Danny Danger awoke to find his arms and legs entangled with the arms and legs of a lovely young lady. Immediately, he started getting ideas, and they weren't good ones. He tentatively reached for her face and was about to touch her cheek – an oddly tender action for a ruffian like himself – when a roar erupted from the wilderness behind him.
It was the surprisingly agile, middle-aged woman whose purse and Volvo he had recently stolen. She had pursued Danny on foot while he was driving the Volvo away, and had been pacing him remarkably well, to the point where he expected any moment to see her flying over the top of the car and blocking out the windshield with her smart suit jacket and tweed skirt, forcing him to stop the car. He had been about to banish such a ludicrous thought when the surprisingly agile, middle-aged woman did just as he had imagined, and blocking his view of the road, forced him to jump the curb and stop the car near the entrance to the park. She had jumped to the ground with now-not-so-surprising speed and reached for the driver's side door when Danny swung the door open abruptly and knocked the woman flat on her back. He made a break for the woods, expecting that the middle-aged woman would gratefully accept the gift of taking her car back and that would be the end of it.
Danny had been so very wrong in his assumption, and here again was the surprisingly agile, middle-aged woman to prove it. She stood above him, gripping a substantial-looking branch in both hands, and appeared to be about to plunge it down on his face with another primeval roar when Danny, still entangled with the lovely young lady, rolled them both a few feet away, deftly avoiding the blow.
The enraged woman let out a deafening screech and lifted the branch again and took a step in Danny's direction. But then she stopped, and dropped the branch, looking confused and more than a little concerned.
"What are you doing to that lovely young lady?" the surprisingly agile, middle-aged woman shouted.
"Wouldn't I like to know?" replied Danny Danger, rhetorically.
"Who is she? And why are the two of you impersonating a life-sized pretzel?" the woman continued.
"I got no clue," said Danny, and reached for the bludgeoning branch which the woman had dropped. His move did not go unnoticed, as the surprisingly agile, middle-aged woman stomped on his hand with her Manolo Blahnik high-heeled shoe.
Danny cried out, and doubled over (as much as is possible while fully entangled in the arms and legs of a lovely young lady) in pain. The lovely young lady stirred a bit, then opened her eyes.
"Where am I?" Suzy Sunshine croaked.
"On the ground," replied Danny Danger, only inches from her face.
"What am I doing here?" she asked.
"Don't you remember?" said Danny Danger.
"I don't even remember who I am," Suzy replied.
Danny thought fast, which was quite a feat for him. "You're my girlfriend." Danny looked up expectantly at the surprisingly agile, middle-aged woman, trying to gauge the degree of her belief in his ruse.
"Do you really expect me to believe that?" the woman said, and bent to pick up the branch. She held it in one hand and began tapping it repeatedly across her other palm.
"Uh..." Danny Danger stammered. "Yes?"
"Who are you?" Suzy muttered to Danny, still in a fog.
"I'm Danny, baby," he answered in a soothing tone.
"Danny Baby, I don't feel so good," Suzy said, and untangled one arm to rest it, palm up, against her forehead.
"Oh, Danny Baby..." cooed the surprisingly agile, middle-aged woman with a sneer. "...you still have some explaining to do."
"Whaddya mean?" Danny replied, looking as clueless as he was.
"Why'd you steal my purse and my Volvo, Danny Baby?" she said, still tapping the branch across her palm.
"Oh, that. Well, I was trying to get to my girlfriend. She was in trouble."
"And how did you know she was in trouble, on the other side of the park?" the woman challenged him.
Danny, though not technically on his feet, was quick on his feet, and answered, "Because I have ESPN. I know things ahead of time. Things that are going to happen. I'm like, you know, physic."
"You're physic? And you have ESPN?" the woman said, looking as skeptical as she was. "Well, Danny Baby, if you're so physic, then why don't you tell your 'girlfriend' there what her name is."
Danny shivered involuntarily, though it wasn't cold outside. He turned to look at the lovely young woman. She looked like a Debbie, or maybe a Margaret. But he wasn't sure. He looked her full in the face for the first time and was struck by her beauty. She was utter perfection. That was it!
"Her name is Perfection. Utter Perfection," Danny replied. "But I just call her Utter."
"Udder is an awfully strange name for such a beautiful young lady," the surprisingly agile, middle-aged woman said, looking consistently skeptical as before.
