How was it growing up with Crosley as a brother?
Brother Crosley and I were always different. I’m not referring to our colors. His redness happened later as a side effect of the Black Bottom pills. Our personalities are what really differentiate us. Crosley is zany and free-wheeling and I’m not, and I’m a dignified genius and Crosley definitely is not. But we did manage to value each other’s strengths and to work together. (Wuk!) Night Buddies Amalgamated would never have come into being without this. On the other hand, I do think Crosley can be a bit jealous that I’m the brains of the operation.
What whatchamacallit are you most proud of inventing?
I think the time-spreader dingus is one of the most useful whatchamacallits I’ve made (it’s the one that slows down time so that John doesn’t lose any sleep for being out so long on Programs). It’s a fact that whenever you manipulate time, you never know (Hik!) how things are going to go, so I’m pleased that the device has worked well so far.
Do you ever worry about the Night Buddies Headquarters being broken into?
Constantly. It’s a major concern. Just think what would happen if the wrong crowd got into my whatchamacallits! This is why I’m always moving Headquarters: to make it more difficult to find. It’s at the zoo now, but just two days ago, it was in the back of Nardiello’s Pizza Palace. The I-D Gimcracks add another layer of security.
Who taught you how to juggle so well?
It’s an innate talent. I do it at the zoo so no one will suspect who I really am.
Last, but not least, what do you love most about your job with the Night Buddies?
I love that it’s fast-paced, and that you never know what each Program is going to be dealing with. Who could have guessed (Ook!) that a gang of Crosley impersonators would figure in the last Program? It keeps me on my toes, and I get to use my imagination making whatchamacallits. It’s a dream job, we’re working for the greater good, and best of all, I get to do it with Brother Crosley and (Hup!) our other splendid operatives.
Whatchamacallit: A small object having a special power and suitable for hanging on Crosley’s belt.
If you’ve read the Night Buddies series, you would already know this definition. Crosley’s whatchamacallits are some of the most important things he and John need to be able to make it through their Programs. And if you’ve ever wished you had a belt full of whatchamacallits yourself, we’ve got a list here of some ways that you can go about making them at home!
I-ain’t-here doodad: The very first whatchamacallit that Crosley ever uses in the series, this is probably one of the most important whatchamacallits there is. To make your own, buy a small, round magnifying glass. Don’t forget to hold it up in front of you when you need to disappear!
I-D gimcrack: This whatchamacallit not only identifies Crosley as a member of Night Buddies Amalgamated, but works just the same as money. To make your own, draw one that looks like Crosley’s, and glue in a photo of yourself so that you can be correctly identified. If you want it to look really official, laminate both sides.
Copy of Crosley’s GImcrack
Rope gizmo: John and Crolsey use this whatchamacallit in Book One (Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare) to lower themselves down into a hole so that they can stop the Iguana gang. To make your own, find a small rubber ball and attach several inches of clothesline to it. You could also attach jump rope, string, shoe laces, or anything else that can work like rope if you don’t have any clothesline!
Trap-spinner loblolly: This whatchamacallit looks like a spider, and acts like one too as it shoots off web-like wire! To make your own, get a rubber spider and attach black pipe-cleaners to its mouth loosely. When you need to activate the whatchamacallit, let the pipe-cleaners come loose!
Time-spreader dingus: This whatchamacallit slows down time so that John doesn’t get into any trouble for being out so long on Programs! To make your own, acquire a very small telescope, or a pen light. If you pull it open (without breaking or damaging it) you’ll be using it just like Crosley does to help John!
Skeleton key: This is the key Crosley uses to open John’s front door. To make your own, you can use any large, old-fashioned brass or iron door key. Decorate it however you think Crosley would like it best!
Do you have a favorite whatchamacallit or have you ever made your own? If so, let us know all about it in the comments!
This is Crosley’s little whatchamacallit card that not only identifies him as a member of Night Buddies Amalgamated, but works just the same as money. Since the Night Buddies’ mission is to “help out” situations in the borough, people everywhere give them free goods and services when they’re out on a Program and show the gimcrack.
Copy of Crosley’s GImcrack
In Night Buddies, Impostors and One Far-Out Flying Machine, we discover that true I-D gimcracks have a security app in case they are suspected of being counterfeit. Squeeze a real gimcrack twice on the logo and it starts blasting out a goofy song like the one below. And if counterfeiters should copy the I-D, the song can be changed and all the generous night folks notified.
Short fat Minnie down in New Orleans
Shakin’ and rockin’ in her red blue jeans
She rocked so long around the floor
That short fat Minnie wasn’t fat no more
Skinny Minne, woo-woo-woo
Skinny Minnie, woo-woo-woo!
Let’s say you had an I-D gimcrack of your own, where would you use it? What would you use it for? Ice cream cones? A ride on a ferris wheel? A subway token? Let us know by replying to this post. We want to hear from you!