That's right, Toner: Office Gold, Connecticut Tea, the Big Gritty."So you want me to solve this case for you. Is that it, hotpants?" "Hotp - no, no I don't want you to 'solve' anything. I just want you to stop stealing office supplies." "Fine. I'm on the case. I get two hundred dollars a day plus expenses - " "I will absolutely not ever pay you anything." "And there's one condition." "No. The answer is no." "When this is all over, you owe me a kiss. A broad like you, I figure you can get your hands on money without much ado. But a kiss - that'll mean something..." When I turned around, she was already gone. From her chair. She seemed to be having trouble with the door. "How do I...?" she made a frustrated motion at the doorknob. "No, you twist it," I said, making a twisting motion. "No shit you twist a doorknob. It's not budging." "You like... you lift." "Lift?" "Yeah, lift and separate...those legs!" I quipped. She seemed like an educated gam-holder; I figured she'd appreciate a good play on words. But she just threw up into her hands a little, which made the doorknob situation worse. So I had a thief to catch and a puke-handed lady to impress. Lucky for me, I knew just the man to talk to. *** Foster was an office supply manager with a nasty little nervous habit of chewing whenever he lied. I had lunch with him every day. The son of a bitch never told me a word of truth. "A little birdy tells me some office supplies have gone missing." I said, settling onto the bench across from him. I tried to spin it backwards - to give the impression of informality - but I couldn't figure out which end of a bench was backwards. I sat cross-legged in the middle of the table instead.
There is absolutely no casual way to sit on a bench. No, not even sideways; that just makes it look like you've got hemorrhoids."You mean the ones you stole?" He said, lying into a Turkey sandwich. "Nothing big before today, but it looks like somebody got a little greedy. Got in over their heads, maybe." "Nothing big? Last month you stole a copier and rode it down the hill and into the marina. That was pretty big." "You wouldn't happen to know anything about that, would you?" "I...yes? I just told you about it. Just now." Playing word games with me, eh? He had a gift, this one; he could yap all day and never say a word. Luckily I had an idea or two on how to make him talk. ***