In My Father’s Words
03/07/1938 – 18/10/2018
Case 743/02 LAPD
The diary, the Dachshund and the Yacht.
I am Josie Thursday. I’m a cop. You might have heard of my younger brother, Joe Friday. He’s a cop too. Me and Joe, we’re twins, but Joe was born the day after me. You might think that Josie is a funny name for a guy, but my Ma, well, she had her heart set on a girl, and my extra bit of equipment didn’t stop her giving me a girl’s name. Hey, don’t knock it. It was real useful growing up; I sure as hell learnt to fight.
You see, one afternoon I’s sitting in my office, scratching myself with my Smith and Wesson. It was as hot as a Tina Turner concert, but quieter, when my phone rings. “Yeah, it’s Thursday here.”
“And what in Christ do you think it is here, Sunday afternoon?”
It is the Inspector. He has a great sense of humour, but I have been on the force for twenty-two years, and hey, even the best of jokes gets a bit thin when you hear it at least three times a day for twenty-two years.
Anyway when he stops laughing, he carries on. “Josie, we gotta 342 down on the Marina at Orange County. Get your ass down there and crack it.”
I assume he means the case. I wish I knew what a 342 is; I never was any good at Maths. So, I strap on my piece, grab my jacket and shout to Horny. No, don’t even ask. We go outside the stationhouse and jump into the 428 double OHV, inclined cam, super injected, Corvette, with six on the floor. I try the key, but the dammed car won’t start. “Hey, Horny, the damm car won’t start.”
“Hey, Josie” he says. “It’s not your damm car. You drive the Ford Focus across the street.”
Well, sometimes Horny ain’t too smart, in fact he is four bullets short of filling all the chambers, but then, sometimes he notices things I miss.
We get down to the Marina and there is this uniform cop standing alongside this yacht. It is Stinky Lopez. No, don’t ask.
“Hey, Stinky, what’s the word on the street?”
So this Stinky he says, “The word on the street is ‘buttercup’, detective.”
Like what’s with this Stinky, buttercup for Christ ‘s sake. The guy is only seventy-five cents in the buck.
So me and Horny, well we walk onto the yacht, and I can hear Carly Simon singing “You’re so vain.” I glance in the mirror to check my hat is on at the right angle.
The first guy I see is Fingers Macdonald. Now Fingers he was on the Force, but he and his partner are fooling about with their firearms one afternoon in the squad car, and he shoots off two fingers on his right hand. His partner that day was Cocky Malone. Jesus, don’t ask.
I exchange a high three with Fingers. “Hey, Josie, old buddy. What’s the word on the street?”
“Fingers, I heard the word on the street is ‘buttercup’.”
Fingers nods. “Yeah, that’s what I figured.” Sometimes I think old Fingers ain’t playing with a full deck.
“Hey, Josie, you seen Cocky Malone lately?”
“Hey, Fingers, Cocky got busted and thrown out of the Department.”
“Get outta here, Josie. What happened?”
“Cocky was caught using coke in the police canteen and they kicked his ass out of it.”
Fingers is sympathetic. After all, they lost a lot together. “That’s tough.”
“Hey, you’re tellin’ me. Pepsi lost the franchise the next month. So, what are you doing here, Fingers?”
“I am just walking the dog, my little Dachshund here, and this diary comes flying out the porthole of this yacht and hits Adolf on the head.” Sometimes Fingers can be pretty dammed succinct.
“Poor little fella,” says Horny and bends to stroke the little fella, who bites Horny on the ass. “Bastard,” says Horny, and aims a kick at the dog.
And then I see this babe. She is nearly wearing this yellow top thing, and rubber trousers. “What’s your name, babe?”
“I am Virginia Dubchek from Prague, and before you ask, yes, they called me Virgin at school for short, but not for long.”
“Hey, I wouldn’t have asked, Babe,” I tell her. “With your rubber pants are you a rubber Czech.” Well, hey, what’s life without a little humour?
But this is one cool chick. “When I am on the trampoline, I am a bouncing Czech.”
Hey, it’s game set and match to Virgin.
“So what’s with the stiff?”
Virgin is alarmed, and looks around. “What stiff?”
“The guy on the floor by your foot. Him, the one with the stiletto heel sticking out of his head. You have the other shoe on your foot.” Trained cops notice these things.
“Oh, him, Osama.”
“Osama bin Shicklegruber. His parents were confused.”
“Hey Babe, at the end of the day, everything being equal, I don’t want to hear no clichés or no red herrings. How did Osama get the shoe in his head?”
“He slipped, and he was reading the diary at the time, and it flew out of his hand and hit poor little Adolf.”
“You’ll have to tell all that to the Inspector, Virgin, down at the station house. Cuff her, Horny.”
So this Horny gives her a couple of whacks around the kisser.
“Hey, Horny, you schmook. I meant put the dammed handcuffs on her.”
So we take Virgin, Fingers and poor little Adolf down to the stationhouse. It was a tight squeeze in the Focus, and Adolf bites Horny on the ass again.
Now Virgin has gone off to the Bahamas with the Inspector to investigate her assets overseas. But, hey, we got a result. Fingers has been charged with having a dog without a licence.
There are eight million stories in the naked city, and this hasn’t been any of them.
Written by my Father B.M