The New Guy………another story by Jack Stone

The New Guy

………another story by Jack Stone

It’s been nearly twenty-four years now that this PI firm …Kusic and Kusic …has been around. I’ll tell ya, in all those years we have been through some real experiences….some good…some bad…some we never talk about. It’s a Monday morning and I was just sitting here with my feet up on my desk in the Kusic offices, drinking a cup of joe that was so old I though I might break my teeth on it. I got to thinking back on my days with the Firm…all those files…all those long, lonely surveillance nights…all that rot gut fast food, cigarettes and coffee…just like this coffee…” jeez can’t anyone make a fresh pot around here? “As I was sitting here reminiscing and getting a little dozy I look up and I see Mrs. K aka “The Boss” coming my way. Now I’ve worked for Mrs. K since day one at the Firm and over the years I’ve learned her facial expressions enough to know she wasn’t coming my way to hand out compliments. “can I get you a pillow Stone? Cup of tea? Read you a bedtime story? Something to make you more comfortable?” “get your feet off that desk and listen up…I’ve got a job for you.” She snapped. Don’t get me wrong, Mrs. K is a hell of a good boss and god knows she’s given me plenty of rope over the years but the way she pronounced “job” got me wishing I had invested in that invisible cloaking device my brother in law had offered me some years back. Sometimes you just can’t avoid the inevitable. It’s like betting on a horse named Sure Thing …you know what’s coming….no, you can’t avoid the inevitable and you don’t get to pick the world you’re born into…I’m a Private Investigator..the name’s Stone…Jack Stone and this is a story.

“how’s Mr. k’s project coming along?” I ask trying to gain some level of acceptance. “you know I can’t talk about that Stone so why ask?” she quickly answers. Rumor has it that Mr. K had taken a sabbatical as our Omnipotent Divine Leader and Spiritual Guide…or “God” as he preferred to be called around the office, in order to work with the Government on a top-secret time altering device that runs on a fuel similar to bourbon and that will ultimately change the world as we know it. ´So why me?” I plead “why not Joe?” “you know Joe’s still on leave.” She answered. Joe Slugg, my long-time friend and partner at the Firm, had managed to talk Mrs. K into three weeks of paternity leave when his wife came home with a puppy. A labradoodle or something like that I think they call it…some form of hybrid super crossbreed, we use to just call a mutt. The whole thing was about as funny as a horse with a kickstand. “so, it’s got to be you Stone.” The Boss ordered. “I need you to take the new guy out” she explained “and I don’t want what happened the last time Stone.” Mrs. K was referring to that unfortunate and rarely mentioned incident about a year ago, when through some poor judgement of my own and maybe due to some whimsical, ill-placed encouragement from my partner Joe, I took a new guy out on the road and had staged a car jacking prank that ended with the new guy blindfolded, duct taped, gagged, stripped to his underwear and stuffed into the trunk of the car. Needless to say, the lawyers did not find it funny and are still in litigation over that one and I am still going to Company enforced Corporate Compliance and Appropriate Decision Making counselling. “not to worry Mrs. K…I wont let you down on this.” I offered. After giving me that too long stare like some mongooses on a cobra she said “Well get going then…the kid’s name is William and make sure you bring him back in one piece.”

I walk through the office to find the kid. And there he was sitting at attention with his blinding bright “A” type personality behind his neatly arranged desk in his new Brooks Brothers navy suit with the Ivy League yellow stripped tie looking like his father’s greatest golf shot. Good god, why do they always hire these snot nosed, criminology majors fresh out of the lie factory we call University full of dreamy eyed virgin visons of the job but who couldn’t find two turds at the dog park let alone track a subject for 10 hours straight in the pouring rain on a nasty cup of coffee, cold pizza, half a pack of smokes and a pounding migraine. “hey Bill” I yell. He just sits there staring off into a vortex while probably imagining himself behind the wheel of a hyper exotic sports car chasing down the bad guy with helicopter support while some cheesy 80’s Duran Duran music plays in the background. “Hey Bill…New Kid…what are you deaf as well as dumb!” I yell louder. This seems to snap the Kid out of it.” Are you talking to me Mr. Stone?” he slowly answers as he comes to. “I don’t know Kid…your name Bill? ´ I inquire. “well actually it’s William Mr. Stone.” He answers back “not anymore Kid …it’s Bill now if your riding with me today ‘cause I don’t ride around with Royalty. And another thing, why do you keep calling me Mr. Stone…do we know each other?” I fire back “ I know you Mr. Stone …you’ve been kind of a hero to me and you are the reason I wanted to get in to the Private Investigation Business in the first place” he gushed back. Well maybe this kid wasn’t that stupid after all I thought to myself. “ You listen up Bill, we’re not here for hugs and love notes…I’m to take you out today and show you the ropes” I said “ and I won’t be pull”n no punches just because you wanna have some kind of a man crush on me…get it? I snapped “Understood Mr. Stone…I wouldn’t have it any other way and I’m honored to have my training day with you.” The Kid was back to giving me the creeps and apparently he hadn’t seen the movie “Training Day” with Denzel Washington ….we all know how that one ended! “let’s go Bill” I say and we head out.

