Murder, Broads, and Bones (part 2)
I needed a clue. Layla offered to imitate one, but neither of us knew what a clue sounded like. So instead she made the sounds of several kinds of garage door openers. Despite not wanting to infringe on someone’s privacy I opened Harriet’s hand bag, which the police left on the body because it matched her outfit so perfectly. Except for identification she carried the usual things a gal carries around with her, lipstick, makeup, cell phone, genital electrodes, a list of North Korean double agents, and a small tube of plutonium, the only thing suspicious was a pen with a dentist’s address and phone number on it. Why was that so suspicious? High class broads like Harriet and starving P.I.’s like me didn’t go to the same dentist. Especially a dentist who lost his license for malpractice.
About a year ago my dentist was seriously injured while piloting an old crop duster when he foolishly reached out with both hands to trim his nails using the airplane’s propeller. Despite temporarily not having the use of his arms, he continued to work. He started pulling teeth without using his hands. When patients awoke they were amazed, until he smiled and then spit their tooth out. Upon learning that his dentist license had been revoked he flipped out, gassed his office building, and then pulled everyone’s teeth out. He was arrested two days later wearing a six thousand tooth necklace, claiming he found the teeth that afternoon in the park after a hockey game. The police were about to let him walk when it was pointed out that it was July, 98 degrees and there’s no checking allowed in the park league.
So why would Harriet have the pen of a defrocked dentist in her pocket, especially with teeth as perfect as hers. Teeth so beautiful that before we left, Layla and I not only brushed them, we also flossed them, and it’s not easy getting a dead girl to rinse and spit. There was only one logical thing to do and that was visit my old dentist.
I knew exactly where he lived because not only did I have his address, I was also his roommate. I live in a bad section of town in a one bedroom run up where Doc Slattery sleeps uncomfortably on my couch. I had the key, but that didn’t stop Layla from making knocking sounds while I was opening the door. In my apartment tables had been turned over, draws emptied, and the couch slit opened. It was just as I left it. That’s one of the things I liked about Doc Slattery he put things back where he found them. Doc wasn’t under any of the debris, but I did find him shivering in the shower. He explained to me that the faucet was stuck and he couldn’t turn off the water, so rather than waste the rusty liquid he kept washing himself. By now the soap had dissolved and the wash rag was in threads and Doc was holding his mouth open under the shower head and drinking as much water as he could. I shut off the main valve in the kitchen and he opened his main valve over the toilet, which sounded somewhat like Niagara Falls. It took him several towels which stopped soaking up water and two burnt out hair dryers before he could put on his clothes.
Doc pushed off the cardboard boxes, the wooden crates, and the teeth he removed from a Chinese delivery guy and did a fanny hop onto the couch. I told him that Harriet had been murdered and asked him what he knew about her? Doc told me he didn’t know her other than having sex with her several times a day, fathering two of her children and tiling the bathroom in their summer home. I don’t know if it was my detective instincts or what I had left of my women’s intuition that told me he knew Harriet a lot better than he was letting on to me.
I don’t like being lied to just as much as I don’t like being told the truth, so I slapped Layla across the face and said “tell him to stop holding back” I was about to slap her again when Doc knocked the wind out her with a punch to the belly. I wasn’t going to take that from him or anyone, even a shrimp in a wheel chair so I hit her with a round house to the jaw. Before I could get another shot in, Doc was on top of Layla throwing combinations to her face and midsection. I was getting angry now so I kept kicking her in the ribs until she imitated bones breaking. Nothing like the sound of a rib being shattered to make a guy laugh! And laugh we did. Doc and I were rolling on the floor when Layla broke into her clogged garbage disposal impression, which sent us into laughing convulsions. We were praying she would stop, and after her imitation of a nun eating spaghetti she collapsed on the floor exhausted from the adrenaline rush and a punctured lung. That’s when Doc told us all about Harriet. (End part 2)