Insp. Inspector - Owen Explains the Races to Wainsley

by bobsimpson

Inspector, Owen, and Wainsley sleuth up a controversy as they set out to find some missing slang and terms that are no longer found in the published media.

Insp. Inspector was suffering from anxiety. He was having trouble focusing

Owen Explains the Races to Wainsley
Owen Explains the Races to Wainsley

Chapter One

You can quote me on “that”

The Professor dropped his pen to the felt desk blotter and rubbed his eyes. His student assistant was not in the room so he had to rub his eyes himself. He would have his lecture written in one more hour, and then he would rest his hyperthyroid eyes.

“Another lecture tomorrow,” thought Professor. When he thought, he always thought in quotation marks.

“Everyone will be amused and will laugh at the jokes. At the end of the lecture the students will wander out into the campus light, fire up a joint, and won’t remember a thing I’ve said until 25 years later. Then something from out of their future present will remind them of something I said in their present past . . . But I’ll be dead.”

He was beginning to think in streams of consciousness. He couldn’t remember if streams of consciousness should be encapsulated in quotation marks in his brain.

He was completing a lecture called “English Short Story Interpretation and How to Find the Christ Figure in Every Story”. He had a bigger problem and couldn’t concentrate on the writing. He needed help. 

“I would call the Inspector if I could rely on his confidentiality.” He was thinking again and the quotation marks reappeared. He sighed and picked up the telephone. He had dialed Inspector’s number many times before but this time he kept his resolve and allowed the phone keep ringing.

The voice said, “Insp. Inspector here. Can I help you?”

“That’s, may I help you?’” corrected Professor.

Inspector was puzzled. “Didn’t you call me? I don’t remember dialing out.”

“Yes, I dialed you,” said Professor. “I’m an English Professor and I would like to hire you for an investigation.”

“Glad to know you,” said Inspector. “I’m an American Inspector and I’ll take the case.”

“Wait, I haven’t told you what the case will be. Wouldn’t you like to know first before you commit yourself?"

“Don’t threaten me,” said Inspector. “I’m not committing myself again. I’m never going back there again.”

“Calm down. I’m only talking about your decision to take the case.”

“Well, yeah, I knew that. I’ll take anything these days,” said Inspector. “It’s been real slow around here, no investigating at all. If you hadn’t called, I was going to investigate why no one had called.”

It’s been so dead around here that I even took a wrong number. Some old farts wanted their house sprayed for bugs and they called me by mistake. I went out to their home, sprayed it with water, and gave them a written guarantee. I told them they would never have to call me again.

They gave me $40.00 in cash and were pleased that I didn’t stink up their home like their regular exterminator does.”

“Inspector, I’d like to discuss my problem,” said Professor.

Inspector continued, “I even killed a mother roach while I was there.”

Professor asked, “How on earth can you tell if it was a female roach, much less a mother roach?”

“When I drowned her, she died and fell off her pile of eggs. I took four or five hundred eggs home with me. They made a tasty little omelet.” There was a gagging sound in the receiver so Inspector spit into the phone to get a better connection.

Remember Fleet Week 1948. Ahh . .. Now that was a time.

Owen Explains the Races to Wainsley
Owen Explains the Races to Wainsley

Chapter Two

AARP is a four letter word

Professor said, “Just from listening to you carry on about old people makes me wonder about hiring you. You don’t give the Elderly much respect, do you?”

“Hey. Don’t feel sorry for the old folks in this country.” said Inspector. “They have it made here and they know it. They get food stamps delivered right to their door just because they’re too sick to go out. They get Medicare and Social Security. They don’t have to eat as much as young people so their food bill is lower. They get tax exemptions just because they reach age 65.

They get Senior Citizens discounts all the hell over town and they always get a seat on the bus. Some old lady crawls on the bus when any fool can see that the bus is already full. She doesn’t even have the courtesy to wait for the next bus.

When she finally gets on the bus and pays the Senior Citizen discount, everyone looks at me like I’m some kind of a creep if I don’t offer my seat to her.

It happened to me last week. I was on a date and this old lady asked me if she could sit down. She said she had some heavy packages to hold and she was still weak from the radiation therapy that morning.

I let her have the seat but, you know, I spent good money on those bus tickets and extra transfer coupons for my lady and me. I should be able to sit next to my own babe on the bus. Yeah, the old people really have it made.”

“Inspector,” said Professor. “I must insist that we discuss my problem before we both become old people and finally have it made. Now, where can we meet tomorrow?”

“Why your house, of course.” said Inspector. “How many rooms do you have? Would you like the $50 Special which includes spraying the lawn for chinch bugs?“

"Forget the spray. I’ll meet you at the English Lecture Hall on campus, say around three?”

Inspector answered, “I know you are an English Professor and your job is to teach English but I already know how to say ‘around three’.”

The Professor hung up and, within minutes, so did Inspector.

A lot of students dropped the lecture series, The Evils of Beer

Owen Explains the Races to Wainsley
Owen Explains the Races to Wainsley

Chapter Three

Professor and Inspector come to terms.

