5 – Pickle Utters a Double Entendre


Courageous was fighting hand to hand combat with his demons who were encouraging him to heave himself through the window and plunge to his death at an accelerating speed of 9.8 meters per second, per second. Life isn’t fair, his demons argued, Gillis and Pickle are decorated veterans of the homicide department. Yet, they are the two most incompetent, bumbling detectives on planet Earth. Why is it, everything always turns out right for them? And, all I get is angina pain, a hiatus hernia, and hemorrhoids. 

 “You’re deep in thought, Cap. Thinking about how to turn the Mrs on? I hear sardines are an aphrodisiac. What you do is to place a sardine between your lips and feed it to your wife,” said Gillis.

Courageous tripped over his feet in an attempt to stick a complicated pirouette and fell backward into his chair. He swirled it around. “My sex life is none of your business. Just solve the damn murder.”

“Don’t take it personal, Cap. Me and Pickles are here to help. I’m no Dr. Phil, but I have my way with the ladies. The way I see it, you may be suffering from erectile dysfunction. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. Lots of overweight men in high stress jobs, suffer a similar fate. Fortunately, there’s help…”

“I don’t need help. I don’t want help. I only want you two to leave,” Courageous pleaded. 

Pickles chimed in, “Listen up, Cap. Gills is right on at ED. You want to be ready when the moment arrives. Know what I mean? Me and Gills are going to relieve your stress. We’re over this killing like sprinkles on ice cream, like barbecue sauce on your breakfast cereal. We’re on it like genital warts on a porn star. We’ll get the killer before the killer gets the next Monkey,” said Pickle.

Courageous mumbled a string of curse words seldom heard anyplace but in the depths of hell. The muscles in his forearms bulged pushing as hard as he could against his temples in a desperate attempt to crush his brain.

Gillis said, “Didn’t quite catch that, Cap. Did you say the killer is a son of a bitch? No need to use that language. There’s no evidence the killer was a son of a bitch. I personally checked the lead out. I’m sure the killer was not a dog and I’ll tell you why. See, a dog wouldn’t be able to neatly cut off a head and place it by the Monkey’s feet. Moreover, I never heard of the dog community and the monkey community being at odds with each other. Now, I’ve heard of friction between the dog and feline community. What they got going on makes the Israeli and Palestinian stuff look like kids play, know what I mean? What do you think, Dill?”

Pickle responded, “All in all Monkeys are a good natured lot. Every once in a while you get a bad monkey. Lot’s of folks might tell you to slap the …”

Gillis interrupted, “Don’t go there, Dill. What you’re getting into is a double, maybe triple or quadruple entendre.  Now, pit bulls, that’s a whole different matter. This makes me think the killer was a pit bull owner.”

“I, I, didn’t say the killer was a son of bitch. I, I think you misunderstood me,” said Courageous pushing his left index finger against the pulsating vein in his left temple.

Gillis said, “Your cussing, Cap. See, you said son of a bitch. Now, when I say it, it’s not cussing because I’m helping you out. And, the way I say son of a bitch is that I am talking about a male dog who is the offspring of a female dog. Now, if the male dog is not the offspring of a female dog, this presents a whole new line of investigation where we have to bring in forensics, dermatologists, and the Mayo Clinic. If you want to cuss or curse or swear, it’s okay by me. I know some choice words you might want to use. I’ll give you a couple of hints, one starts with mother, two more are four letter words so they’ll be easy to remember.”

Gillis stopped talking when Courageous got up from his seat, and pulled his chair back with such force it ricochet off the bullet proof window and rolled back to the desk. Courageous steadied himself with his two hands placed firmly on the desk, leaned forward bit. He would have leaned forward a bit more but his belly was resting on the desk top.

“Excuse me, Cap,” said Pickle. “I’m only thinking of you. One of my ex girlfriends works for a trusted weight loss program that lets you eat all you want to eat, whenever you want to eat, for as long as you want eat, and you’re guaranteed to lose weight. The program is covered by most medical insurances. You’ll need to check with your plan’s provider to make sure you’re covered. If you don’t mind me saying so, you got a spar tire that probably gets in the way when you’re trying to do the dance with Mrs. Courageous. That is, if she isn’t frigid.” 

