I’m Detective Staff Sergeant Deviled Yeggs. I work homicide in the big city of Tracy. My partner is Jim Wednesday. But today was a day off. I was going to spend the day with GrandPa, Millennium Yeggs, planning the party for my Dad, Thousand-Year-Old Yeggs, and my brother, Scrambled Yeggs. Neither had a bachelor’s party when they were first married, so we thought we would have some fun, maybe at their expense.
GrandPa lived in a mountain cabin a few hours’ drive away. It had been set up as a high-tech safehouse for one of those alphabet organizations near Washington, DC, that deals with “secret information.” GrandPa is a retired “secret.” He was a safe cracker, as Yeggs had been for many generations, I guess from the time safes were invented, so maybe for eight centuries, not that GrandPa is that old. GrandPa is in his nineties and in many ways in better shape than I am. But when he was young, he was caught leaving a Federal Reserve Bank with a tremendous amount of cash. He was given the option of going to prison or doing the same thing he had always done, but with one difference, stealing what the government wanted stolen.
GrandPa thought of himself as a gentleman thief, so he opted for the latter. Only one problem, about a year later, his wife gave birth and died less than two weeks later. That left GrandPa’s parents to bring up my Dad with their son travelling the world, stealing in exotic lands. That undid my Dad, who became a yegg like his grandfather, just an unsuccessful one, constantly getting caught, constantly serving time in prison, and ruining the lives of his wife and children, one being me.
But I vowed that I would break the mold and redeem the family name. I was not going to be a yegg; I was going to be a policeman, the guy who catches yeggs.
But when GrandPa retired, he volunteered to go to prison, a perfect place to hide from all the enemies that he had made around the world. After all, he could escape any prison at any time, pick any lock, and then disappear. I often wondered how an escaped prisoner came to the birthday parties of his greatgrandchildren and then get back to prison before the alarm would sound that he had escaped. It was all a set-up. The government funneled money into the prison in exchange for putting up with GrandPa’s antics. His handler and financial advisor, Hugh McAdoo, Hgh being the latest of many, gave him a new identity with each escape and GrandPa was off to Aruba, his favorite vacation location, probably because he had never stolen anything there and people might not be looking for him.
But then the prison became overcrowded and my Dad and GrandPa were kicked out. My Dad went to work at the mission in Tracy at my wife’s request, but Glyce would have never thought that neither my Dad would become a Christian nor would he fall in love with the counselor for the mission’s residents. GrandPa moved into the safe house. He was alone most of the time, but he entertained guests on occasion. He claims that the president dropped by once, but he never qualified that. It could have been the president of the glee club.
Now, GrandPa and I were planning a party for my Dad and my brother, if GrandPa would ever show up. I hope I did not have a wasted vacation day. …
At that point in my reverie, I heard the wop-wop of helicopter blades. A helicopter was landing in the cul-de-sac in front of our house.
I went to the door as I saw GrandPa get out of the helicopter and wave farewell to his “friends.”
After the helicopter flew away, I said, “Nothing like coming in unnoticed so that your enemies do not know where to find you.”
GrandPa laughed, “Hugh detained me with a lot of questions, and I did not want to be late for our special planning meeting, so I told him he had to get me here fast. If he had not been bothering me, I would have slipped out unnoticed last night and driven here in a stolen car. You know, one of the personal vehicles of one of the guards at the facility, just for fun. Don’t worry, I would have eventually returned the vehicle with a full tank of gas.”
“You never stop, do you, GrandPa?” We both laughed.
After we settled down at the kitchen table with notepads and pens and extra pens and calendars, I asked, “Have you given this groom’s party any thought?”
GrandPa beamed, “We can start with strippers.”
I sputtered, “GrandPa! Blaise and Easter will be there. Dad has cleaned his life up. Scrambled is devoted to a strong Christian lady in Pink Lady. And Poached and I are cops!”
GrandPa replied, “Sounds like this party is going to be boring as …”
I interrupted, “Don’t say ‘H-E-double hockey sticks’!”
GrandPa retorted, “I wasn’t going to, and I cannot fathom why you can’t say ‘Hell!’ It’s a perfectly good word, and it’s in the Bible!”
