i had a halloween party.It was a cold and windy day in the City of Beans. Temperatures dropping to near-freezing, the Sox had just won the Series and I slowly regained consciousness to find myself lying in a pool of potato-scented drool. I grunted, glancing about to ascertain my whereabouts: the underside of my desk. A popular and familiar destination. Also familiar was the feeling of a tugging at my shoe; it was my trusty secretary Tessie giving me the usual 1:30 pm wake-up call.
SOMEONE TOOK A SHIT ON MY BATHROOM WALLS
AND IT'S A BATHROOM THAT IS WITHIN MY BEDROOM
so here is my question:
has anyone here ever used a local private investigator? what are the prices like? any recommendations?
"Time to get up, Charlie," Tessie said with a graceful urgency that betrayed her Roslindale hairdo. "You've got a client. Hand me the bottle of Kappy's vodka and watch your head as you get up. You managed to get yourself under your chair again, too."
I slowly extricated myself from underneath the chair and its treacherous casters. Staggering to my knees, I found the task of standing fully up too much for my dehydrated, hungover senses and after a few failed attempts, slipping on the slick linoleum floor, I managed to grip the edge of my desk and slowly pull myself up to a near-standing position. Tessie helpfully wheeled the chair out of my way and then pushed it back just in time for me to collapse in it and sprawl over the desk. My arms flopped down first, scattering pens and paperwork about; my blotto head second, making a forehead-shaped imprint on the cushy blotter.
I blearily saw her as I finally worked up the strength to hold my head up. The sight was definitely energizing. The dame was gorgeous: an amazing blonde in a black dress, black stockings, black shoes I think I saw on Sex And The City and a black veiled hat to match. Definitely Newbury Street. Not a hint of Filene's Basement about her. She looked across the office at me, perched as she was on the red naughahyde couch, keeping a cigarette smoldering simply by holding it close to her lips. A road sign appeared above her that read "CAUTION: LEGS CROSSING." She gazed into my bloodshot eyes with a predatory look of vulnerability. She was all over the map, and her topography was breathtaking.
"Mr. Kendall?" she asked.
"That's my name," I mumbled, more to the desk blotter than the woman. "Says so on the door."
"Yes, I noticed. You're a private detective, are you not?"
"Says that on the door, too." So far, the conversation was going swimmingly, just like my head. The dame got up from the couch with a seductive, fluid motion and nimbly sliced her legs over to the desk, forcing me to sit up straight lest I continue the conversation at navel level. I wouldn't have minded staying in that position, but it's not very professional.
"I need your help," she said, producing a pile of photographs from a Manila envelope that had obviously never been out of the continental US. I leafed through the pictures; they were horrible. Disgusting. Excrement was smeared all over the bathroom walls like some kind of demented charcoal drawing.
"We had a party last night," the dame said. "This is what I found in the morning."
"Pardon me," I said, ducking my head down into a wastebasket that Tessie had kindly placed by my desk for just this purpose. I emerged thirty seconds later, wiping my mouth and feeling slightly better.
"Yes," the dame said, "I did the same thing when I first saw it. Only I think I had a few more dry heaves than you." She dropped the photos on my desk and crossed her arms. "Listen. I want you to find the person for me." I squinted at the snapshots again.
"I'm sorry, but I don't see him in any of these pictures. Unless he's behind the laundry hamper."
"No, Mr. Kendall, I want you to find the person who did this to my lovely bathroom. Look, they even got the rug!"
"Shameboutthat," I slurred. "Looks like it really tied the room together. But how do you propose I find your culprit?"
Her eyes narrowed.
"You're a detective, aren't you? Do your, you know, detecting. Bring DNA samples to the lab, take ultraviolet pictures, analyze the ballistics, whatever."
I was beginning to realize I was way over my head on this one.
"You don't need a detective, dollface. What you need is CSI, and right now I don't think I could handle all those jump cuts. Listen. I'm a simple private investigator. I follow people around, I take pictures of them boffing their mistresses, then I give some of the shots to their suspicious wives. The rest I put up on the Internet, but these, babe, I don't think I could make an honest buck with these. You're better off taking your case to the police."
She sniffled, a single tear running down a high cheekbone and executing a perfect swan dive onto the floor. I couldn't help her and we both knew it.
"Wait a minute," I said. "Are those duckies and fishies on the shower curtain?"
"They were," she said, a hint of surprise in her velvet voice. I couldn't believe what I was looking at.
"I think I may be able to help you after all," I said. "I believe I was at your party last night. Second floor of the triple decker near where the Dunkin Donuts used to be?"
"Yes," she said. "That's my place. But I don't recognize you."
"I went as an undercover cop," I said. "Best disguise ever. I'd been drinking quite a bit, but I think I can remember some of the feces-- er, faces at your party. If I think hard enough and get a bit of the hair of the dog what bit me, I might be able to recall who I talked to and what job they claimed to have, and... wait again. Look. Crumpled up in the corner there. Is that a pair of faded blue jeans, mens' size 38/32, rip in the left knee, right rear pocket with a permanent imprint of a wallet and a zipper that doesn't work unless you really mash the little pull thingy down after zipping up?"
"Those are the very same pants," the dame replied.
"So that's where they went," I said, looking down. The dame glanced down over the desk as well, and then a look of shock, surprise, fear and anger came over her face nearly all at once. It was pretty cool to watch.
"D-do you mean to say you did this to my bathroom?" she burst out, light dawning over Marblehead.
"Of course not," I said dismissively, with as much of a wave of my hand as I could while it lay flopped on the desk. "It couldn't have been me. For one, I didn't have corn last night and for two..."
"Near the end of the evening, while I was pitching beer bottles out the window, you came over and told me that I was incredibly drunk and your other guests were complaining about my behavior, especially my No Pants Papelbon Dance. And do you remember what I said to that right before you had your boyfriend throw me out?"
"No, what did you say?" she asked, searching my eyes for the final horrible punchline.
"I said, well, I don't give a shit."