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It is April. Tyger meets Joe in Houma where
Joe shares some insights into the world.
Then, Lana meets them and they go off on various cases in the Houma area.
Tyger kills time along the bayou as the system runs. Joe shows off
some of his electronic gadgetry.
“SUPER SLEUTH AND COMPANY HOME IN ON HOUMA”
Tyger has made it all the way to April in his new position.
That just about sets a new indoor-out door-any door
Williams Book of world records milestone for employment longevity.
Hallelujah and hosannah y’all, sigh the bluebirds in Tyger’s backyard signifying good luck.
April the most benign of Southeastern Louisiana months,
contrary to some poet’s emotions,
has blossomed throughout the eager land.
Weather perfect; air clear and awesome,,
uplifting everyones once tired spirits.
What’s more, another miraculous stroke of good fortune stands poised
to strike the rabid baseball fan forced all winter to lie fallow.
The Major Leagues are about to play ball.
REDACTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
Therefore, let it be resolved dear comrades
of the longing heart and short attention span,
seekers of truth and lovers of fiction,
that Tyger Williams salutes you and you only
on his way to Houma to meet and greet Joe Fine,
He composes two poems driving through wetlands, bayous,
and finally widening green fields of rising sugar cane.
What time would tell you sitting on a porch in old New Orleans.
Stop whatever you are doing comrades .
Listen now you starlings:
Golden meadows, deep brown shadows
grazing in a sea of yellow-green alongside Highway 1.
Curves this silver thread from place to lonely post
stands a stucco laundromat, winds around
A faceless ghost, blowing through an open door,
breezy dreamer, thoughts of home.
Listen love, my precious dove,
I saw a turtle on the road,
Backing into Paradis,
poor frail neck with rock hard shell.
Stubborn to the lonely end,
no turning back for noble men,
Who choose a path and die,
they are noble for their try.
Never does a day half pass,
never does a cuckoo cry,
Never does a hopeless heart,
never does a bayou sigh.
Without my saying thus,
your eyes immortalize.
The flip side of this coin comes up heads, heads; heads up again.
Always comes up heads for it is a trick coin with two heads
Tyger sometimes flips to impress his friends,
sometimes flips to depress a fool.
He is on a roll like the time he flipped the coin and it landed on neither side,
instead lodging upright next to a book on the floor. Hahaha.
Armor’s fell out of his chair he laughed so hard at that
Gravity is such an awesome force to behold.
What the hey, otay, Tyger also composes this poem on the way
to the Houma Holiday Inn where Joe Fine is already waiting with
a cup of coffee,
flirting with yet another waitress.
Rain falling by Bayou L’ourse,
rain falling by Bayou Delight,
falling falling falling — slowly — in love again.
Recalling golden days while tearing,
feeling all those desperate failings,
while drinking in dark green waters, algae, spanish moss.
Hardly flowing, blocked backwaters, pirogues,
lonely rowing orders; always coming, always going, home
where hearts were made to break, and comrades slowly dissipate.
Days will pass and rain stop time,
but love of love a dulcet vine, always lingers,
always falling, please be mine,”
Enough of the poet for now
a duly inspired Tyger pulls into downtown Houma,
named after the Native American tribe, and over to the Holiday Inn.
Joe Fine’s traditional baseball cap has been removed to
reveal his impressive chrome dome. He has come out of the closet
apparently since his last confab with Tyger, and now proudly
displays the Telly Savalas-Yul Brynner bald penis head look.
Heck, some women think the look is very sexy.
Super Sleuth wears a blue open neck alligator shirt and
tan slacks. A pair of sunglasses, notebook, and a — what is
that? Tyger is almost afraid to find out — a small device that
looks like a pager, rest on the Holiday Inn Houma Cafe table.
Joe mercilessly flirts with a 30-something semi-attractive
redhead waitress as Tyger enters the near empty restaurant.
Couple of geologists dig in the corner.
Joe Fine probes for something more unfathomable. Or maybe,
that is just how he passes the time while waiting. Who knows.
