} FROM THE FILES OF IGGY INTERNET, MASTER DETECTIVE:
} ---- --- ----- -- ---- -------- ------ ---------
} The hairs on the back of my neck were standing up like they were a
} platoon of buck privates being reviewed by Norman Schwartzkopf. I
} smelled something very funny, and I'd just had a bath last Tuesday, so
} it couldn't be the obvious. It might be my smoke burning down to the
} filter, but it still wouldn't explain why my hair had its feet at a
} 45-degree angle and its thumbs along the seam of its pants.
} I whirled around. There in the dim light of my bathroom was the
} meanest, ugliest puss I'd ever seen in any SPCA. A face to give you
} nightmares, if you could sleep afterward. One well-aimed karate chop
} dropped him out of sight. I heard glass splintering, and realized that
} I'd demolished my shaving mirror.
} That crisis over, I reached for a comb to put my hairs at ease. But as
} far as they were concerned, Norman was still stormin'. I shook a cig
} out of my pack of Manslaughter Lights and searched the apartment.
} Nothing except a wad of hair bivouaced in the drain. My head was
} pounding with the sound of the hair doing a double-time march. I
} decided to go out to get some aspirin. A fist smashed my nose as I
} opened the front door.
} The owner of said fist had looks which could have made him Vice
} President of the United States in a Republican administration. He wore
} a $75 haircut, a look of genuine concern, and a lot of my blood on his
} Brooks Brothers pinstripe. ``Mr. Iggy! I'm terribly sorry! I've been
} knocking for ten minutes! Where were you? Are you going to sue?''
} ``<moooooaan> Ib you bay me enub, ded baybe I wod't due you. Or babye
} I bill, ib I cad bake bore dad way. Bird, dell be your nabe.''
} ``My name is Edward Exxon the Eighth. I'd like to hire you, on a
} matter of arson.''
} I fished out the end of a panatella I'd found in the men's room
} yesterday. It tasted like I expected, and the smoke ordered the hairs
} into gas mask drill. ``Arsud? Dell be bore.''
} ``I own the Sun Refinery, which has, shall we say, been less than
} profitable over the past few years. I have reason to believe that it,
} ah, may be coming to the end of its profitable life, and may need
} I stuffed my briar with Old Ragweed Mixture and drew it alight. ``Ad
} where do I bid in?''
} ``I would like you to investigate thoroughly, and report that arson is
} not suspected. I want to hire you because in this town you are,
} frankly, the detective most desperately in need of a paying job.
} Besides, you seem to have a knack for fire. Do you realize that you're
} smoking two cigarettes, a cigar, and a pipe, all with the added
} handicap of a broken nose?''
} I twisted my nose around. ``OOOOWWW! Heddo, tesdig - AAARRGGHH!! Wud,
} doo, dree - GAAAAGGGHH!!! That's better. Now we can talk. You realize
} that what you're asking me to do could land us both in Allenwood? We
} could end our days making big golf scores into little ones. So we have
} to make sure the authorities don't smell anything.''
} ``That's right, Mr. Iggy. Therefore, I wish you to act as a
} I rolled a splif of Hawaiian sense and took a hit. It made Exxon's
} pinstripes seem, somehow, fundamentally more stripey. ``Well, Mr. Exx,
} I'm your shamus. But you'll have to excuse me now. I want to listen to
} `In-a-Gadda-da-Vita', with the volume up to 11. Then maybe I'll get a
} turkey sub with Swiss cheese and tomatoes and mayonnaise and some
} pickles and ice cream and maybe some potato chips and Macadamia nuts
} and a slice of layer cake and popcorn and pizza and...''
} ``Fine, Mr. Iggy. Just send the bill to my service. I'll pay anything
} reasonable, up to the GNP of an equitorial African nation.''
} ``Nah, that's OK. You just need to do me one, little, itty favor. Glad
} to smoke out your problem for you. Get it? Smoke out? *hee hee hee
} hee hee hee...*''
} ``_What_ do I owe you?''
} ``Me, nothing, like I said. But you owe the Oracle a catalytic
} converter and the name of a good dealer.''