I’m Detective Staff Sergeant Deviled Yeggs. I work homicide in the big city of Tracy. My partner is Jim Wednesday. Poached Yeggs is back in the office, and he wants to see me. What a surprise! I desperately want to see him.
When Poached arrived, a little late, he walked straight to my office door and knocked.
Poached said, “It’s great to see you Uncle Deviled. I have a question to ask you.”
I smiled, “Me first, are you aware that all members of the Tracy Police Department have to maintain a means of contact at all times? And that is especially true of Detectives. Were you aware of that?
Poached stammered a bit, “um, um, um. Yes, Sir.”
I asked, “Then why did you violate protocol and go off the grid?”
“Um, I got married? I was on my honeymoon?”
“Poached, you are asking me if you were on your honeymoon? We needed your help last week. We started asking around and you cancelled your apartment lease around Thanksgiving, over two months ago, and about the same time, Callie went off the grid. I know your Dad and her department head both knew that you were married. They were the witnesses, but they had no way of contacting you. The SAT phone that Callie had is in the possession of someone else, presumably whoever took your place on the island. We should have known how to contact you on your honeymoon, and most people ignore that, but neither of you have left a forwarding address and your phones are not on. Yours and her cars are parked in a public lot. We are short-handed due to people being sick, and we have spent man-hours trying to find you. You have hours to make up for your extended honeymoon and you owe us for the grief you have caused. Do … you … understand?”
“But Uncle Deviled, her father hates me, and my mother is scared to death of her, we had to hide!”
“First off, why get married in such a hurry? Is she pregnant?”
Poached shook his head, “No. She insisted on not being intimate until we made a lifelong commitment. Not like you, no moral issue, but her reasons get complicated. I made a few moves early on, but in the process, she taught me how to behave on a date.”
I nodded, “Yep, like father, like son, you developed a reputation in high school.”
“Yes, Sir, I slept with so many different girls, mostly athletes, that I honestly can’t count them all.”
“Now you add bragging to your list of charges?”
“No Sir. The start of my womanizing had nothing to do with bragging. My Dad taught me how to pick locks, not go on a date. I had never seen a naked girl in the flesh, so I broke into the locker room after a basketball game when I was fifteen. A couple of the seniors pulled me aside, but instead of getting me into legal trouble, they used and abused me.”
“That’s what you call it?”
“Uncle Deviled, I was trained as a Vice cop and what those girls did was to rob me of my innocence.”
“As if you could be innocent when you picked a lock to enter the girl’s locker room.”
“And those two seniors taught me how to provide pleasure for girls and then they advertised that I was well-trained. I didn’t even have to ask a girl out. They called me. Sex became a physical act only. I never knew it to be making love, not until my honeymoon. That is a lot of innocence to lose.”
“And it seems all this quick wedding was a surprise to everyone. If the quickie wedding had not occurred quite so quick, there could have been a transition to something better. And you could have let me know where you moved!”
“It couldn’t have been a better transition. Callie is closing on our house today, but it is kind of a rent to own. Kinda complicated. We are just buying part of the building now and the rest later.”
“Please. Make it Sergeant Yeggs until I decide if I am still related to you.”
Poached puffed out his chest, “Sgt. Yeggs, do you remember the big bust I was part of when I worked undercover for Vice?”
“Sure, you befriended the guy who was supposed to be selling furniture in a huge showroom warehouse, but he was making adult films instead, using the furniture mock-ups for movie sets.”
“Yeah, his Dad owned the place and then suddenly died. His mother asked him to take over and he never could make it work, so he started a film making company. Well, when we rushed into getting married a day after she proposed to me.” He saw the confused look on my face. “Callie got the job to observe birds in the Everglades. She needed a companion on the data collection trip, and she did not want anyone other than me, so she proposed. I accepted. I already had the rings, but I was waiting for the right time and she beat me to it.”
“And you had to get married the very next day?!”