I muttered, “Just no strippers, okay. Besides, what is it with you and strippers? I hear that you have watched strip tease acts on six continents and given away millions of dollars to finance these women into a life away from that business. But why have them strip first?”
GrandPa replied, “I had to read their body language.” I was thinking of replying ‘I bet!’ but I let him continue. “I had to read their eyes. I needed to know if they enjoyed what they were doing, and most would rather do something else if they had enough cash to get started somewhere else. … And besides, you missed a continent.”
I gave him an incredulous look. “No way did you go to Antarctica for a strip tease.”
Grandpa leaned back in his chair. “She was the next to the worst dancer, Gwen was the worst, but oh, was she lovely. You see, Hugh McAdoo had people being paid to deliver duplicates of the data that some of our less trustworthy nations on earth were gathering. Their flow of data stopped. I would have to shoot you if you knew what kind of data, but it was not nuclear weapons or anything, just data that the USA needed and was supposed to have been shared in the first place. I went down with a resupply run. I broke in. I copied all the data. And then, to cover for why I was there, it was stated that I was an eccentric man who travelled the world with a different lady in each port. It was said that a Norwegian scientist down there had been my lover at one point. The truth was that she was among those who had already been paid but had not delivered the information. They gave us a room for privacy, and I told her to do a strip tease. In her earlier life, she had spent far too much time in the classroom and no time at all in a strip club – that bad of a dancer. She complied because she knew she was in trouble, not because she was a stripper. But oh, how lovely she was. And the embarrassment that she suffered ensured that she began the data transmissions that she was paid to deliver. But I already had the data to that point. I hopped on the same boat I came down there on.”
I shook my head. “Glyce says you are the dirtiest old man she has ever met, but she loves you. You make her laugh.”
GrandPa replied, “Okay, if I can’t have strippers, then we will have naked waitresses.”
“Nobody is getting naked, and don’t give me that ‘boring’ comment again.”
“I guess a porn movie is out?”
I sputtered again, “GrandPa, I am a cop! I am a required reporter. Easter is almost of age, turning eighteen in a couple of months, but Blaise is underage. I would have to arrest myself!!”
“Some boring party this is turning out to be. I figured with a few cops in attendance, the chance of getting raided would be very low. Besides, this is a bachelor’s party, Deviled.”
“No, it is not, GrandPa. Some people can get all loosey goosey with the language, but a bachelor is a guy that has never been married. Dad was married to Mom, and she passed away about ten years ago. He’s a widower. Scrambled was married, regardless of what the documents say. I do not know how you can have a marriage annulled when you have two adult sons from the marriage. Rotten and Poached have reconnected with their mother after being abandoned by her, but they are looking forward to having a fulltime step-mother. Their birth mother acknowledges them but only when she feels like it.”
“I heard Rotten was getting his name changed.”
I corrected him, “Not officially, maybe never officially, at least not yet. Zuzka, one of Pink Lady’s most junior employees, has been teaching him manners and, as she says, ‘how to not be rotten,’ and she has suggested that the ‘R’ and the ‘N’ in rotten are now silent in his name and we can call him ‘Otto.’ I know, it should be ‘Otte,’ but he will be listed as Otto Yeggs in the printed information about the weddings, announcements, etc. Pink Lady is hoping that it confuses Rotten’s corruptive friends, and they won’t show up for the wedding. … But you are changing the subject. Why all this fixation on naked women? We will have young ones at the party because the ladies will be having their party at the same time. Those are legitimate bachelorettes. We need to tone it down to something less risqué.”
GrandPa squirmed, “But being risqué has been the norm for bachelor’s parties for the past one hundred years, plus or minus a year or two, whether you call this a bachelor’s party or not. I have no idea whether the naked ladies were allowing the groom a last fling or if it was a moral test to see if he would be unfaithful to his bride, but that is the way it is done today. These days, destination parties are the big thing, but that is nixed under the circumstances. I know we cannot get in trouble since a couple of cops will be there. We can have alcohol. It will be up to you to monitor what Easter and Blaise drink. I suggest a sip just for them to taste the hard stuff. Maybe it will scare them straight. But, you know, the girls are going to be naughty, so I have no idea why we can’t have a little fun.”
