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Lace And Whiskey - The Story

Lace And Whiskey - The Story

(Thanks to Gene Grams for typing this in)

This is the story that appears in the L&W promo  book. The story is preceded
by comments about the  Pretties For You through L&W albums. After the story
there are about 15 pages with a bio on different gangsters. Then the diary.


THE CASE OF THE PURLOINED KUMQUATS
(LACE AND WHISKEY)
 A New Alice Cooper Thriller

It was a dark and stormy night. Lightning slashed the midnight sky and
thunder shook the windowpanes in the ancient mansion called home by master detective Alice Cooper and his faithful old family retainer, Mrs. Hays.
Nevertheless, the fireplace crackled with a cheery blaze, and the study took on a warm, almost inviting air of an oasis against the bitter night.

Suddenly, there was a knock at the door.

"Who's thre?" Mrs. Hays' voice trembled as she limped to the massive oak door, hesitating to unlatch it to the midnight unknown.

"It's me, Mrs. Hays -- Alice," the voice trailed faintly through the heavy door. "I've left my keys! Let me in!"

"Nonsense, Mr. Alice," Mrs. Hays replied. "You're in your study, as always this time of night. Look for yourself!" So saying, she threw open the door and there, shivering and drenched, stood the sleuth himself.

"Mercy, Mr. Alice," cried Mrs. Hays, "the saints forgive us for making you stand in the rain so long, but I could have sworn you were sitting by the fire, reading. Why, I even took in a glass of sherry for you to have before retiring."

"Curious," mused Alice. "most peculiar. Hm. Well, no harm done, Mrs. Hays. It's late. Why don't you turn in, and I'll lock up."

"Certainly, sir. Oh -- might I inquire as to the outcome of your golf tournament, sir?"

"Rained out, dash it all. Perhaps rescheduled next week, if fair."

"One certainly hopes so, sir. Well, goodnight, then; if you'll not be want me, I'll retire."

"Goodnight, Mrs. Hays. Sleep well."

IT'S HOT TONIGHT

Alice Cooper, legendary crime fighter, was the acknowleged master of disguise. His experimentation with makeup and props had no equal in all of sleuthdom. His exploits had been chronicled by every known medium; his career had more highlights than streak 'n' tip day at Jon Peters' salon. Eight LPs were milestones of his mighty accomplishment, each providing substantial clues to aspects of the man -- which clever Cooperites delingted in piecing together to try to discern the true inner self. Now, however, Alice was at the threshold, the culmination of over a year's effort to forge
the ultinmate LP, the most intimate revelations of his decade as a media darling -- and secrecy was the watchword.

"But who," he inquired of himself silently, "was sitting in my chair? Reading my book? Toasting by my fire? Drinking my sherry ... and why?"

Stealthily, Alice made his way down the long, imposing hall to his study, carefully not disturbing the framed platinum and gold records lining the walls, each a momento mori -- of days in the recording studio, nights on the road; and a thousand memories came flooding back as he walked.

Twenty-nine years ago on the fourth of February Alice mysteriously entered this world. Born Vincent Furnier in  Detroit, his first eleven years were spent in that prosaic city; then he and his parents migrated to Phoenix, where the sun and clean air helped him blossum into a track star and fledging journalist ... and now ... and now ...

Silently entering the velvet-draped, burgundy-paneled, simple yet elegant room, Alice enunciated: "It's hot tonight, isn't it?" He knew that a startled reply from the presumed stranger would betray that he had glimpsed ... the lace and whiskey.

No answer came. In fact, there was no visitor, nor any trace of one -- except for the empty sherry glass on the ornate table flanking the gold brocade wing chair.

LACE AND WHISKEY

"Perhaps," Alice mused, "Mrs. Hays has caught a splinter in the windmill of her mind. Still, there is the matter of the sherry ..."

His finely-honed senses told Alice that he was whistling in the dark; that -- somehow -- a fiendishly clever impersonator had spent the dark and stormy evening curled up with the ... lace and whiskey.

Lowering himself into the comfortable chair, he began to sort out the happenings of the day. Reaching for the everpresent bowl on the table, his fingers curled around -- empty space. Gone! Whoever had occupied his moste
private of places had also helped himself to the one overwhelming passion in Alice's life -- helped himself totally, so that not a single kumquat remained in the once overflowing dish.

"He (whoever he may be) has now gone too far!" Alice leaped to his feet and prepared for action. "I'll leave no stone unturned until I find this impudent lout!"