“No, but she found out about the trip when we were visiting her roommates at the college apartment. Her Dad rents the apartment for a reduced price. He then sublets the extra rooms at the normal rate, so that Callie would be staying there for free if they had the other three rooms rented, very little rent with two roommates. As it was, only two roommates. Those two hated the arrangement. They paid the same as at another apartment, but they were jealous of Callie not paying full price. They were jealous of our non-sexual romance. Anyway, here we were engaged and planning to elope a few weeks later and the roommates hear us talking about it. They came in with drinks to celebrate. We toasted the marriage. There were kisses and hugs all around, and then the next thing either of us knows is that Callie and I woke up in each other’s arms, stark naked, with our arms and legs twisted around each other and knotted in the sheets. Callie had been so specific about not wanting to do that until after we were married, and here we got drunk and destroyed her whole plan. You talked about my reputation from high school had to be buried, or I would never make detective. I stopped all that stuff before I graduated high school, and I have never been in bed with another woman until that night. Callie was afraid she was pregnant and that would end her trip to the Everglades before we started. As we tried to untie ourselves from the sheets, we got this wave of nausea. We were in each other’s arms throwing up on each other. Neither of us had ever gotten that drunk. Neither one of us had ever had that kind of hangover. We each took a shower, alone, not wanting to see each other at that point. We made the calls to obtain witnesses, and we married before lunchtime that day. I called in sick. Then, we went to Doyle County to a hotel, and we stayed in the honeymoon suite over the weekend. I think Pink Lady Apple owns the place, but that tapped out my ready cash. By then, Callie found out she wasn’t pregnant, one of those home tests, but then she refused to go back to the college apartment. Staying apart wasn’t working because we were married. You know, going back to Mom and Dad just seemed wrong. At least, it didn’t seem right. We tried that for a couple of days though, but then I remembered the furniture store turned into an adult film studio. My friend’s mother who still owns it let us use it until we went to Florida. When we returned a little early, she let us go back there and we worked out a deal. We are going to close off some of it, the office area, to live in and rent the rest as business space. We could buy the whole thing all at once, but on such a huge building and no closed in walls, the heating and air conditioning would kill our budget.”
“Okay, give me the address. Turn your cellphones on. Get back on the grid, but why did you want to see me?”
“Sgt. Yeggs, I was celibate from the time I quit sleeping with girls in high school until the night before we got married. I am afraid that a little alcohol and a little encouragement will send me down a dangerous path, and I do not wish to ever fail Callie. How do I know that I have not already sparked some inner thirst for the fairer sex? How do you and Aunt Glyce do it? I mean, our getting married in a hurry is because I couldn’t control myself. We are already starting on the wrong foot.”
I smiled, “Glyce and I do it because we go to church, first of all. We are dedicated to living for Jesus above and beyond our devotion to each other. And then we are totally committed to each other.”
“Callie and I have been going to a church on the east side of town. We didn’t know anyone over there and we did not want her parents or my mother to know we were seriously dating. Callie says that she is looking for something when we go to church, some purpose in life. I kinda understand the church thing, but I have avoided the altar calls so far. But the point is, until the Everglades, we rarely missed going on Sundays.”
“That’s a start. We can come back to that in a week or so. Making that commitment to Jesus means that you know you are a sinner, and you are helpless to fix that without Jesus. You will hopefully figure that out, but give me the facts about your messing up everything with Callie the night before you married. It seems all your fears stem from that one night of tremendous uncontrollable passion. What do you remember?
“Nope, nothing. The roommates came in with drinks and neither of us remembers finishing the first drink. There was even two half-finished glasses on the night stand. We could usually drink a few before we get tipsy and never getting blind drunk. I have never been so drunk that I forgot what happened, but we were blind drunk before we finished the first drink. Come on, Sgt. Yeggs, how can I stop that kind of animal instincts? I don’t even remember anything. Callie doesn’t either.”
The door opened and Gisele came in with donuts, cream filled with chocolate on top. She leaned in close to Poached and said, “Poached, I don’t know what has come over me. I have cleaned out a space in the broom closet. Let’s go have some fun.” Then she nibbled on his ear.
Poached turned beet red, “Gisele, I’m a married man. You are really sexy, and all, but no way!”
She kissed him on the cheek and said, “Good answer.” Then she sat next to Poached, in the chair where the accused would have a lawyer sit. But I think Gisele wanted Poached to talk rather than avoid answering the questions.
“Oh no, Uncle Deviled, I mean, Sgt. Yeggs. Am I still a detective?”
Captain Hart said over the speaker on my desk, “It depends on where this goes from here. And Sgt. Yeggs, I like this interrogation technique. When I write my book, I’ll call it the Uncle Gambit.”
Poached groaned. “What you said earlier. When you know you have sinned, and you have no way of fixing it without Jesus. I could use Jesus about now.” Poached had tears in his eyes.
I calmly said, “Think it through, Poached. You said one drink, not even all of it. You said instantly not being able to remember. You said you never had that happen. You said a hangover worse than you ever had. You said your arms and legs knotted together and a sheet holding you in that position also knotted. Again, never having happened before. And think… Has it happened since while you and Callie have been sober? I mean, being tied in knots? Think it through, Detective, if you still want to be a detective!”
“You’re saying that we were too drunk to have sex?”
“Nope, but that might be the case if you had a lot of drinks.”
Poached stared at the mirror, knowing that Captain Hart was looking at him. He said nothing for almost a full minute. “Are you saying that we were slipped a knockout drug in the drink and then they stripped us and staged everything?”
“And why would they do that?” Gisele asked.
“Oh, crap!! We came home early because Callie heard from the college that there was trouble with her father. He had raised a stink and vowed to remove his grant money if she did not come home early. Callie turned her phone on this morning and there were thirty texts from her father wanting to know about some photographs, but we never saw the photographs. We thought he meant photos from the bird watching that might have shown too much. He said that she was hereby cutoff from any further family financial assistance and that he would kill me on sight. Crap, crap, crap!! Those roommates were jealous of Callie for not paying as much as they did. They were jealous of us being in love, dating for a couple of years and never having sex. They knocked us out and took pictures. Then they tried to get a better rental deal from dear old Daddy Big Bucks.”