The two met the next day after Professor’s lecture. The last of the students were filtering out through the lecture hall door. One sobbing student was caught in the door’s filter paper. It was a just a freshman so it was okay for her to be crying.

Professor spoke, “I’ll get right to the point. I am engaging you to find three English slang terms that have been missing for twelve years.

“What three terms are missing?” asked Insp. Inspector.

Professor listed them on a pad he was holding: Do Dah, Zippety, and Polly Wally Doodle.

Inspector smiled. He often smiled when he felt like it. “I think I can solve this rather quickly. Do you have a photocopy machine?”

“Yes. The English department has one, but why?”

Inspector answered, “All we have to do is write the three terms on a piece of paper. We’ll run about 80 million copies and send them to all Oprah’s Book Club members as a bonus.  Each photocopy can then be inserted into any book that Oprah’s Obots choose.

Professor was amazed. “I had not realized that you put this much effort into all your cases. It’s no wonder that your name is a garage hold name throughout the county.”

“Thank you,” said Inspector. “I just thought it was the easiest solution.”

“However, if you don’t mind,” said Professor, who hated to start a sentence with ‘however’, “I’d rather we did this the hard way and found out why the terms were lost. That way we may he able to prevent other terms from vanishing.”

Inspector said, “Maybe someone is just holding them for speculation.”

“Even so,” said Professor, who didn’t mind beginning sentences with ‘Even So’. “I would rather not flood the market with photocopied insertional Do Dahs.”

“All right, we’ll do it your way but it’s going to cost you more. I figure I’m worth $200 a day plus expenses.”

“I had counted on $80 a day and no expenses.”

“You insult me, Professor. Remember, I get $40 just to spray four rooms with water.”

“$81 a day plus expenses,” offered Professor. “But that includes spraying the entire lecture hall with real insecticide.”

“It’s a deal,” said Inspector. “I guess I won’t need these little gals. I’ll just take them back to the office.”

“What little gals? Take what back to the office?”

“This little box of roaches,” said Inspector. “I brought them in case we didn’t agree on a price and you didn’t hire me. You would have had 300,000 roaches in this lecture hall by next week. All of them are female and they have all been artificially inseminated.”

“Come on Inspector. Isn’t it extremely difficult to artificially inseminate a roach?” asked Professor.

“That’s the easy part,” said Inspector. ”We just use an eyedropper and it’s done. The hard part is getting the cockroach sperm, that’s the difficulty. Sometimes we have to show them the centerfold from Exoskeleton World magazine to get them turned on. Once they’re aroused it’s easy to manipulate their naughty bits. They really are bigger than you would think. They don’t call them COCKroaches for nothing.”

Professor pressed on, “I’m glad we agree on a price. One more thing, I ran the three terms through the school computer and it gave me two clues. The read-out suggested DAY and STEPHEN FOSTER MEMORIAL MUSEUM ON THE BEAUTIFUL SUWANNEE RIVER.”

Yes Virginia, there is an Interstate Highway System in Hawaii.

Owen Explains the Races to Wainsley
Owen Explains the Races to Wainsley

Chapter Four

The History of Interstate Highway Design

Inspector was on the case. He walked across the campus to his parked Modus Operandi. In less than two minutes he was off campus heading for the Interstate 275 onramp.

The Interstate highway system had been designed with up hill acceleration lanes and down hill off ramps. City Fathers and Mothers had argued against the design before the highway was built. They said that it was difficult for a vehicle to accelerate up the hill and merge into a fast moving stream of traffic, pointing out that it was equally as difficult to slow down while leaving the freeway, when all the off ramps ran downhill.

The Federal engineers had won the day. The interstate was built for future use and the ultimate safety of the highway users. Inspector’s car was slowing down as he tried to accelerate up the interstate onramp. He had since realized just how farsighted those engineers had been.

By now he was entering the freeway and had slowed down enough to be able to safely merge into the crawling bumper-to-bumper traffic on the congested freeway. “There would have been a horrible accident if I had been able to speed up to theoretical highway speed.”

Three hours later, having driven six miles on Interstate 275, Inspector bribed a motorist next to him with a dollar bill and was allowed into the exit lane. The car picked up speed on the downhill exit ramp and easily merged into the normally faster city traffic of 30 mph.

Inspector arrived at his office over the transmission repair shop. Owen, the little feller, was eating a tuna fish sandwich. Inspector had to look away because he knew what was in those sandwiches.

Owen ate the cheapest tuna with the highest Mercury count. Addicted to Mercury all his life, he had eaten a thermometer when he was a baby and swallowed the Mercury. 

Doctors said the Mercury had stunted his growth because he grew up Maine. Later specialists said that if he had been brought up in a tropical climate, he probably would have grown to 7 or 8 feet with all the Mercury in his system. Owen partially agreed with their findings, to a degree. 

His favorite brand was “Chicken of the Thermometer”. There was a sickly mermaid on the label with a thermometer in her mouth. A bumblebee in medical garb was taking her blood pressure. Owen ate Tuna when his Mercury level was down.

