Private Dick, Chapter 26

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  No Houses
More Oren Trough!

Submitted: July 02, 2014

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Submitted: July 02, 2014

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I quickly found out $100 wasn't what it had been in 1946; it couldn't buy you new snow tires for your Studebaker; well, that's assuming they were made of solid gold rubber, and after a few days of reckless spending, it was gone, and the gloom of an unbusy dick office soon enveloped me like a shroud of nothingness. 

 

After several days of boredom; I'd emptied the trash 57 times, or so it seemed, to fool myself into thinking I actually had dick to do, I had finally decided to take the bull by the short-hairs, and make something happen.  If business wouldn't come to me, I'd go to it.  I knew that it was about as professional as a lawyer pimping himself on the T.V. or the radio, like that would ever happen, but I was desperate, and hurting financially.

 

******

 

After being called a four letter word that rhymes with c-clamp---err--lucker, more often than I could count, I reluctantly came to the conclusion that maybe this hadn't been one of my better ideas, cold-calling and offering my dick service.  I'd try one more time, and pack it in.

 

The phone was ringing on the other end, and ringing, and ringing.  Just as the air was deflating out of my hope balloon, there was a voice on the other end, saying,

"Hello?"

I was so flustered, after giving up and assuming no one was home, that the first words out of my mouth were, "Well I'll be screwed sideways, there is somebody home!"

"Excuse me?"

"Oh, please excuse me, how are you this evening?"

"Well, I was  doing fine, until you f****d up my dinner!"

"Oh, sorry about that; if you don't mind me asking, what r'you having?"  I figured making a connection with this guy would help me get inside him--err--inside the door, that is.

"Who gives a shit?  It's ruined now, so tell me what you want, are selling, and I can tell you no, screw off, and slam the receiver down!"

Well, it looked like the only connection I was making was with a Mr. Asshole, "My name is Val Clarkson, and I'm a dick."

"Well, you don't have to tell me that, I already figured that out when you interrupted my dinner."

"No, I'm a private investigator, and I was wondering if you needed anything, or anyone, investigated?"

 "That's it?  Why, of all the jack-ass phone calls I've received, yours is the jack-assiest!  Why, you know what you can do with---"

I was fed up to here with being told "no dick!' by rude bastards, and I felt the rage climbing up my back like a thermometer wearing spikes, "With what, my dick offer?  You know, why don't you eat sh---"

"Ah, now that you mention it, I do need a dick."

That comment stopped me mid-shit, and forgetting that he'd rudely interrupted me, I cleverly replied "really?" 

"Yes, I would like to hire you to find my wife; are you any good?

Red-hot anger immediately shot to my brain and out my mouth before I could stop it, not that I wanted  to stop it.  All the frustration of a fruitless day of calling started to rush out of my mouth-hole, "Am I any good?  Why you---"I suddenly applied the mouth-brakes, as I figured what I was about to say to him wouldn't be good for business.

"Err--surely you can't be serious--err--you don't say?"

"Yeah, I am, and don't call me--err--never mind; and I am only asking if you're any good because, well, a private dick who has to call up and practically has to beg, is probably a less-than-stellar one."

Immediately, my first thought was 'that Shirley joke is older than bad,'  my second thought was, 'this dude's a whopper-bastard,' quickly followed by my third thought, 'I really need the money, so I'll play it cool!' 

"Why then, yes I'm good.  The National Order of Private Dicks rated me 'More than adequate'."  I had no idea what they'd rated me, nor did I care, because I'd just made up the name.

"Oh, well then, if you're good enough for them, your good enough for me; here's my problem..."

 

******

 

Well, to cut to what he wanted, turns out the poor schmuck's wife had not only taken off, she'd taken off with several thousand dollars of their money.  When I started to remind him it was her money too, he gave me a gargoyle look, at least he sounded like that's the look he was giving me, and said,

"But she's just a woman, a housewife; she doesn't work!" 

I guess you could call me progressive, because I thought differently than most guys.  To me, being a housewife was nothing less than an unpaid job; and about the toughest job around at that.  Suddenly, I wanted nothing more than to get away from this Neanderthal as quickly as I could.  Sometimes, I felt like I should have been living 50 or 60 years in the future.  I figured by then men would have figured that out, or would be staunch conservatives who didn't believe in gender equality.  "Tell me everything you know about your wife, you know, her likes and dislikes, that sort of thing, a list of her friends, where she likes to hang out, and I'll get started."

"She's my wife, and she has my money, what else is there?"

Wow, this guy was a real knuckle-dragging cave man!  I began to suspect he didn't know anything about her.  He was probably the kind of guy who came home from work and expected dinner and her to both be ready.  I knew the type; no sir, I didn't belong in the 50's, no how!

 

******

 

I used the only piece of information the guy seemed to know about his wife, that she sometimes had lunch at a little cafe called 'The Little Cafe' and decided to start there. 

