Surveillance Pelicana Chapter Twenty: ‘When You Got Nothing, You Got Nothing to Lose’

SURVEILLANCE PELICANA

BY

DAN WEISMAN

(The entire book appears at this link with chapters added after appearing online:

Chapters 1-10: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-full-book-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/.)

Chapters 11-20: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-ii-chapters-11-to-20-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/)

Chapters 21-30: https://www.escondidograpevine.com/surveillance-pelicana-part-iii-chapters-21-to-30-chapters-added-as-they-appear-online/

CHAPTER TWENTY

Tyger works a surprising case in Columbia,

Mississippi. Discussion of the significance of the white pelican.

Then, Tyger and Joe Fine go in on Dill Pickle. Joe dresses in

full camouflage gear and hides in the deep woods. Tyger, with the

aid of an evangelical family, sets up on Pickle and pursues him

to a church. The chapter ends with a bizarre confrontation

between Subject and investigator.

 

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Back, back, back, back, back … Cubs win! Cubs win! Cubs win!

Thank you very much Harry Caray. Thank you gods of April for

bringing back our wonderful American sport of baseball even if

the Cubs have won this day.

Tyger emerges from

the zen-like state engendered from his

mainline habit. Baseball, baby,

all is right in the world.

Tyger leans back in his chair, oops, catches himself almost

falling.

Opening Day and by now you probably realize the ultimate

fate of this edition of Chicago’s not finest. But that is another

story.

For now, Tyger contemplates his navel, taking a last long

tug of a toke on a joint. He has not smoked any reefer for a

while, but tradition being what it is must make exception this

fine fine day and smoke a fatty. It happens every spring.

Drifting into a contemplative cloud, dear Tyger counts his

blessings, sort of. A good job, for now, some money; no

girlfriend, but a few friends; and baseball until

November. Made it, thank goodness through another long lonely

winter.

The world renewed is coming to life again. Flowers and trees

 

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blossom. Birds along telephone high wires sing

sing.

And you know what? Let Nancy Ray-Gun just say no. Tyger is

just saying yes yes yes yes yes. Thank you Lor-d for everything.

Face it folks, the age of Ray-Gun is one giant horrible

mistake and everybody is going to have it pay for it someday. Duh

duh duh wah duh …

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

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(Of course, special prosecutor confiscated Weinberger

Iran-Contra notes indicate the defense czar told Ray-Gun all

about the scam as soon as it happened. Then again, faulty memory

chips can go a long way towards ruining ye olde untrusty

presidential circuit board.)

The arms-for-not-hostages crowd dirty tricked poor old

Jimmy Carter just before the 1980 election trading our nation’s

future for a bowl of porridge, sticking it to us with an evil

legacy. An honest man fighting fairly on the platform of

decency in government never had a chance.

Poor ozone layer. Poor national debt. Poor poor economic

distress as a few get rich quicker while everyone else pays for

their party.

The cynical fuckers laugh all the way to the savings and

loan handout bash claiming too much government until they need

government guaranteed bailout money to keep their imported

Mercedes and luxury Japanese cars running. And then they blame

others for the incredibly growing national debt.

What a lame excuse for human beings. They loot the country

blind while bailing out their savings and loan buddies with taxes

paid by welfare recipients,

then rub the poor suckers’ faces in it.

 

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Not to mention all the other evil that they perpetrate. When

they luck out and Communism runs out of steam coincidentally with

their rule, they, naturally take credit for it, and then do

nothing to help the recently freed captive peoples. That is not

their department.

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

Hey guys, enough already. You are only fooling some of the

people some of the time, but in 1988 America that apparently

 

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REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

Ah, forget those heebie-jeebies for now. Tyger gets some

z’s. He rises and shines a few happy baseball days later on the

way to another assignment.

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

 

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Tyger has two assignments in the week before the Louisiana

Jazz and Heritage Festival, popularly known as Jazz Fest, is set

to begin. Now, there is some bread and circus action actually

worth paying for and attending.

Until that time, he will travel to Columbia, Mississippi on

one case, then assist Joe Fine in Loranger on the aptly named

Dill Pickle.

Should be fun comrades. Buckle up a safety belt.

Ready, steady go.

Early to bed, early to rise, Tyger departs the City that

Care Forgot at 6:30 a.m. bound for another state entirely, good

neighbor to the north, Mississippi on our mind. A place that

makes even Lousyiana look good.

And Arkansas? That is where they say thank God for

Mississippi or we would be last in everything.

