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Barney Miller - Thinner

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Barney Miller
Jules Tyler

So, like, I was at home, and I was eating an apple, drinking a diet pepsi, and watching “Blackout” on HBO. I was in a over-sized t-shirt, black argyles, mouse slippers, my glasses [I’d taken out my contacts], and my hair was up in a pony tail. There was a knock on the door.

I stood up and weaved my way around the furniture while still looking at the tv. I opened the door as far as the chain-lock would allow it. “Yeah?” I asked.

“It’s Wojo.”

I nearly had heart failure becos of the way I looked. “You’re here? Now?”


“I look like shit, and you’re here.”

“Does it matter?”


“Come on, just let me in.” So, I let him in, and he looked at me and goes “Glasses? You’re kidding?” He took them off me and looked at them. “I didn’t know.”

“The miracle of contact lenses,” I said.

“Oh, hey, I found this outside your door.”

He handed me an envelope. My name was typed on the front of it. I opened it and a short message was typed on a sheet of paper. I read it, and my eyes went wide, and my hand automatically moved to my mouth.

“What’s up?” Wojo asked. I handed him the note and he read it alloud. “’Remember Jaqui? I haven’t forgotten, and neither has she! We’ll be waiting for you in hell!’ What does it mean?”

“I’m terrified beyond the capacity to think right now. Please excuse me while I go throw up. “ So like I go into the bathroom, and I look into the mirror and I start talking to myself. “Jaqui…Jaqui, Jaqui. Why are you coming back now? That was ten years ago.”

Wojo knocks on the door and askes, “Are you allright?”

“Yeah. Come in if you want.”

He came in and put his hands on my shoulders and asked, “What does it mean, J?”

I looked at him in the mirror and my story unfolded. “Jaqui Miller. Before I came to New York, I was living in Montauk…”

“Montauk?” He asked.

“Montauk Point. The End of Long Island. So I was driving my mom to a dr’s apointment, and I was doing’ about 50 , when this girl pratically jumps out in front of my car. I didn’t have time to stop. She died w/in the next 24 hours. She was a gyhpsy, and her father swore revenge. I left town two days after I joined the academy. It took him ten years to find me, but he did. I guess I always knew he would.”

“There’s nothing to be upset about,” Wojo said. “It’s just a prank.”

“Tell me who would know? Who, from around here would know? Answer me that!”

“Well, maybe it’s an old friend.”

“An ‘old friend’ wouldn’t scare me to death. Everyone knew how much it upset me.”

“It’ll be okay. I bet it’s just a prank.”

“Not. It’s Tadzu Lemke I know.”

“Tadzu Lemke?”

“The girl’s father. He hasn’t realized it was her fault.”

“What can a gypsy do?”

“A lot…listen, what time is it?”

“9 o’clock,” he said looking at his watch.

“Come on. The Celtics game is on.”

“I didn’t know they wer playing.”

“Yeah. The Knicks.” So, we watched the Celtics game and we fell asleep on the sofa. [Celtics won 119 to 98.]

When I woke up, it was 6am. So, like, I took a shower and put on my make up. When I got out of the bathroom, I went to the kitchen and made some breakfast for me and Wojo. I woke him up. “What time is it?” He asked grogily.

“6:30. Come on. I made you breakfast. “ So we ate breakfast and he left so he could go home and change. I got dressed, fixed my hair, and watched Bugs Bunny on channel 11 while I wated to go to work.

I go to work and I was going down the street when my car stops. Just stops. So, I had to get out of the car, open the hood and try to fix the damn thing in the middle of the street, while four cars r behind me, and even more on the way. One guy leaned out the window and yelled “Get that piece of crap car off the road before I call the cops!”

“I AM the cops, buddy!” So, I finally figured out what was wrong with the car, fixed it, and proceeded to go to work. I had to park my car a block away from the precinct becos I found no places to park. While I’m walking to the precinct I saw a guy I knew from H.S. “Tom?”


“Hey! It’s been so long! How’ve you been?”

“Good. How are you?”

“Great. So, like what have u been doing?”

“Not much. This and that. What are you doing now?”

“Police work…Remember that New Years Eve party about 17 years ago? And you gave me that hickey?”

“He smiled and said, “Yeah. I remember.”

“I tried to hide it from my parents so they wouldn’t realize we were out, but they saw it. They nearly died when I told them Melissa and I snuck out. He put his arm around me, as we walked in the direction of my precinct.

“Come here for a second,” he said as he led me down an alley. “For old times,” he said as he proceeded to give me a hickey. I had forgotten how good he was. When he was done, he said, “Tadzu wanted me to do that. Now he can keep his tabs on you.” He walked casually away.

Fuckin’ freak me out. He couldn’t have known. So I get to work, and I had to get some papers from Barney. He looked at my neck. “What’s that green patch on your neck?” he asked.

I touched it. “Green?”


“Green?!” I ran to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. “It’s supposed to be red!”

Barney looked in the bathroom. “Red?”

“Damn you, Tadzu Lemke!”

Wojo heard it and decided to find out what was going on. “What about Tadzu Lemke?” He asked.

