CHAPTER 3: DR. YES AND AND THE BLUE PREYING
THE BLUE PREYING MANTIS
by Tom Leonard
appeared during my dear Hypatia’s wedding
Man-size by the pulpit,
Prancing in prayer-like posture,
Its dark green pseudo-pupils bulging
From its bulbous compound
Its spiky forelegs
The sacred Book of
Flashing its leathery
The four meaner things behind.
‘I’m Bishop Galloway,’ it
Even though His Grace
had gone away to hide.
the blue preying mantis!’ I shrieked.
The worthy canon was confounded,
The kilted best man turned around,
The youthful ushers ran up with a bound,
And I was bundled into the Lady Chapel
Where they gave me a rough grapple
And throttled my Adam’s Apple.
It appeared in CaféChaps
Just as the schemy Aussie
From Sydney with a single kidney
Was trying to get off like a toff
With a bent Dorothy from Tranent
Who wasn’t exactly heaven sent.
It tried to pull tricks without
Its sensors scraping
Its reptilian jaws
munching the treats
surfeit of crunching.
the blue preying mantis!’ I shrieked,
And two hefty bouncers from Saturn’s
Ran in, with jagged scars on their faces,
And threw me headlong onto the street.
minutes or so of intensive questioning following the discovery of Ken
Reid's much bloodied corpse in the deep freeze, the police officers
dragged Ben, his walker, and Malky out of Saturn's and onto
the crowded pavement on Greenside Place.
the Chicken was smoking a fag outside the doorway with the jolly
Irish bouncer and a previously ejected, dope-ridden rent boy.
the police shrinks psychoanalyse you two crazy despots stupid,”
howled the indignant bouncer, waving his clenched fist, “and that
they leave you to rot in the Orchard Clinic.”
chicken did it!” wailed Malky, struggling desperately to break
grabbed the rent boy's leather handbag.
“Oh no I
didn't!” shrieked the shrill chicken, pounding Malky's head with
the handbag, and the theatre goers on the sidewalk wildly applauded.
officers hauled Ben and Malky across Leith Walk and towards the
nearby Gayfield Square. They were within five yards of the square
when the chicken took off across the busy traffic and almost caught
up with them, claws at the ready, before tripping over the kerb, and
falling head over heels into the side of a trash bin.
Malky went absolutely potty and started to rave apparent nonsense.
“Not the blue preying mantis!” he raged. “Prancing
in prayer-like posture, its
dark green pseudo-pupils bulging out
its bulbous compound eyes, its
spiky forelegs grasping...”
off to see Wizard of Oz for a Carstairsian lobotomy,” howled the
sergeant with the curved nose.
“It will take half your frigging head off.”
“If ever there wiz there
was,” raved Malky. “Look! It's sensors are scraping the ceiling,
its reptilian jaws are munching the treats with a surfeit of
no chicken. It's
the blue preying mantis,
they reached the much-celebrated Gayfield Square Police Station, Ben
and Malky were taken straight past reception into the dark and
some poor soul howled.
Let me spill the beans! Not there!”,
and then hurriedly
an elevator into the brightly lit lower basement.
taking you to the Sir William Crichton Interrogation Chambers!”
Malky a couple
under Gayfield House.”
“Sheriff Crichton sent the
most evil prisoners in
the Edinburgh Tollbooth by
St. Giles there
the fifteenth century,”
added the detective sergeant, with
“Maybe we should puncture
the Iron Maiden, Malky, to
get rid of some of your hype.”
flicked a switch, and
a moving titanium
came into view, lit
by a twirling
of flashing colours that
put Malky's mind into turmoil.The
took the officers and the two suspects speedily
the distant strains of 'Flower of Scotland'.
ever narrowing tunnel
stretched under several nearby residences, under St. Mary's Primary
School, and under East London Street, as far as an iron gateway which
opened into the candle-lit
reception area of the Crichton dungeons.Thesehave
inaccessible from Gayfield House fully
fifty feet above.
