The Smoking Gun

Ted Wright:  Formerly married to Veronica Handcroft.  The two of them have a son, Joel.  Pistol was Joel’s babysitter


Heard you talked to my ex already.  What’d she say?  Let me see that piece of paper you got there.

Ha.  That’s good.  Purity of the mind of a ten year old.  Did she think Joel had all of those National Geographic magazines in his room for the articles? 

Don’t get me wrong.  She’s been a good mother to Joel.  Back then we were going through some rough patches and I wasn’t around much.  Slept on the couch when I did come home.  I felt rotten about Pistol taking the fall for my magazines.  I put that ‘property of’ crap on them as a joke.   Just in case anyone found them under the cushions.  Honestly, I didn’t think they’d ever be found.  Ronnie was many things but a housekeeper she was not.   Sometimes it was three days before she’d pick up my old underwear and socks off the bathroom floor.  And don’t even get me going about emptying my ashtray.

One thing I can say about Pistol is that he always showed up on time.  And Joel liked him.  I think Pistol was sixteen or seventeen then and a typical teenager.  He talked to Joel about Dr. Who and Star Wars and was the only one who could beat Joel at Pong.

 I knew Pistol needed the money from babysitting to help out at home.  I should have said something at the time Ronnie fired him but I was already in the doghouse.  Couldn’t chance it.   I explained about the magazines later.  Asked Pistol not to say anything.  I think I even sent two payments to the mortgage company for the McDoozie’s.  I told his parents we owed him for past weekend babysitting.  Pistol was true to his word and kept quiet about it.

Ha ha.  I remember now.  Ronnie had that couch steam-cleaned and she made Joel go to church for confession the next day.  And she thought Pistol had been stealing from us because there was a big drop in our bank account shortly after Pistol was fired.      

She changed back to her maiden name after the divorce.  Handcroft.  What a name.  Sounds like a discount bin in the knitting department at Woolworth’s.

At least I’m always Wright. 


The End

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