Storming through the corridors of the vast mansion, Alice resembled the raging weather outside, his face dark as if thunderclouds rode his eyebrows, lightning flashing from his dark and piercing eyes.

ROAD RATS

Alas, the intruder had left no trace and his exit mode was as baffling as his manner of entrance. Truly this was a taxing puzzle for our hero; but insult had been added to injury, and proceed he would, through the most arduous of investigations.

It was not for nothing that he had spent ten years on the road, ten years of grueling days and punishing nights, honing and perfecting his art. It was not for nothing that he had grown from clown to craftsman. And it was certainly not for nothing that he had earned the right to a kumquat or two before tucking in for the night. The gauntlet had been thrown, and Alice Cooper was equal to the task.

DAMED IF YOU DO

"Dawn shall not break," he vowed, "and find this monster still at large!" Leaping the stairs multiplicity, he burst open the doors of his bedchamber. His dressing table, a coffin -- a relic of his early days on the road, and now used to hold a vast collections of stickpins and cufflinks -- had been left untouched, as had his wardrobe; but "someone's been sleeping in my bed," he noted. "The plot thickens. Whoever was here must still be in this house -- and hiding, like the craven coward he is."

Slipping out of his knickers and coordinated shirt-jac, he donned a velvet smoking jacket and jogging pants to prepare for the long night ahead. "No time now," he opined, "for the lace ... and whiskey."

YOU AND ME

Where was it all to lead? What was the purpose of the brazen intruder, and to what end had he tampered with the trappings of such a formidable adversary?

"Let's lay it all out," he muttered throught clenched teeth, "and try to find some logic in this plot. We know that someone (or something) has been in this house, on this night, assuming my persona, eating my kumquats, drinking my sherry, lying prone (or perhaps supine) on my bed, and possibly reading the manuscript (God strike his eyes) of the lace and ... whiskey."

But the burning questions remained: who? and why? not to mention how? And what about Naomi (for that was Mrs. Hays' given name)?

"Let me try to fit this -- person -- into my life," he thought. "Is it someone I've met along the way? Perhaps some dilettante from my college days in Phoenix, or the concomitant excursions to Los Angeles which ultimately led to my settling there for two years? Or perhaps some hail-fellow-well-met from my relocating in Detroit in the pre-'I'm Eighteen' period? If so, then the villain must also be known to Bob Ezrin, the Paladin of producers, the Caesar of the control board. Perhaps a professor who took offense at 'School's Out?' But if so, why wait so long?

KING OF THE SILVER SCREEN

"Muddle, muddle, brother!" he exclaimed. "I need to relax, to think things through in a calm and reasonable fashion. I shall repair to my screening room; perhaps I'll watch 'The Little Shop of Horrors' of some other soporific."

Sliding down the curved mahogany bannister, Alice was dismayed to find a sleepy, night-capped Mrs. Hays watching from the pantry door.

"Oh, Mr. Alice," Mrs. Hays mewed, "I do so worry you'll hurt yourself one day -- couldn't you just try walking down your elegant curved staircase?"

"Never fear, Mrs. Hays, I've the safest bannister in town. Which reminds me, I guess it's useless to dust that for fingerprints any more. Drat. I must be preoccupied with the lace and ... whiskey," he whispered sotto voce.

"But why are you dressed for work, Mr. Alice? You never wear your smoking jacket and jogging pants unless you're on a big case!"

"Precisely, Mrs. Hays. Someone has (1) occupied my chair and bed; (2) drunk my sherry; (3) eaten my kumquats; and possibly (4) been privy to something meant for my eyes alone. This will not do. I shall unmask the malefactor before the crack of dawn!"

"Please be careful, Mr. Alice. He may lurk nearby!" Mrs. Hays scuttled back to the servants' quarters, with a flurry of scuffly slippers and the slipping of countless chains and bolts on her door.

"Well, off to the movies," Alice announced, loud enough to be heard by an nearby lurkers. He scarcely made a sound on the thick Oriental carpet as he moved alertly to the screening room, where he had his choice of everything from Looney Tunes to Lina Wertmuller, so arcane was his taste.

Selecting a videotape of his TV special "Welcome to My Nightmare," Alice allowed himself to reflect once more on the identity of his uninvited guest. Could it have been someone from the 56 cities he covered in 62 days of the "Billion Dollar Baby" tour -- a tour that grossed $5 million plus, and made Alice Cooper a personality, even in the LOLITS circles? Or someone who took umbrage at his autobiography "Me, Alice," which Putnam's had published in 1974? Or even one of the hundreds of people involved with the "Welcome to My Nightmare" project, which had evolved into a record album, television special, and eight-month tour?

