“Sonrisa is where all the snobs live, Dill. They got their noses stuck so high in the air, if they stepped on dog crap they wouldn’t smell it. If I had a nickel for every minute they checked the stock market, I’d be as rich as them,” opined Gillis.
“No offense intended, Gills, but I think you’re going into this with a personal bias against snooty, think they’re better than everybody else, snobs,” said Pickle as he tossed empty soda container on the sidewalk.
“I can see you got an unbiased mind about these rich bitches. No offense taken, Dill. I admit my bias. Because I admit my bias it means I’m not biased. Let me ask you a question. You know the names of the super rich, the computer geeks, the politicians, the major sports figures, right?”
“I know the names of lots of them, what’s your point, Gills? I don’t have to spell their names do I? Are you prepping me for the detective first grade examination?” asked Pickle his voice squeaking with anxiety.
“You’re not eligible for the exam, Dill. Two more years and you will be eligible to take it early if you pay attention to my mentoring. Here’s my follow up question. Have any of these snooty, rich fools ever sent you a birthday card? Has any of them ever texted you and told you to have a great day?”
“That’s two follow up questions, Gills. They never even sent me an e-card on my birthday. They did send me mail asking for political contributions to fund campaigns who will write laws to keep them rich. Man, it took me a minute or three, Gills. I get your point. They are mean son of bitches and self absorbed. If they’re so self absorbed, their souls have to be blacker than ice.”
“You’re talking about black ice, the super slippery kind, right?” asked Gillis.
“Un huh. Would you move in here next to Sampson if you had a chance, Gills?”
“Imagine me living here, popping a can of beer, playing country music, having wild orgies with Wendy.”
“I can imagine it. Can I come to your wild orgies if you move in here?” asked Pickle. “Seriously, I hope you never get rich, Gills. I wouldn’t want you to quit the force. I couldn’t stand working with anyone else but you. You’re my North star. You’re my bridge over troubled waters.”
“You ought to write a song with that title, Dill. It could be a hit. Nothing like it has ever been written. As far me becoming rich, not much to worry about. That is unless I hit the Powerball. It’s up to two hundred sixty million this week. I always wait until it gets to one billion dollars before I’ll buy a ticket. I have a better chance of winning because all the losing number have been played the weeks before.”
“You know how to play the angles. It’s why you’re such a good pool player,” said Pickle.
“Playing the angles is one of the secrets of life I’m letting you in on at an early stage in your career. When you play the angles right, you know which way the ball is going to ricochet. You how high the ball will bounce. You can figure what’s the down side to every upside before there is an upside,” said Gillis.
Pickle expression turned from enlightenment to confusion. “This is graduate school stuff. It’s too much to quick for me. I don’t want to hurt your feeling, Gills, but I got to change the subject matter. You know what I heard about where the rich live?”
“What did you hear?” asked Gills wishing he’d remember not to ask Pickle to elaborate on anything he says.
“You get into the rich neighborhoods they got lots of stuff people like you and me never see. I hear they got people to wipe their asses and flush the toilets. They have escorts instead of whores. They even got a park inside where teenagers drive their cars and have car sex. If they forgot a condom, they text and someone shows up in two minutes with an assortment to choose from. Me? I prefer ribbed condoms and the kind that glows in dark,” said Pickle
“Choosing the right condom is like picking the right movie. A lot of thought has to go into it. Personally, I like the rough riders. I’ll probably buy a couple dozen when Wendy and me spend the night together. Two dozen might not be enough, if you hear what I’m saying. Remember when we was kids we’d take our girls to the lake or outside of the city on a country road. You could always tell good places to get laid because there was lots of condoms on the road,” said Gillis as looked up at sign at the entrance to long driveway. “Sampson calls his mansion Casa del Mono. Very interesting, Dill. Very interesting.”
“What’s it mean, Gills? Does Sampson have mono. That’s the stuff college kids get from having too much sex is what I read in What Real Men Need to Know.
“It means House of the Monkey. Now I’m thinking the deceased owned the house and Sampson killed him after he got the monkey to sign a prenup.”
“How do you know this stuff, Gills?” asked Pickle.
“You got to think the way the rich thinks if we’re going nail this guy, Dill. I watch the reality TV show Rich Men and Their Mistresses to learn how the rich live in case we got to deal with them. I wish the department would give me some kind of professional development credit for the time I spend watching it.”
“How do the rich think, Gills?” asked Pickle seriously interested.
“They think they snap their fingers and sun comes out. They think if they urinate in the wind it won’t blow back on them. They think they should walk around without pants on because everybody is going to kiss their ass. I’m fired up. Let’s nail this killer,” said an enraged Gillis.
“As soon as I see his face, if he’s not wearing pants and wants me to kiss his ass I’m going to Taser him and see how he likes 50,000 volts flying up his colon,” said Pickle.
Gillis pulled out a quarter. “Heads I’m the good cop, tails you’re the good cop.”
“I flip,” said Pickle.
“Okay, but I catch,” said Gillis.
“If you catch, drop it in my hands,” said Pickle.
“If I drop it in your hands, flip it over and place it on the back of my hand,” said Gillis.
“Too bad the whole world can’t work through the tough stuff like we do, Gills,” said Pickle pleased with his deep insight into human behavior.
A long two minutes later Gillis pulled his Ford pickup down the quarter-mile driveway leading up to a eight thousand square foot house. The house, three stories high, was a blend of an architectural design by Willie Lloyd Right who was serving ten to life for structural flaws he put in the blueprints for a highway bridge and then overcharged the state. The bridge collapsed as the governor and her entourage drove over the river. Fortunately, everyone was rescued. Prior to his conviction, Willie advertised himself as the son and heir of the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s. Sampson didn’t notice the slight difference in the spelling of the last names.
Gillis pulled up near the front door, turned a bit toward Pickle and said, “Dill get out here. I’m going to park on the lawn. The water sprinklers are going full blast and I can save ten bucks by letting the sprinklers clean my truck.”
“Gills, this is why you are the senior detective and my mentor. You are like four or five or sometimes eight steps ahead of everybody else,” said Pickle getting out and spitting out a large ward of chewing gum at a statue of a mythical creature sitting in the middle of a Feng shui pool, water pouring out of his mouth into the pool at his feet. Pickles’ gum bounced off the statue and fell into the water among giant rare oriental goldfish.
Gillis got out of his pickup, carried an empty Dr. Pepper soda can to the edge of the large Feng shui pool and tossed it into the pool. He pulled out his gun and fired three quick shots at the can. All three missed the can. One of the shots took out one of the rare oriental goldfish.
“I never liked fish, Gills. They smell funny and they look all wrong, like they was invented by Frankenstein,” said Pickles.
“How so, Dill?” asked Gillis again regretting asking.
“Fish don’t have toes. You ever notice that? You know what else don’t have toes?”
Gillis didn’t want to ask, but felt he had to, “What’s that, Dill?”
“Snakes. Snakes don’t have toes. That tells me fish got a good chance of being poisonous. If we find the killer, my money is on someone without toes, that’s where this case is leading,” said Pickles proud of the connection he was making between fish, snakes, and the killer.