Logan and The Stinking, Rotten, Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
By Lin Courtright
Spenser safaried through the jungle of clutter in Logan's apartment, picking up empty Chinese food containers and a pizza box and dropping them in the trash on her way to the bedroom.
"Will you hurry up, Mike?" she yelled. "I got an appointment with Lieutenant Van Buren this morning, and the last thing I want to do is be late!"
The strains of an Irish drinking song mercifully subsided along with the running water as the sound of the shower door opening filtered into the other room. "Well, if you'd gotten me up at the same time you got up, I'd be done already," he said testily.
"You needed the extra rest and how was I supposed to know it would take you an hour to get dressed?" she commented as she sat on the bed.
"Okay, all right...so I'm not a 'morning person'," he replied apologetically.
He reached for his razor but it wasn't where he last laid it, so he checked the floor and under the sink. No razor. Where in the hell could it be? he wondered in puzzlement, as he stepped back from the mirror and methodically searched the room without success. Here he was, supposedly a crack, ace, number-one detective and he couldn't even locate his own damn razor. Logan, he thought, you're pathetic. He made a face in the mirror and raised his middle finger in an upward motion. Take that, he thought to the universe in general. Oh well. In typical male tradition, he figured, When in doubt ask a woman...they always seem to be able to find everything.
"Hey, Casey," he called out patiently, "when you were in here earlier, did you happen to see a razor just sort of lying around?"
She looked up from the bed with a thoughtful expression and replied. "It's in the cabinet." Then added, "Where it belongs."
He reached up, opening the cabinet, and sure enough, there it was.
"How in the hell did it get up there?" he mumbled to himself as he put the blade to his face.
"I figured after you hitting your head on the headboard last night, that you'd still be a bit disorientated."
"Ow...shit," he growled as the blood welled up on his cheek. Thanks a lot, smartass, he thought. No, he could tell this was not going to be one of his better days.
Casey's cellular phone began to ring so she picked it up and quickly answered in a curt, professional tone. "Spenser. Martinez?" she asked, her tone softening. "Yes, I know what time the appointment is...No, I'm not at my apartment." She got up and wandered into the living room. "That's none of your business where I'm at...Well, get over it..." she blurted out over the phone in frustration. Oh, good God, she thought and put her hand to her head. "What do you mean you have a right to know? Since when did you become my mother? Damn, Martinez! I don't have time for this shit...I'm at Detective Logan's, fine!" She stalked down into the bedroom just as Mike stepped out of the bathroom draped in a towel and brushing his teeth. He questioned her with his eyes and she explained, "It's my soon-to-be-dead partner."
"Tll 'ony ello," he garbled with his mouth full of toothpaste.
"Detective Logan says hello...I think."
She observed him standing in the doorway and tried not to laugh for he had not yet dried his hair and it lay in wild disarray all over his head like a punk rocker...That, along with the piece of toilet paper stuck on the cut on his cheek made him appear so incongruous too his hardened Lower East Side appearance that it was down-right humorous.
"Look, Martinez, I gotta go...Yeah, bye." She clicked off the phone and stood with her hands on her hips. "Aren't you done, yet?"
"Bitch, bitch, bitch," he mumbled softly as the corner of his mouth crooked up into a lopsided grin. "Oh great," he sighed, as he dropped the lid to the toothpaste down the drain. Now I'm gonna get blamed for clogging up the plumbing. Screw it. He'd already taken too much time in here and Spenser was getting impatient. Now, if he could just find some clean underwear. He crossed the room, pulled out the drawer and found...nothing. Raising his head slowly, he gazed at her with pleading eyes.
She assumed a guilty stance, opened her mouth, shrugged slightly and held up her hands, palms out. "Hey, I offered to help you do the laundry, but you said no."
"Wonderful," he sighed. "It's okay...it's all right...my fault." He reached over and grabbed the slacks off the bed and put them on. "Well, it wouldn't be the first time," he grumbled.
Casey smiled in spite of herself, when he sat down on the bed, and his right shoestring snapped off in his hand as he tried to tie it. Determined not to let things get the best of him, he walked over to the closet, dug out an old pair of loafers and held them up in front of her. "Look, see, no laces." He slipped the shoes on and walked cautiously to the door. "Let's go out of here," he whispered, "before I hang myself with my tie our something equally bizarre."
Casey laughed softly. "Things have to get better...they can't get much worse."