Without missing a beat then, “Hey beautiful, how about
another cup of coffee. There’s my guy Tyger. Grab a seat son. Hey
beautiful, looking good this morning. Thanks a lot. ”
Whooo. Tyger feels as though his whole life has passed
before his eyes. He must raise his game a notch because Joe is
the boss and Tyger wants to get along.
“Everything going O.K.?” Tyger asks. “We have some good ones
out here in Yahooland today,” Joe replies. “Love these redneck
cases. Are you ready to play the game?”
“Batter up baby.”
Joe explains current missions. He has one lowlife in
the Azalea Camellia Gaspergou Trailer Park at nearby Bayou Cane.
The head honcho has another case at the opposite end of town
along Bayou Black. A third case is Downtown off Bayou
Terrebonne, which straddles Houma, dividing the small city on
either side of the larger Intracoastal Canal.
Apparently the demise of Joe Fine, contrary to previous
reports, has been greatly exaggerated. Or maybe this is the storm
before the calm. Who knows?
Tyger has a lot of experience with manic depressive personalities.
Just check out MacLandia. He is highly suspicious of Joe’s behavior.
He seems almost too enthusiastic to be true.
The all — monkey business? — meeting continues with another pot
of coffee and another. Joe eats only lightly buttered toast,
spinning a few yarns about his time in military service.
“The U.S. Army is a bunch of losers,” he says. “The Israeli
Defense Forces — now that, dear Tyger, is an organization that
does not fool around. No wonder these guys lost Vietnam. We would have
blown them to Kingdom Come like we did the Syrians on the Golan Heights.
Those pussies thought they could surprise us in the Yom
Kippur War, 1973. When we got our shit together we beat their
asses, but it was a bloody battle.
Have to admit, felt sorry for some of their young guys.
You know, the tank gunners and poor motherfuckers they
slapped uniforms on to die. Those guys are like you or me
in a lot of ways. They just got a rotten government.
Who wants to fight? We should just try to get along as best
we can. I know we could if we tried.
Fucking politicians are the same the world over. They got
to make other people die so they can rip off everyone else and
get away with it. I am out of that shit forever. I’m an American citizen.
God bless the good old U.S.A. Know what I mean, son?”
“Yes sir,” Tyger replies at attention. “We have to do what
we have to do sometimes, not question orders.”
“You got that right,” agrees Joe grinning, turning back
to the previous encounter. “Hey good looking,
what ya got cooking. Can we have just one more cup of java. I
don’t know how you do it, babe.”
“Yes sir, coming right up,” the brown uniformed name-tagged
waitress replies as she scurries, retreating to higher ground.
The geologists have come and gone like the Pleistocene Epoch.
A husband and wife team who are straying at the motel begin brunch.
“Oh man, I tell you Tyger, you are one lucky son of a gun,”
Joe continues, scratching his chrome dome. “You’re single without a
care in the world.” “Well, I don’t know about that,” Tyger laughs.
“Nah, true dat,” Joe says. “You might think you have some
problems, or whatever, but they’re really nothing. You’re young,
single, and fancy free. You got a lot of life ahead of you.
Me? I got the little snot-noses at home. Don’t get me
wrong. I love the little bastards. But, noisy, shitting, in the shit,
constantly demanding this, that, andthe other thing. Man oh
manna, that stuff can really get to you.
Take my wife. Please. She can be a total bitch. All I hear
is fix this. This is crap. What’s wrong with you. Goddamn. I
mean, sometimes I just look forward to getting the hell out of
Dodge. You feel me, son?”
“Oh,” Tyger says as Dorothy’s recent appraisal of Joe’s
delicate mental condition his condition is in is on
his mind. “Don’t worry Joe. Everything will work out.”
Tyger understands totally the need to re-assure his — after
all — meal ticket. And Joe Fine is a nice guy, too.
It is tough seeing Joe dissatisfied, considering the hell of
a job he has been doing. That black box/baby seat video
surveillance system is unique in the business, a great leap
forward for sub rosa secret agents everywhere.
