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The Animated Pinup   By:

The Animated Pinup by Lewis Parker

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The Animated Pinup

By Lewis Parker

[Transcriber Note: This etext was produced from Imagination Stories of Science and Fantasy July 1953. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.]

[Sidenote: You're not expected to believe this story since it's the kind of thing that science calls impossible. But anyway, she happened. Who? Why ]

To make it clear how normal everything was when the evening started out, I'll let you in at the time Willy phoned me. I was in my apartment with a lady from down the hall....

I had asked her what she liked and she'd purred, "You." I had asked her with soda or gingerale and she'd said, "Straight," so I'd obliged and poured myself a triple too and sank into the sofa beside her.

The phone rang.

"Oh damn," she said.

"Your earlobes " I began.

"The phone, James."

"Your shoulders "

"James? Don't you think you'd better answer it?"

So I sighed and handed her the glass and told her not to hold it till I got back or she'd melt the ice. I crossed the room to the telephone.

"City morgue," I said.

"Uh unh "

"Hullo Willy," I said, recognizing the stammer.

While he gulped and stuttered a couple more times I threw a kiss to the lady. She failed to throw it back because she was placing a bet with herself that Willy was short for Wilhelmina.

Willy straightened his tongue out. "Jim, I've got to see you."

Now Willy was a nervous little guy from faulty thyroid but neurotic in a bearable way. He sounded even more upset than he usually did. I didn't particularly like him, but he was a topflight illustrator and I liked the way he drew women, and besides I'd been trying for a year to tag him for our agency. All the slicker art agencies were after him, that's how good he was. We'd made the highest bid for him but he still had this bug in his noodle for free lancing, which showed he had more business sense than the rest of his ilk but which wasn't doing my position at the agency any good. I'd been joed to bag him.

Which was why I hesitated and reconsidered the impulse to brush him off. This was the first time he had definitely asked to see me. Sunday midnight is one hell of a time to suddenly decide to see a dogging agent, but like I said Willy was neurotic. So I just tested the impulse.

"Well, Willy," I said, "I'm pretty busy at the moment looking after the interests of the agency artists. They always come first, you know. Could it wait "

"Jim, I've got to see you. It's It's driving me nuts trying to figure out what to do."

"Tax trouble? Or maybe one of your models?"

"No, nothing like that. Listen. Will you come over tonight?"

I let my instincts juggle the stress between pleasure and business. Both were practical, well balanced personal interests. The thunderous night was young and the lady had nice earlobes and my apartment had that feeling about it. On the other hand the little fair haired artist was in a jam and if I played fairy godmom bigger and better apartments and earlobes were in the offing from the agency.

So I made the mistake of my life.

I said, "I'll be there in half an hour," and hung up.

" Jim mee," the lady said. She was pouting, so I pinched her earlobe and patted her shoulders and bemoaned the tyranny of the business world and helped her into her coat. She went back to her own apartment. I tidied up the place, stacked the etchings in their corner, and took a cab outside.

I tossed that part of it in to make it clear that on the face and the underneath of it I could be readily classed as a normal, practical sort of a guy.

I am. I shun unnatural, illogical things, like mysteries, or falsies, or counterfeit bills. Or fourth dimensions. I like an item right on the table where I can eye it and touch it and say, "That's a spade," or, "That's a buck... Continue reading book >>

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