Monday, 17 September 2012

PI GY 10 – The Relocation of Howard, The Bouncy-Bouncy and the Addicted Dick.

There we were all a-walking down the street, but without the doo-waah-diddys. 
Saying that, being between the Amazon and the Jamaican, I did feel like the diddy of the three of us.

MarcieD was wearing some weird blingy track suit type of get up but, somehow getting away with it. Oozing class, she could have walked into the Ritz for afternoon tea and looked perfectly acceptable. If I wore that I’d look like Waynetta Slob-on a bad day, so not fair. Hot Toddy was barely wearing a khaki linen skirt which was considerably shorter than her long, golden, athletic legs. If I could choose a decent pair of legs out of a catalogue they would be the ones. Once again, not fair.

The downside of having a lovely cool house, in summer, is that you are fooled. You think it is perfectly fine to pop on your coat to go out in but then find, after only a block , there it is. Tomato face. You’d think I’d learn, but, no.

So there I was, sandwiched between two stunners, bright red and sweaty and, just to make matters worse, carrying a grey bucket with a fish in it, while they had their designer handbags swinging from their beautifully manicured hands. I sighed and just got on with it. Resigned.

Up until yesterday, Howard, the large Shubunkin, had resided in  splendid comfort.   Then the tank blew up. Lots of bangs and pops and hisses and then it died. Fortunately, Howard had escaped being fried as he was swimming happily in a bowl while having his sheets changed. Tank cleaned, I mean. The sea may have a bed but the tank didn’t.

A quandary was then to be had. I was running my fish down by not replacing them as they ghost-swam off into the River Styx . Howard was big. Howard needed a big tank. Buying a big tank, with money I didn’t have, was silly for just one fish. With a very heavy heart I rang the Aquatic shop on Hainton Avenue and asked if they could possibly re-home Howard for me. Thankfully they could so now we were taking a fish for a walk. To his new home.

We spread across the width of the pavement, West Side Story fashion, or rather Welhome Road fashion, before cutting the corner off by single-filing it down a passage.

“Good God, MarcieD, what the hell was that for?” My heart was in my mouth and Howard was surfing the waves in his bucket after MarcieD’s screech-laugh-hysterical-very-loud-noise thing.

“Did you see that?” she said, mouth still wide open and lips trembling with laughter. “Oh my goodness. Scared the life out of me.”

I looked down, to check on Howard, mumbling negatives, just as Hot Toddy did exactly the same, louder, if at all possible and Howard, once again, rode the waves.

Hot Toddy and MarcieD were holding on to each other, jumping up and down and nearly weeing themselves laughing. I just tried not to frown.

“What, what what? WOAH!!! Oh my God.” I carefully put the sloshing Howard on the floor and joined in the rugby-team-scored-a-big-score-scrum-hug. “Oh that is hysterical,” I screamed, while holding onto my bladder as best as I could.

We strained, on tip-toes, to look over the garden wall of the passage house and boiiiing, there it was. Up and downing like a thing crazed, was a grinning English Bull Terrier. On a trampoline. It would jump off, run round, run up and onto the small round exercise trampoline and boiiiiiiing, look over the wall. Bounce off and repeat. Constantly. Even more hysterical, as it obviously wasn’t bothering him in the slightest, he had one front leg in plaster with a neon-pink bandage over the top. If dogs had their own Paralympics this 3-legged canine would have got gold in the Gymnastics. No problem.

We must have watched this live version of “You’ve Been Framed” for 10 minutes or more, before reluctantly dragging ourselves away.

With a mix of still giggling and trying not to sob, I handed over Howard to his protector (I hoped), while the three of us struggled  but managed to get out what we had just seen.

“Oh that’s just Fred,” said Aquatic Man. “He actually broke his leg trampolining, in the first place. He gets bored though and they can’t stop him. They took it away and he just howled all day so they had to let him carry on. He’s bonkers, won’t touch a ball or a stick. They take him to agility classes once a week. He loves that. Wins everything.” Maybe he does have some Golds after all, we girly-giggled.

Over steaming mugs of builders tea in Yes Chef! Cafe, handily straight across the road from the Aquatic shop, we started to discuss ‘The Grubby Little Letter.’

“Any ideas?” I asked but Hot Toddy and MarcieD just shook their pretty little heads. I sighed. “C’mon girls we’re supposed to be detectives not a bunch of Charlies.” They just gazed angelically, but unhelpfully, at me while slurping their teas.

I took the single sheet of grubby paper out of its grubby envelope and for the hundredth time read the brief but menacing words:

“You’re on our patch. Get off....”

Once again my stomach flipped over. I detest confrontation. I would love to think I could always flourish the perfect riposte, whip it in the air and cut my opponent to shreds, but, in reality, it just does not happen and I burble some rubbish or other and run away as fast as I can.

“Okay, let’s think about this,” I said. “Why is it so mucky? Who would have such filthy fingers? A gardener? A Coalman? I don’t suppose refuse collectors have dirty hands now it’s all wheelie bins and recycle boxes. There’s a rag and bone man comes round on a horse and cart but would he have dirty hands?”

I shoved the letter back in my pocket as the glazed faces told me we wouldn’t get any further with this puzzle just at the moment.

“MarcieD, not sure if you’ll fancy this one and, quite frankly I’m not sure how we’ll make you look anything other than a classy bird anyway. Can you remember ages ago when Hot Toddy was delivering our flyers and that woman from Oxford Street was asking her all the questions about us?”

