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

14

“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.

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9 ~ Gillis Claims He’s Not Biased Because He’s Biased

9

“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. 

7 ~ Gillis Suggests Two Nicknames To Wendy

7

Pickle opened the ME’s door and stood aside and said, “Please rise, the man who desire more than any other is about to enter.” Pickle paused for a poignant moment and spoke as if he was announcing a late night TV talk show host, here’s Detective Gills.”  Pickle made a sweeping gesture with his right arm  and Gillis soon followed. 

Gillis paused at the door, waved to the twenty-three people in the room as if he were the Queen of England or the Pope. Unfortunately not counting Pickle and himself, and only one was alive. The other twenty-two were deceased and waiting to be autopsied. The living human being, Doctor Wendy Flox, dressed in blue scrubs and matching latex free gloves stood over the Monkey holding a scalpel in her left hand. She had her dark hair pulled back into a ponytail, the ponytail stuck out from behind her skull cap. Wendy glanced up from the deceased toward Gillis and Pickle.

She pulled the mask off her face, lifted it over her forehead and let it rest on the blue skull cap. She grumbled, “I’m busy. What do you two fools want?”

Gillis walked confidently toward Wendy. He said, “Is that anyway to greet the president and vice president of your fan club?” He fist bumped Pickle and then did a pirouette ending with his right arm extending toward Wendy. 

“If you’re looking for applause, it’s not going to happen, tomorrow, or any other time you are within five miles of me. Make it quick. I’ve got two more stiffs to examine.”

Gillis smiled and said, “If I was you, I’d find a different outfit for work. You know one that’s a lot sexier than scrubs. I can help you pick out something more comfortable at Victoria Secrets. Am I right?”

“You’re a jackass. Tell me what you want before I lose whatever is left of my composure,” grumbled Flox.

Gillis mistook Flox’s comment about him being a Jackass as her way of flirting with him, said, “First things first, how are you and your husband getting along? I hear rumors a split is inevitable. The breakup will be tough, but I’m here for you. Let’s have drinks after work and you can tell me what a louse he is. I’ll be understanding and agree to whatever you have to tell me about him. I won’t even make a comment when you tell me you’re faking it with him. After drinks, we can go to my place do our love dance.”

Wendy Flox jammed the scalpel into the deceased’s armpit and placed her latex free gloved hands on her hips. She glared at Gillis, “My personal life is none of your business. For the record, Richard and I are happily married.”

“Stage one, denial. Please make a mental note of my empathy. Are those latex free gloves?” asked Gillis.

“Yes, why?”

“I’ll make sure we stop and pick up latex free condoms on the way to my apartment,” said Gillis feeling proud of his sensitivity in picking up the latex free cue from Flox.

Flox pulled the scalpel out of the monkey and made a threatening gesture toward Gillis.

Pickle came riding in on cue rescuing his partner, “Hey, Wendy. Lighten up. Gills is being friendly. No need for an attitude. Gills is concerned about your marital stress and wants to take you out for drinks when you finish carving up the monkey. Don’t worry, we won’t tell animal rights groups what you’re doing. We’re both here for you when the crap hits the fan. Besides, Gills is worried about your biological clock running out. It’d be a shame if you didn’t have his babies since Richard is apparently infertil.”

Wendy looked at the scalpel in her hand. The possibilities it offered were endless. She was satisfied the scalpel was sharp enough to slit Gillis from his throat to his pelvis. She could do the same job on Gillis the killer did on the monkey. She glanced at the tool tray and eyeballed another scalpel that would easily take off both of Pickle’s ears. Flox had only one decision. She had was to decide if she could kill the two detectives that no one likes, and get away with murder. She could claim justifiable homicide. Not a jury in the world would convict her. Flox decided against it. She’d have to do two more autopsies. 

Flox said, “You got two minutes, Gillis.”

“Before we start the clock, I got an easy one, not related to the deceased or us having sex tonight.”

Wendy rolled her eyes, “Okay, what is it and it better not be stupid.”

