A Word to the Wiseguy - Part 5 - A Craven Danger Mystery
Betty and Judy had coffee on the terrace outside of Betty Fletcher’s hotel room.
“That was some left hook you throw at Danger last night,” said Judy.
“He’s lucky I missed him on purpose,” said Betty. “I can’t believe the dope fell in ta the pool anyways.”
“I think you’re being a little too hard on the guy, Betty,” said Judy. “In his own peculiar way I can see he’s crazy about you.”
“Yeah?” said Betty.
“Yeah, kid,” said Judy. “Remember when we were little and Billy Morgan gave you that mud pie and a sneaky kiss?”
“Sure I do,” said Betty.
“You hid that mud pie in your sock drawer for the whole summer. And it was days before you washed that kiss off your face. You even put a Band-Aid on your cheek to protect it. Well, Danger’s just a kid giving a girl a mud pie. Here the poor guy thinks you’re going to get all mushy on him over palm tree earrings. But, instead, he ends up taking free swimming lessons with his dinner.”
“Ya think I’m bein’ mean, huh?” said Betty.
“Not mean, Betty,” said Judy. “You’re just too sensitive. Let’s face it, most guys are dopes when it comes to matters of the heart. I have one, too, you know. They come in all sizes and flavors, hon. Mine is five feet six, with a gangster complex. Try living with that. I think he has this complex because I’m so tall and people do stare when we walk by. So he gets defensive and sometimes acts the part of a gangster. ‘The shows over, see?’ he would say to people, ‘How’d ya like to be starin’ at the fishes at da bottom a da river? Now beat it, see?’
“Only it got out of control and he couldn’t get the gangster out of his head. But all actors are a bit screwy, so he went and built a show around it. Meet Boris Buttinski. Now he’s lost the Buttinski part of his character and is back to being his old self. Which was no bargain to begin with. He spends more time looking at a mirror than he does at me. You know what sort of present Boris got me for this vacation?”
“Do tell,” said Betty.
“Pineapple underpants,” said Judy. “With matching brassiere. And that was one of his better gifts. He wants me to wear them when I’m feeling urges. Only when I was feeling urges last night,I put them on, looked in the mirror, and I couldn’t stop laughing. Then the urges went away. So that’s where being an actress comes in handy. I can fake amorous like you wouldn’t believe.”
Betty blushed at the thought and wished she had a similar story to tell.
”I‘m sorry,” said Judy. ”I embarrassed you.”
”It’s nothin’,” said Betty. ”I‘ll have my day. If I don’t kill him tryin’. Speakin’ about bein’ an actress, you gettin’ any parts? I’ve been pretty lousy at keepin’ in touch.”
“Ah, that’s all right, kid,” said Judy. “Life has a way, as they say. At the moment I can be seen playing the part of a perfume clerk at Bloomingdales. There are more actors in New York then there are parts and pigeons. But I’m holding my own, Betty. How about you?”
Betty didn’t answer. She was too busy staring down at the parking area next to the hotel.
“Betty?” said Judy.
“Uh, oh," said Betty.
"What?" said Judy.
“I just seen a guy that looked a lot like Boris, get put in a trunk!”
“Are you kidding me?” said Judy.
“The only time I ever seen a guy get tossed in a trunk was at the circus,” said Betty. “And if those guys are clowns they were outta uniform. We better call the cops."