White Bird Ladies Don’t Have A Very Good Track Record, Do They?

I won’t lie, I was looking forward to this vacation. Three days at a classic mystery writers convention in Michigan. Had a paper on Agatha Christie I was going to present, plus there’s an open bar.

But I shoulda known I don’t get anything like that without jumping over hurdles.

I'm more interested in what that red thing with the white lines is. Is that a superhero costume? For the baby?

Can we get ice cream Sly?

“No.”

Well over dere’s dat new cookie place, wit da commercials about da boid what steals da cookies cuz dere good, can we get dose?

“No.”

Well whut about pig in a bucket?

“What in the sepia tone hell is pig in a bucket?”

It’s fried sausages in like a taco bowel, can we get some?

“No, it sounds disgusting and I told you we can’t get any food till we’re through security!”

Aint we police? Can’t we jes, you know, go through?

“You’ve clearly never dealt with the TSA before.”

But judging from the squawking, he’s not the only one.

s’not my suitcase.

Well Ah Declare I ha’nt never heard Tell of such a Slandah that is Nevah mah suitcase!

And guess whose problem this has suddenly become because it’s holding the whole line right up.

“What’s going on here, officer?” I say flashing my badge quick and partly covered, so he’ll hopefully think I’m more important than I am. He just frowns like he’s having trouble concentrating on breathing and standing at the same time and nods at the piles of cash in the suitcase.

s’not my suitcase, mutters the mama bear to nobody in particular.

And Whose is it then Ah Suppose the Jonsey Alabama Devil lef it there? Ah Declare yew are a Theif an a Liar!

s’not my suitcase, she repeats, apparently in case we didn’t hear last time, which given the decibel levels the bird lady is putting out is a genuine possibility.

I glance at the–I guess you couldn’t really call him a cop, so let’s say ‘security personnel’–and just looks at me. I know that look. That’s the ‘I don’t want to solve this you do it’ look.

“Well, look at what’s in the suitcase-”

An who do ya’ll thing ya’ll are the Wisdom of King Salmon?

“I’m a detective, and you’re a suspect, either shut up and let me detect or keep talking and let me conclude that you’ve got a reason for not wanting me to detect.”

Wall clearly it’s Hers Since that is a Bottle and birds don’t drink Milk Ah would see me Dead before Ah’d Give Mah Precious One Dat Mess!

s’not my-

“Suitcase, I heard you. Course, the fact that it’s a bottle doesn’t prove anything. What we need to find out-” Well, Max was apparently hungry. “Max, c’mere.”

Whut’dya want Sly I GYAHH! Pfuu, Pfuuu! Ya squirted me in da mouth wit a bottle?! Tasted like nasty bread…

“Which means it was seed-formula, which means it was meant for a baby bird.” I toss it back in the suitcase and nod at the security personnel. He blinks at me. “That means the suitcase belongs to the bird lady.”

Uh, I’m just gonna arrest them both.

He drags them both off, one still protesting that that’s not her suitcase, the other ranting about how her sainted grandma had never heard of such a thing. But hell, I know who did it. And it got me through security and onto my plane on time. So it’s not my problem anymore.

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