My name is Dick Gumshoe, and I'm a Private Investigator. Keep your clothes on, ladies. I don't investigate your privates. If you insist, however, we can step into the back room. ....The following events took place between 8:06 and 8:30 pm. To date, those 24 minutes were the most harrowing of my life.
The Case of the Sesame Seed Gang
It began innocently enough while I was picking up some Chinese take out at the Hung Dong Dragon down on Broadway. Pork Chop Suey the proprietor, seemed a little out of sorts when I handed him an IOU for $17.95.
....Mr. Suey and I had made a gentleman's agreement three months ago that I would be allowed credit until my first big pay check, or he would serve up my testicles in his Won Ton Soup. I observed that his wife and children seemed to be consoling him. My nose twitches when I sense a mystery. Either there was a mystery brewing or the aroma of fried rice was tickling my nasal hair.
....Unknown to most people, the Chinese from certain remote areas of their home country, have an unorthodox way of picking the names of their children. During a secret ceremony, the child is laid upon a large table next to an enormous wok. The sire then tosses a fork into the air above the wok. They listen carefully to the sounds made when the implement lands in the vessel. Suey's children, Ping Plunk and Bing Bang were a testament to that ancient practice. I shudder to think what may have been thrown when their father received his name.
....Both Ping and Bing were only too willing to answer my inquiries. It seems that there was a gang of youths calling themselves the Sesame Seed Gang, who had been terrorizing the shop owners in the area. The gang would leave the shop owners alone as long as they paid an "insurance fee." Pork Chop had refused to pay that morning. The family knew the consequences and feared there would be reprisal that day.
....The grumbling in my stomach gave me a reason to return to my office. I was hungry and needed nourishment. Besides, I didn't particularly wish to be there when the shooting started, on an empty stomach, that is. Outside away from the smells of the Chinese kitchen, I took a deep breath and filled my lungs ... with carbon monoxide from a passing commuter bus. The fit of coughing came over me at the same moment a group of men jumped out of a Toyota. They were disguised, their features obscured by the masks of several Muppet characters.
....Coughing uncontrollably I fell against a street vendors cart. The cart abruptly lunged forward and flipped over onto the gang members. Pinned beneath the cart they were promptly arrested by two police officers from a passing cruiser. I hear they will be charged with extortion, the possession of firearms without permits, and impersonating Muppets. Even as I was being patted on the back and congratulated for my quick thinking actions, I looked forlornly to the sidewalk. Before me lay $17.95 worth of Chinese food, trampled under foot during the confusion of the capture and arrest of the Sesame Seed Gang.
....For a brief moment all was not lost. It seems that there was a reward put up by the local merchants to anyone who could end the gang's reign of terror. The man from the deli across the street handed me a check. My eyes widened like those of a midget in a woman's shower room! The check was made out in the amount of $547.95!
....Suddenly Pork Chop Suey snatched the check from my hand. He smiled as he spoke, "It seems you owe me sum of $530 from your IOUs." My hand clutching only the air where the check once resided was still outstretched. From the pocket of his apron he produced a few greenbacks and placed them at my fingertips. "Your change, Mr. Gumshoe." He then fished out a few coins and handed them to me also. "Now your blalls slafe!"
....I followed him inside, placed the $17.95 upon the counter and ordered the same Number 13 dinner again. Easy come and easy go, was running through my brain as I shuffled back to my office. After prying off the lock my landlord had put on my door because of my delinquent rent, I settled in the chair and swung my feet upon my desk.
....It isn't an easy life being a Private Investigator, but it does have its rewards. I plowed hungrily into my supper.
(Stay tuned to this same Blog channel for the continuing adventures of Dick Gumshoe, P.I.)