Gillis flashed what he thought was a smile that melted a frigid woman’s heart. He said, “Everyone on the force has a nickname but you. This creates problems because everyone but Pickle and me thinks you’re stuck up. Since I always have your best interests in mind, I came up with two choices that will catch on like the common cold in January.”

Wendy took her hands off her hips and folded them across her chest. She looked like a diamondback rattlesnake coiled to strike. She snarled, “What?”

Gillis said, “I put together all of your excellent qualities, brains, looks, sex appeal, temper, ran it through my brain, which is faster than IBM’s Watson and came up with the two perfect nicknames. You choose, me and Pickle will accept either one and make sure it gets around.”

“What?”

“The first nickname comes from the fact that I believe your biological clock is about to run out. What do you think of Hot Flashes?” asked Gillis.

“I like the second one, Gills. You know the one that describes a young cat,” said Pickle.

“You say it and I will march right up to Courageous’s office and put you both on report for sexual harrassment. Your two minutes starts now.”

“Let me time this.” Gillis pulled out his iPhone. He popped in his passcode. “I’m not one to give out my passcode. I set it to the first name of hottest woman in the department. Oh hell, I just gave it it away.”

Pickle said, “Tonya? You were just saying you’d like to spend a night with her.”

Gillis didn’t blink, “You’re mistaken, Dill. That was Cap. I told Cap he better watch it, he could be brought up on sexual harassment charges.”

“Gotcha. Yah, we got to keep an eye on Cap.”

“Fool. You’ve used thirty seconds,” said Wendy, bending over the Monkey. 

“I’ll make it quick, what was the cause of death”

Wendy stared at the scalpel. Instead of killing Gillis and Pickle, she could stab herself in the heart or slice her aorta. She’d die a quick death and except for the initial incision, there wouldn’t be a lot of pain. She shook the thought out of her head and said, “Loss of blood.”

“You are busting my balls, Wendy. Give me a break. Pickle and me got a job to do. We head up the Bizarre Crimes Unit. What caused the loss of blood?” said Gillis.

Wendy straightened up, “You look as stupid as you talk. Anybody ever tell you that? Did you know you have mustard in the dishrag you try to pass off as a hair piece? I’ve seen better hair on roadkill. Here’s your answer, it was decapitation or the gutting of his sternum that caused the loss of blood.”

Gillis worked with his piece trying to adjust it. He said, “I wanted to see if you’d notice. Only a woman who is sexually attracted to me, would notice and tell me. Will you marry me?”

Flox started coming around the slab after Gillis when Pickles said, “How do you figure decapitation was the cause of death?”

Flox regained control and returned to her original position keeping the dead monkey between her and Gillis and Pickle. She said, “The head was three feet away from the body. Anyone with a half brain could see that. And, he was opened up as if he were a zipper.”

Gillis put his iPhone in his pant’s pocket, “A couple more questions, that’s all. Then we can talk about where we will dine and drink tonight. Did the monkey suffer?”

Flox wondered if she got caught in a reality TV show. Or, if she was in one of those reoccurring nightmares. She said, “Gillis, how would you feel if someone cut your guts out?”

Pickle butted in, “Is that anyway to talk to man who is going to father your babies?”

Flox swished the scalpel at Pickle. Pickle jumped back even though he wasn’t close enough to get hurt. “Ha, you missed,” he said.

“It was practice. I’m getting the range,” snapped Flox.

Gillis said, “Any fingerprints on the guts?”

Flox responded, “Where did you get these questions? “The killers took the guts.”

Gillis raised his hands, “Hold on. Your bias is coming out. These questions were compiled by the greatest minds in criminology. We’re the messengers. We got to ask what we got to ask.”

Flox reached for a second scalpel, “Leave before I lose it.”

Thanks for the cooperation, Wendy. I know a nice place, Bennie’s Ice House. We can have a few brewski’s, a burger, and play a game of pool to determine where we spend the night.”

Wendy flipped the middle finger of her right hand to Gillis.

