An ugly job, but it’s a living

I spy with my little eye

Kiwi

Gus and Kathryn worked for me in Narcotics and were partners…briefly.

Gus had been a narc like forever and he had worked in the meth squad for years and years. Gus liked to work meth – and was quite good at it – but cops that like to work meth cases tend to be different – just like meth crooks.

He had worked labs during the days when all the cooks were bikers, white supremacists, prison gang members and disgraced high school chemistry teachers. Paranoid freaks, they lived out in the country where they cooked their dope, watched porn, and shot their machine guns at phantoms.

Once they “powdered out” their batch, they headed into town to find the nearest jacuzzi suite motel for a dope and sex orgy that would last for days. Live hard, party hard and die hard was the theme, and the stories of two-hour long chases culminating in hairy shootouts were endless. Gus had been there, done it, and had made the ER trips to prove it.

Gus’s ways could be disconcerting to the point of being worrisome sometimes, and after a conversation that left me totally confused, I had to ask…

Gus, in all those years working undercover in labs, was there ever an accident?

Like what?

Well, did anything ever leak, or overflow, or blow up while you were there?

All the time, Sergeant. All the time.

That answered a lot of questions. It didn’t ease any of my fears, but at least I understood where they came from.

Kathryn and Gus briefly paired up because he was willing to show a newbie the ropes and they both smoked like chimneys. She didn’t like working meth, or Gus, and that soon killed the deal for them.

One afternoon, while they were still partners, Gus wanted to talk about a case they were working. Kathryn was enroute to the office from somewhere and I joined Gus on the loading dock at the back of our offices while we waited for her.

Gus was standing on the stairs leading down to the parking lot and smoking a cigarette. It was summer and he was dressed appropriately for the season in that he was wearing a t-shirt, shorts and sandals. Now he was a man who knew how to squeeze every penny of value from a dollar and seldom spent more than he felt he had to. He smoked generic cigarettes that came in the white packs whose only decoration was “Cigarettes” printed in black across the front. Gus’s frugal ways extended to his clothing and his shorts had to have been 20 years old, and were just a tad out of style.

Gus was wearing the American version of stubbies.

So we were standing on the loading dock when Kathryn drove up and parked nearby. As she walked towards us I noticed she glanced at Gus and then blanched. She had a look on her face like she had just tasted sour milk. Looking to see what she had seen, I noticed that Gus was standing with his left leg higher than the right, and it was bent in such a way that his thigh was parallel to the ground. His knee was pointed right at her and I knew she had a perfect view up his stubbies.

Gus was as skinny as a toothpick making the pants baggy on his pencil thin legs. There was a lot of gapage going on between his shorts and thighs.

If you’ve ever seen a cat or dog that has a bad taste on its tongue then you have an idea of the look on her face. The look was priceless, and after I caught my breath from laughing I asked,

What did you see, Kathryn? A summer sausage or hairy tennis ball?

No, it was more like a small kiwifruit gone bad. Sort of green, fuzzy, misshapen, and lumpy – with veins. Ugh!

Not longer after that day she asked if she could switch partners.

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