Insp. Inspector - The Case of the Tampered Dog Food and a Quarrel with Owen

by bobsimpson

Inspector and the often-kicked-in-the-side sidekick Owen investigate the illicit adulterated dog food business, while escaping a near fatal facial and a bumbling student nurse.

The First Enhancement Device

The Case of the Tampered Dog Food and a Quarrel with Owen

Chapter One

Sing along with me Buckaroos: Loam, Loam on the Mange

Mud was oozing into Inspector’s mouth. He tried to move his arms; they were useless. He was up to his thyroid in mud and the wet earth kept rising. He cried out but no one heard him.

The beauty shop was closed and the hot mud facial machine kept churning out the gunk. Inspector was strapped in a reclining shampoo chair. Some fiend had switched on the mud machine and left him to smother in a wet dirty death. The earth paste kept coming as the facial machine gurgled in the corner.

The loam was now over his lips. He snorted through his nose for help, “Nnelp, Nnelp!” The entire salon was engulfed in the beauty slip. The hair dryers were flipped over and floating on a thin marl mantle.

Inspector turned his head to raise one nostril above the rising slippery soil. The drying mud caked in his left nostril, “Finished by a facial.” Then the muck crept into the right nostril. He felt it surge in waves across his nose hairs. The crud thickened and dried.

“When they finally find me dead in here at least my skin will be soft and smooth. It’s always been so dry. I really should have had this done sooner but I’ve been so busy lately. What with the night classes, dog obedience school, my volunteer work with Meals on Trays; then there’s the phone calls at the office and e-mails to the family every week. I really have been busy. It just seems like there’s never enough time.”

The last images of his world were fading and then he realized his eye was closed. He opened his eye and his world was back, clear as hell from the mud up. An axe blade split the front door. The dirt batter reached his eyelids. He had to breathe. He took a deep breath.

The axe blade appeared again in the door as he was overcome with a spasm of coughing. His lung tissues were rejecting the slimy soil. He thought back to childhood and the many bouts of hay fever and upper respiratory infections. “There must be pollen in this mud.” He lost consciousness.

The axe breached the door on the third swing. His rescuers pulled the slippery sleuth from the chair while performing mouth-to-mud resuscitation, not on each other but on the Inspector.

One paramedic, “really into ceramics”, wanted to turn him upside down, let him sit for two hours, open him up, and take the green ware out of the Inspector mold.

Fortunately, the mud completely poured out when they turned Inspector over. They rushed him to St. Joseph’s General Memorial Hospital for the Insured. “He’s going to be all right,” said the ER doctor.

“He’s going to need a rest in the hospital because he’s weak, still in a coma, and I have a quota to fill.”

During the first three hospital days, Inspector was bothered by the same recurring nightmare. In his specter the salon sign kept flashing in his brain. The sign was the last thing he had seen before he passed out. Rosalean, the beautician, had hung the sign. “FACIALS $19.95 A CHEEK, DIRT CHEAP”

He had been on the trail of a crook and followed him into the beauty salon. Bill Bran, the crook, was president of the AllPoor Dog Food Company. He was wanted for questioning regarding dog food fraud. The AllPoor Dog Food Company had been sneaking specks of cereal into their dog food.

Slipping cereal into dog food had grown out of control. Test results came back from 3 independent labs saying, “Not a speck of meat in this cereal.” Some meat loving dogs had actually died from malnutrition.

When Inspector entered the beauty salon, Bill Bran surprised him and trussed him up in the shampoo chair. Bill shifted the mud murdering machine dial to “FULL FACIAL RUSH” and left Inspector to drown in a salon swamp.

Now Inspector was lying in his hospital bed making vows to himself. When he vowed to himself, he raised his right arm above his head and moved his lips. Silently he vowed, “I’m going to track down and collar this cereal killer.”

Have you been pressing your fingers in your eyes again?

The Case of the Tampered Dog Food and a Quarrel with Owen
The Case of the Tampered Dog Food and...

