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Run Weasel Run


Horace Shoerr

WPR Publishing                             

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Nicoli Lenin just knew he was going to love America. It was all smiles and flowers, wonderful smells and happy people. He couldn’t get over the welcome. There were lots of pretty schoolgirls, too. This was somewhere he had wanted to be all his life. Waving to the small but enthusiastic crowd, he moved forward to shake the hand of the first person to welcome him to the Promised Land.

The mayor—it must surely be someone of great importance, he reasoned, by the fine suit and shoes he wore—reached out. Grasping Nicoli by the cheeks with both hands, he said, "Who the hell are you and what are you doing in my office?"

Nicoli, somewhat confused by this turn of events, attempted to give him a nice Russian Bear hug complete with pecks on both cheeks. At the same time he was saying, "Thanks to you, too."

About then Nicoli saw the light or, rather felt it as a WHACK! on the side of his head. He opened his eyes and realized the mayor was actually a policeman—Sergeant Theodore "Teddy" Baker, commander of the Seattle Drug Interdiction Squad, operating out of Seattle’s Sea Tac Airport.

"Patti, get in here and explain to me who and what the hell this mess is," Baker ordered.

"Sarge, I just put him in here for a minute while I went to the loo and ..." explained Detective Patti Anderson.

"Whoa ... I don’t care why, the question is, who and what? Jesus, he drools and tried to kiss me. The loo? What the hell is a loo?"

"Hey, Sarge, I don’t think the District Attorney wants you getting that friendly with the perps, and the loo is actually British for the can," detective Larry Smith added. "PBS must have been on the boob tube last night."

Peanuts, shut up before I stuff you in a can and ... oh for crying out loud, Patti, is your whole team nuts or what?"

"Sarge, that’s a good question ... and the answer is, two are nuts and we’ve got one what."


"Okay, okay. This guy," she said, pointing to Nicoli, who had gone back to sleep and, while dreaming of sweeter things, had slid off the couch onto the floor, one arm wrapped around Baker’s leg. "This guy was wandering around the terminal looking lost and a little loopy. So we do a run on him, you know, to see if he’s carrying or anything, and it turns out he’s on vacation and going to Las Vegas to meet a relative or something. That part’s a little vague, because like I said, he’s a little loopy."

"Hold it, hold it, hold it," Baker ordered, trying to get a handle on the conversation while at the same time attempting to untangle himself from Nicoli, who was making soft mewing noises and tightening his grip on Baker’s leg. Directing his question to the senior member of the field team, Detective Patti Anderson, he asked her, "What in the blue blazes is this condition you refer to as ‘loopy,’ huh? Is he strung out on drugs, carrying drugs, drunk, or what?"

Before she could answer, Detective Little Al Whistler strolled in. He was the junior member of the team, the one sent for drinks, lunch, or anything else someone didn’t want to do.

"Lunch guys. Who ordered what? Peanuts?" he asked, displaying a small bag of cashews.

Detective Larry Smith, known to one and all as "Peanuts," not looking up from the papers he was working on, answered, "Yeah, what?"

"No," Little Al insisted, "I said peanuts."

Peanuts, proving he could read and talk at the same time, and sounding more than a little exasperated, blindly answered, "Yeah, what?"

Little Al tried once more. Vigorously shaking the bag of nuts, "Whose peanuts?" he all but shouted.

"I am, dammit! What the hell’s the matter with you, boy? I’ve been in the same room with you for six months now, and suddenly you forget my name? Now, for the last time, I’m Peanuts ... so, what do you want?"

"Wait, guys," Patti interrupted. "What’s the question?"

"The question is," Little Al sputtered, "whose goddamn peanuts, that’s what!"

Baker, not to be ignored—and with the Russian improving his grip on his uniformed leg, his drool puddling on the toe of a very expensive Italian shoe—shouted, "He’s Peanuts ..." pointing to Detective Smith, "My Peanuts ..." pointing to the bag of cashews in Little Al’s hand, "and that’s Patti’s loopy," pointing down to the happily snorkeling Russian.

Beginning to believe he was the cause of all the confusion and in imminent danger of demotion, Little Al cried out, "Loopy? I didn’t bring any loopy," then quickly added, "They were all out."

Nicoli was dreamily remembering how friendly everyone had been on the plane. When he began to become airsick, the passenger in the seat beside him had shared his medication with him. Then there was the puzzling part of the dream where strangers had shouted at him, removed his clothes, redressed him, and gave him lots of hot coffee. This was followed by something to eat, and here it was a little fuzzy, it might have been something called "loopy."

It seems that Nicoli had a slight reaction to his seatmates’ "you’re-not-going-to-barf-on-me" straight off the street corner prescription. Finally, after apologies that included, "Please don’t call the Embassy," and warnings about the kindness of strangers, he was sent by cab to the nearest cheap hotel.


Nicoli could not remember when he first thought to look for the computer disc, but thank God—you could do that in Russia, now—it was still in his jacket with its title folder identifying it as Russian tea music. He’d had a bad moment even while under the influence of the drugs in his system, when Patti had started to play it in the office, but thankfully, whoever had made it had the good sense to use some awful music for the introduction. So, after a few moments, the reviews were in. They were all bad, and the CD was returned to his drool-stained jacket. Now it, and the rest of his personal effects, including the Russian passport that had given Patti such a jolt, were resting on the table of Room 5 of The Acorn Lodge awaiting his full recovery.

"Patti, let’s not have a screwup with another Russian, for pete’s sake," Sergeant Baker said when he discovered the Russian’s passport. "I like being a sergeant and I assume you like being a detective. Give him a quick look-see to make sure he’s not carrying a bomb or anything, then let him go, and pray the Consular General isn’t expecting another nephew."



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