114 Jungle Boy

Everyone had decamped from the Plip Plop Coffe Shop except Swami Skinrash. The Sheriff meant to return, but he needed a gas mask.
The swami dialed the Guss residence for the only person in San Anselmo suitable for the work.
“It’s your nickel. Start talkin’,” Granny Guss answered.
“This I do not understand,” Skinrash countered. His pronunciation had the ups and downs of a merry-go-round on the fritz.
“You made the call, Canadian. You want me to hang up?”
“Please not to! I have heard you are qualified uniquely for this employment opportunity of great importance . . .”
He couldn’t carry the bodies alone, and there was no one else who could abide the smell. The Sheriff promised to be there to supervise, but not hoist.
“In what degree of an hour may I expect you to make your arrival here?”
“Hold on! Soon’s I fluff up, my son can drive me there in his nice convertible. Be on the lookout for a late model Saab, sahib.  Top down and cruisin’.”
“That is about? . . . For there is no great hurry,” he added tenderly.
She answered it would be maybe fifteen or twenty minutes, “. . . dependin’ on what I hafta pull John off ‘f upstairs. The boy’s got his Osterizers grinding again. All part of some plan. . . . Goin’ through Oodles of Noodles like they is water . . .”
Time enough to go through every wallet, giggled the little holy man, and be on his way just before the smelly lady arrived.
“There can be no blame assigned to me!” He was in raptures at prospects of gain. “Have I not arranged for my replacement, a large and formidable long-time citizen far more suitable to the task? The Sheriff cannot find fault, with the situation this way . . .” Burble-de-burble-de-burble trilled his exotic voice. Sometimes he believed his own con, in the deep end of disguise, a corruption of the ninja code.
He cut himself off, delighted by the sparkle on a bicycle girl’s wrist.
“Tocaloma Ninja my sweaty white ass!” he huffed, dropping the Ganges accent for his native Sour Grapes. He was done forever with Ross Valley, sure he was on to something better.
But just shy of unbelievably stupid, Swami Skinrash wouldn’t shed his yogi robes. They covered swag as well as tracks, and always allowed him to plead that far from loitering, he was preparing for the next tremendous public appearance of Gangaji. It made the authorities laugh him off and let him go “as one of those.”
“Thank you, Gangaji,” Swami Skinrash mumbled, for a gift that keeps on giving.


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