Chapter Two

Welcome Sunshine

On the 4th day Welcome Sunshine, a student nurse appeared. Her Norwegian parents had suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder due to the short Norwegian summers. They showed quite a bit of optimism, considering their lifelong depressions, when they named her Welcome Sunshine. They were only happy in the winter when they could watch the Aurora Borealis. She entered his room to take his temperature. 

She jammed the thermometer in his mouth, “Hold this under your tongue and I’ll be back in a minute.” When she left he removed the thermometer and wiped off the previous patient’s earwax. He hadn’t heard about the new in-your-ear thermometer, so he placed the instrument back under his tongue and waited.

Student nurse Sunshine returned to check the thermometer. She shook it down several times and read the liquid crystal readout. “Zero degrees.” She quickly piled three blankets on him. It looks like you have a little chill. I’ll bring you some soup.”

Welcome brought the soup at noon. “As long as I’m here with your dinner, we do have to get a blood specimen. I’ll just get it while you’re eating. Just pretend I’m not here.”

Welcome Sunshine opened a sterile syringe package. She banded a rubber tube around Inspector’s right arm. “Make a fist.”

Inspector was eating his hot tomato soup with his right hand so he fashioned a fist with his left hand and continued eating.


Welcome became anxious. He kept slurping the soup as Ms. Sunshine hiked around the bed. She wound the rubber tube around his clinch fisted left arm. She tried to push the needle into his left arm.


Thirty minutes later, Ms. Sunshine was still struggling to bring the needle home. The syringe instructions were still lying on the bed. Insp. read them. “Maybe it would help if you removed the protective plastic tip from the end of the needle.”

Welcome was sobbing, her hands shaking badly. She removed the needle’s plastic cover and rammed it home. Inspector tried to stop her but he was still weak and Welcome Sunshine was standing on the bed restraining his arm with her right foot.

Not professional, but damn persistent,” thought Inspector. “I like that in a woman.”


Welcome started to leave the room but then turned around. “Inspector, I notice you have a glass eye. How did that happen?”

He related the childhood accident. Over the years he had embellished the saga until it had become “The Pamplona Running of the Scissors”. He had reconciled the left eye loss but had never fully dealt with Mom’s comment at the time. After all these years he still felt that, “I told you so” was uncalled for.

“Inspector, have you seen the Aurora Borealis?”

He cupped his hand over his mouth to check his breath. “I’m sorry. Do you think I need mouthwash?”

Miss Sunshine said, “The Aurora Borealis. That’s the Northern lights. They are so beautiful, like slow-motion fireworks.”

“No, Can’t say that I have. We were real poor and couldn’t afford firecrackers. On Fourth of July, Mom told us to close our eyes and push them with our fingers until we saw the pretty lights. Sometimes she would bang a pan on our head to simulate rocket noise.”

Welcome left the room because Inspector was pushing his right eye, stimulating the optic nerve into bursts of bright lights, and simultaneously thumping a bedpan on his head. It wasn’t the same but they say you can never really go home again. 

The resident physician who walked in was Dr. Mal. His parents owned a Columbus Ave. Bakery and had managed to put him through medical school. Working in the bakery shop as a boy, Dr. Mal practiced tying knots in the cinnamon twist dough. He became so proficient that he could shape two cinnamon twists with raisins with one hand and still run the cash register.

Later he used these dough knots to twist off useless veins during phlebitis procedures. Except for the occasional lawsuit, when raisins were found in a patient’s recovering leg, he was a well-respected surgeon and baker in the Tampa Bay area.

Dr. Mal dropped by on discharge day. He leaned over and removed a last speck of dried mud from Inspector’s eyelid. “Well,” said Dr. Mal. “I believe that’s got it. By the way, your skin is very soft and smooth.”

“Thank you. I really should have done it a long time ago. Am I ready to get out of here?”

