The Singing Santa - Part 1 - A Craven Danger Mystery
Craven Danger flicked the switch on his intercom.
“Yeah, Mr. Danger?”
“I’m bored,” said Craven.
“So I been hearin’,” said Betty. “Every minute of every day for the past week. And ta tell ya the truth, Mr. Danger. I wish you’d stop beatin’ me over the head with it.”
“Ah, Betty,” said Craven. “Don’t be that way.”
“I gotta be this way,” said Betty. “If I was any other way, I’d be ya mother. And that ain’t gonna happen, Mr. Danger. Ya gotta start learnin’ ta amuse yourself. And in case I didn’t tell ya, I promised Sidney I’d go on a little picnic with him today, so I’m takin’ the rest of the day off.”
“Picnic?” said Craven. “In the middle of December?”
“Oh, we never get out of the car, Mr. Danger.” said Betty. “We just sit in the front seat with FDR and watch all the ritzy Christmas shoppers window shoppin’ on Fifth Avenue.”
“And that’s your idea of fun?” said Craven. “Watchin’ other people spend money?”
“Well, it’s better than sittin’ around here,” said Betty. “Listenin’ ta you twiddle ya thumbs. Now if you’ll excuse me I gotta get some ice from Mr. Fritter. I’m gonna make Sidney some iced tea.”
”And how come I‘m not invited ta this picnic?” said Craven.
”’Cause some days,” said Betty, “it’s a Betty and Sidney day. And other days it’s a Betty and Mr. Danger day. So, guess what today is?”
”Always makin‘ with the cracks,” said Craven. “Fine. I’ll just sit here and count the dart holes on my wall.”
“You still doin’t that?” said Betty. “I’m gonna get ya fly swatter this Christmas. Your way ain’t workin’. Why don’t ya sing yourself some Christmas songs? That always gets ya out of the dumps.”
“Nah,” said Craven. “It attracts the mice. And I don’t feel like jumpin’ on the desk today. You go on your picnic, Betty. I’ll be just fine.”
Betty ran across the hall to Mr. Fritter’s talent agency to get some ice. Mr. Fritter was a man who liked his ice. Not for drinks, though. He liked tossing cubes to his dog and watch as the dog scurried around the huge office floor chasing the cold, slippery play things.
“Such a dog, no?” said Mr. Fritter. “I should put him in the show business myself. Baxter! The Ice Chasing Hound from Hoboken! Such a laugh he would get. He make me laugh, always.”
“He’s so darn cute, Mr. Fritter,” said Betty. “But what I really need is some ice cubes. I’m goin’ on a little picnic.”
“So, help yourself, my dear,” said Mr. Fritter. “And, if it’s not to much trouble, toss a cube or two to my Baxter. He could use the exercise.”
“So how’s business?” said Betty.
“Getting better,” said Mr. Fritter. “Only today? Not so good. I sent a singing Santa to work a posh Fifth Avenue Christmas party and wouldn’t you know it? He goes off and gets himself a cold and now he can’t sing for beans. And me? I’m all out of singing Santa’s. Such is life in the show business.”
“A singin’ Santa?” said Betty. “I think I may have a guy for ya, Mr. Fritter. Don’t ya worry. You supply the suit. I’ll supply the Santa.”