Vinnie Returns Tomorrow – Are Their Hotlines for Moms With Sons Like Vinnie?

Vinnie doesn’t let up on his mom and dad. They must have the patience of saints. LOL Vinnie returns Monday.


23 ~ Gillis Can Commit for a Weekend


“What is it, Gills? You’re chewing on your bottom lip and twitching your nose. I always can tell when something is troubling you. Was it the cheesecake? It’s riding heavy on my stomach. I shoulda stopped at five pieces,” said Pickle.

Gillis turned slightly toward Pickle, “I was masking my feelings, Dill. I’m going to spill my guts. I’m concerned Wendy is coming on too strong. I think she wants me to make a commitment. I’m not ready for a commitment. Sure, I can commit to a one-night stand every two or three nights. I think that’s more than fair. She wants more than that. She’s looking for a guy who’ll make the coffee in the morning.”

“I know what you’re saying, Gills. I thought you should have hit the breaks when Wendy wanted to sleep with you at the dump. You say yes, it’s almost the same as saying let’s move in and get pizza with toppings we both like.”

“It’s tying me in knots, Dill. I can’t think about the case,” said Gillis.

“You got to dump her, Gills. Tell her if she wants to find commitment to look for it at Disneyland.”

“How so, Dill?” asked Gillis.

“She can find it in fantasy land.”

Fist bump.

“Man, I feel better, Dill. Thanks. Two questions, Dill. Did Bro say The Falling Leaf, The Fig Leaf, or The Golden Won Ton? Second question, what is a vegan? I’m current on all the hip stuff. Is it like Uber or Lyft? You got any ideas?” asked Gillis.

“First, Gills, you asked me four questions. That’s no problem because my mind is a highly complex, multi-functioning, state of the art, dendrite wiring, electrical circuit of irrational thought.”

Gillis made an attempt to follow Pickle’s comment. He zoned out at state of the art. Gillis said, “Get to the answers, Dill.”

Pickle answered, “I’m given you background to let you know what I say is accurate.”

I’ve got to think before I speak to him. I’m walking in a minefield each time I open my mouth, thought Gillis.

“Here’s my answers to your queries, Gills. I think the Fig Leaf is an adult sex store. I’m all in favor of starting there. As for Uber and Lyft, they’re the newest social media craze that’s out there. If we want to solve the case, we need to go to the Golden Wok. I’m certain that was the place Bro mentioned. I also have a preference for Chinese buffets. As to vegans, Ve E Gan is the person who started the exclusive society of vegans. Here’s the skinny on vegans. They’re uppity. Sampson is a perfect fit, problem is, Bro, is only a pretend uppity. As for the fourth question, I have lots of ideas. Want to hear some of them?” said Pickle. 

“Hold off for now on the ideas. I think better on a full stomach. I hope the Golden Wok adds extra MSG and high sodium soy sauce to my meal,” said Gillis.

“How so?” asked Pickle.

“MSG and high sodium have two primary purposes in any cuisine. First, they’re better than oysters for men. Second, their aroma stays on your clothes like super glue and is a highly researched and proven aphrodisiac that drives women crazy. Not that I need an edge with Wendy, but I’m taking no chances,” said Gillis.

“You changed your mind about Wendy?” asked Pickle.

“I can’t get her out of my mind. If I have to make a commitment for the weekend, I’ll do it. My team has a bye and isn’t playing this weekend,” said Gillis.

“You’re the male guru, Gills. I’m becoming a better man because of you,” said Pickle.

 Ten minutes latter Gillis and Pickle pulled into a small, left behind in the 80’s, strip mall on the city’s East side. Gillis surveyed the parking lot and nodded his head toward the Golden Wok. He tapped Pickle on the shoulder, “You got to hand it to the owner of the Golden Wok, Dill, he knew how to pick the best strip mall for his cuisine. Look at the crowd. This place is a gold mine. There’s a Dollar Tree, Goodwill, a blood bank, chiropractor, and a psychic healer. I’m going to grab the last handicap parking space before anyone gets it.”

“You better hurry Gills, look over there,” said Pickle. He pointed to an SUV  packed with seniors heading toward the handicap parking place. The SUV had a large handicap tag hanging from the rearview mirror.

