Chapter Eighteen: Moving Violations, Red Light Green Light, Kojak Needs A Shrink
Where I live, we get all kinds of weather; some of it is relatively minor, and occasionally we get a freak-ass storm that totally fucks up the roads. Such is life when you live somewhere that has seasons. And such is my life that I encountered one of those situations recently.
The local weather forecaster claimed the storm would only brush us, and we’d be on the warm side of it with rain likely. Of course, the self-absorbed asshat must have been reading the NOAA reports while on crack, and reading them upside down to boot, because we wound up on the cold side of a cold front and got “freezing rain” instead.
I was on my way in to a temp job I took on the side, some client of a former agency I worked for had an emergency and needed instant help, and of course the agency had no one available. So they called me, hoping I might want some extra cash. I told them hell yes; I can sleep once I’m dead.
So I was on my way to the job, it’s like eleven thirty at night and there isn’t a soul stupid enough to be on the road except me. I just exited the highway, jiggling around the exit ramp at about forty miles an hour, and I merge into non-existent traffic on the main road – and about forty feet in front of me is a traffic light.
Fate being the psycho bitch that she is, I get within twenty feet of the light when it goes yellow. I mutter expletives too coarse for these pages (hah! I know, I didn’t believe that shit even when I wrote it) and hit the brakes. Of course, the back end starts to slide and I swiftly turn slightly into the almost-skid and hit the gas a little to straighten it out. The car swings nicely back into a straight line and as I cruise through the red light I happen to glance to the right. Where a city cop is sitting at the intersection, waiting to see what I’m going to do.
I already know I am fucked, so I just cruise by and hope he was drinking his coffee or something. And of course, he makes the turn right behind me and hits the lights. I just pull over gently and put it in park. This is not gonna be my night.
I am rubbing my face in disgust when there is a wrap on the window – of course, it is Officer Doright. I power the window down halfway. “Evening, officer.”
He looks at me like I’m his retarded cousin. “Do you know why I stopped you?”
I sigh. “Yes sir, the light was red when I went through it. But I hope you saw me attempt to stop in time. The road conditions being what they are, I thought going through the intersection when there’s no traffic was safer than skidding off the road.”
He smiles the ‘Yeah, Like I’ve Never Heard THAT One Before’ smile and extends his hand. “License, registration and insurance cards, please.”
I shrug, keeping both hands on the steering wheel like I was taught. “They are in the glove box, May I get them?”
He frowns. “Anything in there I should be worried about? Any weapons?”
I put the shocked look on my face. “Weapons? Hell no. Nothing in there but my papers, some maps, and I think maybe an old Baby Ruth bar.”
He takes out his flashlight, shines it in the car with his left hand and puts his right hand on his gun. “Okay, just do it very slowly and keep your left hand on the wheel.”
I manage to extricate my papers from the vast sea of crap in there and pass them out into the freezing rain. He takes them in his right hand and says, “Stay put. I’ll be right back.” He walks back to his car while I sit there, wondering how badly this ticket is going to impact my budget. I wasn’t speeding but this is a moving violation, meaning points off my license as well as whatever the fine is going to be.
It was probably less than three minutes but it seemed like it was taking fucking forever. Then I see him heading back towards my car. Anticipating his return, I left the window down so it is cold as anything in the car now. My hands are still on the wheel at ten and two. He comes back to the car and hands me my papers through the window.
“I ran your license, and it’s clean. So I’m going to let you off with a warning this time. Slow the hell down, conditions are bad.”
I smile in disbelief, thanking whatever asphalt gods there be for my good fortune in getting a cop with a heart. “Thank you very much, Officer. I promise I will slow down. Hope you have a good night.”
He turns away and heads back to his car. “You too. Remember – slow down. I don’t want to see you again tonight.”
I roll up the window, crank up the heat and drive slowly away. It took me about six hours to take care of the client, and I didn’t even have time to go home and get any shut-eye before I had to be at my real job. But I caught fifty an hour for the job, less the taxes they had to take out of course. Still – a tidy profit fortunately not whittled away by a massive fine.
I got home around three in the afternoon, pretty much needing to go straight to bed to be ready for the next shift I owed at nine. There was note on the table from Sanji:
I came of the by to the house of you and made the walking of the Kojak dog. I feeded to him the food of the dog as well, and watered him most fully. There is some Bihari Boti in the box of ice which my moistest wonderful wifling has made for you to eat. Lookingest to the forward of your returning with the most horny Kojak for Doris.
Thank everyone’s god for Sanji. I was exhausted, so I simply kicked off my shoes and lay down on the bed.
The next thing I knew, it was six o’clock and the alarm had been going off for about an hour and a half. I shut it off and noticed a familiar glow in the window – a faint tinge of crimson illuminated the panes, like a blood moon except it was completely overcast.
Fuck. Those lunatics next door must have put up another statue. So I went to window and looked out. For the third time in twenty-four hours, I found I was wrong. Again.
