They were closing the Odious Theater at the end of the month, so I went with a couple of friends to see "The Ants" last night. The place was a little bit dingier than I remembered it. The Helium Boy was there, squawking during the intermission and selling frosted nightmares and dread on a stick. I had an angora gel, myself.

When the film broke, nobody in the audience realized something was up. But I had seen the blokes hauling canisters up onto the roof. I thought it was odd at the time, but I was determined to enjoy myself. Anyway, the lights flickered and I suddenly smelled wet fur. I leaped to my feet just in time to see the hamsters rappelling down the walls. I figured it was time to get out of there.

I haven't seen my friends since then. Either the hamsters got them, or after the way I sort of abandoned them there, they decided they didn't really like me all that much. But that's okay, because now I've got the case of a lifetime. When I returned to my car, there was a woman waiting there. She had scary eyes, the kind that you just know can see right into your childhood, and she was fingering her beads of hope, and she asked me, "Do *you* ever knuckle under to the demonic hell-spawn?" And I said, "Hell, no, I'm Sissy-boy Johnson. I'm a private investigator. Where'd I be if I did that?" And she let me in on a little secret, and gave me a picture of the guy I have to find. And a lot is riding on this, so it really doesn't matter that I'm out the three bucks for the ticket and didn't get to see the whole movie. I'm gonna get to find out how it ends anyway.