Agent: Spanky Twangler
Agent Number: 23
Eyes: Brown Hair: Lt. Brown
Ht: 74" Wt: 175
Specialties: Rhythm guitar, transport/jump-vehicles, crossbow
Strengths: Airy temperment makes Twangler ideal stage point-man; quick-thinking and creative; positive thinker
Known weaknesses: Dramatic mood swings; lightning-quick temper; easily distracted
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION -- CHILDHOOD
Crawling from the Kudzu
Spanky Twangler’s birthdate is not only classified, but unknown. Our earliest account of Spanky is when a certain daredevil motorcycle rider’s girlfriend spotted the toddler crawling out of the kudzu next to a gas station near Talladega, Alabama on Aug. 6, 1972. Whether Spanky was a runaway, abandoned, lost, or an orphan is not clear -- no one has ever stepped forward to claim him as their biological son.
Showing a great deal of resourcefulness and direction even at his young age, Spanky managed to stow himself away among Evel Knievel’s Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the jump-vehicle king’s trailer, and travelled from coast to coast until he became as much a part of the entourage as the bolts holding Knievel’s bones together.
During down-times following a spectacular Knievel accident, Spanky would sit by Knievel’s bedside in the hospital, soaking up all he could concerning ramp angles, motorcycle and automobile aerodynamics, every aspect of the internal combustion engine, and most important -- how to properly pack a parachute. Sometimes Knievel’s jaw would be so badly broken he could only grunt yes or no as Spanky would draw detailed diagrams of ramps and engine modifications to show him.
Like (Surrogate) Father, Like Son
It wasn’t too long before Spanky was an accomplished Jump Vehicle Specialist, and he wasn’t even through puberty. He felt the call of destiny and the tingle of hormone-drenched loins edging him out on his own. He bid farewell to Knievel and the crew, and set out alone.
Unable to prove his age and identity without a birth certificate, traditional employment was definitely out of the question -- it wouldn’t have worked anyway, even if he did have identification. The real problem was that he was constantly denied a permit and venue to publicly display his jump-vehicle mastery.
Spanky was confused, dismayed and hungry. During his journeys, though, he discovered the coast. Day after day he found himself standing on the edge of the continent, staring at the waves, the dunes, and the ladies -- transfixed by their shapes, and how they so resembled the shape of a well-designed ramp. Spanky liked what he saw. However, he longed for the Deep South’s red clay, snaking jungles of kudzu, and BBQ joints he’d left behind.
With his wanderlust (temporarily) pacified, he hitched his way back east, where he discovered everything he’d been looking for along the Gulf Coast. The waves weren’t quite up to par ordinarily, but that all changed during Hurricane Season.
Yankees, Station Wagons, and Rocket Sleds
The blue waters and sugar-white beaches of the Gulf of Mexico attracted tourists from all over the eastern United States and Canada. Spanky was sick of living like a bum, so he set his sights on their wallets, loaded with lots of crisp greenbacks.
His hustle went something like this: a family pulls up to the beach in a brand new station wagon, marveling at the scenery, obviously new to the South. Spanky would size them up, study the license plates, etc. Then he would don a pair of grease-stained (both automotive and pork grease) overalls, a beach hat made from cut-up Pabst Blue Ribbon cans that were stitched together with red, white and blue thread, then approach the family. He was, of course, bare-foot.
“How y’all dune?” he would ask with a friendly smile.
“Uh... fine,” would come the wary reply from the vacationing patriarch.
“Boy, this shore are a purty station wagon you got here. I bet you get first pick of the good ones to buy up in ... (at this point, Spanky would feign illiteracy and study the car’s tags) uh... Mitch ... Chuh ... GUN! Mitchugun! (he would appear to come to a realization) Well, heck, of course you do! That’s where they make the dang thangs!! Uh-huh-huh-huh-huh!” (now he would hack a luge and spit across the parking lot, as though the gesture were an exclamation point for his statement)
By now most people were a little scared, nervous or amused -- sometimes all three. “Well, uh, thank you. We need to get going now. Nice to meet you.”
“Well hold on folks! You ain’t seen me jump my tractor yet! I’ll betcha FIVE hunnerd bucks I can jump my John Deere plum over this here wagon of yours. FIVE hunnerd bucks!”
Most people doubted he could even count that high to begin with, much less have that much money, and would try to move on.
“Lookey here!” Spanky would yell, flashing dead presidents at the nervous family. “I SAID, five HUNerd bucks. Yours if’n I’m fulla bull crap. Heh? Huh? This ain’t Confederate money! You yellow?” Spanky would look at the guy’s kids at this point, then back to the sucker.
“Okay, what’s the deal, kid?” Dad would ask, his pride at stake.
By now Spanky knew he had them. “Well, all you gotta do is just pull yer wagon up to that dune,” he would say, pointing to the nearest pile of sand over six feet tall.
At this point Spanky would whistle for his accomplice, a local kid by the name of Carl Defuniak, who at age 12 was already 6'3" and tipped the scales at 225 pounds. Usually dressed in a tank-top t-shirt exposing his already well-developed arms, cut-off jeans and barefoot, Carl was quite a sight. He never said anything in front of strangers, self-conscious of his oddly squeaky voice -- he hadn't even reached puberty yet. As such, he usually just stood there and giggled, which made him an even more unsettling presence.
At any rate, Carl would then run up, and Spanky would tell him to hold his, and the soon-to-swindled family’s money for safekeeping. No one ever argued. At this point Spanky would hop on his motorbike and disappear for a few minutes. Carl made sure the family went nowhere.
Soon Spanky would return on the world's only John Deere ROCKET SLED tractor, complete with a soil-tilling plow in tow, casting off thousands of metallic sparks as the blades scraped across the pavement. (This had a practical purpose, as the sparks were used to ignite the rocket engine once the tractor's stock internal-combustion engine got it rolling up to ignition speed.)
Spanky and Carl bilked hundreds of families out of their money, and truth be told, most thought it was worth it just to see this strange kid and his rocket-sled tractor in action. Word spread throughout the south, and Spanky was ready to take his act to the next level, for paying crowds. He just quite wasn’t sure how, though.
Enter a man named Otto Heauxdad...
TO BE CONTINUED