Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Job Well Done

Luke "The Oak" Joseph stood about 6'6", weighed around 240 pounds, and looked like he'd eaten the Golden Gate bridge for breakfast, or could have. Playing hide and seek wasn't his specialty. I, on the other hand, could walk down the street wearing all white and no one would notice, which was good, since my job was to follow cheating husbands and boyfriends and get the dirt on them, if you know what I mean.

A scholar athlete from a wealthy family, Luke looked forward to a career in pro football as a tight end. His jealous fiancee hired me because Luke was "sleeping with every bimbo wearing a tight dress and slut heels."

I'd been following him for two weeks and had yet to see a bimbo. There'd been a few mothers with kids asking for autographs, but no bimbos. Well, there was that slender babe with the short blond hair dressed in tight, lavender shorts, loose green top, and yellow sports bra in Starbucks who sashayed up to The Oak's table and handed him a napkin. He smiled and scribbled his name on the paper. I'm not sure he noticed how hot she looked, but I did.

The fiancee had the usual evidence—a lingering perfume odor that wasn't hers, late nights out, sudden business lunches with his agent. She practically paced the color out of my office carpet making sure I understood how awful her situation was. By the time she stopped to take a breath, I felt sorry for the guy. I wanted to suggest she go elsewhere, but then I spotted the second notice from my landlord relaxing on my desk giving me a little wave.

At our next meeting, I told the fiancee what I'd found, which was nothing. No groupies. No bimbos. Evenings studying at the library, sometimes with a group. The only lunch meeting was in Starbucks, where two men in suits discussed an endorsement deal if The Oak got drafted in the first round. The fiancee snorted. Twice.

She said I was a waste of money and worthless and implied my manhood wouldn't satisfy a midget. She insisted I get back out there. She was paying me to find something she could use to suck some money out of The Oaks' old man, money she said she'd earned for putting up with — "not putting out, mind you,"—that bimbo-chaser as long as she had. Before I could reply, she stomped out of the office and slammed the door so hard the bowling pin trophy sitting on my desk nearly tipped over.

I tailed The Oak a couple more times and decided I wasn't going to find anything. On the last day, I approached him in the same Starbucks where I'd first seen the blond in the lavender shorts and told him what I'd been doing. At first he didn't believe me, but when I explained what the fiancee was up to, his shoulders slumped and he thanked me for being upfront with him.

The last time I saw The Oak was on ESPN. He'd been selected the fifth overall pick in the draft by San Diego. He stood for pictures with one arm around an older woman I assumed to be his mother and the other around a younger version, who wasn't his fiancee. At least not the one I knew. I saluted The Oak with a bottle of Budweiser and then myself for another job well done before finishing the rest of the cool liquid.

Oh, and the saucy blond I ogled in Starbucks? Her name's Leila and today's our wedding. She promised she'd wear something lavender for the ceremony in honor of our first encounter. She's walking down the aisle now, and I don't see any color other than white. I can't wait to go treasure hunting later.


  1. Good one, Jim. Tight and funny with more than a bit of a bite. Cool.