A Hazard of Parsnips, chapter 12

 

Kowlaski took a swig of pitch black, bitter coffee and gasped, in a dramatic fashion. Boy did Gregg’s make good coffee. It was like he was back in New York. But with a load of limey fuckers who couldn’t do their job properly.   He grabbed a copy of the St.Helen’s champion, god these free papers were informative and full of important local issues. My god! World of Beds has a sale on! Goddammit some plucky broad has opened a nursery and organised a fundraiser. Whatta gal. She raised forty seven goddam pounds for those kids. Kowalski needs a broad like that.

His mind fluttered back , like the pages of the free paper, to ten years ago and his ex wife, Sheila.  God he loved that woman. They were solid as a rock for ten fucking years until one day he woke up from his sweet slumber to find that Sheila Kowalski was no more that a crude drawing on the back of a flyer for Marmaris Kebab house.  How could he have not seen the signs for so long. The fact she never asked him how his day was. She was a good listener and never bothered him with the trivialities of her day, she never got changed and she wouldn’t go out if it rained.  Kowalski silently wept internally. Ten years and all he had to show for it was paper cuts all over his body.  He looked like a goddam emo. Sheila!!!!!!!! How I miss your dry kisses!

He turned the page, roused from his self indulgent sorrow by the headline on page 15.

‘HOT BODY SHOW COMES TO OLDHAM’

Right, you feisty little headline. You have Kowalski’s full attention and I’m going to read you all over. I’m going to read you like you’ve never been read before. My eyes are gonna read every single one of your letters, oh yeah, I’m going to make you feel like a real story, like you’re the only motherfucking story in the whole goddam world, you bitch.

Kowalski liked to talk to newspaper stories like they were filthy little minxes that were playing with him. It was a habit that was a throwback to being married to a drawing of a woman for so long. It felt comfortable.

Kowalski read on, aroused. He’s eyes feverishly scanned the words, poring over them like when smash hits used to print the lyrics to songs. Kowalski soon became sensible of a archaic practise called a ‘Hot body Show’ which was some kinda goddam pageant for sexy bitches or something.  The people in Britain were going goddam crazy for these shows and to become number one, well, there was nothing that goddam matched it for these crazy limeys. Apparently there were qualifying shows in Bury, Burnley, Blackburn and Bolton and Oldham and the residents of Warrington and St. Helens were being whipped to fever pitch in excitement.  There was a picture of some tacky looking broads who were beaming like Veet was on offer at Bodycare or like Ethel Austin wasn’t going into administration, and doing an irritating ‘thumbs up’ gesture.  It was this that caught Kowalski’s attention.  Broads on paper. Sheilaaaaaa! I miss your inky hands.

Kowalski angrily scrunched up the paper, drained his coffee cup aggressively, and jumped in his Daewoo matiz and drove to work. It was very convenient having his car in the kitchen, but most people thought him quite odd. Fuck them. He could get to the A580 quicker than any of those losers.

He arrived at the cop shop buoyed up by the golden hour on Wish Fm. Visage: Fade to grey was throbbing through his veins like peawet.  God he felt alive! He had also a sense of satisfaction through avoiding a traffic hotspot. He had such a sense of mastery over the back roads of St. Helen’s, they were his badgers and he was their ring master. He had the top hat to prove it.

DCI Acorah’s PA gave him a flirty smile and looked him up and down appreciatively. He held her gaze in the palm of his hand and she looked away coyly.

“Where’s the chief, Sam, sweetcheeks”

Sam blushed and looked towards the DCI’s door.

Kowalski used his finely honed detecting skills and advanced body language reading-ship skills to deduce that that she meant that he was in his office.

“thanks gorgeous”

Kowalski knew she would be looking at his arse as soon as he turned around. It was obvious really. That she would look at his arse, not that his arse was obvious. Kowalski was used to people’s eyes burning a hole in his ass.

He barrelled into DCI Acorah’s office like a crazed madman cruising down the highway in a stolen mustang, with no regard for the hearts of all who stood close by.

Acorah’s face brightened instantly when he laid eyes on Kowalski’s rippling slacks.  This expression turned to one of concern when he saw the look on Kowalski’s face. This was one vexed cop.

“Morningn Kowalski. You look nice”

“shut it, you goddam sonofabitch”

Acorah flinched. He wasn’t used to being spoken to in this way unless he was paying for it.

Kowalski continued

“listen chief and listen good. This is one godawful cake and arse party of an investigation. You gotta smarten up this whole goddam scene or I’m quitting this investigation”

Kowalski rattled a chair for effect.

DCI Acorah stared at the chair in silence while he pondered the significance of such an action. This silence lasted for a good ten minutes before Kowalski broke it by letting out an audible trump. He hated silences. It reminded him of when Sheila wouldn’t talk to him because she was a crude drawing.

