13 ~ Pickle Practices Staring Contest With a Mirror


Gillis and Pickle caught site of each other and broke into boisterous laughter. Pickle gave Gillis a high five and Gillis returned the gesture by offering Pickle a fist bump. 

Pickle said, “Thanks, Dill. I needed something to break the tension.” He turned toward Sampson and said,  “I can think of two-hundred sixteen reasons and anyone who kills you will get The Killer of The Year Humanitarian medal, punk.”

Pickle’s comment struck a raw nerve with Sampson. “I had enough. You come in here an insult me. You destroy a painting. Carelessly toss a rare blown glass image of Tell and your partner is too busy clipping his nails to catch it and Tell shatters into a thousand pieces. To top it off, your partner tore a page out of a first edition for evidence. And, you have the nerve to me a punk?”

Pickle turned toward Gillis, “Gills, do I have the nerve to call Sampson a punk?”

Gillis shook his head yes, then went back to texting Wendy Flox.

“Gills says I have the nerve to call you a punk. Why are you asking me if I had the nerve to call you a punk, punk? Before you speak let me inform you whatever you say is useless and will be twisted to make our case tighter than a . . .” Pickle turned toward Gillis, “Gills, I need a metaphor to complete my sentence tighter than a … can you give me an assist?” asked Pickle

Gillis sent his text off to Wendy, raised his right hand to his chin giving deep thought to come up with an appropriate metaphor. After a long minute, Gillis said, “At first thought the only metaphors I can come up with are offensive to most human beings. Here’s a lame metaphor, I think it will work, ‘It’s tighter than sausage on a stick.’”

Sampson butted in, “That doesn’t make sense. You should sue your English teachers for malpractice.”

 Gillis looked at Sampson, “You know a good lawyer who won’t charge up front money and will only take a ten percent of my winning lawsuit?”

Before Sampson could answer, Pickle butted in, “Can we make this a class action law suit? I want a piece of the action.”

Sampson began pounding his fists against his temples. Gillis put his arm around him, “Calm down. You keep hitting your head we’ll have to charge you with self inflicted assault and battery. Right now, we’re going to look the other way. Sit down and try to relax.”

Sampson turned away from the window and returned to his executive chair. “The mayor will hear about this, believe me. I’m calling my lawyer as soon as you two leave. You can expect a lawsuit.”

Pickle was still sitting on the corner of Sampson’s desk. He placed his right hand on top of Sampson’s head and pressed down, “Don’t take offense. I’m trying to keep you from blowing your top.”

“Dill’s got a point Foolsum,” said Gillis pleased with the text he sent Wendy Flox.

“It’s Folsom, not Foolsum.”

Pickle removed his hand from Sampson’s head. He bent over and spoke into Sampson’s ear, “Where were you between midnight and two? How do you know Till? Why were you jealous of Till? What did you do with his guts? What did Till ever do to you to get you so angry you decapitated him?” 

Pickle straightened up and grabbed Sampson by both shoulders and pulled him toward him, bringing him eyeball to eyeball. Pickle and Sampson engaged in a staring contest. Sampson quit after one minute ninety seconds. Pickle, still not blinking, said, “I practice staring contests with myself at home. Most of the times I come out in a tie with the mirror. More importantly, where’d you get the contacts? They are fantastic. Did you know you can get Lazik surgery and no longer need contacts?”

Sampson’s head looked like it was going to pop. He took a long second and composed himself. He said, “First, thank you for the compliment about my contacts. I checked into Lazik surgery, but decided against it. With contacts I can change the color depending on my mood. ”

Pickle released Sampson’s shoulders and pushed him back into his chair, “Thanks, Sampson. This is the second good lead we’ve had in the case. Before we leave I want your chiropractor’s name. Maybe he’ll give me the same deal on contacts.”

“I don’t got to a chiropractor. I go to an optometrist,” said Sampson looking all around his room for his rare bottle of Jack Daniels Whiskey. 

Gillis ignored Pickle and Sampson and went back to the bookcase. He pulled a book out of the case, opened it, thumbed through several pages and said, “Very interesting, very interesting and may I say very incriminating.”

“Put that book back. It’s a rare signed first edition by Hemingway. There are only two copies in the whole world.”

Gillis stuck the rare copy between his shirt and belt, “It’s evidence. My guess is the monkey’s DNA is on every page. The DA will want to see this. What do you think, Dill?”

