Section IIChapter Six:
The stewardess jostles Buck awake from his power nap. She says "dinner will be delayed a while, sir. We’re having some turbulence." Buck replies, "Those don’t agree with me, Miss. Could I substitute carrots or hominy?" She smiles and says "The Robin Hood plan, right?"
Buck realizes it is time for him to switch into secret agent mode, so he makes his way into the rest room where he changes into fresh jeans, wrapping his others in the barf bag and stashing them in his case.
After great effort, Buck finds a Gremlin at the Tokyo "Rent-A-Wreck" lot. Heading toward town, he sees "Suzio’s Camera Repair" tucked into a cluster of small stores, so he parks and steps inside. Suzio says "Gleetings." Buck replies "I speak Japanese." Suzio says "Yes, but readers of this book possibry just be confuse by that, so I speak in Engrish with exaggelated accent for speciar effect." Buck asks "Should I speak with accent, also?" Suzio says "If you wish." Buck replies "Sho’nuff, bro. This stone righteous Mamiya be busted." Suzio picks it up, quickly inspects it and says "I think maybe your Mamiya just reeks, but I can fix that." Buck says "Well, yeah, that’s because I had to put into the case with the jeans I peed in when Hodpecker pop a cap at me. Is there a laundry in this here hood?" Suzio says "Your camera reeks right." Buck says "Right! I practically peed on it, so it should reek." Suzio groans and points to a laundry across the way.
Buck steps out of Suzio’s with his barf bag, heading for the laundry. An hour later he returns to the camera shop with his jeans cleaned and says to Suzio "Say, little buddy, that Japanese laundry seems to be run by Indian people. What the heck is that about?" Suzio replies "You don’t read the paper? Everything is being outsourced now. Nobody wants to work. Laziness abounds." Buck says "Hey, where is your accent?" Suzio says "It was too tedious, and besides I grew up in Idaho. Your camera is fixed. That will be $20." Buck says "where did you find the light seal material to repair it?" Suzio says "Oh I have a friend in Dallas who sells seal kits named Jon Goodman. Anyone can do it and look…here is a link to the site where some of his repair instructions are hosted: http://www.kyphoto.com/classics/sealreplacement.html There are two for Mamiya cameras, and it is all so easy." Buck says "I really like that Japanese music on your radio." Suzio replies "That is ‘Bad Sneakers’ by Steely Dan with Michael McDonald singing in the background. Are you a product of the miserable Robin Hood plan?"
On the way to the hotel, Buck senses he is being followed. He thinks to himself "What would Tom Cruise do?" A faraway voice in his brain shouts "Hey dumbass, Tom Cruise is a mixed-up perpetual adolescent, so who really cares what he would do?"
Buck is relaxing in his hotel room when he hears a knock at the door. After the knock, he hears "Loom Service." Buck opens the door to find two armed Japanese men who tie and blindfold him with near lightning speed. Rummaging through his case and speaking in Japanese, one asks "Is this the American Agent we are supposed to kill? It smells like he peed in this case, and he is driving a Gremlin. I think you followed the wrong car, ace." The second one says "contact Ahna Mata Poeia. Ask her what to do next."
Ahna answers her phone and during a brief conversation in Japanese says "Rats! Evidently news of our diabolical plot leaked and you bozos have been following a decoy there. Release him in a way which will draw no suspicion and head straight for Ouchy-Lausanne. I will meet you there. We must accelerate the plan." The Japanese man asks Ahna "What if he understands what we have been talking about?" Ahna replies "A Gremlin-driving Robin Hood Plan-educated rube from Texas? You’ll be lucky if he can tie his shoes, much less understand Japanese." "Good point" says her henchman and lets Buck loose. "So solly, mister Buck. Honorable hamburger with flench flies will be sent up soon."
Buck is thinking how mediocre the hamburger is and how much money he could make with a Whataburger franchise in Japan when it dawns on him "Hey, I can speak Japanese! I wonder why those room service guys and that woman named Ahna were going to a town on the French-Swiss border? Something is telling me to follow them. I wonder if it might be the same fellow who answered my question about Tom Cruise."
Pulling the Gremlin into Ouchy-Lausanne, Buck sees two shadowy looking men heading across the border. They look Japanese. They are shorter and more heavy-set than Buck remembers from the hotel, and Buck wonders if they could be twins or at least brothers. All these people look the same, he laments. Buck takes a picture from the comfort of his car.