Courageous’s left eye started twitching. He lifted his right hand and placed a forefinger on on his eyebrow and thumb below his eye in a futile attempt to stop the twitch. 

“Botox will take care of the twitch, Cap,” said Gillis. “It’s okay to have an eye twitch. Some women find it very attractive like Clara your secretary, if you know what I mean.”

“Not another word. Not another word,” shouted Courageous.

Gillis stared at Courageous’ left earlobe, a trick he learned in communication class in community college. Pickle steepled his fingers and placed both thumbs on his lips against his teeth. He used the tops of his fingers as a gunsight trained along the part in Courageous’ white hair.

A long two minutes later, Courageous plopped into his chair and drew himself as close to his desk as his belly allowed. He said “I now remember why I created the Bizarre Crimes Unit and assigned this case to you two. Listen up. The dead monkey was a beloved friend of Folsom Sampson. Folsom Sampson has the mayor’s ear.”

“And, something else I might add,” said Gillis winking at Courageous.

Courageous placed two angina pills under his tongue. He closed his eyes and appeared to mumbling an incantation or prayer, we’ll never know. He opened his eyes, and said, “The mayor said solve the crime, solve it fast or he’ll recommend departmental cuts. Now, leave and don’t come back until you have something to report.”

“Thanks for the vote of confidence,” said Gillis. 

“Excuse Gills, Cap. He should have said, void of conference. The expressions are almost interchangeable.”

Gillis ignored Dill. He smiled at Courageous, and said, “We’re on this, Cap like peanut on butter, like grill on cheese, like dog urine on a fire hydrant. As soon as Wendy finishes with the corpse and she and I spend the night together, Dill and me will get right on it. You know if she is still living with her husband? With your permission, if she isn’t, I’d like to hit on her. I don’t want to commit adulatory unless you authorize it.”

Courageous attempted to process the rapid flow of information coupled with a racing heart rate, and bile rushing up his esophagus at the speed of light, said, “You know what sexual harassment is Gillis?”

“Don’t worry, Cap. She can harass me all she wants. I won’t make an issue of it,” said Gillis.

“Gills is right, Cap. I’ll close my eyes too. If I don’t see it, I can’t report it. We got your back. You got nothing to worry about,” said Pickle.


© Ray Calabrese 2018


I’m Not Stealing – I’m Borrowing

Farlo, Tina, and Joey stood across the street from Precinct 12. “Are you crazy, we’re in front of the police station. Every cop in the city is looking for us.” Said Joey.

“Wrong, every cop in the city is looking for Dr. Big Bucks,” answered Farlo.

“What are we doing here? Harry J’s not in the police station.”

“We’re going to steal a police car,” said Farlo as if he were ordering a tall coffee from Starbucks.

“You’ve cross the line. You cannot steal a police car. It’s wrong, wrong, wrong,” complained Joey.

“Technically, I’m not stealing. I’m borrowing. The police can have it back when I’m through with it. It’s a field decision,” said Farlo. He started across the street, Tina at his side. Joey trailing behind.

They crossed the street, stood for a moment at the bottom of the steps to Precinct 12. Farlo turned to Joey, “We’re going in, follow my lead.”

Farlo opened the metal reinforced door, walked through a metal detector, towing Joey along with him.  Farlo walked up to the desk sergeant, dragging Joey, who was like an obstinate child not wanting to go to bed. The desk sergeant, was a young, dark skinned Hispanic woman. Her police shirt took Joey’s mind off being dragged into the station. She looked up from her smart phone at Farlo, Tina, and Joey.

Before she could speak, Farlo said, “Maxwell, 23rd Precinct. This freak escaped from the Last Stop Assisted Care Facility. He’s disoriented, confused, and was carrying when I got him. I wouldn’t be surprised he is a bed wetter.”

“I am not a bed wetter,” said Joey.