Tyger flies to the east,

past the high rise, past the vast

expanse of Lake Ponchartrain.

Sea gulls flap in the rising sun,

up up and away like beautiful balloons.

What is that, a white pelican? Tyger spies the majestic

soaring creature craning her

long neck looking over a smaller

companion flying side-by-side.

The pelican swoops by Tyger’s mother the car before rising

majestically towards the blue sky divided in half by one large

white cloud. Very like a vision, investigator Hamlet; pause, and

 

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re-consider your mortality.

The pelican sees all, knows all, and in these southern wetlands

is like a Northern Spotted Owl wise.

Comrades: salute this Surveillance Pelicana.

Give her your all and fly on by.

Some dreams might yet live forever.

When all has vanished, the ice shelves melted,

Pelican of the mid’s eye survives for inspiration.

Anyone can fly, just try your darndest,

over to Interstate 59 past Slidell,

Across the border to the Magnolia State

near Picayune. Good morrow, Mississippi.

Driving through the Mississippi woods, tall

piney forests that block the sun,

sliding on over to (Jo)Hattiesburg,

white trash capital of the world

just this side of South Africa.

Another 98 miles to the west to Columbia,

precious diamond of southern Mississippi.

Columbia is not the worst place in the world.

The city possesses a quaint Old South charm,

and because of nearby oil deposits as well as

a booming lumber industry, a decent economic outlook as well.

Subject in this case is P.K. French, mid-40s, married,

back injury sustained in a tugboat accident.

Supposedly, he is

 

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unable to move without excruciating pain.

This case calls for standard procedure. Tyger is in

temporary possession of the baby seat system and ready to troll that

rock along.

The journey provides a rare opportunity to leave the Pelican

State for gentle hills that contrast nicely with Louisiana’s

infinite flatness. The air seems cool and crisp.

Tyger sets up a good camera angle atop a small hill staring

down on the French residence. He walks to a nearby hospital

the facility looks to be in very good condition — and checks in

with Dorothy behind the curtain at Oz.

“Run the system until 1 p.m.,” she says, “then

return to the scene, put in another tape and stick nearby to

see if French is moving.” No problem, Tyger will fry French.

Tyger’s first order of business is making himself scarce

until afternoon. He finishes a cup of coffee at the hospital

cafeteria, checking out some knock-you-

dead-kick-you-in-the-head smashing nurses.

It is but mere diversion. He will never return. And in fact,

everybody looks at him oddly as in who is that guy.

Tyger figures — Columbia being a small town of maybe 25,000

inhabitants — he probably sticks out like a Mr. Milty face

mural. He departs for Downtown.

The place has all the trappings one would expect of a small

 

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southern burg. A small

square with shops and a movie theater

surrounding Marion County Courthouse. The bus station stands to

the southeast. A general post office sits in the opposite

direction.

Tyger assumes his best Christopher Columbus imitation and

sets out for exploration, hoping not to fall off the edge of the

world. He passes a high school right out of “Back to the Future

Part I” or some weird time warp, past a Sears catalogue store —

didn’t know they still existed — and over to a small shopping

center.

Pretty girls all in a row. Pretty girls, where do they go?

Pretty girls are everywhere. Must be something in the water or

the air.

What the hey, nothing going on, so Tyger picks a cute cute

blonde at semi-random. He asks her the standard investigator’s

questions. What’s happening? Where is a good place to grab some

lunch?

“Why, y’all are right there,” she answers. “They have the

best barbecue in town.” She points to a rather strange looking

dance hall. “That’s a restaurant?” queries Tyger in amazement.

“Oh yeah. Great food. They have disco at night, but they set

out a nice buffet about now. Give it a try.” “Care to join me?”

he asks the quarry.

“I’m sorry sir. I can’t. I’m working at the Christian book

 

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store over there,” pointing across the center to a small

bookstore he hadn’t noticed.

“I just finished my break.

Stop by if y’all get a chance

later.” Neeever mind.

“Thanks then. I’ll give the place a try.” Tyger knows he is

not her type, so bows out gracefully and enters the barbecue

restaurant-discotheque.

They have an all you can eat buffet set up for $4. The

Christian chick, for a change, like the price, is right on

target. Tyger heaps his plate with cornbread, ribs, sliced beef,

cole slaw, salad, and topping it off with sweet tea to drink.

Damn. And they say New Orleans has good food. That stuff

tastes great. It is an awesome and unexpected feast in Yahooland.

