Granite Countertop, Private Investigator (and also Private Eye because he was wearing sunglasses) waited in line at the local fast food joint to get his favorite grub. He had to order several times because it was very dark in the restaurant for some reason. The onion juice in the air made it very hard to see. Plus, he had been crying uncontrollably for hours after taking possession of a Ferrari. He ordered the usual, chicken sandwich, fries and a sweet tea. He didn’t particularly like chicken, but he had to get this exact meal because of a poorly interpreted contract concerning his safe and a mischievous safe company owner. He had ordered a combination lock for his high security safe, and the jerkface had installed a computer recognition system, a camera and a laser. Now, in order to open his safe, Granite had to put a Chicken Combo Meal in front of the safe and wait for the computer to release the combination lock.
He made it to his office in the back of a dry cleaners. He absolutely loved the smell of tetrachloroethylene, and he loved knowing the fact that dry cleaning wasn’t really dry. He loved knowing lots of things that other people didn’t, because they would then give him money for that knowledge, which was why he gathered it – for the money people would give him for the aforementioned knowledge. So when a strange woman walked into his office, or up to it, he was prepared to make the transaction.
“Yeah, that’s me. What do you want to know?”
“Actually, I want to tell you something.”
“Oh really? And how much are you willing to pay – wait, what?”
“I have a message for you from Mr. Aorta.”
“Plaque Aorta? What does that no-good lying scumbag want to… you’re not going to tell him I said that, are you?”
“I might. Anyway, he said to tell you not to go messing around in the Plasticgrass case.”
“Really? That’s it? Did he say anything else? Threaten me or anything? Broken kneecaps, or something?”
“Um… no, uh, just the ‘not messing around’ thing.”
“Well look here, Ms…”
“Sanafran, Jan Sanafran.”
“Ms. Sanafran? Of the Sanafran-Cisco Treats Company?” He gestured to a bowl on his desk.
“Oh, well anyway, look here, Ms. Sanafran. You tell Mr. Aorta I said ‘ok’.”
“Ok? You’re not going to indignantly defy him?”
“Not at all, Ms. Sanafran. Zagnut?”
“No. I was expecting to have to kill you, but you’ve actually been pretty compliant. Good day, Mr. Countertop.”
He followed her out to her car, grabbing her bumper as she pulled away, leaning down so she wouldn’t see. The little wheels on his shoes were not designed for thoroughfare travel, but he decided to push them to their limits. As he rolled along, he was reminded of his youth and his family, especially his mother, and he remembered something his mother once told him: pick me up at 4:00pm. He checked his watch, which said 3:45pm. Actually it didn’t say anything; it had no vocal capabilities whatsoever. You had to read it, which was just what he did. As he looked down at the watch, learning the knowledge of the time dimension of the space-time continuum, one of his wheels gave out. As he rolled and rolled to a stop, he remembered something else his mother had once told him: And bring my dry cleaning with you.
A very prudent viewer would have seen the errant wheel roll down the street and up into the air, where it seemed to hover and move on its own, and then glow as though it was harvesting and gathering energy before it zipped off into space, returning to whichever alien race had sent the high-tech spying device to Earth. But there were no prudent viewers, so it didn’t do any of that. It just rolled to a stop on the side of the road, where a street sweeper picked it up the following Tuesday.
He felt a light brushing against his cheek, and he slowly opened his eyes. He was in his own bed, down in the basement of the local hardware store. A beautiful woman stood there, brushing his cheek.
“Wake up, Mr. Countertop.”
“I’m… awake. What happened? Was this all just a dream?”
“Yes, Mr. Countertop. You’re safe now. It was all just a dream. Well, except for the whole rolling down the street thing – that really happened. And the stitches, and the cast, and the waiting room. The broken arm, sprained ankle, numerous cuts and bruises and the head injury. The torn jacket, scuffed shoes and ripped shirt. Oh, and the car that hit you and then drove into the fast food place, which caught on fire. Other than that, it was all just a dream.”
“Oh, whew, that’s great. So I can be back to work in… wait, what was that about the fast food place?”
“Um, burned down?”
He began crying again as he realized that he would never order a combo again, and more importantly, he would never be able to open his safe, where he kept the keys to his Ferrari and his Zagnut stash. And his dignity. Because he now realized he wasn’t wearing any underpants and his watch, which had been left on for some reason, told him that it was 9pm. The following Tuesday. What had happened the past four days? What had she done to him? Why did he want a cigarette so badly? Why was he covered in honey and whipped cream? Why was her sensuous curvy body beckoning to him so beckoningly? Why was she looking at him so sensuously? These thoughts aroused him mightily, leading him to want something more than he had ever wanted anything before in his entire life.
“Hey, can you go down and get me a Zagnut?”