"Piece of Candy"

By Sharan McQuack. Launchpad's wife.

Loosely based on Talespin story "Piece O' Da Action" in Disney's Adventures, March 11, 1991, my title needs works. Baloo should go back to "Jungle Book" where he belongs and Disney should sell Launchpad already.

Sorry for break between stories, my air conditioner sprung a leak, water warped wooded tiles of my living room, stuff in living room had to be crammed into corner so tiles could be replaced...including my computer.

Launchpad was about to walk into his favorite candy store, when he heard thur the door:

"No! I won't pay! No more "protection" from me!"

"You tell them!" Launchpad encouraged.

Looking thur the glass pane on the door, Launchpad saw a thug standing with his back to the door. Launchpad pushed against the door as hard as he could. The door collided with the thug, just as Launchpad planned.

Thug was down for the foreseeable future.

"You OK, Mr. Hooper?" Launchpad asked. (1)

"I'm fine! Watch out for the other crooks!" Mr. Hooper replied.

"OTHERS?" Launchpad gulped.

"You knocked out our "brother"!" Two other thugs Launchpad hadn't seen before said.

They closed in on Launchpad.

"It was an accident! He's clumsy!" Mr. Hooper fibbed valiantly.

"No, it wasn't. I did it on purpose. What are you going to do about it?" Launchpad asked, already preparing to fight.

"Launchpad, don't interfere!" Mr. Hooper pleaded.

"Too late! I'm interfering!" Launchpad replied, picking up the crooks.

"They're just hired help! Nobody knows who their boss is! Stopping them will do no good; their boss will just send others!" Mr. Hooper explained.

"That true?" Launchpad asked the two crooks, shaking them like maracas till their nearly empty heads rattled.

"Yes sir! Just flunkies! Plenty of young punks eager to take our place! Stopping us is waste of time!" Crook A stated.

"Me too! Put me down! Please!" Crook B added.

"OK, I won't hurt you if you send your boss a message. Tell him to leave Mr. Hooper and his business alone. Launchpad McQuack says so." Launchpad said.

"We'll tell him! Anything! Just put us down already!" Two crooks chimed.

"Then I won't hurt you...much." Launchpad said.

And he tossed one crook, then the other over his shoulder so they landed none too gently. On their pointy little heads. THEN, they grabbed their still out-to-lunch "brother" and ran for it.

"Launchpad, now you made them mad at BOTH of us!" Mr. Hooper lamented.

"Call the cops!" Launchpad said.

"What PART of" they're just flunkies, nobody knows who their boss is, arresting them will do no good because boss will just hire more DON'T you understand?" Mr. Hooper asked.

"The part where you are doing NOTHING to try and STOP this." Launchpad replied.

"I hate it when you make sense. I'm an old man. I can't fight them. Beside...aren't YOU worried about Sharan and your kids? You told those crooks who you are! They'll go after YOU, your wife and kids, too!" Mr. Hooper warned.

"Hmm. Luckily, I left my copter "parked" a few blocks from here. I better go follow them. Maybe they'll lead me to this 'boss" of theirs." Launchpad mused.

So Launchpad ran for his copter, got aboard, and went up and circled around until he spotted the crooks. They were carrying the crook Launchpad decked until that crook came to, which had slowed them down some. Launchpad spotted them helping their still-woozy "brother" into their car. Fortunately, they didn't expect to be followed by a HELICOPTER. A car, maybe, but not a copter.

They were headed towards our house. Launchpad remembered Mr. Hooper's warning and since a helicopter is a LOT faster than a car and doesn't have to worry much about traffic, he got to our house well ahead of them.

"Sharan! You're OK, great! Where are the kids? Oh, Hi, Mr. and Mrs. Porper." Launchpad said. (2)

"Oh, hi, Launchpad...my parents want to spoil their grand-kids rotten for a little while. Is that OK?" I asked.

"Great! Marvelous timing! Take them, far away and for as long as you like! Don't hurry back!" Launchpad replied, handing our four kids to their grandparents.

I take a moment to explain that my parents are normal people who have led normal lives and wouldn't know an adventure if it walked up to them and bit them. They somehow assumed Launchpad just wanted some "alone" time with me, thanked us, took the kids and scrammed.