“Don’t worry, man,” Tyger reassures his boss. “You’re a
survivor. You’ll get by. “Yah yah yah. I know. Just sometimes … ”
Who should saunter into the restaurant at this low moment,
thoroughbred ankles upturned, long black hair and devil may care
green eyes, but the lovely Lana whom last we met at Baton
Rouge. That entrance perks up Joe Fine’s countenance.
“Lana. What am I going to do with you?” Joe asks. “You’re
an hour late. Where the hell have you been?
We have a lot of work to do today.”
“Sorry Joe,” Lana grins with girlish grace.
Thought you said 11 a.m.” “Wrong.” “Sorry.”
“Never mind. No coffee for you. Let’s go back to my
motel room. I want to show you guys something.”
Joe leaves money for the bill and tip on the table, scoops
up his bell book and candle belongings, leading his two
associates into the light of a new day. He relishes the role of
mother ducky to a new breed of superior sleuths-in-training.
(Acronym, SIT–how appropriate for many of the missions.)
“Thanks a million, darling,” Joe calls over his
shoulder to the waitress clearing away the sneaky business
meeting’s debris. “See you when I see you.”
“Thank you sir,” she replies, Hill Street Blues style.
“Be careful out there.”
Out into the weirdly colored hallway — they have not
invented names for those hues yet —
into the gathering sunlight near noon. The three walkie talkie
a few more feet to a lower motel room.
“Always get a room on the bottom floor away from the main
office,” Joe advises his captive platoon members. “That way you
don’t have to carry heavy equipment upstairs. Less
noisy. Something to keep in mind when you go on the road.”
An open suitcase lies on a plastic table. Various changes of
clothes and baseball caps rest on the extra bed.
“Damn maid. Hasn’t made the room yet,” Joe complains.
“I tell you. The people around here are slow slower slowest,”
Joe continues before washing his face and sitting on the
overly colorful bed cover.
“Let me show you something,” Joe tells Tyger and Lana as
they watch intently. He holds up a plain black contraption that
contrasts strangely with a painted clown portrait on the wall. A
cool sea breeze scene, by the way, adorns the other wall.
Those darn “starving” artists.
“Check this out,” Joe says. “It’s a homing device. You put this in a
safe place under someone’s car and then you take this thing,”
He pulls out a Swiss army knife, removes
the sea breeze motel art painting from
the wall with the Phillip’s screwdriver head.
“Just a little trick I learned in the Promised Land,”
he says, grinning, as he removes a shiny silver object from
behind the pseudo-art object.
“You activate it like this.” He flips a small lever on the
silver companion contraption, “and there you have it. It beeps loudly
loudly, loudest when you are near the vehicle you’re following,
and keeps you going in the right direction without the subject
having a clue in the world. Ahhh, I love technology
Joe sets off by hand an annoying buzzing noise, “just so you
can hear what it sounds like. We might have to use it today.
Haven’t decided. But I wanted you to see some of the tools
of the trade for future reference.
“Tell you what though. This is a bitch to put under
someone’s car. You really have to do it late at night because if
someone notices. Believe nobody wants that.”
Joe looks at his diver’s watch. “Tell you what. I’ll
activate the homer in the motel room and we’ll drive around the
area so you can get some idea of how it works. How about that?”
“Sounds bad ass,” says Lana ever so cooly cooly hot.
“You sure about this?” Tyger asks.
Lana in the suicide seat. Tyger in the tank. Joe drives a hard bargain around
the Houma Holiday Inn parking lot and a few blocks away north, then west towards
the bayou. Beep beep beep beep. Sure enough, the device trolls as
predicted. Following about 15 minutes of such frolicking fun, the
terribly terrific trio returns to the motel room to plot the day’s fantastic
journey to the center of the insurance fraud conundrum.
Back at base, Joe divvies up assignments. He has the
baby seat system, which he trades to Tyger for the big bad black box.
“My man in Mobile has some ideas for improving the box
design, making it smaller with an improved remote control,” Joe
says. “Use the baby seat for now. We’ll swap back in a week, or so.”
It’s like the time Harry Chiti was traded from the Cleveland
Indians to the New York Mets for a player to be named later.
The player to be named later was himself.
Tyger has no problem with that. What’s the diff.
They both work. Right?
