Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Dragnet 1980



Dragnet 1980
We were working the Day Watch of the Bunco Division out of Hollywood Division. The Captain was Lemuel Plantain. My Partner is Bill Gannon. My name is Friday. I carry a badge. And a grudge.

Bill Gannon walked into the division and hung his Robert Hall suit on the hook on the wall at the back of the squad. We had been partners for twenty years. We agree on most things. Except barbeque sauce. And Politics.

“Morning Joe. Coffee?”
“No time Bill. We have to saddle up. Got a call. Woman complaining she was defrauded. Let’s go.”
We got into an unmarked car and drove to an address off of Sunset Boulevard. It was an old decrepit house. The kind young children told stories about. Witches. Goblins. Strange straggle haired women who would try to feed you cookies and then bake you into a pie. Bill knocked on the scarred and pitted wood of the door.
It swung open. A disheveled woman stood in a stained housecoat with a soggy lit cigarette at her lips.
“Yeah. Waddaya want?”
“Did you call the police man? My name is Friday. Sargent Joe Friday. This is my partner Bill Gannon. We came to investigate your complaint. What seems to be the problem?”
“Come in…come in.” We walked into a darkened living room that stunk of menthol cigarettes and ammonia. I stopped. There were approximately twenty cats in the room. On the couch. The coffee table. The rest of the furniture. That was the ammonia smell. It was cat piss.

“Sit down sit down. Just push the fucking cats off the sofa.”
“That’s all right ma’am. We can stand.” Bill didn’t want to get his new Robert Hall suit covered in cat hair. It cost him fifty bucks retail. “So what seems to be the problem?”
“I been cheated. Cheated I tell. By a scam artist. A thief. A charlatan.”
“Who would that be?”
“Why that no good Ronald Reagan.”
“How’s that?”
“He got the nomination by false pretenses. All of these fools voted for him because he is a slick salesman. I think he is in it so Carter can win. They are all in cahoots. He cheated that nice George Bush out of his rightful due. He is only doing it so Carter can win even though he is a lousy candidate. They picked Reagan because he is only an actor. He is the only Republican that is so bad that Carter can win.”
She coughed and coughed and hocked up a lugie that she spit on to the middle of the floor. Two cats ran to fight over it. One pushed the other out of the way and lapped it up like it was a bowl of cream.
“That sounds a little farfetched ma’am.”
“NO IT”S NOT!” she screeched in a high pitched whine. “I KNOW IT IS TRUE! THEY ARE IN CAHOOTS! REAGAN EVEN CALLED JIMMY CARTER BEFORE HE ANNOUNCED HE WAS RUNNING!” Spittle was running down her chin as she pulled at tufts of her matted greying hair and threw them on the floor where  they attracted the tender mercies of her odious feline companions.
“I know what to do Joe. Just humor her for a minute” Bill whispered to me. In a louder voice “Can I get a glass of water Ma’am?” “What? Sure. Through there” she pointed to the kitchen. Bill walked gingerly out of the room careful not to step on a cat or one of the many presents they had left on the worn carpet.
I took out my notebook and pencil. I had to humor her. “So Ma’am if you can give me the facts. Just the facts.”
“Facts? You want Facts? The facts are that everyone knows that Reagan is just an entertainer. He is not a statesman. He doesn’t have a plan. He used to be a Democrat. He changed all of his positions just to get the Republican nomination. He is just doing it to get Carter elected.”
“I don’t know Ma’am.”
Bill came back from the kitchen. He was carrying something. It looked like it was made from tin foil. It was a hat.
“Here you go Ma’am. Try this on for size.” He took the tin foil hat and placed it on her head. “This will help. It will stop you from getting the secret messages that Reagan is broadcasting. We have been passing them out to everyone in the neighborhood. Once enough people get them the delegates at the convention will come to their senses and vote for George Bush as the nominee. You have my word.”
“God bless you son. I will wear it proudly. Can I offer you boys some refreshment?”
“Thank you but that won’t be necessary. We have to go. Lots of hats to distribute.”
“Oh good well thank you. I wouldn’t want to hold you boys up. Go and do your duty. God bless you.”
“Thank you Ma’am.”
We walked out of the house back to our unmarked car.
“That was a tough one Joe.”
“Yes it was. You know what is going to be even tougher?’’
“No what’s that Joe?”
“Getting the smell of cat piss out of your new Robert Hall suit.”

(The names of the commenters have been changed to protect the not so innocent)

5 comments:

Sixty Grit said...

I am not good at understanding symbolism. This one is too subtle for me to figure out. Was Friday driving a four door AMC Matador?

edutcher said...

I go on the record now, I had nothing to do with this post.

edutcher said...

Hmmm, a couple of big NC Demos won't be at Cacklepants' rally.

Looks like she's not so popular, after all.

chickelit said...

Lol!
Just like the good 'ol days!

rcocean said...

Brilliant.