A Close Shave - Part 11 - A Craven Danger Mystery
All was dark in the paddy wagon as it sped its way to the police station.
“Oh, dear,” said Mrs. Danger. “This is so exciting! I’ve never been taken downtown before. And that gruff policeman said it just like in the movies, ‘C’mon lady, get in da wagon! Youse are all goin’ downtown!’”
“Ma!” said Craven. “This ain’t the movies.”
“Well, no dear,” said Mrs. Danger. “But I’m having fun all the same.”
”Me, too,” said Aunt Flo. ”And I‘ve never had a judge throw the book at me before. Such fun. I can‘t wait!”
“Fun?” said Craven. “Ya call this fun? Gettin’ yer backside all splintered up in a smelly paddy wagon and then havin’ ta stand before a judge and get humiliated for somethin’ ya didn’t even do? Imagine. Me runnin’ a brothel!”
“Brothel?” said Thelma. “What is it makes everyone thinking Thelma had this brothel? I know of no such things.”
“Then what about all those men who show up at all hours of the night seeking your services?” said Craven.
“Yeah,” said Betty. “And what’s all this ‘miscellaneous satisfactions’ business?”
“Miscellaneous satisfactions is my specialty,” said Thelma. “Shave, haircut and exotic foot rub. I give them the whole package. And I tell fortune at same time. All this I do for five dollars. Cheap. And for this I am to suffer much grief. I love to talk to the men. Maybe sometimes too much. But only to men. I do not get along with my own kind. All women thinking I stealing they’re beloveds. But have you seen beloveds in this neighborhood? Not something Thelma wishes to find on her bedside pillow. Believe you me.
“And I love to work through the dark hours. I am like long ago vampire from old country. I like to sleep the day away. I leave the sunshine to the sunshiny people with their sunshiny ways. I am but an old soul whose sun and blue skies are the moon and the stars.”
“Ya think they’ll put us all on a chain gang?” said Mrs. Danger.
“Ya need ta get a grip, Ma,” said Craven.
“It would be the right thing to do,” said Mrs. Danger. “Flo and I work so well together. We could take care of the bunk house while the rest of you went out and hammered the rocks. Or whatever it is you do when they chain you all together.”
“No one’s gettin’ chained!” said Craven. “This is all just a big misunderstandin’!”
“What’s the matter?” said Betty. “Don’t ya wanna be chained up with me? Maybe ya’d like it. You’d always know where I was and I’d always know where you was.”
“And how do ya suppose I’d be likin’ that?” said Craven.
“‘Cause ya crazy about me,” said Betty. “So crazy that ya’d even hammer my rocks for me so’s I don’t go breakin’ a nail. Or a sweat. ‘Cause I ain’t so pretty when I sweat. But you wouldn’t know that would ya, Mr. Danger?”
“There you go again, Betty,” said Craven. “Tryin’ ta ge me all flustered ‘cause ya think it’s cute. Well, I got news for ya. It ain’t cute! And from now on ya gonna be breakin’ ya own rocks. And ya can sweat till the birds fly home from cappuccino!”
“Capistrano,” said Betty.
“I know what it is!” said Craven. “Ya just got me nuts, I can’t think straight!”
“I knew ya was crazy about me,” said Betty. “And, by the way, you ain’t so pretty when ya sweat, neither.”
The paddy wagon came to an abrupt halt and its back doors flew open.
“All right!” said the arresting officer. “Everybody out!”