Ferguson Royal was living a quiet, normal, life. He enjoys a comfortable living as a computer programmer, bowls in a league every week, owns his own home, has a dog and was a talented amateur juggler. The only thing missing, according to him, was a good woman to share his mundane, yet satisfying, existence. Now, allegedly, due to a skirmish with his neighbor, he has two more missing pieces to his contentment – his arms.
"One day, I woke up and my arms were missing," Royal claims. He believes his neighbor, Merle Leeks, a butcher by trade, is responsible for stealing his arms. According to Royal, one night he was at Leeks’ house "having a few drinks" and enjoying his neighbor’s hospitality. He doesn’t remember going home that night.
"We were whooping it up pretty good. When I get a little tipsy, I like to juggle. People seem to enjoy when I juggle atypical juggling items in their home. It adds to the fun." The last thing Royal remembers before he woke up in his bed armless the next day was juggling Leeks’ custom set of butcher knifes. Royal claims that Leeks drugged him, sliced off his arms, cauterized the wounds with a curling iron and deposited him into his bed.
Leeks provides a different course of that evening’s events. "That idiot invited himself over, drank all my booze, juggled everything he could get his hands on and must have eventually blacked out." The local authorities found no signs of foul play at the Leeks residence. "Of course not," Leeks elaborated. "Nothing happened. Nothing except that lunatic juggling my mother’s urn and spilling her ashes all over my living room, only to be licked up clean by that stupid dog of his. That’s when I kicked him out. The last I saw of him, he was stumbling down the street juggling imaginary elephants. ‘Look how strong I am – I’m juggling pretty blue elephants. Ewhoowooie!’ He woke up half the neighborhood with his hollerin’."
Police have no clues as to what happened to Royal’s arms. It appears they are not trying too hard to find out. "On one level, it’s a real tragedy what happened to him," stated Officer Leon Plunk. "But then again, he’s been a pain in the ass since he’s moved to town two years ago." Officer Plunk described numerous accounts of general juggling related pestering and crudeness on Royal’s part. "It could have been anybody in a two mile radius, not to mention friends and family of people in this area who have had the misfortune of experiencing Mr. Royal’s act. Most people were darned sick of his juggling. Frankly, we don’t have the resources to interrogate all of the suspects." Plunk feels the greater good is better off because of this incident.
As an avid juggler, Royal has spent many hours in his back yard flinging various objects into the air, at times to the dismay of some of his neighbors. The houses in the neighborhood are packed tightly together on each block, offering room for only small backyards. Neighbors are very familiar with the outdoor goings-on of each other.
"I don’t mind the balls, the bowling pins or even the chain saws," stated Regina Balsthwaite, Royal’s widow neighbor living behind him. "But it’s a little disturbing when you’re having a cookout and you see him tossing around live chickens, inflatable woman dolls, dog poopy, pantyhose filled with gravy, small children with duct tape on their mouths, dentures, ash trays coated in mustard, weird red things, Teletubby skeletons…". I think we get the idea, Mrs. Balsthwaite. "…melted blocks of cheese, giant wads of partially chewed roast beef, fish parts, oranges, globs of horse drool…"
Reporter: Enough. Enough! That’s enough, Mrs. Balsthwaite. Globs of horse drool? What the hell is wrong with you?
Royal: It’s just stuff I have lying around the house.
Reporter: You have globs of horse drool lying around the house?
Royal: Sure. Well, after I tantalize the horse with elusive bags of delicious oats…
Reporter: This is nuts. Wait a minute. Mrs. Balsthwaite, what is the problem with Mr. Royal juggling oranges?
Mrs. Balsthwaite: (screams) AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
Reporter: Alright, that did it. I’m calling this story off. This is too absurd. I was looking to do a story about a man who had lost his arms and the struggle and frustration he faced trying to live a normal life.
Royal: I’m getting a callus on the end of my nose from trying to type programming code with it at work. That’s pretty frustrating.
Reporter: You’re lucky you’re not in jail for child abuse for juggling those children with duct tape on their mouths.
Royal: Those rascals! Oh, how they enjoy it so. I taped their mouths so their audible jubilance would not disturb the neighbors.
Leeks: Those were screams, moron.
Royal: Give me my arms back, Leeks! I know you did it.
Leeks: Even if I did do it, I wouldn’t give them back to you.
Royal: What about my bowling average? I was almost up to 180. Now I’ll be lucky to break 60 by kicking the ball down the lane.
Reporter: Mr. Royal, it seems that the people in your neighborhood are all better off with your loss of arms. I now have to terminate this story. Good day to you.
Royal: Are we gonna be on TV?
Leeks: Yeah, can we be on TV?
Reporter: No, I am not associated with any television stations.
Plunk: I’ve been on TV a number of times – on that show Cops.
Royal: This would have been a good story for Cops.
Plunk: Not really. Not unless we caught the perpetrator in the act. Or if we even knew who it was. This would be better for Americas Most Wanted, except that nobody in America wants to catch this person, other than to give him a reward for ending the juggling insanity.
Royal: I thought you all enjoyed my juggling.
Leeks: It was fun the first couple of times you did it. But you got out of hand. You juggled my and my wife’s shoes.
Plunk: What’s wrong with that, Mr. Leeks?
Leeks: We were still wearing them at the time.
Royal: That was a good night. Remember that?
Reporter: I’d love to stroll down psycho-juggler memory lane with you all, but I really have to wrap this up. The story is over.
Royal: But what about my happy ending? What about the challenges that now stand in my way? What about my courage, suffering life with no arms? What about me finding a woman to fulfill my mundane, yet satisfying, existence? You foreshadowed it in the first paragraph.
Reporter: Yeah, good luck with that.
Royal: I’m serious. I have NO ARMS! I need a woman now more than ever, if you know what I mean.
Reporter: I know what you mean. Mrs. Balshwaite?
Mrs. Balsthwaite: (screams) AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!