27 ~ Let’s Play Jeopardy

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. 

Advertisements

25 ~Pickle Discovers a Clue to the Case in the Men’s Restroom

25

Gillis played with sugar packets arranging and rearranging them. Pickle test tasted packets of soy sauce, duck sauce, barbecue sauce, and spicy mustard. Pickle was on his third round of packets and began slurping the entire packet. Gillis said, “You’re hungry.”

“I didn’t say anything, Gills. How’d you know?”

“Wild guess. Let’s nose around, Dill. We’ll walk up to the buffet bar. Remember what Do Re said about the food. Look but don’t touch. You remember what we’re looking for?”

Pickle’s eyes sparkled. He was back in third grade and he knew the answer, “I sure do, Gills. I looking for senior trying to sneak extra food off the buffet to take home.”

Gillis, always sensitive to Pickle’s desire to be right, said, “Right on target, Dill. While you’re at it, if you notice anyone with only one cufflink, let me know. Take your time at the buffet bar. We’ll talk after Do Re brings us our pizzas.”

Pickle puffed up more brightly than a peacock. “I’m on it. Do you mind if I go to the restroom first?”

Gillis shrugged, “I’ll wait.” He continued rearranging sugar and sugar substitute packets.

Five minutes later Pickle returned. He slid into his chair. He bent toward Gillis and whispered, “I found some unexpected information that may help us with this case.”

Gillis nodded and signaled Pickle to continue.

Pickle reached into his pants pocket and pulled out a slip of paper. He read it, “Call Sara at 555-6767 if you want a good time.”

“How’s this going to help us?” asked Gillis.

“Sara might have seen something. Do you mind if I call her and question her alone tonight?”

“Go for it. Let me know if you had a good time. Let’s head to the buffet bar,” said Gillis.

Gillis and Pickle stood in the buffet line behind fifteen seniors. Eight of the seniors were  pushing walkers. Each of the eight walkers had a built in tray device. The seniors with walkers placed two large plates on their tray device. The remaining seven seniors had baby pouches strapped to their chests and carried a single plate. 

“Question, Gills.”

“What is it, Dill?”

“Are the seniors afraid the Golden Wok is going to run out of food? Why are they stuffing food into the baby pouches? Why do they need two plates? Watch out, one of the seniors is trying to pull his walker out of line and take a cut near the front of the line. Another senior with a walker is swearing at him. They’re swinging their walkers at each other. Should we step in?”

“Ignore it, Dill. When seniors fight over food, the early bird special, coupons, you need backup. We’re not wearing our Kevlar vests. If they take hostages, we’ll call in the SWAT team. You see that? Beautiful move, He faked swinging his walker, and squirted the guy in face with his urine sack.”

The guy who got squirted, “I’m going to sue. I just had my cataracts removed.”

The guy who did the squirting, “You sue and I’ll ban you from playing bingo.”

“Truce.”

“Truce.”

Gillis said, “I saw something on Unsolved Mysterious on cable about seniors at buffets, Dill. The world’s greatest scientists can’t figure it out. The scientists point out for every ten seniors who head to buffets only seven survive.”

“They got a seven in ten chance, Gills. Those are good odds given the price. Five ninety-nine for all you can eat. I heard a senior say he eats enough so he doesn’t have to eat for two days.”

Twenty minutes later Gillis and Pickle made it through the buffet and back to their table. Two pizzas boxes were on the table. “See anything unusual, Dill?”

 I saw a senior stuffing her handbag with chicken wings. Then she started packing food in her cheeks like a squirrel as she went through the buffet.”

“That’s normal according to the scientists. Once you pass a certain age, all you think about is food, how to interfere in your kids lives, and what the neighbors are doing. I meant about our case,” said Gillis.

“Can’t say I did. How about you?” asked Pickle picking out a slice of greasy pepperoni pizza.

“Don’t eat the pizza,” said Gillis.

“Why?” asked Pickle holding a grease laden piece of pepperoni pizza inches from his mouth.

“I’ll tell you in a minute. Put the pizza down carefully and wipe your hands on your shirt. I think I solved the case,” said Gillis watching the grease drip off of Pickle’s slice and slide down his chin and dripping onto his shirt.

“Something bothering you, Gills? What are you thinking about? You buried your face in your hands. What am I missing Gills? Who’s the killer? What tipped you off?”

18 ~ Gillis Tells Wendy He’s There For Her

18

Gillis turned toward Wendy Flox, “Hey, Babe. Glad it’s you picked up the assignment. We’ll leave as soon as you’re through here. Dill will take your car  and you ride with me. We’ll pick up some Chinese takeout and go to my place where I’ll teach you the finer points of love.” 

Wendy ignored Gillis and walked past him to the corpse, “Who found him?”

I did,” Fluke and Fluck answered together.