Inspector greeted the little feller, “Hey Owen, feeling a little low?” Owen returned a Tuna-flecked toothy grin.

I’ve got a job,” said Inspector. “I’m off on another case.”

Owen remarked, “You’re always off on your cases.”

“I’ll overlook that remark. I have to overlook your comments because you’re so short.”

Owen usually received a kick when he talked back. He wondered why he didn’t get kicked until he looked up at Inspector’s freshly shined shoes. “I guess he doesn’t want to mess up the new shine. I just wonder why he polished his Hushpuppies.”

Inspector said, “I’ve been commissioned to find the Do Dahs.”

“Well don’t look at me. I didn’t take them,” said Owen. He was glad Inspector had not said Paw Paws. He had three Paw Paws in his pocket that he’d been playing with all afternoon and they were still warm.

“I’ll take your word for it,” said Inspector. “Besides, it hurts my back to bend over to frisk you.

I’m also looking for some Zippeties and Polly Wally Doodles.”

“How long have they been missing?” asked Owen.

My client, Professor, has been looking for them for 12 years. I’ve just been looking for them all day.”

They looked at each other and together they said, “All Day”

“That’s it,” said Inspector. “The Zippeties, the Do Dahs, and the Polly Wally Doodles are found in songs about the day.”

Owen sang, “My oh my, what a wonderful day.”

Inspector sang, “Polly Wally Doodle all day.”

Together they sang, “Camp town races five miles long. All da do dah day”

“Owen, what I think we’re after here is a song pirate from the late 60’s.”

Owen said, “I used to think all those words were medical terms like I had my Do Dahs taken out and I’ve lost all my Zippety. Now my Polly Wally Doodle just hangs there!”

Owen thought, “I wish he’d wear a glove. A bare hand always stings in cold weather.”  He was flying across the office from Inspector’s slap. He decided to keep quiet for a while, at least until the loose tooth took root again, (four words in a row with double O’s).

Wainsley, the gay giant, walked in. “How’s it going?” Owen asked, “How’s tricks, big guy?  Don’t bother Inspector now. His mind is on a case right now.”

Two dollars down on the number 12 bus to place.

Owen Explains the Races to Wainsley
Owen Explains the Races to Wainsley

Chapter Five

Two dollars down on the number 12 bus to place.

Wainsley sat down on the Salvation Army couch and sighed. “I don’t feel too good. Today was the last day at the dog track, end of the season. I don’t have any place to drop my money.” Wainsley didn’t have to work. He had a continuous endless government grant for being too tall.

Owen said, “Don’t feel bad. I read in the newspaper that there’s a new racetrack opening out on Highway 301.

Wainsley said, “That’s a stock car track isn’t it? I’m not really into betting on cars.”

“It’s not a car track anymore,” said Owen. “The racetrack has been widened to four times the original size. There are betting windows and they give odds just like the dog track. 

There are seven stripped down stock Greyhound buses in the starting gate. A little white diesel Volkswagen Rabbit scoots by the starting gate and wheels around the track. A second later, the gate swings open, and seven of the world’s fastest diesel buses lurch out of the gate.

It’s really exciting. The first time out, Bus 13 with 4 to 1 odds came out of the starting gate. Then it just stopped in the middle of the track and relieved itself in a stream of 17 passengers.”

Inspector was in the corner trying to ignore the conversation. He subtly had his fingers stuck in his ears. Wainsley turned to him, “What’s this case all about?”

Inspector heard Wainsley’s booming voice. He pulled his fingers from his ears, wiping yellow-waxed fingers on his shirtsleeve. “It’s not much of a case. I’ve been hired to find out what happened to the Do Dahs, the Zippeties, and the Polly Wally Doodles.”

“You’re right,” said Wainsley. “That’s not much of a case.  I already know happened to them. During the late 60’s those terms were removed from song lyrics and print media because they were deemed offensive to some ethnic groups. That’s why you won’t see or hear them anymore.

Those words referred to the African American’s slang during this country’s repressive slavery years. They reasoned that if these terms remained in songs, other myths would be perpetuated.”

Inspector said, “That sounds reasonable but what about ‘Polly Wally Doodle’? You can’t tell me that was the African American’s too."

“No,” said Wainsley. “That was removed when censors discovered what Polly and Wally were doing with their Doodles all day. It was lumped in with the other offensive slang terms to be eliminated and everyone was happy.”

Inspector said, “I’m amazed you know this much about the races. You seem very enlightened, even for a gay giant.”

Wainsley said, “I don’t care what the color of a man’s skin is just as long as I can touch it. In fact, some of my best friends are green. The Jolly Green Euphemistically Un-Short One.   

Inspector said, “I guess that winds up this case. I’ll have to call the Professor in a few weeks and let him know what we found.”

Owen asked, “Why can’t you tell the Professor tomorrow?”

Inspector replied, “No, I’m going to wait awhile. I still have some expenses to run up. You know I’m only getting $81.00 a day. Besides, out of what he’s paying me, I still have to buy real bug spray for the lecture hall.”

Updated: 07/05/2012, bobsimpson
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