In the Twinkling
of an Eye

sarah ellis, column editor

Dragnet, Pinocchio-style

Sharon O. Severson

Dragnet opening theme: Dum-de-dum-dum.

Narrator: The story you are about to read is true. Only the name of Sergeant Joe Friday has been changed to Italian to accommodate this innocent parody.

Music continues: Dum-de-dum-dum-dum!

Sgt. Giuseppe Venerdì: This is the city, Florence, Italy. I work here...I'm a cop. It was Tuesday, February 20, and it was raining. My partner, Biglietto Gannon, and I were workin' the day shift outa homicide when a mysterious woman wearing blue hair burst into the office. I could tell right away that she was trouble. It's not like we get a lot of blue-haired women walkin' into our office every day. Ya know what I mean?

Blue Fairy: Oh, officers, you have to help me. I'm so afraid he's been swallowed up by the Terrible Shark!

Officer Gannon: Just the facts, ma'am.

Sgt. Venerdi: All we wanta know, ma'am, is just who has been swallowed up by this so-called Terrible Shark?

Blue Fairy: It's my brother, Pinocchio, officer.

Sgt. Venerdi: Actually, it's Sergeant, ma'am.

Officer Gannon: I think she was talkin' to me, Giuseppe.

Blue Fairy: Oh, I'm so sorry, Sergeant. Well, as I was saying, Pinocchio is not actually my real brother. He's more like my adopted brother. You see I just couldn't resist adopting the poor little rogue even though he killed the Talking Cricket with a hammer. And, he only bit off the Assassin's paw in self-defense. Of course, it was that Gorilla judge that wrongly incarcerated my poor Pinocchio for being a simpleton. After all, Pinocchio can't help it if he's a simpleton as you see he's only a Marionette made out of wood. He only buried the gold coins in the Field of Wonders so that he could grow a tree that bears gold pieces and give them to his father, Geppetto. And why the Carabineers arrested him for hitting Eugene in the head with a book I'll never quite understand. Fortunately, he was able to escape capture. It was just a simple misunderstanding as I'm sure you can see, Sergeant.

Officer Gannon: Yes, ma'am, just a simpleton and a case of just a simple misunderstanding.

Sgt. Venerdi: I don't know, Biglietto. This case doesn't sound so simple to me.

Officer Gannon: Whaddaya mean, Giuseppe? After all, she just gave us the facts.

Sgt. Venerdi: They may be the facts as she see 'em, but there's got to be more to it than that.

Officer Gannon: So, you're playin' a hunch, huh, Giuseppe?

Sgt. Venerdi: Ya, that's it, Biglietto, I'm playin' a hunch, and sometimes you just gotta play a hunch.

Officer Gannon: So, what's your hunch, Giuseppe?

Sgt. Venerdi: It's this Pinocchio kid, see? It sounds to me like he's behind this whole racket and he's usin' this story of being swallowed by the Terrible Shark as a cover. I got it figured this way. This Pinocchio character needed to get outta town in a hurry. Seems to me he's in trouble up to his little wooden ears. The Blue Fairy admitted that her brother killed a Talking Cricket. Besides that, this kid's already got a record. He's served time for stupidity, a most heinous offense. And, he's wanted by the Carabineers on assault charges. Ya, this Pinocchio is on the run and he's lookin' for a hideout, and what better place to hide than the stomach of the Terrible Shark? I tell you, Biglietto, when I catch up to this Pinocchio punk he's goin' ta be sorry he was ever carved. I'm goin' ta throw the book at him.

Officer Gannon: You don't mean, life, do you Giuseppe?

Sgt. Venerdi: That's right, Biglietto, life. Life as a real live boy.

Dragnet closing theme: Dum-de-dum-dum. Dum-de-dum-dum-dum!

Sherry Severson is a master's student specializing in Archival Administration at the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Volume 5, Issue 1, The Looking Glass, 2001

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Dragnet - Pinocchio-style" © Sherry Severson, 2001
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