The phones were ringing off the hook. Everyone was missing something: cat, dog, prosthetic arm, leg, penis, you name it. Business was booming.
But I needed help. I was on the phone all the time. Not solving cases.
Isabella brought in lunch: a Philly cheesesteak from Tony’s off 5th Avenue.
“Gee mister,” Isabella said. “After I sent a butthole pic to that producer on the internet, I’ve been getting all kinds of acting job offers!”
“That’s good to hear Izzy,” I replied. “But you can call me James.”
The calls kept coming. I couldn’t keep up. Unfortunately, between the court fees, medical bills, fines owed to the state of California for burning down a nature preserve, and replacing the window in my office after a man fell through it, I couldn’t afford help.
“Say James,” Izzy said. “You look swamped. Since you saved my life and all, the least I could do is help you out with your business.”
“Oh you’re a lifesaver Izzy. I had to let go of my secretary the other day. If you could sit at her desk and answer phones, that would be great. Just ignore the calls with a Sacramento area code,” I replied.
As I was explaining the job, Sgt. LP Anderson of the LAPD called.
“What do you know about Franco De Werner?” Anderson asked.
“He’s around 5’10.5 with a great head of hair. He’s the biggest arms manufacturer on this side of the Mississippi. He’s been a financier of various counter-revolutionary movements in South and Central America. In fact, his eye got shot out in Nicaragua for which he now wears an eye patch. He’s earned a reputation as a solid middleman between the CIA and various fruit companies in war-torn countries. He graduated summa cum laude from Emory, earned an MBA from Wharton. His wife is Becky, they have two children ages 15 and 18. His drink of choice is Kentucky Bourbon, and he enjoys the works of Dostoyevsky. Otherwise I don’t know much,” I said.
“Well the FBI called, seems like a shipment of Werner’s has gone missing en route to Costa Rica. If you provide your assistance, the FBI said they’ll drop their investigation into you. I’m assuming you know they’re talking about,” Anderson asked.
“Very well,” I said. “Tell your FBI contact that I’ll set up a meeting with Franco De Werner.” I hung up the phone.
“Lazy bastards,” I thought to myself.
I went to Izzy. “I need you to gather all the information you can find on Franco De Werner. Print it off and slide it under the door of the bathroom. I’ll be in there for awhile,” I instructed.
The Philly cheesesteak went out as fast as it went in.