Burgers are Big Business
By Sharan McQuack, Launchpad's wife.
Loosely based on "Gentleman Pete" a Mickey Mouse and Goofy story in Walt Disney's Spring Fever #1.
Disney and other comic companies often rewrite stories so they star different heroes. Also based on my story "Dijon the water seller".
One morning, Duckburg was rocked with the news that Burger Beagle had gone straight! Burger had entered and won a contest that Best Burgers ran to come up with a recipe for a better hamburger.
The grand prize was a huge money prize and a Best Burger franchise to run.
The next thing you knew, Burger was riding around in a limo, wearing fancy duds and giving money to charity. However, Burger still lived in a ramshackled old dump.
"I haven't actually gotten all the money yet. Renting a limo is cheap compared to buying a new house." Burger explained to the press.
Mr. McDuck somehow smelled a rat. Can't say I blame him. Mr. McDuck checked this out. There had been such a contest and Burger had, indeed, won the Grand Prize! Fair and square! Will wonders never cease!
Mr. McDee ordered me and Launchpad to keep an eye on Burger and see what he was up to.
"I suppose you think he's really gone straight?" Mr. McDuck sneered.
"Not a bit. Not with my experience with the Beagles in general and Burger in particular." Launchpad retorted. " Dijon stole because he's a kleptomaniac. Burger's just dishonest."
"But since Burger's done nothing wrong recently we have no choice except to give him enough rope to hang himself by." I put in.
So...Launchpad and I took turns following Burger via helicopter. We did our usual jobs, sometimes using a helicopter instead of a plane the better to keep an eye on Burger without him knowing it.
Then, Mr. McDuck called us up to tell us one of his bank managers had called HIM up to inform him Burger Beagle wanted to deposit valuables in one of his banks. All three of us, me, Launchpad and Mr. McDuck headed to the bank to find out what was going on here.
However, when we got there it seemed straightforward enough, Burger had a small case of junk jewelry: necklaces, bracelets, rings, a watch and a few cufflinks. Burger wanted to deposit it in the bank's vault for safekeeping.
"This is all cheap junk! Not worth safekeeping!" Mr. McDuck stated, examining the case's contents.
As the owner of the Bank he had the right to do so and insisted on doing so.
"It's mine, though! And this way, it's safe from that family of mine!" Burger replied.
Mr. McDuck had to admit Burger had a point there.
Since Mr. McDuck couldn't think of reason to prohibit it, he had to allow Burger to deposit his case in the vault. So it was put in the vault and the time lock was shut and could not be reopened for 12 hours.
"There's something wrong here! I KNOW he's up to something! None of that "jewelry" was worth much! Even that stupid watch didn't work!" Mr. McDuck muttered.
"What was ticking, then?" Launchpad asked.
All of us had heard ticking coming from the case, but since there was a large "gold" watch highly visible in the case, none of us had thought anything of it. Now, we thought about it.
"You don't think...a bomb?" I asked.
"To blow up my bank's vault from the inside!" Mr. McDuck lamented "Wouldn't be the first time the Beagles have used explosives to rob one of my banks!"
"What if we wait right near the bank and stop him right after the explosion?" I suggested "Before he can get away with the loot?"
" We could "park" a helicopter or two on nearby roofs, with tarps over them." Launchpad suggested "We could use the copters to swoop down on the Beagles and surprise them."
"I better tell the police about this." Mr. McDuck said. "Have them laying in wait for the Beagles, too."
He did that, too. If it had been Joe Average who called them and told the cops about this, they might not of believed him and done nothing. But since it was Scrooge McDuck, the cops came and waited in hiding near the bank.
Hours went by. Just as we were starting to think we were wrong and nothing was going to happen...BLLAMMM! One doozy (1) of an explosion rocked the night, blowing a huge hole in the wall of the bank. Two seconds later, a van turned the corner, parked near the hole where the bank's wall used to be.
The cops had been waiting along the roads leading to the bank. But the Beagles can be clever. Their truck came down from the parking garage of the shopping mall next door to the bank. They parked right next to the bank, ran into the hole in the bank's wall and grabbed all the gold and as much money as they could before running back into their van.
Burger had picked this bank because it had a great deal of gold in it's vault. Most banks just have money in their vaults and a lot of the money in their vaults has their serial numbers recorded. Gold, once it's been melted and reformed is impossible to identify.
The cops waited for the Beagles to drive away so they could stop their van and catch them with the loot...BUT ...the Beagles drove up the ramp leading up that previously mentioned parking garage. Somehow, nobody had expected that.
The Beagles drove up and across the parking garage, as if they were looking for a parking spot. Then down another ramp they went and out the opposite end of the garage a few blocks from the bank. None of the cops were nearby.
But Launchpad and I had "parked" our helicopters on a large nearby building. We went after the Beagles as they headed for the park. The Beagles drove down a road that only police and other official vehicles are supposed to use. WHY is it surprising the criminals are willing to ignore the laws?