Dr. Mal reconfirmed the noncommittal prognosis. “Well, I believe that’s got it.” This eased the minds of most patients but not Inspector. He had shared a semiprivate room with one of Dr. Mal’s patients. He remembered when Dr. Mal strolled into his roommate’s curtained-off section and heard the doctor say, “Well, I believe that’s got it.” The roommate had just died.

There was one more instruction from Dr. Mal. “Oh, Inspector. There is a 1.5% finance charge per month on all unpaid balances over 30 days old. Good health to you.”

It was time for Inspector to leave. Patients being discharged were not permitted to walk out. They have to be rolled out in a wheelchair or wheeled out in a rollchair.

The hospital’s one wheelchair was being used. From his window he saw a Medicare patient in her early 80’s being discharged. She was riding in the wheelchair. She was encased in a body cast up to her neck. Another lucky patient going home.

She was being discharged because her Medicare co-insurance days were exhausted and there was a list of old patients waiting for her room. Old men were entering for Medicare reimbursed penile implants and old women were going in for cataract surgery, so they could clearly see the old men’s new prosthesis.

The nurse pushing the body cast old woman reached the end of the sidewalk. Inspector saw the old lady smile and give a small tip to the nurse. The nurse dumped her into the street.

“A bit cruel,” said Inspector. “But damn efficient.”

The thunderstorm was slackening now as he watched the bygone babe crawl toward the taxi stand. Inspector turned to his nurse in the room, “She looks rather pathetic dragging through the puddles like that with all that gauze and bandages hanging from her melting body cast.”

The nurse agreed. “You’d think these seniors would make some prior arrangements for transportation. But No, they are all alike. They just expect someone to do everything for them.

The melting bandaged Medicare Maiden crawled to the cab door in the pelting rain and banged her head on the cab door. It was the only part of her body she could move. The polite cab driver slid over in his seat and opened the door. “Get in Miss Daisy. I haven’t got all day. Don’t get the carpet wet.”

She struggled into the cab. “14th and Main,” whimpered the old lady.

“Lady, that’s three miles from here.” said the Cabbie. “That’s over $10.00 in fare. You don’t look like you’re going to make it that far. I’m gonna need the fare up front, including the tip.” She paid him and they sped away in the storm.

Inspector was glad he’d learned how to take a fall. It helped as he was pitched forward into the street out of the wheelchair. He watched the nurse push the wheelchair back into the hospital. “Damn efficient,” said Inspector as he sat checking for bruises.

He scanned the parking lot for his Modus Operandi auto. It was sitting right where Owen had said it would be. The car, however, was resting upside down on the chrome luggage rack.

The wheels were pointing toward the heavens like a dead cockroach. Owen was still in the car and his face was purple. He had been hanging in his seat belt all morning.

Wainsley, the literal Asperger Syndrome giant, had followed Inspector’s instructions. He had actually physically picked up the car and delivered it to the hospital parking lot. Wainsley then wandered off not realizing the car was upside down.

Find the girl that left this boot on the palace steps last night.

My sister wants to meet her.
The Case of the Tampered Dog Food and a Quarrel with Owen
The Case of the Tampered Dog Food and a Quarrel with Owen

Chapter Three

Owen Gets the Boot

Purple-faced Owen yelled, “Quick. Get me a pencil and pad.” Owen started writing down information, or writing up, depending on how you see a little feller writing upside down. Inspector released the seat belt and the little man showed him what he had written.

“With all that blood in my brain, I started thinking of great things. On this paper lies the cure for the heartbreak and embarrassment of Candidiasis.” Later they found that the cure only works if the patient is hanging upside down.

Inspector reached into the Modus Operandi and pulled the lever marked “Emergency Giant Caller”. Amplified sounds echoed across the parking lot, “Ho. Ho. Ho. Ho. Ho. Ho.”

Wainsley came running. The giant thought the Jolly Green Giant was in town and wanted his garden hand-plucked.

“Wainsley,” said Inspector. “Would you please turn the car over?” Wainsley reached in and turned the ignition. It didn’t start.