Gillis raised his eyebrows, “Thanks for letting me know you didn’t like pool. How about going straight to my place we’ll have take out Chinese, and play strip poker. Pickle will call your husband and tell him you’re on a special assignment.”

“I’m available for a candlelight dinner, if your schedule is too crowded for Gillis,” said Pickle.

Wendy grabbed the other scalpel and started around the slab. Gillis and Pickle headed for the door. Pickle stood aside and let Gillis escape first, then he followed Gillis, slamming the door behind him. A thump was heard on the door.

Gillis turned around and stared at the door, “We’ve got to be a bit more careful. Wendy’s becoming more accurate throwing the scalpel. That’s what attracts me to her. Imagine all that passion focused on me for a night. I tell yah, Pickle, Wendy knows she’s in love with me and this is her way of showing how much she loves me.”

“Want me to talk to Richard and tell him it’s time to move on and tell him Wendy is in love with you?” asked Pickle.

“I want to be more subtle, Dill. When we finish the case, I’ll invite her to go to Vegas with me to get married.”

Pickle pushed the button for the elevator. He said, “You’re always thinking of the other person, Gills. One day, I want to be just like you.

© Ray Calabrese 2018

4 – Detective Pickle Theorizes About The Mayor’s Affair

4

Chief of Homicide Detectives, Captain Horatio “Halo” Courageous, stood two feet away from the window, forty-three stories above the street, stretched his arms out, and placed his two beaver tail sized hands against the window pain and leaned his six foot five inch frame toward the window. Courageous placed full blame on Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, any flavor, any item menu at Flippetti’s Trattoria, and the presence of sugar within ten feet of the coffee maker for his forty-five inch girth that prevented him from pressing his entire torso against the floor to ceiling window. Courageous made an unabashed effort to bend forward and press his forehead against the window pane so he could stare down to the street. 

“Whatcha looking for, Cap?” asked Dill. “See any cute chicks with great cleavage or wearing a halter top?”

“I’m not a pervert. I’m happily married. I’m doing this to relieve stress and because of the scene in my all time favorite movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Recall when Ferris stuck his nose against the window at the top of the Sears Tower in Chicago?”

“Can’t say I do, Cap. But begging your pardon, is Ferris Bueller a suspect? Since he got a day off, he had time to take out the deceased. You want me to put out an all points bulletin to bring him in?” asked Pickle.

Gillis moved his head toward Pickle and shook it gentle trying to warn Pickle there was no such person as Ferris Bueller. He was a movie character. Gillis stopped moving his head and chose to stay quiet when he saw Courageous turn from white to tomato red.

Courageous slowly backed away from the window and turned around to face Gillis and Pickle. He stepped forward and placed his two mitts palms down on his desk. He glared at Pickle, “Are you an idiot, Pickle? Are you trying to make fun of me? We have a homicide and you are making jokes. The only reason I’m not sending you out on foot patrol is because I don’t want a grievance and all the union crap that goes with it.” 

Pickle answered, “I got no grievance with you Cap. I’m part of the solution. You raise an interesting question. Can we technically call killing a monkey a homicide? Maybe the case needs to be turned over the animal control. See what I’m saying?”

Courageous bellowed, “It is a homicide. Mr. Sampson is an important part of the community. He considered the monkey a good friend. He wants it investigated by homicide detectives. The mayor whole heartedly agrees with him.”

“Question, Cap,” said Pickle.

“What!” demanded Courageous.

“Does the mayor know Sampson is banging his wife? It could be a conflict of interests. Maybe the mayor’s wife was jealous of the monkey and she killed the poor fellow. It all adds up. How about we pulling her in for questioning?”

Gillis saw Courageous grasping hold of the edges of his desk and tilting it as if he were going to tip it over. Even out of shape, Courageous was a powerfully built man and might be able to take the muscular, but gentle Pickle. Gillis decided to intervene, “Cap, your high blood pressure pills are in your right desk drawer. Your anxiety pills are in the center drawer. And, your angina pills are behind the lovely photo of your wife on your desk. You’re very lucky to have a wife who is faithful to you and won’t fool around.”