“Now listen Kowalski, er, you darn, er, punk. I’m going to take your badge and put it in the drawer if you don’t pipe down, son. I’ll touch your balls, if  you speak to me like that again”.

Sam sidled seamlessly in, like an apparition, and whispered in Acorah’s ear.

“sorry, I’ll crush your balls”

Sam nodded to indicate that this phrase was correct.

Kowalksi shot Acorah a puzzled glance.

“Chief, listen up. The other guy you got leading this laughable ‘investigation’ is leading it into a goddam cul de sac”

Kowalski reached into his leather jacket and pulled out the Panini sticker book that he’d been making notes in.

Acorah was baffled by Kowalski making notes in a football sticker book. He wondered whether he could swap him a bruce grobbellaar for a Kevin keegan.  He liked being called Chief. It made him feel like he was in NYPD Blue.

“ this joker, Chief…”

Acorah had stopped listening. He was just reflecting again on how much he enjoyed being called cheif. He wondered if he could pull of a new York accent.

“chief. This joker is putting Clarence Crapper in danger” He opened the sticker book. You couldn’t write much in these small boxes, thought Kowalski. How do these limeys do it. They must have really small handwriting, tiny typewriters’ or insects who take notes for them. Maybe scarab beetles. Boy would that be cool.

“you better have some goddam proof to substantiate that claim, Kowalski” snarled Acorah

“ooh this is such fun!” Acorah thought, internally. Where thoughts tend to be generated.

Kowalski raised a sexy eyebrow, shook his head and continued

“last week DI Ian Detective Inspector spent more time staring into space and glowering at me than he did looking at maps, drawing arrows on the maps and putting up pictures of suspects on the investigation room wall”

Kowalksi slammed his sticker album on Acorah’s desk to reveal a rather tidy pie chart to illustrate the proportion of time Ian had spent on various activities. He had even used a stencil to label each component of the pie. Acorah was quite surprised Ian spent so much time on ‘celebrity heights’ on the internet. Still, it was interesting to find out how tall famous people are.

“Crapper’s life is worth more than finding out how tall Billy Crystal is, Cheif” growled Kowlaski, as if reading Acorah’s thoughts. Acorah jolted. It was bad enough Sam appeared to know what he was thinking. He blushed remembering when Sam had confirmed that she did work out and she was wearing a black bra.

“He’s hindering the whole goddam investigation”

“Send him to my office” Acorah glibly instructed. Mouth set in a firm line.

“But if you’re wrong Kowalski, Your ass is mine”

Sam nudged him

“Sorry” Acorah cleared his throat and said loudly “Your ass is on the line!”

 

 

 

Hazard of Parsnips, Chapter 11

Lord Dennis

It appears that I owe you some sort of apology. At this juncture, I am not entirely sure what sort it should be; by nature I am not inclined to give you any. I will have to consult with my father’s apologepedia as the soonest convenience, but we will proceed with this letter in a tone of general apologisement.

I should explain.

You may or may not be aware that my precious Clarence has been abducted. Well, it’s pretty obvious that you are aware of it since you were accused of doing it and incarcerated for a prolonged period. I cannot help but admit that I truly believed that you were responsible for this most heinous crime and I almost wet my bloomers with excitement when D.I. Detective-Inspector announced that you were under suspicion. Indeed, prior to this proclaimation of your arrest, it had seemed that the local plod were not going to take any action against thee and I had already begun the process of rounding up an angry mob from the local village. To be fair, it really doesn’t take a lot for them to get all riled up and they were all frantically polishing their pitchforks at the mere thought of becoming unruly. This is not a euphemism. Frankly, I thought that I was going to have to tell them that you’re a kiddy fiddler, but it seemed that they were more than happy to burn down your estate on the grounds of circumstantional evidence for a possible kidnapping of a vegetable salesman. The uneducated masses do come in handy occasionally.

I literally danced the fandago when the fuzz announced that you had been taken in for questioning. I played Temptation by Heaven 17 on my father’s stereogram and giggled merrily at the delicious irony. Then I remembered that dear Clarence was still missing and it was probably a tad inappropriate for me to be so happy. To make amends, I insisted that Mrs Jennings, our housekeeper, fed me a sour plum at once, in order to remove all traces of a smile from my oh-so-sexy countenance.

As we had no further reason to cause a riot, the villagers were at a loose end and had nowhere to channel their freshly pent-up aggression. As a compromise, I suggested that they go and throw a mixture of horse manure and salad cream through the bars of your cell. In hindsight, I’m semi-sorry that I asked them to do this.

