Enter Charlie Kim—a Swarthmore grad posing as the head of the Korean Mafia who wants to be the next Steven Spielberg—and his cleaver wielding cousin, Genghis. When they threaten to make kimchi out of Ralph's index fingers, Ralph promises payment from the proceeds of a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the Bobbie Doll. It seems the doll suffered from a design defect—it was unnaturally thin—which caused young women to suffer from anorexia and bulimia. "A sure winner. We're suing for millions," says Ralph.
Readers who join Ralph in his efforts to promote a nuisance suit into a nationwide class action, will encounter intrigue, conspiracy, agents and double-agents, and a bizarre cast of malady-ridden characters that include a militant woman's movement, a knuckle-cracking, megalomaniac defense attorney, the octogenarian, hypochondriac Chairman of a Korean conglomerate and his shaman priestess, a forensic psychiatrist suffering from agoraphobia, and thousands of emaciated young women who started out life with the Bobbie Doll—the doll of the Eighties and Nineties.
Slender Fantasies is a fast paced satire of the legal profession, that will keep you turning pages until the final plot-twisting denouement, when Ralph, facing insurmountable odds, stands alone in a David and Goliath courtroom confrontation to prove that playing with dolls—at least the Bobbie Doll—-really can be dangerous to a young girl's health.
With his usual off-kilter perspective, Black tackles many of the pressing topics of the day, including some positive PR for the swastika, the sometimes fatal effects of poor penmanship and the burning question of whether one-time Thunder Bay mayor Walter “Jolly Wally” Assef really did pat the queen’s bum. The answer: “Somebody must have tipped Prince Philip off about the mayor’s meandering mitts because Phil watched Wally like a hawk. Wally’s hands never got near the royal end zone.”
Many edifying historical facts are cunningly hidden among the laughs. For instance, how many Canadians remember Gerda Munsinger, the probable Soviet spy who got deported for sleeping her way through half of Diefenbaker’s cabinet? And then there’s Senator Incitatus, whose office was made of marble and who literally ate gold for lunch. Don’t worry, this isn’t one of Harper’s recent appointees—Incitatus was a racehorse appointed to the Roman senate by his owner, Emperor Caligula.
So settle into your favourite chair, pour yourself a shot of something strong and get ready to Paint the Town Black.