Five minutes later Gillis and Pickle were traveling down El Paso Ave in Gillis’s red pickup truck. Gillis always enjoyed being fashionably late. His personal motto was if you start showing up on time, people will expect you to show up on time. He kept a list of personal mottos in a file on his smart phone to keep him grounded. Following his motto of not showing up on time, Gillis Gillis took a left and turned into an adult only community. He pulled up to the guard house and flashed his badge. The guard waved them through.
“Why we going through the adult only community, Gills. You think the killer is one of these old timers? It’s a good theory. Maybe the monkey crapped on their lawn and Sampson didn’t pick it up. It’d be enough to drive them over the edge,” said Pickle.
“Good theory, Dill. There’s one problem with it.”
“What’s that, Gills? I can’t see any holes in my theory,” said Dill.
“By the time, they get up from their perch on the window, grab hold of their walker, find their gun, and make it to the door, they forgot what they were angry about until they step in the crap,” said Gillis.
“You’re the man. You see things other detectives will never see, Gills. Thanks for being my mentor,” said an appreciative Pickle.
Gillis slowed the red pickup to the posted speed limit of 15 miles an hour. He lowered the windows, and turned on the radio to a country western station maximizing the volume.
Pickles hollered over a country western singer complaining about his girl leaving him and his wide trailer for a rodeo star, “Why are you blasting music, Gills?”
“Number one, Dills, it’s common knowledge anyone over 55 is deaf. So the only way they can hear music is if you turn the volume up to maximum. Number two, when you live in one of these adult communities, you don’t got anything to do except look out the window for people violating their HOA rules or see who the ambulance carts out. Most of them will turn us in the HOA. Not a problem, they’ll think we’re an ice cream truck. It will give them something to talk about when they eat dinner at 3:30,” said Gillis.
“Three-thirty is kind of early for dinner, isn’t it, Gills?” asked Pickle.
“Not if you’re a senior. They go for the early bird special. What’s today? Tuesday. It’s half price for the ladies. Since most seniors are women because there husbands die off early, the few men capable of sex will have their pick. It’s a known fact, the biggest black market drug in the senior communities is viagra for men and estrogen replacement for women.”
“How do you know all this stuff, Gills? I think you’re the smartest man alive,” said Pickle.
“That may be true about me being the smartest man alive. I don’t like to brag about it. But I will for a quick moment. At an early age my first teachers said things like, “You think you’re smart.” Or, “Don’t be a smart aleck.” Or, “There he goes again, Mr. Smarty pants.”
Gillis stopped bragging about his intelligence when his mind registered three senior men riding in a golf cart ahead of him and traveling at six miles an hour. He began riding the golf cart bumper. The old guy on the rear seat in golf cart picked up a two iron and waved it at Gillis. Gillis respond by pulling out his gun, putting it in his left hand and sticking it menacingly out the window toward the old man. Gillis laid on his horn with his right hand and bumped the rear end of the golf cart causing it to career off the road onto Gillian Bridges lawn. Gillis stopped to make sure the golf cart wasn’t damaged. The driver, the man next to the driver, and the guy in the back seat got out of the golf cart, got out, pulled drivers out of their golf bags and took a step toward Gillis and Pickle. Gillis fired a warning shot over their heads not thinking about where the bullet might eventually land. One guy grabbed his heart and collapsed to the ground. Another tried to remember if he took his cell phone and if did what pocket he put it in. The third man looked at his watch and said, “If we don’t hurry, we’ll miss our tee time.”
Gillis waved at the two standing men and Pickle tossed them a salute as they pulled away from the edge of the road.
“Why’d you fire your gun, Gills?” asked Pickle.
“I like the high quality of your questions, Dill. It shows me you got a lot of potential. And, I mean Potential spelled with a capital P. To answer your question, these seniors probably never had experience with road rage. Normally, being taught about road rage is going to cost you around a hundred bucks. I just gave them a free lesson. More Importantly, I gave them something to talk about.”
“That’s what I like about you, Gills. You always thinking of the other person. Maybe I’ll write this up and give it to Cap. He’ll get you a citation and an award for community service.”
Gillis shook his head, “Thanks, but no thanks, Dill. If I get the award it will cause too much envy from the rest of the department. I prefer to keep my community service low key. On a whole high note, Wendy wants me to think she’s playing hard to get. I like that in my women.”
“What are you going to do, Gills? She’s laying the marriage trap for you. You need your freedom, man,” replied Pickle.
Gillis and Pickles fist bumped. They cleared the senior settlement. Gillis turned off the radio.
Pickles said, “Got any ideas where we start looking for the killer, Gills?”
“The only place we can start, Dill. We start with the last person to see the deceased alive.”
“Who’s that Gills?”
“I figure it’s the monkey’s owner. We was on his property when we examined the crime scene. If he’s messing with the crime scene, he’s messing with me. If he’s messing with me, he’s messing with the wrong dude. Captain Courageous told Sampson we’d be by to interview him a 10 a.m. That’s where we’re headed.
Pickle looked at his smart phone, “It’s 11:15, Gills. We’re over an hour late.”
“There’s where you are wrong, Dill. We’re right on time. I want him to squirm. I want him to fidget. I want him to know we’re on to him and we’re going to stick his head up his rectum and roll him like a ball.”
“You figure he’s the killer? How so?” asked Pickle.
“It’s his name that tipped the scales, Dill. Folsom Sampson the Third. I call him Folsom Sampson the turd. We might wrap this case up in the half hour. Think about it. Can you imagine a better suspect than someone who owned the monkey and who reported the murder? Don’t answer. I already know what you are going to say. Here’s another thing. I listened to the recording of the 911 call and the monkey’s name is Till. This is a name nobody wants. I think the monkey went to court and was trying to get his name changed. Sampson found out about it and demanded the monkey stop. Till refused, and Sampson killed him. I got the motive down. Now all I got to figure out if Sampson owns a cleaving knife and when he had the opportunity to do the deed.”
“Everything you say makes perfect sense, Gills. I’ll pile on to your theory. I don’t trust no one with two last names. You remember Crater Doolittle, the serial killer? How about, Jones Smith, head of the symphony mafia? You ever hear of a person named Folsom being an upright, honest, God fearing man?”
“You made your point, Dills,” said Gillis beginning to get drowsy listening to Pickle. He didn’t want to nod off, especially while he was driving. He still had sixteen months of payments left on his truck.
Pickle looks out the window, deep in thought. After a long three seconds, he turned back to Gillis, “I gave it a lot of thought, Gills. You’re bulls eye perfect about Folsom Sampson. When we interview the son of bitch, you want to be the good cop or the bad cop?”
“Let’s flip for it when we get there, Dill.”
Gillis pulled his Ford pickup up to the curb, next to fire hydrant, across from the Sonrisa guarded, gated community.
“You know you pulled up into a no parking zone, right Gills?” asked Pickle.
Gillis twisted a bit in his seat and faced Pickle, “I’ve been on the force ten years longer than you, Dill. I’m going to let you in on a secret that only a few senior detectives know. If you’re a cop, you can park anywhere you want. You can park your car on the sidewalk. You can double park it. You can triple park it. You can park in on top of a slow walking pedestrian who is using a walker. I got a pet peeve about walkers. I seen senior citizens use them as weapons. I think they should be banned.”
“I promise I won’t tell anyone the secret, Gills. I can’t wait to park my car on the sidewalk in front of my apartment. It’ll be safer that way.”
Gillis and Pickle, The Bumbling Detectives, Return on Monday
© Ray Calabrese 2018