But, oh! Lord Dennis, please try and understand the emotional turmoil that I was under at the time. Not only was uber-spunk Clarence missing, but the national press was intimating that Sir Robert Williams was about to leave the Take That Society. Yes, I will concede that he is an absolute cock, but I could not help but worry about the fate of Alderman Gareth Barlow and the rest of those fine fellows. Would this fine, upstanding band of brother be able to survive without Williams’ weak mock-rappery? It was almost too much for this delicate flower to bear.

I digress. Although my monolithic slab of manhood was in parts unknown, I felt confident that the bizzies would extract his location from your obstinate mug and that we’d soon be re-united in glorious romantitude. What I did not expect was the man Kowalski.

The first I knew of this ‘American’ was when he rapped on the door of my father’s manor to the beat of Tiger Feet by Mud. It was a most unusual knock and I instinctively knew that it forbode the arrival of a most extraordinary visitor. Our butler, Brandreth, announced the constable’s arrival and relayed to me that he was wishing to speak with myself most urgently. Now, I can assure you that I am not by nature inclined to bow down to the filth, but I could feel an almost tangible aura emanating from the parlour in which he resided, so I pulled on my leggings and decided to indulge my curiousity.

As soon as I entered the room, my senses were assaulted by a sheer weight of animal magnetism. It was like a giraffe had just stood on my foot. One cannot help but feel that it is most fortuitous that I am so enamoured of my Clarence or I could well have invited Monsieur Kowalski derriere le bins du Aldi, if one can derive my meaning. I took a few moments to compose myself and it was only then that I realised that Kowalski’s eyes had been tightly shut for as long as I had been in the room. Before I could pass comment, he spake:

‘Can you hear it? Can you hear it pumping on your stereo? Yes, it’s true. That, sweetcheeks, is the goddam bassline of justice and Kowalski is here to pluck it from your four pretty, little strings.’

His metaphor was stretched, to say the least, but his meaning was beyond question. From his very stance I could deduce that he was a man with more answers than questions – an unholy imbalance at the best of times – and for some unknown reason he had decided to rain his answers down upon me.

He was uncomfortably frank and within seconds he had mentally undressed me, redressed me in something more becoming and then mentally invited me out for dinner. If I had any blood vessels left in my cheeks (following my freak boating accident) I would have surely blushed so vividly that they could have used me as a lighthouse.

When he had completed this sexually charged visual interrogation, he informed me of the reason for his being there. He was 100% convinced that you were innocent and that some ghastly chap called Der Naughty Kitty (I’m not sure if this is his real name) was responsible. Apparently, this kitty character had even sent the pigs a letter proclaiming that he was indeed the culprit! As if to rub salt in my wounds, the man Kowalski even shew me the offending missive.

I must confess that I thought it was utter bollocks. A serial kidnapper\perv called Der Naughty Kitty? It sounded utterly preposterous. Clearly, it was you, Lord Dennis, that was responsible for the disappearance of my beloved and no jumped up, but undeniably saucy, yank was going to tell me any different.

I literally bit off the policeman’s head for wasting my time with his ridiculous theory and demanded that he leave my crib immediately. He sauntered out of the parlour like a rabbit who had just won a rollover on the Euromillions, whilst trying to conceal from his wife that he had won the lottery so he could try and sneak off and live the playboy lifestyle on the French Riviera. Frankly, I didn’t know what it all meant.

I was livid and could barely contain my rage. Indeed, I insisted that Mrs Jennings joined me in one of our Fight Society evenings in the basement of a local hostelry, and I took my frustrations out on her flabby face. I had a lot of explaining to do when father didn’t get his breakfast on time the next morning, I can tell you, but it was worth it. And dear Mrs J received four farthings from the tooth fairy, which paid for another bottle of gin. It was a win-win scenario. Regardless of the successful pugilism, I remained outraged. How dare this Kowalski try and use evidence to prove your innocence when I had decided on your guilt through tried and tested gut instinct. It was unconscionable.

Anyhoo, I was completely out of sorts for the entire next day. In an attempt to raise my spirits I sat around in my frilliest of lingerie, sometimes sucking a lollipop, at other times cuddling a giant novelty teddy bear. I felt that if I could engender some FHM-style knocker-based validation then my self-worth may have been boosted. Alas, there was only father around at this stage, and I must confess that it made me feel a tad uncomfortable to have him perving on my, admittedly magnificent, arse.

Things had become so dreadful that Brandreth actually beat me when we played along with Countdown. The man is virtually neanderthal, so I wasn’t impressed. In one round my longest word was ‘egg’. I’ll say no more.

Things did not get any better. I was just tucking into my egg and soldiers in front of the fire, whilst father watched Look North West, when the bulletin did nothing more than show your visage via the medium of photography. We listened intently to the reporter and you cannot imagine the shock we experienced when we learned that the man Kowalski had done nothing less than release you from prison. I was well miffed, put it that way. I was all for jumping in the Sierra and swinging by the cop shop – I was well ready to kick off on the jumped up little man and demand that he re-arrest you at once. There was no way that he should be letting you go when my precious Clarence was still incarcerated in parts unknown.