Just then, the door swung open on its oiled hinges...

UBANGI STOMP

In the flickering light from the projector, Alice, seated, watched Alice, filmed, innocent of the menace thay crept ever closer. Now and then he chuckled at the antics on screen, but his attention was less that full as the mysterious goings-on gnawed at his insides. Suddenly, the room went dark, the plug pulled and the projector silenced, and the only sound was of two hearts beating, two breaths bating.

"Identify yourself, you scoundrel!" Alice crouched, ready to spring ever to avenge the insults of the night. There was no reply, save for the heavy footsteps drawing near. Alice circled, hoping to get behind him ... or her ... or it ... but the intruder was circling also, and around and around the room they went in a grotesque imitation of an ostrich mating dance.

"Speak up, varlet or knave, as the case may be! Are you so lily-livered that the sound of your voice would throw you into a fantod? Out with it, now."

Stomp. Stomp. Stomp stomp. Stomp stomp stomp.

"Oh, stop it at once! Who is your choreographer, may I ask -- Yogi Bear?" Alice knew whereof he carped, for he had lately begun a course of professional dancing, and what he was hearing was no shuffle-ball-change.

Still there was no word from the unseen presence; no sound, save for his peculiar gait, and ... a whisper of lace ... and a pungent smell of -- yes! -- whiskey.

(NO MORE) LOVE AT YOUR CONVENIENCE

Clever Alice had maneuvered his way to the light switch, and stood with his hand poised to reveal what or who had managed to give such all-encompassing affront. "No more Mr. Nice Guy," Alice said, harking back to an early hit single, "and what's more, School's Out for you, kiddo, and you're Elected to go Under My Wheels -- and I know I Never Cry. So it's all over now and you better start singing."

"Only Women Bleed," came the soft reply.

"Mrs. Hays," roared the astonished Alice. "What is the meaning of this tomfoolery? What are you doing -- here -- now?"

"It was I, Mr. Alice, who drank your sherry, ate your kumquats, sat in your chair, lay supine on your bed, and --"

"Stop! What is the rationale behind this duplicity? You, my most trusted employee, Naomi Hays --"

"That's just it, Mr. Alice; you don't even know I'm alive. My name isn't Naomi. It's Winifred, named after my dear mother who was a continuing feature in the New York magazine competition, rest her soul; and as for why, well, I'm tired of being a piece of woodwork around here; when you need something you call for me, but it's only at your convenience!"

"But Mrs. Hays, we -- I -- you don't -- but you're not --"

"I knew you'd say that. But it all can be different, don't you see? When you started acting, and appeared in the movie "Sextette" with Mae West, and began to write such sensitive, tender songs, I thought there was hope ..."

I NEVER WROTE THOSE SONGS

"Mrs. Hays. Truly, I'm flattered. But life is what it is, and we are what we are, and truly the twain can never meet. I hope you will understand and not think badly of me, buy my passion -- my only passion -- is the completion of my new project .. the  ... LACE AND WHISKEY!

"And surely a woman of your sophisticaton must know that many songs -- indeed, many poems, plays and promises -- are inspired by nothing more that abstract intellectualization. Please, Mrs. Hays, let us both forget this unfortunate incident and retire to our respective bedchambers for what remains of this long, wretchedly confusing night."

"Oh, Mr. Alice, you have such a way with words. All right, then, but there is one thing you should know. I am now completely conversant with your plans for LACE AND WHISKEY and I have tentative appointments with representatives from many popular magazines to discuss its thrust, its actualizaton, and its relevance. Perhaps in the morning we can do a Monty Hall?"

"Do a Monty Hall? Mrs. Hays, I haven't even mastered the Funky Lunchbox yet. You know I don't go to discos. Whatever is a --"

"Let's Make a Deal, Mr. Alice ..."

MY GOD

"My God!" Alice Cooper thought as he thankfully slipped into his silk pajamas and brushed and flossed. "Quel dommage, oi veh, and other assorted multilingual interjections. What a bewildering, upsetting, and generally miserable night! Well, at least it's stopped raining...

"Raining! It's been rainging! All day, in buckets! I should have known hat no one could have entered this house undetected -- it was an insider all along. Alice, old Coop, you have been working too hard. Better watch it, or they'll take the epaulets away.

"Lucky LACE AND WHISKEY is finished and ready for release. Mrs. Hays will have to dress up as a pizza if she wants to play that game -- but let her have fun dreaming of it. As I shall most surely do."

And, smiling, he slept.