I’m always at the Drunken Sasquatch for Happy Hour, as I have nowhere else to be. But Harry Wolfe was a family man with a problem, and he looked distinctly out of place there among the regulars. I had told him I thought the perfect person to resolve it would be in at about four, and sure enough, there she was.
He set his root-beer on the table. “Everyone knows Grandma is no one to mess with! Sure, my stepdad was a big, bad wolf. I won’t argue that he received a kind of back-handed justice. And who is sitting there proudly wearing his hide?” Harry gazed at the elderly woman seated at the bar. “Not my stepdad, that’s for sure.”
The elderly woman in the ratty fur coat turned to see what all the noise was about. We smiled and waved at Grandma.
“See how innocent she looks? She could be any old barfly. But that’s no ordinary old drunk.” I tried to impress on him how perfect she was for his problem. “That’s Grandma, and she’s the one for the job.”
Harry capitulated. “Um… okay, but no violence. They’re terrible tenants, but they’re college kids, right?”
“So are you going to ask her?”
Harry’s eyes showed the whites, as he mastered his panic. “No! She’s…could you ask her?” The werewolf was actually shaking in his boots.
“Okay,” I said. “I’ll do it.” Very few things intimidate a dragon. I took my orange juice to the bar and found a stool next to the lady in question.
“Mrs. Johnson?” I asked.
“Who wants to know?”
“Dan Dragonsworthy. My friend has a rental property, occupied by some tenants who’re trashing it…he was wondering if you were still in the vigilante business.”
“You mean that nice young man doesn’t want to dirty his paws with such matters.” She met my gaze. “Sure, but it will cost him. I don’t work for free.”
I brought Harry over and introduced him. They got down to the nitty-gritty, and a price was arranged. Grandma fixed Harry with her steely gaze. “Tell me everything you know about these tenants.”
“Well, they’re pigs.”
“We know that. What do they look like?”
“They’re pigs, Yorkshire pigs, to be exact, and seemed so charming and British. They’re foreign exchange students and had good references, but now I’m assuming they were forged.”
“What exactly have they done to your property?” Grandma tried to look comforting. It scared the willies out of me. As I said, very few things scare a dragon, but that look on this old lady was one of them.
Harry said, “Every Saturday night they have these huge parties with hundreds of people and live bands. Loud punk music all night long. My phone is always ringing off the hook, with the other tenants’ complaining.”
“Over on Walnut Street?” Grandma asked, and Harry nodded. “Yeah,” she said. “Those are some great parties.” Grandma thought for moment. “I hate to evict my friends, but business is business, and a girl’s gotta make a living.”
She fished around in her handbag, setting things on the bar: old Kleenexes, mints, a pearl-handled Colt forty-five, her cell phone, a hacksaw, her checkbook, a crescent wrench, a dog-eared address book… and so on… and so on. Finally, she came to a small stack of business cards, with a rubber band wrapping them. Pulling one card from the bundle, she handed it to Harry. “Send the legal paperwork to me at this address here, along with half the fee. I’ll collect the other half when the job is done, Tuesday at the latest. Just make sure a large dumpster is delivered to the curb in front of the place Monday morning.” She turned, tossing everything back into her bag and addressed herself to her gin and tonic. It was a dismissal Harry and I both could recognize.
As we sat down at our table, Harry said, “I don’t like doing things this way, but I can’t have my property destroyed. She’s definitely the one for the job. I hate to have to play the Grandma card, but those pigs have got to go. I just hope she doesn’t harm them.”
Looking at the little old lady seated at the bar, I had to agree. “When you have a tough job, you can always count on Grandma. It may not be pretty, but she gets results.”
Happy Hour at the Drunken Sasquatch © 2016 Connie J. Jasperson, All Rights Reserved