I rushed upstairs to my boudoir to re-apply my make up. Even if I was only going to have a barney with some bobbies, I still like to look my best. It was only then that I spotted a letter sat on my dressing table – and it was written in my Clarence’s uncultured but erotically erratic hand. Oh, how my heart did race. It was like I had been sniffing poppers. I immediately ripped open the crusty envelope and read with trepidation about the horrors that my Clarence had been made to endure. And that most shocking part? It appeared that this Naughty Kitty was real after all. It transpired that I had done you a shocking diservice, Lord Dennis. In a way, it’s your own fault for always acting like such a knob.

Immediately, I knew that I must share this note with the rozzers. I say immediately, but I had to stop off via the servant’s quarters to slap Brandreth around the chops for not giving me the letter sooner. To be honest, he’s far too old to still be of any real use. We only keep him on out of sentimentality – it’s hard to fire your first lover. I know that daddy feels the same way.

Needless to say that we soon headed off to the police station. I wanted to get my encounter with the hideous, yet compelling Kowalski out of the way as soon as possible. After reaching the SHPD HQ, I demanded to see the fiend immediately. He may have been right, and I may have been ever so slightly incorrect, but he was still a colonial and needed to be put in his rightful place. Disgracefully, they left me twiddling my thumbs in an interview room while they went to get him without so much as a cup of Earl Grey. The absolute heathens.

Thirty six minutes later and Kowalski languidly sauntered into the room wearing the tightest pair of Farah slacks that I’ve ever seen. They certainly didn’t leave a great deal to the imagination, so to speak. It was almost as if it was talking to me. It was frightful, and yet I couldn’t take my eyes from it.

My moment of shame came and went, thankfully Kowalski seemed too pre-occupied with the cut of Detective-Inspector’s jacket to gloat over my mistake. The one upside is that Clarence’s letter may just be the evience required for the old bill to finally bring him home to me. Oh how I’ve missed his ruggedness. He’s like a mystic outcrop somewhere in the North Sea. Metaphorically speaking. He’s actually nothing like that. He’s not surrounded by water or covered in bird crap.

So, the point that I’ve been trying to make is that I’m sorry for accusing you of this most terrible of crimes. Again, I will point out that if you weren’t such a bounder then I probably wouldn’t have leapt to such a conclusion. Just a bit of friendly advice.

A bientot.

Miss Eileen Bilton.

A Hazard of Parsnips-Chapter 10

Dearest Eileen

O, my love! Please heed my speedily penned missive of love and terror. Both in Equal measure. I have not much time, my love, so please forgive any mistakes I make. If I miss an apostrophe here, or even maybe, turn it the other way around, in sheer  terror, please turn your beautiful cheek, clench your beautiful buttocks and steel yourself from the knowledge that I lay before you.

O, I know how much pain it will cause you, my lovely horse, to learn that this slab of man has been man-napped and man-handled to a secret destination known only as ‘The celestial treehouse’.  Around me, I’m unsettlingly nestled amongst queasy curios and artefacts. To my sinewy left is a map of Africa, anatomically correct dolls, a poster of the Bristol Stool Scale, and an effigy of Keith Chegwin, crafted from electrical wire.  To my muscle-bound left is a poster of Dieter Brummer, Home and Away’s tragic hot potato/spunk.  His death was like a light going out as far afield as Yabbie Creek, nay, ‘The City’.  My nostrils are filled with the earthy stench of, Brillo pads, Cuprinol and I gag and splutter at the cloying smell of Billy Onion (I mean B.O. but I didn’t want to upset your delicate sensibilities. I hope I did not., but I must paint you an accurate picture, my crushed grape, to help you, and the authorities, find me, like a soiled nappy).

I do not know how long I have been festering here in the celestial treehouse. I am tied to a partially inflated lilo with the legend ‘I had a great time in Ashton Under Lyme’.  My gaoler did not reveal himself to me until yesterday. For 4 days my sustenance was delivered to me by a mute woman with a sharp eye and a polyester garment. Her arse was shiny and her glance was shrewd and mean, as she regarded my quivering, manly body. I hazard a guess that she was probably wondering if I work out, or I’m just naturally hunky.  It’s a bit of both to be honest. I do like to look after myself. Not overly though. I’m no Jeff Banks. Everyday, so far, the same. She brings me 3 square meals on a hamburgular plate sitting impertinent, high on a tray, with what I can only describe as a comfy underside to it, like the underside of a hovercraft, but filled with beans.  This allows the tray to be placed on the tray-recipients lap, like a hot weasel, nestling on  one of the London Boy’s hats.  If the situation wasn’t so imminently threatening, I daresay this ‘comfy tray’ would have me punching the air. My water is thrust at me in a plastic ‘Espania ‘82’ World Cup memorabilia cup by the sullen wench. She pushes it to my full, but not girly lips, and grunts and bids me “Drink. Drink”.  As she withdraws the cup, the orange’s happy face seems gut turningly out of place in this horrid mess of an abduction. I later came to know my gaolers’ puppet as ‘Teresa’. 

