I Call on Sungma Tenzing Lama Dickhoff, Ufologist by Crad Kilodney
I was on a family visit in New York when I decided to meet a pen pal named Frank, a self-proclaimed psychopath who published a fanzine devoted to murder, violence, serial killers, pornography, guns, foot fetishes, and his own chronicle of child abuse. By sending away for his magazine and enclosing a few of my books, I had inadvertently convinced him that I was somewhat psycho myself and, therefore, okay. His letters, although badly scrawled and full of errors, were nevertheless fascinating and friendly. I always replied with long, interesting letters, enclosing unusual news clippings for his magazine, and twice I sent him audio cassettes of punk and New Wave music, including some live recordings in local clubs. He was very flattered that an “actual published author” with a college education would enjoy his magazine and was willing to write to him. I had some sympathy for him, and I thought it might do him some good to correspond with a normal, intelligent person who would hear him out on any subject without patronizing him. I figured it would help him vent himself and keep him out of trouble.
I understood that Frank led a reclusive life, did not socialize, and kept his home address and last name secret. (I also inferred that he lived off some sort of disability allowance for mental illness.) He had an ongoing legal battle with the F.B.I. and the D.A.’s office because of his magazine. His Rule Number One was: “Never trust anyone, not even your friends.” So I was not surprised or offended when he explained that I couldn’t visit him at home. However, he agreed to meet me at a certain corner. So I took the subway, called him from a pay phone, and described myself. He told me to sit on a bench and wait for him.
Ten minutes later, he showed up, smiling at me from behind his dark glasses. He was smaller than I expected but wiry and tough-looking. He wore a black t-shirt, black jeans, and military-style boots. Actually, for a city guy, he looked pretty normal. You’d never tag him as a psycho. Even the gratuitous dark glasses on a cloudy day were not so unusual.
We shook hands. “I don’t see too many people, you know,” he said. “I’m only making an exception cause you write me lots of letters and send me all kinds of cool stuff.”
“Well, I couldn’t come to New York and not meet you,” I said. “Say, let me treat you to something. What do you like?”
We went down the block to an Italian deli and bought a couple of subs — real New York subs, not the wimpy stuff they serve in Toronto.
“By the way,” he said, “my phone’s tapped, so they know I’m meeting you, but I don’t care.”
“How do you know it’s tapped?”
“I just know. It’s all a game anyway. I’m used to it. They’ll probably open a file on you now, but don’t worry about it.”
“I’m not worried at all. I’m perfectly clean….Well, maybe not perfectly, but clean enough.”
“Yeah, you are.” He finished his sandwich and soda (that’s “pop” to you Canadians). “You know,” he said, wiping his lips, “you’re different. You’re sorta psycho and sorta normal. I don’t read books, but I read yours. You write real psycho stuff. But other than that, you’re the most normal guy who writes to me. I like to get mail. That’s how I connect with the outside world. That and my magazine.”
“Yeah, I understand. Anyway, look, I don’t know my way around Brooklyn too well, and there’s this guy I want to visit, and I was hoping you’d take me there.”
“Who is it?”
“He’s a strange guy who advertises in this flying saucer magazine.” I pulled out a cheap-looking 6×9 magazine from my jacket pocket. It was called The Saucer Bulletin. “He calls himself Sungma Tenzing Lama Dickhoff, Ufologist. He says he communicates with the space people. I’m sure he’s a wacko, but he could be good material for one of my books.” I showed Frank the page featuring Dickhoff’s ad for his mail-order business. “I don’t know where that address is, and I don’t feel safe going to a strange neighborhood alone. So I need you to be my escort. What do you say?”
Boy, I sure hit the right button. Frank smiled like he’d never gotten such a compliment in his entire life. “Man, I could take down 007 if I had to!” He spread his arms and legs slightly and turned around to let me see him from all angles. “I’ll bet you can’t tell I’m carrying!”
“Oh….No, I can’t see a thing.”
“Anybody messes with either of us, they’re dead. Show me that address again….Okay, I know more or less where this is. We can take the M Train.”
