Hello my lovely
“Tabernacle PI, I presume?”
I wanted to say something cool like ‘that’s the name on the door, sweet pants’; instead I just nodded and gestured toward the chair beside my desk. “Miss Rosé de Gambrinus” she said as gracefully lowered herself onto the chair and then crossed her legs. They were as long as they were lovely.
“Someone very dear to me has gone missing and I want you to find him” she whispered as she carefully removed a cigarette from her clutch bag.
“Light?” I said as I frantically began to search my desk. All I could find was a novelty Foster beer can lighter. Classy.
“Please”, she replied as she slowly brought her hand to meet mine as I reached across the table. She fixed her gaze upon me while she gently steadied my hand. The sunlight from the nearby window danced across her hair giving it an almost pinkish hue. She smoothed her hair behind her ear and then lit her cigarette. I let out an involuntary whimper. Redheads do that to me. She didn’t seem to notice, though.
“Please do continue.” I suggested as I slumped down into my chair praying that my composure wasn’t about to go AWOL.
“My dear Mr Pepe Lou vanished just over three days ago now. I knew something was wrong when he missed his supper. It was his favourite: perch cooked in Cantillon Gueuze. Oh Mr Tabbernacle, whatever shall I do?” she sighed.
“Let’s start with the facts: when did you last see Mr…P-P-P” I stuttered as I watched Ms De Gambrinus rise from her chair, softly sashay around my table and gently park herself on my knee. I say park, there was a fair bit of jockeying back and forth before she straightened up, as it were, her bumper flush against my kerb. Among other things, I could feel my temperature rising. She put her finger on my lips, whispered ‘Pepe Lou’ in my ear, and stroked my hair. I pictured Margaret Thatcher in my mind’s eye; naked, and in need of an iron. It was my only hope.
“I’ll do anything to get him back.”
Man about town
It was the opening night of the Banging Gardens of Shaggalon – a new nightclub experience for the one percent club. Excited voices bounced off the crushed velvet wall coverings. Sat at the bar was Simon St John, media hack and ‘man about town’. He was also the owner.
A tall, lean man, wearing an owl headdress with matching feathered tunic and hot pants, entered the room. *It’s O.W.L.* shrieked a gaggle of hipsters. There was a small scream. The crowd gently parted as the man approached the bar. Behind him, normal service resumed.
*It’s the hip-hop extraordinaire!* sang St John as he rose from his seat. *Danger dawg!* replied O.W.L. as the friends embraced.
*Nice outfit,* said St John as he tapped the seat next to him. *Take the weight off your feathers.*
*You think the outfit is too much?* asked O.W. pensively.
*You look like you’re modelling new arrivals at the Tory HQ Men’s lingerie department*.
*It’s all about blurring boundaries, baby.*
*Yes, of taste and decency.*
*Yo’ just messing with me, ain’t ya, danger dawg.*
*Quite. Let me get you a drink, O.W. Champagne?*
*The only time I drink champagne is out of a supermodel’s shoe.*
*Err…ok. A good wine then?*
*If you’re drinking wine, you’re wasting time. But you ain’t got nothing to fear from good beer.*
*Beer it is then. Tonight’s a Beavertown take down…we have Gamma Ray, Black Betty, 8 Ball…*
*Got mad love for the 8 Ball. Drink this like a madman, yes I do, as my friend Easy-E would say. Rest in peace, my brother,* said O.W.L softly as looked up to the heavens.
*Right,* replied a slightly baffled St John as he motioned to the nearby waitress. *Two 8 Balls, please.*
*Yes, sir, Mr St John,* she purred in reply.
*What do you think of my new club then?*
*Sort of place you could get up to no good.*
*My exact words to the designers,* he replied as he spied drinks on the horizon. *Incoming.*
*Your 8 balls, gentlemen.*
O.W.L. picked up his glass. He took a long leisurely slurp on his beer. *Booyah! It’s like God slipping down your throat in an amber velvet jumpsuit,* he said in a sonorous preacher voice. *Take a sip. It don’t bite.*
St John took an almost apologetic sip. *Danger dawg, you look like a dormouse sipping from an acorn teacup. Take the brake off,* said O.W.L. keenly. St John drank deeper. One quaff led to another.
St John resurfaced. *Spicy rye,* he said approvingly.
*Let the clutch out now. It’s time for mutha sip.*
St John pressed the glass against his lips. He drank long and deep. *Orange and lemon whispers,* said St John lustily, *…pursued by zesty hop vixens, riding high on a seismic wave of spicy rye.*
*My work here is done,* yelled O.W.L as he leaned back contentedly and smoothed out his tunic. *Looked like you had yourself a moment there, danger dawg.*
*A cashmere moment, no less. I could drink that all night long.*
*Don’t you drink too much now. Yo’ wake up feeling like a woodpecker got wise inside ya head.*
*Point taken.*said St John as he noticed two women hovering behind him. *O.W., let me introduce you to the two hottest models on the planet right now. Bubbles Tomorrow and Hot coffee.*
*Great outfit, honey,* screamed Hot Coffee, *takes a real man to wear women’s clothes.*
*Damn straight,* replied O.W.L as he puffed out his feathers. *You ladies sure is beautiful.*
*It is a curse,* snarled Bubbles, *like the Great Siberian Tiger, we are persecuted for our beauty.*
O.W.L. lent over to his friend. *Don’t think much to yours, danger dawg* he whispered, *but think we should order some champagne anyhow.*
St John nodded and then smiled softly. *Tell me, ladies, do you scotchgarded your shoes?*