Teresa.

But who tweaks Teresa’s strings now, my love?

I’ll answer for you. Me. Maybe…

Back to the landlord and host of my misery.

It was only on day four that he revealed himself to me. Before he happened upon me, Teresa hurried up, wearing a black and red polyester basque.  “Oh Clarence.  He vill visit you today. He vill tell you all about vote ee is doing today. You must be gut Clarence. Do as he says, Clarence”.  I had managed to get the impossible wench to speak to me by being good looking and manly, the day before. I knew that this slattern was no different from other women, and would soon fall, so powerless within my grip. After, all, was it not these same good looks that loosened your bowel on that fateful day in the Skem Concourse? Yes, it was.

She then began spraying the air fiercely, with an atomiser, with a curious concoction contained within. She punctuated jerkily all over the treehouse, reaching into the very corners, pumping the spray and punching it into the stale air.  I sniffed the acrid perfume of vinegar that permeated the dead atmosphere of my cabin. “Teresa, what is that uncommonly awful odour? I beg you to bestow on me such knowledge!”

“oh Clarence, ee vants me to spray ze air viv vinegar.  Ee thinks bad theengs vil appen if I do not pervorm this ritual”

“what manner of nonsense is this, Teresa, I beg you? Does your master have you fulfilling this oddity of a duty into every room  that hosts his arrival?”

“oh yes Clarence. Before ee announces his import to a chamber, even our bedroom, ee as me spraying this air with vinegar.  Sometimes he makes me chant the words “I spray the air with my brave powder, I jump from the highest shelf in the cupboard. Nothing can hurt me when I’ve used my brave powder. Not even James Pritt-Stick”.

Well, my love, it was all I could do to stop myself guffawing in the wretches care-worn face. But before I could bellow my mirth, I was caught by a great sadness in her eyes. A Sadness like when the plastic safety tab on a bottle of asprin breaks, imprisioning the precious medication and sealing your headache doom.

“Teresa” I purred softly

“yes Clarence”

“If you were my woman, I’d spray the air with my vinegar gun to herald YOUR arrival”

It was as if I’d unleashed a raft of emotion, as the tears coursed down her face.  The face that graced the cover of ‘Carer’s Digest’ in 1989, I later came to learn.   She looked searchingly into my wide, but not feminine eyes, eyes wobbling from side to side like Tania in Footballer’s wives. Frank didn’t deserve her! The Perpetual Oaf! In any event, she looked into my eyes, and for an agony of ecstasy she softened and I thought she might just about do owt and I thought I could make good my escape with a few secrets (and maybe a few months where I couldn’t look in the mirror) but then He poured in.

“Teresa! Are you being a naughty kitty?”

My heart stopped.

What in the name of What Katie Did Next was this…this…beast?

O, my delicate constituitoned sickly peardrop, I do not know how much your delicate stomach will permit me to describe…let me advance you this well meaning advice, please fetch a sturdy bib for the contents of this letter, and possibly your stomach, will now unfold further…

How can I begin?  Probably his shoes.  They were Hi-Tec trainers… Hi-Tec?  I wouldn’t be seen dead in such fallacious footwear, and so I immediately espoused this fellow’s nefarious intentions.  Next, he was wearing the bluest of blue jeans.  A shade of blue that should never been seen in any modern denim, and could only instantly make me exclaim: ‘sex pest’.  This did not bode well for the integrity of my internal organs.  The denim work-slacks were also stained in a most distinctive manner.  There was a brown sauce stain in the shape of Argentina on his left leg, and a picture of Fred Flintstone on his right.  Perhaps they were trendy once upon a time, but today they merely smacked of jumble sale.  Needless to say, he was beltless.  It had probably been confiscated.  The waistband of the jeans was suspiciously high. To this day, I do not know if he had extremely short legs or it was merely an optical illusion caused by the high-waistedness.  Alas, I have lingered upon his nether-zones for far too many a minute, and mickelmas is rapidly approaching.

I should now move on to his torso.  Almighty Zeus, this man was quite, quite rank.  His torso was enrobed in what I can only describe ‘uncouth’.  On  it bore the legend ‘sex instructor: ask me for a demonstration’ with a suggestion of where a lady should place her hands.  Clue: it wasn’t gentlemanly.  This rogue was bringing a mix of emotions in me, the twin shit-zus of repulsion and disgust where chasing the wild hog of rage. I could barely contain my spirits when he turned his gaze to me.

