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The Dick Big Detective Agency
by Roger Pattison

Part number: Om24xvtwirlybitcircumference....(a)
(Translation: Dick Big in Shorts)

“I’m not sure the shorts were a good idea, Dick” said Barney the Stoat, swivelling his nose in that endearing way he always had when he wanted to make onlookers feel sick.

“Why do you say that Barney? It’s bound to be hot in Madame Codpiece-Scrubber’s Chinese Laundry.” Dick looked around but Barney had disappeared in the low hanging steam of the Turkish bath that was the afore-mentioned lady’s Laundry.

“You don’t have the Dick for it, legs.” Barney did another swift swivel. “I mean, you don’t have the...”

“I get the idea Barney. But my mum said that my legs would even look good on her ironing board.” Dick groped through the steam and clutched something soft.

“Ooooh!” said whatever it was that was soft. “For a chat-up line that was very brief” continued the unpleasantly female Franco-Turkish-Chinese accent with a touch of Killarney.

“Was that you Barney?” whispered Dick into the solid wall of smog.

“Was that my Dick, what?” Barney thought for second. “I mean ‘Was that my what, Dick?”

They looked up at the Chinaman hanging from the ceiling.

“Madame!” shouted Dick. “You have a Chinaman hanging from the ceiling.”

“My, my; you’re fast in the brain department too!” said the disembodied voice of Madame Codpiece-Scrubber. “But we know about the Chinaman hanging from the ceiling. He thinks he’s a light bulb. They all do. They take it in turns to hang from the ceiling.”

“But this will never do. Chinese light bulbs don’t last five minutes. It’s completely against Health and Safety regs” said Dick, thumbing through the thirty-third volume of the Regulations. “You must cut him down.”

“You fool!” shouted the (thankfully invisible) Madame. “You would have us work in the dark!”

“I can’t even see the floor in here, Dick” said Barney, “I’ll switch the light on.”

“Nooo!” said the Chinaman, “I’m not that crazy!”

But it was too late. Barney had switched him on. He didn’t work.

Dick Big and Barney mused for a second in the darkness.

“He’s probably just run out of warranty” said Dick.

The word ‘Martian’ can be interpolated freely in place of ‘Chinaman’, for those of a racially hypersensitive disposition. Unfortunately there are few Martians working in Chinese laundries.

Come to think of it, you don’t hear of many German, Icelandic, Jewish, Jack Russell, Bertrand Russell, Swiss, Roboid-Terminator-esque Laundries either. But that doesn’t that these people are all dirty.

Stay tuned to this channel for more of the rivetingly boring exploits of Dick Big and Barney the Stoat.