Monday 13 December 2010

My Day as a Detective('s Note Taker)

Recently, I found myself once again short of some cash, and in the run up to Christmas I thought that it may be time to do a few more hours in order to afford my loved ones the greatest gifts I possibly could, like a laser-guided Cougar or something.

After enquiring about extra hours at work, I was told that there were none available. I called Brad, and our conversation went something like this.

"So you're short of cash this Christmas then?"

"Yeah, I've enquired at a number of shops, and I can't seem to find anything to help me out."

"Well, have you tried Bjorn's Temping Agency?"

"Dude, after last time?! I'm not sure he'd even entertain the idea of having me back, I just bailed twenty minutes into the day."

"I've spoken to him since, mate. Apparently you lasted eighteen minutes longer than everyone else he sent."

Thinking it couldn't hurt to find out, I called Bjorn on the same number as before. The phone rang and rang, with no answer. "Damn", I muttered as I held the handset. He'd moved on. The number was no longer in service. He'd been lynched by an angry mob demanding Strawberry Mivvi. Any and all of these things were possible. Some of them were even likely.

"You rang?"

I whirled around to see Bjorn standing behind me. As I stared agape at him, he produced a Strawberry Mivvi wrapper from his pocket and winked at me, suggesting that he had read my thoughts. Or that he was sexually aroused by fruit-based ice lollies. I never did ask, thinking about it.

"Yeah, I guess I did. Anything going?"

"Yeah, I do have something that might be right up your street."

We negotiated the details; I would start on Monday taking notes for a police detective. I walked away, excited that I would be following in the footsteps of my on-screen heroes Gil Grissom and Sherlock Holmes. As I walked away, elated, Bjorn called after me.

"Rob, can you do me a favour mate? Stop that phone ringing. It's on Vibrate in my pocket and I'm getting aroused."

I arrived at the police station on Monday morning bright and early. I'd been told to report to the Detective by announcing myself at the reception. All the way there, my brain was telling me that I'd heard the name "Huntsville P.D" before, but I thought nothing of it and arrived at the reception with an excited gait.

"Hi there," I greeted the receptionist. "I'm here to see the Detective."

"Do you have a contact name?"

"I was sent here by Bjorn."

As I spoke that name, the entire room went deathly silent. The receptionist shared an awkward glance with her colleague, and I thought I heard someone whisper the words "ice lolly perv." The receptionist scanned her visitor log.

"Ah yes, you're here to see Detective Peeyai. Go right in, they're expecting you."

When I entered the room, I saw a man standing ahead of me looking at a map up on the wall. As I cleared my throat to announce my arrival, I was a little surprised that he didn't turn around to look at me, only holding up a hand to beckon me over. He shook my hand, still not looking away from his map.

"Hi there Rob, tell me something. Look at this map, what do you see?"

I stared at the map, and after a minute or so there was only really one thing that jumped out at me.

"Sir, the Marina has a massive arrow sticking out of its ceiling."

"Exactly what I thought, young man. Let's go there as our first port of call."

"What are we investigating, anyway?"

"A murderer who preys on my note-takers."

"Alright...wait, what?"

"Didn't Bjorn mention that?"

"No," I said through gritted teeth, "he failed to mention that."

"Alrighty. Don't worry, you'll be fine. As long as we solve this one before he strikes again. Which should be any day now, by my calculations."

"Fucking great. Lead on."

As we arrived at the Marina, I was really impressed by how focused the detective was, as he never took his eyes off the road all the way there. Sure, he chatted and asked about my life ("You work for Windows? That's great, I work well with Windows!"), but his eyes always remained focused straight ahead on his objective. I flirted briefly with the idea that he had injured his neck in some horrible accident, possibly involving a penguin, but figured that he was probably just dedicated to his job. That, and I was mystified by his choice of in-car music. Who'd have thought that a detective in a city such as this would be a massive fan of Morris Day and The Time?

As we walked to the crime scene, the tune of 'Ice Cream Castles' repeating in my head, I saw a grisly murder scene in front of me. I had been unprepared for this visceral a sight so early in my first day, and proceeded to bring up my Gregg's chicken slice, a full two hours before it would have come up naturally. Detective Peeyai beckoned me over.

"All right Rob, this is where we make our money. I need you to look for clues for me."

"All right, what kind of things are we looking for? This is my first day, I want to do it right."

"That's the spirit I want to hear!" he exclaimed, still looking forwards. "If I know this killer, he'll have left a few items that might look out of place at a Marina, as well as some objects that you'd expect to find. And he'll have left them in random positions at this crime scene. That's his way, this 'Note-Taker Killer'."

"Alright...What sort of objects are we talking about?"

"Right, based on his pattern, we can expect to find...a length of rope."

I scanned around the crime scene searching for the rope that he expected to find. Sure enough, after a few seconds, I spotted a length of rope dangling from a nearby canopy.

"Found it."

"Excellent work, my boy! Now, we should be looking for...a walking stick!"

Again, I scanned around, and found a walking stick propped up against a wall.

"All right. Should I be taking photos of these as I go along? Or bagging them for evidence?"

Peeyai laughed heartily.

"No, my lad, you watch too much TV. It's enough to find these things the way I do things. These items, once all found, will give us a picture of the killer."

Confused, but impressed by his determination, I pressed on.

"Alright, what's next?"

"Four frogs."

"...Sorry, did I hear you right? It sounded like you said 'Four frogs'."

"That's right, four frogs. He's a devilishly clever one."


Five minutes later, I returned to him with four frogs. Confusingly, one had been up on the canopy where I had found the rope despite there being no real traction there.

"Now what?"

"That's all we need for now, lad. Pass me that piece of photo paper there."

I obliged, and crowded around him as he stared intently at it. Before my very eyes, the picture began to change mysteriously, and I could clearly see a third of an image appear on the paper. Regrettably, this did not allow us to see his face clearly.

"What does that get us, Chief?"

"Closer, my boy. Only ever closer. Anyway, this part of the case is solved, so I suppose we should sort your wages out. Here's $200,000."

I probably gasped. I know I peed a little.

"$200,000? Are you serious?!"

"Yeah, deadly. I realise it only works out to about £120,000, but that's more to do with the economy than our wage structure."

With a sense of resignation, I accepted the money, determined to see the case through to the end, and alternatively to make a fuckton of money to leave my loved ones in the event of my death.

"All right," I said through gritted teeth, "What's next?"


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