“Sampson uncooperative, Gills. I’m thinking we should send him to timeout until he learns to play nice.”

“I am not a child. I haven’t been sent to timeout since I was four. And then, it was only because I was upset I spilled milk on my favorite shirt,” said Sampson. 

Sampson stood up, scooted around the desk, and scurried over to Gillis. He reached for the book behind Gillis’ belt. He grabbed hold of it. Gillis twisted and grabbed hold of the opposite end of the book and attempted to pull it away from Sampson. Sampson applied a death grip to the Hemingway book. Gillis crouched into a hammer thrower’s stance and started spinning. Sampson went round and around and around until Gillis let go and sent Sampson and his rare Hemingway flying through the air crashing into a large tropical fish tank. The fish tank toppled releasing twenty gallons of water and a dozen rare tropical fish swishing across the floor. Sampson’s sole victory was that he was still holding the now water soaked and ruined first edition.

Gillis said, “I concede, Sampson. You put up a hell of a fight. I want you on my team next time I’m in a tug of war.” 

Gillis surveyed the catastrophic damage. He said, “A bit of advice. Be more careful who you let touch your valuable items. Not to worry, Pickle and me will track down whoever is responsible for the carnage. As for you Sampson, I advise you not to leave town. We’ve got our eyes on you.”

“Yah, Sampson, we’ve got our eyes on you. I advise you clean up this mess before you get any visitors. Decaying fish leave an awful smell if you know what I mean. BTW, watch for broken glass,” said Pickle.

A half hour later Gillis and Pickle sat outside Captain Courageous’ office. 




© Ray Calabrese 2018


12 ~ Gillis Claims He Could Breed If He Wanted to Breed


Gillis said, “Fess up, Sampson! Who’s this London character? I’ll give you ten to one odds, he’s an ex con with a penchant for violence. Is he using Jack London as an alias? What’s his real name? Is he the boss of bosses? Are you afraid to talk because you think London or one of his boys or women as the case may be, will crush you like they’ll crush a bug enjoying a margarita on the sidewalk. They’ll delete you faster than Windows 10 can crash. They’ll make you beg for bullet the same way a homeless man begs for a buck on a street corner. You cooperate with us and I’ll put in a good word with the district attorney about giving you immunity and a new identity.”

“What’s the good word?” asked Pickle.

Gillis thought about it for a minute. He should have used words instead of words, maybe sentences or paragraphs. He understood Pickle’s confusion. Instead of adding to Pickle’s confusion, he said, “I don’t want to say it out loud because if Sampson doesn’t think it’s good enough he won’t cooperate. Then if he thinks it’s good enough, he won’t say it is good enough and he’ll try to negotiate for even more good words.”

“You got a mind better than Einstein. As for you Sampson, you could use a new identity because your current identity is about to expire,” chimed in Pickle. 

“Good one, Dill,” said Gillis immediately regretting he gave Pickle any encouragement.

Pickle liked Gillis’s attention, so he continued, “Give us a description of this London. Does he know the Queen? Does he have a condo in the House of Commons. He must be English because of his name. We’ll put his face on Crime Stoppers, America’s Most Wanted. I’m listening to what Gills was reading and he wrote out a confession. Gills, think we should confiscate the entire library as evidence against London, Phlegm, and Sampson? I’m thinking we uncovered a large criminal enterprise and you, Sampson, are the boss of bosses and using London as your cover.”

 “What are you talking about? I am not the boss of bosses of any criminal organization. Neither one of you heard of Jack London the famous author. It only provides clear evidence of your lack of breeding.”

Gillis jumped in, “Stop right there. I could breed if I wanted too. Me, I use condoms. Pickle got a vasectomy. There’s no need to insult us because we are both being responsible about breeding. I could say you were dumb because you didn’t know how to use no double negative. But I won’t. Pickle and me don’t care if Jack London was on the best seller list or not. Killers come in all shapes and sizes. I figure he wants to take over the operation and you’re next on his hit list.”

“You don’t make sense. You can’t confiscate my entire library. I want my first edition and the page you ripped out of it back,” Sampson hollered.

“Don’t go raising your voice at my partner. He’s part of the solution. You are becoming part of the problem. If you’re not the bosses of bosses, who is the boss of bosses,” demanded Pickle.

Sampson pointed his finger gun like at Pickle, “And you, you with the vocabulary of a third grader are a bully, sir.”

