The “Shasta Speaks” Edition

In Fashion, Life, People on March 29, 2008 at 2:06 am

The question came from my own dearest brother, known affectionately as “the Kiby”, of (for those of you with a severe speech impediment) Waloo! The question was as follows:

Oh dearest, brilliant sister of mine!

There is a question that has perplexed my meager intellect for many a winter. I have just now come to the conclusion that you, in your near infinite wisdom, could answer it for me!

So, dear sister: where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?


*   *   *   *   *

Dear Kibz,

Allow me to tell you a dark, and terrifying tale…

A whiles back I took it into my head to become a journalist, and landed myself a comfy and well paid position with a prestigious newspaper of a great deal of renown. On one of my overseas assignments, I came across the answer to this very question – stumbled over it, really. If you’ll allow me to wax nostalgic for a moment:

It had been a long day. A long day of politicians and their bullshit and not nearly enough booze. A long day of marbled floors and courthouse columns and that rank stench of pretentious human sweat which never washed out of my favourite blouse. When it was finally over, I set off in search of a tall glass of gin, with a vodka chaser. Strangely, I landed at an out-of-the-way little dive which specialized in pop-star impersonators.

I sat down at a table with my gin and my notebook. I was planning on getting some work done… at least until Ricky Martin took the stage. He was smooth. He was sassy. He was a very good Ricky Martin impersonator. And, as I looked closer, I realized that he was a lady. And not just any lady. I looked even closer; as a result, I got shimmied in the face. But it mattered not.

“That Ricky Martin is the one and only Carmen Sandiego, unless I miss my guess!” I said, leaning back. I asked the waitress what the performer’s name was. She told me that my Carmen Sandiego went by the name of Shasta Delacroix. I asked if I could arrange to meet with Ms. Delacroix after the performance; the waitress agreed. When Carmen’s “La Vida Loca” was over, I took my gin and my reporting gear with me into the back booth where she was waiting, switching on my digital recorder as I went. This was bound to be a story I would not want to miss…

And it wasn’t. However, unfortunately that great story ended up being cut (by my oh-so-cutthroat Editor-in-Chief). The true story of Shasta Delacroix went untold, until now. If you’ll allow, I’d like to post – for your information and reading pleasure – the transcript of my near-fatal interview with:

There’s a story here. It will be told.

Shasta Delacroix… A.K.A, Carmen Sandiego…

Ally: So, Carmen, please do tell me what brought you to Detroit… and, of course, how you came to be Ms. Shasta Delacroix.

Carmen: It starts back in the early-to-mid-1990’s. Do you remember that show they ran? “Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?” It wasn’t fake. It really was the televised attempts of two teen-aged detectives to capture me, the worlds greatest thief in the world! Well, after a few years I finally discovered that each and every one of my minor failures was being broadcast nationwide – exploited! – for the entertainment of the slobbering masses. And never mind that I, in my genius, was never caught. No, I escaped every time. Did you see the tricks those little brats had up their sleeves? They had a floating holographic head! And yet, each time I outsmarted them that lousy show would edit things to play up some insignificant victory of theirs. Anyway, it was a real eyeopener: I realized that I had to get out of the limelight as Carmen Sandiego.

Ally: Okay, so you had this big realization – how did you come to choose this life, this identity? What within you just screamed “I AM SHASTA”?

Carmen: Well, it came to me at a strip club. This one stripper came out, and she was dressed like me. Well, like Carmen Sandiego. I’d stopped wearing my signature outfit a few weeks earlier, when I realized that it was so easily recognized. It was a good idea on more than one level, too – not only did it get me a lot of attention, but fitting through doors with that hat was a real trick, let me tell you. I don’t know who designed that thing, but it was useless. Weighed about 7 lbs too. Anyway, this stripper was dressed like me, and I figured if she wanted my identity, then I’d take hers too. Unfortunately for me, her name was Shasta Delacroix.

Ally: Ouch – so what’s with the Ricky Martin impersonation?

Carmen: Oh, that wasn’t really my idea. I got some false identification made up for ‘Shasta’, and I went to an employment agency. The guy there was kind of a jerk and he insisted that with a name like ‘Shasta Delacroix,’ there wasn’t any type of employment I would even be considered for… well, other than porn, exotic dancing, or some sort of pathetic Vegas-type magic act.