“Please take the
to meet Dr. Yes in the Guelders Gelding Chamber,
Officer Enrique,” requested the detective sergeant, “and you can
kick off the questioning after Dr. Yes has completed
psychiatric evaluation. You
won't need to stick to the rules in this God-forsaken
please prepare the suspect for his jagging!”
shrieked Malky, in terror. “Please don't let them inject
like they do in the Royal Ed!”
“This could be the start
of a beautiful friendship,” responded
Paulo Enrique, seizing
poor Malky by the scruff of his neck.
Daisy McCracken arrived in
time to question Ben Hopkins in
Malky was, to his horror, stripped by
two smirking, middle age police women,down
favourite, moth-ridden, yellow
vest and acheesy
pair of torn y-fronts which
he hadn't changed for a couple of days,
the Guelders Gelding
or a 'thank
in a white coat was waiting by the Procrustes bed fiddling
with his diamond-studded stethoscope (which was totally
for show, of course).
In his early sixties, he sported a wispy, fading ginger beard, a
number one cut, and a sarcastic expression
which seemed permanently fixed to his scheming
favourite hobby was hunting with
in the Irish
really the eminent psychiatrist Sir
Turnbull McCrae J.P.,
F.R.S.E, F.R.C.P., the
President of the World Consortium
God-like status was revered
across Scotland and
as far south
am I to you,little
Dr. Yes, smacking
blue preying mantis!” shrieked Malky, ad
reply,” observed Dr. Yes, looking down his Romanesque snout.
“Let me ask you two questions while
you are. Firstly, please tell me when
you last saw
a dog in your kitchen.”
last week,” blurted Malky. “I thought I heard a mouse in the
trash. But when I went in to throw it onto
Mrs. Dickety's lawn,
I imagined the outline of a huge alsatian poking
its nose through the door.”
understand. And when did you last see Jesus Christ in heavenly
in the Cathedral, of course,”answered Malky. “I visualised him
by the Altar during Holy Communion.”
referring to transubstantiation, Doctor,” interjected a transgender
orderly called Barbara. “The Catholics believe that Jesus appears
in the flesh.”
Yes puffed his chest, and
and nonsense! The
criminal is clearly psychotic and probably schizophrenic.
should be treated with a course of depixol, by twice daily injections
left buttock, a
centimetre or so below his pelvic bone.
If he experiences serious
paralysis in his legs, then a
pair of crutches should befound
and he should be confined to a barred
isolation cell for
fourteen days if
he smiles or giggles too much.”
nervously raised her very large hand. “Have you considered the
possibility of a depixol-haloperidol
cocktail to quieten him down, Doctor?” she inquired, hesitantly.
Yes blinked, and rubbed his nose. “Now
intriguing suggestion, Barbara. One further question, Mr. McLollypop.
When did you first encounter a blue preying mantis?”
was in a p-poem,” stammered Malky, “a p-poem
composed by my friend, the retired Bayesian Statistician Tom Leonard
starts, 'It appeared during my dear Hypatia's wedding, man-size by
the altar, prancing in prayer-like posture….”
take any more of this unfounded spectrum
nonsense,” shrieked Dr. Yes, grinding
his teeth. “However, paranoid schizophrenia is a totally different
issue, and we can't be too careful. Parallel
of depixol and haloperidol
the order of the day. Administer the haloperidol
by twice daily
injections in the moron's right buttock, orderlies! Go
get him, Barbara!”
promptly picked Malky up, threw him onto the Procrustes bed, pulled
his y-fronts, and
and mean orderlies from the
to administer Malky's very
a brand specially
manufactured in Bangladesh,
which had been
a very thorough clinical trial involving the jagging of n=434 indigenous slaves.
twisted needle against bone, Malky shrieked in absolute agony and
collapsed in a heap.
let me coshthe
dose of clopixol, Doctor,” begged the leaner of the orderlies. “I'm
on a commission from Big Pharma.”