"I didn't say Udder, I said Utter. You should listen better next time, lady!" Danny Danger spat hatefully. Then he turned to Suzy Sunshine and again reached out to touch her cheek.
When his fingers made contact with her face, the dazed young lady swatted at him with the hand she'd held against her forehead. "Don't touch me!"
Danny grimaced slightly, then turned and smiled at the surprisingly agile, middle-aged woman. "We had a fight this morning. The usual stuff. You know. Does the toilet paper roll go on over or under? I say over, but Utter, she says under. It's the, you know, the old-age question."
"Who are you calling old?" the middle-aged woman screeched, and tapped the branch against her open palm a few more times for emphasis.
"Certainly not you, ma'am," Danny stammered, which was becoming a habit with him. "Listen, we're just having a conservation here. Nobody needs to get hurt."
"Danny Baby?" Suzy called out, and Danny turned instantly, as though drawn to her in some way.
"Yes, Utter, dear?" Danny cooed, and frowned at himself. Danny Danger don't do cooing, he thought.
"Why is that woman being mean to you?" Suzy whined.
Danny turned and glanced quickly at the surprisingly agile, middle-aged woman, then turned back toward Suzy. "Well, Utter, it's like this. I sorta, borrowed her car for a few minutes, because I was trying to get to you as quick as possible. I knew you was in trouble. You know, on account of our fight this morning?"
"I don't remember our fight this morning," said Suzy, and she began to weep silently.
"Then neither do I, honey. It's all forgotten. It's in the past," Danny replied. Then, to seal the deal, he turned to the other woman, nodded his head and gave her a quick thumbs-up, then returned his gaze to the lovely young woman he called Utter, and planted a soft kiss on her cheek.
Danny Danger looked back at the surprisingly agile, middle-aged woman as if to say, Okay, show's over, everybody can go back home now. But she was not impressed.
"If any of that is true, and I seriously doubt that it is," replied the woman, "it still doesn't explain why you took my purse."
"Oh, that," said Danny, and thought quickly again, making his head hurt a bit. "Well, that was just, um, a cry for help. You know, I'm not a real good person and I, uh, wanna get my life back on track. So I stoled your purse, and that was, like, a cry for help. So you, or someone would, like, stop me. Kinda, you know, do an invention on me and send me to get rehabitated."
The surprisingly agile, middle-aged woman stopped tapping the branch against her palm, and looked long and hard at Danny, obviously confused. "You make my head hurt," she said.
"I know the feeling," replied Danny. He turned toward Utter/Suzy, then back toward the other woman. "So, um, are you gonna let me go?"
The surprisingly agile, middle-aged woman hesitated, as though pondering Danny's fate, which in fact she was doing. Then she spoke: "I will let you go, on two conditions. First, that you give me back my purse, with all the money that was in it. Second, that your 'girlfriend' Utter will agree to check you into 'rehabitation', as you call it, no later than tomorrow morning."
Danny looked at her, a little confused, thinking that her two conditions sounded more like four or five. But that was probably because he was only half-listening. He turned back toward Utter/Suzy, winked at her and smiled. Still looking her way, he said: "So, Utter, whaddya say? Sound like a deal to you?"
Suzy Sunshine, still trying to clear her head from the impact of her fall, just nodded her head dumbly at the strange man with whom she was bodily entangled.
Danny turned back to look at the surprisingly, middle-aged woman, and was surprised to see that she had already gone. Her purse, which had been wedged in between Danny's lower back and Suzy's right shoulder, was also gone and presumably all the money with it.
"Cool," crowed Danny Danger, then turned to gaze again at the lovely young woman with whom he was still imitating a life-sized pretzel. "So, now what do we do?"
Suzy Sunshine squinted at Danny, trying to make out his face clearly. She thought he sort of looked like a man she'd once seen on a wanted poster at the post office. But she couldn't be sure. She didn't even remember who she was, much less what a post office was, even less than that what reason she'd have had for ever seeing this man's face before today. But he seemed friendly enough, and wasn't bad to look at, either.
So Suzy replied, with as much energy as she could put into it: "I'd like to have my legs and my other arm back."
Danny grinned, struggling to wriggle free from the heap that they had become. "And then?"
Suzy raised one eyebrow and smiled wryly. "We'll see..."
TO BE CONTINUED...