"Launchpad, what's going on?" I asked.

"Some racketeers were shaking down the candy store "man" Mr. Hooper for protection money. I told them to leave him alone, told them who I was...they're coming here. Mr. Hooper warned me they might hurt you or the kids." Launchpad explained.

"I'll stay here, in our house. Those crooks will go to your office, next door. (3)Your name's on the can arrange a proper welcome for them." I said, kissing my Launchpad.

So, Launchpad was waiting to greet the crooks as they arrived at his office.

"Huh? How did you get here ahead of us?" Crook A asked.

"Maybe I got superpowers." Launchpad said, sarcastically.

()()I love these bright bulbs who call ME stupid. They should talk.()() Launchpad thought.

"Psst! I heard a rumor that he's Gizmoduck!" Crook B said.

"That's weird, I heard a rumor he's Darkwing Duck!" Crook C said.

"Well, I hear sirens! Cops! Run!" Crook A replied.

"Launchpad! I called the cops!" I screamed.

"Arresting us will do no good! Our boss will just send more flunkies!" Crooks said.

"So? I'll call the cops every time. I already got 911 on speed dial, I'm married to Launchpad McQuack, ain't I? When HE'S around, things happen." I replied.

And the crooks ran for their car and scrammed before the cops could arrive.

"I better follow them! Maybe they'll lead me to this boss of theirs THIS time!" Launchpad said,

And kissed me.

"You take care of yourself." I replied, hugging and kissing him in return.

Launchpad ran for the copter and followed the crooks who still didn't expect to be followed by a helicopter. They headed for a dive, a crook's bar, to talk about what to do about Launchpad.

"Our boss is going to be mad at us for this guy getting away!" Crook A said.

"Almost as mad at us as he will be at him!" Crook B agreed.

"Unless you let me join your gang!" Launchpad said, as he walked in.

"What?" the crooks said.

"I've proven I can be VERY useful, haven't I? I decked you guys and I followed you. Twice. I'm sick of being a good guy. I want to join your gang." Launchpad said, lying shamelessly.

For Launchpad was lying in good cause.

"We don't get to make decisions like that. Our boss does." Crook A said.

"So take me to your boss. Or I'll just keep following you guys until you do." Launchpad replied.

"Maybe we better. This guy has been a pain in the neck. The boss will know what to do with him." Crook C said.

So they took Launchpad to their headquarters, to see their boss.

One of the flunkies went to an intercom and "talked to the boss":" We brought Launchpad McQuack to see you, boss. He says he wants to join our gang."

And he motioned Launchpad to enter the room, which was empty...until the SAME flunky entered thur a secret door and sat down at the boss's desk.

"I'm the boss. But it's a secret. IF the other crooks knew that, they'd kill me or betray me to the cops." Boss Flunky explained.

"Then why tell me?" Launchpad gulped.

"You work for Scrooge McDuck. I could use an "inside man" working for him, especially one with your muscle. I'm taping this conversation. You betray me, I either blackmail you, or kill you." Boss Flunky explained.

"Tape this then. I was only pretending I wanted to join your gang to find out who your boss is. Now I know." Launchpad said.

And Launchpad punched Boss Flunky one good and ran like fun!

"After him, stupid!" Boss Flunky screamed to the other crooks.

"YOU'RE the boss?" The other crooks asked, for he came out of the boss's office.

"Never mind that now! Get him, or I'll kill you!" Boss Flunky screamed.

"He's the boss, all right!" One Crook said.

"Thought that was Bruce Springsteen." Other Crook muttered.

So the crooks ran out intending to "get" Launchpad. Their headquarters was on an island, and had a pier right outside the headquarters. The crooks looked around everywhere, but saw no sign of Launchpad.

"Where did he go?" They asked each other.

They didn't realize Launchpad had jumped into the ocean and was swimming towards their boat.

()() Did you morons forget I'm a duck?()() Launchpad thought.

Launchpad reached the boat and swam to the side facing away from the island, so the crooks didn't see him. Grabbing the rope that anchored the boat to shore, Launchpad climbed onto the boat. Launchpad soon had the boat started.

