I am Mashie Niblick. I am the temporary greenskeeper at the Hoity-Toity Golf and Monopoly Country Club in the big city of Tracy.
I have been spending all my spare time trying to protect my girlfriend, Pauline, and investigate members of a smuggling ring from the Baltic Sea, smuggling, gun running, whatever they can do for money. The smuggling ring has retired to Tracy, so we need something on them that will make charges stick here. We need justice for my old boss, Janis Ozolins, who was brutally murdered – death by liquid fertilizer sprayer, greened to death.
One morning, Scrambled Yeggs, Deviled Yeggs’ brother, stopped by while I was moving the location of the holes on the back nine. A local tournament was coming up.
Scrambled said, “Mashie, just wanted you to know that Timothy Hay is playing in the tournament this weekend. He was tricked into making a few side bets. I am not saying who tricked him, but I need Deviled to cover my bets. Know what I mean? That got Hay a bit nervous. He’s taking a few pills, every now and then, to calm down. Bound to run out of pills soon. Just thought you might let a mutual friend know.”
I assured him that I would pass the information along. I called Deviled Yeggs using a burner phone during my lunch break, as I drove a golf cart around the course. Along with the information from Scrambled, I let Deviled know that a particular import-export executive would be coming by before the end of the day. The executive was really one of my bosses for my regular job, operative for one of those alphabet soup organizations in Washington, DC. He might be my boss, but he was a friend, Hugh McAdoo.
A few hours later, Patrolman George Evident happened to be patrolling when Timothy Hay was caught speeding home from the clubhouse. Since I have no idea why Evident was even patrolling in the area, how could I know anything about evidence of illegal drugs in a large quantity that might be in his trunk, in the golf bag. Just saying strange things might happen.
But then I was cleaning up in the locker room after a hard day. I happened to go past George Smythe’s locker, and it wasn’t locked. Honest. No monkey business with the lock this time. Without opening the locker, I saw a phone number on a slip of paper. I called Deviled and passed along the number for a reverse directory search. It was an interesting find. The phone number was a local number, but the accountant who answered the phone got really nervous. Seems that George Smythe was not retired after all. The accountant was channeling money into offshore accounts for George Smythe and David Johnson. Deviled had no idea who David Johnson was, but I did. The accountant knew that the source of the funds was the same source, but he was not privy to who the source might be. He only knew it was a holding company that made regular payments.
I finally had completed my mission for my government bosses, but it had come at a great price. Janis Ozolins was a nice man. He had mentored me in greens keeping. He had treated me like a son. And he died trying to do the right thing. It wasn’t like other spies who I had handled. Those people understood the risks and they did the job based on one motivation or another. Janis was a friend and he believed the rumors that I had been a spy and I was retired. He recognized an evil man from the land of his birth, and he thought I could get the information to the right people. I did, but after he was gone.
My bosses asked me to pack up and return to the main office, but I told them I was not leaving until the murderer of Janis Ozolins was behind bars. They gave me an unpaid leave of absence. Don’t feel too bad about the lack of pay. I was living off the Hoity-Toity club. My only expenses were my several self-storage locker spaces. Besides, I really was not going to leave Tracy until I knew where my relationship with Pauline was going. To hide the fact that Pauline was at Deviled Yeggs’ home, I had not visited the house in over a month. And I was determined to see if she wanted that first kiss.
While I was dreaming of that moment, the phone rang. It was Deviled. He suggested that I meet him in the squad room. He told me that I did not have to pretend to not have a car. Pauline was going to be there, and he had some interesting news to tell us.
Hugh McAdoo might be a reference to basketball player Bob McAdoo, but it’s not. Hugh McAdoo rhymes with Do-Wacka-Do, an old Roger Miller song. “I hear tell you’re doing well, good things have come to you. I wish I had your happiness (or good luck charm) and you had a do-wacka, do-wacka, do-wacka, do-wacka, do-wacka-do.”