Turpitude: A town so bleak of spirit and down on its luck that its Chamber of Commerce works the next county over under an assumed name. Turpitude is on a flood plain, located in a Tornado Corridor and soothingly encased around several nuclear waste disposal plants. There is so much open sewage running through its streets that Mumbai refuses to export its street urchins there. Sinking slowly into a toxic swamp, the city fathers have, for years, made lemonade out of salmonella-filled nachos by lighting the street lamps with escaping methane gas. Sodom and Gomorrah were monastic enclaves compared to Turpitude.
Google maps ignore this droplet of phlegm. Pigeons flying overhead hold their anuses tighter than a pro wrestler's vise grip rather than beautify either the town’s statues or the heads of its residents. Jokes and bad ideas don't even come here to die. On January 1st, the townspeople celebrate a new start to the year by burning the city down.
Yet, amidst the squalor and hopelessness that is the daily routine of Turpitude, one strutting distaff of kindness exists: A woman willing to thrust her cleavage sky high, to manhandle the town's corruption, crime and malfeasance, even when it means sticking her manicured fingernails down holes of no good. Her name: NOIR OBGYN. The very whisper of that name forces distaff villains to check their appointment calendars; males simply run screaming “lalalalalalala” in every which direction.
By day, NOIR OBGYN, the only clean doctor in a very dirty hospital, is that special angel of mercy, dilating this and pap smearing that. Strutting her hoochie astride six-inch stilettos, this beauty glides effortlessly down the grittiest of hospital wards, slapping out Greek and Latin mumbo jumbo to subordinates, patients, and passerby alike.
Whether pulling bullets out with her teeth or selling her patented home autopsy kits at below market cost in between rounds, NOIR OBGYN's presence commands adulation bordering on rock star hysteria. Without her, hernias would not be herniated, transfusions would not be transfused, and amputations would not be amputated. None of which are her specialties, but then her fee rates are less. So saintly is she in the eyes of those she serves, her beatification is already accepted – though most of her patients assume the act involves the use of baseball bats.
By night, a different personality emerges transforming her from an angel of mercy to -- mercy save us all!--a daring, groin-kicking crime fighter. A vigilante cruising the back alleys and spit-washed side streets of a city so low in the depths of depravity, Hell looks down in disgust. Her Thor's hammer of rectitude is Lenore, a mighty Speculum of hope, dispensing cold justice onto the backsides of hot bods. Pursuing the parasites that inflict pain and misery on a population already depressed, repressed, dispossessed, and demon possessed, NOIR OBGYN is hardly a leggy dame to trifle with…unless the price is right and the condoms worn measure extra large.
Tough as diseased toenails, a hard drinker who never swallows, and a chain smoker who rarely inhales, NOIR OBGYN is the town's whiskey-voiced babe, marshalling both brains and her medical degree to bring a much needed semblance of feminine hygiene to this hog’s ass area of the world.
Back alleys, cul-de-sacs, streets with no names, and roads less traveled are this heroine’s nightly running paths of revenge, retribution, and retaliation. She punches, she kicks, she screams, and she nags her way past arch villains like DOUG, THE SOCIALIST DOG WALKER, RUTH THE THERAPIST, SOL THE POLLSTER, THE STENCH GANG, VIRGINAL BLISS, SCHOOL GIRL PLAID, and MISTER RIGHT NOW. Welding Lenore in one hand and her Fulsome Forceps in the other, NOIR OBGYN performs a series of frontal lobotomies on villainous back-ends.
Her base of operations: FISTULA HOSPITAL.
Nothing characterizes Turpitude's fleshy underbelly more than FISTULA HOSPITAL, a building so big and thuggish in its Brutalist architectural style that its very presence forces those living around it into a faux Russian accent. Fistula began its life as a two bit, second rate, no accountability dumpsite set up by the Federal Government to handle those cases that got away from them during illegal medical and nuclear testing procedures. While still used as a CIA black hole, it is now more commonly known as the abattoir of choice for the ill-maintained, the downtrodden, and those visitors just passing through on their way to Canada. It is also the best place to find skim milk fed veal.
Fistula is the toughest, meanest, and filthiest medical institution anywhere west of the Sargasso Sea. The hospital runs dark, dank, and dangerous, a foreboding institution of misshapen blood-soaked walls and viscera-filled corridors that lead the unlucky towards open elevators shafts and stairways towards the Styx. For civic pride it does have the largest auditorium in the city, used primarily for bingo nights, high school proms, and leaving the dropped off elderly enough space to fend for themselves.
The lights don’t work; the toilets overflow; the IV bottles are places where homeless pathogens go to die. Patients bring their own embroidery needles to suture themselves post surgery. The morgue prioritizes refrigerating beer over stiffs, and the operating bays share enemas, bandages, syringes, and bed pans with the Smiling Destitute Shelter Grocery Store next door. Fistula is forbidden to become a member of any HMO plan until one of the administrators spells HMO correctly.