I asked, “How do you know what the girls are doing?”
“I am the master spy, you know. I have connections.”
“You have A connection, from what I hear. Tell me about her.”
“Deviled, you have given me two questions, but you keep interrupting. Gwen Quinn was my chosen strip tease at the Lily the Pink brothel, but she refused to leave unless I could spring Pink Lady Apple also. Springing Pink Lady might have gotten Red Delicious Apple angry, and he had influence throughout the prison, more influence than the warden. So, I paid for Gwen’s exclusive services while the brothel was still in business. I knew her past and turning tricks was the worst thing she could have done in that situation. I hate that Baldwyn Apple and the Rotten Apples made so much off of me, but it kept her safe. I guess I chose her because she reminded me of your grandmother. All my other strip tease performances were for the ogling, sure, but it was to help people escape the life. Gwen continued the life, but exclusively with me. I never wanted to fall in love after your grandmother, but I have. We will never marry, but my philandering days are over. As for the bachelorette party, Gwen had a private fashion show with Pink Lady, with Pink Lady trying on very sexy, and even raunchy, lingerie that is intended for the honeymoon. She got the permission of your wife, Glyce, and this ‘Dot Com’ woman (Dorothy Cahn, Maeve’s maid of honor). She had everyone’s measurements for the custom-made dresses. So, she is buying lingerie for everyone in the combined wedding parties.”
“No way!!! Sophie is in the wedding party! She is only thirteen! I already said that I am a required reporter. Now you have me required to arrest my wife.”
“Settle down, Deviled. They are going to wear nude colored underwear underneath the naughty things and they are not getting Sophie anything risqué. For whom would she wear it?! They are getting her a bustier so that she will look even older than she is in her bridesmaid dress, but then, the nighties will be demure. And Glyce guarantees me that after she gets her gifts, Sophie will be excused to another room to watch television during the fashion show. And you should not complain. Glyce will come home with enough undies to last a week or more. Vavoom!”
Note: I am thinking that from what Sophie has been saying since the party, Glyce violated her guarantee. Sophie keeps saying to her, “Mom, you are the best Mom … EVER.” And she keeps calling Gwen Quinn her new best friend. At least, I have plausible deniability.
We settled on employees from Lily the Pink in tasteful, but skimpy, lingerie as servers, strictly instructed to not take anything off and slap anyone that touches them. I don’t want trouble with my new sister-in-law who is trying to convince these former prostitutes that they are more than just a body for men to use and then discard.
We settled on a documentary about dealing with erectile disfunction. Since the sum of two grooms’ ages was over one hundred, we would embarrass them to no end, whether they had that particular problem or not. And if they did, they could learn something. And I think GrandPa wanted to learn something too, but I was afraid to ask about how physical his relationship with Gwen Quinn was. We also decided to do a roast of the grooms, as bachelor parties had been in previous centuries before getting raunchy about a hundred years ago – at least the raunchiness coming to light about one hundred years ago. With two former yeggs by the name of Yeggs, and Scrambled’s scrambled past, we had so much dirt on those two that we decided to eliminate the most embarrassing of the stories. GrandPa said that he had a list of one-liners about my Dad that he could put together under the title of “Your old friends in the cell block heard you were getting married and they wanted to wish you well” – then one zinger after another. Something like, “There are three bars of soap in the shower that you dropped. Are you ever going to pick up after yourself?”
Then we got around to the food.
GrandPa begged, “Please, let us have naked food! We can’t have naked anything else. Please!”
I rolled my eyes, “Okay, GrandPa, what are your ideas?”
“First, we are just guys, so we can have guy food: burgers, hot dogs, fries, chicken, tacos. That kind of thing. The burgers are served with nothing on. They are naked. Right?!”
“Please, put cheese on some of them. They can be naked cheeseburgers and naked burgers. I like my cheese melted.”
“Okay, okay. Then the same with the hot dogs. With all this, if someone wants to put clothing on their food, we’ll have all that stuff at a different table. That way everyone knows when they leave the first table and walk across the room, all their food is … naked.”
“Granted. I figure that the tacos are just shells and meat. How are the fries naked and the chicken?”