"Don't say that," he said quietly, as he shut the door and the doorknocker fell, landing on his toe. "Shit, that hurt."
"I guess I stand corrected. Can you walk?"
"Yeah, I can walk." He looked skyward. "What is this? Let's dump on Logan day?"
They were walking down the hall when Logan stopped suddenly.
"What's the matter?" she asked with concern.
"There's a big decision to be made here." He looked to the left at the stairs and then to the right at the elevator with sudden apprehension.
"What are you talking about? What decision?"
"Elevator or stairs...at this point, either one could be deadly."
"Oh, Logan, get a grip and get in the blasted elevator."
The doors opened and she gave him a shove before he could protest. The elevator worked smoothly and took them quickly to the bottom floor.
"See, I told you everything would be all right -- you're overreacting," she assured him convincingly.
He studied the elevator with relief. Perhaps he was taking this run of bad luck too seriously, he pondered as he stepped onto the sidewalk and into a wad of gum that stretched for four feet before he realized it was on his shoe.
"Goddamn it," he cursed as he tried to rum the gum off on the pavement.
He took his shoe off, along with the thin strand of gum dangling from it and held it up for her to see.
"Gum," he answered with disdain as he tossed the footwear into the rear floorboard and upon straightening, cracked his head on the doorframe.
"Shit, Spenser, this is getting damn ridiculous," he stammered, squinting in pain. "You better drive."
She had to admit that she was beginning to agree with him, got out and slid into the driver's sear. Logan went around to the passenger side and carefully got into the car. So far, so good. He wasn't gonna do anything so nothing could happen...right? They drove down the street without incident until Spenser turned the corner and hit a pothole. The glove compartment flew open and slammed down on his kneecap as the flashlight flew out and landed between his legs.
"Umph..." he exhaled explosively and painfully and in strained voice gasped, "Casey, I think I've just been disfigured for life."
"Ohmigod, Logan, are you gonna be okay?"
"If I make it through this day -- maybe."
They pulled up into the parking lot and got out. Mike reached down to get the shoes from the rear floorboard and noticed that the heel on one shoe had come off when he'd thrown them. He picked them up, met with Spenser, and strolled over to the stationhouse where he tossed what was left of his shoes into the trashcan by the door.
"You're not going in there without shoes?"
"You have ten minutes to keep your appointment with Van Buren. If you have any better suggestions, I'd be more than willing to listen."
"No, I guess I don't."
They walked in the door and crossed the hall to the stairs.
Oh, this is just great, Casey thought. Out of the corner of her eye she spotted Detective Yeager pointing in their direction. She couldn't stand him because he made it his purpose in life to cause Mike grief whenever the opportunity arose -- like now.
"Hey, Logan," Yeager sneered sarcastically, looking at Logan's shoeless feet. "Is this some new fashion statement or some new serial shoe-stealer that I haven't heard about."
"As a matter of fact, Yeager," he replied, straight-faced. "I've heard reports that there's someone out there that has seem to have developed a ball fetish and I gather that you've already run into them, since yours are obviously missing." He stepped up on the first step and turned back, glancing over his shoulder at Yeager. "Have a nice day..."
Spenser smiled secretly. She couldn't explain the satisfaction it gave her when he got in a good one on some of these morons. She needn't have worried about him, he could take care of himself when it came to these idiots. I suppose he's had a lot of practice. This had not been a very good day for him so far and she'd noticed that he'd become a little surly in the last hour or so.
While walking up the stairs, two women uniformed officers walking behind them were discussing, of all things, how to get rid of panty lines. He thought momentarily of his own predicament and snickered, then turned to them and remarked, "If you don't want the lines...don't wear underwear."
Their mouths fell open and Spenser jabbed him in the ribs with her elbow.
"Ow, what did you do that for?" he asked.
She gave him a dirty look and then a pouty smirk. Reaching the top of the steps, she gratefully fell two steps behind him. As they raced down the hall, he took a detour to the men's room.
"I'll be there in a couple of minutes," he called after her. He strolled in, did what was necessary, bent over to flush and watched in disbelief as his sunglasses fell from his shirt pocket into the toilet and disappeared through the plumbing in a swirl of blue water. After this shocker, he approached the sink, slightly preoccupied, to wash his hands. He turned on the water, heard a rumble in the pipes and was totally sprayed with an explosion of water before he could turn it off... Obviously air in the lines, he thought absently. Straightening slowly, he closed his eyes, heaved a sigh of resigned acceptance and tried to think of what he could have possible done to deserve this kind of retribution.