“O.K. kiddos,” Joe says after he and Tyger fix up their
respective surveillance systems in the appropriate vehicles,
“Now, Tyger. I want you to set up your system on Dixon over at
Bayou Cane. Leave the system there. Lana and I will pick you up
outside the trailer park on Grand Caillou Road.
Stake out the Thibodaux residence just off
Bayou Terrebonne after that. Stay back with the still camera,”
which Joe produces from a locked suitcase under the bed,
“Note any activity, getting some photographs if possible.
Lana and I will take care of other,” Joe flashes fake quote
marks with his fingers, “‘business’ around town. We also have to meet
for a while with a client, let him know we are an unstoppable
army on the move with all guns blazing.
Stick with the Thibodaux case until we come and get you. It
should be about three hours. If you have any problem or have to
move to another location, call Dorothy collect. She is at home
all day today as back-up in case we fall out of commos.
Okee Dokee.? Let’s get it on. Let the games begin,” Joe
concludes as Tyger and the beautiful Lana nod their heads in
fired-up agreement. “We are going to have some fun today.”
Good plan, maybe. Tyger sets the baby seat system up on a
gravel patch directly facing a mid-sized white with green trim trailer.
A few probably innocent bystanders stand down the road.
Tyger doesn’t care. He is going to follow orders no matter what.
Set up takes about a minute anyway.
After standard weapons check determines all systems rolling,
Tyger walks away where Joe and Lana retrieve him like a lost
penny, a poor pup wandering along a packed dirt road.
Back to town and the major avenue that straddles Bayou
Terrebonne. Joe lets Tyger roam near a two-story blue wood duplex
apartment with fire escape stairs in the back, the bayou just beyond that.
Tyger finds a nice restful spot about 50 yards away along
the pleasant waters just behind a fish shop.
Boats are docked nearby as well.
Fishermen come and go from the waterway to the north.
Seafood buyers drive in from East Main Street to the south.
Tyger hunkers in his foxhole for the wary wait. “See you in
a few hours,” Joe says as he drives away. Beautiful Lana-doon
looks ever so appealingly vague on the shotgun side.
Tyger maintains his position waiting like a rock to roll. He
is determined that it will take no less than an act of God to
move him from this zen-like state. Ho-hum–another day,
another shady surveillance spot.
Not much subject activity to report. A middle aged woman
comes and goes, as do a couple of black apartment tenants.
(The complex has four units.)
Tyger whiles away the day throwing dredged sea shells into
the still waters. He speaks briefly to some old bugger of a dude
drifting along on a girl’s bicycle.
S-I-T (and wait) first class Williams checks into the seafood store
where they are selling that Cajun delicacy, alligator meat, as well as
hot boudin. Tyger is just there for the diet Mountain Dew, however.
“Alligator meat any good?” he asks innocently. “Aw man,
it’s the greatest,” a pot bellied Cajun critter at the counter
calls. “Where you from anyway?”
Tyger gives him the waiting for a girl friend story,
pleasantly inquiring about the man’s Saintly desires. No dice.
“I don’t go for dat football stuff,” he replies, “aldough
dat Bobby Hebert. Coonass boy from over in Cut Off, Loosiana. I
hear he pretty good. I like to see dem Cajuns make de grade.
Show ’em what we made of.”
Tick tick tick, tock tick cock, F-me Woodstock. Finally,
Tyger calls up the Thibodaux residence. Darn rude subject
refuses to answer. Sub probably sank in some mud earlier in the day.
Thibodaux kicking back along some bayou somewhere fishing, no doubt.
Who ain’t down there?
Tyger gives Dorothy a ring, informing her of the lackluster
situation. “Haven’t heard back from Joe yet,” she responds.
“You are where Joe left you, right? Just stick with it. I’ll let Joe know
when he checks in. Be patient. Maybe something will happen yet.”
Phat chance, but no matter. Hurry up and wait.
Hurry up and wait to escape.
Even the slightest hint of activity at the apartment complex
sparks a flurry of Tygerian activity as he scrambles into
position, snap snap snaps a few pictures, that kind of thing
Keeping active for the hell of it.
