A former co-worker, Dave, rewrote this column and entitled it "Inga Noir". Frankly I like it better than my version:
There are times when you just gotta lie.
I can hear my mama now, smackin me upside da head an' sayin I'm gonna burn in hell, burn cuz I lied. But ya gotta know dis. If I hadn't lied, I'd still have da stiff in my yard.
It happened like dis, see. Some mornin' way too early -- and all mornins are too early when your drinkin' till closin' time, waiting for a phone that never rings to tell you you got a new case -- I pulled my hat on an' unchained the front door. Gotta go to work, no matter how many too earlys it is. Punch my timecard, make a buck and a quarter an hour for sittin behind my desk like I's supposed to.
I pushed open the screen and walked across the porch, remindin' myself to get that loose board fixed someday. Everythin' as usual.
Den the screen door kicked open and Rory and Henry come flyin' out like they'd been thrown by the bouncer at Mo's. Rory and Henry. I got dem from a missin' persons case. The missin' person was my spouse, if ya gets me.
Sos Rory jumps over da loose board and runs out to the walk and den stops all sudden. "Hey!" he hollers. "Look at dis! It's a stiff!"
"A stiff!" Henry joined him. "Who's stiff is it? Is is Bob? Did you smack 'em?" he asked, looking back at me, his eyes bulging.
"Get away from dat stiff!" I yelled, pulling Henry back by the ear. "It ain't Bob, I don't know who it is! It ain't mine, you stay away from it!" That stiff was a sorry sight, eyes wide and starin', as if the big ticker just gave out an' he keeled over right there, all inconsiderate, on my yard.
Here's what I was thinkin'. If I got on the bus to work, see, and left Rory and Henry here with da stiff, who knows what'd happen. I might get home to find it lying on da couch with its head onna pillow and my slippers on its feet. Rory and Henry are kinda weird like dat. Strange. Not normal.
"You reprobates get ta school," I yelled. "I'm taking care of da stiff."
Turns out it's not so easy to get rid of a stiff in your yard.
He wasn't buying it today. "A stiff?!" he yelled sos I gotta hold the horn extra-far from my ear. "Is dis you Noir? I'm gonna put you away if I find a stiff in your yard!"
Lucky he can't hear what I say after I hang up. But he gives me an idea. I put on my rubber gloves, see, the ones I keep in my back pocket. You know, just in case. I go out and I grab that stiff, and with a couple of da back and forths and a big heave, I toss it right over into da alley. Makes a funny sound when it lands. I try not to remember dat sound.
I get O'Malley on the horn again. "Is this you Noir?!" he bellows, like it's me that got the hearin' problem. "I'm sending you up dis time, got that?? You ain't comin' back for 10 years, and that's if yer lucky!!"
I do dat little high-pitched voice I use sometimes. Usually times like dis when I'm talkin' to da cops, but I ain't sayin' when else. "Nah, I mean, no, it's ... um ... Inga. Yeah, dis ... this is Inga. I gotta stiff in the alleyway. I mean, body. Come get it, will yous guys?"
So whens Henry and Rory finally get back from delinquency school, dere all sad cuz the stiff ain't in da yard any more. "What happened to Bob?" they say. "Did ya sink him? Jersey river job?" Henry starts lookin' round like he's gonna see lead weights just lyin' there.
"Nah," I say. "Some nice people came and took it away."
Well, at least I was only lying about the "nice" part.