Courageous let go of the desk and let it drop with a thud. He turned around and returned to his Ferris Bueller meditative state, arms outstretched, hands bracing him on the window, and his forehead pressed firmly against the window pane. He stared out across the city. His sport coat, a Walmart special, hung behind his chair. Gillis and Pickle stared at his back. 

Pickle whispered to Gillis, “Cap’s wife is doing the mayor. Think I should tell him? I’d want to know.”

Gillis said, “You already know, so that takes care of your wanting to know.”

Pickle mulled Gillis’s thought over, “I never thought of it that way, Gills. Thanks for the assist.”

Gillis and Pickle turned their attention back to Courageous who was chanting, “Take me soon. Take me soon. Take me soon.”

It took five minutes, but Courageous’s color slowly returned to its normal pale white, his muscles relaxed, and he turned from the window and faced Gillis and Pickle. He said, “From this height the city looks peaceful, the kind of place you want to raise a family, own a home, build something special. I’m telling you boys, this city is a swirling cesspool of human excrement. The city is going down the toilet faster than a power flush. You want to know what stands between the sewer line and the city?”

“I think I know the answer to that one, Cap,” said Gillis. 

“It’s worth a million dollars if you do, Gillis. Every big city in this country is a creeping swarm of maggots. The vultures are circling above wanting to swoop down on the carcasses. The cities have become nothing more than giant landfills of human waste. Every time I look out my window on this city …”

Gillis interrupted, “I get your point, Cap. I’m only interrupting because you’re mixing metaphors faster than a chef mixing batter for waffles on the Food Channel. The answer you and every chief of homicide detectives is looking for is the Atomic Plunger. I saw it advertised on cable for $19.99. It’s supposed to clear out your toilet if you plug it up with one quick plunge. No offense intended, Cap, but looking at your size, I bet you have some massive bowel movements. If you order before the end of the week, they’ll send you a second free, and toss in three toilet water refreshers.” Gillis felt proud of the way he caught Courageous’ meaning and offered a quick solution.

The Bumbling Detectives, Gillis & Pickle Return Tomorrow

Tomorrow’s Fun Read on the Bumbling Detectives – Pickle suggests Ferris Bueller is a suspect in the killing.

3 ~ Gillis Has All The Moves

3

Dill bent over the corpse and stared into the deceased’s cleaned out intestines, “I only hope the deceased was dead after the killer cut his head off.”

“Novel idea, mind explaining it to me?” asked Gillis picking up the deceased’s head and snapping a selfie with it.

Dill caught the selfie action. “Why the photo, Gills? This one puzzles me.”

“I think it will turn Wendy on. She’s a medical examiner. She’ll see me taking an interest in her work when I show her the selfie of the deceased’s head and me.”

“Brilliant strategy. You ought to send your strategy into one of the men’s magazines. They’re always looking for great pickup lines. With this move, you took pickup lines into a whole new level. As far as my theory about hoping the deceased was deceased after they cut his head off it goes like this. Consider for a moment that the pain center is in the brain. I got to figure a monkey’s brain works somewhat like a human brain only because they have fingers and toes. So if the monkey’s brain is in the head, which is now in your hands and the monkey’s body is in front of me, there’s no way they can communicate unless both body parts have blue tooth or are on the same network. That’s what I was doing messing in the monkey’s cavity. I was looking for wifi or a modem. Since I couldn’t find a modem or other technology in the monkey’s cavity, it’s my theory the killer took it. Find the modem, find the killer. It’s a possibility we have to consider if we’re going to solve this case.”

When Pickle made a valiant, yet futile, attempt to talk smart Gillis inevitably suffered from a gas buildup in his lower intestine. The level of gas in his lower intestine was directly proportional to the absurdity of Pickle’s intellectual discourse. This time was no different than other times. Gillis had no alternative but to lift his left leg and let one rip, “You hear that? I think a car backfired.”

