Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Aloha, My Lovely, Part 5: In the Veep of the Night

From the case files of Sam Stain, Private Eye, who's been hired by Donald Trump to go to Honolulu and bring back the President's placenta

Joe Biden stood barefoot in the moonlight in his orange sarong, pointing a .38 Beretta at my belly button. “Okay, Stain,” he said, his lipstick-smeared kisser curled into a sneer. “We can do this the easy way, or we can do this the Scranton way. Which is it gonna be?”

I raised my hands, slowly. “Take it easy, Joe,” I said. “I know when I’m licked.”

He waved the gun at the long, flagstone stairway that led to the entrance of the hotel, flanked on both sides by lush hibiscus. “Walk,” he said. “Slowly.”

I did as he ordered, climbed the steps to the Volcano House with my hands in the air, the Vice President’s pistol prodding my ribs for impetus.
Halfway to the front door I spoke to him over my shoulder. “So you actually pulled it off. Put an alien in the White House. Congratulations, Joe.”

He chuckled. “You don’t know the half of it, Stain.”

“Who would have guessed it,” I said. “I always figured the Birthers’ story had more holes in it than one of Trump’s golf courses.”

“You figured wrong, smart guy,” said Biden.

I kept climbing the stairs to the front entrance of the hotel. Halfway up I missed a step, accidentally on purpose, and stumbled back into him. He should have just plugged me, but his instincts took over and he tried to help, put his arms around me to keep me from falling. Liberals. They can’t help themselves. I grabbed the Beretta and twisted it out of his hands. It was like taking Texas from a Democrat.

Biden’s eyes widened under the long, fake lashes, and his pale, bony arms reached for heaven. He still held the blond wig in one of his brown-spotted hands.

“Okay, talk,” I said. “What did you do with Trump’s investigators? The Jersey boys?”

He smiled, his sapphire-colored orbs twinkling in the moonlight. “They had a little accident over by the volcano. Seems they needed some health care, but the death panel voted ‘em down. Damn shame, really, but the panel decided they just weren’t worthy recipients of health care. I do hope their families understand.”

“Damn big government socialist bureaucrats, rationing health care!” I yelled, driving my fist into his jaw. He fell back onto the flagstones, unconscious before he hit the ground. He looked ridiculous, spread-eagled like that in his sarong and coconut bra, like Rudy Giuliani at the end of a bender. I stood over him, figuring my options. Loud voices coming toward me from the top of the steps helped make up my mind. I dragged the Vice President off into the hibiscus, then crouched down in the bushes, watching.

A large man in shorts and a luau shirt came down the steps, humming “The Girl From Ipanema.” He was heading for a parking lot filled with little electric Smart cars. I recognized him. It was Al Gore. I stuck the Beretta in my pocket and followed him down the flagstone walkway.

The former vice president walked to one of the funny-looking half-cars, which was plugged into some sort of electric charging post. While he fumbled with the cord that ran from the post to his gas cap, I came up behind him and stuck the Beretta in his back.

“Here’s an inconvenient truth,” I said through clenched teeth. “If you make a sound I’ll put a hole in you bigger than the ozone. Now, what do you say we take your little gaymobile for a spin.”

“Okay,” he said calmly in that Grand Ole Opry drawl, his voice thick as a Memphis breakfast. “Now, let’s not do anything rash here.”

“Good idea,” I said, opening the door. I got in first, scooting across to the passenger seat, then motioned for him to follow. “Get in and drive,” I told him.

He did as I said.

The little gizmo started up with a whir. “Sounds like a vacuum cleaner,” I said, as he wheeled us around the driveway.

He glanced at me, cold daggers shooting from his hooded eyes. “Let me tell you something. This little puppy can go from zero to sixty in 3.5 seconds, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, not to mention…”

I aimed the Beretta at the floor, a couple of inches from his right foot, and pulled the trigger. The explosion reverberated like a cannon shot inside the little toy car.

Gore jumped in his seat. “Jumpin’ Jehosephat!” he yelped.

“One more word,” I said, “and I’ll take off a couple of toes. What’ll that do to your carbon footprint?”

For once in his life he clammed up, staring straight ahead as he steered.

“That’s more like it,” I said.

We exited the drive and moved out onto the main road. After a moment, he looked at me. “Where are we going?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “Just drive. Give me your cell phone.”

Gore pulled a Blackberry out of his pocket and handed it over. I thumbed the keypad, punching in Trump’s number. He picked up on the seventh ring. I’d forgotten about the time difference. It was the middle of the night in New York.

“This better be good,” said The Donald. “Do you know what time it is?”

“Sorry, Mr. Trump. It’s Sam Stain.”

“Where the hell have you been, Stain? You were supposed to have checked in hours ago.”

“The liberals kidnapped me,” I said. “Brought me to Molokai.”

“Did you find Obama’s placenta?”

“Not yet,” I said. “But I found out what happened to your investigators. The boys from Jersey.”

“Tell me,” he said.

“They were death paneled. Liquidated by the big machine.”

“Son of a bitch,” hissed Trump. “Murdered by Obamacare.” The line went silent for a moment, then he said: “I need that placenta, Stain. The liberal press is killing me.”

“I think I might know where it is,” I told him. “I’m going to need another plane ticket.”

“Where to?”

“Africa,” I said. “The Dark Continent, where it all began. Get me a ticket to Kenya, Trump. I’m going to blow this caper sky high, with a cherry on top. But first, I need a way off this island.”

There was silence on the other end. The great mind at work. “Okay,” he said, finally. “I’m going to tell you what to do. Where are you?”

“On the eastern edge of Molokai,” I said. “Near the volcano.”

“All right.” His voice was the sound of authority. “Here’s what you do. There’s an airstrip not far from the volcano. Be there in one hour. I’ll take care of the rest.” He hung up.

I looked at Gore. “Do you know where the airstrip is, the one by the volcano?”

He nodded. “Yeah, I know where it is.”

“Take me there,” I said.

Turning to the window, I looked out at the dark landscape whirring past. A bright light blazed in the side mirror. I turned around and had a look out the back window. A big, black Packard was coming up fast behind us, its headlights eating up the road.

I turned to Gore, who had his eyes fixed on the windshield. “Step on it,” I said. “We’re being followed.”

“All right,” he said, his foot stomping the gas.

The little gizmo puttered ahead, not going any faster. I glanced at the dash. The needle danced at 60. It didn’t feel like 60.

“Is that the best it can do?”

Al Gore looked flustered. “Well, heck, I’m doing 60 kilometers an hour!”

I stared at him. “Kilometers? What’s that in American?”

He squinted, figuring the math. “37.28227153424004 miles per hour.”

“Dammit!” I yelled, pounding the dash.

Behind us, gunshots rang out, bullets pinging off the gizmo’s chassis.
“They’re shooting at us!” Gore yelled. “Why are they shooting at us?”

I rolled the window down, leaned out and fired back at the Packard.
The muzzle of a Tommy Gun appeared out of the passenger window, belching fire. Rat-a-tat-tat. I answered with the Beretta. Bullets ricocheted off the hood of the the Packard, but it kept coming. The big car sped up, ramming us from behind. The little gizmo veered crazily across the road, tires squealing.

“Hang on!” yelled Gore as we flew off the road. We bounced wildly through the thick, tropical brush, and then we were airborne, the little car taking flight. As we soared through the darkness, I heard someone scream, and realized it was me.

Gore's eyes were wide as cueballs, his fingers white on the wheel. He yelled, “I regret nothing!”

“Remember the Stain!” I screamed.

Next time: the thrilling conclusion!

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