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Duke Jacobs, Celebrity Dermatologist: A short story


It was a pleasantly warm, sunny day. Or perhaps it was overcast and cool. Duke Jacobs was having a bit of a time remembering whether it was one or the other. This was often the case for him, with his days so rich, full of adventure and personal accomplishment. One could hardly blame him for not noticing the weather. Or perhaps one could, if one were an albino, presently locked in a cage under the blazing sun.

Duke Jacobs was a Celebrity Dermatoligist. He was the best, by his own admission; probably some others' as well, if he were inclined to listen to others, which he was not. His proclivity to tune the voices of others out because they were unimportant and mostly annoying may have accounted for the screaming his ears were now being bothered by.

"Hm? What's that ruckus then," Duke asked himself while raising a quizzical brow, shifting his gaze away from his nearly empty tumbler of Bourbon.

"PLEASE! Let me out, I think I'm dying," the man's voice shrieked, while he hurled and thrashed his ghostly, naked form against the confines of his cage.

Suddenly Duke remembered who the voice belonged to: Chad Castor, a famous albino musician and rock personality, who had recently come to him in the hopes of finding a cure for his seemingly incurable condition. Duke had something of a reputation as a wildcard in the world of Dermatology; in point of fact, he had the reputation of a man willing to try anything no matter how experimental, dangerous, or downright negligent and frankly immoral it was, if it would get results. Also, a reputation as the most exorbitantly priced Dermatologist on the Western Seaboard.

Duke had devised his most radical treatment plan to date: he would innoculate the albino using that which he most feared — the sun. If, as Duke believed, Chad's condition was the result of a childhood fear of and aversion to the sun, the most obvious treatment would be to have him face his hated nemesis head-on in a duel of wills. Whilst nude, obviously. A brilliant plan, Duke had thought to himself. Later he exchanged many high-fives with himself in the mirror. Capped off nicely, of course, by hugging himself.

"LET ME OUT OF THIS, MAN," Chad persisted loudly, followed by threats of various kinds. The most repeated of which being the threat of getting the authorities involved, followed by litigation, and of course, prison time.

The idea of prison didn't sit well with Duke. It didn't jibe. If there's one thing Duke Jacobs won't be, it's caged, he thought to himself. Duke Jacobs is an Alpha Wolf made of napalm, and he needs to roam free, he continued internally. I really should step out to the Bourbon Store soon, I'm almost out of Bourbon, he suddenly realized.

"Right, Chad was it? Listen bud, I hate to spring this on you, but I just remembered something super-duper important, like, for realsies. You mind if I step out real quick? Thanks, champ."

Duke didn't wait for a response and walked briskly toward his car, whistling a jaunty tune as he jingled his keys.

"Back in 10, son! We'll cure you yet," he shouted over his shoulder as he slid into the driver's seat.

Duke drove merrily, if somewhat recklessly, on his way to the Bourbon Store, his hands trembling in anticipation of more Bourbon. He cranked his car's air conditioning to its maximum output to help alleviate his excited sweating. He began to fidget with the various trinkets in his car to occupy his mind: a hula girl on the dashboard; fuzzy dice hanging from his rear-view mirror; lastly, with his emergency brake, which may not have been the wisest thing for him to fidget with while speeding criminally fast on the freeway.

Perhaps it was the fact that he hadn't had Bourbon for over an hour. Perhaps it was the pang of doubt he was feeling about the effectiveness of his chosen treatment for Chad. Perhaps it was the fact that his car was now doing multiple barrel rolls 17 feet above a Los Angeles freeway. Whatever it was, Duke Jacobs couldn't help but feel that his world had just been turned upside-down. Then right-side up again. Then upside-down again.

Emerging from the twisted, burning wreckage of what had once been a pretty bitchin' '87 Camaro (miraculously no worse for the wear, but still in need of Bourbon), Duke's eyes beheld a familiar sight: it was the Ninja of the Hattori clan, and they had come at long last to settle the score. What they were doing waiting for him in the middle of a freeway Duke hadn't the foggiest: he chalked it up to them being "Vietnamese, or something. One of the slanty-eyed ones."

Duke had long ago tangoed with the Ninja of this fabled Japanese clan, in his efforts to procure a mythical herb which they guarded jealously. This herb had no known restorative properties, but, thanks to a clever rumor Duke himself had engineered and circulated among Hollywood's elite, people were then willing to pay mind-shattering amounts of money to get ahold of it so that they could rub it on their faces.

Presently though, it was once again Ninja-Fight time, which, it should be noted, is Duke's second-favorite time; the first is, of course, Bourbon Time.

His first move, in classic Duke fashion, was to create what he liked to call "tactical space." One creates tactical space by bravely and adroitly running in the direction opposite of one's foe, and firing a pistol blindly behind oneself in the general direction of said foe. Duke was a master of this centuries-old martial art, and to see him in action while he displayed his mastery of it was a sight few could describe the majesty of. Letting out a great and terrible war cry while one creates tactical space is entirely optional, but Duke liked to instill fear in the hearts of his foes, and so he expelled as many racial slurs and as much profanity at his enemies as he could, as loudly as he could.

Approximately 47 minutes later, Duke's daring stratagem had paid off: the Freeway was littered with the corpses of slain Ninja. This would have been a source of great elation for Duke, but he had lost himself in a warrior's trance and was unaware of his victory, and so he continued to create tactical space for the next few hours until he ran out of pistol rounds and racial slurs which he could yell.

Fortune was ever on old Duke's side, however, and he eventually found that he had ran far enough to reach the freeway exit to the Bourbon Store. He felt himself renewed in both body and mind at this discovery, and he raced with fresh vigor toward that which had been denied him for far too long.

"Curse those blasted Chinese people," Duke muttered bitterly under his breath, annoyed by the delay.

Duke had not held any animosity toward the Hattori Clan prior to this. As a matter of fact, he had forgotten who they were altogether; partly because, as Duke would say, "All those Ching-Chong Noodle guys look the same." Also in no small part thanks to his sturdy ally — delicious Kentucky Bourbon, which he had admittedly had too much of prior to his mission to obtain the herb guarded so secretively by the Hattori. The details of what had transpired that fateful night remained hazy. The only thing Duke could tell you for sure was that Koreans [Japanese] do not take kindly to having their shoes urinated in. Duke would also argue adamantly that the Taiwanese [Japanese] need to better mark what does and what does not constitute a public restroom, but that is a matter for another time.

Heedless of his past dealings, and with several bottles of quality Kentucky Bourbon now held tightly in his possession, Duke sat down on a nearby bench and reflected thoughtfully on the day's happenings. He allowed himself a hearty celebratory swig of Bourbon; after he had caught his breath, he took several more. It had been a day much like any other, he concluded: one full of intrigue, adventure, and personal accomplishment. He was, however, at this point quite weary, and so he elected to lie down on the bench and get a bit of rest.

As the sun set softly on the horizon, Duke let a chuckle escape him. He had forgotten to pay for his Bourbon! It had been one of those days, he figured, so he would forgive himself this minor offense and put it out of his mind, as was his wont. Still, Duke couldn't help but feel that there was something else he had forgotten...

"No matter," Duke quietly slurred. He closed his eyes and stroked his mustache gingerly three times — just like momma used to — and let the approaching chorus of cricket-chirping wash over him as he drifted off into sweet, warm victory sleep.

- From my cold, dead hands.

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About The Actual Charlton Hestonone of us since 6:46 AM on 12.24.2017

I'm actually Charlton Heston. What, were you expecting some purple prose? An overwrought introduction? Get off of my property, you filthy God damn hippie.