“Not to worry. Pickle. I’ll nick the cart corral so it’ll tip in front of them. They’ll have to take the long way around. Get the rag ready to hang over the sign,” said Gillis.

Gillis’s pickup and the SUV filled with seniors were on a collision course for the same handicap parking spot. Gillis underestimated the driving agility of his competitor. A white haired guy with a NASCAR hat knocked over a trash barrel sending refuse spewing, then he nicked the cart corral blocking Gillis and Pickle from pulling ahead. Gillis swerved to avoid a collision with a mom pushing a stroller with twins. His quick action avoided a tragedy, but brought his pickup into contact with a live chicken delivery truck destined for the Golden Wok. Moments later two hundred chickens bust loose from captivity. A pickup truck loaded with illegal Mexican farm workers skidded to a stop. The illegal workers jumped out and chased the chickens. Leon, Do Re, and Buttercup came out of the restaurant. Leon waved a butcher knife and screamed obscenities at the illegal workers. Every other obscenity began with the word mother. One of the illegal Mexican farm workers brandished a machete and returned the obscenities to Leon in Spanish. Gillis worked his way around the chaotic scene and whacked the SUV on the right rear taillight causing it to spin 180 degrees and face away from the handicap parking space.

Gillis and Pickle, their Smith and Wesson’s drawn, piled out of the pickup. Gillis hustled to the driver’s side door of the SUV and set himself in a shooter’s stance with his gun aimed at the 80 year old driver. Pickle in the same stance on the passenger side of the SUV aimed his gun at seventy-seven year old cue tip on the passenger side. 

Gillis screamed, “Come out with your hands behind your heads, driver’s registration between your lips. Anybody with false teeth leave them in the car.”

A moment later, clink, clink. From the inside of the car, “Watch it Helen, I don’t have a second pair.” 

“Where’d you get those Jack, they almost look real.” 

“You had a fake gold tooth put in your uppers? Does Medicare pay for it?”

The seven seniors lined up facing the SUV, their hands on the roof, spread eagle. “Pat em down, Dill. They might be carrying,” ordered Gillis.

Gillis announced, “I’m calling backup. You have the right to remain silent, anything you say will be ignored. If you make a false move, my partner will blast you with pepper spray. Is anyone recording this to put on the Internet?”

“What are we charged with, Officer,” said an 85 year old woman.

Gillis blurted out the first thought in his mind, “We’ve been watching this sex ring for months. We’ve finally got you with the goods.”

An old woman snapped at the man next to her, “Harold, I told you to leave the condoms at the retirement home. At my age I don’t need safe sex. I need sex.


21 ~ Gillis & Pickle Help a Carnivore Come Out of the Closet


Fleming was working on his third piece of cheesecake. He wiped the crumbs off his lips with a linen napkin, and said, “Sorry we got off to a bad start. I’m Mr. Sampson’s administrative assistant, butler, chauffeur, cook, and confidant. Between us low blood sugar people, I can’t stand the man, but the pay is great, and he gives me health insurance. My only job is to kiss his ass. It’s a tough job, but the pay is great. I personally think the man is a turd. Know what I mean?”

“Know what you mean, Bro. I can’t stand the man either,” said Gillis playing good cop as if he were seeking an Oscar for Best Actor.

“Question, Bro,” said Pickle. “Can I call you Bro instead of Flemo? Bro removes you from the suspect list. Flemo keeps you on the list. I want to make sure I get it right.”

“Fleming isn’t even my real name. Mr. Sampson made me change my name to fit his image. My real name is Lance Foggy. Please call me Bro. I’ll help you all I can.” 

“Makes sense, Bro. I can see why Foggy wasn’t working. If it were me and I had to pick a name for you, I’d have chosen Froggy. See, that way I combine a classy name with your name. Easy to remember. Easy to spell,” said Pickle.

Gillis said, “Spot on, Dill. You know how to pull complicated issues together.”

Fleming, Foggy, Froggy, or Bro reached for another pieced of cheesecake. He spoke with a mouth half full, “Binging on sugar really elevates my my blood sugar level and gives me the sugar high I’ve been craving. Thanks for the tip, detective Gillis.”

