."
"Sure... sure... Ye can trust old Cap'n J. Bob Barnacle ye know... Yer secret's safe w' the cap'n... I'll go down to me watery grave widout whisperin' a word."
"Sure... sure..." said Bernhard. "The bones, please."
"Aye... Now ye're not like them college boys, any fool kin see that... But the Cap'n, 'e don' discriminate. A dino faker's a dino faker in 'is log book!"
"Wonderful," said Bernhard, as a glass snake eye rolled across the wooden floor.


"I can't imagine how we fit all those bones in that little car," said Bernhard when they got back to the motel. They were sitting out by the empty pool, in a stingy patch of shade from some pool furniture. Bones were spread out everywhere, waiting to be formed into some ancient chimera.
"Well, the Cap'n has a way with knots," said Lena. "He would be handy to have when packing for long car trips."
"Or other occasions where tie-downs are required," said Bernhard, with a thin, lizard-like grin. They both chuckled nastily and puffed their cigarettes.
"Well," said Bernhard, who was briefly plunged into shadow by a passing cloud, "shall it be a theropod or a sauropod? I don't know that we ought to stray too far from what the 'big boys' do..."
"Thera-whozit?" said Lena. "Let's just fuck with them on numerology and stuff."
"Oh god, they're so big on the numerology," said Bernhard. "I'm with you on that."

Eventually, inspiration struck. They went through much wire, and many tubes of Killian's Super Bond-O extra strength super glue. When they were done, Bernhard used the front desk phone to call the nearest gazette.
"Hello, Badlands Gazette," said the voice on the phone. "Who is speaking, please?"
"This is Bernhard," said Bernhard. "I want to report a new species of dinosauria... That's right, me and the missus have just come across an old fossil... And I don't mean me! Ha-ha..."
"Now listen here, Mister," Bernhard continued, "This is the biggest scoop you've had all year... Maybe all decade... I'd send your top man out right away, see?"
Bernhard hung up the phone. He and Lena looked at the clerk.
"Are you finding everything to be satisfactory?" said the clerk.

Bernhard and Lena were sitting outside by the empty pool when a lady reporter arrived by bicycle.
"It's about time," said Bernhard. "What took you so long?"
"Yeah," said Lena, exhaling a cloud of smoke at the lady reporter.
"I have another job," said the lady reporter. "I can only do this part-time."
"Sounds like a real dinky operation," said Bernhard.
"Strictly two-bit I'd say," said Lena.
"Is this the fossil?" said the lady reporter, gesturing with her pen at the giant bone conglomeration.
"No," said Bernhard, "I'm the fossil; that's our dog, Fido."
The lady reporter opened her notepad and asked them to describe the find.
"It was nothing, really," said Bernhard. "Any boob would've recognized the 5th meta-tarsal protruding from the cliff-face like that."
"Yes," Lena agreed. "It was so obvious. Even a louse-ridden child would've done the same."


"It does take skill," added Bernhard, "to release the fossil from its matrix. But nothing your average nincompoop can't do with a little practice."
"Thank you," said the lady reporter after a few more questions. She put away her notebook and retrieved a large-format Hasselbad from her bike basket. Bernhard and Lena puffed their cigarettes and stood by as she struggled with the sensitive equipment.
A loud pop accompanied the flashbulb, and that was that:  the story was immediately picked up by the wire service and went nationwide. It was on the front page of every newspaper the following morning. The desk clerk had to keep buzzing them to take calls from reporters, curiosity-seekers, and even the governor of Utah (he wanted them to come find a fossil in his state.)

2 comments:

  1. This looks really cool. Edward Gorey-like.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This looks really cool. Edward Gorey-like.

    ReplyDelete