Multicultiboho Sideshow: A Novelby Alexs D. Pate
In this provocative and searing satire, young, unpublished, African American author Ichabod Word captures and holds hostage unsuspecting law officer Bloom. Icky proceeds to regale Bloom with a rambling tale of anger and woe about Dewitt McMichael, a benefactor of artists of color who is now a garbage bag-wrapped corpse in the corner of his living room. Even if it
In this provocative and searing satire, young, unpublished, African American author Ichabod Word captures and holds hostage unsuspecting law officer Bloom. Icky proceeds to regale Bloom with a rambling tale of anger and woe about Dewitt McMichael, a benefactor of artists of color who is now a garbage bag-wrapped corpse in the corner of his living room. Even if it proves to be his last, desperate act on this earth, Icky is determined to vent in full the bizarre circumstances that led to the latter's demise a mind-boggling chronicle of power, immorality, money, political stratification, racial discrimination, brilliant creation, and desecration.
Alternately sobering and screamingly funny, Alexs D. Pate's The Multicultiboho Sideshow is a blistering and remarkable work that spares nothing and no one.
Read an Excerpt
Although distressed, Ichabod Word answered his front doorbell with the sweetest smile. He hadn't had time to shower or to change his clothes in more than twenty-four hours. He wore a stained black sweat shirt and a pair of black jeans that were so stretched and beaten from multiple washings that they were in danger of losing their blackness. His apartment reflected his own internal disarray. There were stacks of brightly colored plastic plates and cups scattered about the living room. There was overturned and broken furniture. There was a dead body which Ichabod had carefully wrapped in two plastic garbage bags, tied firmly, and pushed into a corner of the dining room. The place was an absolute mess.
For the past two hours, before the doorbell interrupted, he had been sitting quietly, contemplating his situation. To be perfectly accurate, at about an hour and forty-five minutes prior to the ringing of the doorbell, he'd decided to call the police. It had obviously taken them fifteen minutes to arrive. And in that time Ichabod had slipped back into deep thought.
He'd planned it very carefully. By the time he appeared at the front door, he was completely prepared, steely, and fundamentally disconnected from his body. Not really the Ichabod Word that was the youngest child of the West Philadelphia Words. But a man who was simply using that name. He knew all about Ichabod. He had lived that life consciously. He just didn't feel like himself anymore. He felt new, expectant. Or ...
Maybe he'd been gone too long.
Maybe he was too long gone from the hood. Too far away. Both intellectually and emotionally to still be that skinny littlekid that everybody called Icky.
But now, as he stood opposite a chunky white man dressed in a tired charcoal gray JCPenney suit, he hoped his plan would work. The man held a badge and identification card up to Ichabod's face.
Ichabod nodded and pressed the lever that unlatched the storm door and opened it about a foot. The man leaned back a little to let the door pass and then stuck his thick head into the open space.
"Did you call the police?" he asked.
"Yes." Ichabod stepped back but held the door open with his outstretched arm.
"I'm Lt. Bill Bloom, Minneapolis Police Department." The detective grabbed the edge of the door with his pudgy calloused fingers. Ichabod noticed that his fingernails were chewed to frayed edges.
Ichabod opened the door wider and stood aside. He felt the cop's eyes focused on his. But Ichabod refused to look in his direction. Instead, he withdrew farther into the house. He tried his best to disconnect his actions from his intentions. He smiled as strongly as he could.
"You called about the Ron Abbott case?" The lieutenant breathed his words heavy, a slight hint of moisture sparkled in the space just below his ear. Ichabod struggled to keep his smile but he knew he couldn't remain silent much longer. He felt his intentions begin their embrace of the moment. He reached behind him to the small table that stood just inside the doorway, and grabbed his gun. With no hesitation he brought it around and planted it quickly in the policeman's temple. Lieutenant Bloom realized just a little too late that he'd been duped. He instantly reached for his gun, but felt Ichabod's hand yanking it from his waistband before he could get there to stop it from happening.
"I would advise you, sir, to cooperate." Ichabod brought all of his unspecified anger into his voice. If ever there was a time when being a black man might prove useful, it was this situation.
The city of Minneapolis had been caught up in the throes of a search for a missing young man by the name of Ron Abbott. He'd been missing for about a week and had last been seen at a bar in the Mall of America. It had occurred to Ichabod that if he called and said that he had seen the man on the day of his disappearance, a detective, preferably one working alone, would be dispatched to take his statement. After all, it was nine-thirty in the morning. He hoped that would increase the chances of them sending the type of officer they had.
Lieutenant Bloom felt the dull coldness of the ninemillimeter pistol at his head. He'd completely blown it. No partner. No backup. He'd already made so many mistakes he couldn't believe it. He let himself be guided to a chair.
"Do you know what you're doing? You heard me when I introduced myself, didn't you? You know I'm a police officer." Ichabod shoved the detective down into an armed cherry wood dining room chair. "I'm Lieutenant Bill Bloom, Minneapolis Police Department. Do you understand that?"
Ichabod was also sweating now. Lieutenant Bloom was a big man. About 260 pounds of decaying muscle and gut. Luckily, though, the officer was in his midfifties and had already begun anticipating his retirement to Florida. He was only heavy, not necessarily much in the way of real resistance.
Ichabod slammed him down into the chair; there was a dull thud as his body came to rest there. His eyes opened wide and anger blazed.
There were strips of duct tape already lined along the table's edge. Ichabod plucked one and slapped it across Bloom's mouth, ending the cop's freedom of speech. "Shut up a minute. I know who you are. I was the one who called you."
He bound the officer's hands to the arms of the chair. His ankles to the legs. The cop expressed no further resistance. The duct tape and the gun that had bruised his head had their own calming effect.
Ichabod put the detective's gun on the middle shelf of his mahogany bookcase. He then picked up a pack of cigarettes from the floor and after a brief search for a match, which he found under the sofa, he lit one and began pacing in front of the bound man.
"I realize that I am standing here, in an apartment in Uptown Minneapolis, two blocks away from one of the finest urban lake systems in the entire world, and at my feet is a dead man." He blew a lungful of smoke into the air. At the mention of dead man, Bloom's eyes widened. He swiveled his head to the right and stopped as he spied the...The Multicultiboho Sideshow. Copyright © by Alexs Pate. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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