We went to the subway and got the M. Frank still had not taken off his dark glasses. I wished he would, just to be polite, but I remembered that he was a psycho, after all, so I had to accept his idiosyncrasies.
It was about fifteen minutes on the subway and then a ten-minute walk. Dickhoff’s street looked okay, but his house was the worst eyesore on the block. I checked the address to make sure we had the right place.
I took a deep breath. “Oh, well, we’ll just ring the bell and see if he’s home. I hope I’m not wasting your time.”
“Hell, no,” said Frank. “I don’t get out much. Maybe this’ll be a real psycho adventure.”
I could hear the bell, then a faint sound of footsteps. A lock turned noisily, and the door opened just a little. A skinny, old geek with a fringe of curly hair around an otherwise bald head peered out at us. “Yes?”
“Hi!” I chirped bravely. “Are you the famous ufologist Sungma Tenzing Lama Dickhoff?”
“Y-e-e-s-s,” he said suspiciously.
“Oh, good! Well, I read about you in The Saucer Bulletin, and my friend and I were really eager to meet you and learn all about the space people.” I decided to lay it on thick. “Lots of people claim to know the truth, but we think you’re the one who really knows…about the space people…and their important revelations for Mankind.”
Once again I hit the right button. “Won’t you come in!” said Dickhoff, opening the door wide and gesturing a welcome with his hand. He was wearing a dirty sleeveless undershirt and shapeless brown pants, no socks, and ragged slippers. I introduced Frank and myself. Dickhoff led us into the living room of his shabby little house. The place was a mess, and there was a bad smell — sort of doggy. “I’m thrilled to have visitors! May I serve you some tea?”
“You mean pot?” said Frank jokingly.
“Ha, ha, ha! I could tell at once you were a naughty boy!” said Dickhoff, wagging a finger. The guy was obviously queer. “No pot, I’m afraid, just the kind of tea you drink.”
“That’s fine,” I said.
“Just excuse me, and I’ll go make it.” Dickhoff went into the kitchen and was out of sight as well as earshot.
“He’s a real faggot,” said Frank.
“Yeah, but just bear with it. I only want to get him talking.”
I looked around. Dickhoff had one dusty bookcase. There were a few UFO books and magazines, but most of the space was devoted to gay literature, thick files of dog-eared manuscript, and stacks of schlocky tabloids. The wallpaper was of a garish Hawaiian floral design, and the upholstery was pink and yellow. The design of the rug had been trodden into unrecognizability.
“My place is way nicer than this,” said Frank. “Even a psycho has certain standards.”
Dickhoff was a long time making the tea. When he finally emerged with the cups on a tray, he was wearing a pair of ladies’ thong panties instead of his trousers. And from the crazed look in his eyes, I figured he had just taken some sort of drug.
He set the tray down on the table in front of the sofa and sat down awkwardly in the chair facing us, grinning like a lunatic, legs spread indecently apart.
“I want to know about the space people!” I said quickly, to keep the conversation on safe ground.
“Ah, yes, ha, ha!” he giggled as he slapped his knees and rocked back and forth several times. Then he began rambling, and I will never forgive myself for failing to bring my tape recorder. He spoke rapidly, with unexpected pauses and odd inflections, his hands moving spastically, and his eyes darting all over the room. “The aliens have developed the ultimate principle of orgone, which was discovered by Wilhelm Reich, but far beyond what he knew. The crystalline essence of sex energy on all planes, including sub-atomic, molecular, and universal, is transmuted, you see, by means of any orgone psycho-motor, which operates in pure telepathic space in telemetric electrogenic fluid space-time, or what the aliens call kativah, as it was explained to me by the alien ambassador. Man is obstructed from sexual functioning on the orgone principle unless a positron wavelength of twelve million kilocycles is directed at the pituitary gland, whose real function in cosmic reality is the receiver of orgone transmission. The alien space ships are actually driven by sexual energy using psycho-motors tuned to the key wavelengths of the space-time continuum throughout the universe acting through high-speed brain computers. I alone have been chosen to procreate the new race of Man, which shall be known as Zeron, and which shall have the power of spontaneous orgasm at will with any other species or with artificial devices, or even unassisted by self-induction in multi-dimensional kativah, and there is no cellular degradation or aging whatever, which means that the Zeron race is immortal!”
