Are Chinese People Pandas, or is the Waiter Back There a Coincidence?

This is weird for me. I don’t usually do pursuit, unless I’m really in the mood. I’m more the guy who shows up after the pursuit’s been all pursued out and plays pick-up-sticks with the excuses everyone has for being there.

Every now and then though you run across someone running, and you chase. That’s just how it works. But this’s the first time the chase’s gone through a Chinese Restaurant.

Well fair enough. I like Chinese food.

You wait for sever to seat you please! the panda at the desk shouts at us as we go in.

“Ma’am, we’re the police, we’re not customers, we’re after two-”

Wait for server!

I flash my badge again, maybe she’s nearsighted? “Two suspects ran in here, we need to talk to-”

No going back without server!

“Ok then, have a server take us back so we can look for our suspects.”

Not during lunch rush! You wait for available server!

The turtleneck is a fugitive from the seventies.

That took long enough, if the perps have any brains they’re long gone, but I didn’t build this career an criminals having brains. “We’re looking for a skinny rabbit and a owl-looking cat, or maybe a cat-looking owl, the witness was nonspecific.”

Ya mean dah witness didn’ have a species? How does dat woik?

“Just look for the suspects Max.”

So what did dey do, anyways?

“Robbed a jewelry store.” I peer though the smell that makes everything look like it has a faint yellow tint. “Went into a mall, started passing out noisemakers to the kids. Made off with the stock in the ensuing riot.”

Maaan, howcum yah dun see doin good ol fashioned stickemups, wit da guns an everyfin? Noisemakers, jeez.

“Probably because they aren’t cowboys, and this isn’t the old west? Think that’s them, at the back table.”

Why would you come to us and accuse us of such a thing?! The–I’m gonna just assume it’s a cat–gesticulates wildly. Why would you interrupt the peaceful meal that myself and my friend, the rabbit sheepishly looks up from his fortune cookie like he’s been sent to the principal’s office, are only now finishing?

“Probably it’s because I’m going to arrest you, you freaky owl-looking feline. You robbed a jewelry store about an hour ago, and now you will go to jail.”

Nonsense, this is police brutality! We came in here just five minutes ago, and were nowhere near fortyfve minutes ago. Now begone! I wish to eat in peace!

“Five minutes is an awfully quick time to get all the way to the fortune cookies, boomkin, so unless you came in here to fuel your hyperkinetic metabolisms, that alibi won’t wash.”

He guffaws. Has a really aggravating guffaw. That, officer, is hardly proof!

“No, but the fact that you knew the robbery was  forty-five minutes ago when I said ‘about an hour’ is.”

They share a glance. You are of course welcome to search the table and such, for all the good it will do you. I hope you enjoy defending yourself against civil suits, once this is over!

Dere aint no jewls undah da table, Sly. Thanks for saying that out loud Max, this guy wasn’t quite smug enough yet. Still, the rabbit looks guilty as hell, and they had a good thirty to forty-five minutes to stash it somewhere. If the lady at the front hadn’t stopped me, I coulda got in soon enough to-

-to stop them.

So I made myself three arrests that afternoon. Turns out the jewels were hidden under the front desk. I have to wonder how long the lady at the front desk has been a drop point for hot goods, or for how many. That’s a mystery for another day. I bet the cut she took was steep, though, she seems like she drives a hard bargain.

One more thing! You tip server! Fifteen percent! I hear her shouting at me as they lead her to the car. Case in point, I guess.

Wonder if the fortune cookies sad anything about jail time.

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