Ally: And you didn’t go for porn? I mean, a girl could make a lot of money doing films like 21 Hump Street. Not that I’d know, of course.

Carmen: I did go for porn at first. I thought, really, I’ve already got this negative celebrity going for me: I should embrace my villainous public image. But then I discovered that I’m a really bad actress. I mean, the coitus didn’t present a problem, but all the acting that was required of me in between the sexual actions was another story. Sometimes I had two, or even three lines at once – I wasn’t trained for that kind of thing. Some of these actors had gone to top educational institutions – Harvard, or Yale. A couple had even been members of some pretty well known improvisational comedy groups. I just couldn’t compete with that. Plus, I discovered that if you’re tired of feeling exploited, porn really isn’t the industry to turn to.

Ally: Porn failed you, eh? Go figure. Anyway, you naturally moved on to Ricky Martin?

Carmen: Indeed – it actually proved a really easy decision. The night after I quit the porn industry, I put on my thinking chapeau (my old Carmen hat), and I asked myself what was the next logical step. And the first thing that popped into my head was “Ricky Martin impersonation!” And so the next day I started mailing out resumes. I’d done some impersonation in college, and I knew that my facial structure somewhat resembled Ricky Martin, so I selected him as my main act – with the proper wig and some choice make up effects, the comparison is uncanny.
I can also do a mean Lance Bass, and my Janis Joplin isn’t half bad either. I can actually do a remarkably accurate impersonation of Bj
örk, but she’s not really popular in America. I’d have to go to Europe for a job like that, and I’m not particularly welcome in the EU… what with my history of stealing their valuables and priceless art all the time.

Ally: I could see that. Carmen, let me be frank. What people really want to know is whether you’re really out of that kind of life now; are you?

Carmen: … I don’t follow.

Ally: The thievery: are you really done with it? Seems like, if it were me, I’d miss the life – the intrigue. I might be tempted to get back into it, or some sort of related work, but keep the ‘Shasta’ identity as a cover. I’d be a spy, or a government assassin!

Carmen: I have to say, Ally, I don’t know if I like the implications behind your question. Are you, perhaps, suggesting that I’ve created this persona as an alias – a life in which I appear to have returned to an odd yet law-abiding life in order to conceal a highly classified contract with the American government? That I am actually employed in spying on its enemies and maybe, if I am ordered or deem it necessary, taking them out with a poisoned ninja dart, in order to ensure a continued American dominance on not only the political, but also the cultural and economical fronts? That I’m personally responsible for 461 of the more than 600 attempts on Fidel Castro’s life? That right now I am holding a loaded gun aimed at your genitals, ready to pull the trigger should you confirm that such a thing is, in fact, what you are accusing me of?

Ally: … Um… No.

Carmen: Good. Because that’s clearly not the case.

Ally: Oh… good. I am… glad… very – uh, very pleased to hear… that.

Carmen: Your genitals are, naturally, completely safe given that such a scenario is not, as it were, reality, but purely an invented set of circumstances which I made up this very moment using my criminal wit. Did I say criminal wit? I meant ex-criminal wit. Normal, totally non-criminal, law-abiding wit.

Ally: Yes, good… If you don’t mind me asking, then, how exactly did you escape jail time? As you yourself have admitted, you’re well known in America – which means it couldn’t have been hard for the FBI to track you down – and you did try to steal anything important which wasn’t nailed down… and lots of things that were nailed down… and occasionally well known geographical land masses…

Carmen: Oh, that was easy enough. I certainly didn’t make a pact with the American government, selling my criminal genius to them on a case-by-case basis in return for my freedom.

Ally: Right, so then you…

Carmen: … I… Engaged in sexual congress with the head of the FBI… and his wife. And with the entire team of investigators assigned to find me… and their wives. Together. It was a party… in our pants. You were invited… did you not get your invitation?

And that, dear children, is the story of how I, Ally, received an invitation to the party in Carmen Sandiego’s pants.

Seriously, though, I hope you all learned something from this story. Never, ever leave your genitals exposed to a woman who stole the Mona Lisa’s smile. Especially not when she’s just spent 45 minutes ‘shaking her bon-bon’ wearing leather pants under hot stage lights.

Shake your bon-bon, Shasta


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