Monday, August 07, 2006
A Land Shark's Tale
"Let me tell you a story my little green friend," said Land Shark......and he did. My office (told Land Shark) was on the fifth floor of a turn of the century brownstone walkup. The lettering on the door said Private Investigator but those in the know could have told you that a shark with a gun is so much more. The lower east side is known for many things, some of them less than palatable for your average lawman. What it was known for in those days was the Land Shark Detective Agency. We took the cases that the cops wouldn't touch from the people that you moved to the suburbs to get away from. By "we" I mean me and my partner Simon. He was the meanest Halibut that ever strapped on a pistol. His temper was chronicled by the dents in the office plaster and his love of the single malt resulted in more property damage than an Irish wedding. But he had my back in situations that would soil a gorgon's trousers and had that unique perspective that only a fish with both eyes on the right side of his head could have. He was a trash talking, sideways walking, six hundred pound flatfish, and he was my friend. Together we chased the scum from the lower east side, and chased the ladies up the bedroom stairs. On that particular summer day the heat was like a leaden weight. The local crime boss, Jimmy "The Criminal" O'Halall, was stealing nothing but iced cappuccinos and frozen peas. Simon The Halibut was sleeping one off on the front steps of Our Sacred Lady of The Assumption Catholic Girls School after a difficult night on the piss. Two seagulls, and a expatriate Londoner circled him hungrily. I sat in my black leather swivel detective chair reading the Ikea catalogue as the heat of the day cut deep grooves in my cool, laid back demeanor. That's when She walked into my office. Tall, curvy, and dangerous. Jet black hair tied back. Cheap red lipstick. Expensive black heels. Her eyes were lowered as she stepped through the doorway. The swish of silk filled the room and I found myself lost for words as her green eyes rose to meet my gaze. "Jesus Christ on a bike!!!!"she screamed. "There's a fucking shark in there!!!" she continued as she turned on elegant black heels and buggered off down the stairs, into the street, and out of my life forever."AAeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiii, fucking dirty big shark with a gun!!!!" and so on, fading into the distance with the distinctive click of stilettos on hot pavement. I sighed deeply and returned to my catalogue.