Daily Archives: July 10, 2015

San Diego Comic Con 2015

I wish I was there.  If you’ve ever been, give me an earful.  How do you get in?  Getting a ticket or a badge or whatever probably takes a miracle, right?

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Pop Culture Mysteries – The Wrong Guy – Part 5

PREVIOUSLY ON POP CULTURE MYSTERIES:

Hatcher has formed a friendship with Lou, the package store owner who supplies him with booze.  Lou’s not the typical hooch jockey.  He wants Hatcher to say so long to the sauce and attend an AA meeting with him.  Before that happens, Lou’s ticket is punched by a slime ball that our resident gumshoe allowed to get away during an earlier altercation.

Part 1     Part 2    Part 3     Part 4

My friend was dead and the realization that it was all my fault socked me in the gut and followed it up with an uppercut to my jaw.

I’d misread Hennemann big time.  The store was Lou’s joint and he’d chosen the path of least resistance.  Why did I interfere?  And after I did, why did I let that kid go?

shutterstock_229113649Stupid me.  Here I thought I had the ability to read a man cover to cover like he was a walking talking copy of War and Peace.  Turns out I barely got past page one.

I thought Henneman was worth a second chance but all I did was let a cold blooded monster loose on the world.

Worse yet, I pissed him off to the point where he put my pal on ice.

Lou and I, it’s not like we were bosom buddies or anything.  We never shared anything deep or meaningful.  That’s not something that men typically do with other men.

But I felt for the guy.  He wasn’t much to look at.  He was a lower class working stiff.  And sadly, he was the type of guy that society had no problem crumpling up and tossing into the wastebasket like he never existed in the first place.

Someone needed to go to bat for Lou  and seeing as how I caused this mess, that someone had to be me.

I stepped into Lou’s office and found a phone.  I picked up the receiver and dialed zero.

“Operator, how may I direct your call?” answered a woman’s voice.

“Uh yes, hello doll face,”  I said.  “Connect me to the coppers please.”

“Is this an emergency sir?”

“I should say so.”

“Connecting you to nine-one-one now…”

“No honey, listen, I want the cops.”

Another gal answered.

“Nine-one-none…what’s the nature of your emergency?”

“Nine-one-what?”  I asked.

“Sir, this is nine-one-one.  Is there an emergency?”

“Sweetheart,”  I said.  “You’re confusing me now.  Are you some kind of lady cop or something?”

“I’m a nine-one-one dispatcher sir, are you in need of police assistance?”

I scratched my head and thought about it for a minute.

“So what are you telling me?”  I asked.  “I give you the lowdown and you’ll clue the fuzz in?”

“Sir, are you aware it’s against the law to make a prank nine-one-one call?”

“All right, all right, don’t get your knickers in a twist, angel cakes,”  I said.  “I’d like to report a homicide at the Pack N’ Sack Liquor Mart.”

“Are you there now sir?”

“Yes,”  I said.  “What’s it to you?”

“Are you in jeopardy?”  the lady asked.  “Is the killer present?”

“Yeah, he sure is,”  I said incredulously.  “He blew the shop keeper away then figure he’d stick around and challenge me to a game of parcheesi.  Nah doll, he scrammed.”

“Can you give me the address?”

“What gives with the twenty questions, lady?”

“Never mind, the call is being traced now, police will be at your location shortly.  May I have your name, sir?”

My name.  She wanted it and I didn’t want to get involved.  I only called the cops because I didn’t want Lou’s body hanging around all day like a pile of old pastrami.

Forget my name.  I could of told her the killer’s name.

But this one felt too personal not to handle myself.

“Crosby,”  I said.  “Bing Crosby.  In fact, excuse me ma’am, I have to go give one of my kids a knuckle sandwich.”

I hanged up the phone.  I needed to blow that pop stand and how.

As I sat up, I noticed an envelope lying on the desk.

“Karen” was scrawled across it in messy, mannish handwriting.

Inside?  A thousand smackers and a note:

Karen,

You make me feel like a man but we both know I’m not the man you’re looking for.  Take this and start a new life.

Love,

Sugar Boo

Sugar Boo?  Broads sure have a way of making a man sappier than a Maple tree, don’t they?

I pocketed the envelope, but before the thought enters your grubby little mind – no.  I wasn’t planning on stealing it.

I figured whoever this Karen dame was, she must have been someone special to Lou.  Least I could do was make good on his last wish.

I stepped back onto the main floor and grabbed Lou’s phone off the counter.  Mine was gone and as much as I hated the damn things I knew I might need one.

I checked the register.  Empty.  I can’t think of a worse reason for a man to be dead than money.

As sirens sang their songs, I made my way out the back.

It was time to do what I did best.

Copyright (c) 2015 Bookshelf Q. Battler.

All Rights Reserved.

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