John Henry Hoyle is quick to talk about his time at Harvard where he studied criminology and forensics, though little is known about the man that has become sheriff of Great Bend, Kansas. From the moment he stepped off of the stagecoach into the streets of that town he has set out to prove his training has served him well. In this interview we are pleased to bring our readers a look at the man who works so tirelessly to restore order to Great Bend.
Did you ever dream you would be studying at Harvard?
Absolutely. Looking back, it was quite clear that I was intellectually gifted. I remember in my toddler years that while my cousins of the same age were playing with their excrement I was taking mine and making patterns in the soil reminiscent of Tibetan sand mandalas. It was clear to everyone that I belonged at Harvard.
What would you say was your favorite course there? What was it like to graduate 327th in your class?
First off, graduating 327th in your class at Harvard is like graduating Valedictorian in every state school put together so there’s that. As to my favorite classes, you may know that I changed majors on numerous occasions so the courses cover a wide swath of academia – from Introduction to Anthropometry to Apiculture and its relation to Early American Comparative Literature. I also liked Woodworking.
While there did you have a chance to view the anthropodermic volumes housed in the library?
Absolutely…during my freshman and sophomore years. However, while serving as a work/study employee in the Nordicana section of the library my Junior year, I inadvertently allowed a graduate student to check out a large box of Viking skulls. No one told me they were for reference only and were not to be removed from the library. They were used for a fraternity hazing ritual and were severely damaged. Apparently the naked pledges were forced to pick the skulls up using only their butt cheeks and then sprint across the quad.
Was there any one thing that led you to major in forensics? Is it hard to explain the concept of those things to the residents of Great Bend?
An unknown assailant murdered my wife Myra while I was still at Harvard. It remained unsolved until just recently when I learned the infamous outlaw Cole Younger shot her in the back in cold blood. I learned that Myra was also known as Belle Starr and was a wild and reckless outlaw who was romantically involved with Mr. Younger before she met me. Coincidentally, her daughter Pearl is now a whore in Great Bend. When Myra was murdered, I was triple majoring in Philosophy, Dance, and Forensic Science. I chose to focus on Forensic Science to solve her cold case. I still dance alone in my house in Great Bend. In my underwear.
Do you still miss Myra?
Oh yes. Honestly I feel a tinge of guilt over her death as she would not have been slaughtered if it wasn’t for me and my addiction to ginger snaps. Do you find it hard to sleep if you don’t eat something before bedtime? Well I do and ginger snaps fit the bill perfectly. I loved to gnaw on a handful before sleepy time. Of course now it just reminds me of how I got my wife killed so I’ve switched to jerky.
What was it like when you first stepped into the streets of Great Bend, Kansas? What was running through your mind at the time?
I wanted to see what the town of Great Bend really thought of me so I chose to walk the streets in disguise a few days before Sheriff Hoyle was due to arrive. Thanks to a make-up class I took while briefly a theater major at Harvard I was able to spirit gum a long beard to my face and pose as a 49er. I enjoyed a sarsaparilla with Undertaker Shank but, thanks to a hot day, the disguise began to melt away. Fortunately I was able to convince him that I had leprosy and exited before he saw through the ruse. I didn’t learn anything though. I have since used said skills to dress up as different characters from history while making love to Honey. Last week I was President Lincoln – it was difficult keeping the stovepipe hat on during fornication.
When you learned all five former sheriff’s had met such unfortunate ends did you become concerned about your own well being? Why do you think Eli Brocius managed to outlive them all? Why do you think he didn’t step up to fill the role as sheriff himself? What were you thinking when you had to teach him to aim to shoot during that first shootout?
I wasn’t worried at all. I mean I felt bad for the five previous Sheriffs but of course they didn’t attend Harvard. In prehistoric times, the caveman who was blessed with superior intelligence and was able to out think the saber tooth tiger certainly felt bad for those who were…on the other end of the spectrum. We are all blessed with different attributes. For example, Eli may not be the most intelligent person you’ve ever met but he has an enormously large penis. I, on the other hand, do not. My nickname in the Harvard locker room was chopstick – long, yes, but very thin.