The desk sergeant peered over her glasses and stared at Joey, “I learned about bed wetters at the academy. You’ve got all the signs. You’re a danger to all of us. Listen up, kid, the first step is to get out of denial. Admit you’re a bed wetter and life will get better for you.”

Joey started pointing at Farlo, “He’s not a police detective. His name is Farlo. He works for a guy named Filo. He wants to steal one of your cars.”

“You described this guy perfectly, Maxwell. He’s got all the symptoms. He should be in a secure lock down. He’s certifiable. By the way, I’m off in three hours, you want to meet for drinks at O’Rourke’s?”

Farlo glanced at the desk sergeants name plate and said, “I’d like nothing better Martinez. First, I need to requisition a car to take him back. I’ll return the car and we can go to O’Rourke’s together.”

“His name is not Maxwell. He’s lying. He’s going to steal the car. I’ll take a lie detector test. Ouch, that hurts. Let go of my arm,” screamed Joey.

“Next time it will really hurt where I’ll squeeze you. Zip it, kid,” growled Farlo. Tina barked.

“Cute dog, Maxwell. What’s her name?” said Martinez.

“Tina,” said Farlo.

“Get out of here, that’s my name. Hold on a second.” Martinez made a call. A minute later said, “Number 14 in the rear lot. It’s gassed up and running. Don’t be late, Maxwell,” Martinez winked.

Five minutes later, Farlo pulled out of the lot. Tina sat in the passenger seat. Joey was handcuffed in the rear seat.

“You’re going too far, Farlo. I deserve better,” complained Joey.

“Suck it up. You sound like you think life is fair. Fair only happens in baseball. I don’t suppose you never played sports,” growled Farlo from the front seat.” Tina barked.

“Did too. I play fantasy football.”

Farlo shook his head and pulled the black and white  out of the police lot, took a left, turned on the lights and siren and turned headed toward the expressway. “Listen up, Kid. When we get there, we’re going in. Pretend you’re in cuffs. Act like you belong in their dump.”

“I’m on it,” said Joey.

“I’m worried, Tina,” said Farlo. Tina barked twice. Translated from dog language on Google Translate, it means, “me too.”

Will they rescue Harry J? Who’s Filo? Will Farlo meet Tina for drinks?

If Only You Were More Romantic

You’re probably what I’m doing hanging around with this cast of characters? I’ve wondered the same thing many times. It’s one of those questions without an answer. I’ve tried to escape, but each time I’m sucked back into their lives by an external force. Enough of my problems. We left off with poor Carmela who has a thing with TT being coerced to “test drive” O’Leary for a week. Carmela is in love with TT a former writer for Dr. Phil who is now Big Carmen’s family manager. Big Carmen sent TT off to New Orleans to meet with family (aka other mob members). Let’s see how it plays out.

Carmela eyes are filled with tears. She’s biting her lower lip. Her face is flushed. O’Leary looks away from his pizza and turns toward Carmela. He stares at her. Then he said, “Dat’s a good look.”

La Flor nudges LC, “It’s working. O’Leary falling for Carmela.”

I overheard her comment. I whispered to La Flor, “What about Carmela?”

“Look at her, Ray. Just look at her. She’s falling crazy in love with O’Leary. She’s filled with joy.”

“She’s about to cry, La Flor.”

“They are tears of joy. She’ll finally be free of TT. Oh, La Flor you are brilliant. And, such a good person,” La Flor likes both first and third person.

“LC talk some sense into La Flor,” I pleaded.

“You talkin small change? I can talk McKinley, Franklin, and Cleveland. But I ain’t gonna talk cents.”

“Why don’t you too love birds sit on the sofa. Ray will bring your food and drinks over. O’Leary, help Carmela out of her seat and escort her over,” said La Flor sounding more like a drill sergeant than hostess.

La Flor grabbed hold of LC’s arm and pulled him to the sofa. They sit down before O’Leary can take one more bite of pizza.

With La Flor and LC on the sofa, there is only enough room on the sofa for a tight squeeze for two ultra thin people. Carmela may have to sit on O’Leary’s lap. It’s called the donut effect in medical circles.

