Going All Shatner

-Oh, c’mon. What is that?

-This thing? Went to a Blue Claws game up in Lakewood back in June. Took my nephews for bat promo night. Dirty water dogs, some suds for me and birch beers for the kids…they were giving theses shit beaters away. Of course, I’m not one for baseball, but it was fun time all the same.


-You won’t even feel it, Pete, I swear. It’ll be like hitting your funny bone. You’ll go all twangy and numb, just like that.

-Couldn’t you just—I don’t know. Use your fists on me or something?

-The man said make a visible and lasting impression.

-Bruises are visible.

-Sure, but they don’t last. Hold out your wrist.

-My wrist? Jesus, there are a lot of bones in the wrist.

-So? You go to the emergency room and you get a cast. Six to eight weeks and you’re good as new. What, you want me to do your foot instead?


-Then do what I told you.

-Look, I said I was sorry, all right? I’m sorry. How many times do I have to say it?

-Yo, you swing righty or lefty?


-Answer the question. Golf. Batting cages. Beating off to your Maxim subscription. Are you righty or lefty?


-Then lay your right arm on the bar.

-Wow. I mean, wow, man. You’re nothing but heart.

-So people tell me.

-I can’t believe this. I’m a goddamn cop, you know. How am I going to explain a broken wrist to my boss?

-Say you fell off of a ladder. What do I care what you tell people?

-All this over some dumb stripper.

-Tut-tut. Exotic dancer.

-Whatever. It’s not like I went and stole from Dante Donofrio.

-Mr. Donofrio has taken a personal interest in Gina.

-And it’s not like I propositioned Donofrio’s goddamn daughter or anything.

– Word of advice here, Pete. We know each other, but you might want to watch your mouth, saying something like that.

-And it’s not like me and Gina even did anything.

-Just put your arm on the bar.


-Pete, if it were up to me, yeah, I might give you a pass and let you off with a warning. Seriously, I know things can get out of hand in the heat of the moment, and Gina is a doll. But all this? This ain’t up to me.

-Maybe we could pretend or something.


-Yeah. I’ll wrap my arm in some bandages and keep my mouth shut. C’mon, you know me, man. The thing that went down last March with those Pakistanis from Philly? That thing you guys have going on with the state’s paving contractors? You know I can keep my mouth shut.

-And yet you’re yapping about things I know nothing about in public.

-It’s ten a.m. This place is empty.

-Did I mention I was a cop?

-Now is not the time to be funny, Pete.

-I mean, do I look that stupid? Do you think for one second if I’d known Dante Donofrio himself had a thing for Gina I would’ve even have entered the woman’s friggin’ orbit?

-Gina is a decent girl.

-One of the best I’ve ever seen.

-Smart too.

-Oh, c’mon. Let’s not go overboard. The next thing you’re going to tell me is she’s working her way through school.

-As a matter of fact….

-No freaking way.

-One year in at the community college x-ray tech program. Kind of ironic, huh?

-My whole life is one big irony.

-What’re you doing propositioning a girl like that anyway?

-Have you seen my wife?


-I’d draw you a picture, but I’d run out of ink.

-God, you’re a charming prick. Look, I’m growing weary of this so here’s the straight dope, okay? You got a lousy home front? Tough—deal with it like a man, because you certainly wouldn’t be the first. I mean, this shit. You going all Shatner with the club’s talent pool, what were you even thinking? Put your arm on the bar.

– There. Now then, look away.

-Look away? Jesus, why?

-It’s like getting a shot at the doctor. It’ll help.

~ fin ~


A huge fan of the interpretive private eye films The Long Goodbye (1973) and The Drowning Pool (1975), Kieran Shea‘s stories have appeared previously in Shotgun Honey, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and elsewhere. He’s also written a couple of novels and one short story collection.