Yes chuckled. “Now, now Rex! The
imbecile's not elderly or demented enough to justify coshing him with
the depixol is already earning me a packet from Kundbach
the greedy orderly.
be welcome to top the lout up with quetiapine
more that five millilitres though, or his breasts may start
to swell beyond
the permissible limits.”
tell me if your legs get to feel
a bit rubbery,” said Police Cadet Paulo Enrique, pouring Malky a
glass of fizzylemonade.
sighed, and frowned. “This
is a Procrustes bed! We need to stretchthe
clown's limbs with the movable
pulleys to make sure that he fits it properly. Thank
goodness his neck isn't as
it isn't!” howled Malky, in absolute terror.
this is beginning to all
sense,” remarked Paulo Enrique, seizing
Malky by his ankles.
recapitulate, Dr. Hopkins,” said Detective Chief Inspector Daisy
her throat lozenge sidewayswith
“You and your three companions were in the Hex Mirror Room for
various periods between about 11.30 am and 1.30 pm last night. You
all went for a shimmy in the Steam Room at about 12.45, completely
devoid of clothing would
Both Ken Reid and Malcolm McLachlan left the Mirror Room more
frequently than you and Dr. Eugenia
presumably either to visit
Sling Room or to return
the Steam Room, or to languish with
But please describe to us,
one more time, your
grounds for the suggestion (which
expressed to one of my highly
earlier this evening)
that it might be a good idea to check the contents
of the freezers in the Cold Storage Room.”
was simply because I overheard a snippet of conversation in the main
bar earlier this evening, Chief Inspector, to the effect that there'd
been some funny goings on in the vicinity of the freezers. Winnie the
Mince said something like that to her straggly-haired spouse.”
again! Are you saying that you had no knowledge last night of
anything that may or may not have happened in the Cold Storage Room?”
chance! I didn't even know it was there. They only feed their
customers with crisps and nuts in that place.”
to your knowledge, did either Mr. Reid or Mr. McLachlan take the
opportunity to throw their legs in the air for some light relief on
definitely, but Ken Reid did say 'He
made me feel like a fluffy bunny wunny'
when he returned to the Mirror Room at about 12.30, and Malky
muttered 'He was such a sly
foxy-loxy' a bit later while he was performing a highly
roll across the artificial
invaluable information! Now, Dr. Hopkins, you still
to be insisting
you left the premises through
the back door at
1.30. Were you accompanied by all three of your companions?”
Malky and Eugenia, I think. I don't remember anything about Ken.”
see. And what happened next?”
remember. I was in such a drunken stupor, you see. The next thing I
recall is waking up in my flat, with Malky squatting
on my chest. The
sweat was pouring from his thighs.”
is all highly suspicious, Dr. Hopkins. We will be detaining you in
this facility, for the time-being at least. Please make yourself at
home in the St. Grunwald Self-Flagellation Cell.”
the meantime, the bear-like retired Bayesian Statistician Tom
Leonard, nicknamed 'Sasquatch'
caring of his gay
left the recently hipsterisedPlanetbar
close to the corner of Leith Walk and Easter Road (following
a token kiss and cuddle with an
Japanese lad visiting
from Kyoto who'd
fled from Saturn's),
and returned to his drab
floor flat on Montgomery St.
he turned on
discovered that a comment had been left on his Facebook page by theone
Dr. Yes. Itwas
appended to a
Thomas Hoskyns Leonard Blog,
entitled 'The Blue Preying Mantis',
which had been 'liked'
Mantis Strangelove of
Inky Winky, Banana
doubtlessly feel reassured of the
your initially warped perceptions,
following your much-belated A.D.D.
re-diagnosis by Dr. R.
However, this horribly
poem has distorted the mind of your similarly
inane sidekick Malky,
who may have perpetrated foul crimes because of it. Your entire
away with the fairies.It
be destroyed forthwith
and your laptop incinerated.
to re-align his neurotransmitters.
I'd better delete this post, quick, from my Facebook page at least.
