Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Tom "Dolphin-head" Jones and the mystery of the missing ‘Cutesy’ Shark

 

[Warning : The following story is a very long tale of love, deceit, power, adventure and corruption (actually none of them) and can create a sever lack of sense of reality in the reader’s mind due to some utter nonsense. The writer is not liable for any mental damages but takes full credit for any enjoyment thus received via the tale to be told]

The year was 1931. The date was … classified (?). The sun was setting slowly over the San Francisco bay. The sky was a gloomy grey (you must realise – this was the era of black and white). The few cars that there were returned home from work. Slowly, one by one, the lights came on and the city lit up. One such light was switched on by Tom "Dolphin-head" Jones (no one ever knew or wanted to know why he was called "Dolphin-head"), Private Eye.

Tom walked over to his chair and threw himself in it. The chair broke. "I think I’ll do some standing today", Tom thought. As he looked out the window, he saw a rare Algerian Condor hovering over the city. He wondered "There is no such thing as an Algerian Condor. Oh well, I guess it is going to be one of those days (the term "one of those days" was a term used by Tom to refer to a type of day which he had not classified and lacked any urge to classify)."

He turned around and looked at his single-room office. It was a darker shade of grey (remember the black and white era…). Had there been colour, it would have been a darker shade of some colour. The ceiling fan was rotating as slowly as possible, making as much noise as possible. In front of him was a large table of the same colour of the rest of the room. There was a table lamp, which did not work and a coffee cup filled with … water. Tom thought it looked good to have a coffee cup on the table and did not have any person to make coffee for him, which is why he had a coffee cup filled with water. The cup had designs of cute little puppies jumping to catch cute little butterflies (he had to change that cup).

Somebody knocked on the door. Tom looked up and saw the shadow of a good-looking female client.

He said, "Come on in".

The door opened and in came … a 3 feet tall "giant". She was wearing a light grey dress and a bonnet that was larger than her head.

"You dolphin-head?" she queried.

"Maybe. Who’s asking?" he replied.

"I am"

"So?"

"So!"

["This was getting dumb" he thought]

:"Okay, I am who you want"

"Dolphin-head?" she persisted.

"Yes!" (He HATED that name)

"Good! I want you to find my puppy. It’s been puppy-napped. Here’s my card and a photo of ‘Cutesy’"

Tom’s latest client walked out and shut the door behind her. He looked at the picture of ‘Cutesy’ and felt that the dog was as cute as the sight of a shark’s teeth about to bite you. He looked at her card. There was only one line :

If you really wanted to know my name you should have asked, stupid!

"Interesting!" he thought "She’s probably a big gang leader" (his reason for this assumption was that, this being a crazy story, crazy things were bound to happen).

He decided to go looking for the pooch. He walked up to the door, turned sideways, and squeezed through it. One thing about Tom – he recently won the fattest-detective-alive-award from the police department. There was speculation that there was not enough tape in the whole of San Francisco to measure his waist line. Just to give you an idea of how fat he was – his door was 3 feet wide. Thus, Tom "Dolphin-head" Jones set out to solve the case of "The missing ‘Cutesy’ Shark" (he thought it would sound better that way in his files than "The case of the missing dog")

 

Tom carefully "weaved" his way down the staircase to the first level. Unfortunately for him, his office was on the third level, which meant that whenever he had to go up or down, the whole building had to be alerted so that no one even dared to endanger their lives by walking in his path or by overloading the staircase. He was lucky that he did not have to wait for people to clear the way because the building was rather empty. After his "dangerous" (for other people in the building) trek down the stairs, Tom finally reached the streets of San Francisco.

The sun was taking its time to finally set and let the moon take over. The Algerian Condor was still hovering over the city. More lights had been switched on, more people and cars were returning home and the sky was getting greyer. Tom was contemplating on what his next step should have been. He was undecided whether to grace the doughnut shop or the cake shop with his presence. He chose the cake shop (because it was a downhill walk). As he walked towards the cake shop, he whistled a tune, which even if "Cutesy" heard, it would have howled in fear or disgust. When Tom finally reached his destination, the shop was closed. He eventually gave up the idea of going to the doughnut shop, because it meant that he would have to go back up the slope he came down.

Outside the cake shop, Tom stood wondering what was he going to do. He didn’t really have many leads, actually he had none. He didn’t even know his client’s name! The grey gloom was getting to him. After a half hour of standing in front of the cake shop wondering, a car pulled up in front of him. As the windows lowered, he saw his client.

"What are you doing here, you dodo? Why aren’t you looking for my ‘Cutesy’"? she said.

"My name’s ‘Dolphin-head’ ma’am, not dodo"

"I don’t care if your name is ‘Dumb-Algerian-Condor’. Go look for my ‘Cutesy’!"

"But, I don’t have any clues"

"Then go find some, you moron!"

"Where was ‘Cutesy’ last seen?"

"How am I supposed to know?"

"The dog is your pet…"

"That does not mean that I’m going to be with that dog every second of every minute of…"

"I get your point."

"For all I know some Algerian Condor could have swooped down and taken my ‘Cutesy’ away."

["What is this craze with non-existent Algerian Condors" thought the dolphin head]

"Is there anything that you can tell me about ‘Cutesy’ that can help me in my search?" asked Tom for the last time.

"Yes. ‘Cutesy’ is only a year old and if I don’t get him by midnight tonight, I’ll … do something to you that you won’t like." said Tom’s client, who then rolled up the windows and drove away."

