Episode Thirty Two: Not What it Looks Like

Before I get to anything else, I (desperately) need to give a shout out to one of my readers: Caleb Douglass. He has been an ardent reader of my writing since the very beginning, an early adopter, and lately he has solved a mystery for me. I have had an unknown person (by the screen name of Quin) commenting on my episodes, giving me helpful encouragement, and spurring me onward to give more, push harder, and all that general good stuff. The other day Caleb confessed to writing the comments anonymously, through a tortuous process to keep his identity secret. Caleb, you are a great guy. Here’s your prize:

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Spend it wisely -BW

 

First things first,” Tannenbaum said, “this is not what it looks like.”

It looks like you have terrible taste in sports shirts.” said Quin, obviously amused.

Tannenbaum looked down in disgust and stripped away the sports shirt.

Quin tapped himself on the temple to signify the gaudy sunglasses Tannenbaum wore.

Now you only look like Jackie Kennedy.” he said.

The surgeon didn’t bother to take off his glasses before he asked the ridiculous question.

Have you been following me?” Tannenbaum asked.

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Quin’s eyebrows contorted slightly like two caterpillers who wanted to get to know each other a little better.

Yes. Duh.” Quin said. “Ever since we met in San Francisco, until I found you in your hospital in Miami, I have followed you.”

But what about yesterday? Were you deliberately trying to follow in my footsteps? Were you trying to unnerve me?”

Well, no.” Quin said. He took another look at the frazzled and flabbergasted Tannenbaum. “But it seems that it worked.”

Why are you following me?” Tannenbaum demanded.

I’m not!” Quin insisted. “You’re as much of a nuisance to me as I am to you. I’m just trying to go and buy a distributor cap for some fat men wearing lederhosen.”

Lederhosen?” asked Tannenbaum.

They’re friends of mine.” Quin answered. “They have a polka band called the Belt Buckles.”

Why do they need a distributor cap?”

Quin revealed the plastic piece he had deep in his pocket.

Because I stole this one.” he said.

Quin.” Tannenbaum said. “I am tired of finding you in random pockets of my life. This has to end, I don’t want you to show up on my street corners, I don’t want to see you in the same stores I frequent, and I don’t want you to suddenly pop up in my sock drawer.”

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Oh?”

Yes. I want you to stop being a surprise. I can see only one way to facilitate that.”

How’s that?” Quin asked.

There is only one way.” Tannenbaum said, as he pushed his way out of the booth. “I’m taking you with me.”

Can I come to the meet with Lennard?” Quin asked.

Yes you can come.” Tannenbaum said. “What did you think that I meant when I said that I am going to bring you along?”

Well,” Quin said, shrugging his shoulders, “I thought you might let me move into a spare room in your house.”

That’s never going to happen.”

Tannenbaum strode confidently towards the door to drive Quin and himself to Penny’s diner, where they were to meet Lennard, the elusive and dangerous criminal who also worked part time as a cabbie. Before they could leave, however, Tannenbaum’s gaudy sunglasses set off the metal detector and Tannenbaum was arrested for shoplifting.

Thanks for reading, internet! The story is back in full swing! Come again every Tuesday and Saturday!

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