 

The door chime claxoned my arrival, and everyone in the place gave me a dirty look like I was the third wheel on a log, and then went back to being face down in their bowls of split-pea soup, or whatever they were snorkling into their faces.I sauntered up to the counter and a buxom platinum-blond whose nametag announced was Trix.  I couldn't read the whole name because I didn't want to seem like I was staring at her cleavage, which I was, "Hello Trix, I'll have the cheeseburger platter and some information."

She replied, "Hey, my face is up here!  One cheeseburger platter it is, and what would you like to know?"

"On second thought, can you hold the platter?"

"Fine, one cheeseburger."

"On third thought, hold the cheese."

"Okay, one plain burger."

"On fourth thought, I'm not very hungry; how about just the information?"

"Oh, for Christ's sake!" she exclaimed, and ripped up my order, and the pieces fluttered down like confetti at a 4th of July parade.  I was actually hungry, but couldn't afford to eat.  I had only ordered to help her started on talking, but now I figured I had pushed my luck too far; I sure hoped not. 

"How about that information?"

"Okay, if it'll get you to quit wasting my time and leave."

"Tell me, have you seen this woman?  Her name is Gladys."

"Oh sure, Gladys is sitting right over there; any other probing questions?"

I swiveled my eyes over to where her claw-like hand was pointing like a weathervane always pointing north, and saw the very face I'd just begun to search for.  Through complete luck I had found her; of course, to be fair, plenty of people would say that's always how I solved cases, luck, but  like underwear, the truth was hidden, and that truth was that I was usually all over said truth like a cheap piece of costume jewelry.  I turned and moseyed in her direction, thanking Trix for her big, massive, help. 

 

"Hello Mrs. Wainwright!" I was thinking as I said this of what a moron Mr. Asshole, who's real name turned out to be Nestor Wainwright, must be to hire a private investigator to help find his wife; when all he had to do was look for himself; and man, was she ever a knock-out!  When I'd asked him his name, instead of just thinking of him as Mr. Asshole, he'd gotten kind of upset; okay, very upset.  Maybe I shouldn't have said that out loud, but I was still upset with him for his sexist views.  And, I had to wonder about Mrs. Wainright's smarts level because she'd stuck to her original pattern, and came back here, instead of changing it up. 

"There must be some mistake; my name is Phyllis Gruber," and she looked up at me with a 'please, please be gullible and dense enough to believe me!'  look.

"Oh, is that right?  Then tell me this, Phyllis, why do you look exactly like her?" and I threw the photograph given to me of Gladys Wainright, down on the table. 

Immediately, the water works started, and she buried her face in her hands and replied, "Mmnnn mmnnn, mmnnn--"

I interrupted her, "Please, I can't understand a word you're saying; could you look up and stop talking into your hand?"

She slowly looked up, and my heart did a swan dive, "I was trying to tell you that I'm begging you; if you have a shred of compassion in you, you'll just let me go; my husband is a last-century bastard!" she said.

I had no problem agreeing with both of those statements.  I looked at her pleading face, and felt overwhelming compassion for her.  "Okay."

She shot me a look that said, 'what, that easy?'

I shot her a look that said, 'yes, that easy!'

She then shot me a look that said, 'why?'

I shot a look that said, 'because you're right, you husband's a big-time sexist pig who I didn't like from word one!'

She then shot me a look that said, 'thank you; I think we could be great together; are you free next Saturday night?'

I shot her a look that left no doubt, 'are you sure you're hinting with your mind at me?'

She then shot me a look that said, "Areyougoingtosayanythingelse?"

I then realized I had been daydreaming again; she hadn't actually spoken those words, except the last ones, she hadn't given me any looks, and if she had, her eyes were signaling what a giant douche bag she thought I was.  "Ah, yeah, I'll let you go and tell your husband not about it."

She answered, "You do realize, don't you, that the not you just said is not grammatically correct?"

I wanted to reply, 'you do realize don't you, that you sound just like my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Corporal, and I didn't like her either?,'  but I said only, "Yeah."  I did find Mrs. Wainwright attractive, in a slobbering lust kind of way, but I was angry.

She then added "Well, thank you for letting me go."

I cleverly replied, "Yeah."

She then turned on a dime, and disappeared into the dark and rain.

 

******

 

I listened to the high-pitched whine coming from the phone receiver.  The high-pitched whine was the unhappy voice of Nestor Wainwright, as he reacted to my news of no news on the whereabouts of his wife, Gladys.  Technically, I really didn't know where she was, so I told myself I wasn't really lying, but I knew the truth.  The truth was he was a sexist Neanderthal, who deserved to be bitch-slapped with a lie.  Now, through my inaction, Gladys had a chance to reach her full potential.  If she'd stayed with Cro-Magnum man here, the best she could look forward to was reaching for the mop and bucket!  As Wainwright's rant continued, I set the receiver down and went to get myself another beer.

 

 


© Copyright 2020 Mike Stevens. All rights reserved.

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