My name is Charlie Canola. I am a serial comma (ominous music plays). Today is Tuesday. My shoes don't match. It is raining.
As I enter my office, Chief Bloomsdale spills his coffee on me. That?s the third suit today. I sit down. The seat is cold. The chief tells me his problems. As I get up to leave, the chief spills his new coffee on me. That's four. I grab my hat and brown overcoat and head out the door. I hate the chief almost as much as leftover spaghetti four days old in April.
Just as I touch the doorknobs, a buxom blonde (typical in my line of work) bursts through the door and steps on my foot. This is why I'm a private detective. It isn't hard being a detective. All you need is brains, courage, and a gun; I have the gun. Sometimes it helps to have a cheese sandwich, but that?s beside the point. She's crying like it's raining, all over my suit. At least it helps the coffee stains. I walk to my seat and watch the buxom woman. Quite a sight; most of those have a story behind them. I wouldn't mind devoting a few hours tonight to hear it. Looks like I don't have to wait 'til tonight, though.
"My husband, he was shot repeatedly in the head! He is dead! Help Me!" she exclaims. This woman is in trouble and I must help. First I have to go to the bathroom.
When I return, the buxom blonde starts right where she left off.
"It was Monday and we were in our hot tub in Sweden. About five minutes after we got in, someone knocked on the apartment door. I answered it, but no one was there. This was when I heard the gunshots." She breaks into tears. The chief gives her some coffee; she promptly spills it on me. That's five. I hate coffee, almost as much as I hate Christmass eggnog in May.
"Then I found him dead, shot in the head, and had been moved to the bed, and it was red." She starts to cry again. She throws up her arms along with the coffee; I count six before it falls.
I accept her case immediately. Part of it is a large check. I have a hard time stuffing this large check in my wallet. I grab my coat and hat and walk to the door. The check doesn't fit through the door; I ask her for something smaller. I receive a check for ten thousand bucks. The chief spills his coffee on me as I leave. That's seven. As I leave I think about my plane trip, I know I will get airsick; I always get airsick; I get airsick when I step on a thick rug. As I get on the plane, I realize I'm not the only one who is airsick. Every kid on the plane throws up on my suit. And then there is the coffee. The count is 12 when I leave.
Ah, Sweden. The lovely lakes, the fresh air, and all the miserable animals. Stupid moose. Bites me, he does. Six weeks in the hospital cools my heels nicely. They say the moose died from and overdose of caffeine.
When I am back on the case, I find the apartment right away. The door is locked. The couple renting it only look a little upset when I break it down. When they throw their coffee machines at me, I leave. Now I am up against a wall. I don't know what to do, so I do what I always do when I don?t know what to do; I call my mom. Mom has all the answers.
Following mom's advice, I take the next plane back to my office. I hate planes, almost as much as Limburger cheese, in June.
As I walk in the office, the chief spills his coffee on my suit. One suit; thirteen stains. The buxom blonde is still here. This time, though, I see through her. She has a gun behind her. She knows I know she killed him.
"So you found out, did you. Well now you have to die." (Evil cackle) She swings the Uzi to bear on me, but I'm to fast for her. I tell the chief to spill the coffee on her.
The chief looks up and makes a grunt of confusion. As the chief makes eye contact with the buxom blonde, she blows him away. She uses the whole magazine on him. The chief looks like a piece of Swiss cheese. I hate Swiss cheese, especially when it has been left on the counter for three days, in July. She turns to me. I jump behind a desk. "Click, Click, Click." Ha! She's out of bullets. I grab a piece of paper and my trust lemon, which I always keep in my pocket.
"No, not that!" she screams. "I give up!"
Her plea falls on deaf ears. I am mad! She got blood on my floor. With one quick move, I give her a paper-cut on her little finger, then quickly apply the lemon to it. She yelps in pain and melts; melts like a snowball in Hell, in August. When I see her in the liquid form, I high-tail out of there like a schoolboy in September. Maybe she was allergic to lemons.
The Board of Directors, AP Language and Composition (Joel Ayres and Devin Flavin)
(As appeared in Inklings from Shape American High School | 1998 | Volume IX)