“Oh look at you! Your eyes zey are all open and awake! Oh and what beautiful eyes, ja (he was right-after all) but beautiful in a manly way  (I couldn’t fault the observational prowess of this wretch) you look like a young Dale Winton, ja, doesn’t he Teresa?  TERESA?”

“Yes, my love”

“Ja.  Oh my god Teresa, you never pay me much attention. Maybe you were transfixed by Dale’s dancing eyes? I is knowing zat I was, I almost took a trip to Hunkytown.  Oh won’t you take me to, a Hunkytown! Oh I am making an eighties song based joke!”

Teresa blanched.  She was literally white.  Well, not literally, she was generally flesh-coloured, in a way. Anyway, my point is this: I’m so hungry.  Secondary, to this, is the fact that Teresa was humbled and scared – it was like thunder, lightning – the way he treated her was frightening.   I had to knock on wood. Baby.  Fortunately, the treehouse was made from wall-to-wall wood, and so I was spoilt for choice.  To be honest, there was almost too much wood to choose from, and it sort of robbed any pleasure I could get from the situation.  I hate it when there’s too much choice.  It’s exactly the same with chocolate bars these days.  What’s wrong with just a Mars and a Twix?  Honestly. 

While I was pondering this deep, almost existential dilemma, thus proving my depth and intellectual ability to you, my glossy pamphlet, the colour has returned to Teresa’s countenance. It was then my senses became aware of her master’s countenance. Where was it? You won’t know this, unless your eyes can see across distance, time and plastic masks.  Which of course they can’t. Your eyes are distinctly average. Very much in the seeing sense.

 It was concealed [his face] .

Behind an mask of the popular character Orville.

Oh I love that guy, but I hate that monkey.

Oh my god I’m so handsome!  I became increasingly aware how lucky I am not to wear a mask, although sometimes I think I should as it’s so unfair to other people. Very much in the face sense.

I apologise, my petit pois, my own rugged good looks have again made me digress from the task at hand – securing my very freedom from this den of iniquity.  Ergo, this very matter is forthwith in my conclusions.  You see? Good.  I’ll continue.

The Orville-masked freak continued to prowl around his actual parlour and I could see his beady eyes weighing up my man-package from behind his plastic concealment.  I felt like a prize marrow from within my own shop window.

My captor then reached into his Hi-Tec suit of the track jacket and pulled out a scruffy looking scroll, that, upon closer inspection, was a letter from the Benefits Agency.  He unravelled the scroll, took a deep breath and read in his best poetry voice:

“Hello Clarence

How are you today?

I hope you is feeling

Nice and Gay!

The Naughty Kitty wants to play

Then we will watch Home and Away!”

“Oh, Clarence, i love Dieter Brummer. He’s such a spunk, ja?”

I couldn’t deny it, my Billy Bookcase, DB is, indeed a spunk.  However, this sinister poetry made my mind jump and flip like a jive bunny record…what does he mean by ‘play’? Does he mean ‘gay’ in the ‘happy’ sense or does he mean it in the ‘touching men’s bottoms’ sense?  Oh god what can this all mean? I wouln’t mind watching Home and away though.  I’ve not watched TV for ages.

And now, my love, I must quickly away, I can hear Teresa playing ‘Yell-Instant Replay’ which usually means my captor is on his way. He says it clears the air of ‘nasties’.  Please know that I am alive, for now, but I know not for how much longer. Teresa agreed to carry this missive to the local postbox.  Forgive me my love, for I had to flirt and love-make to get her to take this. I do believe her quite taken with me. Of course. Standard. To be fair, who can blame her? Not me. I’m pretty hunk-some.   Please my love, god speede and get help. Contact the local constabulary and alert them to my current situation and give them what clues that they can glean from this beautifully terrorful epistle. I am sure they will think me most brave, and if you show them a recent likeness, also very handsome, like a young burt Reynolds.

I am content and safe in the knowledge you won’t be shagging around.

I love thee

Clarenc e

Hazard of Parsnips, Chapter 9

Previously in A Hazard of Parsnips…

A love ignited

And also squashed

An insane rival

Vegetables washed

Strange goings on

Lord Dennis admonished

And worst of all

Clarence has vanished.

And now, A Hazard of Parsnips continues…

FROM THE DESK OF ASST. CHIEF CONSTABLE D. ACORAH

DI Detective-Inspector

My personal assistant, Sam, has just handed me your official letter of complaint (thanks, Sam).  I can understand your concerns with regards to our drafting in of external support, but the recent spate of kidnappings have literally spiralled out of control.  A bit like a crazy helter-skelter that doesn’t have one of those doormats to sit on.  We’re all getting our metaphorical bottoms burned here.