McLachlan had been left lying spread-eagled on his back on the
Procrustes Bed in the Guelders Gelding Chamber, his perspiratiouslimbs
stretched excruciatingly taut by the pulley system around him.
some point in time, the two middle aged woman police officers came in
with a jug
and a large jar of Schmuckers
Sweet Orange marmalade.
exclaimed the officer from Musselburgh. “Could
be the medication, I suppose.”
pull the Motherwell laundry-women's stunt on him,” suggested the
officer from New Lanark.
giggled her saucy colleague,
opening the marmalade.
effects of the injections, Malky was feeling a bit chirpier half an
hour later when Detective Chief Inspector McCracken came in to
question him, accompanied by Police Cadet Enrique who was gripping a
rubber truncheon in his right hand and a taser gun
you for sorting out the Roller from Shotts, Paulo,” said Daisy
McCracken. “He seems to have a full alibi in the Queen's Head Hotel
in Kelso for the times
returned on the bus this afternoon after stopping off in St.
Boswell's for a couple of expensive gins in the Buccleuch Arms.”
it was fun giving the
the once over,” replied Paulo Enrique, swinging his truncheon gaily
around his head. “He admitted to rolling two highly indiscreet
clerics from Melrose for a hundred quid each. I'll
grill him a bit more later in
the Sinclair Trepanning
see what he knows about the other Walter Mittys and their secret
McLachlan grimaced, and slapped Malky's
then, Mr. McLachlan, if you value your goolies, I'd like to know
exactly who laid you last night in the sling in the basement of the
complex on Greenside Place.”
Eric McVie,” shrieked Malky.
“The pretend Lib Dem freak. The God-damned neo-fascist treated me
felt like Tony Chenevix-Fettes performing a stunt in
the Rose Garden for
George W. Bush.”
appropriate. Who else?”
exclaimed the chief inspector, reaching for the marmalade.
buddy Davie,” purred Malky. “He was so utterly divine.”
Pickles, the proprietor, of course.”
see. And at what time did you leave the premises?”
of two, I think.”
of two, or back of three?”
did you leave with?”
lovely Ph.D. supervisor Eugenia. She's a fellow grass roots
Socialist, you know.”
happened to happened to Ben Hopkins?”
Slinky Ben caught up with us while we climbing up Greenside Lane. He
took us to his place, but I was no longer in the mood for anything
more than a relaxing twenty minutes of ninety-six, apart from my
pre-breakfast treat of course.”
why did you participate in the foul
the Steam Room
before you left Saturn's?”
“Didn't! The chicken did it.”
“System Lucky Seven on the
pulleys please, ladies,” retortedthe
Detective Chief Inspector. “I'll
be back later to
take a formal statement.”
McCracken returned to the Reception Chamber, only to find MI6 Agent
Hamish McLeod standing there panting heavily.
“What's up, Hamish?”
inquired Daisy, straightening her dark blue cravat.
responded Hamish. “With Eugenia Slotsky-Pereira's help we've
of fresh evidence, including more accurate assessments of the
precise times when
Messrs McLachlan and Hopkins left the basement of the Saturn's bar
complex last night. Perhaps you should consider modifying your list
of prime suspects in the light of our new discoveries.”
maybe our dear Eugenia's evidence is suspect too,
deliberated the crafty chief inspector. Maybe
she's deep in the shit. And maybe this chancer is in even deeper than
certainly consider all of this extremely carefully indeed,”
Daisy cautiously. “Is there anything else?”
Hamish gave Daisy McCracken
a stern look. “Yes indeed. Winnie the Mince's skull
was crushed to
a couple of hours ago after she fell head over heels down the
infernally steep staircase on her way to the loo. A suspect disguised
as an orange puma was seen fleeing from the scene.”
looked flummoxed, but quickly recovered her composure. “Was
the resident Walter Mitty, 'Judge Antony' in the bar?” she abruptly
“Too true. He was wearing
his white Cistercian abbot's cloak and
cosying up to the Humpty Dumpty barman.”