Gillis said, “One more tip, always carry a candy bar with you. It will help in emergencies. If you notice a slight weight gain, pay no attention to it, it’s only your body readjusting.” 

Gillis reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a glossy photo of the cufflink found inside the newly deceased. He slid it across the table to Fleming. “Ever seen one of these? We found it in another carved up monkey.”

Fleming reached for the photo, “What was the monkey’s name?”

“Phil, rhymes with pill, dill, chill, trill, mill, fill, kill . . .”

Gillis interrupted Pickle, fearful that his soliloquy might go on for hours. “Bro, take close look at the photo. I got a hunch you’ve seen the cuff link before. My hunches are usually spot on. It’s why I’m certain a certain woman by the name of Wendy will be spending the night with me.” 

Fleming stared at the photo. He pushed it out to arm’s length. He pulled it closer to his face. He turned it toward the windows before turning back to Gillis, “I recognize it. Why?”

Pickle leaned toward Fleming while picking up the last piece of cheesecake. He said,  “Man, you make this? It’s awesome. It’s the best cheesecake I’ve tasted.”

“Between us, Sampson thinks I cook. I send out for everything, including the cheesecake. It’s from the Cheesecake Factory.”

“You don’t cook?” asked Gillis.

“For one thing, if Sampson thought I ate anything with sugar in it, he’d fire me. He’s a health freak. He eats tofu. He eats kale. He nibbles on chia seeds. No wonder he still has a high voice. What makes it worse, he loves vegan food. Every night he wants vegan. I told him my mother and father were vegans and I was breastfed only with vegan milk.”

“Are you vegan?” asked Gillis.

“Hell, no. I need meat. My father was a butcher and my mother was a barbecue cook at Rolly’s. The reason I look so bad is because it’s hell living a lie,” said Fleming.

“It’s time you’ve come out of the carnivore closet. We’ll support you. I can put you in touch with a carnivore social support group. They meet at Barry’s Barbecue every Thursday evening,” said Gillis.

Pickle wiped the crumbs of the cheesecake off his plate with the tip of his forefinger, then started wiping them off Fleming’s plate. Pickle knew Gillis’ plate is off limits. It’s a seniority thing in the police department. 

Fleming stood, picked up the three plates and put them in the dishwasher. He walked to the refrigerator and opened the Freezer. Gillis and Pickle stared at a freezer stuffed with frozen vegan dinners. 

“While you’re at it, Bro, tell us about the cufflink. You said you saw it before,” said Gillis. “We’d like coffee. You use Maxwell House?”

“Who’s Maxwell House? Is it a new coffee shop? I’ve never heard of him. Sampson only orders the finest, smallest, richest coffee beans in the world. They’re grown on a single estate in Jamaica. Over a hundred dollars an ounce.”

“In that case, give Dill and me a pound each when we leave. I prefer my fine ground. Pickle prefers a coarse ground,” said Gillis.

“Considered it done. I like to short change his turdness whenever I can. How do I know about the cufflink you ask?”

“That’s what we’re asking, we don’t know how you know about the cufflink. We think it’s the clue to the murders,” said Pickle. “ He added, “I could go for another piece of cheesecake and Jamaican coffee.”

“Where do you pack that away, Dill,” asked Gillis trying to keep the conversation rolling.

“I got high cannibalism. It runs in the family,” said Pickle using a credit card to floss his teeth.

“You mean metabolism,” said Gillis immediately regretting what he said.

“Two easily confused words, metabolism and cannibalism. Metabolism refers to music. You ever hear of heavy metal or Metallica? Heavy metal evolved into heavy metabolism and Metallica took it the rest of the way. Cannibalism is how fast you burn up your cannibals. You know some foods are high cannibals and others are low cannibals.”

Fleming was about to speak. Gillis cautioned him to stop. He said, “Dill is a master of linguistics. It’s better to accept whatever he says as accurate. I’ve seen some question his mastery and it never turns out pretty. Eventually, they’ll admit they’re wrong.”

Fleming poured two cups of the expensive and rare Jamaican coffee, brought them to Gillis and Pickle in rare fancy gold embossed China cups. He placed a quarter of a cheesecake in front of Pickle. “I’ll give you each a cheesecake along with the coffee when you leave.”

