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!”

 

 

 

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