The light was coming from a shaded bulb over the door of the guest house next door. As I watched, the door opened and form came out, completely covered from head to toe so that I couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman. A gloved hand blew a kiss back at the door, the door closed and the mystery guest walked across the yard to the hole in the back fence and carefully made their way up into the yard of the abandoned house behind the hurch property.
And for the something like the fifth time in the last few months, I felt like a total asshole for not seeing the obvious.
So I decided to do a little investigative work without Kojak. I figured I’d stop on my way home from work the next day and see what the story was.
My plan, of course, was thwarted by Methusela when I took Kojak out for his evening constitutional. She must have been watching for us because she practically flew out the door as we started past her house.
“Hey!! Pussy…oops! Shit, I keep fergettin’…DAMMIT, QUAT, YOU SONOFABITCH! WAITAMINNIT!!!”
I paused at the fence, chuckling, as she staggered down the walk. Rather than make her wade through the snowy drifts in the yard, I went back by the gate so she could just trundle down the well-cleared walk.
“And what can I do for you today, Doris? Need help kicking someone’s ass? Need me to play the jealous boyfriend so you can ditch whatshisname?”
She reached the gate, a little out of breath but looking pretty strong. “Nah, me ‘n George are like peas and carrots, dumbass. I’m going down to see him in a couple of weeks. If you’re nice, mebbe I’ll bring ya back a bonafide Texas steak. I wanna talk to you for a minnit about next door.”
“Oh? Has Morticia finally gone off the deep end? Is Ger trying to get you arrested for public indecency?”
“Never mind the funny crap, asshole. You know what’s goin’ on over there?”
I thought about it for a minute. “Well, I’m not sure but I have my suspicions. Why, what do you know that I don’t?”
She grinned. “Keep it down, I don’t want them assholes to hear us. It would spoil the fun! Well, that guest house they have? With those four ladies in it? They ain’t abused women. Well, not in the sense that stupid twit thinks they are. Know what they are?”
I suppressed a smirk. “Spies? Ninja assassins sent to kill the new church Ger is trying to build? Muslim terrorists in disguise?”
She smacked me on the arm. I shit you not, she reached across the gate and smacked me. I couldn’t really feel it through the coat, but she really laid into me.
“When you were born, they should’ve slapped your mama for bringing such a dumbass into the world! Ladies of the evening! Prostitutes! You know, hookers!”
I rubbed my arm, more to make her feel better about smacking me than to assuage any imaginary pain. “And you know this how?”
She smiled a smug and self-satisfied smile. “I’ve been watching all them NCIS shows on the idiot box – I know how to do a stake-out. And I don’t even have ta go outside to do it, because my upstairs windows overlook the back yard behind them. I’ve SEEN the men sneaking in at all hours of the night. They stay for an hour or so and then they leave. So it’s either hookers or some kinda drugs goin’ on in that place. And it’s RIGHT UNDER THAT POMPOUS ASSHOLE’S NOSE!!!!”
I laughed. “Well, that’s kind of what I suspected. So, you gonna report them?”
She looked shocked. “Why in hell would I wanna do THAT??? It will be way more fun when that dumbass finds out for hisself, and the longer it goes on before he finds out the funnier it’ll be when he does. Don’t you go saying anything to anyone either, or I’ll come over one night and suffocate your stupid ass. That dog won’t mind me at all, lemme tell you.”
I mimed zipping my lips. “Mums the word, Doris. I don’t have any reason to say anything, since I have no proof of what’s going on in there. I suppose those guys that showed up last week set you off, huh?”
“Nah. I had my suspicions the minute those girls moved in. But hey, if I find out you sent those drunken morons to my house on purpose…”
“Chill out, Doris! I wouldn’t do that – they were so drunk, they couldn’t follow directions. Sorry about that, but I wasn’t gonna actually go outside and walk them over. Not my circus.”
“Yeah, well, you might want to pay them girls a visit yourself – it would improve your saccharine disposition.”
I laughed. “Where in hell did you get that from? Nevermind. I don’t have the time nor do I have the need to avail myself of their services, Doris. I gotta take Kojak to the doc tomorrow. Something is very off with this guy.”
“Just get him laid. That’ll fix him.”
“OUCH! No, the fixing comes afterwards. And I tried, but he was completely disinterested. Which is why I’m taking him to the doc.”
Kojak then caught the scent of something that totally obsessed him, so he strained to the end of his leash and then looked back me as if to say, “Well? I’m WAITING, dammit!”
“Gotta run, Doris. Something has Kojak’s attention. See ya later.”
And off we went, with Methusela yelling something incomprehensible after me.
SIDEBAR: Regarding the primary impregnation attempt, since I did not yet report the results. Nothing happened. We put them in a room together, and basically just kept an eye on them. Kojak spent the entire afternoon pouting, and Doris spent a good part of the time trying to get him to come play with her.
I’m beginning to wonder what his problem is, so I scheduled an appointment with a dog shrink. I have no idea if that will help in any way, shape or form but the poor guy looks fine and seems to be eating fine. I think he’s just depressed and I have no idea how to deal with that.
Unless they make Zoloft for dogs.