“Please turn the whole car over.”  Wainsley righted the Modus Operandi. Inspector and Owen drove to the office.

Back at the office Inspector said, “This has been a difficult case, to say the least.”

Owen was sitting in his tiny customized wheeled office chair. “You’re right, Inspector. You always say the least.” Inspector pushed Owen and the chair sliding across the office floor as he often did when the little feller talked back to him. Owen apologized.

They sat down at the desk and went over the clues in the case: 
1. Dog food.
2. Beauty salon.
3. Mud.
4. Lots more mud.
5. Mucho mud.
6. Bill Bran, president of AllPoor Dog Food Company.

“Let’s add up the clues and see what we get,” said Inspector. “1 plus 2 plus 3 plus 4 plus 5 plus 6 equals 21. Does that make any sense to you?”

“Could it have something to do with restaurants?” asked Owen. “Remember Club 21? Wasn’t that a restaurant?”

“I think we’re onto something,” said Inspector. “It must have something to do with restaurants. But what does a restaurant have to do with all the other clues?”

All the extra blood had finally run back down out of Owen’s head and he was stupid again. “They all have one thing in common, Inspector. All the clues are written using the standard twenty six letter alphabet.”

This time Inspector placed Owen on a yellow plastic football-kicking tee and booted him into an open coat closet. Owen crawled back into the office and apologized.

“Get up Owen. I think I have the answer. We’re going to that restaurant on 21st Street.”

“I didn’t know there was a restaurant on 21st Street.” said Owen.

“You know the one,” said Inspector. “It’s right across the street from the animal shelter. It’s the Poundarosa. They have that $1.95 luncheon special on odd cuts of meat.”

“I’m not hungry right now,” said Owen.

“We’re not going to eat there. We’re going there because I think the place has something to do with this case. If you study the name ‘Poundarosa’, you will discover the word ‘Pound’. The restaurant is directly across the street from 506 21st street, the animal pound.

“What a coincidence. Eh little boy? What do you think all this means?"

“It probably means,” Said Owen, “That the address of the restaurant across the street from the pound is 507 21st Street.  It also means that the word ‘Rosa’ is contained in the name. A woman named Rosa operated that beauty salon.

“The word ‘Lean’ is also in Rosalean’s name. Maybe ‘Lean’ means that the lean sausage they serve comes from the pound. Maybe there’s a sausage link to this case.”

Owen looked into Inspector’s eye and realized he had overstepped his guessing. He saw the angry look in the eye. Owen walked over and sat on the plastic football-kicking tee. His back was to Inspector. He whimpered, “I’m ready.”

Inspector gazed down at the little guy’s sloped shoulders and suddenly felt sad for this little dwarf. Sympathy felt strange to Inspector and he started laughing.

Owen turned around to see what was so funny and he received Inspector’s shoe tip in his tiny groin. The little feller’s back hit the wall and he slowly slid down onto the shag carpet. He rose up little by little, which is how little people get up, clutching his crotch with both hands in disbelieving pain. Owen was mad!

Owen threw a body block on Inspector’s right shin, which sent Inspector sprawling onto a desk. Owen lay writhing on the rug, one hand on his still-throbbing groin and the other hand on his newly broken collarbone.

Inspector spoke first, “I’m sorry I hurt you. Take the rest of the day off. Just get out of here, you little cry baby!” Owen was Inspector’s weak point. Inspector was exceedingly kind to every living creature he met. He even swept bugs out of the house instead of killing them but Owen always looked like he needed kicking.

My favorite BeeGees song is "Staying A Chive"

The Case of the Tampered Dog Food and a Quarrel with Owen
The Case of the Tampered Dog Food and a Quarrel with Owen

Chapter Four

The Baked Potato is Extra.

Inspector left Owen sobbing in the office. He headed toward the Poundarosa. The seventeen-year-old cowboy-attired trainee in the serving line asked for Inspector’s order. “I’ll have the Berlin Flank on a Plank Steak, well-done.”

