by Bargis Tryhol on 24/09/11 at 7:15 pm
Hog Jaw Detective Agency-Chapter Four (SatireWorld.com)
Why That Crazy Old Mizz Schuster!
“Shorty, you iz perhaps the stupidest sum ma bitch I ever met!”
“Sorry Boss, I…”
“Gull darn it, I ain’t got the time for excuses…Look at me! I look like a damn shit hole! Smell like one too and now we gotta git our asses outta here right quick, we gotta go pick up Frenchie at the bus station.”
Shorty shut up and folded his feelings back inside. Yeah, he did feel like an idiot and really was only trying to help, but how could he have possibly known the flooring over Mizz Schuster’s pig pen was rotten near half through.
Quiet and now depressed over pissing his boss off again in the same day, Shorty thought about how Mizz Schuster was a crazy old bat who loved only a few things in life…Chickens and pigs of any sort…Her daily dose of ‘tonic’ that suspiciously looked and smelled like bourbon…And going to Sunday meetings at the Mount Freedom First Baptist Church!
Shorty figured out why the boss was really mad, it seems Mizz Schuster’s missing pig turned out to be some knick knack thing-a-ma-bob that was once nestled in her glass display cabinet along side with about a zillion other pig oriented knick knacks. That was besides about a zillion more chicken and rooster things that were all over her house. The old dingbat even wore an apron with a smiling rooster on it! Not to mention, her eyeglasses has a pigs head at each temple!
Shorty stole a glance over at Merriweather who was turning the wheel hoping to aim the Cadillac so he could to miss at least a few potholes if that was anywhere near possible on the country lane that substituted as the Schuster driveway. He knew his boss was thinking about the stolen pig. According to Mizz Schuster, she was offering a $20,000 reward, claiming the pig was made of solid gold. Tempting offer alright, but why did she keep such a valuable object out where everyone could see it?
“Boss, you reckon Mizz Schuster’s just a whacky old bat? Or is she telling the truth about the gold pig being sum kinda golden Nazi relic her husband brought back from Europe?”
Shorty figured talking about the case, instead of just letting his boss smolder about how ruined his clothing was from falling into pig shit he’d relieve some of the tension while they were driving in the car.
Merriweather was quiet for a moment. As part of his answer he passed his flask to Shorty, “Here wash some of that pig shit out of your mouth.”
Shorty gladly took the flask and took a big swig. The golden amber did take the foul smell from his senses. He knew his boss had more to say so he just quietly passed the flask back and listened.
“Yeah, I reckon she might be a bit flaky, hell she’s old enough. But, you know, her husband Cletus was a war hero of sorts and brought back all kinds a shit from the war. Besides, he wasn’t just a farmer. No, that was his hobby and raising prize winning hogs made him kinda famous around these parts. What he really did was manufacture and sell them trade show costumes to merchandising marketers up in Little Rock and Memphis, so he made a ton of dough and didn’t need to sell a solid gold trinket like that there gold pig. I reckon someone figured out it was worth something and stole it. You got pictures of those tire tracks right?”
“Yeah Boss, took two rolls of film of the tracks. Looks like it was a pick ‘em up truck from the size of them tire tracks.”
Shorty shifted in his seat, trying not to spread around too much pig shit on the nice Corinthian leather interior. Now, he had mixed feelings about the large box sitting in the back. He felt like an idiot now, especially after accepting the gift from the crazy old bat. He felt even worse about having to ask his boss to help him retrieve it from the old barn too. If it hadn’t been something Shorty wanted, the whole episode of asking his boss to crawl with him on the barn’s second story storage area wouldn’t have happened, especially the part where both of them crashed through the rotting boards into the stinking slop below. But in some ways he was glad Schuster gave him one of the costumes her husband manufactured. He knew it was high quality from the boxes photos, and besides, getting any great Halloween costumes from the Sears over at Drippy Dick, or the local Wal-Mart was near impossible. The kid inside Shorty knew that wearing a head to toe chicken costume to the upcoming Hog Jaw Volunteer Fire Department’s Halloween party would almost insure first prize which included a fire truck ride on the old Number 7 Hook & Ladder down Main street.