Buck swaggers into a dark and smoky downstairs tavern near the border crossing. A lone shapely female is seated at the bar with her back to him. Buck slips the SUNPAK 611 flash on his Mamiya and flips the switch to turn it on. Hearing the telltale "zzzzz" of the flash unit, Ahna spins around to face Buck, reaching into her purse at the same time. Buck snaps the picture, and the flash blinds Ahna. She fires the small Russian derringer she has pulled from her purse toward the source of the light, and above Buck’s head wood flies from the thick roof beam. He runs upstairs and out the door quickly, but avoids peeing on himself this time.
Lenses and lens multipliers for sale at $4 each in the lobby. Don't miss the exciting conclusion.
Heck this is better than a Saturday Morning Serial down to the Bijou.
His heart still racing, Buck jogs across the border into the French village of Evian. He ducks into a pastry shop, purchases a croissant or two, begins a conversation with an attractive young woman named Marie and watches as Ahna catches up with the two Japanese versions of Peter Lorre. He leaves the shop and follows at a safe distance as the three walk out of town. Soon they come to a bottling plant where water is stored in clear plastic bottles stacked into great piles. There is a water bottlers strike going on in France, so the plant is idle. Buck hides behind a stack and thirsty from the croissants and the walk, begins drinking. He finishes two bottles as he struggles to hear to their broken conversation. They are very interested in a barrel which has the words "virus de grippe" written on it. He takes a picture of them while they are near the barrel. He hears them agree to meet there at 6:00 AM the next morning. After they leave, Buck slips over to the area where they’d been standing to search for clues. Finding none, he realizes the water he has consumed has taken its toll on his bladder, and he must find a place to tinkle.
Everything is closed and locked, obviously for security reasons. Finally in desperation, he lifts the lid of the barrel and pees in there. Walking back toward the border, Buck is overcome with guilt. Knowing he can’t leave a barrel of something he contaminated in the vicinity of a water bottling plant, he heads back. With effort, he is able to tip the barrel over and completely empty its contents onto the ground. Using a nearby garden hose, he rinses the barrel, refills it with clean water and replaces the lid. He takes a picture, removes the film from the Mamiya, and mails that to Preston Pusbucket. His Visa card maxed out, he returns to the pastry shop to apply for a job. He just needs enough for a plane ticket home. Marie says she is happy for him to live with her as long as he wants.
Weeks later, Buck Cannon steps off the plane in Texas to a hero’s welcome. While he was busy icing éclairs and learning French from Marie, the film made it to Preston, Preston scanned the pictures and sent them to Vitaly, Vitaly put two and two together and figured out his sweetheart Ahna and her two Japanese thug friends were planning to end the world. Everybody was amazed and at the press conference the questions flew like bats out of Carlsbad Caverns at sundown. How did Buck see it all so quickly? Did shots really come from the grassy knoll? How did he know pissing in the barrel would raise the ph factor to the point the virus would die? Why haven’t these cameras and lenses sold yet? And how about the SUNPAK 611 flash? Has it sold yet? Is Nymphia Scooterpie her real name? How did he instantly come up with the plan to fill the barrel with harmless water so that no danger could exist? How did Buck single-handedly end the threat of….The Evian Flu?
Bravo! Bravo! and an extra Bravo for Buck.
I've been asked about the Portertown lens and whether I could show any pictures taken with it. Just a few minutes ago, I took these with the Portertown lens and the Vivitar 2x multiplier. I attached the lens and multiplier to my Pentax *istD. One is a Christmas ornament taken inside with available light and no flash. The other is an outside shot of a brick on the top of my wing wall with a yellow road sign in the background (maybe 15 yards distant) Each was taken at a distance of about 12~16 feet and wide open. This will give you an idea of what sort of espionage work you could do with the lens. Hope this is helpful. If you need images with the lens only, please let me know.
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JC Penney and Vivitar examples below. Same basic shot, same lighting, within a minute or two apart. Personally I have always thought the JC Penney lens (which looks an awful lot like a Chinon) did nicer work.
And an example of one of the many entertaining things you can do with this $4 zoom lens and a wee bit of imagination. I took the first shot last year. Just cropped it to protect an innocent bystander from becoming an unwilling internet celebrity. I took the second shot about 3 minutes ago. Not cropped, not photoshopped. Just a zoom blur shot originating with a single Christmas ball that I rotated and saved. Buy all these lenses and I'll teach you how to take shots like this (using film or digital) if you don't already know.
lol Very entertaining thread.
Rec'd the lenses, excellant packaging, I've enjoyed the posts also, RandyB