What the doctors don't regurgitate up in backed up toilets, they toss on the floor for their patients and to those unnaturally large rabid pet lab rats that scurry around like cockroaches.The walls of J. Marion Sims are acoustically contoured to absorb the sound of patients during elective surgeries screaming "more morphine you bastards, more morphine." The walls of Fistula remain erect thanks to the adhesive tendencies of dried blood. The doctors at J. Marion Sims all have advanced degrees. Those working at Fistula run fevers of over 104 degrees.
Under the cover of escaped chlorine gas canisters, each hospital ferries across the river personnel to switch around patient’s charts, medications, and X-rays. This humorous fracture of the Hippocratic Oath can be traced to suppressed anger over weekend intramural sporting events between the two medical establishments (both are in the same softball league), though the sadistic glee of simply removing feeding tubes or readjusting patient pharmaceutical records cannot be denied. The animosity between the two hospitals runs deep and pathological. Each hospital so despises the other that the only legal sexual position available for fraternization is three feet on the floor and your neck in a tight noose.
NOIR OBGYN has no time for any of these silly dick-swinging contests. She has a city to save: Turpitude is a town full of sickness (something to do with prevailing winds from the meat packing plant up river) and coughing, wheezing, hacking, and sneezing up bloody mucous are part of the town’s daily conversational pattern. Fistula is a convenient place to use as her crime-fighting cave for the darkened hallways are already filled with tons of bat guano.
Like all good crime fighting heroines, NOIR OBGYN's back-story is so sordid she puts surgical gloves on when telling it. The memories of her sloppy birth haunt her to this day. While still encased in all of that coming out of mommy gunk, her parents had her surname legally swapped from Coccyx to OBGYN, thus already limiting their daughter’s professional choices in life. NOIR's parents were simple farm types, their pediatrician being a colorful character named “Doctor” Ed Gein. Her parents are no longer around. She visits them as Lorraine Incognito weekly at the Unsubtle Home for the Decrepit, where she asks them about her non-existent twin brother Caleb simply to confuse them.
As soon as NOIR developed her femininity to a Double D degree, she ran away from home, leaving behind school, friends, and her re-enrollment paperwork for 10th grade.
At that age, her medical interests were confined to certain over the counter items like Sudafed, cough suppressants, and exercised-filled walks on the beach where she found the most marvelous of collectibles.
As a typically repressed American teenager, her only knowledge of the world of OBGYN was what her fingers uncovered while bathing long and luxuriously in front of her father’s friends. Coins thrown at her at an early age still act as a psychic trigger forcing her to jump into any fountain or wading pool to perform all three acts of "The Beggar’s Opera."
Walking into Fistula early one morning to score some progestin due to an unplanned indiscretion the evening before with either Rod, Clod, or Betsy, NOIR’s name and bust line immediately drew the attention of ARNOLD, the hospital administrator. Asking her whether she had any experience with women’s health issues, NOIR calmly lied that she was from Regina, Canada and was driving her mother's stolen Volvo. She then turned her head and coughed to prove her sincerity.
Such overwhelming knowledge of female body parts was proof enough for Arnold. He immediately hired her to head the Department of Women’s Difficulties and Questionable Problems at his medical center. As a signing bonus, he told her that she could pull apart anything she wanted with her fingers. He then pointed her to the hospital gym where rolls of saltwater taffy needed pulling. She was seventeen at the time; a fact only important to the story should flashbacks become necessary.
From her first day as its mostly sober ombudsman and chief surgeon of Women’s Difficulties, NOIR faced so many insurmountable obstacles in this house of horrors that the words, “insurmountable obstacles” became the only adjective and noun written in her day planner.
24/7 is just half of her work schedule. Rushing from teaching high schoolers in Turpitude's grade schools how best to wash out their needle wounds to sand blasting crust, rust, or dust from her patients nether regions, NOIR OBGYN has only time to sweat through one of her glands and then only discretely with friends for nationwide publication.
She'd much rather spend her time battling bad people in the various toxic sink-holes of Turpitude than make those obligatory doctor rounds she first discovers are necessary from watching reruns of "St. Elsewhere" and "ER." The neo-natal care unit just freaks her out. As a woman, she has suddenly discovered the difference between the birth canal and the Panama Canal. The screaming babies, the faulty pumps spraying milk over flaking ceiling, and those wacky nurses with their dopey game of racial and gender baby switching drive NOIR to fondle both Johnny Walker Red and his brother Hiram.