“He had an ‘old friend’ [I quoted with my fingers] give me a GREEN hickey!” I pointed to it.

“Nobody gives green hickies.” Wojo said. He then realized I ‘cheated’ on him. “Who?”

“Tom somebody-or-other. I don’t remember his last name. He gave me my first hickey, so he gave me another ‘for old times.’ Then he said that Tadzu Lemke told him to do it. Curse you Tadzu Lemke!”

“Pardon us Barn,” Wojo said grabbing my arm. “We’re borrowing your office.”


“You are taking this too far!” he said when we got in there. “Just becos you get a prank letter doesn’t mean it’s him!”

“Explain the green hickey! Go on! I dare you!”

“He said nothing about the green part, just about the hickey. “What were you doing to get a hickey?”

“I saw him down town. I parked my car, and was walking to work when I saw him. We started talking, and I reminded him of the New Year’s Eve party we were at. He gave me my first hickey. I almost lost my virginity to him, but I couldn’t. My friend was with me”

“Yeah, so, what happened?”

“He brought me down an alley and he gave me a hickey. A GREEN hickey. Don’t worry. Nothing is going on between us. I’ll probably never see him again.”

“Let’s hope not….You’re really getting me worried w/all this talk about curses and gypsies and green hickies.”

“Well, when was the last time you got a green hickey?”

“I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a hickey,” he said.


“Not that I can remember.”

“Well, we’ll have to change that.” I loosened his tie and unbuttoned his top to buttons. Him being almost a foot taller than me, I seductively gave him a small push onto the sofa in Barney’s office. I fixed my sweater so as to have it off-the-shoulder. I then straddled him, gave him a kiss and then proceeded to give him a hickey while he ran his fingers through my hair. “I’ll be there for a day or two,” I said as I buttoned his shirt and fixed his tie.

“Oh, by the way,” he said. “I found another envelope outside your door. The furenzic guys are analyzing it. They’re gona let me know what they find.”

“Do you know what it said?”

“Something like ‘The old, the new, don’t look back, I’ll be waiting for you.’”

“’The old’ part must mean Tommy. ‘The new’ might mean you or my new way of life. If he does anything to you,k I’ll get out my good gun and hunt him down.”

“Let’s not chew up the furniture,” he said. “What ‘good gun’ are you talking about?”

“I had it made special. It’s an 88 magnum. It shoots through schools.”

“Schools? What about a suit of armor?”

“It goes through armour, through the victim, through the wall, through the tree outside…”

“Okay, I get the picture. Just try to be rational, ‘kay?”

“Kay. I’m sorry. I’m being stupid.”

“No, you’re not being stupid. You’re shook up. Jesus, who wouldn’t be?”

“But still... I shouldn’t be threatening him w/an 88 magnum.”

“Don’t worry about it. I’d be scared too. I admit it’s freakey, but there’s probably a rational explanation.”

“Yeah. Like Lemke’s gona kill me.”

“No. Lemke won’t kill you. If it’ll make you feel any better, I’ll stay with you for a few tays until the head blows over.”

“Would you?”

“You know I would. Who loves ya baby?”

“You do.”

A knock was the next sound I heard. Barney came in and said “Wojo, furenzics is here. Something about a letter.”

“Thanks Barn,” he said getting up.

“Yeah, Charlie?”

“We did the tests and what we found were fingerprints belonging to one Julie Marie Kavanaugh. She was picked up once for disorderly conduct.”

“Mean anything to you?” Wojo asked.

“Good ol’ JMK,” I said.

“I take it you know her,” Wojo said.

“Yeah. My best friend from high school. ‘We do everything together,’” I said reminiscing about all the things we did. “Jeeze it’s tough to be mad at her. I remember one time, she told this guy I liked that if he was willing, I’d put out for him. I was mad for about five minutes. She’d always say ‘You can’t stay mad at me for more than a day, tops. By the way, “wanna hickey? Wanna hickey?’ or “’Lillian!The bitch is fallin’ down the steps again!’” or “’maybe like “’I meant that! I meant that!...fucking meow!’” or possibly, ‘’’Feels like nothing…works so well.’” Maybe she’d bring up grandma’s house or New Year’s Eve or “a group effort leads to a group hand hold, which leads to a group hug, which leads to a group grope, which leads to a group orgy, which leads to a group fuck, which leads to a group orgasm, which leads to a group cigarette, which leads to a group pregnancy, which leads to a group cry, which leads to a group drink, which leads to a group barf, which leads to a group pass out, which leads to a group hangover, which leads to a group dr’s visit, which leads to a group abortion, which leads to a group medical bill, which leads to group medicare insurance.”

“Uh, yeah…we get the picture. But what about…?” Wojo asked pointing to his neck.

“That I’m worried about. I mean, not even lizzards give green hickeys.”

“So, what’re you gona do about it?”

“I don’t know. What can I do?”

“You could have it looked at,” Wojo said.

“It’s a thought. Barney, can I….”

“Sure, go ahead.”

The dr. was truly stumped. He said to come back in a few days if it didn’t go away. Sure enough, it did. JMK got in touch w/me, and everything worked out fine.