“You two in a barbershop quartet seeing you answered in harmony?” said a straight faced Wendy.

Fluke looked at Fluck. Fluck looked back at Fluke. They said in perfect harmony, “No, but we’re trying out for America’s Got Talent. We’re going to bill ourselves as “The Singing Cops.”

Pickle said, “It’ll be a fluke if you win. I think most voters will say, ‘Fluck it.” 

Gillis burst out laughing, “Oh that’s rich. That is really, really good. Can I use it at the coffee shop tomorrow morning, Dill?”

“It’s yours partner. I think you might be a little late coming in tomorrow by the look of lust in the lady’s eyes,” said Pickle staring at Wendy Flox.

“Will you two stop it. It is not a question, it is a statement. I’ve had a rough day. Pat left me for another woman. So lay off the crap today,” said Wendy fighting back tears.

Gillis rushed to her side, “I’m here for you, Babe. I promise no more of the sexual banter that we’re famous for.” He winked at Pickle.

“Thanks, Gillis. Anyone see or find anything unusual?” said Wendy.

“I told detectives Gillis and Pickle about something strange I saw in the victim’s stomach cavity. I thought it was coin. Detective Gillis thinks it’s a piece of bone,” said Fluke.

Flox slipped on latex gloves, turned on her high-powered penlight, and used a pencil to lift part of the skin flap covering the victim’s cavity. She moved the penlight around and poked with with the pencil. She stopped in the upper left of the cavity and reached in with her gloved hand and pulled something out, “You’re both wrong. It’s a gold cufflink. Get me an evidence bag.”

Gillis turned to Pickle, “We find out who’s wearing the match to the cufflink we got our murderer, Dill. Did you happen to catch if the Cap was missing a cuff link?”

“He was missing his left cuff link, Gills. I assumed Clara pulled it off during a fit of passion. I love it when you pull it together Gills.”

Wendy looked up, “Are you talking about Clara Dunn?”

“I don’t know what she’s done, but I know what she’s doing and it has two names, Santiago and Courageous,” said Gillis.

“Add a third to the list,” said Wendy.

“Clara is getting around and building up a fine resume for being sexually active. What name do you have in mind?” asked Gillis.

“Flox!” said Wendy bursting into tears.

Gillis grabbed hold of Wendy’s two shoulders and shook her, “Get a grip, girl. We’ve got a case to solve and Pickle and I need you. I’m willing to put our relationship on the back burner until we clear the case. Once we clear it, I’m going to personally beat the crap of your cheating, lying, philandering skunk of husband. Who, by the way, you should throw under the bus. If you move in with me, we can share expenses. Are you on the pill? I don’t like to use condoms. We’ll talk about having my babies when things settle down.”

“You know how to cut to the chase, Gills,” quipped Pickle. 

Flox pushed aways from Gillis. Flox, Fluke, and Fluck stared at Gillis and Pickle.

“Listen up, Babe. You got to do something with your hair,” said Gillis.

“I’m not your babe. Don’t speak to me. Don’t touch me. Don’t come around my office unless it’s official business. I thought Pat was the lowest form of human being and now I know someone lower. It’s disgusting.”

Gillis glared at Fluke, “Sorry she feels this way about you, Fluke. I don’t know what you did to upset her, but it’s best if you and your singing partner move away from here.”

Gillis turned back to Wendy, “I love it when you’re angry, Babe. The way I see it, your projecting a lot of your inner anger onto Fluke. He’s a couple of cookies short of a dozen. He’s not the brightest light bulb in the room. Fluke has a tough time finding a parking space in an empty parking lot. I can guarantee he’s a safe distance from being called a genius.”

Wendy lifted her eyes to the dark night, “Why? Why me? What are you trying to teach me surrounding me with men who don’t have a clue.”

Gillis broke into Wendy’s prayer, “That’s just it, Babe. I’m out there looking for a clue. Let’s go, Dill. We got a big break in the case with the cuff link.”

Gillis and Pickle sat on a red faux leather stool at the burrito bar. The only known burrito bar in the country, a Bazooka Burrito trademark. The bartender is a certified burrito-esta. An empty stool was between Gillis and Pickle. 

“Looking at the deceased made me realize how hungry I was. I hate it when my blood sugar gets low,” said Gillis.

“Got to hand it you, Gills. You had Wendy eating out of your hand. You have a gift of talking. I think you ought to be a politician. You could talk circles around the group that’s out there. The country needs leaders like you. Women love you. Men respect you. I can’t see anyone of sound mind voting against you,” said Pickle.

“Oh, I’ve thought of it, Dill. I tossed it off the plate, there’s too much to do in the city. I see it as my job to make the city safe from pizza delivery cars, robo calls, and old people trying to use walkers to cross crosswalks. If I can clear those problems in my lifetime, it will be all worth it,” said Gillis. “Besides, I don’t think Wendy wants to be First Lady. She’d rather play second fiddle to me. I’m going to discourage that. I’m all in favor of women taking an equal place with men. That’s why I’m tossing her so much respect.”