I nodded and sipped my tea. “That’s very interesting.” Meanwhile, Frank sat immobile with a twisted grin on his face. He didn’t touch his tea.
Dickhoff stood up, unable to contain himself, and began pacing back and forth rapidly in long, unnatural steps, and his speech degenerated into an incomprehensible gibberish I would not even attempt to reconstruct. Words real and nonexistent were strung together in tortured syntax. It sounded like English but was really a meaningless language. At the same time, I could see a boner stretching his thong panties, which he slapped and grabbed as he spoke. “But let me prove it to you!” he exclaimed suddenly. “Let me prove that I am not insane!” And he bolted out of the room towards some other room out of our sight.
“This guy’s a perve. Let me waste him,” said Frank.
“No, don’t! Please, Frank, let’s not have any trouble.”
We heard an animal sound — rather like a bleat — and then Dickhoff returned, leading a goat on a leash! I almost jumped off the sofa. “This is the present the aliens gave me to make up for my boys leaving me. Her name is Yona. She’s my true love now.” He got on his knees behind the goat, which stood obediently still in the middle of the room, and pulled down his thong. Oh Christ, I thought, he’s not going to… Dickhoff nestled right into the goat’s butt and put his cock into her effortlessly. (I couldn’t tell which hole, and I didn’t want to know.) “THIS IS THE SECRET OF IMMORTALITY GIVEN TO ME BY THE ALIENS! THIS IS THE GREATEST PSYCHO-MOTOR BRAIN RELIEF SQUEEGEE SQUISH ORGONE FUCK FUCK FUCK! AHHHNGH!…”
I don’t even know if I was breathing at that point. I wanted to run but was transfixed. Even Frank seemed too shocked to move, his mouth hanging open in incredulity.
Yona stood there with complete passivity, not even making a sound, as Dickhoff rammed his cock into her, babbling profanities and gibberish. He looked at us quickly and snapped, “You boys can have a whack at ‘er if you want! It’s the greatest!”
I swallowed and tried to find my voice. “No, thank you,” I replied faintly.
“Crad, let me kill this guy,” whispered Frank.
“No, we’re leaving any second.”
Dickhoff howled and bucked his pelvis against Yona and evidently had an orgasm worthy of a Zeron. He flopped on the floor, moaning and rolling about.
I stood up. “We’ll be going now, sir. Thank you for the tea.”
As I was leading Frank to the door, Dickhoff called out after us, “Come back again soon, boys! We’ll have some fun!”
Outside, with the door closed behind us, Frank said, “That guy’s the biggest fucking perve I ever met! Let me go back and kill him! It’ll be easy!” He was reaching for his boot.
“No, no, Frank!” I said, desperate to deter him. I started leading him away from the house, even though I knew he didn’t like any physical contact beyond a handshake. I managed to get him a short distance away from the house before letting go of his arm. I could tell he was agitated. “Now, listen, Frank, you see, think about it. You can’t just go and off the guy in some totally banal way. It’s not worthy of you. You’re world-class. And besides, I don’t want to be with you. A psycho can’t have witnesses, not even friends, right?”
“Yeah,” he said tentatively.
“Right. Now, you see, a true psycho of your calibre… uh, the point is, uh, you have to think of something original, you know, think it over for a long time, like a work of art, you know? It’s got to have imagination. It can’t be ordinary, you know what I mean?” I was desperately pushing my best button over and over.
“You’re not some ordinary thug who’s going to waste someone. That’s beneath you.”
“You think so?”
“I’m sure of it. Now let’s go back to your neighborhood, okay?”
We headed to the subway. By the time we got there, he was agreeing with me that there was no point in dispatching Dickhoff unless it was in a way worthy of a truly superior psycho. Yes, he would think about it long and hard and not act until he had everything perfect in his mind. I congratulated myself, figuring I had prevented a murder and kept Frank out of the worst possible trouble. Time would pass, and he’d forget about it.
