“Eh, Princess Di is old news,” Moira said. “I can’t believe Britain would invade over her.”
“The little boys are with her,” Don said.
“Ooooh, the boys,” Moira nodded that yes, Britain would invade over the royal little princes.
Don nodded back at her. “The US is stalling. Saying we are all crazy and they are searching for a cure. Something has to give soon, though. The world is pissed.”
“What else?,” Mike demanded. “What else do you know, Don?”
“Things are breaking down more and more. That really giant bird has caused havoc uptown. Times Square is basically a No Man’s Land. The tourists are rioting their asses off. Those little Wall Street bastards downtown probably have Kuru already. They started eating each other immediately.”
“What is Kuru?,” I asked.
“The laughing sickness. People who have it laugh and shake. Neurological. It’s basically mad cow disease for people. You get it by eating infected brain tissue. The Cannibal Disease.” Don was a walking newspaper and encyclopedia.
“So all of those Wall Street young guns are down there laughing and dancing?” I pictured a very festive Wall Street.
“Nah,” Don laughed. “It’ll hit ’em in about 14 years. I’m looking toward the future.”
“Any news on what caused this? Is there a rip in time or something? Where the hell did the first bird come from?” Mike was counting on Don to have all the answers.
Don grabbed a cup of coffee from his desk and took a swig. I glimpsed mold coating the inside of the cup and winced. My apartment wasn’t as dirty as Don’s, after all.
Refreshed, Don continued informing us. “The Native Americans are saying it’s a Thunderbird, come to take Manhattan back for the First Americans. Buncha people are in Central Park all dressed in paint and feathers, dancing in a circle.”
“My favorite theory, however, is the King Kong Theory.”
“King Kong,” Mike breathed, rapt.
“The Loew’s 175th Theatre opened in 1930. King Kong premiered in 1933. Ever see that movie? The story is almost non-existent. It’s more dinosaurs and special effects than anything. My guess is that it was almost a documentary. The people who made it were great white hunter types. I think they actually found some version of Skull Island and couldn’t get anyone to believe them, maybe couldn’t find it again. The movie was their only way to cash in. I saw that movie at the Loew’s 175th when I was a kid. RKO sent out all kinds of different huge props to different theatres as decorations. I’ll never forget the giant egg in the lobby of the Loew’s 175th. I’m betting it got stored in the basement and forgotten until Disney finally cracked it.” Don looked at us triumphantly.
“OK, you are making this up,” Mike said, jarred from his hero worship as quickly as he’d fallen into it.
“Maybe I am, maybe I’m not, but you people don’t know your asses from your elbows, so you can shit in your hats” said Don, enigmatically.
“It’s just a bit much for us to believe that Manhattan is being afflicted by the woes of Skull Island, Don. You got any information on the Burning Pit in the park? We need to get over there, rescue a friend,” I wasn’t entirely with Don anymore, either, but we needed any information we would get.
“Yes, I have some information on the Burning Pit.” Don leaned toward us. “Don’t go there. That is all.”
“That is all what?,” Mike said.
“That is all I know,” Don said. “All I’ve heard is people saying ‘don’t go to the Burning Pit.'”
“One more thing, Don,” Moira said. “Is there any way off the island?”
“I’ve heard rumors,” Don leaned back in his chair, “that if you can get across the river and past the soldiers, New Jersey will let you stay. That little dog is pooping in the corner, over there.”