Pickle looked up and said, “I think you set a world a record. That was about seven seconds long. I told you not to eat the bean burrito at lunch. Oh my, that really is bad, might be a top ten classic. If we an record these, you might make the Guinness Book of World Records. Remind me not to use the men’s room when it’s your time. If Wendy says anything we’ll blame the smell on the monkey. He won’t be able to disagree.”

Gil tossed a half smile at Pickle, “Thanks for the confidence in getting a world’s record. Normally, when I let one rip, they’re silent. Nobody knows it’s me. There’s no way to record them. It’s like a tree falling in the forest. If no one hears it fall, does it make a sound?” Gillis said and then immediately regretted saying it.

Pickle answered, “There’s like ten ways to look at this philosophical problem, Gills. First, you got to look at from the point of view of the tree …”

Gillis interrupted Pickle hoping to change the conversation, “Dill, you know why they call the medical examiner the ME? If you read it, you think you’re talking about yourself.”

“I got no answer on that one. That’s another of life’s pearlexing questions.”

“Do you mean, perplexing questions, Dill?”

Dill put his hands in jeans pockets, he hunched his shoulders and took a step toward Gillis, “I know you are the senior partner. I know you are much smarter than me. One thing about me, I’m autistic and I have a gift for remember how to spell and the meanings of words. I mesmerized the entire dictionary when I was six.”

“You mesmerized it?” asked Gillis trying to carry a meaningless conversation a little further.

“It was as easy as filling a paper cup with a urine sample for my fiscal exam, which by the way I passed with flying geese.”

Gillis quit trying, he didn’t want to challenge the misuse of fiscal in play of physical. Pickle would never admit to being wrong on word usage. Gillis turned his attention to the driveway. He said, “I think I see Wendy’s car pulling up the driveway. I hope she doesn’t try to  bust my balls, Dill, because she knows it’s a definite turn on for me. I’ve been playing hard to get. It’s crazy, but the harder I play to get, the more she throws herself at me. It’s all I can do to stop her from ripping my clothes off and doing the dance with me.”

“You have all the moves. I’ve been studying you and the way you work the ladies. It’s like I’m watching the man who wrote the book on how to make a woman fall into your bed in three easy steps.”

“You ever have a question, I’m teh guru on how to turn a woman from flicker to flame,” said Gillis bending over and peering into the deceased’s vacant cavity. Gillis took a ballpoint pen out of his shirt pocket, and stuck it in the monkey’s now vacant cavity. 

Gillis said, “I’m trying to figure out what organs the killer took and what organs he left in the monkey. You know what a kidney looks like?”

Pickles lit up, “I know the answer to that one. A kid’s knee is smaller than an adult’s knee. What size knee does the monkey have?”

Gillis tried to remember what useful purposes Pickles served. He mentally made a list, he plays a good bad cop. He intimidates the criminals with his size. He never questions my direction. 

“Gills, did the monkey wear contacts? I’m thinking out of the box here,” said Pickle sticking three pieces of gum into his mouth.

Gillis wasn’t quite sure where Dill was going with the comment. He answered, “Doesn’t matter, he won’t need them now.”

“I got a theory about the crime, Gills. Want to hear it?” asked Dill facing a maple tree relieving himself. 

“I want to hear it Dill, but be careful where the runoff is heading. You don’t want your urine to confound the crime scene. If you shake it more than twice, you’re playing with it,” Gillis laughed.

Dills said, “Thanks for the advice, I don’t want anyone to misconstrue what I am doing. I’m no perverted. Anyway, my theory is this was a theft gone bad. If the deceased was wearing contacts, the killer decaped him to get the contacts. Contacts are expensive, especially if you don’t wear them.” 

Gillis scratched his head, he heard a rumbling in his lower intestine, it was the first sign of another gas build up. Listening to Dill wore him out. He thought he needed to start recording everything Dill said and put it into a book when he retired. Lots of ex cops write books and get movie deals made from their books. He pictured himself in a second career as a rough tough, ruggedly handsome cop staring in his own television show.”

Dill took him away from the pleasant fantasy, “Listen up, Gills, Wendy, is walking toward u, and the way she is looking over at you, your night is not going to end early if you know what I mean.”