As of late, NOIR OBGYN has been forced to recruit her RN staff from prisons, work camps, and underground terrorist cells, realizing these candidates know how to work well under pressure and have the fundamentals to dispose of bodies without trace elements bobbing back up to the surface. Even better, none of them speak English, which makes giving them orders all that much easier.
NOIR remains responsible for all the hospital’s alcohol and drug abuse out-patient clinics as well as she is the only one on staff who can walk a straight line during much of the day. She eases her fellow doctors from their dependencies by showing them documentaries on the successful treatment of Amy Winehouse.
On weekends, she counsels self-esteem and assertiveness to all the hookers plying their FUNdamentals in the back alley of the hospital. She takes a piece of their daily action in cash rather than go through the nonsense of filling out silly insurance forms. As an incentive to keep the girls in the program matching towards the Lord, a steady supply of medical grade morphine is left in small easily identifiable trash bags in the hospital’s chapel. NOIR discovered long ago that to fight the big crimes, small indiscretions must sometimes occur.
Outside of doctoring and crime fighting, her life is mess. Through her apartment, runs a tributary of the Turpitude River, which makes the rent cheap, and the cleaning up easy. Cat fur covers all her Goodwill furniture though she has no cat. Her wicker baskets overflow with unopened condoms so dusty cockroaches use them as breeding grounds of their own. Located on every inch of her floor are medical books stolen from the local library. She plans to read them one day if ever the need arises.
One other portion of her day should be addressed. From midnight to 6AM, NOIR pole dances at Heidi's Oil, Lube and All You Can Eat Lounge under the name Bennett Serf. Using her speculum as part of her act, she entertains the clientele by contorting into positions not yet recognized by Kama Sutra publications. Since the lighting at Heidi's is set at non-existent, no one there recognizes her as the doctor who earlier that day fixed their STD infections.
HER CONTACTS, COHORTS, AND POSSIBLE CONJUGAL VISITATORS
PEEPS is the street vendor outside Heidi’s. Peeps serves Noir discounted day old souvlaki in payment for medical exams for his six daughters. He also has his ear to the ground...literally since an unfortunate run-in with a vice grip elongated one beyond the norm. He is the go to guy for all street info including, but not limited to sanitation pick-up and paper delivery services.
DELTOID EDDY is her favorite customer from Heidi's and the only clean detective in town. His fingers are never outstretched for payola because his hands are always in his pockets due to a slight case of Asberger Syndrome. He views this woman as something more than a stripper with a martyr complex. He wants to sleep with her but can never get his hands out of his pockets fast enough to unlock his apartment, so she gets bored and leaves.
Jaywalkers or serial murders are the same in the eyes of Deltoid Eddy who ends up bagging and tagging them though not necessarily in that order. There isn’t a night or day or mid-morning that NOIR is not pulling knives, bullets, meat cleavers or gerbils out of Deltoid Eddy. Thank goodness her normal clientele gives her so much practice.
Deltoid Eddy has yet to make the connection that the doctor he adores is also his favorite stripper or Turpitude's crime fighting vigilante. Given her salary, NOIR never changes out of her bloody work clothes. Deltoid Eddy is remains in the dark. He is after all only a detective first grade.
WET NURSE WILLY is NOIR’s androgynous friend and the only one who knows her fighting chick identity. HE/SHE can lactate at the drop of a hat whenever a child or a 40-year-old male needs feeding which apparently is quite often. Wet Nurse knows the seamier side of Turpitude because as a seamstress, what else would she know? She also has all the solvents to clean out viscera from NOIR’s support hose.
Sometimes NOIR must go beyond the law to right a wrong or make a wrong less foul. When she needs to score a quick fix to give to her informants, she calls on PRENATAL ANNIE, the pharmaceutical dispenser of all pills great and small. Why she dresses in a Catholic schoolgirl outfit when she delivers her prescriptions for happiness is anyone’s guess. She is Jewish.
TAILGATER PATRICE is the purveyor with everything at his disposal. Whatever NOIR needs to battle crime above and beyond her female equipment, Tailgater is there at her disposal with weapons, sealing wax, or envelopes. He asks no questions. He expects no answers. In fact, unless he’s discussing what’s in the back of his VW Beetle, he has nothing to say about anything to anyone. On casual Fridays, Tailgater stops by at 9AM with keggers galore for NOIR's surgical staff.
ARNOLD is her feckless, reckless and fustian boss; he’s also a corpulent louse running insurance scams, racketeering, slavery rings, and body parts salvaging out of his office. He works every angle like a man possessed. He has three twerps to put through private school and hourly psychiatric care for his wife GLADYS. Underage Bangkok hookers and tranny medical coders run him a pretty penny as well. Away from the hospital, the man relaxes by operating online educational classes on constitutional rights, art history, and animation writing for children’s programming.