Before MarcieD had the chance to answer Hot Toddy rather wickedly interjected;

“Yes, she thinks her husband’s getting his ‘ego’ massaged at Nicorette’s Knocking Shop down Grimsby Road. Seems he’s a bit addicted and he’s having a problem giving up. Tracey wants you to pretend to be a Nymph of the Pave and haul him in in your nets. Your fishnets – Hahaha!”

MarcieD glared at me and then at Hot Toddy.

“Why not you, little Miss Hot Hot Hot?” she enquired with eyebrows raised so high they disappeared.

“He knows who I am,” she said. “He gets his papers from my Dad’s shop. Telegraph when he’s with her and Sun when he’s not.”

I could see MarcieD’s part-time Actress’ mind turning over and with each second her eyebrows slowly returned to their normal, perfectly plucked, position.

“I suppose I could think of it as researching a part,” she murmured out loud. “Can I be a high-class call girl?”

“Not on Grimsby Road, outside a Kebab Shop.” I said. “Look, it shouldn’t be for long. We’ll know when he goes out, as Jackie will ring us when he leaves. No way he’ll be able to resist you and as soon as you start to get in the car we’ll take photos and that will be that. Quick, easy and something for your CV.”

So, there we were. The sign was flickering for Nicolette’s Massage Parlour. How they got away with it I have no idea but it had been there for years. Flashing away at the weary traveller as they came into town. Grubby net curtains at the first floor windows floated between the fresh air outside and who knew what inside. A few policemen probably – to account for the longevity.

After a major grump, MarcieD hadn’t washed her hair for 3 days as it was the only way to mask her expensive haircut. We plastered her beautiful face with far too much make up, rubbed if off a bit and smeared it a little, adding a few shadows as we went. God that woman’s looks were hard to dumb down. When we’d finished though she did look a little more Grimsby than Hollywood Red Carpet.

Ally, was a few sizes smaller than MarcieD; flatter and a lot less curvy. We raided her wardrobe and found some far too short, far too tight, clashing clothes. MarcieD had her own fishnets and borrowed some killer heels from Hot Toddy. I was slightly peeved that I had absolutely nothing to offer from my own wardrobe to contribute.

We parked down a side street and waited for the call. Thankfully it wasn’t long in coming and MarcieD shrugged off her coat and slinked out of the car. She was already lost in her character and sashayed, sassily, to the corner. Within 5 minutes 3 cars had slowed to a halt and she’d Pretty-Womaned through their opened passenger windows before they’d hastily driven off. Afterwards, we’d found out she’d told them that she was undercover, on a mission, and they couldn’t accelerate fast enough out of the way.

Here it was, a red Honda en-route to Nicorettes. MarcieD stuck out her chest, which nearly blocked the road, and one hip. Feet planted apart with promise.

Mr Dick, (yes, seriously – you shouldn’t play away from home with a name like that), couldn’t resist the new girl on the block. He had intended to be thrashed a little by Darlia, but Wow, what the hell was this? No doubt she was out to make some money and no doubt he was prepared to give her some.

Just as he got within touching distance, two drunks staggered out of the Kebab Shop and leered at MarcieD. Damn she thought but they just offered her a chip. Realising they were far too gone to be any trouble she smiled lustily at them, but not for their benefit, and took a long chip. They carried on their zig-zag way home while MarcieD popped the long chip into her mouth and sucked it, pulling it out slowly and seductively before swiftly biting the end off.  I cursed as I dropped my camera and Hot Toddy nearly peed herself laughing. Shaking as she silently rocked, desperately trying to control herself. I just knew that MarcieD would never, ever, be able to eat chips in front of us again without hysterical suggestiveness.

Darlia peeked out from behind the grubby curtain not sure whether she was relieved not to have to put up with Dick the Dick or cross at the loss of a precious hour’s pay. She pulled her robe tightly around her and, with a big sigh, went off to make a cup of tea.

We got our photographs. MarcieD got an expanded résumé, Mrs. Dick got a good settlement for her divorce and PI GY got handsomely paid. Another case closed. Now we just had to close our own grubby little case and all would be well.


  1. Great blog! Love the story - glad you are writing it again. Loving Howard too! :-)

    1. Thank you Tanya. Howard did have to go to the Aquarium shop and I miss him :-(

  2. i will try again lol.

    superb story Tracey, got to love Hot Toddy :) and the way you describe their clothes compared to yours :D

    1. Yay - it worked! Thank you Phil :-) It must be admitted - I am just a shabby chic(k)!

  3. OOOh how exciting Tracey..another episode..double figures!...and what a belter! Your titles are so alluring and the content consistently fab! The unnecessary coat causing lobster cheeks situation is soooo familiar! Terrific trampolining Terrier! Hope Howard is as happy in his new home as he was in his previous tank and temporary pail!...Looking forward to 11 and finding out more about that grubby note!
    Ali x

  4. Pleased you liked it Ali :-) I like choosing the titles!I'm desperately trying to resist going in to see what happened to Howard. Yeah...I wish I knew about the grubby note as well...

  5. Brilliant story telling Tracey.
    Great characters and bags of local colour - fish, fishnets and punters.
    Loved it.

  6. Thank you, Chloe. Really pleased you liked the little taste of Grimsby - I'm just waiting to be lynched!

  7. Wonderful story and characters. The humour is just brilliant. Found myself laughing out loud many times....pure entertainment.

    1. Awww - thank you SO much, Angela. I really appreciate it :-)