I’m Pink Lady Apple Yeggs, and my friend Deviled Yeggs suggested that I record each project that I set up in the hopes of reforming the people who continue to work for Lily the Pink Enterprises. If for no other reason, it would show how God is at work.
But Jochebed was added on, never a sex worker. She has vast communication issues, or is that an act? But without means of communicating, I cannot ask her to work in the cider house. She would be a perfect fit in the day care and nursery, if she understands the inviolable do’s and don’ts. Having had four children while still a teen-ager, watching them and her husband gunned down before her eyes, surviving a second raiding party, coming to a strange new world where everything is different… Jochebed already expresses a faith in Jesus, but she may be my toughest “project.” For now, she is an outsider, only visited by the linguist from the university, but with classes starting, the linguist’s schedule is limited.
I will let this story unfold as it happened. I pieced it together by asking people and watching surveillance videos.
George Evident knocked on the apartment room door. Jochebed answered the door.
George said, “I am here to talk to Poached Yeggs. I was told that he and Callie were visiting the Hills in this apartment.”
Jochebed looked confused, “Poached eggs? It is not breakfast time. I do not understand ‘poached eggs.’” She started to close the door, but George took a step forward to prevent the door from closing.
“No, not poached eggs, Poached Yeggs. He used to be my partner. He works homicide now and I am in Organized Crime.”
“I do not understand. We do not like people in crime to come here. Please go away.”
George pleaded, “No, no, you do not understand, Poached and I are both police officers, we put the criminals in prison, we are not criminals ourselves.”
Jochebed shook her head, “Sorry, I do not understand. I not speak English too good.”
George muttered, “Oh so that was what Sandy Beech was talking about. You must be Jochebed.” Jochebed’s face brightened for the first time. And taking a chance in the lilt of her accent, George asked, “Parlez-vous Français?”
Jochebed became animated, “Oui. Je parle François. Entrez, s’il vous plaît.” (Yes, I speak French. Come in, please.)
What they talked about for the next thirty minutes is open to conjecture, but their one-on-one was suddenly interrupted by the Hills and Poached and Callie Yeggs entering the room.
Anna asked, “Jochebed, what are you doing entertaining this strange man in our apartment?”
“A really good job of entertaining!” George quipped.
“But who are you?!” Anna inquired.
Poached leaned over Tyler’s shoulder, “He’s trouble! He’s with Organized Crime.”
“OUT!” Anna shouted, “We will not have criminals in this apartment!”
George hung his head, “Not this again,” he mumbled.
Jochebed rose from the kitchen table where they had been drinking hot tea. Jochebed said, “C’est un policier, un détective. En plus, il parle français !”
Tyler said, “But you don’t speak French!”
Jochebed tried to act a little coy, “Je parle Français mieux que L’anglais.” (I speak French better than English.)
And Tyler and Anna gave each other a dirty look wondering what else she understood but would never admit.
Jochebed continued, “Et le poché n’a jamais appris pourquoi mon homme à la peau sombre est si sombre.”
Poached asked, “What is she saying?”
George offered, “Old partner when we were on the beat together, you never asked me in all those years why I had such dark-skin, you know, for an Italian.”
Poached shrugged, “Color is just a color. You had my back. I had your back.”
George laughed, “Yeah, sure. My father was English, at least the family name is middle English in origin, but there is a lot of Italian on his side and probably some eastern African blood in there. My mother was very dark. Her father was Italian, an immigrant from there, but there was probably African genes in that mix. My mother’s mother was from India. I fill out all the forms with ‘Other’. I just tell everyone Italian since my facial features and body shape is more Italian than African. I just have a dark, permanent tan. Now, Poached, what do I not know about you?”
Callie chimed in, “George, Poached will invite you to go fishing the next time you two have a day off at the same time. The calendar is officially cleared. Mama said so.”
George said, “But I don’t like fishing.”
Callie huffed, “Then don’t put a hook on the end of the line. You will have more time to talk. When it comes to true confession time, Poached has some doozies.”
Poached got defensive, “Not those! Deviled told me to not ever mention those!” Callie just tapped her foot with her arms akimbo. Then Poached said, “Yes, Ma’am.”
The Hills and Jochebed laughed.
Poached offered a question in his defense, the obfuscation ploy. “Why are you here, George? I had the day off to take Callie to the doctor. They wanted to speak to both of us. So, why are you here, other than to flirt with the latest emigrant?”
George regained his composure, “Your phone is off again without notice. It is your second offense and since our new mayor is your half-brother, Boaz sent me to clear up the matter. The LT and I want to as Envy Apple some questions with a warrant in hand. We may want you to deep dive their computer files, that is if the warrant allows us, but Boaz does not want you using him to get you out of trouble for going off the grid again.”
