Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Nuts...for MURDER!

This program contains graphic images and mature subject matter. Viewer discretion is advised.

(EXT: Street scene. Police have roped off the area. CSI folk in lab coats and gloves kneel, looking at things. Detective Bacon, shaking his fuzzy little head, approaches the lead investigator, Peter "PB" Barilotto. Several investigators shake their heads in the background. Another death. It's a dirty job.)

Detective Bacon: Great way to start the day, eh, PB?

PB: You might say morning becomes electrified, Bacon. Have a look. 

Bacon: (rearing back) Ew!

PB: Yeah, never get used to it. 

Bacon: Another hit-and-run?

PB: Oh, he was hit, all right, but this squirrel was dead before he landed on the pavement. See that electrical wire up there?

Bacon: Why do these idiot kids think they can run across them and not get hurt?

PB: Well, most of the time it's fine---but not this time. Probably just accidental death from reckless behavior.

Bacon: Maybe---but there's an awful lot of squirrel gang activity around here. I'd like to talk to any witnesses. Especially the one who ran over the body. Sergeant?

Sergeant Twitch: Yes, detective.

Bacon: Anyone see all this... this...

Twitch: Ew.

Bacon: Yeah.

Twitch: We've talked to a few people. Said there was a bunch of squirrels hanging out up on that pole, laughing it up, drinking, you know the way they do. Then one runs across and flash! bam! Freezes up, drops, just as a Chevy was coming along.

Bacon: Any ID on that car?

Twitch: Yeah, light blue Malibu, partial plate.

Bacon: Good. Call it in and see if there're any hits. I'm off.

PB: Where to?

Bacon: Squirrel hunting.

(INT: Pool hall in a squirrel neighborhood. Sign on the window reads NUTS IN THE CORNER POCKET. Bacon enters and the room gets quiet.)

Punk: (holding pool cue) Well, well, well. I thought I smelled a rat. A pig rat.

Bacon: You Nut Zipper?

(Various squirrels gather around, holding pool cues. Punk, stretching to full height, looks down on Bacon.)

Punk: Who wants to know?

Bacon: Detective Bacon. I'm investigating a possible squirrelicide.

Punk: We don't talk to no cops here, rat. So unless you want to be fried Bacon....

(Bacon pulls the cue out of Punk's hand, snaps it over his head, jabs the guys aside him in the sternum with the pieces, swats a fourth guy with the base, bashes a fifth guy's face on the table felt, and flings a 3-ball off camera, from where an "ouch!" is heard.)

Bacon: (lifting Punk by the collar) Squirrel Nut Zipper. Now.

SNZ: (emerging from rear office) That'll do, boys. Leave him alone before he gets angry. (Large albino squirrel enters frame with Bacon) They call me SNZ.

Bacon: I'm Bacon. A squirrel got zapped doing a high wire act early this morning. Some of the locals tell me that a few of these boys were egging him on to cross the wire.

SNZ: Yeah, tragic, huh? Little Jimmy Crackcorn. You know kids and their silly stunts, detective. None of the boys meant any harm. They didn't really think he'd go across the wire. Did you, boys?

(Squirrels all say "No")

Bacon: So it was just a prank that turned bad, huh?

SNZ: If you want to file charges for trespassing, I'll make sure the fines are paid.

Bacon: Oh, there's payments to be made, all right. I'll be back, SNZ.

SNZ: Anytime you like, detective. Maybe we can... shoot a game.

(INT: Police HQ. Bacon at a table in the interrogation room with Kitty Li, an elderly Siamese.)

Kitty: I'm so sorry, detective. I-I just panicked. I know leaving the scene of an accident is illegal, but when I saw all those mean old squirrels...

Bacon: Now, ma'am, please calm down. The fact that you called the precinct before we matched your Malibu to the scene speaks in your favor. Tell me what you saw.

Kitty: Well, as I was driving to work I saw the squirrels running alongside the traffic from post to post, you know? I was hitting lights all the way, so I could see them in the sunrise. Then I saw them start to tussle with one little fellow up ahead. He also crossed on a wire, but he went over the traffic, not alongside it. Just as he reached the transformer on my side there was flash of light, and I closed my eyes and screamed...and then I ran him over.

Bacon: Is this the squirrel you hit? (holds up photo)

Kitty: That's him. Ew.

Bacon: I know.

Kitty: And there was one other fellow I saw, standing near the alley. Dirty old coat, muddy yellow face...

Bacon: A canary?

Kitty: How'd you know?

Bacon: Let's just say... a little bird told me.

(EXT: Alleyway, nighttime. Bacon and Stinky Peep, dressed in his dingy trench coat)

Peep: You'll never get it to stick, you know.

Bacon: (handing over a few bills, folded) Maybe. You're sure this is on the level?

Peep: Yeah, yeah. Crackcorn had made contact with the gang across town, you know, the Westies.

Bacon: Meanest little white dogs I know.

Peep: He was gonna help them take over the squirrels' territory. He went to them offering dates, transactions, contacts, everything. Drugs, gambling, prostitution. Jimmy knew where all the nuts were buried, as they say. The Westies were gonna pay off for him big-time. But somehow Squirrel Nut Zipper finds out about the deal, so they chase him to where they knew there was a fault in the line. Short circuit; no more Jimmy.

Bacon: And if I talk to the Westies, they'd back this up?

Peep: If you ask the right way. But you didn't hear nothin' from me.

Bacon: (handing over some more cash) Never do, Stinky Peep.

(INT: Police station. Bacon and the Chief in the Chief's office.)

Chief: Peep's right, Bacon. We have no proof that there even is a crime, let alone murder.

Bacon: I know. But I have a little idea of my own, if the DA's office thinks it'll work.

Chief: You'll have to convince me first.

Bacon: First I get Peep to spread some news that's not quite kosher...

(EXT: Power line above street. Punk, whose name is Punk, is on the wire facing SNZ and the gang. He is terrified.)

SNZ: So, we hear you asked the Westies to pick up Jimmy's deal, Punk.

Punk: Y-you got this wrong, SNZ. I ain't no turncoat, honest!

SNZ: Time for you to take a little walk across the wire, just like Jimmy.

Punk: No, no, boss! Please!

SNZ: It's very simple, Punk. You just get to that transformer and back alive, and we let you go. Heh heh heh.

Gang: Heh heh heh.

Punk: No way! I helped strip that wire myself! There's no way to touch the transformer from the wire without making a short circuit!

SNZ: Well, then, I guess we won't wait too long for you on the return trip. Now get out there or we'll come up with something even worse for you!

(Floodlights burst on the area; squirrels scream, start to run, but police swarm them from every side. SNZ frowns as he gets cuffed.)

(EXT: On the ground, Chief is on the cell phone; Bacon nearby)

Chief: Good, good. That's all we need. Great job. (clicks off) Bacon, they got it all on video. This gang is done for. And I have a feeling Punk is gonna sing like a canary.

Bacon: Speaking of which, it's gonna cost us a bonus to pay off Peep, who hates to give out phony information, but it'll be worth it.

Chief: Agreed. This is a real feather in your cap, Bacon.

Bacon: Yeah. A canary feather.

(laughs all around)


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