Rose and I hadn’t seen Doctor Weirdo for a week or two, but we believe that if you start thinking about something or someone, they turn up for no apparent reason, other than you thought they would. Our doorbell rang. Well, actually, it’s not a door bell, it’s a door chime or crank. You turn it and it send shivers down and your back. Rose looked at me and I looked at her and together we both said, “Jack!”
She opened the door and beaming gave Jack a hug. Jack looked at me and I just held up my hand. “We were just thinking about you.” Rose and I were in unison. Jack laughed and said, “And I you.” It’s funny how a person can live less than a hundred feet away from you and you don’t see them come and go. The three of us joked around a little bit, had a little Red Autumn wine, and just relaxed. Finally, Jack said. “Did you happen to notice a comment about car jacking going on over on North Pearl?” We both nodded our heads. I said, “Yes, young punks I think. It’s a shame that someone is taking advantage of the people in those apartments over there. There are a lot of seniors who don’t have a lot of money and in today’s world, purchasing any drivable car is probably out of their reach.” All three of us sat there like bobble head dolls agreeing and saying nothing. Rose finally said, “Soooooo, Jack. I can your mind at work, but I can’t quite hear it.”
Jack laughed. Rose is cute and knows how to get to the bottom of any conversation. Jack said, “I have a plan so cunning . . .” Like Jack, I, too, enjoyed re-run after re-run of the Black Adder comedies from the U.K. I finished the line for him, “you could cut off the tail and call it a weasel.” We both laughed. Rose just looked at us. I could almost hear her clucking.
Neither one of us wanted to mention to Jack that he looked a little different from when we last saw him. A larger bald area and a redish brown beard was coming in very nicely . . . if it was real.
“I brought you some Cracker Jacks.” Rose and I just looked at him. I spoke and said, “Why not fiddle faddle?” Jack nodded his head and said, “It all comes down to packaging.” He opened up his briefcase and gave us each an opened box of Cracker Jack. A heavy box of Cracker Jack. A closer look revealed a cell phone in each one with a small window for the camera lens to see out of. Jack filled us in, “There are two half-mile stretches on Pearl I would like you to walk mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and early, early evening.” I slowly raised my hand and then waved it when I had no response from Jack. Jack simply said, “It’ll do you good.” He was right of course, but you hate to be told you’re out of shape. My head sank down in defeat.
Jack quickly brightened my day, he said, “I need you to do this as a favor; there isn’t any no cash for doing a good job. But there is a reward. I bought an old used car for this caper. It’s a definite lure. I’ll be driving it, but afterward, it’s your’s. He threw me the keys. I walked out the door and came back an hour later. Words were not enough, but I squeezed out my granddaughter’s favorite phrase, “I LIKE it!” I gave Jack back his keys to the 1966 Pontiac GTO.
Over the weekend Rose and I practiced with the Cracker Jack boxes, both recording, and charging. Monday we started walking. We recorded people, cars, Jack, and anything that looked suspicious. There were two convenience stores at the end of each walk, so I could drink a pop and recharge my batteries. I hate it when people say, “It’s only a mile walk.” I always chime in “And a mile to walk back.”
I was prepared for a good week of walking, but Wednesday in the late afternoon, we scored. As Jack drove slowly like he was leaving his apartment and going somewhere, a young woman stepped in front of the car. As soon as the car stopped a young man ran from behind a hedge and opened the driver’s door and ordered Jack to get out. It looked like he had a gun in his jacket. By the time Jack got out of the car and stepped aside, the police had been called and were on their way from nearby Ruston and Tacoma. Rose and I kept our cell phones recording.
The police didn’t have to hurry. There was a crowd around the car. Inside the car the guy and the gal were still trying to figure out where and how to work the 3-speed column shifter. Jack met the police and mentioned he was simply test driving the car from his next door neighbor who just happened to be walking by at the same time. Several people stepped forward and declared that the young man and woman were the ones who had robbed them earlier.
The police were thrilled and one said, “The only thing that could make this even more air tight would be video of the whole event.” Rose was about to step forward, but three elderly people beat her to the punch.
Nothing feels better than helping solve a crime and then driving home in a classic car . . . Okay, so we stopped at the Lobster Shop for dinner on the way.