O’Leary stands, walks behind Carmela’s chair. Carmela hasn’t budged. “You da shy type. I can sees dis. Me? I’m more of da opposite. Likes they say opposites detract.”

“Just look at Carmela, LC. Her mascara is streaking down her face she’s so happy. I hope they hook up tonight. Let’s encourage them,” said La Flor.

“You’ve gone too far, La Flor. I’m not going to put this in the blog,” I spoke in a low firm tone.

“Too late, Ray. We’re live streaming.”


“Since use is too shy to helps me. I will slides use out and carries use over to da sofa, chair and all,” said O’Leary pulling Carmela out. Carmela holds on to the edge of the table with a jaws of life grip. O’Leary tugged. Carmela tugged back.

“LC go and pry Carmela’s fingers loose. We can’t let her shyness block true love,” said La Flor.

I tried a different tact, “O’Leary, here’s a cream filled powered donut you missed. If you don’t get it, someone else might.”

O’Leary let go of Carmela’s chair. I stood on the opposite side of the table. The donut sat on a small paper plate.

“Hand it over, Ray,” said O’Leary in a cop voice.

“You have to come around the table and get it.”

“We can do this the hard way or the easy way,” said O’Leary.

“What’s the hard way?” I asked.

“I’ll book use for withholding evidence from a crime scene,” said O’Leary.

“What crime scene?” I asked.

“The one where somebody reports you’ve been mugged for a donut,” said O’Leary taking a swipe across the table at the donut.

I heard a car door close. Not a slam so I knew it wasn’t one of LC’s relatives. My doorbell rang. I knew it wasn’t Big Carmen. It rang again.

“LC please get the door. It could be important.”

“Whoever it is send them away from this love nest,” said La Flor.

I was doing my best to avoid O’Leary’s increasing aggressive swipes. He was leaning over the table. His belly resting on two slices of pepperoni pizza. I heard LC open the door.

“Is my darling here? I’m back early from New Orleans sweetie.”

Carmela jumped up from her chair, rushed past O’Leary, avoided the blocking hands of LC and did her version of the leap, knocking TT to the floor. TT lie prone on his back. Carmela straddling his stomach showering TT with kisses and mascara.

I tossed the donut to O’Leary. He caught it in his right hand and brought it in one motion to his mouth. When he finished, he wiped his mouth on the back of his hand and said, “Tanks for doing it the easy way.”

“I know better than to mess with the city’s toughest detective,” I said.

“You just ruined love, Ray. If only you were more romantic,” said La Flor.

“Like you and LC?”



He Took A Vegan Out for Barbecue?

Here’ hoping the third time is the charm. La Flor is strangling her iPhone X. LC (AKA Little Carmen) is spending the time playing licks on his air guitar. Me? I feel like I’m watching a Disney cartoon. And, being forced to see it over and over again until I crack.

La Flor’s voice breaks the silence. “I’m ready to spill my guts. I ready to tell all. I’ll sell my story to the dirt rags. They’ll get the truth out. I’m not holding back. I’m going to expose that mystery blog writer. She’ll be sorry.” La Flor’s voice rising with each word. A few more words and my windows would crack.

“Wants me to take care of her so she doesn’t bother use no more? Me and buddies could, use know, take her for a swim” asked LC.

“Don’t you dare go swimming with her. She’s cute, but not beautiful. LC, they’re not real, like mine. Stay out of it. Stay as far away from her as possible. I may need Lil Carlo, though,” she said.

Time for me to jump in with two feet, “Lil Carlo, doesn’t he …”

“Yes, he does,” said LC.

“I’m sure we can work this out, La Flor. It’s probably a simple misunderstanding,” I said.

“There is no way she’s going to jiggle those things of hers at LC and get out of this. I’ve got the goods and she’s going down.”

“Here’s what she did ….”

A knock on the door. “Don’t answer it, Ray.” said La Flor.

A harder knock on the door, and a male voice said, “It’s the police.”

LC said, “I didn’t do it.”

I went to the door, looked through the spy hole. Read the ID the plainclothes detective was holding up. I opened the door, “What can I do for you?”

