I’m coming around the corner on some tough edits for mystery #3, The White Pizza Caper, and thought I’d share part of a chapter with you this morning. Minnie and Rashawna are doing mystery shops in Pets ‘N More. They’ve just encountered a sales rep whose back is to them as he’s bent over a display for dog shampoo. Rashawna is rather upset by the exchange and Minnie gets the inside scoop on goldfish. (Blogger is giving me grief this morning - thus the large print and a few wonky indents - hope you don't mind).
From Chapter 14
“He’s not getting good marks here, Minnie,” said Rashawna.
“You wait for him. I’m going to check out the rest of the store.” I took off for reptiles. For the most part the various methods of keeping the animals housed looked clean. I wandered into Fish and a young employee smiled and asked if she could help me. I decided to be creative. “I’d like to get another goldfish,” I said.
“Very good,” she said. “What would you like to keep it in?”
“Oh, I’ll just plop it in with the other one.” I inclined my head like a proud fish owner.
This got me a long look down her nose. “We don’t recommend that,” she said.
“Oh, really, why is that?”
“Goldfish prefer solitude.”
“Since when?” I snorted. How ridiculous was this idea?
This time I got an indulgent smile that surely meant she was about to educate me to the best of her ability. Fortunately, I didn’t have to endure it. Rashawna came up beside me and whispered, “Let’s go.”
I said a swift thanks to the employee and followed Rashawna who made a beeline for the door.
“What’s up?” I asked as we slid into the car. Her face was a mask of fury.
“That man back there, the one setting up the displays? Big butt crack?”
“Yes, what about him?”
“He is not a good pet parent. He leaves his dog home alone. He gives him table scraps and the dog’s name is . . . oh, I can’t even say it.”
Good grief. First, I couldn’t believe she found all that out while I was in Fish. And then I couldn’t imagine a name so offensive that Rashawna would be bristling like this.
“Go ahead, tell me,” I said. “It’s better than letting it fester.”
“The dog’s name.” Her voice was patient but her nostrils flared.
“The dog’s name is?” I swear, we could do a stand up routine and it would go viral.
“Fester. That poor dog’s name is Fester.”
I had a sudden flash of a pop-eyed, bald, lovable monk-like character from the old television sitcom. “Well, he was very nice,” I said.
“Nice? Nice? I don’t think so, Minnie. To fester is to . . .”
“I know what it means. But perhaps the guy at the pet store was thinking of Uncle Fester from the old television show, The Addams Family.”
“He was a very lovable character in the show. Maybe Fester the dog is that way, too.”
“Maybe,” she said with a resigned air. “I don’t think I’ll be much good for anything until Yappy is okay.”
I thought better of even mentioning Cousin It.
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