He was smiling as we boarded the train. “I have to hand it to you. You really understand, man!… You… really… understand!… You are one cool dude!”
Riding back, I felt too drained to make conversation, but Frank chattered away happily. He was talking about his favorite guns, comparing their effects, how they felt in the hand, what sorts of people used them, different types of bullets, also knives, clubs, booby traps, and how to make bombs and other lethal weapons at home. I just let him talk and nodded to show I was interested. During a brief pause, I managed to say to him, “Can I ask you a personal question?”
“What color are your eyes?” He hadn’t taken his shades off once since I’d met him, so I didn’t know.
“The good one’s brown. I’m mostly blind in the other one. It’s sorta cloudy.” I knew from his magazine that he had been blinded by his parents, who had forced soap into his eyes while “washing” him.
When we returned to his neighborhood, he insisted we part at the corner where we’d met. I asked him if he needed any money for food, but he said he was fine. We shook hands. “I really like you, man,” he said, “and I don’t like too many people other than psychos. You’re a real cool dude.”
“I’m glad we met. It’s been one of the greatest experiences of my life.”
We agreed to keep writing.
I returned to the subway and went back to my relatives’ place in Queens. I had missed dinner, but they kept it waiting for me. When they asked how my visit with my friend went, I said it was interesting and that we had gone to visit someone else and passed a pleasant time. That was nice, they said.
Four weeks later in Toronto, my phone rang. It was Frank.
“Hey, Crad, you were so right! I did it man!”
“I offed that guy, man!”
“Frank, not on the phone!”
“It’s okay, I’m at a pay phone. Listen, remember what you said about a work of art and being original and all that?”
“Well, that’s how I did it. I can’t tell you the details because a true psycho never reveals any details that only the perpetrator could know.”
“I don’t want to know any details,” I said, feeling queasy.
“One thing pisses me off, though.”
“After all that work, there was nothing in the papers, man. Not a word. Nothing on TV either. I shoulda made the front page of the Daily News. I shoulda made Channel 5 News and especially Channel 7 Eyewitness News, because they go for anything gruesome. I was following all the papers and all the TV stations for a whole week, and nothing, not a peep. I can’t figure it.”
“Well, uh… maybe his, uh… death… was reported under another name.”
“Wouldn’t matter what name. The way I did it, I woulda recognized my handiwork. It was like nothing ever before, a total fucking masterpiece! Something so twisted and psycho I’d be world-famous if I ever got caught! I’m so proud of myself!”
“I sure hope you don’t get caught.”
“No way. Perfect crime. Per-fect-o. A work of art. And you know who I have to thank for it?”
“You, you fucking cool dude! You were an inspiration to me!”
“Oh God, I never–”
“Ha, ha! Hey, don’t be upset man, it’s cool, trust me!”
“Okay, Frank. I think I need a Valium.”
“Nah, just have a Molson Canadian beer and drink a toast to me! Hey, I gotta go, dude, but take it easy, and keep writing those books!”
“Yeah, I will. Thanks for the call.”
After we’d hung up, I sat there for a long time, trying to grasp the enormity of it all. I finally stood up, went to the window, and gazed out at the evening traffic. I should never have gone to visit Frank. I should never have taken him to see Sungma Tenzing Lama Dickhoff, Ufologist. But I refuse to take any blame for whatever happened.
I never heard from Frank again, sorry to say. I don’t know if he got arrested or got put away in a mental hospital or what. I never made any enquiries about him. I never tried to learn exactly what he did. Unlike most people, I don’t have morbid curiosity.
What was that?
No, I don’t know what happened to the fucking goat!
by Crad Kilodney
All material at Dead Man Talking/ www.cradkilodneyarchives.wordpress.com is copyright © by Crad Kilodney. All rights reserved.
Crad Kilodney, P.O. Box 72577, 345 Bloor St. East, Unit 7, Toronto, ON, M4W 3S9
Crad’s new writing is now at CradKilodney.wordpress.com