Because Arnold is always in need of scratch, the man wallows in the pig trough with ROY. Roy is an android-cyborg-extraterrestrial third year resident student who pays him top dollar to abduct and anally probe a few of the more paranoid and delusional on his medical staff. As Arnold sees it, if these people truly believe in ETs and anal probes why not make a few bucks off their mental disorders? This allows Arnold's nephew HORACE a steady supply of patients with itchy asses when Roy returns them back to the hospital. Horace is a board certified proctologist and everyone’s favorite public accountant with a bogus business degree.
THE CRIMINAL ELEMENT
No one in Turpitude is without guilt; no one is without sin. Sunday sermons are cut short, not by gunfire but by yawns of been there, done that, what can we do next to aggravate the good Lord. What was once the moral center of each individual is now a fast food drive-in of sin, corruption, and wanton needs.
Each street of Turpitude is run by a different gang. This means public transportation schedules vary from block to block. Getting from one villain to another is both time-consuming and expensive. NOIR would drive to her destinations except those DUIs just won’t disappear no matter who often she asks Deltoid Eddy to erase them. For convenient crime-fighting expediency she prefers to see all the bad guys come to the hospital for Monday bingo nights, all you can eat Tuesdays, free bullet removal Wednesdays, bitch and bull slapping Thursdays, free armaments Fridays, quit smoking Saturdays, and tell us your embarrassing stories about the clergy Sundays.
BUTCH THE MIDWIFE is one of Turpitude’s worst felons. He hangs around the streets waiting for something, anything that needs his birthing skills. He has a sixth sense and knows instinctively when squirrels, snails, and puppy dog tails are ready to drop their young. He handles human births as well. He loves screaming the words “push you bitch” at total strangers including any males passing by. He asks for no midwife fees knowing that as a drug dealer, he will get the young whelps sooner or later. NOIR plans to bring him and his criminal organization down even if it means no more free Lamaze classes at the hospital.
DOUG, THE COMMUNIST DOG WALKER, is a small slip of a man. In fact, he has been known to wear slips while walking his feral hounds. Doug refuses to walk anyone’s pooch without first quizzing the owner about the dialectic. If the dog answers incorrectly, he feeds the animal a diuretic right before dropping the capitalist animal off to its owners.
OSHKOSH IN NEED OF THERAPY does nothing nefarious without first contacting her unseen therapist over her cell phone. No matter how dastardly the plan, as long as it does not infringe on anyone’s personal space is fine with the therapist.
SOL THE POLLSTER is the town statistician and works both sides of the cyclone fence. Villains use him to poll the fright response of the general public; NOIR uses his services to poll how short her crime-fighting smock should be or the best stiletto heels for grinding into the groins of male malefactors and for those females who grew a pair.
THE STENCH GANG is a group of mutated rats, ferrets, bunnies, and cockroaches who have grown to near human size by swimming too long in the Turpitude River. They commissioned Sol the Pollster to poll the best name for themselves. Stench Gang won out, barely beating Unpaid Bills and Woofer and Tweeter.
VIRGINAL BLISS is a group of Japanese schoolgirls who dress like Japanese schoolgirls. They roam the city menacing onlookers by telling them how best to use their cell phones and cameras before selling them upgrades.
MISTER RIGHT NOW leads a gang of over very handsome extraterrestrial males with square jaws, deep voices and muscular builds who refuse to work any Earth jobs. They pray on the affections of lonely women they meet in the used car classified ads on Craigslist.
NOIR OBGYN is an OBGYN out to clean up a city festooned with corrupt doctors, lawyers, drug dealers, aliens, paranoid schizophrenics, insurance agents, cops, robbers, teachers, children and various other folk who sit around in moral squalor and physical degradation, shooting off their guns, shooting up their drugs, and shooting off their mouths.
This is a crime fighting saga that trends on the familiar territory of “one virtuous vigilante against many sickos” and the use of the words “our hero” to an escalating degree of repetitiveness. Our hero comes from a hardscrabble background where learning early the difference between right and wrong helped her understand up from down and left from right.
Our heroine works in darkness and in shadows but with the right sunscreen is willing to work outside at high noon. Our heroine has a catchy name that impresses people who never mastered all the letters of the alphabet. Our heroine brandishes specialized crime fighting tools only she and every female of a certain age are familiar with.
Though her town is in ruins, her personal life a shambles, and her professional life one background check away from prison, she refuses to compromise or fold although as a part time stripper, she can bend like a willow in a hurricane. She trolls the streets, buildings, landfills, side alleys and social halls bringing street justice to a town too dumb to realize it no longer needs rabbit ears to see "American Idol." Through those blood shot angel eyes of hers, she sees for Turpitude a better tomorrow because at this very moment, it sucks.