The Beagles soon turned onto one of the few everybody-can-drive-on roads that cross the park as if they had goofed and were correcting their mistake.
Then, the Beagles drove onto the thruway, an inter-state multi-lane superhighway where the "rush hour" of trucks and vans was in full swing, like it always is in the middle of the night.(2) Plenty of on ramps, off ramps, other busy roads to get on. Imagine trying to find ONE normal looking van in THAT mess.
However, Launchpad had Mr. McDuck in his copter. And Mr. McDuck could smell the gold the Beagles had stolen. And he could follow his "nose" (nostrils, actually)to the gold and the Beagles.
Launchpad radioed me in my copter so I knew about this and could follow them.
I was flying solo because I prefer to avoid Mr. McDuck as much as possible. TWO people with rotten tempers are one too many. Especially when one calls the shots and the other has to put up with it.
()()Am I the ONLY one who thinks somebody who can smell gold miles away when gold has no scent is a LITTLE weird?()() I thought.
Still, I followed Launchpad's copter. We could no longer see the Beagles and they could not see us, so they thought they had lost all pursuers. Thinking they were safe, they headed for their hideout.
They headed for the last place anybody would look: the Best Burger franchise that Burger had won. This was 3 o'clock in the morning and it was closed, the Beagles figured they could hide there until just before the place was supposed to open. Best Burger doesn't serve breakfast, it doesn't open until 11 o'clock. And by THEN, the cops would no longer be looking in Duckburg.
However, Mr. McDuck followed the scent of the gold they had stolen right to their hideout. Launchpad radioed the cops, who soon had the place surrounded. Those Beagles soon surrendered and were arrested.
It turned out to be a good thing I lagged behide. I saw Burger as he snuck out from his dump of a house a short distance from the Best Burger franchise.
I was looking at mostly because I knew Burger lived there and I couldn't help but wonder why he didn't at least fix the place up. (I forgot guys don't really care about things like that.)Turned out Burger had dug a tunnel from the franchise to his house. And hadn't told his brothers about the escape route.
I radioed Launchpad and the cops. Launchpad and I soon had our headlights on Burger, pointing him out, giving him no place to hide.
Soon, the cops had Burger arrested.
I HAD to ask him about all this.
"I don't understand, Burger. You won that contest. " I began.
"You won a bunch of money. You won this Best Burger franchise, which is a license to print money. " I continued.
"WHY did you BOTHER to rob that bank when you didn't have to any more?" I finished asking.
"What was I SUPPOSED to do, go straight?" Burger replied, clearly astonished by the question.
"In MY family? I could never live with the humiliation of being an honest man! " Burger explained. " Only fools and suckers follow the rules, obey the laws! I ain't a sucker or a fool!"
"I only entered that contest on a lark! I never expected to WIN! " Burger continued. "Once I won, I HAD to restore my reputation as a crook to keep my family's respect! "
"So I wore fancy clothes we had stolen but couldn't sell." Burger finished "I got one of my brothers to drive me around in a stolen limo, to make it look legit, make me look rich...until I got a chance to rob that bank!"
(1) There used to be these big, beautiful cars called Deusenburgs. The word "doozy" meaning BIG and impressive comes from them. I don't think I have ever seen a Deusenburg.
(2) You DO know lots of trucks and vans drive on highways in the middle of the night? I do. I live right near the New England Thurway.
Was founded by Nevil's great-grandfather, Basil, who was a member of the Birddogs, sort of a cross between the Blackhawks and the Tuskegee Airmen.*
After WWII, the Birddogs were putting on an air show over a beach to raise money for injured vets. A ship off shore got in trouble, they rescued it, one thing led to another...the next thing you know they had a search and rescue squad going.
Sam Spaniel, the last surviving member of the original Birddogs *still works for Rescue 8 (the "8" refers to active rescue squad members. Of course there are support staff members) as museum guide/tour guide/spokesman/elder statesman. There is a museum dedicated to the Birddogs and Rescue 8 itself.
Supervision: Nevilslep Nile and his wife Niomi. Nevilsleep: Radar, sonar and weather expert. Niomi: communication expert (big black dogs).
Land: Avalanche Alp and his wife, Edelweiss. Avalanche: medic and digging and caves expert. Edelweiss: repair person extraordinaire and ground vehicle expert.
(Saint Bernards. Avalanche with a first aid kit around the neck instead of the cliche little barrel of booze. Edelweiss is a decedent of one of the Birddogs.)
Air and Space: Launchpad and me, his wife Sharan. Launchpad: pilot and astronaut. Me, photographer/reporter/press agent to the group.
Water: Buck Diver and his wife Pearl. Diving and submarine experts. (ducks)
(*I swiped this idea from that episode of JLU: "I am Legion" where the Flash, Hawkwoman and Fire (Her I don't know. I looked her up in Wikipedia.) teamed up with the last of the Blackhawks. I though it was a shame that Blackhawk Island was abandoned and the Blackhawks left no living legacy. And the thought "what if the term "Blackhawks" had been a tad more literal?" popped into my head.)