Tom stood there looking into the open void left by the car. He took another look at the photograph. The collar of the dog had a nametag, which could only be read with a magnifying glass. Tom rummaged through his pockets but didn’t find what he desperately needed then – a bar of "Snickers" (Unfortunately for Tom, the "Snickers" chocolate bar had not been invented yet). The sun was finally going below the horizon. A few stars were already up. Just then, something gonged to signify it was six o’clock (this never really happened but was necessary since Tom didn’t have a watch). Tom ultimately decided to go to the pier. Even if he didn’t find ‘Cutesy’ there, he could always have a snack at a "Fish and Chips" place.

 

By the time, Tom reached the pier, the sun had finally set and let the moon and the stars take over. The sky was a terribly dark shade of grey (almost black) full of white-spot-like stars. The pier was lit in bright grey, which almost looked yellow. It was eight o’clock (Tom stopped by at two doughnut shops on the way) and there were mainly pubs open at the time. You could almost smell the degree by which the people inside were getting drunk. Tom didn’t go in any one of them because he wasn’t in a mood for a drink (actually none of the doors were wide enough for him to enter). Instead, he walked a bit further and entered a pub, whose entrance was just wide enough for him to enter (it had a double door). He went in and sat on his special chair, which was too wide and deep for anyone else to sit in without receiving some ridiculous injury.

Almost as soon as he sat down, the barkeeper Charlie Smith was by his side ready to take an order.

"So what will it be, Tom" asked his anxious "entrepreneur" friend.

"Nothing today. I’m on a case"

"Anything that I can help with"

"Not unless you can tell me about a dog which is as cute as shark’s teeth", said Tom while he took out the photograph to show Charlie.

"I just saw that dog today. It came in, took a seat and asked for a double martini."

"You must be going mad, Charlie. Didn’t anyone see it?"

"The bar was empty then. I thought I was mad too, but when it threatened to bite my head off, I had no option but to serve it. I’ve been so embarrassed that I actually served a dog"

"Any idea where your "dog" was going?"

"He was muttering something about some Algerian Condor which doesn’t exist"

"And?"

"He said he was going to meet it at the end of the pier at 9 o’clock"

"What’s the time now?"

"Just past a quarter to nine."

"Then I had better rush."

"Have a drink before you leave, at least."

"Thanks, but no thanks. If I really will be meeting a talking dog, then I don’t’ want any more hallucinations"

 

It was nine o’clock and Tom was at the end of the pier, hiding behind a warehouse of some sort. The pier and the warehouse walls were under extreme stress and pressure considering that Tom was leaning against the weak wooden walls of the warehouse. Had a fly sat on Tom, the warehouse, and probably the pier, would have collapsed. Tom snatched a look, beyond the warehouse, of the end of the pier. It was empty. No dog or Algerian Condor in sight.

Just then, a shadow appeared against the bright grey lights of the lamps. It was a dog. It was hard for Tom to make out from his angle whether it was ‘Cutesy’ or not. It did look similar, though. The dog walked up to the last lamp post on the pier and did something that Tom had never seen a dog do before … stand upright. It was an unbelievable sight for a man whose waistline was wider than 3 feet.

From the sky, the second "guest" arrived. It was the Algerian Condor (Tom knew there was no such thing as an Algerian Condor and just could not understand why he and the rest of the city was referring to it as an Algerian Condor). The Condor perched itself on the edge of the pier and squawked.

"Howdy" spoke the dog.

"Greetings" replied the Condor "Who’s your friend behind the warehouse?"

"I don’t know. He was standing there before I came. Hey, Mister! You can come out now. There’s no use in hiding."

Tom came out from behind the warehouse, waved and feebly said "Hi".

"Woah! You’re FAT! What were you doing back there?" asked the Condor.

Tom was in a state of … he didn’t know what to call it. He was being spoken to by an Algerian Condor and if he didn’t reply he would probably be torn from limb to limb by the Condor and ‘Cutesy’.

"Um, I was just standing behind the wall waiting to take ‘Cutesy’ to his owner, the 3 feet tall lady" was what Tom finally said.

"Don’t worry about her. She’s just an eccentric millionaire. She’ll forget about me" said ‘Cutesy’

"But what about my fees? She also said that she would do something that I won’t like" immediately replied Tom, thinking about the king-sized doughnut he was planning to get with his fees.

"The only thing that you won’t like that she will do is give you 1 cent less. Count on it"

"How can you be so sure?"

"Well, this is a fictional story."

"You got me there. So is this the end?"

"Nope. The writer will probably write some fancy conclusion a short while after this conversation."

"Oh! Isn’t that unfair to the reader?"

"How am I supposed to know. I’m just a character here."

"Well then, I just have one question Mr. Condor. Do you really exist?"

"All that jazz about me not existing is just a rumour I started to keep hunters away. You won’t believe how difficult it is to go around if you are a rare bird these days. I’m waiting for the 1990’s to come." Spoke the Condor after a long time.

"Oh?! Well then, I guess I had better be leaving. Bye." Said Tom, walking away.

"Bye" The Condor and ‘Cutesy’ said in such a synchronisation that would have sent the masters of rhythm into a state of worship.

 

Well, that is it. Yes, this is the end. Just to give you an idea of what happened afterwards, Tom did get his fees, with one cent deducted. He went on to get the king-sized doughnut he wanted, but threw it into the sea and caused a big problem for a school of fishes which didn’t know whether to eat the doughnut or leave it there for the human race to study in the future. Tom eventually lost three fourths of his body weight and became the most wanted detective in San Francisco (which means that there could be a sequel). ‘Cutesy’ and the Algerian Condor continued to meet at the end of the pier at nine o’clock. Occasionally Tom joined them, whenever he got time from his booming business and even travelled to Algeria with the Condor and ‘Cutesy’. And, so life went on in the crazy world of Tom "Dolphin-head" Jones, Private Eye.