Day 52, Chapter 52
Good times today – Lindsay and the A-Team have been called into the Chief’s office for not getting their work done. Mockery shall ensue – both by the Chief and myself.
Being summoned to Tracchio’s office is always an adventure. You never know if you’re going to get a high five or a front-row seat on a meltdown. Tracchio hung up the phone as Jacobi, Chi, and I took seats around the curve of his mahogany desk and watched him pat his comb-over. I don’t dislike Tracchio, but I never forget that he’s a bureaucrat doing a job only a real cop should do.
Hey, high-five, Comb-Over! Tracchio’s pissed off because the San Francisco Chronicle is running a story that morning, featuring a photo of Lindsay’s BFF, Claire Washburn, telling a crowd of reporters that people should start carrying guns to protect themselves from the Lipstick Killer. (See Day 43)
I flushed, both scared and embarrassed for my best friend.
“One of our own said this,” Tracchio said, his voice rising. “Told our citizens to carry guns, and the mayor says that all of us, and that includes you, you, and especially you,” he said, stabbing a pudgy finger at Jacobi, “don’t know your ass from a lemon tart.”
Before Jacobi can get up to display the differences between his ass and said lemon tart, the Chief busts out the big guns – a letter to the editor of the Chronicle written by the Lipstick Killer. (We saw Pete Gordon attempting to write this same letter, back in Chapter 44.) He passes the copy to Lindsay and makes her read it out loud. Essentially, the killer wants $2 million to stop murdering women and children.
My head throbbed at the idea of it.
“Sir, you’re not really thinking we’re going to pay off the Lipstick Killer?”
The Chief claims that a private citizen has already offered to pony up the cash, but Lindsay and Jacobi protest pretty heavily. Chi just sits there silently, as usual. I’m not sure why he’s in the room, actually. Then Tracchio leans forward, “smacks the flat of his hand down on the newsprint”, and offers us this brilliant speech. Please note how he has also noticed that these cops are inept and lazy. See, it’s not just me.
“You all listen to me. Several innocent people have been shot dead in the last couple of weeks. Forty men and women are working this case around the clock, and we’ve got nothing. Nothing. Except the chief medical examiner saying that people should start packing. What choice do I have? None. This letter is going to run,” the chief said, glaring at each of us in turn, “and I can’t stop it. So figure out how to catch this psycho. Set a trap. How you do it is up to you. I know it’s hard. That’s why it’s called ‘work’. Now, I need my office, I’ve got to call the mayor.”
In yo’ face beeotches! Get the F out of my office!
Go to Day 53.