“Gills you need to lead the next workshop on learning to think like a woman,” said Pickle.

 

THE BUMBLING DETECTIVES RETURN ON MONDAY WITH MORE NONSENSE

 

© Ray Calabrese 2018

Monday ~ The Bumbling Detectives Return

Enjoy the shenanigans of the Bumbling Detectives when they return on Monday. Gillis Makes Pickle Take the Sacred Oath of Manhood. 

10 ~ Pickle Takes A Stand Against Vaping

10

The door to the oversized, architectural fiasco mansion opened. A silver haired, six foot two inch man wearing a tux with red cummerbund stretching over a forty-four inch waist said, “I assume you are the detectives?”

“When you go through puberty, your voice is going to change. No offense intended, are you going through a sex change?” asked Pickles.

 “I’m Mr. Sampson’s administrative assistant, Fleming. Please leave your firearms in your beat up truck. Mr. Sampson doesn’t allow firearms or curse words in his home,” said Fleming clearing his throat attempting to bring it down into the soprano range.

Gillis ignored Fleming. He tapped Pickle on the arm, “Ask him if he has more than one name. I think he’s taking steroids. Steroid takers can react violently, I’m giving you a head’s up. Another thing, you take too many steroids they shrink your package, know what I mean, Dill?”

Pickles stared at Fleming, then looked at Gillis, “Hold on, Gills. I’m supposed to be the bad cop. I won the coin toss.”

“I had a mind burp, Dill. Excuse me. I’m the good cop, you’re the bad cop,” said a contrite Gillis.

Pickle nodded and fist bumped Gillis. He said, “He’s not doing steroids. If he was he’d have pimples. One thing I’ll say for Phlegm, he has good skin but the comb over leaves a lot to be desired. Hey, Phlegm, you do Botox? Do you have another name to go with Phlegm?”

Fleming turned a shade of yellow and green, and said, “I have one name, like Madonna. The name is Fleming. Mr. Sampson is very generous and I’m covered for free Botox injections whenever I need them.”

Pickles turned his back to Fleming, closed his eyes and concentrated on his bad cop role. When he was emotionally ready, he screwed up his face, twisted his lips into a snarl, turned back toward Fleming and barked, “Guns or cussing not allowed? Is that so? How about I shove my gun up your tight ass? That is, unless you’re Folsom Sampson, which you already admitted you’re not. If you’re lying, and you are Sampson, I’m going to bust you for exploding an investigation. You want to cop a plea deal and rat out your boss, maybe I’ll put in a good word for you with the B.O.”

Fleming’s color was changing so rapidly, Gillis couldn’t get a good read on it. He took note of Pickle’s use of the word exploding instead of impeding. For a brief moment Gillis felt overwhelmed. He had so much work to do to get Pickle ready for the detective first grade exam and only two years to do it.

Fleming jabbed a finger at Pickle and said, “You. You are an …”

“Don’t say something you’re going to regret, Phlegm. Why were you called Phlegm? That brings up disgusting images in my mind. If anybody named me Phlegm I’d a changed it faster than a whore turns a trick,” said Gillis.

“I’m going to report the both of you to whoever takes reports. You’ve not heard the end of this,” squeaked Fleming.

Pickles said, “I didn’t hear anything bad, did you Gills?”

Gillis still wasn’t sure what Pickle meant by B. O. It couldn’t have been body odor. He decided to let it slide. He said, “Not me.”

“The only thing I heard was Phlegm insulting my mixed racial identity. You hear that, Gills?” asked Pickles.

Gillis slipping into his good cop role, said, “It embarrassed me the way he was talking about your ancestors. What if your four or five fathers showed up? How would they feel? I don’t think Phlegm knew about your four or five fathers. Let’s cut him a bit of slack and hold off on reporting the pervert, Dill. The man’s only doing his job. Besides, you don’t want to get your gun dirty by sticking it up his ass. We’re not carrying pistol condoms.” 

Gillis turned to face Fleming. He said, “We’ll hold on to our guns, Phlegm. If you’re not Folsom Sampson, we don’t care who you are. You might be Liza Filtz for all I know. We’re here to see Dipthong”

“You mean Mr. Sampson?” said Fleming reassuming a snooty attitude.

“Gills, I think I heard you say Ping Pong. Maybe we should arrest this guy for making fun of the way you talk. We’ll shove him the same cell with Benny Melendez, the street mariachi player.  You want some of that, huh, Phlegm? You want to hear mariachi music twenty-four seven. It’s enough to drive someone from here to Saskatchewan. You’ll need a passport if you want to take that trip. If you try to sneak over the border, it’s okay, it’s a problem for the Canadian security. My guess is you don’t have a passport on you. You know what I’m talking about?” said Pickles.

