Curiouser & Curiouser
* MURDER *
* MYSTERY *
* MATINEE *
WE LEFT OFF
IN OUR LAST CLIFFHANGER
*AT THE BIJOU*
CATCHING UP ON CLIFFHANGERS?
Mosey through Epic*sode Clicks:
Epic'sode 10 ~ The Pissing Match
Epic'sode 11 ~ The Shadow Knows
Epic'sode 12 ~ Midnight Cowboy
Epic'sode 13 ~ Lucky For You?
Epic'sode 14 ~ A Wrinkle in Time
Epic'sode Sweet 16 ~ The Great EscapeEpic'sode 15 ~ A Wise Ass
"Hello? I'd like to speak to the marketing director of Odell's. Yes, I'll hold." Fingers strummed doubletime across finely penned copious notes, attuned to Tony's croon across the room -- "I left my heart in San Francisco". Focus, focus --
|WRITE IT DOWN - StarbucksGuy pic|
"Hello? Yes, this is reporter Penelope Payne of THE HAZLETON HOLLER and sundry wire service feeds. I'm wondering if you'll go on the record as to why the thriving theatre, AT THE BIJOU, very recently switched all of their popcorn concessions to your firm?"
"We've been helping theatres and concessionaires pop it and top it right for over 45 years. Before that, we popped and topped popcorn in our own chain of theatres. And for as long as we can remember, the Odell's family has been a family of popcorn connoisseurs. Popcorn is our passion and we are proud to make the products that make the best tasting popcorn possible. Ms Payne, that's true. And it's a big order, let me tell you!"
|POPPIN' GOOD! - pic by bulldog 1|
"Odell's is the foremost supplier of quality popcorn popping oil and topping products to leading theatres, stadiums, arenas and concessionaires throughout North America. We use only the finest ingredients in each of our popping and topping products. At Odell's, we never compromise quality at the risk of creating a less than perfect popcorn experience."
Dryly, "I take it you're the PR go-to gal for Odell's as well?"
Embarrassed laugh. "I do get kind of carried away, and yes. It's all since the merger. Actually, to use our favorite phrase around the water cooler, the kernel of truth is that this is a bit out of the ordinary. It takes years to build a successful concessionaire's relationship. This is the stuff hot tasty loyalty is made of."
"Wait - Merger?" Penny picked up her Bic, quick. The scribe's inklings surged a'scribbling. Large red loops laced specific sections of her careful copious research notes. Patterns were beginning to form in ways the patent Payne prided prowess didn't potentially see portending.
"Why yes. It's corporate news sweet as kettle corn it is. Gabardine Unlimited International Liaison Enterprises godfathered into our parent company. Why we got raises faster than a consumer can say 'Jiffy Pop' and -- "
Payne stared down at the megaglomerate's corporate name just scrawled fast and free onto the yellow legal pad prominent on her inordinately neat desk. Penny wasn't pleased when things were out of place. Like the way Paul Caracas challenged her skepticism. Focus, focus! The red letters G. U. I. L. E. popped right out, like -- well, you know.
Masking the frisson of excitement an expose can run away with until tediously nurtured to front-page fruition, Penelope cleared her throat and calmly cut in, "Congratulations are in order of course. Who contacted your firm to begin this hot buttery partnership?"
Computer clicks were heard. "Just a moment Ms Payne. Yes, I have it here."
Payne held her breath.
"A Mr Chester Hanks."
The glisten of a recent Red's the Rage manicure lifted a sheet of canary yellow. Penny circled her usual suspect near the bottom right hand corner of the second page.
"But this is odd -- "
Payne paused. It was the tone. It's always the tone at the other end of the line. "Odd?"
"There's a notation by our sales manager that all communications are to go to another gentleman AT THE BIJOU head office. This is highly irregular. We pride ourselves in popping our business along with just how it started -- "
"It says here ONLY a Mr Harry Shanahan should be the recipient of all company newsletters, e-mail, calls, invitations to popping conventions and general correspondence."
"Well that's interesting, Ms -- "
"Eiffel. Janet Eiffel."
"Like the tower?"
"I'm tall. It works. Any other questions Ms Payne? I hope we've satisfied your inquiry and can put you on the mailing list for client Christmas corn o'the month celebration mailings. The only thing we are more passionate about than our products is our customers. Whether you need an innovative product developed or a shipment rushed to a referred distributor, our service is unmatched! Our goal is to achieve 100% customer satisfaction with all of our products and our service. "
"Uh, I'll get back to you on that Janet. I am curious though -- real butter, all these years?"
"Odell's introduced our Original Popcorn Butter topping in 1962. Theatres have known it as Anhydrous Butterfat / REAL Butter popcorn topping. Since then we've added a complete line of innovative and quality popcorn popping oils and an economical buttery flavored popcorn topping, Supur-Kist Two. Our products are the most widely used in the concession industry and our customers tell us that they have a better aroma, a richer color and a more delicious flavor than any other product on the market today! If your popcorn isn't wowing your customers then try Odell's quality products. You'll be glad you did!"
