Chuckbo II - The Russia Caper

As some of you know, I'm a hot shot computer programmer who once saved Houston from terrorists, so I'm not surprised when autograph-hunters track me down. It was Friday morning when two men in dark glasses entered my office. "Mr. Hinkle, the Russian military is planning a coup. We want you to stop it."

I was skeptical.

"We're not just asking you to save the world; we need you to save Houston."

That convinced me. I learned Russian that weekend and flew to Alaska. On Monday, I swam to Siberia and rode the trans-Siberian railway to Moscow.

Resting in Red Square, within three minutes, a line of over 200 people stretched behind me. I apologized; this wasn't a toilet paper line. They became unruly and attacked me. I held them off for half an hour before a KGB squad arrived and captured me.

As they stuffed me into a car, I knew they'd been tipped off I was coming. Suddenly, everything became clear: someone needed me out of town, President Bush was coming to Houston, Canadian fisherman don't wear tennis shoes, and the Pope really was Polish. I had to get home, NOW!

I leaped from the speeding car, rolled twice, and ran to an airbase. I jumped into a MIG-25 and took off.

Streaking over the Pacific, a dozen F-18s intercepted me. I radioed that I had tickets to the NCAA final four and was late. They escorted me.

My luck finally gave out. 35,000 miles over an LA suburb, I ran out of gas, and bailed out. One - two - three - four -- I pulled out the ripcord. It came out of the parachute. I should've read the label: made in Russia. Aiming for my remaining chance, I plummetted through an open skylight in a trampoline factory and bounced to safety.

I ran outside and commandeered a passing Lamborghini. Michelle Pfeiffer scooted over, wearing a flourescent pink bikini. She smiled too much and asked me to her place. She was in on it. I drove to her mansion, shoved her out, and resumed racing to Houston.
Eight hours later I turned onto my street: deserted. I roared into my garage and raced inside my home. The dark was a black, velvet curtain. Suddenly, all of the lights came on and eighty people screamed "Happy Birthday!" I pretended to be surprised. Thus the moral: leave it to the Russians to give away your surprise party.

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