Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Are You Packing Heat?

My original line of thought was to post about Morelli and Ranger today, but I don't think you people are ready for that. Seriously. So, we are going to take a look at Stephanie (aka me) through other eyes today. Let's turn that around. We are going to look at the world of Plum without all of that testosterone making our eardrums melt and our brains do screwy things.

Let's do a quick tour through Stephanie's immediate family. This will be fun. Grandma Mazur. She is my favorite character in Stephanie's family. She has taken up permanent residence with Stephanie's parents "now that Grandpa Mazur was scarfing down his normal two-eggs-and-a-half-pound-of-bacon breakfast in the hereafter." Grandma Mazur's favorite pastime is funeral viewings. This is pretty much a daily ritual. The deceased is judged on which funeral parlor is chosen, the quality of the casket, and it better be an open casket or Grandma Mazur is likely to get caught sneaking a peek. This is a no-no even in Trenton. Stephanie often gets dragged along to these outings to prevent this sort of thing, because family members get irate when their closed casket viewings become open casket thanks to Grandma Mazur.

"Grandma Mazur was seventy two and didn't look a day over ninety. I loved her dearly, but when you got her down to her skivvies, she resembled a soup chicken. Tonight's dress was a fire-engine-red shirtwaist with shiny gold buttons." This is one of grandma's tamer outfits. She often wears things like spandex biker shorts, or whatever she thinks might be trendy. And, like everyone else in Jersey she packs heat. Yeah, that sweet little old lady carries concealed and doesn't have a license to do so, but no one has a license in Jersey and everybody does it. Grandma is a lethal weapon because she thinks she is a crack shot, and she can't hit the broad side of a barn. So, when she pulls out her gun, everybody duck! She did manage to kill the turkey after it was cooked and on the dinner table. Of course, she wasn't aiming for it. At least, it couldn't get more dead.

Stephanie's mother thought that life really couldn't get any harder than it did when her mother, Grandma Mazur, moved in. She was wrong. She started dipping into the cooking sherry. She became a compulsive cleaner. When Stephanie started catching criminals, she moved on to the hard stuff. But just a nip now and then. And she irons a lot. It is safe to say that she has the cleanest house in Trenton. Stephanie's father is pretty much retired, but drives a cab for fun. His time in the cab picked up when Grandma moved in. He spends most of his time in front of the TV and is monosyllabic. So, long as he gets three squares a day, he seems to be mostly okay. I think that he pretends his real life is happening somewhere else. But this is purely conjecture on my part.

Remember when I told you that we would get back to Vinnie? Well, we're back. Vinnie is Stephanie's cousin. "Vinnie was forty-five, 5'7' without his lifts, and had the slim boneless body of a ferret. He wore pointy-toed shoes, liked pointy-breasted women and dark-skinned young men, and he drove a Cadillac Seville." Do you remember when I told you that Vinnie just gave Stephanie the job. It didn't exactly go down like that. She blackmailed him into giving her the job. Vinnie likes kinky sex and everyone knows about it except his wife. Well, that was going to change unless Stephanie got that job. It went a little bit like this:

"So give me one week, Vinnie," I said. "If I don't get him in a week, you can turn it over to someone else."

"I wouldn't give you a half hour."

I took a deep breath and leaned in closer to Vinnie, whispering in his ear. "I know about Madam Zareski and her whips and chains. I know about the boys. And I know about the duck."

He didn't say anything. He just pressed his lips together until they turned white, and I knew I had him. Lucille would throw up if she knew what he did to the duck. Then she'd tell her father, Harry the Hammer, and Harry would cut off Vinnie's dick."

Yeah, she went for the hard sell on the job. Sorry to have mislead you on that yesterday. Actually, it wasn't so much misleading, it just wasn't telling. I was saving it for today.

Getting back to Grandma and the things you need to know about her:
1) She is always up for anything. The more dangerous the better.
2) Favorite expression: "Isn't that a pip?"
3) Grandma was willed a 1953 Powder Blue Buick with a shiny white top, whitewall tires big enough to fit a backhoe, and gleaming chrome portholes. Stephanie likens it to a beluga whale and says that it turns corners like a refrigerator on wheels. Grandma can't drive, and this is ALWAYS Stephanie's last resort vehicle. She hates it. However, her cars are constantly being blown up, so Stephanie drives it a lot.
4) Some funeral parlors nail their caskets shut because of Grandma Mazur and her penchant for peeking when she shouldn't.

I still don't think you're ready for Morelli and Ranger, so tomorrow we are going to dish on my all-time favorite Plum character, aside from Stephanie, and her men. And Grandma. I really like Grandma. That would be Lula. She was a ho (in book one), but that life really is hard on a woman. So, she reformed and is now the file clerk at Vinnie's office. Turns out she really doesn't like to file, but she loves riding shotgun with Stephanie. She isn't any better at catching FTAs than Stephanie, but it makes the story twice as entertaining. Imagine an oversized black woman in poison green spandex whose response that a situation might be "delicate" is this: "Hell, I can delicate your ass off." And that is why I love Lula. I feel the need to go watch BABY GOT BACK on Youtube. Ya'll have a nice night. Catch you tomorrow because I am going to delicate your ass off!

image found at www.weheartit.com

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Dazzle Me!