Merriweather glanced over at Shorty. Yeah, he was pissed off at him, but again, he wondered about the mysterious golden pig. Who could’ve stolen it? It had to be someone who knew, that amongst the other crap spread around the house, this particular item was real valuable. How much was it worth? Again, Merriweather could only relate to the photo on the dining room wall of a much younger Cletus standing in his Army Paratrooper uniform holding a golden pig about the size of a NFL football. The old bag claimed it was solid gold, so it must have weight more than 75-100 lbs at least. She even said it had a name ‘Salome’ with curious markings on the bottom. Strange stuff going on here he thought to himself as he took another long swig.
After a few more passes of the near empty flask, the town of Hog Jaw slipped into view. Merriweather waved at few folks in their pick-up trucks hurrying home for supper. As he turned onto Bay Street, the setting sun almost blinded him. The car’s sun visor was long departed, so he held a dirty hand up to block the sun’s glare.
“What time her bus git in, Boss?”
“Shoulda arrived about half an hour ago or so, I reckon.”
Shorty held his hand up as well. The summer sun was still hot, even at dusk. He could see all the way down Bay Street toward the bus station now with his hand blocking the glare. He could make out the figure of a women dressed in white sitting on bench, a man was nearby about to get in his pick-up truck.
“There she is Boss. Looks like that idiot Maple Syrup was a chatting with her too.”
Merriweather rolled his eyes, “Oh yeah! Bet that was an interesting conversation alright!”
Frenchie glanced again at her watch and then up Bay Street. She recognized Merriweather’s Eldorado convertible mainly from the light blur smoke trail the dilapidated luxury car left in its wake as it turned off of the interstate exchange and headed her way. She slipped her joint roach back into the small bottle as Maple Syrup walked up to her.
“Here Missy. Ya mind holding this here sign fer me. I don’t wanna put a string around ya and all.”
Frenchie pulled her sun glasses down on her nose to read the sign…Careful now – Wet Paint. She immediately touched the bench’s surface and her fingers came back covered in bright red paint! Startled, she tried to raise her behind from the bench. It was stuck firmly.
“You friggen idiot! She attempted to throw the stiff paper sign at Maple Syrup, but it stuck to the paint already on her fingers.
Within a few moments, the mud-encrusted Cadillac rolled up in front of Rosalie ‘Frenchie’ Burke. Merriweather leaned out of the open window with a broad smile on his face.
“Hey suga-babe…need a ride?” It was then he noticed the distress on her face, “what?”
“Help. I need help. I’m stuck here.”
“Huh?” Both Shorty and Merriweather said the same words at the same time.
“That friggin idiot painted all the benches and never bothered to put any signs on them until he painted the last one, then he decides to ask me to hold one of his signs while I’m sittin’ here! I’m stuck here…In this damn friggen paint!”
Maple Syrup smiled an idiot’s smile as he stood motionless in front of his prized municipal work truck. Maple Syrup put on his best I’m-bad-boy face while holding his baseball cap in his hands in front of him. The tell-tale sign of fresh, red paint was still all over is hands. His near toothless grin was childlike and innocent, but sheepishly he knew that he did something very wrong that caused displeasure from an adult. Merriweather ignored him knowing it would be useless to say anything. Now, he needed to rescue Frenchie from what appeared to be a real mess.
“Can ya get up at all? Merriweather opened the driver’s door after three quick attempts on the latch. His face showed genuine concern for the flustered look upon Frenchie’s face.
“Hell no! I’m a stuck real good now, ‘specially after waiting for almost an hour in this sun!”
Shorty wiggled through the side door window and stomped his feet on the pavement to loosen some of the dried pig shit. Clods of it flew off in every direction.
Shorty joined Merriweather in front of Frenchie as she tried in vain to stand up. The back of her white skirt, and the back of her white blouse, were mired deeply in the now dried red paint. The paint had enough time to thoroughly seep through the fabric and actually adhered to Frenchie’s undergarments as well. She was stuck as good as if she were on some of Lester’s bargain basement fly paper!
Shorty and Merriweather tried to help Frenchie up from the bench by pulling on her arms, but she was stuck solid. Even Maple Syrup attempted to help by pushing on the back of the bench, and even that, which should have gathered a good laugh, went unnoticed by the struggling men and the very frustrated and now very angry Frenchie. Soon, from across the street, the melon man came over to help, his fingers slippery from melon juice and pulp. As hard as they all pulled, Frenchie still remained stuck.
“Lloyd, you happen to have yer flask on you….I really need a drink now!” The distress on Frenchie’s face was evident as Merriweather retrieved that flask and passed it to her red stained fingers. She took a long slug that finished off the contents. With the back of her hand wiped her lips, “Thanks, needed that.”