“Okay, we can get a variety of different dry spices to make the French Fries so tasty, no one would think of putting ketchup on them, or mayonnaise, mustard, or gravy depending on where in the world you enjoyed fries. Naked, right?! Then, we can have nuggets without the bread coating. You know, like grilled tenders. But, I don’t know about the chicken. That doesn’t sound that guy-style appetizing.”
“I am surprised at you, GrandPa! You have travelled the world and you have forgotten the street food of southeast Asia? You put the tenders on a stick, and they have to take their chicken on a stick to the other table to get to the peanut butter sauce.”
“Saté! How could I forget?” Then GrandPa leaned back and closed his eyes, “There was this girl in Bangkok, Thailand. She was so lovely. …”
“GrandPa, no stories about your strippers! We still have details to iron out.”
GrandPa shook his head. “She’s no stripper now. I set her up with a fashion boutique in Rayong and she has done so well that she expanded to a resort on one of the islands just off the coast there. And she is opening other boutiques in Pattaya and Chon Buri.”
“Do these old strippers keep in touch?”
“Almost all of them do, Deviled. I give them a P. O. Box in DC, and Hugh forwards my mail to me. I am afraid that the ones who do not keep in touch have squandered their stake money and gone back to the life, if they have any life at all now. That kind of life does not have a long life expectancy. There are exceptions, but the average is low. The prostitutes simply do not live very long, average in the mid-30s, and by the time a stripper approaches 30, most guys don’t want to pay to see you take your clothes off. With no other acquired skills …” GrandPa shrugged.
“Okay, GrandPa, now that we are on the subject of your exploits, how did you end up with so much money to be this great rescuer of strippers and prostitutes?”
“Easy, Deviled,” GrandPa winked, “In part, the same way Mashie Niblick can afford a home in your neighborhood. No house payment while on long term assignments with an expense account. I was constantly going from one job to another, always with an assumed identity, and thus my expenses were paid. I had no expenses of my own after your grandmother passed on and a small trust fund set up later for you and Scrambled. I know you used yours for college, and Scrambled unwisely spent his,” I thought, not really, Scrambled’s funds were gone when his wife abandoned the family and Scrambled needed babysitting. GrandPa continued, “But the government paid me a per diem for meals and incidentals, paid for travel expenses like first class airfare, which I insisted on, and nice hotels, and a full salary on top of that. Remember, no expenses. Then, when they told me to break into someone’s safe to make copies of a document, or replace that document with a fake one, or to simply empty the safe, the government did not mind, since I was not in the USA at that moment, that I lifted jewelry, gold bars, bearer bonds, and cash. I stole nothing if the mission required the foreign government not knowing that I had ever been in the safe. Those were disappointing missions. When I returned home from a more lucrative mission, I would go to Hugh McAdoo or his predecessors and give him proof that my contractual obligations were met. Then, I would ask Hugh to change hats and become my financial consultant. I would explain that this valise full of jewelry and cash, as an example, just fell into my lap. I asked him to invest it for me. Of all my bosses, Hugh has been the best investor, but maybe you could call him a fence. Hmmm, a government civil servant whose job was to fence stolen goods. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? And oddly, since the countries where I stole documents and other things is also the countries where I redistributed some of the wealth, you might say that I am like Robin Hood, stealing from the rich and giving it to the poor. In many cases, the ladies that I have helped have hired other ladies from the life in their legitimate businesses and paid the kindness forward.”
It took no time at all to work out the other details for the party, the decorations and such. GrandPa even came up with a totally “Guy” style gift bag for everyone at the party, even with a gift card for rugged men’s underwear since we did not have adequate size information. So, the guys can show off to their wives while the wives are showing off their lingerie. Then it dawned on me. Zuzka and Rotten had not really gone on a real date yet, and Easter and Jemima would be at the parties. They may have something to wear, but they may have to wait to wear it. And I sure hope Jemima does not show off her sexy lingerie to her Dad, Rev. C. S. L. as we call him. I would have to change churches.
I think that I have explained the results of my research as I was going through the story (stories within the story). If something needs explained, let me know. But I hope you enjoyed the argument between the good and bad ideas that we might all face, regardless of the subject matter. And notice that GrandPa thinks it is all okay if they do not get caught.