Whiplash --- a Change of PlansStarted by Sid Gaier at Feb 28, 2021 3:46 PM
June 15, 1924
Hey Boss! We could be in trouble!
"You... what?!" This was astounding news, even for the ever full of surprises Sid. "But Henderson?! What do either of you know about crime, and detection and... all that stuff?!" he gasped, agog.
Well seein' as how the police in this town are about as good as those ... oh yeah .. those Keystone Cops, we don't have much competition. We've been deputized and got our licenses and even a license to pack heat." His thumbs slid under his suspenders and he waggled his fingers like some kind of big shot.
The thought of Sid wandering around with a loaded gun made Muff wince, but he hid it skillfully. "Careful with those!" he warned, looking at the strain that the older man was putting on his braces. "You don't want them to snap, not with ladies present!" he chuckled.
Sid had always appreciated Muff's humor but not until then did he realize the band leader's overall sweetness and boyish innocence. He thought, Don't worry old pal, I will always be looking out for your interests. You're the only mug I've ever wanted to hold onto.
As a way of replying, Sid removed his thumbs and held up his hands, palms facing outward. "You're right, boss." He said with a full grin of tobacco stained teeth. "I don't want to hurt my nipples .. er ... or like the girl I used to date said, "nibbles". He folded his arms triumphantly. "And they got plenty of nibblin', I'll tell ya that."
"Detective Gaier, huh." the trombonist shook his head, still trying to take it in.
"So if you ever need some detective stuff done, I'll do it for free.. for you." His smile was gracious. "But don't worry. I'm still your logistics guy."
"Free Detective stuff, huh?" Muff wondered out loud "Gee, if only I had a cat that'd go missing, or a wife I suspected of cheating on me,... seems a pity to miss out on an offer like that, just cause I ain't got a mystery to solve."
Then he had an idea.
"Say Sid, why don't you try tracking down the feller that shot Little Orphan Janey's Mother, there's a big reward for that, you know?" Muff was full of original ideas.
Sid gathered Muff's narrow shoulders in one arm and pulled him to the side.
"Funny you should say that, Muff, 'cause that's the case we're sorta working on now. We went to the scene of the crime and yakked at .. er ... interviewed some witnesses. I tell ya, Muff, we put the squeeze on 'em but don't have any solid leads --- yet."
He rubbed his chin sagely. "Then we stopped to grab a bite at Evie's place," he jerked his thumb to where the diva stood, ".. and the rest is history. We wound up here and hoping, maybe, she and that Blankenship fella could be part of your operation."
"Just imagine it," he said, sweeping his hand through the air as if looking at a marquee. "Muff Miller and his Miami EverBlades, featuring Blair Blankenship and Evelyn Whaley" Who knows? I see recording contracts with RCA or Capitol Records. Beyond that there could be appearances on the Great White Way.
"Just a minute, Boss. There's that Evelyn dame now. I'll go over and try the old Gaier charm on her. Just stay put."
With that, Sid meandered over to the touchy Evie.
Hey Boss! We could be in trouble!
Evelyn Whaley was pure dynamite. Dealing with her could easily result in the loss of a body part. This is what Sid thought as he returned to her side.
He remembered her mewling plea: "Tell you what you can do, Sid. You're a logistics guy, so I want you to work through the logistics of this deal with the radio station and getting me signed on with Muff and the band. I can count on you to do that, can't I?"
"Hey there, sweetie," he said with overdone familiarity. "I'm like a marriage counselor here, moving back and forth between two people who need to better understand each other. I'm speaking of you and Muff."
He reached into his pocket and took out a cigarette. Then came the flash of his silver lighter, a flame, a puff, and the consequential swirl of smoke.
"I'm working on Muff with the idea of you joining the band. You can do solos and you can do duets with Blair. Every band needs some vocalists and Muff is fresh out of vocalists. You will be a sensation. The Nightingale and the .... I don't know what we'll call him, something like the Arrow Collar man . Anyway you guys would be a sensation. Flo Ziegfeld would be doing handsprings to get you on the stage. Boffo Magazine would dedicate entire editions to you. Can't you see it? You and the band .. oh, and Blair, on a Cunard ship heading to where you'll be appearing in all the Capitols of Europe."
This was Sid at his best. He was the best logistics man and the best dream weaver in the business.
"Whatdya say?" Sid asked before descending into a coughing fit.
When he recovered he added, "This radio stuff. It's all right, but it's limiting."