Saturday, July 27, 2013

Death by Shopping Cart

Detective Shawn Caramel, known as “Chewy” to his friends, stared down at the body on the floor at the grocery store entrance.  He looked at the overturned shopping cart and shook his head. “Bad way to go.”

“Sir?” His side kick B. D. Reckoning looked back with a puzzled expression.

“Death by shopping cart.”

Reckoning nodded that he understood.

A squat old woman came into the store and paused. She blinked and looked closer at the body. “Is he the store greeter?”

“No, ma’am,” Chewy said. 

“This is a crime scene,” Reckoning said. “You need to step back.”

The old woman gave a humpf. “Just came to buy some tomatoes.” She strutted to the cart corral and pulled on one to loosen it from the line.

“Maybe a robbery gone bad.” Reckoning pointed to the grill marks on the body’s face.

The cart remained stuck on another cart. The old woman yanked on it and three carts dislodged from the pack staying together as if welded into a single unit. She started shaking and twisting the cart, but it wouldn’t come away from it friends.

“Maybe a hit,” Reckoning said. “The mob is varying its techniques. Trying to be a bit more creative.”

Chewy raised a hand form a moment to think. He stroked the five o’clock shadow on his face even though it was only 10:12 a.m. and watched the old woman try to dislodge a shopping cart.

He pushed back his Stetson and sauntered to where the woman, now breathless, had lapsed into a futile tug of war to get a shopping cart. “Allow me, ma’am.”

She stepped away. “Good luck. Nobody is gonna get them apart. It’s like a magic spell has them locked together.

Chewy moved closer and sized up the situation. Before joining the CYAPD, he’d been a physics major, just before doing a short stint at the seminary. The situation was quite logical and diabolically clever.

He firmly grabbed the grill that folded up when pushed into another cart for storage and raised it high enough to clear the front of the cart it was stuck on. Then he pulled forward and separated the cart from the others. Pushing it a safe distance away, he said, “There you go, ma’am.”

She pushed the cart into the store and looked back. “I was going to do that next.”

“I know what happened to Mr. Body. He’d entered the store, probably happy and excited to be doing some grocery shopping. Pot roast is on sale right now.” Chewy pointed to a sale sign in the window. “When he tried to get a cart, the contraption wouldn’t disengage from the others. In his frenzied struggle, it came loose unexpectedly. He fell over and it rolled over him, crushing him.”

Reckoning’s mouth hung open as he digested the explanation. Finally he said, “Very clever, sir. What tipped you off?”

Chewy smiled. “Let’s just say it was detective's intuition and a bit of luck.”

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That’s all for this week. Stay tuned when next time Chewy Caramel cracks the Case of the Cape Crusader Caper.

1 comment:

  1. Shopping carts are indeed a rampant cause of death. As a night stocker, I find a body a week. At first it was shocking, now it's just part of the job, like stocking a shelf or blocking or putting back items left by shoppers in wrong aisles. Does get interesting at times when we find someone under 70.