Millard Benilard Private Eye This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   How'd I ever get myself into this mess? I thought as I lay in the confines of possibly the world's most gigantic garden variety, catch-all salad. Stupid question. Obvious answer. I found myself wallowing in this particular mire for the same reason I almost became the first chap to orbit the planet without the benefit of a protective suit. That's right, kiddies, the old hormones were a bit too aroused to be subdued and thus I landed right smack dab in the middle of the most interesting flavor of jam (actually it's a salad; I hope they don't use French dressing, it causes my skin to dissolve) of my all-too-vegetable existence. Ah, but here I am telling you about a story you've yet to acquire background knowledge of. If I'm going to do this, I might as well tell you the entire tale from alpha to omega.

Now if I am to carry out my intention in an orderly fashion I ought to stop rushing past, sidestepping, and backtracking over important details but instead start at the source, as opposed to forcing you to hop on this river of nightmares midstream. I most likely have ample time to complete this epic; dinner isn't for a couple of hours and the look of the prodigious quantities of foam overflowing from the vicious guard bunnies surrounding this staggeringly large bowl assures me I won't try anything stupid such as either attempt to escape or try to win at solitaire. This may take a lengthy period of time so I'd get comfortable if I were you and grab some munchies.

It was Wednesday, yes it had to be a Wednesday, my dry cleaning has just been delivered and my trench coat had been criminally overstarched. Not a good sign considering I'm a private eye, sleuth, beagle, hacksaw, case cracker, tec, gumshoe, flatfoot, busy nose, fly bull, G-man, nose for hire, wandering eye. Well, you get the general idea, I hope.

Now, there I am in my office reading my secretary a bedtime story when she walks in. Six feet of legs and human to the ever-loving core. Oh, that's right, you think we're in some city like the Big Apple or Chi-town. Sorry to disappoint you and quite possibly cause you to leave me to shrivel away into nothingness, but this little fool's errand began in the city of Timbukthree in the land of Beeminus. There are over 20 million assorted fruits, vegetables, and rouge household pets in this great city but of those misguided masses I could pronounce maybe a third of their names on a good day, which that Wednesday was definitely not.

Now to completely turn you on end, I might as well break you the news that I'm not quite human, heck I ain't even remotely human, I'm a happy little five-foot lima bean with a strange fetish for the all-too-rare human female.

Back to my tale of woe, she had a pair of legs, pointers, walking sticks, means of transportation, smooth operators that could stop an oncoming bus, not to mention the traffic behind it. I told her so. She smacked me. I passed on a few lewd suggestions involving a live wombat and a bottle of iodine. She responded by allowing me to feel pain in ways I thought not possible. She excited me like no common, docile celery stick could. She said that she had a problem and a paycheck. I said I had a couple of problems as well. She asked what. I responded that I hadn't the foggiest as to what her name was and that I forgot to take my fiber this morning. She told me it was Ursula. I said pleased to meet you, Ursula. She smacked me again. I could have passed the entire morning just provoking her to resort to acts of physical violence against me, but I was two months behind on the rent and in desperate need of some funds to tap.

I inquired as to what the source of her distress was and she said that some twisted fiend had stolen the Golden Gubo from her husband. I gasped. The Golden Gubo, an object that appears to be nothing more than a six-inch tall golden trinket in the shape of an underfed cow, but is actually the extra-dimensional source of all the world's tweed. If this artifact of times long-gone-by had fallen into the hands of some loon or even worse, a member of the Helms in '96 campaign, people may indeed find themselves careening the streets in plastic wrap and edible socks.



Next month: Ursula spills her guts and her coffee as well. Our slightly maladjusted lima bean private eye exchanges hair care tips with Ursula. A new face in the mix, purple mangoes, a driving lesson, the unveiling of the Bugmobile, and much, much more! Stay tuned, it's gonna be so much fun, you'll swear you were playing Turkish Prison with a pair of rusty pliers! 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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