However, as soon as the boat moved, the crooks saw it and realized Launchpad had...er..borrowed their boat.

"How did he get to our boat without us seeing him?" Crook A asked.

"Maybe he DOES have superpowers." Crook B replied.

()() Gotta love dumb crooks.()() Launchpad thought.

The crooks soon got into another boat and were following Launchpad. And since he was in a boat, on the ocean, there was no place to hide. No way to keep them from following him.

Launchpad grabbed the boat's radio...:"This is Launchpad McQuack, contacting the harbor police...the coast guard..."

"Would you settle for your wife?" I replied.

"SHARAN?" Launchpad asked.

"What, you're the only pilot able to follow somebody in a helicopter? Thanks for teaching me how to fly one of these upside down eggbeaters, by the way. I was worried, so I followed you in our helicopter." I replied. "I also called the harbor police, as soon as I saw where the crooks had taken you."

Launchpad then heard sirens and saw the harbor police boats coming. They were closing in on the crooks.

"This is the harbor police! We have you surrounded! Surrender or we'll shoot!" the cops said.

"Launchpad, you want I should throw you down a rope ladder just in case?" I asked in Yinglish. (4)

"Wait a minute until I give you the signal, then throw it down, quick!" Launchpad replied.

I waited wondering what he was up to THIS time.

"OK, throw it down...NOW!" Launchpad signaled, a minute or two later.

I threw down the rope ladder and Launchpad clambered up it pronto and pulled it up after him.

"Head towards the island, please." Launchpad requested.

So I did. (5)

"Launchpad, that boat you were in..." I began.

'Is headed right back to where it came. " Launchpad explained. "I lashed the controls so it'll head directly back to those racketeers headquarters. What, I don't want to STEAL the boat, do I? This way, I just borrowed it. I'm sending it back, aren't I?"

I saw that the boat was heading back to the island...and the crooks were STILL following it.

"They think you're still in the boat?" I asked.

"They were busy evading the cops while I climbed the rope. They didn't see me leave the boat, and since it's still going, they assume I'm still piloting it." Launchpad explained.

"And our helicopter is blue, so the crooks think it's a police helicopter." I replied. (6)

The crooks continued to follow the empty boat. The crooks apparently thought that Launchpad was playing "chicken". The empty boat continued pilotless. Launchpad's empty boat hit the pier, full speed. The boat was going so fast it jumped the pier! And smashed into the crooks' headquarters.

Boss Flunky and one or two lesser crooks were in the building. They were trapped under the boat, but unharmed.

Meanwhile, the crooks in their boat were the ones to chicken out. When they saw Launchpad's boat jump the pier, they panicked and hit the breaks. Too late. Their boat hit the pier. Slamming on the breaks just meant they were now going too slow to jump the pier. Their boat crashed into the pier.

"Great crash, guys!" Launchpad said. "And I'm something of a connoisseur."

Despite myself, I laughed.

"Launchpad, I wish you wouldn't say things like that..." I began.

"It's called: "beating them to it". If I say it, it doesn't hurt as much. And others will say it if I don't, whether it's true or not. And it ain't." Launchpad said.

The harbor police came along and took EVERYBODY (including US!)in for questioning. Between our testimony, Mr. Hooper's and other victims of the protection racket, the Truth came out. Once the other victims found out that the boss of the gang had been found, they were suddenly willing to talk. Soon, the whole gang of racketeers was arrested and we were free to go.


(1) Of course I know Mr. Hooper from "Sesame Street" is long gone. I needed a name since Louie is sort of "taken" in Ducktales.

(2) My parents. Porper's my maiden name. Now you know why I was very glad to kiss it good bye and good riddance.

(3)Launchpad's friends build us a proper house as a wedding present. Launchpad's little yellow shack is next door and is now Launchpad's office.

(4) That's English influenced by Yiddish.

(5)It's next to impossible to switch pilots in a helicopter in midair.

(6) Launchpad followed them in his copter at a high altitude so the crooks didn't spot it. I couldn't do that over the ocean with no buildings to hide behide, no narrow streets to make the copter hard to see, and no city noises to obscure the copter's noise. When following Launchpad, I hovered the copter near the city's edge, watching the crooks' boat thur binoculars until they landed before following.