Abdul stepped off the curb and smack into the middle of the deep blue China
Sea.

“Funny place to put a deep blue China Sea,” he quipped to nobody and
dogpaddled back to the shore. He staggered back onto the curb, got rid of the
dogs before the ASPCA got it’s hooks into him for using them as a paddles, and
sidled back into Little George’s Gunshop and DayCare (Two for one Tuesdays).

At the bar he ordered a gin and milk, and tried to figure out who was trying to kill
him. If they were willing to pay to have a sea moved all the way from China, they
might even have enough left over to pay for a bullet or two.

Bullets, the bartender, slid over and rested a forearm on the bar. Abdul asked
him to move it, so Bullets, the bartender, put the forearm back in the freezer
until the dinner rush.

“So, what’s eating you pal?” the barkeep asked.

“These little bugs, got them from swimming in deep blue China seas, but then
that ain’t what’s bothering me.”

Just then bullets, the small metal flying projectiles, tore through the front window
fragments and smashed into the bar. Both men looked at their wrists. Bullets,
the bartender, looked at his because he had a watch on, and Abdul, the non-
bartender, because he had a itch there.

“The 9:14 from the Westside Bowlers League,” the bartender said out of the
side of his mouth, the front being closed for repairs.

Abdul knew something was wrong in an instant. Well in reality, it was more like
three instants and a suddenly.

Dinsmore!

Abdul sprang from the bar, the spring his stool had shifted and he just poked
him in the tender look outties. Bullets, the small metal thingees that made
mucho big hurt, followed him out like a bar bill, and vice versa.

He skirted the deep China Sea and headed up the sunny side of the street, the
unsunny side of the street looking especially unsunny in the dark of the night.
The suddenly, again, there she was, in front of him. She stood defiant and
looking for all the world like a great big cone of ice cream: cool, to the point,
something you just knew you would lick down to nothing if you put your tongue
into it. Dayve.

“So, we meet yet again,” she sighed.

“Yett is here? The fool owes me five bucks.” Abdul looked about frantically.

She sauntered over to a waiting Hyundai limo, ushering him into the back door
without even giving him a pat down. His ticket was balcony, but she let him sit in
the middle seats with her.

“We might be working the same case, Sharpie” she cooed into his ear.

“Dinsmore!” he shouted.

Philbuso Kensington Maureen Chen Che Dinsmore. Billionaire.  A true visionary
who years ago had cornered the market on toothpicks, suntan lotion and
hypocrisy. He’d made a fortune on other’s peoples bad teeth, the steadily
shrinking swimsuit and politics. Now he was dead…or had killed somebody or
something.

The green and purple limo pulled to a stop outside the Dinsmore Mansion and
the pair climbed out.

“You would think that the door would have worked a little longer on such a
precision vehicle,” Abdul grunted as he lowered Dayve to the ground from the
sunroof. The ambled to the massive oak like substitute doors, strutted into the
marble-esque covered foyer and cha-cha’ed their way into the living room.

The two detectives faced all the suspects, as crooked a bunch of dentists,
mechanics, college coaches and record company executives as you’d ever laid
eyes on. They cast an aura so crooked that Abdul and Dayve could see the
painting on the wall behind them.

There JuJubee Whitcome, Dinsmore’s personal dentist and partner in
toothpicks for more than twenty five days.

Laurel Filch, two time NCAA Competitive Eating coach of the decade in a sport
only three years old and Dinsmore’s half brother and nephew.

The lovely and talented Utsei Boosti Winters, Dinsmore’s wet nurse and
confidant. The drinks only had to get within a foot of her face for her to be able
to suck them back. Abdul admired her melons, and thumped one before asking
how much.

“Watermelons just came in season, but I can get you deal.” She whispered with
the green fruit still in the crux of her arm.

Dayve whistled at Stu Barnes, the simplest name in the room.

“There has been,” Abdul paused for dramatic effect but forgot he had paid his
drama bill, “…a murder! “ He stabbed a finger skyward, um, towards the ceiling
and there held fast by a thousand toothpicks was Dinsmore. He was posed kind
of like a cherub.

“How’d you find the body so fast?” Dayve intoned to him, under her breath.

“What body?” Abdul asked, the brim of his fedora tilting back like drunken sailor
on his twenty ninth shot. Well, for a new sailor maybe his fifteenth, but for
experienced sailor with a slore in every port and a liver scarred by the ravages
of rot gut, it would have been closer to thirty.

“And you did it! “ Davye exhaled, her arm rising to point at the guilty party. At
that instant the room went light! Dinsmore had loved testing the suntan lotion
but hated going outside, so he’d had powerful lights installed in the ceiling.
Abdul imagined he saw Ronald McDonald and the Burger King making out.
Then the room went black.

As the funk music played and the afrosheen tinged smoke pour forth from
hidden vents, the lights went out plunging the room into darkness.  A gun fired.
Then a bow and arrow twanged, a blow dart blew, Ms. Winters swallowed, a
small cannon went off and two swords clanged.

Abdul had dove to cover Dayve the instant he’d sensed danger, but she been
holding him off since they’d met in the street. When the lights went out, she let
herself be taken.

“Did you really have to?” she exuded at his face hovering above hers in the
darkness.

“To save you, of course,” the steeliness in his deep dark eyes however
translated into ‘I was trying fall down and you got in the way.”

“So the full body pat down, massage and body rub you just gave me was an
accident? And can I have my panties back?”

Abdul sheepishly uncovered her, the warm wool receding to leave her there on
the cool marble-ish floor as they surveyed the room. All of them were dead.
Jujubee had been shot, Stu arrowed, Laurel had been blow darted, and Utsei
had, er…choked. Yeah, choked. But they all looked so peaceful.

So in the tradition of all the great detectives of history and literature, the pair
deftly rifled the pockets and wallets of the suspects, making off with a watch and
necklace as well, anonymously call the police and said it was them, pined a note
on Stu Barnes that said ‘I did it’ and ran.

A few minutes later Abdul came back and stole a few bottles of liquor. The cops
arrived. Somebody brought a keg.

But that’s a whole other story.