Short while back, Franklin and I wound up at some dive near the Northeastern schooling joint. Buncha theatrical plugs getting together bi-weekly in this underground meet, call themselves the Silver Masque. Been running since the beginning of the year, and the teachers put myself and Franklin on the case to dig up the dirt--they weren't invited, wanted to show up. We called on this bird we know, and pulled together the following as part of the cover story. Pretending to be a bunch of attendees, we performed this skit to make the mob accept us as their own. After this, we were deep undercover. We appeared on the evening's program as:
Private Eye Dicks
Turner monologue: Boston, Massachusetts. The city was a cesspool: crime, drugs, underaged drinking. I wasn’t trying to fix it, I was just looking for a paycheck. It’d been a few months since Franklin and I had last worked on a gig. Back in the day, we used to drink from the same bottle, but over the months without pay, we had started seeking other opportunities. Now, his message promised this case was a good one: There was a client, and she could pay. He said they’d be around the office around 11 AM.
Franklin and Luscious approach
Turner: Dammit. I didn’t want Franklin to realize I’d been bunking in the office again, so I lammed on out the back way.
Turner sneaks out. Franklin and Luscious enter. Franklin shows Luscious to a chair and breaks away.
Turner enters a moment later.
Customary greeting: Turner, Franklin
Franklin: This is the big one, Turner.
Turner: So you mentioned. What’ve we got?
Franklin: Missing person. You’ll have to come and meet the client.
Turner approaching, monologue: That’s when I saw her. Hair the color of blonde hair, legs reaching down to the floor. Eyes like brown cookies. I heard saxophones play the moment our eyes met. Then I realized I still had my iPod on.
Franklin: Miss Luscious, please meet my associate, Turner.
Luscious: Charmed. You do realize I heard everything you just said.
Turner ignoring: Pleasure’s mine, I assure you.
Monologues We shook hands. From her grip, I could tell she was the kind of broad who could squeeze a dollar out of any nickel.
Luscious looks and half-asks “What does that mean?” Turner dismisses it.
Now, tell us what we can do for you.
Luscious: Well, it’s my boyfriend, Babycakes McGooligher. He’s gone. He was in uh, let’s say ‘involved in things no good catholic boy should be involved in.’
Turner: As she spoke, it sounded like angels reciting the Gettysburg address.
Franklin: So you think they bumped him off?
Luscious: No, I mean that’s the last time we’d heard from the boss. My boyfriend was nowhere to be seen, and about $50,000 in cash is also missing. The police think they’re hot on his trail.
Turner: And you think differently?
Luscious: I know different. He’s too smart to be made by a batch of peepers. I know with you boys on the case, he’ll be back with his Miss Luscious in no time.
Franklin: Well, we’ll follow up some leads and give you a call when we have something.
Turner: And if you need anything else in the meantime, don’t hesitate to call. Or drop by, any time. Day or night!
Luscious: Thank you, boys. Thank you.
Franklin: So, how do we find Babycakes?
Turner: Well, I happen to have a plan. I’ll get on the blower, set you up with this bindle stiff I know downtown. Real redhot, shady character. I’ll tell him to expect a pimp, name of Aluitious Featherstone. You will need a disguise, obviously.
Turner hands Franklin temporary sunglasses. Franklin looks uneasily at them.
Franklin: And... what will you be doing?
Turner: While you’re chasing down leads and giving folk the third degree, as necessary, I’ll be here piecing the whole thing together. I’ll see if the buttons’ve heard anything on Babycakes, take a hooker of gin, uh, have some more eel juice. You know, the usual.
Franklin starts to talk, “something I’ve been meaning to tell you...” Turner rushes him out the door.
Turner: You know who to call if you find yourself in a jam.
Turner monologue: First thing I’d have to do was get inside this goose’s skull. What made Babycakes tick? How did the Boss’ final moments go down? The one thing I was certain of was that to pull this kind of a caper off, you’d have to be all jingle-brained at the time--which meant, I too would have to suck down some giggle juice just to think like him.
Turner takes a drink, pauses to pass time. Takes another drink
Turner monologue: Franklin had been underground for a few days. No call, didn’t write. He’s a pug when he needs to be, but I was still a little concerned.
Franklin reappears, hands Turner a slip of paper
Franklin: I found this. Took it off this real clout down by Macy’s.
Turner examining paper: You don’t say. Well in’t that some kind of Chinese angle on the whole thing?
Franklin: You mean it's got lead in it?
Turner ignoring: Good work, Franklin. Back to the field.
Franklin re-exits, rearranging the chairs into a stake-out arrangement as he leaves.
Turner: Three days passed. I didn’t hear from Franklin. For all I knew, my partner’d been chilled off and I couldn’t stop it. I headed out, checked the cops’ blotter and a few other sources. No word. Some Bruno socked me in the face, held a shiv to my throat. There were two possibilities: I was gettin’ mugged, or I was on to something. I went with my gut: Turn the heat up high enough, and eventually you’ll cook yourself a roast.
Pause Note to self: ask Franklin if he’s seen my wallet.
Turner: Franklin. Good to see you’ve made it.
Franklin: Come with me, Turner, I’ve got something you’re going to want to see. I parked my flivver out front, and there’s a sight down by Brigham circle.
Turner: Franklin doesn’t usually get this worked up about stuff. Except maybe Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Boy loves his cereal. We headed down to the joint, and waited to see what we could see.
Turner and Franklin go to the car stake-out. Read a paper, banter for a while.
Turner: So, Franklin. Meaning to ask you... Pimping. How was it?
Franklin: Well, it ain’t easy.
Turner: ’s what I hear.
More silence for a few minutes. Turner turns a few pages on the paper.
Turner, monologuing: Stake-outs are pretty boring...
Franklin: What’re you talking about? I love Longhorn.
Turner aggravated: Not steak out, Stake-outs. Bad coffee, worse donuts. A car that smells like ass.
Franklin hesitating, but determined: Turner, there’s something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about. There’s a dead hooker in my trunk.
Turner nonplussed: Oh. We’ll deal with it later.
Both return to silence for a moment, then as if changing the subject:
Turner: Did you know, it’s illegal to give smokes to a monkey in New Jersey?
Franklin: Huh, so that’s why their monkeys live longer than ours?
Franklin: Notice something?
Turner: That’s the broad what hired us. What’s she doing here?
Franklin: Precisely. Let’s nab her, see if she sings.
Franklin and Turner get up just as Luscious hides behind large set piece.
Franklin: Got your heater on you?
Turner: Always ready to burn powder.
Guns drawn, the dicks lead out none other than Babycakes McGooliger himself, wearing Luscious’ clothes.
Turner: Just as I thought.
Franklin: I first realized it--
Turner interrupting, monologuing, pulling out slip of paper: I first realized it when Franklin brought me this: A receipt for the Waist-Master 6000. Only happens to be the most powerful girdle money can buy. It’s like squeezing Play-doh in a vice. That’s when it struck me: why would a dame with such a figure need this device.
Franklin rips wig off of Babycakes, identifies him to the crowd.
Franklin: Only if she were really the boyfriend she hired us to find, out on the lam.
Babycakes: I figured getting you palookas on the case would get the fuzz off my kiester. I would’ve made it to Mexico, too, if it weren’t for that pimp downtown, Featherstone.
Turner: That was another case for Turner and Franklin. Easy money. We handed him off to the law, and went to cash the check--
Franklin: Turner, you realize we’re getting nothing.
Franklin: Babycakes’ assets were frozen, his check’s a piece of orphan paper.
Turner: Oh... Well, I've been hitting on a man all week, so I’m going to go throw up.