I’ve noticed you like to name your guns, why is that? Do you have a particular favorite?
I carry a Colt .45 “Peacemaker” which is a Single Action Army revolver with a 7” barrel. It was a graduation gift from my Aunt Kathryn, which I found to be a very odd gift. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the firearm very much it’s just I was expecting a something more akin to a doily pattern as she and I enjoyed doilying together in my early years. The inscription on the gun reads: “Congratulations on your graduation from Harvard. Now go out there and pour lead into those outlaw sons of bitches.”
How did the public’s lack of faith in your ability to maintain lawfulness in the town affect you in the beginning? What did you think when you learned of the sheriff’s death pool? Are you looking forward to showing them what you can do?
Honestly it didn’t bother me one bit. How could they know how amazing I was going to turn out to be? I certainly don’t lord my higher education over a population of intellectually inhibited individuals who are subject to fear, superstition, and conspiracy. The future no doubt will cook this kind of nonsense out of the human stew and turn humanity into a thick gelatinous paste that will be delicious on undercooked pasta. Or it could get a lot worse, I suppose. But what are the chances of that happening?
Do you ever feel a little out of sorts in your new surroundings? Does it sometimes get annoying to live three days away from everywhere?
Lord yes. I really don’t understand this notion of spreading everything out. And yes I know they are farmers but why can’t the farmhouses be adjacent to each other? I feel like I am constantly on my horse and, while I love Strawberry Shortcake, I really do miss the convenience of city living. We are social primates for God sakes! Let’s start acting like it. Plus my Norwegian ancestry bequeathed to me some irritable skin conditions that no salve is able to address. In a word: chafing. Serious chafing.
Cole Younger became your very first suspect. Were you surprised your first case would involve such a well known criminal? Are you looking forward to finally bringing him down?
Actually Cole Younger was my second case. My first case in Great Bend involved a local farmer and a chicken. It’s been cleared up though. Case closed.
Do you think alcohol makes the whole ordeal a little easier?
Oh God absolutely. Life is miserable out here. People poop in the streets and urinate out windows. Garbage is tossed wherever the hell you want to. Dead bodies rot for weeks in front of the undertaker’s office until someone pays to have them buried. If you cut your finger chances are good it will get infected and later you will have to amputate your entire arm. You know what people use to wipe their butts? Corncobs! If this isn’t a place to stay drunk 100% of the time then I don’t know where is.
What about the whores in Great Bend, how do you think they differ most from those found in Massachusetts?
Well the whores in Massachusetts are called “people.” Everyone in the city sells himself or herself in one way or another. Heck, if I hadn’t satisfied my Harvard Admissions Counselor orally, do you think I would have gotten in?
Was it hard to get into the good graces of Honey Shaw when you were new in town? How do you feel about her association with your greatest adversary? Do you ever find it hard to trust the citizens you are supposed to protect?
Not at all! From the first moment I met Miss Shaw I could feel the connection between us. There was no doubt in my mind that our life paths would be forever intertwined. And, after our first $5 fornication session in her boudoir, it was certainly clear to me that I was not just another customer. At the conclusion when she tossed me a towel and immediately left mumbling something about restocking whiskey I knew that she had been (as the Italians say) struck by the lightning bolt of love. As to Cole, business is business and as long as he pays, our country’s long history with capitalism requires that Honey provide her services. I just don’t particularly want to know about it.
Are there any little known fact about you that most people would be surprised to know?
I have six nipples. Apparently I was one of three triplets but the other two died In utero and I absorbed them.
Was it a little awkward to have to kiss Xavier as his dying wish? Was the fact that he was a Harvard graduate himself make it a little easier?
Not really. My freshman year I was a Greek and Roman history major. Once you realize what the greatest minds of history were doing in their free time you become a lot more open sexually.