Callie said, “George, the phone being off is partly my fault. The expectant mother’s club has me for the senior member, since I am further along. Anna just found out. Maeve found out a few weeks ago, and then there is Pauline. It seems like something is in the water. And for those that do not know. It is a girl. That is why Poached came with me today. I came over to pitch the expectant mother’s club with Anna. I also wanted a chance to try breast feeding Esther. I had the cellphone in my pocket and when I went to burp her, she spat up on the phone. I set the phone aside and took care of Esther, but before anyone noticed, Resurrection had picked up the phone and put it in the kitchen sink to give it a bath. The phone is in a bowl of rice on the kitchen counter. Poached has my phone and he called Gisele. Did she not forward the information to your office?
George looked surprisingly pale, for him. “I am thinking Resurrection is the boy and Esther is the baby in the crib. As for Gisele? Gisele forgot to let the mayor’s office know? Umm. I will let them know. Poached is off the hook.”
Jochebed took George by the hand, “Mon ami, pourquoi avez-vous l’air effrayé ? Qui est Gisele ?” (My friend, why do you look afraid? Who is Gisele?)
George said, “Gisele is sweet, kind, and lovely. She is the secretary at my old precinct, but she can be very forceful when needed. If Gisele is involved, someone that never makes a mistake, it was a secretary in the Mayor’s office that forgot to write it down. I’d lose my head accusing Gisele.”
Callie leaned over and kissed Poached on the cheek. “Poached gets weak in the knees when Gisele is involved too. Maybe she would mellow a bit if she got a boyfriend.”
Poached offered, “It almost happened with Captain Hart. She went to his house with her daughter Lilith for about three weeks and they stayed three months. She has been back in her house for less than a month. But Gisele said that she could not have a man fulltime since she had an entire squad room of little babies to take care of. She added that with George gone, it was quieter.”
“Hey!!!” George protested.
Poached piled on, “She also said that George was the only patrolman brave enough to ask her out on a date. But she turned him down.”
George nodded, “She said I was too young for her. If it were not for the work problems, Captain Hart would be a perfect fit for her.”
Poached nodded in return, “When the stay became protracted, we thought of that. Gisele went to help the Captain transition to an empty nest, but Gisele has had some deep wounds herself. She did not realize that until she tried to put her foot down to leave after three weeks.”
George said, “Before I leave, Jochebed, can I take you out for dinner tomorrow night? A romantic evening under candlelight?”
Tyler spoke up. “George, she has never been on a date before. She was given away in an arranged marriage in her early teens. We may have to help Jochebed along in the courting business.”
Anna suggested, “I think it would be good. They could take it slow, if we can get George to agree to be a gentleman. Jochebed could use the breast pump, and I could take care of Esther on date night. Resurrection has been crawling into bed with us while he goes through this transition. Why not the whole family. Let’s let Jochebed see a different part of Tracy.”
George turned to Jochebed, “Do you want to have dinner tomorrow and have us get to know one another better?”
Jochebed replied, “Oui, mon doux ami, je veux en savoir plus sur vous.” (Yes, my sweet friend, I want to know more about you.)
Anna exclaimed, “That may only be an innocent statement, but it sounds so steamy in French.”
But then, Sandy Beech, head of security at Lily the Pink, entered the room with a different idea for a first date, a double-date with her and the mayor. Since George worked down the hall from the mayor, he could not refuse. To prepare for the date, Sandy took her shopping the next morning for the proper attire, but also to learn more about Lily the Pink’s new guest.
If I got any of the French wrong, I used Deepl.com and typed entire sentences and even paragraphs to try to get the best sentence structure and such.
The idea of fishing without a hook was a friend’s best idea for an undisturbed nap. But to have a much needed uninterrupted conversation, the fish would not bite anyway if you continuously talked, or so the fishermen would tell you. Forget the hook and it’s a guarantee.
Callie is in her final trimester; thus, she should be able to lactate. Jochebed continues to lactate after many years because she keeps “customers” who stimulate the process. And among her potions is one that boosts the proper hormones if the lactation dries up.
Lily the Pink is one of my favorite silly songs. It is adaptable for adding new verses, as long as the “cure” is far from what was wanted or expected. Although The Scaffold, a group that wrote the song, has a very British version, I prefer the Irish Rovers version, with a few of the same verses.
The writers of the song are the members of The Scaffold: John Gorman (comedian), Mike McGear (a pseudonym, really Paul McCartney’s brother), and Roger McGough (poet). The Scaffold had back singers and musicians to fill out the “band” that included a young Elton John, Jack Bruce, and Graham Nash. The song is based on a poem written about snake oil sold in the USA under the label of Lydia Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound, with a picture of a sweet young girl on the label. The poem states that the snake oil is sold by this face that only wants to love others.
The chorus of the song is:
We’ll drink a drink, a drink
To Lily the Pink, the Pink, the Pink
The savior of the human race
For she invented medicinal compound
Most efficacious in every case
Of course, Jesus is the Savior of the human race, and He cured people rather than selling them snake oil that promised cures that did not work.