Second Squad, this is dispatch. Be on the lookout for a flasher near Manny's Grocery. Suspect is wearing a dirty brown trench coat and a smile.
"I'm telling you, you gotta call her."
"Who? Doctor Crumb?"
Detective Leo Banks nodded. "Yeah."
Eric Delahoy stared at his partner like he'd suggested they skinny dip in the Hudson. "Former Medical Examiner Monica Crumb?"
Banks shot him the same look he'd just received. "You slept with more than one Doctor Crumb?"
"Are you insane? I was responsible for getting her fired. The last thing she said to me was pretty much, 'Don't call me, I never want to see you again'." He omitted the other things she'd said.
"Yeah, but you had hot monkey sex in a hospital supply closet. That's got to count for something."
"Could you please say that a little louder; I don't think the guys in the first squad heard you."
Banks lowered his voice, though not much. "I'm just saying I think you should call her."
"Yeah? Tell me, when was the last time you talked to that girl in dispatch - what's her name - Bridget?"
They stared at each other across their desks. Neither one said a word for a full minute. "So did you catch that Knicks game last night?"
Delahoy shuffled some papers around. "Yeah, it was nice to see them win for once."
Sergeant Harvey Brown walked into the squad room. "We've got a rash of strip club robberies," he announced, garnering everyone's attention - male attention, in particular. "They've hit three clubs in less than two weeks. They've all been hit on amateur night. It appears the two suspects pose as girls wanting to audition. They wait until just before they go on, then pull sawed off shotguns and clean the place out. The last one, they wounded a bouncer who tried to play hero."
"Hey, uh, we could take that case," Banks spoke up, looking at Delahoy for confirmation.
Delahoy swept the files off his desk into an open drawer and closed it, papers and file folders sticking out everywhere. "Yeah, we're not working on anything right now. Our slate's clean."
Banks nodded. "Pristine."
"Nice try, but I'm giving the case to Walsh and Shraeger."
Casey rolled her eyes as Walsh took the case sheet.
"Some of the media is already dubbing them the 'Bustier Bandits'."
"Classy," Allison Beaumont commented.
"I'm just glad it's not us," her partner, Cole, whispered. As a born-again Christian, and newly married man, his strip club days were behind him, and that's where he wanted to leave them - even if it was job-related.
"You're not going to find many witnesses, so good luck."
"Are you kidding? Those places are packed on amateur night," Walsh said. At the look he got from Beaumont, he added, "So I've heard."
"Evidently, a majority of the patrons don't want to go on record as being there. Most of them have split by the time police get there."
"We love a challenge, don't we?" Walsh looked at Shraeger.
"Sure," she said, shrugging her shoulders. Spending the day talking to silicone-enhanced, botoxed, bleached Barbie's wasn't her idea of a good time, but who knew - maybe she'd pick up a few pointers she could show Davis later.
Sergeant Brown continued, "Since your 'slate' is so clean, I'm giving you the flasher." He handed Delahoy a case slip.
Delahoy shook his head. "No offense, Captain, but you want us to look for a weenie wagger?"
Brown rubbed his forehead. "I spent the better part of the morning on the phone with the Commissioner. Seems his wife got a front row seat for the show when this perv cornered her outside her beauty parlor. I assured him," he finished with emphasis, "I'd put my best men on it."
Alvarez raised his hand. "Don't you think-"
Brown turned and walked back to his office.
Walsh smirked, but Banks silenced him with a glare. "Don't say a word."
- - - - - - - -
"A flasher." Banks complained as he got out of the car in front of Manny's Grocery. "Why can't we get the strip club case? We're mature men, adults. We can handle ourselves with dignity and composure."
"Speak for yourself," Delahoy muttered. "Listen to this," he said, reading from the case slip, "White male, age thirty-five to forty, light brown hair, average height and weight, wearing tan loafers and a dark brown trench coat. Well-endowed."
"It doesn't say that," Banks scoffed.
Delahoy shook the paper. "Who would notice that? I'd be more apt to notice the color of his eyes, how tall he was, whether he was circumcised--"
"Stop! You're starting to freak me out."
They walked in silence traveling in the last known direction, hoping not so much to get a peek as to hear someone shout in outrage and then follow the commotion.
"You know, I know about your...uh...condition."
"Your brain, you know, tumor."
Delahoy faltered just the tiniest bit. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Come on, your doctor's left you over thirteen messages. Doctor Kaiser. I looked him up. He's a neurologist."
"So, I've been having some headaches lately, no big deal."
"Headaches, mood swings, hallucinations, smelling weird scents --"
"I get it!"
Banks put a hand on his arm, and they stopped in the middle of the sidewalk. "I'm your partner. You can tell me anything."
"Fine, you want to know what's wrong?" Delahoy's voice was tinged with defiance.
"Yes, I want to know what's wrong," Banks asserted.
"I'll tell you when you take off that vest." He gestured to the bullet proof vest that his partner wore, twenty-four seven.
As Banks started to unfasten the velcro closures, Delahoy amended, "Permanently."
Banks started fastening the vest closed again. He started walking again, and Delahoy fell into step alongside.
"So, how do you think the Yankees will do next year?"
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
"Come on, Marvin, we know you supplied those girls with inside information."
He shook his head in denial.
"All three managers and no less than five girls swear you're a regular. They said, 'Tell Marvin we miss him.'"
"No, no," he insisted. "I quit going to those kinds of places a long time ago. I have a girlfriend now."
"Really?" Casey asked.
"Yeah, and she likes me for who I am, not like that other girl, Rose."
"Isn't that sweet." Casey's smile was saccharine sweet. "What's her name?"
"What an unusual name. Where'd you meet her?"
"At the Pussycat Parlor." His eyes got a confused look, like his brain was working overtime. "I mean, we met at her place of employment."
"Listen," Walsh took over the questioning, "we're not saying you meant for anyone to get hurt, you're not that type of guy, are you?"
Marvin's head looked like it was going to fall off, he shook it so hard.
"We just want to know where they're going to hit next, so no one else gets hurt."
Marvin sighed. "I can't tell you. They're Bambi's friends. I get them arrested, she'll leave me, and I don't want to go back the way it was before. Before her, the only girls I was able to get were-"
"Yeah, yeah, one eye crazy girls," Walsh finished for him, knowing the story by heart. He'd busted Marvin Bechamel so many times he'd lost count. "Where are they going to hit next?" he asked again.
Marvin looked down at the table. "They said something about Wiggles."
Walsh smacked him on the back. "Thanks, Marvin. Always a pleasure talking to you."
"Their amateur night is tonight, so you better hurry!" he called after them, always eager to be helpful. Well, almost always.
As they left the interrogation room, Walsh asked Casey with a leer, "So how good are you at working a stripper pole?"
- - - - - - - - -
It had taken a flying tackle in an alley behind a Chinese food restaurant, but Banks and Delahoy had relieved the city of one less flasher.
As Banks put him in a cell, Delahoy went to his desk to start the paperwork. He stopped short at the sight of no less than fifty packages of hot dogs covering his and Banks' desk. "Weenies," he said, picking up a package and waving it around the room at his laughing squad mates. "Funny, real funny."