a case of too much time on my hands
(originally posted 10/20/2018)
The two men stood in the apartment looking around. One held a small notepad and the other held his tongue.
There was nothing in particular he wanted to say but you know how words get away from us.
They were detectives. One a grizzled veteran and one a hot-headed rookie. I can imagine how hard it is for you to figure out which was holding his tongue. They both have good reasons that you’ve probably mulled over but I’ll let you try and figure it out for yourself.
I was surprised to learn that grizzled just means graying. I had intended it to mean hard-boiled, someone who has seen it all. The older detective had been through the grizzliling process and back so I hope you’ll understand that graying really doesn’t do him justice. Which, of course, is ironic for a detective.
Throw a few more lines on his face than you were imagining and we’ll call it even.
A third man entered from the kitchen holding cups of hot chocolate. That right there should tell you that this was not the scene of a grisly murder. I originally spelled it grizzly but I’m sure that if there was a giant bear dead in the room I would have mentioned it. I’m a bad writer but that not bad. Had it been a large grey bear would I have called it a grizzledly?
No. I might be a bad writer… yep… that about sums it up.
The man, who was the reason the two detectives were standing in the room to begin with, handed them each a mug.
“So you want to tell us again why we are here?” asked the younger detective, noting quickly that his hot chocolate lacked tiny marshmallows. Detectives are good like that. Even when it might not look like it, they are usually noting.
“As I explained, I received a rather large shipment of dog treats and toys and I have reason to believe that the culprit who ordered them is currently incarcerated in a cage in the kitchen.”
The older detective looked out the open window and saw a grey cat sitting on the outside ledge watching the proceedings with a great deal of interest.
Yes, I know I could have called him a grizzled cat at this point but I didn’t want you picturing him with lines on his face.
“Can we speak to the perp?” asked the younger detective. He loved using the word perp almost as much as he hated hot chocolate without tiny marshmallows.
“Not unless you speak dog” replied the home owner.
The older detective turned the corner to see a large dog (not grizzled as far as color but very grizzled when it came to lines on his face) sitting forlorn in his crate.
The homeowner walked over to the kitchen and hit a key on his laptop so that it would wake up and allow him to continue his story. “If you’ll come over here gentlemen you’ll see my website history indicates that someone was on my laptop when I was at work two days ago.” Dutifully the two men strolled over to take a look.
“And you think it was your dog?” asked the older detective.
“Yes” the man replied. “It makes perfect sense. He could have watched me enter my password and then jumped up on a chair when I was out.” I realize that’s an awkward sentence but it’s just as he said it. Can’t blame me for that.
“Man’s best friend indeed” snarled the younger detective.
“How could he possibly manipulate the keyboard with those big paws?” asked the older detective, more to himself than anyone else.
“I don’t know” admitted the homeowner, “But who else would have ordered nothing but dog treats and toys?”
The younger detective drew his weapon and stuck it through the bars of the cage, pressing it against the dog’s head. “Finally… some action” he said more to anyone else than himself.
“Wait!” implored his older partner.
“I’m sick of waiting!” barked his hot-headed-blooded and physically hot partner, his finger tightening on the trigger of his weapon. And yes, I characterized it as barking because of his proximity to a dog.
“You fool! Don’t you see that this dog was framed?” roared the grizzled and getting gristlier partner.
“You mean….?” Was all the homeowner could splutter out before he saw movement behind him.
“That’s right, it was me!” said the cat.
“He’s got a gun!” warned the older detective and quickly pulled the homeowner to the ground.
The young detective responded instinctively and shot two rounds into the wall on the opposite side of the kitchen and one into the ceiling fan. The cat, although being much faster, was still attempting to figure out a way to fire his weapon without an opposable thumb.
Regaining his composure the younger detective opened the cage and the dog sprung into action, quickly crossing the short distance between himself and his furry arch-nemesis, running by him completely and launching himself into the giant pile of boxes containing dog toys and treats.
“You won this round coppers!” said the cat as he dropped the gun and made for the window.
“Who says coppers?” asked the homeowner.
“What’s a copper?” asked the younger detective.
“This” said the veteran detective “is a copper” and with that he grabbed the cat by the scruff of the neck.
“I don’t understand” said the younger detective.
“He means that he is a copper” said the homeowner.
“But what is a copper?” asked the younger detective again.
Then the homeowner and the older detective had a good laugh.
Then the younger detective drowned the cat.
Then, mercifully, the story was over.