Editor’s Note: This article is part of a continuing series on this reporter’s quest to find the One True Picolas Cage. At last reporting, this reporter and en-pickled Nic Cage were heading to Cage’s nutritionist for advice on his predicament.
We made it for about two hours on the highway before the red and blue lights illuminated the side mirrors of the Ghost Rider motorcycle.
I kept driving, hoping against hope that the officer was looking for someone else. When he flashed his high beams at me, that small glimmer of hope faded away.
We had discussed this possibility when Linda (the Liberian prostitute) and I were hitching up Pic Cage (as I’d taken to calling him) to the back of the motorcycle. Pic Cage insisted that we would be fine if he could just wear my Nic Cage mask, even though it’s a mask of his own face and does nothing to cover the enormous pickle that is the rest of his body.
But, without any better disguise, we set out to the home of Pic Cage’s 24/7 nutritionist. The sun had already set, so we were hopeful that no one would be able to distinguish what exactly it was in the cage hitched on the back of the motorcycle.
Pic Cage insisted the mask was enough, so we had no Plan B if we got pulled over.
“Good evening, officer,” I said, the words squeaking out around my heart, which was firmly lodged in my throat.
The officer sauntered up, wearing tinted aviators even though it was nighttime. He pulled a powdered donut out of his breast pocket and, spraying crumbs and powdered sugar all over us, said, “License and registration.”
I have no idea where motorcyclists keep their registration, let alone if the Ghost Rider motorcycle is even registered anywhere. Improvising, I went to get off of the bike and faked a fall to the ground.
“Whoa there, kid, have you been drinking?” the officer asked, nearly choking on his donut and coughing powdered sugar into his mustache so it looked like he had just snorted an enormous line of cocaine.
“No, sir,” I said, relieved that he had apparently forgotten about the license and registration. After confirming with a breathalyzer, the officer finally turned his attention to the giant caged pickle.
“What’s this you’re hauling here?” he asked, walking over to the cage and tapping it with his baton.
I panicked, not knowing what to say. As the officer leaned in close to get a better look at Pic, I glanced back at Linda, who gave me a reassuring look, turning to the officer to say calmly, “That’s just my dildo, sir.”
The officer recoiled, leaving only a puff of powdered sugar in his wake. He looked at Linda skeptically, back at Pic, but before he could say anything, Pic Cage inhaled some of the powdered sugar and let out a big sneeze under his mask.
The officer shot a look at Linda, raising an eyebrow to ask the question that did not need to be spoken.
“Sorry, officer, the vibrate function acts up sometimes.”
Clearly disgusted and technically unable to disprove her, the officer spat, “Wait here, I’ll be right back,” as he started back to his car.
“Good thinking, Linda, I think we’re in the clear,” I said. “Now we just — ”
“Drive! Drive! Drive!” boomed the mask-muffled voice of Pic Cage from behind me.
He had an animal ferocity in his voice unbefitting his vegetable body, startling me so much that I inadvertently hit the button on the handle that starts the engine. I hadn’t intended to actually flee the scene, but when the motor roared beneath me I panicked again, and, over the protestations of the officer, peeled out, leaving him in a cloud of dust, gravel, and powdered sugar.
I turned my lights off so the officer wouldn’t be able to see me as easily, but our position was probably compromised by Pic Cage laughing maniacally and yelling, “I haven’t felt this alive since Regis Philbin and I put cocaine in our scuba tanks!”
I took the next exit we passed, knowing the police were surely on my tail. I followed a random dark road for a few miles until we came upon an empty barn where we could hide.
“Goddamn it, guys, what are we gonna do now?” I whisper-yelled, afraid of giving away our position in case the police drove by.
“Rosencrantz,” said Pic Cage, having still never asked my name, “you’ve shown me a magical evening, but as far as getting to my nutritionist, things aren’t going so smoothly. Why didn’t we just phone her up for a house call?”
Dumbfounded, I answered, “Because that’s not people do anymore, and was never a thing that nutritionists did!”
“Guildenstern,” he said, apparently convinced I was of Scandinavian noble descent, “all of my doctors are contractually obligated to perform house calls. How else could I get medical attention when I’m vacationing in one of my castles?”
“Why didn’t you say that earlier?” I was about to actual-voice-yell, until I saw the innocent grin on the face of my poor, en-pickled idol. I took a deep breath and, in as restrained a voice as I could, said, “Alright, let’s call your nutritionist. What’s her name?”
I wasn’t ready to hear the name he was about to say, although in retrospect I shouldn’t have been surprised.