“You got an attitude problem. Are you angry with me because I’m Asian, Mexican, Native American, African American and white? If you are, I am going to sue you for attempting to filet my career,” said Pickle.

“What are you talking about? You can’t filet a career,” shouted Sampson.The mayor is a friend of mine. I’ll get to the bottom of this and someone is going to pay.”

Pickle made a threatening gesture toward Sampson with his right arm. Sampson pushed away from his desk, slid off it and ducked under his desk. 

Gillis said, “I can handle this, Dill.” He walked over and stood behind the desk near where Sampson was hiding from Pickle. He bent over a bit and peered under the desk at Sampson. He said, “Sampson get out from under your desk. We don’t have time to play hide and seek. Be a big boy and climb back into your chair and stop acting like a child. We still got a few questions to ask you. The quicker you answer them, the quicker we’re out of here and on the trail of the killer.”

“Not so fast Gills,” said Pickle. Pickle lifted his right arm and smelled his armpit, “it’s not me that smells. Is it you, Gills?”

Gillis raised his left arm, smelled his armpit, then put his arm down. He said, “Not me. I showered this morning. It’s got to be you, Sampson. You know how that makes my partner and me feel. You are disrespecting us by coming to the interview reeking of B.O.”

Sampson crawled out from under the desk, stood up, and straightened out his shirt. He said, “I do not have body odor. I use a very expensive body lotion I imported from Paris,” said Sampson.

“It smells like armadillo crap. If you never smelled armadillo crap, it smells like you. How’d you know Till was dead?” badgered Pickle 

“I reported it to the police, duh! What would you think if Till’s head was sitting next to his feet? I want you two to leave,” said Sampson

“Did you forget something, Sampson,” said Pickle.

“No, I was very explicit. Get out of my house,” demanded Sampson.

 “You forgot to say please. Please is a common courtesy word people who are not murderers use. You can see why we suspect you. I am going to read you your rights,” said Gillis jumping in ahead of Pickle.

Sampson rose to his feet, and turned to face the window.

Pickle said, “My turn, Gills.”

Gillis walked around the desk and stood next to Sampson. He said, “Listen up, dirtbag. I can leave and turn you over to Pickle, there’s no telling what he’ll do. There’s rumors, that’s all I can tell you, there’s rumors.”

“What, what kind of rumors?” asked Sampson. Terror filled his eyes.

“I’m talking the worse kind of rumors,” said Gillis.

“Yah,” chimed in Pickle.

“How did you know Till? You related to the monkey?” asked Gillis playing the good Cop.

“If you know anything about evolution you know we all come from monkeys. I suppose in a distant way we’re related,” said a hopeless Sampson.

Pickle jumped in, “If you was having sex with Till, we’re going arrest you for incest.”

“Hold off on the charge, Dill. We’ll treat it like Vegas. What goes on in Sampson’s house stays in Sampson’s house as long as the murder didn’t happen in the house. I got a new theory on the crime. I don’t think London was the killer. He wasn’t bright enough to write this book. He plagiarized it. We’ll nail him for stealing words. What I’m speculating, Sampson, is the killer was a hit man and you was his target. He mistakenly confused the monkey for you,” said Gillis.

Sampson’s mind couldn’t keep up with nonsensical ramblings of Gillis and Pickle asked, “Why, why would anyone want to kill me?”

© Ray Calabrese 2018

8 ~ Gillis Teaches Senior Citizens About Road Rage


Five minutes later Gillis and Pickle were traveling down El Paso Ave in Gillis’s red pickup truck. Gillis always enjoyed being fashionably late. His personal motto was if you start showing up on time, people will expect you to show up on time. He kept a list of personal mottos in a file on his smart phone to keep him grounded. Following his motto of not showing up on time, Gillis Gillis took a left and turned into an adult only community. He pulled up to the guard house and flashed his badge. The guard waved them through.

“Why we going through the adult only community, Gills. You think the killer is one of these old timers? It’s a good theory. Maybe the monkey crapped on their lawn and Sampson didn’t pick it up. It’d be enough to drive them over the edge,” said Pickle.

“Good theory, Dill. There’s one problem with it.”

“What’s that, Gills? I can’t see any holes in my theory,” said Dill. 

“By the time, they get up from their perch on the window, grab hold of their walker, find their gun, and make it to the door, they forgot what they were angry about until they step in the crap,” said Gillis.