Gillis waved at Wendy, “Hey Wendy, got a cute dish for you, gutted and all.”

Wendy flipped Gillis and Pickle the bird, then added, “Bite me.”

“Nice! Your mother know you talk like that?” said Gillis. Then he whispered an aside to Pickle, “She goes wild when I word fight with her.”

Wendy flipped Dill and Gillis both middle fingers.

“Good thing we got a good working relationship or I might take this seriously. Don’t take this wrong, but you are looking very hot in scrubs. You wearing anything under them? I’m only curious in case I have to wear scrubs at some point in the future. Let’s have beer when you’re through then we can watch Netflix at my place,” said Gillis.

Wendy who has a black belt in Brazilian jiujutsu said, “Give me an excuse to wrap you up into a ball and kick your ass through the goal posts.”

“I love it when you talk dirty,” said Gillis fist bumping Dill.

2 ~ Pickle’s Concerned About the Killer’s Protocol

2

Pickle tossed a shrug of his shoulders, “Nothing offends me. It’s my way of driving people who don’t like me nuts.”

Every once in a blue moon, make three blue moons, Pickle talked like a Zen master. Gillis couldn’t figure it out. Gillis said, “Where’d you get that bit wisdom? I’d like to practice it.”

Pickle was still taking iPhoto’s of the dead and decaying monkey. He said, “I got it from my mom’s fifth or eighth boyfriend. I couldn’t keep track she had so many. No guy lasted more than eight months with her. I learned to see it coming before the boyfriend did. This one boyfriend, Alvin, he was always high on pot or peyote. I think Mom liked him because I could always hear her saying, yes, yes, and more frequently at night. Mom, generally was very agreeable. 

One day, Alvin was rolling a joint and I was in the room watching him. Mom came into the living room and called him a dirtbag and told him to get out of the house and to take his dope with him. I’m not sure where she got the attitude, but that was mom. Living with her was like riding a rollercoaster. Alvin smiled at her. She tossed a major insult at him when she told him his wiener was smaller than her thumb. He kept smiling. She cussed out his mother. She cussed out his grandmother. Mom was a professional when it came to cussing. Man, she was good. Alvin kept on smiling.”

“Nothing made him mad?” asked Gillis.

“I don’t know if nothing made him made. I know what scared the hell out of him and he ran out of the house with only his boxers on.”

“What happened?” asked Gillis.

Mom left the living room. She hollered from the kitchen. “Alvin, I apologize. The way you zoned out is a major turn on. I am so damn hot, I can’t stand myself. you are the best. Take off your pants and let’s get it on.”

“You heard all this? Did it bother you?”

“Why would it bother me, Gills? Mom was being mom. She never hit me. She was always nice to me. The rest of the stuff that surrounded me I like to think of as my education. That’s what I love about mom. She treated me like an adult. Alvin practically ripped off his shirt and pants and shoes and socks. He’s standing up with only his polkadot boxers on looking like he had three legs. He hollered out, “I’m ready for you, kitten.’ Kitten was his nickname for her. Mom hated cats and the poor fool couldn’t figure it out. Next thing, Mom comes into the living room with a carving knife in one hand and a butcher knife it the other and she said, ‘I am going to castrate you.’ That was the last I ever saw of Alvin.”

“Your mom was very persuasive,” said Gillis.

“True. I’m not sure Alvin taught me anything. But I learned to float about the craziness that filled my life. It’s why in critical situations I’m as calm and as lobster in a boiling pot of water. Ask me whatever you want to ask me, Gills. First, I’m making you the odds on favorite to go to bed with Wendy tonight even if she is still married, which I don’t know. I hear rumors.”

“Thanks for the vote of confidence,” said Gillis scratching his groin and thinking maybe a mosquito got him while he showered with the window open. 

Pickle stared at Gillis, bent toward him squinting his eyes. He straightened up and said, “Your piece is off center. It resembles road kill. You ever see a squirrel been run over by twenty zillion cars? That’s what it looks like laying that way on your head. Not a good look.”