As we’re headed down the elevator together I kept looking over at Bill. What can I really teach this kid? I’m an old dog and he’s a young pup….this thing could turn out like something Michael Vick organized. I got to thinking about the old days…. when I was new and fresh…my aspirations and dreams about becoming a great PI…maybe even the greatest. What happen over those years? What had I learned? I know when I first started in the business I made a vow to myself…I had two basic rules… do my best for the client and always play it clean. There was also something about never taking a case involving missing farm animals or where one of my relatives might end up behind bars and never pad my expenses more than I could get away with. “Let’s take a walk Bill” I said and as we walked through the too familiar ugly streets and alleyways of what has been my home for the last twenty plus years, I started to open up to the kid. “this is a job of patients and persistence Bill” I explained. “sometimes all you got is your gut knowledge that you’re smarter than the other guy and if you stick it out long enough you might just get what the client needs. You don’t do it for the money and you don’t do it for the fame…hell, you don’t even do it for the women anymore…. too many of those now in the business and trust me they’re smarter and tougher than us…no, you do it because it’s in your blood. You know what I’m talking about here Bill?” I asked “I think so Mr. Stone” he meekly replies “I think it’s about having pride in the job you do…it’s about integrity…I think that’s what you are saying Mr. Stone” the kid finished” “Right Kid!! You got it now!!” I said excitedly “We got a New Year coming kid and a New Dawn…your Dawn!! You and those like you will be the new faces of this Industry and dinosaurs like me will be there to see you off.” I’d really worked myself into the kind of frenzy seldom seen outside a Magic Mike Dance show at the State run Female Correctional Facility. “Let’s get a drink kid. Hell, we earned it!” So off to my favorite bar “Psycho Suzi’s Tiki Lounge” Bill and I head all the while me filling Bill in on stories of old and pearls of wisdom. At about 5pm Bill leaned over to me from his Tiki barstool and slurred” dis has been great Mr. Shtron and gimmy another!”

I look at Bill….Hammer of Thor drinks all down the front of his Brooks Brothers…his face looking like that banjo playing kid from “Deliverance” and realized I still needed to get him back to the office “you’ve had enough for one day Kid…and don’t call me jimmy” as we stumbled to the cab stop and spill into the back seat I knew I’d have some explaining to do but I also had a unusual sense of calm about me…I had this overwhelming feeling things were going to be ok in the coming New Year…There was a bright hope for this industry I’d come to love. The “Bills” would take over but the job would remain the same. I partially carried and dragged Bill down the hall way to the office listening to him blubber on about integrity, responsibility and why the Habs would never have another winning team. I managed to dump him at his desk and sneak back to mine just before I saw Mrs. K making her way over to Bill’s desk. I watched her go between questioning him and glairing back over at me….”STONE!!!” I hear her scream. I couldn’t help but think again on that invisibility cloaking device my brother-in-law was inventing…. Yep, they say that you can’t avoid the inevitable…but I say you should take your time getting there.

We at Kusic and Kusic wish a very Happy New Year to all our Friends and Family …may the year bring you joy, health and prosperity

This story contains little to no truth and the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Jack Weatherell lives in West Vancouver and is the father of two perfect sons. Jack claims no special talents but is eternally grateful for his employ at Kusic and Kusic Private Investigators. There was some talk going around that Mr. Weatherell lived for two years in Northern Montana in a cave with a family of wolves. He credits those years in helping him develop the abilities to walk silently, write in the dark and sleep with one eye open….however, there is no evidence to substantiate this story.

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