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Conspiracy Theories

                                    Amorak Huey

Cops in the movies and mystery novels are always
saying there’s no such thing as coincidence.
On the day Dillinger allegedly was gunned down
by the Feds in Chicago, 15 of Brooklyn’s Young Democrats
on their way to play baseball
against the inmate team from Sing Sing died
when their bus plunged off a ramp into a lumberyard.
The “bus plunge” story became a newsroom joke—
not that particular bus, or that plunge—
but all the buses lemming their way off
all those South American cliffs in the ’60s,
good for three inches and a headline
at the bottom of A24 when a jump fell short.
Now that pagination is done with software
(and soon there’ll be no pages to “-inate”)
there’s less need for pluggers, or plungers,
although buses are no safer. It is also no safer
to be public enemy No. 1, although it turns out
that’s a title invented by a newspaperman,
and the FBI has never offered such a ranking,
assuming, I assume, it would be counterproductive,
something to shoot for, so to speak,
but there is the ten most wanted list,
which includes a guy named Hairline Johnson
(I’m not making this up) who speaks fluent French,
has a master’s in international business:
an avid dirt biker, the FBI says,
with bisexual tendencies and a fondness
for being the center of attention. One
of his a/k/a’s is Greg Johnson,
a sportswriter friend of mine,
my one degree of separation from Tiger Woods,
which makes me two degrees
from a whole host of celebrities,
like Jack Nicklaus, who was a pallbearer
for Gerald Ford, whose funeral procession
went right by my house, and Ford
of course was J. Edgar Hoover’s source
on the Warren Commission,
and it was Hoover who needed Dillinger
to die, because he was about to be fired
from the Bureau for some other snafu,
so if it wasn’t Dillinger who died in an alley
outside a movie theater, just like it wasn’t
Oswald pulling that trigger in Dallas,
it was somebody Hoover put in that spot,
and you have to wonder—no one ever
did track down the “girl in red”
who dropped her hanky to signal the G-men
when Dillinger or his doppelganger
was leaving the movie. Who was she?
A woman spurned? Fed up with her bad boy’s
shameless self-promotion? It’s said
Dillinger offered no final words, but if he had,
they would have been for her.
Believe nothing they tell you, my darling.

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