“Thanks for the honesty, Dill.” Gillis adjusted his hair piece with a can of soda in one hand and Philly Cheesesteak sub in the other. “How’s it look now?”

“Not bad, but you dribbled mustard on it from your sub. Not to worry. The mustard put a natural blonde streak in your brown hair. It’s a good look. Now you got movie star looks. Don’t be surprised you get a screen test sometime.”

“Thanks, Dill. When I get to a mirror I’ll make a decision to see if I want to have the streak made permanent. Here’s my question. I can’t tell if you are classified as white, black, brown, Asian, or another category I missed. Not that it makes any difference to me. I’m curious, is all. What do you put down for race when you have to fill out a form? I’ve always wanted to ask you this question but couldn’t find the right time. The timing now is perfect.”

Dill was sticking a forefinger in one of the monkey’s empty eye sockets. He placed his middle finger in the other eye socket. He stuck his thumb in the monkey’s mouth. Dill stood up with the deceased’s head dangling from his right hand like it was a bowling ball. Dill said, “I ask if I can write in ‘all the above.’ It’s only fair. Mom told me during the time of her ovulation when I was conceived she had sex with four different guys. She said there was a white guy, a black guy, a Mexican, and a guy from Singapore. Then she said, there may have been a fifth or sixth, she couldn’t remember she was so wasted.”

“I got it. Thanks for sharing, Dill,” said Gills thinking this was too much information. It made him admire Pickle more than he did before, because Pickle always spoke well of his mother. Pickle had a gift of going with the flow wherever the flow was going.

Pickle was swinging the monkey’s head back and forth in a wider and wider arc. He said, “I ever tell you my Mom got an award …”

Gillis interrupted Dill. He wasn’t sure he wanted to hear about the award. He said, “Must have been for Mother of the Year.” He quickly segued into a new thought, “Be careful with the head, the ME hasn’t examined it yet. Nice of Captain Courageous to set up a special unit and put us in charge. This case fits perfect into the Bizarre Crimes Unit.”

“I think you misheard the Cap, Gils. I think he said, the Brassiere Crimes Unit. No offense intended, but have your hearing checked. Can you give me a hand with the deceased’s head? It’s stuck. I was trying it on to see if I should buy a bowling ball this size. It’s a perfect fit.” 

A couple of tugs and the monkey’s head popped free from Dill’s hand. Gillis had the monkey’s head in his two hands and stumbled backward, flipping the monkey’s head into the air as he fell onto his butt. The head pitched high in the air, did a few forward rolls, landed and rolled over dog poop left by one of the police dogs from the team that first responded. The monkey’s head came to rest next to Gillis empty can of Dr. Pepper, which laid between the monkey’s legs.

Dill stared at the monkey, walked around it clockwise, then walked counter clockwise back to his original starting point. He put his hand on his chin, pursed his lips and closed his eyes. A long second later he opened his eyes and said, “There’s no excuse for gutting a deceased and not cleaning up when you’re through. Look at the blood splatter. The killer broke all killing and gutting protocols. There’s no excuse for that. It won’t go well in prison. The majority of convicted murderers are sticklers for following killing and gutting protocols.”

Gillis said, “Killing and gutting protocol? Where’d you hear that? I think it was a crime of passion,” said Gillis knowing Pickle often said what popped in his mind without considering if it made sense or not.

“I thinks you’re mistaken. It’s a common mistake,” Dill.

“How so?” asked Gillis wondering why he wanted further clarification from Pickle.

“The correct word is compassion. It was a crime of compassion. Whereas and heretofore, and the aforesaid word passion means like you’re helping somebody out of a jam. Don’t get me wrong, I like jam, but I prefer jelly,” said Dill.

Gillis stared at his partner and considered Dill might be living in an imaginary world, sniffing a little of stuff in the evidence room, or maybe he needed immediate referral for professional help. He wasn’t quite sure. He never said anything because Dill had the build of a heavyweight boxer, a kind heart, and he didn’t mind picking up tab whenever they went out to eat.