Anyway, it was not lightly that I took the decision to make a formal request to our brethren over in the Big Juicy Apple, and was delighted to hear that they were going to be sending us their best man.  I mean their best detective, not their ‘best man’ like at a wedding.  That wouldn’t be much use at all.  Unless he had to make a funny, yet touching speech, or maybe tie somebody to a lampost while naked, and possibly covered in shaving cream.  To be fair, those particular circumstances seem unlikely to arise during the course of a kidnapping investigation, but fingers crossed.

I feel confident that you will see past your complaint (Sam tells me that you’re a very forgiving person, and that your loved ones really miss you) and that you’ll give this Kowalski chap a good, old-fashioned Saint Helens Police Department welcome.  You’re probably best getting some party hats and streamers from B&M’s, something like that.  Anyway, I expect to see daily reports  on your progress and, of course, any gossip about this dashing Kowalski.

Yours

ACC Acorah.

P.S.

Sam tells me that you know somebody with a red car.  Does that mean anything to you? No? With the greatest respect, if you think hard enough about it, you’ll find that it does.

KOWALSKI’S LOG

MONDAY 28TH

An ill-wind blows through me.  Goddamn it, this boat stinks.

It’s the final day of my voyage to the old country.  I’m not sure which old country it is, I just know that it’s so old that the cobwebs have cobwebs.  It will be a relief to get off this christforsaken steam-ship.  The department would only cover me for a third-class ticket, so I’m stuck below decks with all the low-rents, two-bit Johnny Comeuppance merchants, Bobby Foreigners, Heebie Jeebies, the Spit-Spots and the, frankly, chair bonkers.  Christ, there’s no air to breathe.  Well, obviously there’s some air or I’d be dead.  I was being all metaphorical.  My god, it’s tough being Kowalski.

Those limey pricks have telefaxed me through their flea-bitten ‘evidence’.  These guys wouldn’t know a good, old-fashioned serial killer from someone who has murdered several people in a ritualistic way.  What am I gonna do with these jerks?  Am I going to have to put them over my knee, pull down their pants and underpants and give them a right, royal spanking?  They expect too much from me, I’m only one Kowalski, after all.  If the commissionar hadn’t tried to give me a hickey during the precinct’s Easter party then I’d still be beating up perps in Jockstrap Alley.  Saints above!  Why did nature make me this way?

Still, those guys have one good lead.  That letter from the kidnapper is one hell of a pervy read.  Any cop worth his salt would be suspicious of anyone who writes in a German accent.  Let’s just say that there’s more to this than meets the eye.  And when you meet Kowalski’s eye, you better be telling the truth or you’re gonna get a pistol-whip sandwich on rye.  Oh, hell yeah, I’m gonna catch you, you creepy sonofabitch, you mother-lickin’ creep.

You just need a name.

Kowalski’s the man to name you, you punk.

You say meow.  You’re a cat.

You’re trying to tease me.  You’re a kitty.

You’re a perp, but you’re playful. Oh so, naughty.

You’re suspiciously German….

Oh yeah. Der Naughty Kitty, that sums you up to a tee.

A golf tee that Kowalski is gonna drive his ball from. Straight into my hole of justice.  Kowalski is a hole-in-one kind of guy, now Kowalski just needs to find Kowalski’s caddy.

Maybe I’ll find one in merry old England.

Wish me luck.

DI DETECTIVE-INSPECTOR’S REPORT – TUESDAY 29TH

Sir

As requested, I provide my first daily report on the kidnapping investigation and the comings and\or goings of Kowalski.  I took my trusty police horse (Lucky) and side-car to the docks to meet the ship – a ship that could barely contain our Yankie colleague.  This is no slight on the quality of the shipbuilders’ workmanship.  Even the hold of the mighty Titanic would have strained at the seams and popped many a rivet, were it to attempt to house this raging juggernaut of a man.

Lucky became increasingly twitchy as we approached the port, it was most unlike her.  I could barely control her trot as we got within sight of the quayside.  Her nervousness was understandable, as I rounded the corner, I got my first glimpse of the man – his arrogance screamed at me like a painting by Munch.  There was something in the snarl of his lip and the angle of his hips that made me fear for my very soul.  He stood with his hand in his jacket pocket and a foot cocked up on top of his travelling chest.  It was a pose so jaunty that it made this proud Englishman throb the deepest crimson.  I awkwardly choked back my pride and approached.  Cautiously.  Like you might approach a hungry tapir.