“Nice cups. I could use two cups tonight to set the scene with a new lover,” said Gillis.

“They’re very rare,” said Fleming.

“Before we leave you can file a stolen property report. Dill and I will quickly investigate and file it away under unsolved crimes. File your insurance claim and we’ll back you,” said Gillis.

“It’s seems highly irregular,” said Fleming.

“Happens all the time, Bro. Cops are paid pitiful wages and this is how we supplement. It’s a win-win situation,” said Gillis.

Fleming said, “I’ve never done anything like this. It’s, it’s kind of exciting.”

“You’re getting a taste of the dark side, Bro. It can be addictive,” said Pickle finishing up the cheesecake.

“Now, about the cufflink,” said Gillis. “Man this coffee is smooth, dark, and rich. Love it. Make it two pounds each when we leave.”

“The Green Leaf. That’s the answer,” said Fleming.

14 ~ Gillis & Pickle Should Take Their Show on the Road


“What do you think Cap wants, Gill? 

I’m hoping it won’t take long, Dill. I got to get home and change the décor for Wendy’s visit. I’m not sure how she’ll take the multiple nude female posters. Granted, they’re all in good taste,” said Gillis scrolling through the photos on his iPhone and finding them all irreplaceable. 

“What’s the difference between going to an art museum or your apartment? Either way, you’re going to see the tasteful display of the female body,” queried Pickle.

Gillis glanced over at Pickle. He put a hand on his shoulder, “Thanks for the pep talk, Dill. I’m going to let you in on a secret few men know. I need your promise you’re not going to blab about it to anyone.”

“It’s in the vault, Gills,” said Pickle crossing his heart.

“Not good enough, Dill.”

“I can’t swear on my mother’s grave because she’s not dead. What about if I swear on my aunt Lorraine’s grave? I got some really good swears I’ve been saving up,” said Pickle.

“I appreciate the offer, Dill.” Gillis lowered his voice to a whisper. “I’m going to ask you to swear the male blood oath. This will lock you into male cave of secrecy,” cautioned Gillis.

Pickle’s jaw dropped open. He grabbed hold of Gillis’s wrist, “The blood oath? This is the most sacred of sacred oaths in the manhood. If I violate it, I’ll be kicked out of sports bars, strip clubs, and not allowed to watch porn or drink beer and spill it on my shirt. I won’t be able to throw my clothes on the floor or wear the same boxers for a week. Many men have taken the oath, Gills. Few have held true to its commands,” said Pickle wiping away the beads of sweat forming on his forehead.

Gillis nodded, “That sums it up, Dill. It’s a leap into the unknown. Can you man up and take the blood oath? If it ever leaked out to the other side, that is women, there’d be an uproar the likes of which the world has never seen. Can I trust you, Dill?”

Before Pickle could respond, Gillis’s smart phone chirped. He checked it and saw the banner announcing a text from Wendy Flox. The secret and male blood oath were told to circle until given permission to land. Gillis held his smart phone toward Pickle, “Wendy sent me a text. It wouldn’t surprise me if she’s sexting me. Put your seatbelt on, I’m going to check it out.”

“You got to read it to me, Gills. If it’s a photo, can you forward a copy to me? I wish some of your luck with the ladies would rub off on me,” said an envious Pickle.

“It’s a curse I live with,” said Gillis.  

Before he could open Wendy’s text, Captain Courageous opened his door slamming it against the wall.

“Get in here, stat!” Courageous’s voice sounded as it came from a bull horn turned up high and echoed against the walls.

“You talking to us, Cap?” asked Gillis keeping one eye on Courageous and the other eye attempting to read Wendy’s text reply.

Courageous burst out, “There is no one else in here but the three of us. Who do you think I’m talking to?”

“Beg your pardon, Cap, but that was the question I was asking you. Have you been checked by the department physician for the onset of dementia?”

Courageous banged his fist against the door jam. He half turned and pointed inside his office with his outstretched hand looking like a gun. He continued to stare at the two detectives.

“Cap, don’t squint. Try smiling it will make the world seem brighter. You’ve got a rough job and Pickle and me see our job as making your life a lot easier. No need to thank me. Seeing you turn up the corners on your mouth and smiling is payment enough. Is that it? Can we leave?” said Gillis.

