Thursday. Crack of noon. Deep in the heart of the city. What do these things have in common? Granite Countertop has been drunk for all of them. He attempted to sleep it off in his office, located through a door in the back of the ladies’ room of a diaper factory, but the piped in music coming from the ladies’ room speakers was, quite frankly, driving him to drink. The ladies themselves, with their sniping and bitchiness, were driving him to drink. In fact, the only think that wasn’t driving him to drink was his 2001 Pontiac Aztek, which he had slammed into a tree the previous night while swerving to avoid hitting a beaver.
After the fifth run of “Up, Up and Away” on the looping factory track shot through his ears, among other fifths shooting through other parts of his body, he opened his office door, checking carefully to make sure the restroom was empty, and puked his guts out. It occurred to him that if he had been wearing some hose and Mary Janes, no one would say anything even if they came in. In between heaves, however, he looked down to find that he was already wearing hose and Mary Janes – along with an A-line dress, beads, earrings and a nice black lace bra. That’s when it all came back to him – the woman who had hired him to catch her boyfriend cheating, the way she made him up and teased his hair to make it more “authentic”, the way the hose felt between his thighs, the way the tape felt uncomfortable yet somehow arousing, and the meal he had at that Mexican sushi place, Bonzai Gonzalez, prior to going out. Of course, that last thing was easy to remember, since a friendly reminder was currently being hurled past his uvula into the bowl.
He checked again carefully, then ran out and rinsed off before going back to his office. Fortunately, he had only peed himself once in his drunken stupor, so the couch was easy to clean. He grabbed a few aspirin out of the 5,000-tab container he had gotten at the local warehouse store, and downed them with some Diet Caffeine-Free Coke. It was the only use he could find for the stuff. He looked at the file sitting on his desk, and found all the pictures he had taken surreptitiously the previous evening. He suddenly felt a surge of incredible pride at having used three of his ‘word-a-day’ calendar words in a row.
He was just on the verge of noticing something about the boyfriend when his phone rang.
“This is Countertop. Talk to me.”
“The one and only.”
“The private investigator?”
“Granite Countertop, P.I.?”
“This is him.”
“Okay, good. I’ll call you back.”
He hung up the phone, wondering what the hell that was all about, when the door opened and in walked an attractive redhead with an absolutely huge pair of smoking hot tan smooth delicious bagels.
“Hello, ma’am. What can I do for you?”
“That’s me. I’m completely positive and totally sure without a doubt.”
“Okay… you just look different from your picture in the phone book.”
“Oh, right… well, that’s just because I shaved recently.”
“But you’re clean-shaven in the picture.”
“I was talking about my legs. Anyway, how can I help you?”
“I understand you took a case last night, and I was wondering if you had ever taken more than one before.”
“I take multiple cases all the time!”
“I was talking about scotch. I’m with the local liquor control board. I’m afraid I’m going to have to bring you in.”
“Um… actually, I don’t have any on me right now, lady. Try a bar.”
“Actually, you have a lot on you, all down the front of your shirt. Not to mention, this.” She produced a cooler filled with several quart zip bags, which were in turn filled with what looked like…
Just when he couldn’t believe the depths people would sink to, the lengths people would go just to screw with his day, someone comes along and collects two gallons of vomit-infused toilet water from the ladies’ room of a diaper factory. But while he was simultaneously lamenting the total gastronomical destruction of his office sofa and mentally flipping through the new IKEA catalog for its replacement, it hit him: that couldn’t be his vomit, because there were no coconut peanut buttery chunks anywhere in it. Also, she looked an awful lot like the boyfriend he had been out with last night.
“Chip Fecalman? Is that you?”
“What? I don’t know what you’re talking about! I’m a female woman lady!”
“No, I’m positive I was with you all last night. You have the same firm thighs, the same shapely buttocks, the same hot dripping bagels, the same Adam’s apple. It’s you. You’re Chip Fecalman. I’m onto you, buddy!”
“Okay, fine. I’m Chip Fecalman. But you’re still coming with me. I can’t let you tell my girlfriend I was cheating. Especially when I passed out halfway through and didn’t even get any action.”
“I’m not going anywhere with you. You’re a lousy dancer, a horrible kisser, and you leave crappy tips. Plus, you forgot – this is MY office!” Granite pulled out what he had been hiding and pointed it at Chip.
“Um…that’s a cologne bottle.”
“That’s right! Take that, you putz!” Granite sprayed Drakkar Noir right into Chip’s eye, which made him cry not only because it stung, but because it reminded him of the senior prom, the night that his date ended up sleeping with his best friend. And his other friend. And the band teacher. And the limo driver.
While Chip dealt with the pain, both physical and emotional, Granite grabbed the file, slipped out of his office and pulled down the baby changing table three times, triggering the self-inflating dirigible he had rigged for just such an emergency – one slow enough to wait ten minutes for a large helium balloon to inflate. He jumped out the window, held on to the balloon, and floated through the city towards his apartment in the west wing of a refurbished 10,000 square foot mansion formerly owned by Rick Schroeder. He couldn’t help the feeling he felt the entire time he was floating above that majestic city, the feeling of getting away with it, the feeling of finishing a case, the feeling of the pantyhose on his skin, the feeling of relief that Chip had passed out rounding first base, and the feeling of a cool breeze blowing up his skirt into his no-no spot. He really needed to start wearing underpants.
One mystery remained, though…why did Chip bring bagels? Was there a reason he had two of them? Was he actually buying Granite… breakfast? After thinking about it for 6.4 seconds and puking over 4 blocks of Vegetable Avenue, Granite realized he had missed one key fact that his brain was only just now telling him, waiting patiently for him to finish yakking: Those were Sanafran-Cisco bagels. Also, his brain went on to inform him, the balloon was deflating and he was about to fall 200 feet to the sidewalk below.
He hoped he fell near a store that sold mouthwash and underpants, because he had a date tonight with fate!