Gisele kissed him on the cheek again, “Welcome back, detective. And I want all the stories of two idiots who spent nearly two months never wearing anything in the Florida Everglades. But that’s later, we have a press conference to go to.”
“What’s going on? We have avoided the news lately.”
“Oh, this is going to be even better since you know nothing about what happened last week when you were hiding from me. And you’ll have to think about how you could have been a big part of it.” I said with a grin.
When we crammed into the tiny conference room, made tinier by the media presence, we stood next to Scrambled and Pink Lady. Scrambled Yeggs, my brother and Poached’s father, was holding Pink Lady up. She insisted on standing for this announcement although the poison she had been fed by Baldwin Apple had nearly robbed her of that ability.
The festivities started by swearing in councilman Boaz Salmon as the interim mayor until a special election could be held. He was sworn in by the honorable Bess Trueblue, with all the other judges in jail. Strange with no one available to post their bail.
Then Boaz Salmon stood before the microphones. “I wanted an intimate gathering for this rather than a large crowd. The raid on the brothel run by the Rotten Apple Gang may be a major accomplishment for our police force, but it was a black mark on this city. Yet, there is the opportunity for positive change in the city. And I promise while I may not be mayor for long, I will fight to clean up the city.”
He continued, “As a result of the raid, we have arrested twelve members of the Rotten Apple Gang on various charges. We have arrested the former mayor and his valet on suspicion of murder. We have also arrested nineteen city officials for paying for sexual favors along with the prostitutes that they were with. That is a serious black mark that our city suffered. I accepted the role of interim mayor even though I only got elected to the council a few months ago. I was the only member of the council that is not in jail today. But due to the fantastic efforts of our local homicide detectives, Deviled Yeggs and Jim Wednesday, a lot of criminals are behind bars. And much of the evidence that has been gathered over the weekend to keep the Rotten Apples behind bars, gathered by Lt. Tagliolini of Organized Crime, has come from Pink Lady Apple who has turned state’s evidence.
“But I want to clear something up about my background before we sign the paperwork making me the mayor. My name is Boaz Salmon according to the birth certificate as a foundling at the monastery. You in the press had a field day during the elections that when I petitioned to run for councilman, I still had the permanent address of the monastery. But all that the monks knew about my background was what they saw on a note when I was about two weeks old, having been left on their doorstep. ‘Do not take him to an orphanage. Raise him yourself. I trust only you. His name in Boaz Salmon.’”
“But that is what my mother wrote on the note. My original birth certificate had my full name when I was born at her home with the aid of a doctor and midwife.”
Pink Lady turned to me and whispered, “Deviled, hold onto Scrammie. If he faints, he is the only thing holding me up.”
The new mayor continued, “On all future correspondence, use my full name: Boaz Salmon Yeggs. My mother is Pink Lady Apple. When Red Delicious found out that Pink Lady and my father were dating, he cloistered her in her own home, making her a prisoner, setting her up as the madam of the brothel, although Red Delicious did not know that she was pregnant with Scrambled Yeggs’ baby. She knew that a brothel was not a good place to raise a son and with her uncle Red Delicious in charge, she felt she could not escape, but now, years later, during the raid, my biological father, Scrambled Yeggs was part of the crew who rescued her as they made multiple arrests.”
“So today, in letting everyone know my full name, I want to show that redemption is possible. I want to show that repentance is possible. I want to show that salvation is possible. All through Jesus Christ, as the monks taught me. But those things can be alive in the people of Tracy. Let us focus on those things and we can make this city better. That concludes my announcement, but off camera, I think my biological parents have an announcement of their own. I see my mother flashing the biggest engagement ring that I have ever seen.”
Pink Lady announced, while the cameras were still rolling, “This is the ring that Scrambled was going to give me the day that Red Delicious barred us from seeing each other. There is no telling what good we may have done together, but we are going to make up for it starting today. I am giving last year’s profits of Lily the Pink Medicinal Compound to the mission downtown, and we are having the wedding, once we choose a date, at the mission in their dining room.”
And Poached mumbled as he stood next to me, “I come back from a two-month honeymoon, and I get upstaged by a brother I never knew I had and a step mother that I am about to have and I have a father-in-law who has sworn to kill me on sight. Uncle Deviled, can I go back to Florida?”
As for the title, the meaning of the statement that the honeymoon is over, usually meaning back to reality or even meaning no longer in love, is the reason Poached wanted to talk to his uncle. Now that the honeymoon was over, was the “honeymoon over?” If asking the question sparks a desire to keep it going, the honeymoon might be replaced with something better.
Matthew 1:5 “Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,” So, I think Boaz Salmon would be a great name for the son of the madam of a brothel, who wanted a young spy to rescue her.