Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Sam Spade in The Case of The Missing Cop

Turning quickly I saw trouble walk in my door in the shape of a nine year old, completely unexpected, and completely unwanted. Normally I wouldn’t mind, but I was on a case, a big one. Pietro, the SmarterCop, had gone missing the day before a big three partied verdict was supposed to come down, and Pietro was one of the judges. The last thing I needed was this songstress busting into my office and raising a stink.

I suppose it was my own damn fault though. I was busy with another case and missed her blogday. Damned carnival case had me slaving away day and night. I barely had time enough to keep things running at the office, let alone get her a blogday present. I hope I can talk my way out of this one without taking too much collateral damage.

“Where were you last Tuesday?” she said, trying to bait me.

“I was on a case Sweet Thing. You know the one. We took down that Pelosi broad.” I said, "Look, I’m sorry I missed your blogday, but it’s work. These crooks ain’t gonna’ catch themselves. What can I do to make it up to you?”

I knew it was better to tell the truth with this than let it linger. She’d have me begging for mercy if she thought I'd forgotten. It didn’t matter though. I’d fallen into her trap. I asked her what I could do. I won’t make that mistake again.

She sidled over to my desk and leaned across it in that playful way only your own daughter can give you. She took her big brown eyes and stared intently into my soul, and with a slightly devilish grin she said, “LINKS! I want LINKS, Daddy! I want lots and lots of them, trackbacks too!”

She got up and started strolling back and forth from one end of the desk to the other while examining the edge. “You see, Daddy, no one did anything for my blogday party last week and I feel like nobody loves me anymore, not even you Daddy. I went though a whole tub of rocky road waiting for you to come home, and you never came. Nobody came.”

“The whole tub?” I repeated, “I was wondering where the ice cream went. Okay Honey. I’ll get you your links, but not tonight. I’ve got to work on the Pietro case. He’s gone missing.”

“Pietro’s gone missing?” She said with surprise. “Who would want to take the SmarterCop? Everyone loves him.”

“That’s what I’ve got to figure out Dear. I’ll make it up to you when this case is over, I promise.” I said as I turned back to my work, “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a few people coming to the office. I’ll need you to take a seat and do your homework until the meeting is over.”

“Okay, Daddy.” She said.

She bounced over to the heavy, dark leather chair in the corner of my office. Pleased with her negotiation skills, she flopped down, turned on the antique lamp standing next to the chair and pulled out her homework. As usual, the first book she pulled out was her English book.

I’ll never understand why she always does her English homework first. She’s never missed a single comma or period, her tests are perfect and her writing skills are better than the average journalist. That one’s going to be either a writer or an English teacher when she grows up. As long as she doesn’t start correcting my writing we’ll be just fine.

About ten minutes went by and in walked Ogre. Ogre was a mountain of a man, six-foot two and every bit of two hundred fifty pounds of pure muscle. I’ve dealt with some trolls in my time, muscle-bound freaks that look pretty but will start crying for their mommy with a good punch to the gut, but this was Ogre. If you did that to him he’d just give you a smile and show you how you could have hit him harder.

“Alright, I’m here. Who are you and what’s this about? I need to be back at the llama ranch in an hour.” Said Ogre.

“The name’s Spade, Sam Spade,” I shot back, “and I’m getting everybody together to get to the bottom of this case.”

“Case?” Said Ogre.

“Yeah, Peitro’s gone missing. You wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?” I Said.

“Pietro? Who’s Pietro?” asked Ogre, “Wait, isn’t he that SmarterCop guy? The one that came up missing for last week’s Verdi-”

“Hey, waitaminute! You don’t think I had anything to do with that, now do you?” spat Ogre, offended. “I barely know the guy! What would I have to do with this?”

“Patience.” I said in a soothing voice. “Have a seat over by my little songstress and just relax. We’ll get to the bottom of this once everyone’s here.”

“Everybody better hurry up. I’ve got to..”

“I know, I know. You’ve got a date with a llama named Steve. This shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.”

Ogre strolled over and eased back into the heavy, dark leather chair in the other corner of my office. My wife got a really good deal on them the day after Thanksgiving last year. Black Friday has always been a favorite of hers. The excitement she gets is the same as other people get on Christmas, what a shopper that one.

After about five minutes, Mike and Dean came walking in.

Mike, the one with the shaved head and punk jacket had just come off of a bad relationship with Paris Hilton. He kept calling and calling until she finally had to file a restraining order against him. He got even though. I'm sure you heard about her mobile phone getting hacked and pictures showing up on the Internet, right?

Dean was different. Dean was a quiet sort of guy that never said nothing to nobody. He just did his job and went home. I don’t even think he had a girlfriend. Those are the types you have to watch out for, the quiet ones. You never know what they’re thinking. It means they’re guilty of something. They don’t want to say anything for fear of spilling the beans.

Ted Kaczynski was a quiet one, hiding up in the hills like a hermit. He turned out to be The Unabomber. I wonder what Dean’s hiding? I’ll be keeping an eye out for him. Yeah, I had Dean earmarked early. He’s the one that did it. I was just going to have to beat it out of him.

“I’m sure you’re all wondering why I brought you here when the police could handle a matter like this.” I said. “Well the chief of police, Nick Queen, thinks Pietro’s absence is an inside job and felt like his good pal Sam could help him out with the case. That’s what I’m here to do, get to the bottom of it. One of you did it. No one else had the access or motive to make him disappea…”

Just then Pietro walked in like nothing had happened. Everyone turned as white as a ghost. My daughter jumped out of her chair and flew into his harms.

“Uncle Pietro!” She cried, as she leapt into his arms. “We thought you were dead or something.”

“Dead?” He inquired as he looked around at everyone’s pleasantly surprised expressions. “ I just went away for the weekend. I sent out an e-mail on Thursday that I’d be out for the weekend and sent my verdict in early. Didn’t you get that memo?

“You’ve got mail”

Everyone’s eyes turned to the laptop on my desk. It was the e-mail Pietro had sent on Thursday, nearly a week late. WOW! We really need a faster network.

No comments: