“Constable? What a delightfully apt name. My dear Vivian, you never had a chance, did you? Snoozer! What do you make of this chap’s name?”
“Wondrous. Simply wondrous. Much like this hot milk & nutmeg”
Thus went my introduction to the drowsy duo. Honestly, I had only known them about twenty seconds and already I wanted to kill myself. And them. Probably in that order. I know people think of me as having a poor, not to say non-existent sense of humour, but this pair got on my right tit an’ no mistake. Still, the Sergeant had assigned me to be their ‘chaperone’, if ya like, so I had to grin and bear it. Well…bear it, at any rate.
I brought them to the bathroom in which the victim, a young white woman, had been garrotted. It was a grisly scene. One which deserved decorum and solemnity. One in which the true horror murder was laid bare – quite literally in fact, despite the curtain the perpetrator had sensitively draped over the otherwise-uncovered body. The blood from the girl’s wounds had dried into the mat, silhouetting her head in a purplish halo. Macabre was not the word. I felt sure this sight would subdue the detectives’ effervescent demeanour. Christ, how naive was I?
“Ah, the dream thickens!”
“Thickens like the blood, my darling Yawny. This rather magnificent creature has the right idea; I often feel after a bath that I immediately require rest…albeit not quite of such a permanent variety.”
“Oh Snoozer, you untrustworthy coot – have you no sense? Clearly this rare beauty saw the state of her lavatory and simply could not live with the shame – it is mighty impressive how she managed to garrot herself and wrap herself up in the charmingly abhorrent shower curtain at the same time though…”
“…while also smashing her head off the mirror…”
“Well can you blame her? Poor dear was probably yelling, ‘How could I have made such abominable choices of decor?!’ while doing so.”
I was appalled. The two tittered for a bit, made grotesque faces at the tilework, the masonry and the general cleanliness of the bathroom, before retiring to the living room. Appalled doesn’t quite cut it; I was aghast. I had never before seen such a lack of professionalism. It was, however, outdone in the next sentence uttered by Yawny.
“Constable? Fetch a few blankets, a couple of cups of steaming cocoa, and some skins. You’ve got some tobacco handy, right Snoozer? Excellent. We shall embrace the darkness just as this unfortunate lady has, and find the roots of this sorry affair… Constable? Are you even listening? My word, what sort of repressed vegetable has Sergeant Puddleton sent us this time?”
“I don’t know, Yawny. He seems rather dashing…when placed next to a corpse, at least.”
“Well said, Snoozer. Come, the game is asleep!”
Within five minutes, the worst policemen in the force – or so I believed at the time – were conked out. Yawny half-on, half-off an old rocking chair, with his trenchcoat draped over his lower body, Snoozer lying against the wall with his legs stretched out in front of him, snoring gently. Occasionally one or other of them, or both, would twitch and make odd comments such as “I yawn in the face of danger” (Yawny) or “Please don’t spoil my day, I’m miles away, and after all, I’m only sleuthin'” (Snoozer)…
Just under an hour later, and two things were occurring. First, the culprit was under lock and key at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, and second, I was picking my jaw off the floor. Couldn’t believe it? You bet your sweet aunt I couldn’t believe it, sonny jim!
Yawny, rollie between his fingers, caught my eye and tapped his nose conspiratorially. Snoozer saw this and smiled beatifically. In unison, they whispered;
“Somnambulatory, my dear Constable.”
Solidarity, brothers & sisters…★