Story Go Round 06/05/2004, continued from 05/07/2004


The commissioner declared the cheese "rather strong". Those assembled clapped politely at his remark. DeLintz stood towards the back with his hat pulled down low and grumbled to himself: all the criminals are running free in this town an he's complementing a cheese..." And it was true - the commissioner was strong as well, and to most folks it seemed appropriate for him to be standing next to that cheese.

What they didn't know about the cheese was that it was key evidence in one of the most troublesome, unsolved murder cases of our time. But the commissioner knew. He picked up the knife with a placid smile and sliced cleanly thru the small block. "No one can make me pay for my crime now" he gloated inwardly. "Destroying evidence - ha! Can they prosecute my stomach acid? Not likely!"

DeLintz suspected, but he didn't know. The crime was so rampant in this city, the commissioner had to be on the take - or delusionally negligent - It had been a problem he had shoved to the back burner for months, with the divorce and all, but now, the recent vandalism of shops in the SE dairy district had brought the curds floating to the top ... as it were.

You could do wonderful things with cheese nowadays. Cranberries and orange peel aged in cheese is considered gourmet, now. Feta cheese with pepperoni bits or pickled egg is a specialty food. Something new in cheese is met with curiosity and interest. But when the first consumer bit into a wedding ring, alarm was slow to spread.

He moved forward thru the restless crowd with his eyes cast downward. He circled slowly around and approached the podium non-chalantly, trying to look as if he were merely scoping for a better view of the speaker. When no one was looking he snaked out a hand and snatched the knife the commissioner had used a minute ago. It disappeared into a pocket of his trenchcoat and he soon thereafter disappeared into the crowd. The crowd, however, did not disappear, and thus he did not notice the red-haired woman in the trenchcoat following him. Hired henchwoman Helga and her two hamsters were feared, feared and dreaded throughout the underground crime syndicate. They were the cream of the crop. Helga's primary method of torture was (cont'd) to pretend to be an endearing old aunt for many years but all the while cooking the same soup for you until you became uncomfortable, then upset, then downright lonely! She had smoked out three serial murderers, the New England artist-arsonist, and a jaywalker by acting the part of their aunt for many years. She had been talked up in crimefighter rags, but a career with only 5 convictions was not exemplary - it was inefficient.

So now she just did what you payed her to do; the hamsters went along with it because she had them in her pocket. Plus, they owed her. She was her target enter a phone booth down the block; it made the hairs on the back of her neck bristle - he had at least three cellphones at any given time. Something was not right.

She went up to him and offered him a cough drop. He tried to say he was busy. She adjusted his scarf and smoothed his hair. He flinched, but her auntie-like aroma was convincing and even overpowering. She edged in closer. He started fidgeting violently with his left cuff link, and refused to make eye contact. She heard a metallic 'clink' from somewhere inside his trenchcoat. He froze.

With lightning reflexes, Helga pulled out her knitting needles and crocheted the arms of his coat together behind his back.

"The hamsters hate you," she gloated.

(cont'd) "Perverse, woman!" Delintz practically shouted. He pulled and stretched, but the arms of his coat were expertly mesged. He hooted and hollered, and hopped himself down the cobbles of the street. He wanted to reach the portly Mr. Peridot who was wearing his lilac lederhosen for the festivities.

Mr. Peridot, beyond being green, was a true professional. He made DeLintz & Helga look like rank amateurs, but he had let his color obsession get a little out of hand as he neared retirement. But DeLintz remembered the glory days, when Peridot had worn black, when he'd singlehandedly brought down the Wine and Sausage syndicate after years of bad parties afflicting the town. "Peridot--" he screamed, before she could find a way to crochet his teeth. "The cheese--!!!"


It had been hamsters chewing on Lederhosen, and a free-for-all in the mud. Peridot fished the cheese out of Delintz's pocket but lost it when Helga speared it with one of her knitting needles. DeLintz wrestled theknitting needle out of her hand but was tripped up accidentally by Peridot's flapping suspenders. Helga dog piled him while Peridot pulled the rodents out of his pants.

So of course, that was when the police arrived.

Officer Beauregard was one of the commissioners's lackeys, and everyone knew it. Officer Potts was his exact opposite. That they showed up at exactly the same time was a godsend. Officer Potts had the respect of the people, while Beauregard just made excuses.

Amber is purple; John is pink; Kevin is green; Terry is orange; Habeeb is grey