Sunday, September 19, 2004

COURTESY CONFIDENTIAL, Chapter V


Yes, that’s right. It’s time for another installment of my little tale of murder, coffee cups and experimenting with an L.A. anomaly, namely Politeness. Yes, my friends, my little experiment in that department had been led widely astray, which makes me wonder if its possible for anyone in L.A. to be courteous for any extended period of time. I was frustrated. Finding a body on a bathroom floor at Starbucks will do that.

After dealing with the cops and the M.E. at what was now officially being called a crime scene as opposed to some poor stiff simply keeling over while on the can, I found the need to go home, have a shower and a drink and a good look at how the day had unfolded to that point. The cops were none to impressed or thrilled with my being there when they showed up. We have a long history together that involves a lot of bad coffee, Krispy Kreme donuts and general unpleasantness.

I got home to my quaint little L.A. bungalow. It’s one of those small stucco affairs built around the 1920’s when everything was either built in the stucco mission style, or the wood Craftsman style. The majority of the Craftsmans you see though, were actually built from kits purchased from the Sears and Roebuck catalogue and designed to be scaled down replicas of the mansions one sees in Pasadena. Those Sears jobs are all over this town and they sell now for about a half a mil. Funny how that goes. I prefer the stucco.

After a lengthy shower, I padded across the floor to the kitchen and fixed myself a vodka gimlet. A tasty little number with equal parts lime juice, vodka and powdered sugar. A little girly, but it works. I sat down with my drink and mentally ran through my laundry list of events that day. First, of course, was meeting the sissy. Our first contact involved him looking startled and surprised when I said “good morning.” Common response around these parts for sure, but his was just a little over the top. Then there was the whole thing with the baggy. A little too agreeable accepting the baggy if you ask me. The common response from those types when called upon to clean up their mess when they walk their dogs is to use a few uncreative expletives that involve activities that are anatomically impossible without the aid of handheld devises. When I tailed him to Beverly Hills I hadn't considered the possibility that he was alert enough while driving and talking on the phone to see me in his rear view mirror. That would be mighty unusual to say the least, but he was driving in a straight line, so I’ll give him credit for that. Then there was the “chance” meeting on the street at the parking meters, completely orchestrated by me, followed by the chance meeting at Starbucks, completely orchestrated by him. Which brought us up to date as far as the sissy was concerned, but asked the question, why did he pull a Casper when the body showed up?

Then there’s the body. Not really my problem, but then it never is. Bodies are always a problem for the police, and that’s who should be handling them. I can’t seem to shake this nasty little habit I’ve got for finding the stiffs however, and it’s really starting to cramp any other activities I might have going. Finding dead bodies is always accompanied by annoying things like answering questions in great detail. It also requires hours out of my day sitting in police stations being interviewed by detectives that are less than impressed with my little talent. I always feel a little sick to my stomach after eating the sixth or seventh Krispy Kreme in an attempt to keep the sugar buzz going long enough to answer questions to their satisfaction so that I can leave the joint.

The body was that of a man in his 20’s I’d say. On the thin side, though by L.A. standards of body weight he would probably be considered portly. Didn’t look like he worked out when he was alive. That made him either a computer geek or a musician. The gray-green complexion suggested he’d been dead awhile, which meant it would have been impossible for him to have died in the Starbucks that morning without being noticed by the morning shift when they came in. Somehow, bizarrely enough, he had ventured unnoticed into the restroom, already dead and with a spare restroom key. A missing soup ladle would have been a dead giveaway something was amiss.

I was definitely going to need another vodka gimlet to make sense out of this one…

to be continued…..



1 Comments:

Blogger Laura said...

Finding a stiff always makes me want a drink, too. A "stiff" one, so to speak. Hardee har har.

20 September, 2004 17:12  

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