The price is definitely right as well. Kind of funny, too,

eating that down-home cooking by the dormant disco spinning

balls, pool tables, and long bar that apparently converts into

night-time entertainment.

Time passes fitfully until noon. Tyger walks back to the

courthouse and conducts a records check on French. It shows that

he owns his house and the adjoining lot,

has no criminal or other civil charges.

In fact, French seems to be something of an oddity in this

strange world of insurance claim fraud. He appears to be a solid

citizen. Can you beat that? Always a first time.

 

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Tyger checks back on his equipment at about 1 p.m.

Everything looks good.

No activity of which to speak.

Dorothy advises her investigator upon check-in to interview some of French’s neighbors under pretext,

then pick up and head home to La Louisiane.

No problem. Ce si bon.

An elderly man mows his long green lawn

two houses down from the French residence.

Tyger approaches him in an easygoing friendly manner,

mentioning he is an old buddy of French’s who was looking up the old rascal.

Unfortunately, no one answers the door. Tyger wonders if the gay blade is at home.

“Oh yeah, I expect he is just sleeping or knocked out on something,” the neighbor reports.

“He got injured real bad on a tugboat a while back and can barely walk.

He don’t go nowhere no more. I’ve known the family forever and really feel for the boy.

He is good people. Too bad about his tough luck .

“What about that nice new red truck in the yard?” Tyger asks.

“He must drive that around sometimes. It’s a real beauty.”

“Nah,” the man replies. “His wife drives it sometimes. So do some of his relatives.

But I never seen P.K. drive at all since his mishap.

It is a damn shame that something like that happens to a good person

with all them outlaws running around the world.

 

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“I don’t know. Maybe he will be free if you check with him

in a little while. I’m sure he would like the company.”

Well, what do you know. P.K. French seems to have a

legitimate case. There’s always a first time.

Tyger picks up the system heading south towards home.

Maybe the insurance company won’t like the results, but facts,

as they say, are stubborn things.

That is the way it going going goes.

The next assignment on Sunday April 17, 1988, turns out to

be no less amazing, but for directly opposite reasons. It is

another Joe Fine affair. That generally means something weird is

going to happen.

This time the fabled Dill Pickle is in for a bad day at black

rock. Tyger meets Joe at the Loranger mini-mart and receives a

big shock.

Joe is dressed out in full military camouflage gear. He

looks ready for World War Four with camouflage painted face.

The plan is this: Joe is going in the woods behind the

Pickle pad with a long-range still photo lens set-up and exotic

radio device. Tyger is to station himself at the top of the hill

where he had once spoken to the woman with the beautiful

daughters.

Joe, posing as a hunter, will try to get some shots of

Pickle from the woods, alerting the waiting Tyger should the

 

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alleged scoundrel move. Then, Tyger is to follow the Pickle party

with the black box system in his vehicle,

shooting whatever pictures possible.

The well-dressed insurance scam artist

hunter these days is

armed with, among other items, a pair of binoculars, and insect

repellant. “I just hope no one shoots me out there,” notes Joe.

“Some of those assholes are crazy.” Yeah, right.

If Pickle returns home, Tyger will contact Joe who will

resume his active surveillance. Oh brother, Tyger thinks, this

one is shaping up to be a doozy. Guess Joe Fine has become bored

back home in Florida with the little snot-noses, or somebody more

drastic like his wife.

The plan smacks of overkill, although there is no denying

the Dill Pickle location is a tough surveillance assignment. Joe,

of course, seems very pleased with his intricately machiavellian

machinations.

Of course, Tyger is in it for the full measure. Taking

what they’re giving, Huey Lewis breath, ’cause he’s working for a

living.

Tyger is curious, as well, about the final outcome. Has Joe

completely lost it, or what. Otherwise, pretty

much standard method of operation. If they lose commos

or anything really weird happens, contact Dorothy who is on Oz

 

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standby.  Follow general orders.

“Let’s do it to it,” Joe says. “Let the game begin.”

Tyger takes Joe to a spot about 1/3 of a mile down the road

from the Pickle place and leaves him off on the two-lane asphalt

highway. The boss man wanders into the forest.

“Damn,” Tyger says out loud to fellow invisible forest

creatures. “I hope this thing works out.”

Then the terrible Tyger person heads up the hill to a

waiting location outside the fabulous farmhouse. It will take an

earthquake or act of God to move him.

Tyger sits for about 20 minutes on his car’s front hood

contemplating the existential nature of his navel.