He mad his way down the hall, entered the squad room and slowly sat down at his desk to silently watch Casey, with Martinez, talk to Van Buren. He was becoming more than a little paranoid about doing or saying anything remotely important today if he could help it.
About a half-hour later, the meeting concluded and they bid farewell, exiting the office. She ambled across the squad room and sat on the corner of his desk. "You feelin' okay, Logan?"
"Yeah, I'm fine...just fine," he replied unconvincingly.
"You've been kinda subdued. I don't think I saw you say three words to anyone the whole time I was in there."
Looking around briefly, he wanted to make sure no one was in distance to hear their conversation. "I just didn't want to screw things up. Listen, I need to get to a department store," he said, lowering his voice. "Trying to demand respect in the workplace without the benefit of underwear or shoes isn't easy and plays havoc with the precinct's image and if that asshole Yeager says anything, I'm gonna deck him on the spot. Can we go now?"
"My are we getting irritable or what? Wanna borrow my Midol?"
"I'm sorry, it's just...it's just been a tough day," he said dejectedly and lowered his eyes.
"It's okay, forget it." She patted his shoulder and tugged on his elbow. "Let's go to the mall."
As they walked through the mall parking lot, Mike squinted his eyes in the sunlight.
"Why don't you put on your sunglasses?" she asked curiously.
"I can't. I flushed 'em." The last part of this statement was barely audible.
"Flushed 'em," he repeated with embarrassment.
She stared at him with that are-you-pulling-my-leg look, and joked, "You're kidding, right?" A closer inspection of his face convinced her that he was serious. "Why did you do that?"
"It was an accident."
They entered the store and headed for the shoe department where the salesgirl took one look at his feet and shook her head. He misunderstood and felt obliged to explain. "The heel on my shoe came off and I didn't have another pair with me."
"Oh, it's not that...It's just that you're so big, I don't know if I have anything that'll fit you except maybe the display pair on the rack behind you."
"If they're twelves, I'll take 'em...I'm desperate."
Hallelujah, something actually went right. They were a little snug, but not uncomfortable, so he paid for them and headed for the Men's department, where he snatched a pair of boxers off the rack, put them on in the dressing room and handed the cashier the price tag.
"Ring it up," he said with a sigh of relief. Hell, he was starting to feel human again.
The sales clerk eyed him suspiciously and asked, "Where are the shorts?"
He motioned for her to lean forward, then looked at her straight in the eye and whispered confidentially, "Lady, I'm wearin' 'em. Okay, look, I forgot to do the laundry -- give me a break, huh?" The woman nodded nervously and did as he asked.
This day may not end up so bad after all, he decided as he passed the perfume counter. Maybe he'd get Casey something while he was here. On a whim he picked up one of the sample bottles, and turned it upside down to put some on his finger. Fate was not with him in this either for the stopper fell out and the strongly scented contents spilled out over his sleeve. Checking to make sure nobody was watching him, he gently returned the bottle to the tray and beat a hasty retreat to the aisle and walked away, collecting a number of stares from customers as he passed them. He reeked.
He located Casey in the jewelry department and she wrinkled up her nose as he approached her. "Damn, Logan, you smell better than I do. What is that?"
"I don't know. I was gonna get some for you but it...ah...it didn't work out."
She bowed her head slightly. "I don't wanna know. It's a little strong, don't you think?"
"Yeah, I know. I got propositioned twice on the way over here."
She raised her head and pursed her lips. "Were they pretty?"
He chuckled lightly and replied, "Actually no, I don't think Larry and Bob were exactly my type. Can we get out of here? I think they're following me. Say, is there any way I can get this stuff off? It's making my eyes water and I can't breathe."
"I don't think so, but it'll wear off...eventually. Look, it's past time for lunch and I'm hungry, so let's go outside where the smell is worse than you," she said, pausing briefly to smile at the look that produced from him. "And we'll grab something to eat."
Outside at one of the vendors, his luck wasn't getting any better. He attempted to put some ketchup on his dog from the dispenser but it wouldn't come out. Frustrated, he smacked the container.
"I don't think that's gonna work," she said knowingly. Reaching up, she pressed her hand down on the nozzle. The resulting ketchup projectile flew across and impacted soundly on the front of Logan's shirt. Casey's jaw dropped in surprise as she placed her hand over her mouth and only thing she could think of to say was "Oops."