The meal was Fillet of German Shepherd served on a block of Wolmanized lumber. Inspector noted. “Tasty, but overpriced and the baked potato is extra.”

Inspector finished eating but didn’t have room for the side order of Barbeque Nibblin Paws. He reviewed the menu. In addition to Dog, the Poundarosa served Cat, Hamster, Horse, and a nondescript “Strays Special.”

This was enough evidence. Inspector approached the owner at the cash register. “You are under citizen’s arrest. Wait. I’ll show you my card.” He whipped out his business card, “Insp. Inspector”.

The owner flashed his own card, “So What!”

Inspector sifted through his wallet for his card that read, “That’s what”. He found the card and shoved it across the counter but the owner was gone.

Inspector considered the cowboy chophouse condition. A bunkhouse theme saddle was missing from the wall. He reached the rear kitchen door in time to hear hoof beats galloping away. He watched the Poundarosa owner escape, hugging the withers on what should have been five hundred dinners.

He pursued the proprietor-horse combo onto the Interstate. The horse saw the first cloverleaf exit sign and stopped to eat some clover. Inspector cuffed the restaurant owner and took him back to the office. He released the horse because the handcuffs didn’t fit.

Back at the office, Inspector made a startling discovery.  The Poundarosa owner had removed his holster, bandanna, red-checkered flannel shirt, and cowboy hat. Standing in front of Inspector was the AllPoor Dog Food Company President, Mr. Bill Bran.

The clues were falling together. Inspector decided to explain it to Bill Bran who already knew it all. “You have been slipping cereal into the dog food. When the dogs get sick, you put them to sleep. (Euthanasia is not a young people’s Christian singing group in China). 

You would carry the expired animals across the street and serve them in your dining establishment. By the way, the Berlin Flank on a Plank is overpriced and a baked potato should be included in the price.”

Owen was still crumpled on the office floor, regaining consciousness from his previous punishment. He asked, “Was Rosalean part of this crime?”

“Owen, I’m glad you asked me that question because the dialogue was getting a bit one-sided. Yes, Rosalean was his accomplice. She was also his wife and operated the beauty salon.

Bill Bran ran in that day looking for Rosa’s help. He knew I was right behind him. It was her idea to trap me and liquidate me in that mud.” Inspector shuddered as he said ‘Mud’.

“I’ll call the police now,” said Owen.

“Yeah, do that,” said Inspector. “Oh and tell them to put out an All Points Bulletin for the horse. He H.U.T.I.A.P.B. (Hated Using The Initials A P B). “It was dark and I can’t give a very good description. He’s probably still out there on I-4. Just tell them to pick up all the horses in the vicinity and I’ll be down later to pick him out of a line-up.”

Six months later Inspector, Owen and Wainsley were together again. They were celebrating the conviction of Bill and Rosalean Bran. Inspector said, “They both got thirty years on two counts of aggravated assault, three counts of restaurant fraud, four counts of dog chow tampering, and two counts of malicious use of mud.”

“How about a celebration drink?” suggested Owen.

“Good idea,” said Inspector. “Let me get down the special glasses.” Inspector pulled down three Ronald McDonald glasses from the cabinet and mixed the drinks.

Drink in hand, Owen proposed a toast, “To the successful close of another case. Here’s mud in your eye!”

As he spoke the last word, Owen looked up, as all little fellers do, to see the angry, disappointed, sadistic look in Inspector’s eye.

Owen sighed. He toddled over to the plastic kicking tee and sat down again. He heard the swish of Inspector’s foot rushing toward his stunted spine. He heard Inspector’s laugh, but this time . . . he did not turn around. 

Inspector left Owen sobbing in the office. He headed toward the Poundarosa. The seventeen-year-old cowboy-attired trainee in the serving line asked for Inspector’s order. “I’ll have the Berlin Flank on a Plank Steak, well-done.”