Might as well look like you’re doing something. One never
knows who might be watching the detective watching the scene.
But truly, no one even resembles the sub or his pity parade.
To be perfectly frank, hardly matters what Tyger does this
lazy afternoon by the still waters of Babylon.
Finally, he sits back, settling like soft rain on a nice
grassy spot along Bayou Terrebonne, and relaxes. Not a bad way to
spend a day, after all is said and not done.
Day starts to forsake its grace, so Tyger checks in again
with Dorothy at Oz. “Joe called right after you did,” Dorothy says.
“He is still working the other cases and will be along … ”
she pauses, “about any time now actually. Sit tight. You are down
by the bayou, right? Relax down there. Joe will get you soon.”
Er, later? Thankfully, as officially predicted, Joe, Lana-less,
drives along. He wears a Chicago White Sox baseball cap,
nonchalantly sliding open the door for Tyger to enter crouching.
“That seafood place any good?” Joe asks as Tyger sits
inside. “Dunno. They got alligator meat, though.”
“Alligator meat? Well. I’ll be dammed. Always wondered what
that tastes like. Probably chicken, huh?” “Dunno.”
“No time to taste test now. That stuff needs to be fresh
anyway, or so I’ve heard.
Let’s go get your car. By the way, Pud Hegwood he’s a
local attorney, just gave us some more cases. He loved the
Bubbicide you pulled down at Cocodrie.”
“Lana coming back?” Tyger asks.
“Nah, that bitch is what we call a ghost.
Know what that means?” Joe replies in
his best Socratic method.
“That is someone you bring down to do a specific job and
then, they vanish forever. Like Casper, a ghost. She is well on her
way back to Alexandria now. I’ve only been using her lately for
assignments like that because she is too unreliable.
I can not believe that bitch made us sit around all day at
the Holiday Inn spinning our wheels when we should have been
haunting subjects. I don’t know. She is such a knock-out though,
guess I’ll give her another shot. She’s a quick study when
she puts her, more finger quotes, “‘mind’ to it.
Good looking girl like that is great for some of
these sleazoids. She pops open her hood, tells them she has car
trouble, and they are falling all over themselves like white on
rice to give her a handle; a love handle, if you know what I mean.
Great set-up. Bang bang, maybe we get a guy with a bad back
changing a tire for her. These subjects are all alike.
When will they ever learn.”
Tyger retrieves his vehicle from the Azalea Camellia
Gaspergou Trailer Park with a minimum of effort. No one seems to
notice, or care. He follows Joe Fine to a nearby rural
drinking establishment where the Super Sleuth checks in with
Dorothy behind the curtain at Oz •
That piece of commos taken care of, neither big city
detective is interested in joining the insider country bumpkin
draft beer drinking crowd. They conduct official IRS Inc.
miscellaneous business on the gravel and sea shell parking lot.
Time to call the roll.
Joe leaves the citizens band radios with Tyger.
“Don’t have room. You take this. We’ll hook up later.”
Tyger hands over a stack of reports he forgot to leave with Dorothy.
“You might as well have these. They’re for you anyway.”
“Oh, here. Check this out,” Joe says, retrieving an oddly
elongated pair of — what? Binoculars? Tank commander
goggles? Opera glasses? — handing them to Tyger.
“Do you know what this is?” “Nope.” “These are night
vision goggles. Take it inside and check it out.” Okey.
Tyger re-enters the dimly lit establishment for only a
momentary gaze, yet long enough to alarm the redneck apparitions.
See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya.
Apparently, the goggles differentiate light. Tyger can see
quite clearly through the darkened bar interior.
“What do you think?” Joe asks as Tyger returns,
squinting some and handing back the night vision goggles.
“Pretty impressive, eh? Thinking of using them on Bingo LeBeouf. I
swear I will get that Moriarty bastard yet.”
A parting of the ways with a handshake and final
salutation. Joe heads north to Shreveport or about as far away
from the “snot-noses” as possible. Tyger blasts off for home to
grand dame N’awlins.
Just another day at the office, comrades. Until we meet
again. For the precious momentary record, however, Joe seems,