Miles Sphinctersnap
and the Applesauce Fart
By: G Wayne
Copyright © 9/7/11
With only two weeks of summer left, the weather finally started to act like it. At Nine A. M., the sun blazed down like a ray gun and the thermometer was already too hot to touch. I huffed up the stairs to my office and as I stopped to catch my breath, I wondered if I there was anything left of my last deck a Luckies. My eyes felt like sandpaper and from your point of view, they looked as red as the taillights on a fifty-six Chevy whose exhaust smelled like roses compared to my breath.

I walked down the dingy hallway of the third-rate office building toward my sleazy office. It was the cheapest dump I could find to do business in a town so dilapidated; both sides were the wrong side of the tracks because somebody ripped 'um off. The light coming through the rippled-frosted glass in my office door announced that the business day had started without me. As I reached for the knob, the lettering on the glass seemed to laugh in my face and then spit in my eye: "M. Sphinctersnap Investigations, Private Detective".

I opened the door and walked into the scent of old paper and dust. Goldie, my secretary (and partner, but I'll never tell her that) took one look at me and strolled over to the coffee pot on legs so well shaped, they made most men week on theirs. She wore a crème colored blouse and a tailored jacket that were all business. Her tweed skirt offered a peek at those fine thighs while concealing the featherweight .38 Special she kept close to her . . . heart.

"Have a rough night staking out a perp, Mr. Sphinctersnap?" she said with a husky voice that lashed out and nurtured at the same time.

"No, Sweet Stuff, just a hard night."

She gave me a quick onceover while filling my coffee cup, "Your fly's down."

I gave myself a surreptitious feel, "It's up," I grumbled.

"Well, pull it down and change out of those disgusting pants. You look like you slept in a trough."

"Do you think a change of clothes will help?"

She looked at me as if she were judging livestock, "No, but if you slap on some room deodorizer, you might not scare off our new client," then she pointed at a fresh outfit neatly stacked on a chair by the closet. I nodded submissively, and grabbed the pile of clothes. Standing to the side; I opened the closet door as a bowling ball fell from the top shelf and bounced dimples into the hardwood floor while rolling to the other end of the room. I gave Goldie the stink eye and she returned it in spades.

"There was no one here to help me put that thing up. Maybe if you were here on time . . . " she said, wistfully gazing out the window.

There was a knock at the office door.

"Goldie, keep 'em out for a second," I whispered through the partially opened closet door while trying to hide my BVDs.

Goldie opened the office door, "Can I help you?" she said in an aloof, business voice that makes both men and women strain to avoid staring at her gorgeous rack.

There stood a pimply-faced adolescent boy, frozen in place from being caught in Goldie's headlights. "Ah, Hello, my name is Sequet," he managed to say. "I have a ten o'clock appointment."

Goldie stepped back a pace, "Aw, that's cute, but much too easy. Please come in, Mr. Sequet. Would you like a wittle cup of coffee?"

"Stop it!" I commanded in a loud whisper through the partially opened closet door.

Goldie whispered back, "Likely his first name is Elmer," and then sidestepped the closet door shut with her peep-toe Gucci pumps.

Sequet settled in a chair facing my vacant desk, "I would like a cup of coffee, ma'am." He sat so rigid, it looked like he was gone a crumble apart.

"You can call me Goldie," she said with resignation, "everybody else does."

"Thank you, Ms. Goldie," he said as his eyes glazed over.

I rechecked my zipper and popped out of the closet, "Hello, Mr. Sequet, I'm Miles Sphinctersnap." I managed to attract his attention and he stopped making googly-eyes at Goldie . . . for a while.

"Hello, Mr. Sphinctersnap, my name is . . . "

"Ya, ya, I know, it's Sequet, isn't it. "

"Why, yes, it is. How did you know?"

"Well, sir, I'm a private eye, a gumshoe dick, it's my job to figure out what's up."
Goldie glanced at her watch while pouring the kid some joe, "Not ten seconds and he's grandstanding. You are a dick," she mumbled.

"Um, Mr. Sphinctersnap, why were you in the closet?"

"Well . . . it's, um, complicated. I sometimes I need some time alone-to think."

"Next time I'll nail it shut," Goldie muttered.

"What's your first name, or is that a Sequet too?" I wisecracked.

"No, then my name would be Sequet Sequet."

"I'll bet that would make you top-Sequet."

"Stop it!" Goldie yelled, then asked in reserved tones. "What is your first name, Mr. Sequet?"

"It's Harvey, ma'am."

Goldie rolled her eyes, "See, Miles, see what happens when you ask the right questions. Meet Mr. Harvey, Mam, Sequet!
"
"Mam . . . may I call you Mam?" I asked.

"That's not my middle name; I don't have a middle name. I was referring to her."

"You sure got a lot of secrets, Sequet. I need the skinny or it's no dice."

Sequet glanced to Goldie.

"He's saying, tell the truth or get the fuck out."

"Mr. Sequet, why exactly are you here?" I said, tryin' to calm the hubbub.

"I smell something," said Sequet.

"You "smell" something?"

"Yes Mr. Sphinctersnap, I smell something. It follows me around, or should I say it's there before me."

"Your smell is there before you? You talk like a man with a paper-asshole."

"Oh no, it is true: I walk into my house and there is that odor; I get into my car and that scent wafts up from the back seat. I don't know what to do. It is always lurking somewhere close and I don't know what it is. Can you please help? People have told me that Sphinctersnap is the man for the job."

"I come recommended," I said to Goldie and she continued to look bored.

"Actually, you're the first one in the book that answered," Sequet said in a squealy voice.

"Calm down, Sequet," I barked, "I need to ask you a few questions before I decide if I should take this case. When did you first notice the odor?" I said, making a last ditch attempt at reason before throwing the demented shit out of my office.

Harvey hung his head and took the first step of a long journey through a tiresome account of mystery, intrigue, and general bullshit.

"It all started around two mounts ago, Mr. Sphinctersnap. May I call you Miles?"

"No."

"I was walking along the beach at Big Sur when I was overcome by a sudden urge to take a dump. It was just one of those things that came out of the blue; you know how it is. I clenched my teeth and trudged through the sand as fast as I could toward the log cabin restroom. It was nestled in the shade of mighty redwoods and I think they kept the fresh air away. It was real bad, Mr. Sphinctersnap, real bad. I know the reputation it has as the worst smelling place in California," he lowered his head to think, "outside of a Men's room in a Rotten Robbie's by Barstow. I knew I should have stayed away, but I couldn't avoid it. It was ether that, or go in the ocean and I did not want to get wet."

"That's nuts, kid," I said, wondering if I were more disgusted or hung-over. "Why didn't you go behind a rock, or a tree? Afraid something might crawl up your ass, eh?"

Sequet went on, "I just did not know what would happen when I opened that door. It was offal; I was blinded, actually blinded by the odor. There was a green fog that swirled around the toilets and then rolled our across the floor. When the heavy spring slammed the metal door shut I was doomed, doomed I tell you! I needed to hold on to the disabled people's railing with both hands."

"Why didn't you scram, you know, make off like a striped-ass bird?"