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  The Shallow Light
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                 Page Four

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From: "patti keiper" <>
Date: Fri Oct 28, 2005  6:41 pm
Subject: Just Desserts..

Roy and Johnny couldn't believe the changes that had
sprouted around their favorite hot dog spot during the
past seven days.

New, trendy rice paper lamps and genuine car lot,
triangle-plastic-flag banner strings, framed themselves over
absolutely pristine, brand new, white wicker metal patio tables.

Gone were the decrepid, peeling picnic tables of yore. All of the
new shiny furniture, was sprawled underneath vinyl palm tree
themed umbrellas, and accented occasionally with vases of real
birds of paradise blooms.

Every day, when they could, between calls, Roy
and Johnny, and sometimes even Chet Kelly made the sojourn
to Davey's stand for the free handouts that had been
contrived craftily by Gage's possibly very questionable
medical deceptions.

"Well,.." Gage sighed expansively to DeSoto as he
leaned back in one of Mac's newly redesigned
and poshly cushioned seats. "I guess there's something
to be said for the positive life changes that can come about
whenever someone believes that they've truly had a life after
death experience. I mean, just look at this old place of Mac's.
It's's simply...incredible, Roy! Don't you think so, too?"

"Yeah, but I also ...still feel kinda bad about how we egged
Mac on, just to con him out of some free food like this."

"Oh, Roy, there's no harm done. In fact, I'll just bet that ol
Mac's making more cash now in a single day than he ever
did in an entire month! The cost of feeding us has got
to be the merest drop in the bucket on expenses for him."

"Shh, he's coming back with our order." Roy cautioned,
trying to smile in spite of his still contradictory feelings about
the whole affair.

"Just the one dog today, fellas?" Mac beamed.

"Yeah, we're splitting it up. We're not very hungry this
afternoon." Johnny chuckled. "It's been a very slow day
at the station, Mac." he said, sipping a straw noisily on a Dr.
Pepper thermos advertising the new look for Mac's stand.
"We saved only....what?" he said, turning to Roy, who was
trying to duck behind the new ice cream dessert menu..
"Just...two lives today, Roy? Is that right?"

"Yeah. A trucker wrapped around a viaduct pylon and an alcoholic
street bum who was suffering a cerebral vascular accident." DeSoto
replied reluctantly.

"Wow, my two very own personal heroes have pulled a couple of
miracles yet again. Very impressive, fellas. Do you know how
proud I am that I can call you my very dearest of friends these days?
Here, let me tuck that in all nice and neat for you, Mr. Gage."

"Oh, that's very nice of you, Mac. Thank you." Gage
smiled, allowing his now expensively poiffed, after shave splashed
patron, to fuss over the unfolded napkin hanging from his collar.

Mac smiled and cooed, "Anytime, Mr. Gage."

But then Mac did a most peculiar thing...

He set knot cording fists on either side of his
neatly ironed, aproned hips as his usually good natured manner
decayed into something truly frightening. A full, very p*ssed
off naval sargeant's bark exploded from his frothy lips.
"Enjoy that delicious chili dog, boy, 'cause that's the last one
you'll ever get to share with your pal here!"

"Uh, wha-- what do you mean.. Mac. Uh,...exactly?"
Gage stuttered, and then he completely obstructed on
beef link.  

Roy thumped him in between the shoulder blades to
rescue him quickly back into the world of the still
conscious and breathing.

Mac clarified, in a dangerous voice carried softly enough,
so that his regular and brand new crowd of business
executives, wouldn't overhear him. "You twos was faking
things on me the other day. In fact, I've known just what kind
of nasty trick you two clowns actually pulled on me last week,
all week long." he said knowingly in an unintentional verbal

Roy immediately spat the very savory hot dog out of
his mouth and into a napkin and he managed
to mumble.. "Y-you knew?"

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"Yeah, I knew. Only I didn't find out about what you
two did, or more like what you didn't do to me, until
later on that day, when I was taking my usual nightly
bubble bath."

"Oh, uh...yeah?" Gage muttered lamely, a flush rising
high and deep into his face.

"Yeah." Mac punctuated firmly.

"How'dya find out?" Johnny asked him in a cowed squeak.
"Did a hospital staffer point out how common is it to black out
on pure oxygen while you're in the midst of hyperventilating?"

"No. I found out about your little stunt, because I didn't find
none of them red defibberatin' circles burned into my everloving
hide... Nor did I find any sign of slimy spots anywhere on me,
which I've since learned from kindly coroners, that are supposedly
left over from that jolting jelly stuff you fire guys always use
when you're electra-jumpstarting fresh, dead folks."

Roy and Johnny both gulped uncomfortably.

Mac's good natured grin sharpened into something
entirely hard. "My grandma always used to say, 'If someone
steals a dollar from you behind your back. Turn around and
give them your entire wallet, too, with a full smile. For it'll
make that thief's later shame and guilt burn that much brighter
about carrying out the crime in the first place.' I fed ya for nothing
all this time, just to make the revenge pot a little sweeter for the
savoring. You know, my grandmother was a very wise woman,
don't you think?

"So enjoy the burn, you pathetic pair of cocky paramedics.
Especially you, Mr. Gage. Because after that last delectable
bite passes those pearly white, native son molars of yours,
this establishment is swearing off giving ANY service
to anyone who's of the firefighting persuasion, FOREVER!"
he roared.

And with that, Mac strode purposely back to his neat as a pin,
freshly painted, now very popular, trailer stand.

"Oh, boy.." Roy said, placing his stunned chin on his two
thoroughly miserable sets of palms and elbows. "Did
we deserve that one." he murmured with a long, painful sigh.
Then he added. "Still feel terrifically great about this wonderful
day we're having?"

"I've got only one thing to say about being permanently
banned from Davey's hot dog stand." Johnny swallowed,
suddenly feeling his meal sit like a heavy rock in the pit of
his stomach.

"Oh," Roy conmiserated. "And what's that?"

"Doggone it." he whimpered.


The Shallow Light,
Episode Twenty Six,  Season Four

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The Shallow Light

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