It was a day like any other day - only different. In fact, this day was unlike all other days I had ever known - only similar in some déjà vu kind of way. I’d finished exercising at the gym and was happy to get to the office. My secretary had apparently dropped by the corner bakery and picked up a slightly warm pastry which was rather odd since Betty had tendered her resignation a month before. The air was filled with the scent of cinnamon or possibly a decaying rodent. I removed my fedora took a seat.
I propped my feet on my desk when I had the strange urge to perform a self-administered pedicure and toe shaving. Then I remembered that I had left my bolt cutters with optional hedge trimmers in my other gym shorts. Suddenly the phone rang. I waited for Betty to answer but it occurred to me that she’s been taking a lot of time off lately, “Hello, Ned Nailclipper P.I.” It was hard to concentrate, what with that nagging feeling that something might be wrong with my pastry. “Of course I can help you.” The sweet voice kept talking as I shifted in my chair which of course reminded me why I don’t like vinyl chairs and why I don’t typically wear gym shorts. “Drop on by.”
The knock at the door disturbed me as I pretended to smoke a rather large Tootsie Roll®. “Yes?”
Linda’s mouth was a gaping pit as she pointed to my face. I laid the smokeless taste of heaven in the ashtray and began to ask a few questions. A certain dripping told me that I might need to clean my chin, so I grabbed a handkerchief and removed the brown streaks from my face. It was mighty considerate that Linda had one conveniently located in her hand.
“So what can I do for you?” I asked, seeking to understand the needs of this damsel in distress.
“Well, there is a certain highly offensive smell,” she replied.
“Really? Where exactly does this smell come from?” I queried.
“Somewhere near that rat pastry,” she said holding her nose with a pair of hot dog tongs.
“I was wondering where that was coming from,” I said as I snatched the tongs and dispatched the rat from the window of my fifth story office. This was followed by screams from below led me to believe that more trauma had been needlessly dished out to other citizens of Spatsburg. I tried to give the tongs back to Linda but she didn’t seem to want them. Was there no end to her generosity?
“Mr. Nailclipper,” she began.
I held up my hand in protest. “Please, call me Mr. Nailclipper.”
Sure she was confused, but who wouldn’t be when life is turned upside down. “Mr. Nailclipper, I have lost something very important.”
“That’s why I came to see you.”
“You want me to find it?”
“That would be great.”
“Can you describe this item of importance”
“Good. I’ll get right on it.”
“Don’t you want to know what it is?”
“Well, if you insist.”
“Go right ahead.”
“It’s brown, has a handle and holds things.”
“Sounds like that rat I just threw out the window.”
“No. it’s my luggage Mr. Nailclipper. I lost my luggage.”
“That’s a bad thing?”
“So what brings you to Spatsburg?”
“Ah ha, that’s what.”
“Well it’s a one syllable word that in comprised of four letters and is commonly used in expressing a question.”
“No, I mean what have you learned?”
“What have I learned? This shouldn’t take long.”
A knock at the door interrupted my two minute diatribe on my previous education, which mostly involved the dissection of various amphibians in 8th grade biology class. “Luggage delivery for Miss Linda Becking.”
She ran from my office with what I am sure was either a smile of gratitude or possibly a grimace of pain, although the luggage did slow her departure some. I was left to try to discover a valid billing address for the use my inestimable time and talent.
It occurred to me that there was something important about what had just taken place. Grandpa Nick always told me “don’t run races carrying luggage” (Hebrews 12:1), and “never dry your gym socks in a toaster oven”. Both should be committed to memory whenever possible.
You’ll excuse me, I think my socks are done.
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