“You’re the man. You see things other detectives will never see, Gills. Thanks for being my mentor,” said an appreciative Pickle.

Gillis slowed the red pickup to the posted speed limit of 15 miles an hour. He lowered the windows, and turned on the radio to a country western station maximizing the volume.

Pickles hollered over a country western singer complaining about his girl leaving him and his wide trailer for a rodeo star, “Why are you blasting music, Gills?”

“Number one, Dills, it’s common knowledge anyone over 55 is deaf. So the only way they can hear music is if you turn the volume up to maximum. Number two, when you live in one of these adult communities, you don’t got anything to do except look out the window for people violating their HOA rules or see who the ambulance carts out. Most of them will turn us in the HOA. Not a problem, they’ll think we’re an ice cream truck. It will give them something to talk about when they eat dinner at 3:30,” said Gillis.

“Three-thirty is kind of early for dinner, isn’t it, Gills?” asked Pickle.

“Not if you’re a senior. They go for the early bird special. What’s today? Tuesday. It’s half price for the ladies. Since most seniors are women because there husbands die off early, the few men capable of sex will have their pick. It’s a known fact, the biggest black market drug in the senior communities is viagra for men and estrogen replacement for women.”

“How do you know all this stuff, Gills? I think you’re the smartest man alive,” said Pickle.

“That may be true about me being the smartest man alive. I don’t like to brag about it. But I will for a quick moment. At an early age my first teachers said things like, “You think you’re smart.” Or, “Don’t be a smart aleck.” Or, “There he goes again, Mr. Smarty pants.”

Gillis stopped bragging about his intelligence when his mind registered three senior men riding in a golf cart ahead of him and traveling at six miles an hour. He began riding the golf cart bumper. The old guy on the rear seat in golf cart picked up a two iron and waved it at Gillis. Gillis respond by pulling out his gun, putting it in his left hand and sticking it menacingly out the window toward the old man. Gillis laid on his horn with his right hand and bumped the rear end of the golf cart causing it to career off the road onto Gillian Bridges lawn. Gillis stopped to make sure the golf cart wasn’t damaged. The driver, the man next to the driver, and the guy in the back seat got out of the golf cart, got out, pulled drivers out of their golf bags and took a step toward Gillis and Pickle. Gillis fired a warning shot over their heads not thinking about where the bullet might eventually land. One guy grabbed his heart and collapsed to the ground. Another tried to remember if he took his cell phone and if did what pocket he put it in. The third man looked at his watch and said, “If we don’t hurry, we’ll miss our tee time.”

Gillis waved at the two standing men and Pickle tossed them a salute as they pulled away from the edge of the road.

“Why’d you fire your gun, Gills?” asked Pickle.

“I like the high quality of your questions, Dill. It shows me you got a lot of potential. And, I mean Potential spelled with a capital P. To answer your question, these seniors probably never had experience with road rage. Normally, being taught about road rage is going to cost you around a hundred bucks. I just gave them a free lesson. More Importantly, I gave them something to talk about.”

“That’s what I like about you, Gills. You always thinking of the other person. Maybe I’ll write this up and give it to Cap. He’ll get you a citation and an award for community service.”

Gillis shook his head, “Thanks, but no thanks, Dill. If I get the award it will cause too much envy from the rest of the department. I prefer to keep my community service low key. On a whole high note, Wendy wants me to think she’s playing hard to get. I like that in my women.”

“What are you going to do, Gills? She’s laying the marriage trap for you. You need your freedom, man,” replied Pickle. 

Gillis and Pickles fist bumped. They cleared the senior settlement. Gillis turned off the radio. 

Pickles said, “Got any ideas where we start looking for the killer, Gills?”

“The only place we can start, Dill. We start with the last person to see the deceased alive.”

“Who’s that Gills?”

“I figure it’s the monkey’s owner. We was on his property when we examined the crime scene. If he’s messing with the crime scene, he’s messing with me. If he’s messing with me, he’s messing with the wrong dude. Captain Courageous told Sampson we’d be by to interview him a 10 a.m. That’s where we’re headed.

Pickle looked at his smart phone, “It’s 11:15, Gills. We’re over an hour late.”

“There’s where you are wrong, Dill. We’re right on time. I want him to squirm. I want him to fidget. I want him to know we’re on to him and we’re going to stick his head up his rectum and roll him like a ball.”

