At the Butcher Shop - A Craven Danger Mystery
“You sure you didn’t have your thumb on that scale when you were doing the weighing?” said Craven. “Because that pound a baloney is looking an awful lot like a pile a baloney.”
“My dear Mr. Danger to Himself,” said Joe the butcher. “Unless you’d like a savage beating with a freshly cut leg of lamb, I suggest you apologize immediately. I have customers waiting. Paying customers. Not customers who run tabs and then have elephant-ear pockets when it comes to paying the bill at the end of the month. If it wasn’t for Betty, I’d have cut you off months ago. She’s a lady. But why she picks up after you is beyond me.”
“What do mean, she picks up after me?”
“Who do you think has been paying the bill for all your baloney?”
All that bickering At Emil’s Pork Store had caused a commotion in the line behind Craven Danger.
“Yeah, Mr. Onion Breath.” said Gertrude the office cleaner. “Betty gave me a two dollar bonus last Christmas. Not like you with that flimsy mistletoe over my head business. Like I’d ever pucker up to you. You ought to be ashamed of yourself, you floppy-lipped ape. Betty’s a saint.”
“She sure is,” said Victor Cho the Chinese launderer. “She always bring me a nice, juicy apple every time she picks up your shorts. She’s sure a sweetie.”
“Now, wait just a minute,” said Craven.
“Not so fast, Mr. Shiny Pants Gumshoe,” said Reggie the mailman. “Betty always invites me into the office for a cup of cocoa on a cold winter’s morn. Or a sweet glass of iced tea when the weather turns the other way. Betty’s a doll. I didn’t even know what you looked like until someone pointed you out just now. And I been your mailman for ten years. Always hiding behind that desk of yours. Don’t you ever detect anything other then the smell of pork rinds?”
“Yeah, Mr. Pork Belly,” said Jenny the dry cleaner.
“You heard, me,” said Jenny. “Don’t forget, I’m the one who lets out your pants. And let me tell you, the letting out is about to come to a dead end. There’s no more loose ends in them gaberdines. I suggest you start running tabs at the gymnasium, because them trousers is about to bust loose.”
“Now wait just a doggone minute,” said Craven.
“Excuse, me, but would you kindly hurry it up and get this line moving,” said a voice from the back of the line. “I have to pick up some hamburger meat and hot dogs for the church social tomorrow.”
As Betty spoke, a stream of sunlight shone through the store front window and bathed her in a heavenly glow. The other waiting customers parted, and gestured to Betty to move to the head of the line.
“Aw, come on, Betty!” said Craven. “How’d you get the sun to do that, and how much did you pay these schlubs to come out with their torches and pitchforks to torment me like they just done?”
“My dear Mr. Danger,” said Betty. “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.”
“What’s going on here?” said Craven. “Really.”
“The second coming of me,’ said Betty. “Ain’t I grand.”
When I wake up from this nightmare, thought Craven. I’m gonna start eating right. These late night excursions with liverwurst and onion sandwiches is killing my sweet dreams.
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