Suddenly,

crackle, crackle, pop, Joe comes in on the two-way radio.

“Position Tyger. Position Tyger. Do you read? Over.”

Crackle crackle pop. “Do you read. Over.”

Tyger scrambles to the radio set lying covered by a Kool-Aid

Kids beach towel on his front seat, reaches through the open

window, and responds. “Ahhh, yes. Read you. Over. Come in Number

One. Over.”

“Nothing happening here Position Tyger. Waiting for the antelope

to roam. How about you? Any sightings? Over.”

“No sir. No sir. No bags full.

All is quiet on the northern front.

“Have established forward position,” Tyger says.

Awaiting further instructions, Number One”.

 

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Er, almost forgot. “Over.”

“Roger,” Super Sleuth continues. “Read you very nicely, nicely,

Position Tyger. Have set up forward base alpha, waiting

for the antelope to roam. Maintain current position.

Will advise as necessary. Over and out.”

“Roger, Number One. Over and out,” crackle crackle pop.

Tyger returns the radio set.

He looks nervously over his shoulder hoping no one has noticed.

A stranger surreptitiously squawking on a shortwave radio

in the middle of nowhere does not look too suspicious.

No, not too suspicious.

Hurry up and wait again.

Tyger chills as the day heats up a bit this being the gateway season

to that godawful hot as hell Louisiana summer.

Hurry up and wait another 20 minutes.

Finally, the woman with the beautiful daughters

wanders over to nearby Position Tyger.

“I’m sorry,  couldn’t help but notice you here,” she says sweetly.

“May I help you with something. We live in that house.”

She points the way.

“Thought maybe you had car trouble or something.”

“Oh yeah, ma’am,”Tyger picks up on cue.

“Nothing really bad. This darn beast always overheating lately.

Waiting for a friend to give me a lift.

Alright if I stay here a spell? Won’t bother anybody.”

“Oh dear. Yes. If you need to use the phone.”

 

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“No thank you ma’am, but thanks for offering. I’ll be alright.”

“Well, I will be inside then. If you need something, a glass

of sweet tea maybe, please come inside.”

Nice lady. (She does not seem to remember

giving road directions during Tyger’s last

visit. Or does she?)

A little more time passes, as it must inevitably. A

vehicle resembling Pickle’s land rover zooms by. Tyger jumps in

the car and heads off in hot pursuit forgetting about his cover

story.

Turns out to be a mirage, a figment of the investigator’s

bored silly imagination. He returns to the sacred spot.

Then, crackle crackle pop. Shit, here we go again. Tyger

picks up the radio receiver.

“Do you read Position Tyger? Do you read? Over.” “Yes Number

One. Reading you very clearly. Over.”

“Be advised. Have moved to better hunting location. No antelope

activity. Still waiting to take a shot. Over.”

“Very good Number One. Sticking with it. Over.” Crackle

crackle pop and silence.

Oh crap, here comes the woman from the house again. Tyger

does not want to leave the position. It’s the prime spot at the

top of the hill and all. He fears falling out of commos with

“Number One.” Might as well see what she wants.

“Now son,” she begins. “I have seen your car running

just fine thank you and saw that radio too. I would like to know what

 

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you are up to. We just moved here from Pennsylvania.

There seems to be a lot of crime around here.”

No shit Sherlock. Tyger figures the jig is up.

Can this woman, theoretically of God,

be trusted?

“Ahh,” Tyger says, “You know the Pickle people down the road?”

“Pickle people? No sir. We don’t know nobody yet.

Moved here two months ago for the clean air, healthy lifestyle,

and to re-establish our church. Still getting acquainted

with the area.”

Take the win then.

“Sorry if that looked weird,” Tyger says.

“We’re insurance investigators checking out these

people down the road. We have reason to believe one of them

filed a bogus claim. Trying to make sure justice is done.

“Ahhh. I thought you might be up to something unusual,” she says,

“what with the radio and all.”

“I know that looked strange,” Tyger says.

“We are authorized by the courts to pursue this matter.

I will move along to another place if it makes you feel uncomfortable.”

“No. No. You need not do that.” And pause.

“These people claim they are injured when they are not?”

“That’s about the size of it, ma’am,” Tyger says.

“Kind of a horrible scam they’re pulling. Not that

insurance companies are great citizens. Just that

it is wrong, ya know, morally,

 

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to lie and steal.”

“It is indeed,” she says. “I could not agree more.

God teaches every man to follow the commandments,

lead an honest, fruitful existence.