Have you found it challenging to trust Pearl as your stepdaughter so far? What have you learned from her about being a father?
Heavens no. Family is everything. Blood is thicker than water. And while we don’t have any direct lineage whatsoever, I did marry her mother (who was lying to me about her past history) after Pearl was already a grown woman – not to mention the fact that Pearl’s true father was my archenemy Cole Younger (which was something Pearl kept from me). And THAT makes us family.
You’ve said if it were up to you they’d change the name of marriage to sprint to death. Do you think people often enter into such things without considering the dire consequences of such actions?
Oh absolutely! I encourage younger people like Eli to fornicate anything that moves before settling down. Of course now that he is interested in my stepdaughter I would like him to get cleaned up by Dr. Heng before they get too far down the road.
You know, I run into Harvard buddies all the time who wish they had sowed their oats more and my question is always: “What the hell were you doing in your 20’s?” I mean, I slept with EVERYBODY during my college days. Isn’t that what expensive higher education is for? It sure as hell ain’t for getting a job. That much I know.
How did it feel to run into the Benders? What are your own personal feelings on spiritualism and communicating with the dead? What do you hope to be doing yourself when you do die?
As an educated man (Harvard), I am a man of facts. Theory is fine but nothing beats cold hard facts. While it’s true that every scientific truth known to man started as a theory, I think that’s beside the point. The fact is that while we know for a fact that our eyes can’t see a major part of the light spectrum that’s just not a good enough reason to discount something based on the fact that we can’t see them with the naked eye. Does that answer your question? As to my own death, I have instructed Vernon Shank (our undertaker) to burn my body in a funeral pyre. I want to be dressed in my Harvard graduation robe, hat and tassel.
Did the town become a little harder to tolerate when Temperance came to Great Bend? What was Ephraim’s Extract really like?
When you have to wipe your butt with a corncob and bathe in the same river the rest of the town’s sewage flows into, staying mildly drunk is more than recreation. It’s a necessity. It was miserable when the whiskey stopped flowing. As to Ephraim’s Extract – it was like liquid nirvana.
You’ve been known to often indulge your feminine side by wearing dresses and such. Do you think it is important for a man to be able to that now and then?
Any man who can’t let his inner lady out is not a man to begin with. Do I get aroused wearing Honey’s intimates while she takes me from behind dressed in chaps? Absolutely. As a matter of fact, I have a pair of her stockings on right now. I just wish it wasn’t so hot. I have a serious bat wing situation developing.
Why do you often taste things at your crime scenes? Is that something you learned at Harvard or just a weird tick?
A Forensic professional uses everything at his disposal. How can I use Phrenology correctly if I can’t look at the criminally distinctive bumps on a suspect’s head? Taste is equally important if not more so. As most Harvard graduates know, taste and olfactory are deeply connected. This is especially true for me as I blew out my septum while…entertaining myself at Harvard. In any event, my nostrils take in a lot more than the average man. That said, the best way to “smell” something is to taste it. The best way to differentiate coyote excrement from badger excrement is to nibble on it.
What advice would you give others that might wish to follow in your footsteps?
Obviously step one is to apply, be accepted to Harvard, and graduate. The problem many people have with this prerequisite is that they think it is as simple as filling out a form and writing a check. This is not the case. You need to be a VERY special type of man (no women allowed). You should also be white and non-Irish or basically non-everything-not-English. I’m Jewish but I wouldn’t mention that on your application either. You should also be rich and have a family member that attended Harvard. Finally you should be brilliant. Other than that, the rest is smooth sailing!
Anything you’d like to say in closing?
At my core, I am a man of science. I do not subscribe to “theories” that the layman bandies about as fact. Rather, my decisions are based on actual, modern, scientific fact: bumps on a man’s skull can tell us his proclivities towards crime (fact.), all human ears are unique which allows law enforcement to use them to identify criminals (fact.), and most importantly, one can tell a lot about a crime by tasting any excrement found on the scene. Fact. Thank you.