I bade him my greetings and warily proffered my hand.  He merely growled and spat his tobacco stained sputum within an inch of my freshly polished brogues.  A chill ran through my body that I can barely describe, it was an unnatural mixture of ecstasy and terror that coursed through my veins.  My brogues were the finest that George from Asda had to offer and are my most cherished possession.  Not knowing what else to do, I gestured towards the horse and side-car and miraculously he lazily swaggered toward it.  I couldn’t help but notice, as he climbed into the vehicle, that his trousers, a particularly jazzy pair of Farah, were incredibly well fitting.  Perhaps he had a previous career as a fashion model.  I couldn’t help but imagine his toned physique gracing the catwalks of Paris, Milan or Salford.  Shamefully, he caught my gaze as I was picturing him strutting up and down in some trendy lederhosen and his stern glare gave me an instant rebuke.  My cheeks burned so hotly that you could have fried an egg on them.  In other circumstances this might have proved quite useful.

I digress.  We hurried back to the station, anxious to get on with some actual policework.  Kowalski did not speak a word to me, but continued to growl for the entire duration of the journey.  It made me feel like nothing less than a melon that had been squashed between two rather large, hairy buttocks.  My seeds scattered to the four winds and my succulent juices rapidly evaporating.

Thankfully, we soon reached SHPD HQ and, having had no indication of his intentions, I took Kowalski directly to the Quite Difficult Crimes Unit’s incident room.  Some of my best men were in atendance, including the shapely Bottle and the fragile egoed Glass, who have helped me solve many a conservatory based crime.  What would their reaction be to this uncultured, rough hewn slab of granite?

We would soon find out.  The growling subsided and we expected the awful, yet magnificent looking, man to speak.  What we did not expect for him to do was to begin furiously, yet with a chilling attention to detail, stripping the incident room of all its wallpaper.  He even got the kettle to generate some steam for the more stubborn areas.  I’ve never seen anything quite like it.  He was a frenzy of activity and the air was thick with flying shreds of paper.  It was rather like a rather extravagant ticker-tape parade given for the first chimp in space.

After an hour or two, the walls were completely bare.  Like a rabid wolf, he then began to bellow his own name at the top of his lungs: KOOOOWWWWWAAAALLLLLSSSSKKKKKIIIIIII!!!!!! for a full ten minutes.  When he’d finished, he simply took a sip of coffee and began some actual policework.  Luckily, I was able to take detailed notes:

KOWALSKI

Ok, you limey faggots.  Listen up and listen down.  Whatever you do, just goddam listen.  You been working this case for too freakin’ long and you ain’t even got the address of someone who may have a clue.  So, now you got Kowalski right up your asses.  Now, who’s in charge of this so called investigation?

IAN

Urm.  I believe that would be me.  I’m the…

KOWALSKI

Shut your goddam wiener-hole before I fill it with a piece of Kowalski.  I just got two questions for you:  where’s your goddam evidence room, and have you been working out?

IAN

Errm.  It’s just over there and I haven’t been working out, but I have been trying to watch what I eat.

I then promptly showed Detective Kowalski the evidence room and he pored over the 3 items that we have regarding Der Naughty Kitty (as Kowalski has decided to label the kidnapper).  After a few hours, he seemed to be purring like a kitten and we realised that he had fallen fast asleep.  We slowly left the room after gently laying a blanket over his prostrate, yet eerily masculine body.

Hopefully the investigation will begin in earnest tomorrow and prove that this is not all the massive waste of everybody’s time that it appears to be.

KOWALSKI’S LOG

TUESDAY 29TH – LATE

I just woke my ass up in this stinking, so-called evidence room.  These chumps wouldn’t know a decent piece of evidence if it walked up to them and introduced itself as Lord George Decent Piece of Evidence of DecentPieceOfEvidence-shire.  The pricks.

I’ve been dragged into a serial kidnapping case where the only clue they have is the letter from the kidnapper that I already know about.  The other two bits of ‘evidence’ are an old bus ticket, and a half eaten ‘hob-nob’ (whatever the hell that is).  None of these jokers know how they relate to the case.  Officer Glass thinks that they might have fallen out of his pocket.

The jerk-off in charge of this case, this Ian Detective-Whatshisface is one of the most surly, pompous jack-asses I’ve ever had the misfortune of meeting.  If I didn’t think he had the raw clay for me to mold a real detective from, then I would have kicked his butt from here to Coney Island.  And not just his butt.  The rest of his limey ass too.  I’ll keep him around for now, and just follow Kowalski’s Law: Keep your friends close, but keep pompous Limey dickweeds even closer.  Everybody knows Kowalski’s Law.  Especially Kowalski.

Geez, I need some more sleep.  I don’t understand this crazy country or how its police force works.  I found one of their police notebooks, called a ‘Panini Football 86 Sticker Book’.  Why it has that crazy name I have no idea.  And who is this Ian Rush? Why is his name next to a box.  Am I supposed to write in it?  Does it have to be about him?  Does Ian Rush even own a goddam box?Sheesh, it’s enough to turn a guy to Twinkies.

I’m gonna have to meet the DA tomorrow.  Hopefully he’ll be less of a tool.