Illustration by the author

Illustration by the author

BD flew into the offices like a small, well-dressed tornado.  She had supermodel looks and pit bull intensity.  If Prada made spiked choker-collars, she’d look incredible in one.  She stopped in the doorway and threw me a look of annoyance.

Where the hell are Oma and Tom Tom?” she snapped, gesturing toward their vacant desks.

They’re not here.” I stammered, immediately regretting opening my mouth.

She gave me a look comprised of equal parts pity and disgust.

Listen Pointless, just ’cause I wear dark shades doesn’t mean I’m freakin’ blind – I can see those two shit-birds aren’t here.  I’m trying to build a mother-humping blog here and empty chairs don’t write funny posts.

BD had the habit of screwing around with people’s names.  The range of name varieties was usually a pretty good indicator of how pissed she was at you.  She stood there, steaming and distracted, a hand on her hip with her head tossed back slightly.  She looked like an ad for something I wanted desperately but was afraid to buy.  She turned suddenly, catching me staring at her.  She pursed her lips and gave me the second look of pity and disgust in the span of a minute.

Much to my relief, she turned her scorn to the air molecules surrounding her.

This place needs a quarter keg of air freshener and a colonoscopy.  C’mon Point-Dexter, we’re going down to Finn’s for the nerve tonic you three idiots drive me to guzzle.”  She noticed my look of confusion and clarified things for me, “You don’t expect me to walk into a classy joint like that without an escort do you?

I grabbed my coat.  Oma and Tommy T. had already ditched me a few hours earlier to go look into the sudden resignation announcement of Mayor Thaddeus J. Maxwell.  They left me to do web searches but I suspected it was really just to keep me out of their way.  I didn’t want to give BD the chance to leave me too.

She stopped suddenly at the door and spun to face me.

One more thing, Toolbox; I’m a successful business woman fighting to get some respectability in this grease-stained little burg.” 

She suddenly grabbed the collar of my polo shirt and pulled my face down close to hers to make her point.

“If I come into this office and find a deck of cards all over the floor again, I’m gonna go Den-Mother-From-Hell on your ass, got it?

I managed to keep my pie-hole shut this time, and followed her down the stairs.

J.J. Finn’s had the feel of an exclusive club.  Whatever membership dues it might have once required were discretely rolled into the prices on the menu.  The dark woods and leather of the high-backed booths were where big business came to get deals done on corporate expense accounts.  The place was strategically positioned midway between city hall and the financial district.

More than a few eyebrows rose to see BD strut in, accompanied by a big goon wearing a polo shirt with a wrinkled collar and frayed khakis.  BD had berated me about my appearance on the subway ride over.  She said I needed to start dressing like I was important if I ever expected anyone to treat me any better.  BD told me that if you dress like a waiter at the Cluck Hutt, all you could expect out of life were requests for extra wet-naps and shitty tips.  I made a mental note to look for dressier clothes in my cardboard bureau back at the rooming house.  I was pretty sure I had a tie somewhere in the bottom drawer.

The booths were already occupied or reserved for movers and shakers, so we grabbed a couple of seats at the bar.  BD sat facing outward, crossing her legs, defiantly giving the captains of industry a little peek of thigh.  She bounced her crossed leg slowly, her stiletto heels looking as exotic as they did menacing.  Oblivious to whatever audience she might have, she twisted back to perch her elbow on the edge of the polished granite.  She looked at the approaching bartender from beneath her blond tresses.  His name tag read “Walter” in fancy letters.

Afternoon, Benny” she purred, “Give me a Dirty Mohican, straight up, cold as hell and don’t be stingy with the capers.  Pointalism here will have a club soda, he’s driving

Very good, Mizz Dramedy” Walter nodded.  “Will you be needing lunch menus today?

Not just now, Benadictine, I’m on a liquid diet for the next hour or three.

Before I could ask about driving, she hissed at me that she wasn’t about to let anyone find out we’d taken the D-line local over here from Shitsville.

I sat quietly, careful not to get caught sneaking glimpses of her legs and trying to look chaffeur-like.  I hoped my club soda would come in a big boy glass so I didn’t look like some kind of candy ass.  I imagined Walter might take out out his frustration with BD’s name-butchering by giving me a kiddie cup with a Twistee straw in it.

He delivered our drinks – mine with a slice of lime, looking blissfully like a vodka and tonic.  BD took a generous sip and hummed her approval at Walter’s mixology skills.  Before she could put the glass back down on the coaster, music began to emanate from her purse.  Back at the office, the only ringtone I’d ever heard from her phone was the word “Ring!” spoken by the voice of an actor.  I couldn’t figure out which Beatles song it was before BD answered the call.  She turned away and spoke in hushed tones to someone named “Teach”.  She slid off the stool and spoke urgently as she walked toward the ladies room.  Walter was already pouring her drink into a small carafe which he would put on ice.

I turned to him and shrugged at BD’s sudden departure.

So Benny, my man, any idea who won the Chislers game last night?” I asked.

He gave me a look of pure contempt as he slipped into a distinct East-side accent.  “The Chislers aint been within ten games a the playoffs all season.  They don’t care if they win, why should I?”  He leaned in a little closer to me and growled, “Also, my name’s Walter, ya jack ass, or can’t ya read?


{For those of you late to the party, here’s a link back to chapter one.  Try to keep up, will ya?}