“I’m detective Sean O’Leary. I’m here to talks to one Little Carmen, AKA LC, AKA guitar man, AKA meatball, AKA the dude, AKA Don Juan, and twelve others. ” (I used an Irish name for the detective because it’s a stereotype – please don’t write, it’s all in fun).

I walked O’Leary into the living room. LC looked up, walked over and said, “Hey Red, how’s it going. Use still going with the girl from the vegan food blog?”

“No, she split when I tooks her out for barbeque. I tried vegan. One and done, use knows what I mean?”

They all talk this way from the neighborhood. English is a second language.

“I bet she don’t likes pepperoni, neither. Use want me to have tonight’s special sent to use apartment seeing use is not with anyone for the present moment or two. Free of charge, no tip because use is one of the first responders.”

They know each other? A free pizza? No tip?

“It’s rough, man. Not having a woman to dote on me; telling me I’m Superman.”

“Use know a woman who does that?” asked LC.

“I did, but she was vegan. I dig her but the food I don’t. Listen up, I got to question use, LC, about a heist at Best Buy. I don’t want to do it. But I gots no choice in the matter. I normally don’t make to this blog. In fact, this is the foist time I been in this blog. How do use like hanging out with this guy?” He pointed a thumb toward me.

“First off, to answer use question. I’m innocent as a baby rattler. As for Ray-mo? He’s a good guy. He’s got no clue what’s happening, if use knows what I mean?”

“As to use first answer. That clears use from the case. But use raises another question. Wait a minute. I want to know what’s going on? He looks suspicious to me. It’s the nose, or maybe the ears.”

O’Leary cast a look at me, “Yah? What’s going on and don’t leave anything out?”

LC stared at me. La Flor stared at me. And, I said, “La Flor’s just about to tell us why she wants to hire Lil Carlo.”

“Not Lil Carlo? AKA Hit man? AKA The node. AKA spaghetti factory? AKA the shooter,” said a stunned O’Leary.

“All five in the same,” said LC.

“Use got to chill sister. Talking it out will be good for use. Wing it and sing it and dish it out. It’ll be good for the digestive track,” said O’Leary.

Where did this guy come from? Why does my blog attract the weird alt egos?

La Flor leaped on top of the table. She cleared her throat, looked at LC, “LC, pick up the beat with your air guitar when I hit it.”

LC held his air guitar in hands, raising it over his head and nodded.

“This is for all you girls out there in alt ego world who think you can get your fingers on my man, especially you, my used to be BFF, mystery blog writer. How dare you like the photo I posted of LC on Instagram,

Women like you they’re a dime a dozen you can buy ’em anywhere
For you to get to him I’d have to move over and I’m gonna stand right here
It’ll be over my dead body so get out while you can
Cause you ain’t woman enough to take my man*

O’Leary stood up and applauded. “Man, you gots the vocal chops to be a big star. Use and LC playing that air guitar likes it was a third arm. Something to see and hear, I might add. Use sang like Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swifty all rolled into one or two or three.”

I have to get O’Leary out of here before La Flor screams about the Taylor Swift comparison.

“That it O’Leary? We’re kinda busy,” I said.

O’Leary scratched his head, stuck a pinkie in his left ear and wiggled it around, extracted it, looked at his reward, wiped his finger on his pants, and said, “The only real reason I come over, was the mystery blog writer wrote me in to come over here. But she loses control when I come in this blog. I think I’ll hang around if use don’t mind.”

“You can hang out, but not now,” I said said and wrote in this blog. O’Leary kissed La Flor’s hand, shook hands with LC and said, “Have extra pepperoni put on the pie.”

“I showed her. Ray, put my song on YouTube and it will go viral,” said La Flor.

A second later, “Hold it, Ray. Don’t do it. The mystery blog writer just text me and said she’s sorry, we’re going to double tonight. She’s writing O’Leary back in if you can write him out and taking O’Leary and joining LC and me tonight.”

And so it is in La Flor’s world. Tomorrow. LC tells us his troubles.

*You Ain’t Woman Enough” performed by Loretta Lynn (1965).