Fleming, who majored in logic at the university, couldn’t follow the conversation. He was trying to wrap his head around an enigma and found it more difficult than solving a Rubric’s Cube. His tongue wouldn’t move. He gestured, it didn’t help. He turned and walked inside the mansion, Gillis and Pickle followed. 

Fleming stopped five feet into the entrance way. He was back on familiar turf. He took a deep breath and turned to face Gillis and Pickle, “I’ll ask you to remove those, those, rubber soled, lower blue collar, black work shoes.”

Fleming, unwittingly played into the bad cop character that Pickle won honorable mention with at the Police Christmas party. Pickle stopped. He untied his right shoe. He glanced at the smirking Fleming who held blue disposable booties for both Pickle and Gillis. Later, Pickle would tell Gillis it was the smirk that brought out the award nominating performance for his bad cop routine.

Pickles scaled his shoe at Fleming’s head. Fleming easily stepped aside and watched the black, steel toed, blue collar worker shoe sail past him and smash into Van Gogh’s Starry Night on loan to Folsom Sampson for safe keeping while the Museum of Modern Art updated its security systems. Pickle’s black shoe put a three inch tear into the canvas and a distinct black smudge making the starry night darker. 

Pickles walked over to the painting, gave it ten seconds of his attention, picked up his shoe and asked, “This one of the paint by numbers paintings? Whose Vin Goff?”

Gillis thought Pickles was overplaying the bad cop role.

Fleming, who fainted, opened his eyes staring up into the ceiling and not a starry night, gurgled, “It’s Van Gogh, not Vin Goff, dolt. Do you know what you did?”

“I can answer that question with a question,” said Pickle. “Where can we find Sampson?”

Fleming wiped the tears out of his eyes, and pointed, “He’s…He’s in his office over there.”

Gillis and Pickle stepped over the prone Fleming and walked to Sampson’s office. They didn’t bother knocking. Gillis twisted the nob and flung the door open letting the door nob whack the wall leaving a small indentation. The two detectives walked into Sampson’s office. Sampson sat on an executive chair behind a large polished cherry desk. A golden, life sized sculpture of the deceased sat on the floor on next to the desk. A smaller golden replica sat on the corner of Sampson’s desk. Four commissioned paintings of the deceased hung on walls. 

“What was that racquet in the hall? Where is Fleming? Why didn’t you knock? I hope you didn’t damage the wall. All my walls were painted by the obscure but rising Latino artist Don Won. Do you know who I am?” said Sampson.

Gillis flashed his shield and Pickle chucked Sampson the bird. Gillis said, “I’m Gillis, the good cop. This here is my partner, Pickle, the bad cop. We’re here to talk to you about the murder of a monkey. We don’t want any monkey business from you neither.” 

“Do you know you used a double negative?” said the Ivy educated Sampson.

“Let’s get something straight, I’m an optimist. I don’t allow no negative thinking into my mind, so quit the crap about double negatives,” said Gillis.

“Nice one, Gills,” said Pickle.

Sampson gave a disgusted look, opened a drawer and said, “Mind if I vape?”

Pickle was standing in front of the desk, said, “You vape and I will twist the two mushrooms that kinda look like ears on the sides of your head until they fall off your head. I’m okay with this, if you agree.”

Sampson closed the desk drawer. Then he glared at Pickle now sitting on the edge of his desk holding a one of a kind commissioned blown glass work by Lo Ming of the deceased monkey. “What do you think you’re doing?” he demanded.

Pickle looked at Gillis and tossed him the blown glass monkey. Sampson gasped, “No. No. It’s a rare commissioned piece. It’s one of kind. It’s a replica of my beloved Till.”

Gillis didn’t track the blown glass. He was preoccupied clipping his nails. Till floated happily toward Gillis. On Till’s descent, he performed a half twist, and made a perfect head first dive onto the Italian marble floor shattering into a thousand pieces.”

“Ye gads. That was priceless. “Where is justice?” bellowed Sampson

Before Sampson could say another word, Gillis smiled, playing good cop, and said, “Sam Justice is working vice. He’s on the night shift. Being priceless is a good thing. It means whatever this thing is supposed to be, it’s not worth anything. If you go eBay, you probably can find an upgrade for about five fifty.”

  Sampson began crying. He laid his head down on his desk and beat the desk with both fists sobbing loudly.

“When you’re finished with your tantrum, we’ll get on with our interview,” said Gillis.

“Yah. We can do it the hard way or we can do it the Pickle way, which makes the hard way look like the easy way. The third way is to write out your confession and tell us how you had your cook prepare the monkey’s guts.”

© Ray Calabrese 2018