“You figure he’s the killer? How so?” asked Pickle. 

“It’s his name that tipped the scales, Dill. Folsom Sampson the Third. I call him Folsom Sampson the turd. We might wrap this case up in the half hour. Think about it. Can you imagine a better suspect than someone who owned the monkey and who reported the murder? Don’t answer. I already know what you are going to say. Here’s another thing. I listened to the recording of the 911 call and the monkey’s name is Till. This is a name nobody wants. I think the monkey went to court and was trying to get his name changed. Sampson found out about it and demanded the monkey stop. Till refused, and Sampson killed him. I got the motive down. Now all I got to figure out if Sampson owns a cleaving knife and when he had the opportunity to do the deed.”

“Everything you say makes perfect sense, Gills. I’ll pile on to your theory. I don’t trust no one with two last names. You remember Crater Doolittle, the serial killer? How about, Jones Smith, head of the symphony mafia? You ever hear of a person named Folsom being an upright, honest, God fearing man?”

“You made your point, Dills,” said Gillis beginning to get drowsy listening to Pickle. He didn’t want to nod off, especially while he was driving. He still had sixteen months of payments left on his truck. 

Pickle looks out the window, deep in thought. After a long three seconds, he turned back to Gillis, “I gave it a lot of thought, Gills. You’re bulls eye perfect about Folsom Sampson. When we interview the son of bitch, you want to be the good cop or the bad cop?”

“Let’s flip for it when we get there, Dill.”

Gillis pulled his Ford pickup up to the curb, next to fire hydrant, across from the Sonrisa guarded, gated community. 

“You know you pulled up into a no parking zone, right Gills?” asked Pickle.

Gillis twisted a bit in his seat and faced Pickle, “I’ve been on the force ten years longer than you, Dill. I’m going to let you in on a secret that only a few senior detectives know. If you’re a cop, you can park anywhere you want. You can park your car on the sidewalk. You can double park it. You can triple park it. You can park in on top of a slow walking pedestrian who is using a walker. I got a pet peeve about walkers. I seen senior citizens use them as weapons. I think they should be banned.”

“I promise I won’t tell anyone the secret, Gills. I can’t wait to park my car on the sidewalk in front of my apartment. It’ll be safer that way.”

Gillis and Pickle, The Bumbling Detectives, Return on Monday 

© Ray Calabrese 2018

6 ~ Pickle Believes Gillis Understands Women Better Than Women Do


Courageous twisted his head slightly toward the window. He was reconsidering his decision not to throw himself in a full body slam at the window. If he was sure he’d break the glass and soar into space, he’d do it. Hell couldn’t be worse than what he was experiencing with Gillis and Pickle. Sigmund Freud couldn’t figure these two out if he had three lifetimes, thought Courageous. Then he remembered his good friend, Pete Thissel, who headed the Unsolved Crimes Unit. Six months ago, Pete Thissel, tried leaping through the window from the 45th floor after working with Gillis and Pickle for two weeks. Pete ended up with a fractured skull. He was never the same after that, he’s in an assistant care facility. Gillis and Pickle got a citation for solving the case.

Courageous closed his eyes visualizing how much longer until retirement. Eighteen months, that’s all I have to make before I can retire on a full pension. That’s less than two years. I can do it. I can do it, he repeated to himself. A brief moment later, he opened his eyes and smiled like someone who’d taken one two many anxiety pills. It was a smile of someone who was thinking of dinner at Flipetti’s Trattoria instead of the two lunatics in front of him. He’d have to eat alone, his wife called and said she’d be late, she had a late meeting with the mayor this afternoon she couldn’t break. 

Courageous took a deep breath and said “Listen up Gillis and Pickle, the press is going to be all over this case once they hear about it. I’m keeping a lid on it. No leaks. Keep it quiet. I want it solved by the end of the week.”

“Too late for that, Cap,” said Gillis.

“What!” screamed Courageous, his calm demeanor left him faster than a rocket leaving Cape Kennedy for outer space.

Gillis said, “Thought you’d be happy. I took the liberty of calling Elaine Hazel at the Daily News. I owed her one for the great sex we had after I leaked the story about the unsolved case that is no longer unsolved. Don’t tell anyone, I not one to kiss and tell if you know what I mean.

Courageous’s heart momentarily flatlined, then went into Afib before backing off into A flutter turning his face redder than a ripe tomato and his balding head into a Vegas neon sign.