Logan rolled his eyes upward, put his hand to his temple and dropped his head downward to study the big, red blob on his chest that had already started to run in tiny dribbles down the front of his shirt. He looked across Casey and remarked calmly, "I don't think it's Heinz," then took his fingers dipped it in the splotch, stuck it in his mouth and confirmed his hypothesis. "Nope, definitely not Heinz," he said sheepishly and shrugged his shoulders. They both burst out laughing at the absurdity of the situation as he accidentally knocked his drink off the cart onto his legs. He leaned back, tilting his head slightly and uttered in low voice, "Oh Lord."
She thought it almost sounded like a benediction and in studying the stained, wet ruffled figure standing there, her affection for him renewed and reasserted itself. Surely anyone else would be engaging in a justified case of the screaming meemies by now but he just buttoned his jacket over the mess and serenely walked away.
He sneezed several times as they walked back through the parking lot to the car. Mike reached into his pocket, then into another pocket, then looked through the car window and spied the keys lying on the front seat.
"Shit," he muttered in exasperation, as he placed his forehead on the window.
"Logan, unlock the door."
"The keys are in the car."
Two hours later, after the locksmith had let them into the car, they were on their way again. He had once more insisted that she drive and he rode in the passenger side after making sure that the glove compartment was locked and all object capable of causing bodily harm were removed. They had only driven two miles when a loud pop assaulted their ears and the car swerved to a halt along the side of the road.
She got out with him as he proceeded to change the tire, refusing to call for help because he didn't want any further abuse from he brothers-in-blue. It wasn't that he needed her help...but the way things had been going, she just wanted to make certain that he didn't kill himself during the procedure.
Everything went along smoothly and the tire was changed in a minimum amount of time. He threw the tire, jack, and lug wrench into the trunk and closed it. "Ready?" he asked.
She pointed to his shirt. "I see that you're color-coordinated."
"The grease on your shirt matches the ink on your pocket."
He looked down, pulled out the broken pen and tossed it on the pavement.
"It figures. Wonder what could get all this shit out?"
They finally arrived back at the 2-7 to pick up the notes that he had left on his desk for their current combined case. Logan was tempted to just stay in the car, but decided to go along with Casey anyway.
He should have followed his instincts. He opened the door and stepped onto the sidewalk, just as he heard and felt a sudden splat on his right arm. He made a quick and definite decision that pigeons should be an endangered species and in anger he slammed the car door -- right on the fingers of his left hand.
"Damn! Casey," he wheezed. "Unlock the door."
She ran around the car and it took her a couple of seconds to realize what had happened.
"My god, Mike, don't move," she instructed as she unlocked, opened the door and examined his hand.
"Where would I go?" he gasped, eyes wrinkled with pain.
She wrapped his hand with the gauze from the first-aid kit and took him to the Emergency Room, where he received ten stitches and three splints.
"At least it's not your shooting hand," she said trying to comfort him. "That's it...Tell ya what...the day is almost shot and so are you. Why don't we just take the files to my place and work on them there?"
"You sure that you want me there? I mean the place could get hit by a freak tidal wave or something."
"I'll get out my life jacket. Come on." She gently ushered him out the door and into the car.
They arrived at her apartment and she asked if he'd like to play a movie to unwind, so he took out a tape, placed it into the machine, pushed play, and watched the VCR devour the tape like a hungry wolf.
"I give up," he said, looking up to the ceiling. He crossed back over the couch and sat down ever so slightly for he came to the realization that he couldn't identify a place on his body that didn't hurt.
Casey returned to the living room with two glasses of iced tea and sat down beside him.
"I broke it," he said sullenly.
"The VCR." He pointed to the pile of videotape lying on the floor.
She shook her head and picked up the newspaper. "Oh look, your horoscope says 'This Halloween is not you day, be very cautious if you must venture outside. Stay at home with someone special...travel could be dangerous...everything you touch will turn to shit'."
He gave her a sidelong glance. "It doesn't say that."
"Oh, now you tell me."
She laughed and laid her hand on his knee and he winced. "That hurt?" she asked.
She lowered, lightly kissing his knee.
He wiggled his big toe.
She ran her lips over his foot. He held out his injured fingers and she softly kissed them.
He pointed to his head and she gently brushed her lips over the bump.
"Here too," he said, as he turned his cheek to her.
His eyes suddenly took on a devilish glint as he remembered the flashlight. She read his thoughts, smiled ruefully and turned out the lights.