The meal was Fillet of German Shepherd served on a block of Wolmanized lumber. Inspector noted. “Tasty, but overpriced and the baked potato is extra.”

Inspector finished eating but didn’t have room for the side order of Barbeque Nibblin Paws. He reviewed the menu. In addition to Dog, the Poundarosa served Cat, Hamster, Horse, and a nondescript “Strays Special”.

This was enough evidence. Inspector approached the owner at the cash register. “You are under citizen’s arrest. Wait. I’ll show you my card.” He whipped out his business card, “Insp. Inspector”.

The owner flashed his own card, “So What!”

Inspector sifted through his wallet for his card that read, “That’s what”. He found the card and shoved it across the counter but the owner was gone.

Inspector considered the cowboy chophouse condition. A bunkhouse theme saddle was missing from the wall. He reached the rear kitchen door in time to hear hoof beats galloping away. He watched the Poundarosa owner escape, hugging the withers on what should have been five hundred dinners.

He pursued the proprietor-horse combo onto the Interstate. The horse saw the first cloverleaf exit sign and stopped to eat some clover. Inspector cuffed the restaurant owner and took him back to the office. He released the horse because the handcuffs didn’t fit.

Back at the office, Inspector made a startling discovery.  The Poundarosa owner had removed his holster, bandanna, red-checkered flannel shirt, and cowboy hat. Standing in front of Inspector was the AllPoor Dog Food Company President, Mr. Bill Bran.

The clues were falling together. Inspector decided to explain it to Bill Bran who already knew it all. “You have been slipping cereal into the dog food. When the dogs get sick, you put them to sleep. (Euthanasia is not a young people’s Christian singing group in China). 

You would carry the expired animals across the street and serve them in your dining establishment. By the way, the Berlin Flank on a Plank is overpriced and a baked potato should be included in the price.”

Owen was still crumpled on the office floor, regaining consciousness from his previous punishment. He asked, “Was Rosalean part of this crime?”

“Owen, I’m glad you asked me that question because the dialogue was getting a bit one-sided. Yes, Rosalean was his accomplice. She was also his wife and operated the beauty salon.         

Bill Bran ran in that day looking for Rosa’s help. He knew I was right behind him. It was her idea to trap me and liquidate me in that mud.” Inspector shuddered as he said ‘Mud’.

“I’ll call the police now,” said Owen.

“Yeah, do that,” said Inspector. “Oh and tell them to put out an All Points Bulletin for the horse. He H.U.T.I.A.P.B. (Hated Using The Initials A P B). “It was dark and I can’t give a very good description. He’s probably still out there on I-4. Just tell them to pick up all the horses in the vicinity and I’ll be down later to pick him out of a line-up.”

Six months later Inspector, Owen and Wainsley were together again. They were celebrating the conviction of Bill and Rosalean Bran. Inspector said, “They both got thirty years on two counts of aggravated assault, three counts of restaurant fraud, four counts of dog chow tampering, and two counts of malicious use of mud.”

“How about a celebration drink?” suggested Owen.

“Good idea,” said Inspector. “Let me get down the special glasses.” Inspector pulled down three Ronald McDonald glasses from the cabinet and mixed the drinks.

Drink in hand, Owen proposed a toast, “To the successful close of another case. Here’s mud in your eye!”

As he spoke the last word, Owen looked up, as all little fellers do, to see the angry, disappointed, sadistic look in Inspector’s eye.

Owen sighed. He toddled over to the plastic kicking tee and sat down again. He heard the swish of Inspector’s foot rushing toward his stunted spine. He heard Inspector’s laugh, but this time . . . he did not turn around.

Updated: 07/05/2012, bobsimpson
 
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?
1

Comments


   Login

You might also like

Redneck Gift Ideas

Gift Ideas for the Redneck in your life.

Lost in Translation - Hilarious Bilingual Place Names

A clash of languages can leave an amusing legacy in the landscape. You just h...


Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...
Error!