Glancing at her Timex, Penelope shook her head, gathered notes into the zipper compartment of her suede briefcase, and opened the bottom right desk drawer. Just for a swift spritz. "Thank you Janet. You're a credit to the popping industry, I'm sure."
"Looking for the best tasting popcorn popping and topping products for your theatre or concession? You've come to the right place! At Odell's, we know popcorn!"
Eau de Dolce Vita by Christian Dior hit its usual mark behind the scenes of Penny Payne's wrists, lobes and the secret sensation, just beneath the knee. "Janet, it's been a joy. Best to you in your successes."
"Ms Payne thanks. But there's more -- "
Penny was late. She smiled. It was going to be better now than ever to let Caracas wait. She put a sashay into a strut she hadn't used since feeling frisky back in Frisco. Oh, this was going to be good.
A refreshing feminine fragrance blending fresh cut flowers with a trace of aromatic woods and vanilla wafted across the room. She turned off both the radio and Ruby Keeler's "Sunny Side of the Street" and smiled, the way she had in Frisco. Scentsual appeal put the blues on parade. Penny Payne left her worries on her doorstep.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
|IT WAS A GOOD ONE - pic by moacirpdsp|
“I was already up Sergeant Smartypants. What brings you around?” Chester asked. He’d opened the door only halfway so it would not be confused with an invitation inside. Stine saw his invitation over Chester’s shoulder anyway should he decide to use it, in the form of the bong standing General over the army of dead soldiers strewn over the coffee table. “Need to ask you a couple questions about your replacement AT THE BIJOU, Sparky Denton.”
“I ain’t sure I can hep ya there chief. I don’t rightly know the boy. So if that’s all then . . .” Chester figured it was worth a try but he wasn’t exactly surprised to see Dan Stine’s brogan step in before he could get the door closed. “Something else officer?”
|DING DONG - BONG! - protokol pic|
“I know it’s early.” Crack of noon, Stine thought and rotated his head side to side working out a kink in his neck. “So let’s try again. It looks like you had a little party here last night. Maybe if you can’t think of anything pertinent to my investigation into the murder of your replacement, one Sparky Denton, you’d prefer to tell me about the bong I saw on your coffee table.”
“Well the short answer there officer, is that is not mine.” This was true but Chester knew it made no difference to the detective. Chester had a hard and fast rule about cooperating with revenuers. He didn’t. He knew he was going to have to give this one something though. Because for the life of him, he could not recall where the owner of that bong, one Eugene Gabardine had gotten to and he did not want Dan Stine helping him figure it out. “You know, now that I’ve had a moment to study on it, I do ‘member that Sparky feller was referred to me by another feller workin’ off his debt to society over in Alice.”
“Do tell,” Stine said pushing the door open a little wider and stepping back from the threshold.
“Feller named Dudley, Malcom Dudley I think. Ever’one jes calls him Malc-Dud. Get it?” Chester smiled his I’m on your side here podnah, smile hoping that would be enough.
“Go on.” Stine prodded.
“I don’t know if it’s true, but word is Malc-Dud walked from a murder two wrap with time served and 120 hours of commie service.”
“So what’s his connection with Sparky Denton and why did he want him working AT THE BIJOU?” Stine circled Malcom Dudley, Malc-Dud on his note pad.
Chester knew Malc-Dud had been setting him up all along now. Apparently Sparky had accidentally taken his fall. He intended to settle that score himself but he didn’t mind if the cavalry helped a little bit. “Boss Gabardine provided Malc-Dud’s defense,” he answered.
"Open a window Hook," Stine said flipping his pad closed indicating they were done.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Leon and Eddie pulled up just as Stine was leaving Chester’s porch and Stine filled them in. “Sounds like we need to find out just who this Malc-Dud was accused of killing,” Leon said.
“That’s right. If you two don’t mind looking into that, I’ll go see Harry Shanahan.” Daniel said just as Eddie’s iPhone rang.
“Speak of the Devil,” Eddie said and shined the display in Leon and Daniel’s direction: Incoming: Harry Shanahan
* C * L * I * F * F * H * A * N * G * E * R * S * !
* AT THE BIJOU *
Mosey on over to next Sunday's Matinee
for the next gut-gripping epic'sode!
" The Prints and The Popper "
(c) 2010 ~ Dashing Duet Authors
Absolutely*Kate and Harry B. Sanderford
ACCLAIMER (vs Disclaimer) ~ There was no need to conjure up a surreal firm that served the industry in poppin' up the best popcorn. ODELL'S is the real deal, a scrumptious family firm. Seriously folks ~ The promotional pitch is indeed all it's popped up to be!