Pickle said, “I’m not much into mind reading, Gills. I think he really means he wants us in his office, pronto.”

“Do you mind waiting a sec, Cap? I got a reply text from Wendy. I’m pretty sure she  sent me a nude photo,” said Gillis.

“Now. Not one second later,” bellowed Courageous loud enough to make the photos hanging on the wall shake.

“I’m on your side, Cap. A bit of advice I picked up on educational TV, get centered and try deep breathing,” said Gillis.

Courageous involuntarily reached for his gun. He realized he didn’t wear a shoulder holster in his office. Good thing, he thought. I’d kill them both. He followed Gillis and Pickle into his office and walked around his desk. When he was behind his desk, he stretched out his six feet four inch frame and crossed his arms over his chest letting them rest on his belly. He glared at Gillis, then at Pickle. Courageous started to speak, then stopped. He pounded his right fist on his desk. The picture of his family toppled over onto the floor cracking the glass frame. 

Courageous took a deep breath, and said something that sounds like, “Hail Mary …”

“Excuse me Cap, football season is three months away. You remembering the pass Donigan threw to Michaels as time ran out in the Super Bowl? Or, was it the Orange Bowl?” asked Gillis

“I think it was the Cotton Bowl, Gills,” said Pickle.

“Thanks Pickle. A grooming tip, Cap. The top button on your shirt is undone and your tie is not pressed tight to your neck. I believe your third chin is getting in the way. It’s the little things that block promotions.”

“Gills is right Cap. We got your back. We’ve been working on finding Till’s killer. The subject of interest or is it the noun of interest, no, I think it’s the verb of interest is one Folsom Sampson. I don’t trust a guy who does a comb over.” 

Gillis elbowed Pickle. Pickle turned toward Gillis. Gillis mouthed, “The Cap does a comb over.”

“Let me walk that one back a couple of steps, Cap.” said Pickle. “I’m talking about not trusting a guy who does a comb over from the back to the front. You, obviously do your comb over from the right side to the left. I got to tell you, Cap. It leaves a lot of forehead showing. You need to buy a rug. You know a hair hat. Personally, I recommend you spend a little extra and invest in hair implants.”

Courageous reached into his drawer and pulled out his angina pills. He turned the bottle upside down in his mouth and began chewing them.

“If that’s candy, Cap, it’d be a nice touch for department morale if you offered us a piece,” said Gillis.

Somehow, Courageous was able to control himself. He said, “Why do you think Mister Sampson is the prime suspect?”

Pickle tapped Gillis on the arm, “I got this one, Gills.” He turned his head to face Courageous. “Easy as two plus one or is it one plus two, I’m always getting those two mixed up. I’ll figure it out later, Cap. No need to give me your secret memory trick. Here’s why Sampson is the prime suspect. How did he know Till was dead? I didn’t tell him. Did you tell him Gills?”

“I didn’t tell him, Dill. It tells me one thing, Cap. There’s a leak in your office. We’ll help you find it and plug it. Even if it means beating the crap out of your secretary if she’s spilling the nachos, know what I mean? We always thought you were doing her. Maybe she’s Folsom’s mistress. If that’s the case, we’ll stack the evidence against him and send him up for life so you can have Clara for yourself.”

Courageous was now sitting in his chair, his head lying sideways on his desk. He was mumbling, “Six hundred twenty-one more days until my retirement. That’s all. Is it too much to ask dear Lord to have these two migraines reassigned?”

“Migraines can be a beast, Cap. I think you have hummus intolerance. Maybe you’re constipated. That’ll do it. Have you tried avoiding gluten free foods. It’s the new rage. All the stars are binge loading on white processed bread, donuts, cakes. You name it, there’s a shortage of the gluten foods. Wished I moved my 401k into glutens,” said Pickle.

Courageous forced himself to an upright position. He ran both hands across the top of his head. 

“If you use gel, Cap, it’ll keep your comb over in place all day long,” said Gillis.

“Not a word. Not a single word unless I ask you to speak. Nod your heads if you understand,” said Courageous.

Nod. Nod.