While perusing “Missed Connections” on Craigslist, I received an anonymous text tied to a brick and hurled through the side of my conservatory. The text explained how the elusive Robert Denby had escaped London and was now living in Brazil under a new identity as a writer of bad fiction who suffers from being short and tubby and also yellow fever. Suspecting identity theft, I burned my credit cards, locked the cat in the basement, and flew to Sao Paolo. After an exhaustive search and many personal interviews in my hotel room, I can safely say that Robert Denby is not a Brazilian prostitute, street walker, pole dancer, waitress, stripper, madam, watch repair girl, ash haulerista, chimney sweepess, beaver installation techwoman, sausage distributoree, mattress tester, or postal ladywoman.
Exhausted by so many face-to-face encounters and with a Biblical area the color of Sodom and oozing something Gomorrah, I turned to the services of an English plastic surgeon in the favela, who was on the run himself from creditors and several failed genital experiments. In addition to curing my Biblical pain, I hoped he might also have legal advice, because apparently I had been married four times in the last week.
“Denby’s here, by Jove,” said the physician. “But he’s not pretending to be you. The man has SOME self-respect left. No, after the gender re-assignment and gender reversal, he’s taken to wearing a Panama hat and calling himself Clive Cussler.”