That is one of the reasons we moved our church here to this pure land.”

“Ahh,” the irony. “Church. May I inquire as to your denomination?”

“We are evangelical Christians. We believe in following the true precepts of the Bible

as closely as possible while adapting them to modern society.

We are not affiliated with any false organization.

We adhere to the true principles of Yahweh,

his son Jesus Christ, the Trinity, and Holy Ghost.”

“I see,” Tyger notes, although not really.

“l am Jewish myself.”

“Oh yes,” stop us if you’ve heard this before,

so she goes, “Original children of God. We love

Jewish people. But hope, of course, they eventually

see the light and accept our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

“Working on that, ma’am.”

,”God bless you then.”

“Ahh, thanks.”

They stop and stare at each other.

In a rural Tangipahoa field, fertile and fine,

God bless us every one.

 

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Speaking of which, one of the beautiful daughters,

pple cheek smile, about 20 years old. Such an innocent looking doe.

“Mama. Sorry to interrupt,” she says. “We have to attend to the chickens in the back garden.”

“Thank you dear for reminding me,” replies the goodly mother. She turns to Tyger.

“Stay as long as you like. If anyone bothers you, have them come inside and speak with me.

I will tell them you are a friend. And I feel you are a friend

Sinners must always be defeated. That is God’s law.”

Her daughter flashes the nicest smile this Year of Our Lord 1988.

“Thank you ma’am,” Tyger says. “Didn’t mean to involve you.”

“Please do. That is quite alright. Come along dear.”

Like a pretty little duckling, the girl walks just behind her mother

to the wood frame house about 50 yards away.

Back to reality rush.

Tyger climbs on the hood, awaiting further activity or instructions.

Crackle crackle. “Position Tyger. Position Tyger. Please be advised.

The antelope are roaming. The antelope are roaming. Do you read? Over.

“Roger. Please advise. Over.”

“Antelope crossing Highway 40 East

headed west. Please pursue. Over .”

 

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“Roger. Over.””Over and out.”

Yeah right. Over and out of

it.

The land rover whizzes by at that precise moment. Tyger

jumps in his vehicle and follows. He notices a man driving with

woman and small child shotgun; the Dill Pickle clan,

we presume, looping about two miles from home.

The Pickles pull into a rural Methodist church barrel. It

is, after all, about 11 a.m. Sunday morning. Time for …

Tyger sets up across the street from the church and runs the

video system. Dill Pickle, wife, and child disembark. Dill

seems to be shaking hands with a ministerial type.

Herr Pickle also appears to be suffering no visible signs of an

incapacitating neck injury as claimed to the insurance company.

He seems to be doing just ducky, lucky. What else is new?

Tyger lingers at what turns out to be a cemetery parking

lot. The congregation of about 70 parishioners enter the church. He

tries to reach Joe Fine in the woods but can not raise peep boo.

Tyger gets some religion for45 minutes listening to the choir sing

through the open church doors followed by the pastor’s benediction.

The sermon is devoted to the evils of gambling and the pastor’s

opposition to a state lottery.

“This will be the ruination of any hopes for an honest

Loosiana,” intones the disembodied ministerial voice. “A lottery

shall steal money from the poor who have better odds of being hit

 

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by lightning than of winning a seven million-to-one jackpot.

“A lottery will pave the way for sin. It will open the road

to casino gambling run by crooks bribing corrupt public officals.

Then, may God have mercy on our souls.”

 

REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

 

Church lets out as steeple bells ring. The overactive

Dill Pickle experience jumps in his

land rover. He drives away

followed by Tyger from the land of

the dead to the hill of the

living word. The investigator resumes his position.

The familiar crackle crackle pop a minute later. “Come in

Position Tyger. Come in. Did you bag those antelope. Over?”

“Yes sir. Yes sir. Three bags full. Got them coming and

going. Over.”

“Good work. You are in the usual position? Over.” “Yes sir. Over.”

 

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“Goody goody gumdrops,” camouflage Joe big foot says.

“Have to withdraw due to incredibly bothersome mesquites and other insects.

Be advised will be at the same old same old spot for pick-up.

Please be there in 20 minutes. Over.”

“Read you Number One. Over.”

“Roger dodger. Over and out.”

“Over and out.”

Tyger sits like a duck in his car. Suddenly,

a land rover rises from the bottom of the hill like a nasty wasp,

sweeping up to Tyger’s position, staked out on the high ground.

Tyger climbs out of the car. Ugh.