Pickle, ever helpful, offered Courageous his take, “I saw an ad on cable for high blood pressure, Cap. It’s from one of the endangered species that will be extinct in six months. That’s why the company is hunting all of them before hunting them is banned. Question for you, Cap. Is it banned or band? The two words can be easily confused. The ad said you can get your first order free if you subscribe to receive a supplementary order every week for two years. If you order now, they’ll send a bonus gift card good for …” 

“Please leave before I throw the two of you at the window.”

“Caio,” said Gillis as he stood and turned toward the door.

Pickle followed Gillis and said, “I think you meant, chow, the two words are easy mistaken and misused.

Gillis and Pickle left Courageous’s office and entered the elevator. Pickle pushed the B button and the elevator began its slow descent toward the basement. He stepped back, “You’d think they’d put the morgue up here with the Cap since he’s in charge of the hormone unit.”

“You mean homicide unit, right?” asked Gillis, then realized his error. He quickly added, “Don’t say it, the two words are easily confused.”

“You are the best, Gills. You can read my mind before the thought hits my lips. How do you do that?” asked Pickle.

“Just a gift I was born with, Dill. You ought to put your idea about moving the morgue in the suggestion box. You might win the weekly prize.” 

“Thanks for encouraging me, Gills. I’ve always been creative. I remember when I was in fourth grade, I turned my math test upside down and did the test.”

Gillis turned his toward Pickle, “How’d that work out for you?”

“See, that’s the problem with schools, Gills. They penalize creative kids. They reward the ass kissers who play by the rules. That’s why we’re such a good team. Following the law and the rules are for the other cops. We make it up as we go along.”

“Good point, Dill,” Gills said. Then he added, “Cap’s pretty emotional about this case. I got a feeling he and the deceased were close friends.”

“I noticed that. You see the vein in his right temple doing the Paso Doble? I thought Cap was going to have an anus and it was going to pop any second.”

Gillis wasn’t quite sure where to begin. He couldn’t let it pass. He said, “You mean aneurysm, right? Only helping out in case you ever have to interview a dietician, Dill,” said Gillis.

The elevator sped past the second floor on its descent. Pickles said, “Two easily confused words, Gills. They had this PBS special on television about confusing words. I watched it while Karen and I were having sex.”

“You watched a TV show about confusing words while you were having sex?” Gillis said as the elevator came to a stop at the basement level.

“I call it word porn. It’s a turn on for me.”

“What about Karen?”

“She left me in the morning. I can’t figure out why. I’m sure she liked it, she didn’t say a word during or after sex. I always take that as a good sign.”

“Women are hard to figure, Dill. Speaking of such, back me up with Wendy. No question she’s got the hots for me. I’ve been playing hard to get and it’s driving her nuts. I’m going to torment her until her libido explodes and she can’t control her sexual aggression for me.”

“You understand the female species better than women understand their own species. That’s where you have the edge, Gills. I wish I had your gift for the ladies. Me? Right now I’m on the new dating site, desperate dot com.” 

Gillis and Pickle walked down the dimly lit bowels of police headquarters. Steam pipes, covered with dust and cobwebs lined the ceiling, the light barely strong enough to keep them from tripping on a rat scurrying across the floor.

“This place gives me the creeps. You think the city would send an inspector and shut it down. No self respecting corpse wants to be found dead here, said Gillis.

“Rumor has it the Chief has pull with the mayor’s office. He’s pulling strings to keep the food inspectors away,” said Pickle. 

Gillis wasn’t sure where to take the food inspector comment. He let it slide and pointed ahead, “There’s the morgue. Wendy was experiencing PMS earlier. It proved one thing to me.”

“What’s that, Gills?” asked Pickle.

“Wendy’s still capable of having my babies. Maybe I need to talk to her about her biological clock.”

“You is always one step ahead of the ladies, Gills. My aunt Louise would say you got chick dust sprinkled on you when you was born. The ladies cannot resist you.”

“I thought that was dandruff,” laughed Gills. “Heads up, Dill. Like Cap always says, we got to show our sensitive side.”

Dill fist bumped Gills and said, “Like my Grams always said, ‘You catch more frogs with bacon.’”

“Got to remember that one. Okay if I use it now and then?” said Gillis.


© Ray Calabrese 2018

5 – Pickle Utters a Double Entendre


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


© Ray Calabrese 2018

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.