27 ~ Final Chapter
“Let’s play Jeopardy, Dill. You’ll be the contestant on the quiz show and I’ll play the host, Alex Trebek.”
“Hold on, Gills. You always get all the good parts. Why can’t I play Alex Trebek?” argued Pickle.
Gillis, ever sensitive to his partner’s fragile ego, said, “You can play Pat Sajak when we play Wheel of Fortune. Wendy will play Vanna White. And, I’ll play the contestant who wins Vanna.”
Pickle closed his eyes and tried to figure it out. He opened them after a minute, “Pat Sajak and me are about the same size. It’s a deal if you promise to let me spin the wheel.”
“Promise,” said Gillis. Gillis closed his eyes, vowed never to change careers and become a first grade teacher. He took a deep breath and channeled Alex Trebek, host of Jeopardy, into his persona. When he was ready, he opened his eyes and said, “Detective Dill, it’s your turn to play Jeopardy, which category do you choose?”
Pickle slid right into his role, “I’ll take cagey criminals for $400.”
Gillis picked up an imaginary card and read imaginary printing from it, “Fandango.”
Pickle pressed an imaginary buzzer and said, “What cagey criminal convicted of senior scooter theft escaped from the state prison and vowed to open a restaurant?”
“That’s right,” said Gillis.
“I’ll take Famous Children for $200,” said Pickle.
Gillis wondered when Pickle crossed the line into fantasy world and got lost trying to find his way back. Gillis played along. He picked up another imaginary card and read imaginary printing from it, “Do Re, Leon, and Buttercup.”
Pickle blurted out the answer, “What are the names of Fandango’s sons?”
“Right for $200. Time is about up, Dill. You have time for one last question,” said Gillis believing he crossed the line into fantasyland.
“I’ll take careers for $1000,’ shouted an excited Pickle.
From a table next to them, “They’re filming Jeopardy. There’s Alex Trebek. I’ve had a secret crush on him for forty years said an eighty-seven year old woman.
“I saw him first,” said her older sister.
“You can’t have him, he’s mine,” said the younger sister.
Nausea swept over Gillis as the two sisters started swinging their handbags at each other fighting to see who could have him for desert. He swiftly picked up an imaginary card and read the imaginary words, “The world renowned monkey entrails chef.”
Pickle thought for a moment, gave a smile and said, “Who is Fandango?”
Gillis said, “You are correct for $1000.”
The Golden Wok exploded into applause. Pickle stood up and took a bow.
Gillis said, “That’s all for now, folks. We’ll be filming live same time next week.”
“That was fun, Gills. What does it all mean?” asked Pickle.
“The real murderer is Fandango, the father of Do Re, Leon, and Buttercup. His sons are co-conspirators. Fandango is the brains behind the Golden Wok,” said Gillis.
Gillis pulled the gun out of his shoulder holster. He tapped Pickle with the barrel, “All four will be coming through the kitchen door with serrated knives to do to us what they did to the monkeys.”
“Will we end up on the barbecue?” asked Pickle.
“Probably,” said Gillis.
“How do you figure … Here they come,” shouted Pickle pulling the gun out of his shoulder holster and randomly firing four rounds. One round shattered a large chandelier over the buffet spewing small pieces of crystalized glass over the fried chicken. A second round shattered the large aquarium sending the dead carp over the floor along with one-hundred gallons of water. A third round passed through two urine sacks pouring urine out over the dead carp. The fourth round ricocheted off a large brass bell, traveling across the dining room and entering a piece of sautéed ground squirrel.
A near sighted, hard of hearing senior, stabbed the piece of squirrel, dipped it into duck sauce, and put it in his mouth. Five seconds later, “Son of a bicks. I book my toot on the meat.”
Fandango tucked his serrated knife behind his back and rushed to the senior, “Don’t worry about a thing, sir. Here’s a coupon for a free buffet next week.”
“Thanx,” sputtered the senior.
Moments later Gillis and Pickle handcuffed Fandango, Do Re, Leon, and Butter and led them out of the Golden Wok. The seniors rushed to the buffet to grab all the food left on the buffet bar before the health department arrived and shut the Golden Wok.
Two hours later, Gillis and Pickle sat in Courageous’ office. Courageous sat behind his desk, his phone to ear. “Yes, mayor. I will, mayor. Consider it done, mayor. They’re right here in front of me. I’ll tell them, mayor. You want to see them this afternoon? Certainly. The police commissioner will be there? Thank you, mayor.”
Courageous set the phone down and looked at Gillis and Pickle, “That was the mayor.”
“Figured as much Cap,” said Gillis.
“He sends his congratulations. Folsom Sampson forgives all the damage you caused. You nailed the monkey murderers. The mayor and commissioner want you at the mayor’s office this afternoon, you’ll both receive commendations. How’d you figure it out?”
“Easy as baking bread on Tuesday, Cap. Almost as easy as taking a crap first thing in the morning, know what I mean? About as easy as cleaning earwax from your ears with your baby finger,” said Pickle working the wax with the pinky on this left hand.
Gillis burped, whacked his chest with his fist, “Had a taco on the way over from No Mas Taco. Here’s the thing, Cap. The whole case smelled like a bad enchilada from the start. Fandango made his mistake by trying the old switch and dip ruse on us. You know, the bob and weave, the old soft shoe, the I can’t dance routine. None of them worked. When Leon pushed pizza on us I smelled something fishy and it wasn’t carp.”
“What was it?” asked Courageous.
“I’ll tell you it wasn’t catfish or tuna. It was barbecued monkey. Because my pay is so low in the department, I moonlight for the newspaper as their secret diner. I’ve sampled their barbecued monkey before and gave them five stars.”
“They’ve been serving barbecued monkey?” asked Courageous reaching for angina pills. The animal rights organizations will be all over us if this gets out.”
“For months, Cap. The problem was, the Feds cut off the supply. The seniors refused to eat barbecued dog or cat. They developed an unusual craving for monkey entrails. The only option left to Fandango and his sons was to go after domesticated monkeys.”
“Domesticated?” asked Courageous wiping sweat off his brow with his handkerchief.
“Big difference in taste between wild and domesticated monkey. Once you go wild, you never go back. It’s what’s going to happen to Wendy after she tries me on for size. No offense intended, Cap. Your son, Pat didn’t have the goods to sexually satisfy the woman. Wendy has a libido that is in overdrive and on overtime.”
“Wendy and Pat broke up? This is first I’ve heard of it. It’ll kill Pat’s mother.”
“You know your wife is the mayor’s lover, right? This is common knowledge, Cap. Hell, she’s had half the department. Not Dill and me. She offered herself to me, but I told her I needed your permission first.”
“I woulda had her at the Christmas party, but your guest room was being used. Clara was doing the rodeo with Santiago if you know what I mean,” said Pickle.
Captain Courageous slumped to his desk. He began beating the sides of head with his fists. Pickle interjected, “Cap, you ought to be checked by medics for head lice Cap. Chalk up a W for Gillis and Pickle,” said Gillis fist bumping Pickle.
Courageous lifted his head slightly and stared blankly at Gillis and Pickle, the only thought running through his mind, “Life’s not fair. It’s just not fair.