‘Tis Dill Pickle in the flesh wid wifey at his side.

Dilly Boy attempts to block Tyger’s car and then,

oh so painfully — no All My Children role for you –

emerges from the land rover. What do you know,

the son-of-a-bitch has put on a foam neck brace,

just for the show.

“What the hell are you doing,”

the 5’3″, 130 pound Pickle

starts bawling at the much larger Tyger.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing,”

Once more with feeling.

Tyger plays the ingenue.

“Pardon me?”

“I know what you’re doing,” sour Pickle stews.

“You are following my wife.

Following my wife. How dare you?”

 

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Good one. Playing the pickled pepper jealous husband card.

What will they think of next?

“Don’t know what you’re talking about,” Tyger says.

“Please go away.”

“No. No. No. No.” Nancy Ray-Gun Pickle drones.

“Do you know you are trespassing. Private property.

Have you no honor, sir?”

Yeah, right. The game has grown tired.

“Do you want to go inside the house and ask if I’m trespassing,” Tyger says.

“They are friends of mine.”

“I don’t have to ask anybody anything,” Pickle continues.

“You are following my wife. You are following my wife …”

Pickle rambles on and on, on and F’in on,

finally turning a funny can you beet this color red

for good midget measure, a one trick pony run out of material

“Do you know that? Do you know what?

You are bothering my wife. You are bothering … ”

Broken record already. Tyger is sick of this shit already.

“Hey,” Tyger states, “if you’ve got a problem, why don’t we go into town,

speak with the sheriff. O.K.?”

Pickle hesitates and is lost.

“Let’s not involve the police in this,” he spits

out the bait.

“Yes,”Tyger says. “Let’s involve the police in this.”

The — shall we say — conversation continues close

 

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encounters of the pickled variety. “Let’s go into town.” “Don’t

involve the police in this. This is man to man.” “Yeah, right.”

Tyger sees a nice opening as he looks at the small space

between the land rover and his vehicle. That stupid Pickle is the

Roots Badburns of insurance scam scum; can’t even block

a car correctly.

Tyger calmly re-claims his car, turns the key and vroom,

vroom, peels around Pickle’s useless land rover and out on to the

freedom of Highway 40 East.

The vanishing ghost can not resist slinging an

unprofessional parting shot. “Get fucked asshole,” he yells at

the furiously ridiculous subject. “I mean, who do you think you’re fooling.”

Tyger goes into town just to stay on the safe side of the law,

pulls into the town sheriff’s parking lot. That is a right past

the mini-mart. He waits five minutes. No sign of the Dill

Pickle.

Tyger returns up the highway. He spots Joe Fine emerging

from the woods, appearing a bit winded but no worse for the

experience.

“Where have you been?” Joe asks. “I didn’t see you for a

minute and had to wait back there in the pine trees. I was

becoming concerned.”

“You would not believe what just happened,” Tyger says as he

relates the just past experience.

 

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Chapter Twenty

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Joe Fine listens and nods his head seriously. “What a

bastard. I think we have enough on him. Good hunting, doc.”

They return to the mini-mart and finish up by swapping out

various pieces of equipment. Tyger hands Joe the video cassette

and radio. Joe gives him a blank cassette and the still camera

without the long range lens.

“You still want a report right?” Tyger asks. “Of course. Of

course,” Joe replies authoritatively.

“As always. I think the insurance company will want to hear

about this right away. Check back with Dorothy tomorrow and hand in

the report as soon as possible. I want to get everything to

the insurance people by late Monday.

“See you when I see you.” “O.K boss man. Take care. And

happy hunting.” “Always.”

Tyger feels like he has been through the proverbial ringer.

He heads towards Interstate 55, back to the relative safety,

haha, of good old New Orleans. Or at least away from the

ridiculous likes of the Dill Pickle experience.

The detective also feels a sense of impending promise as he

relaxes; listening to a James Booker tune on the radio station.

The piano master who also worked as a New Orleans City Hall file clerk

before retiring from this mortal coil graces the keys of

memory, a rare bird in flight.

The familiar song reminds Tyger that next Sunday at this

 

“SURVEILLANCE PELICANA”

Chapter Twenty

Weisman

387

 

time he will be having too much fun at the Jazz and Heritage

Festival. The intrepid investigator joyously contemplates such

coming attractions and attendant pleasures.

Good news travels quickly like a pristine white pelican

soaring above a black asphalt highway towards a wonderful future,

happy home. Or not.

Man is only breath and shadow,

Sophocles.

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