“Shorty, move the car. Maple Syrup, back that truck up over here in front of Miss Frenchie.” Merriweather had an idea.
Maple Syrup carefully backed the pick up truck so it was only a few feet from the bench. Doing as he was instructed, he took the cargo hold down straps and fastened them to the tailgate. The loose ends were wrapped firmly around each of Frenchie’s wrists.
“Now Maple Syrup, listen up careful like, you hear?”
Maple Syrup shook his head and placed his cap back onto his bald head, “Yes sah!”
When I give the signal, I want you to slowly pull forward so we’s can get Miss Frenchie off this here bench.”
“I mean slowly now. At my signal. OK.”
Maple Syrup slid into the truck scab and started the engine. As the engine roared to life, a snort of oily, black soot blew out the exhaust pipe blowing directly onto Frenchie’s face. Merriweather and Shorty froze. The melon man looked on in horror!
“Easy now Maple!”
The gears ground metal on metal as a nervous Maple Syrup searched for the transmission’s first gear. Thinking he heard the order to go forward, he hit the accelerator a bit too hard. The truck lurched forward yanking the soot-faced and unsuspecting Frenchie clear off of the bench in a roar of engine and tearing fabric. She ended up draped over the tailgate as Maple Syrup hit the brakes hard.
There was a very big problem now.
Stunned, Merriweather and Shorty didn’t say a word. Melon man’s eyes became the size of a dinner plate as all three gazed at a completely naked Rosalie ‘Frenchie’ Burke hanging off of a battered pick up truck’s tailgate. Her clothing and underwear were still stuck to the bench and her back, ass, and thigh bottoms were zebra striped in bright red horizontal lines.
Frenchie screamed, almost in tears, “You idiots!”
“Oh shit ” Merriweather was in a panic. Here he was, well, here were all of them, in broad day light, on Bay Street in downtown Hog Jaw with a very naked Frenchie Burke sprawled over the town’s municipal pick up truck! He’s panic turned to despair as Frenchie unleashed a torrent of curses aimed at himself because he initiated the rescue scheme.
“Shorty, do something!”
Shorty raced to the car to look for a blanket or maybe a jacket. Nothing. He tried the truck. Empty, except for a flat tire, a few old books, and the Acme detective kit. Again he looked to the back seat…The costume!
In a few moments he had the costume out of the box and on his way over to Merriweather and Frenchie.
“OK…Now Shorty, and you too mister, close yer eyes and turn yer backs and gives Miss Frenchie here sum privacy.”
Still stunned by her sudden nakedness in public, Frenchie struggled into the one-piece chicken costume. Her soot blackened face poked out beneath the bright orange comb on the chicken’s head, and centered itself between the upper and lower beak parts. The all white body of the chicken flared out as the once compressed fake feathers, expanded to a life-like look.
Maple Syrup need no further direction and took off. Partly because he was afraid he screwed up and someone would hurt him, but mostly it was chicken and waffles night down at Lucinda’s and seeing the full sized hen standing next to his truck reminded him he was hungry.
Melon man walked back across the street in a slow shuffle, something about ‘crazy white people’ could be barely heard by Shorty who wondered how a huge chicken was going to get into the car, now that the idiot left with the truck.
Merriweather had the same thoughts, “Shorty, guess we’ll just put the top down. I haven’t had that thing down since way back in ’94.” In a few moments they had the convertible top folded back by hand since the motor started smoking after about being a quarter of the way down.
Both helped Frenchie into the backseat. She couldn’t sit, so she had to stand, bracing herself between the rear seat and the front seat. Shorty picked up her luggage and quickly deposited them in the trunk.
It was then that Frenchie noticed the two men’s condition. Both were filthy and she could guess what they got into. As the car started down the road, the breeze ruffled the feathers and bright orange comb, giving the ‘bird’ a life-like appearance as they headed for the heart of Hog Jaw which was just beginning to come to life with people heading home or arriving downtown to grab something eat. People stopped what they were doing and simply stared/
Dropped jaws followed their course as they hit every traffic light on the way to Miss Caudwell’s. At one light, a kindly looking man wearing a priest’s garb stared at the larger than life chicken with a black human’s face poking out from the costume. Frenchie merely smiled as the man made the sign of the cross.
As they picked up speed, Frenchie’s senses finally kicked in…”Geez guys! What the hell is that awful smell?”
Continued Chapter five – Magazine Section