The rain picked up again on the ride home, making quite a snarl on Columbus. I don't know if it was the rain, I suppose it was, but the crazy radio came back to life. I guess whatever had shorted out got shorted back in when it got wet. Kind of funny that it came on just when Pam the Traffic Reporter for WBZ was warning about possible traffic jams on Columbus Avenue, advising drivers to take another route. After a few minutes to check out a fender bender at the corner of Massachusetts and Tremont, I finally made it to Big Al's. I checked the backseat for my umbrella. "D*mn. Left it in the closet."
After baptizing my left foot in a pothole in Al's lot, I ran to the front door, but halfway there, I gave up. I was already too tired and too wet to endure the pain needed to lumber my six foot two, two hundred and twenty pounds any further. Once more I resolved to hit the gym, like I always did when I got winded, but obviously I'm not all that good at keeping rash resolutions.
Once inside the lobby the venerable Mrs. Templeton came to meet me. "Oh, Lieutenant MacKenzie, you have an umbrella or at least a raincoat. You'll catch the death of cold."
I gave her the look but hid it behind a rather forced smile.
"Mr. MacKenzie, a nice, young man named Angelo left a package for you. Since you weren't in he left it with me."
"Thank you, Mrs. Templeton."
The old bird led me to her apartment. She'd been living here for thirty-five years and she still fumbled around with which key opened her apartment. "Ah, there is is." The door swung open revealing the year 1916. Whatever was brought into that apartment in that thirty-five years stayed and never left. She had every inch of that place covered with either a Persian rug or a Victorian framed needlepoint, all illuminated by the soft, glowing light of a half dozen two globed lamps all decked out with ancient, red fringe.
"Ah, here it is, Mr. MacKenzie. Must be some books on antebellum Southern culture."
I figured that was the best her poor eyesight could make out on the yellow and black Southern Comfort label on the box. "Thank you, Mrs. Templeton. I owe you a favor."
"Oh, don't be silly, Mr. MacKenzie. Just having a peace officer like yourself living in our building makes us all feel a little safer. Now you get dried off. You know, Mr. MacKenzie, you ought to find some nice young girl and get married. you do need someone to take care of you."
"I'll give it a try. Thank you, Mrs. Templeton. You have a good night now."
So I toted Boo's sandwich on top of my new supply of Comfort up the elevator, getting off just in time to see the poodle's fluffy tail going into Miss Sarah's apartment. I don't know how that dog does it, but as soon as I passed that door, here's comes the yapping.
"Meow," he said with a bit of anticipation in his voice. "Meow."
I settled in, kicking off my shoes and grabbing my unread copy of last week's Time magazine. It had a rather odd-looking cover for a Time magazine, a cartoon of James Thurber himself. I suppose he drew it himself. Kind of a funny thought, he drew a cartoon of himself by himself, maybe for himself. I like Time, a little of everything but not too much of anything.
Boo and I snacked on that sandwich for the longest while, nibbling it a bit and a bite at a time.
It rolled around to seven. That meant, a Nehi and Radio Mystery Theater. Boo and I get into Radio Mystery Theater, especially on rainy nights. Tonight's episode, Beware the Walking Dog.
"God, I love this stuff. Now only if I could solve my own cases in thirty minutes."