Summary: The partners roam the city in search of criminals, but no one is cooperating.
Category: Starsky & Hutch
Word Count: 3894
8:20 a.m. – In the Torino on the way to Headquarters
“What is that?” Starsky asked his partner quizzically.
“What? This?” Hutch replied.
“This, my friend, is something you’ve probably never seen before. It’s a new thing on the market, Starsk. It’s called a carrot!”
“Well, I know it’s a carrot.” Starsky scoffed. “You don’t have to be sarcastic. Why are you eating a carrot for breakfast?”
“Oooh, there are a few reasons.” Hutch began as he snapped off a chunk and chewed it loudly. “First of all, … I’m hungry. Secondly… it’s good for me.”
“And the third?” Starsky inquired trying to sound interested.
“It was the only thing I had in the house to eat.” Hutch resigned. “Literally. All I could find was one measly carrot. It’s not even a fresh carrot. It actually barely resembles a carrot. But, it is a carrot nonetheless. I gotta do some grocery shopping. TOOO-DAY!”
“Yeah. I hear ya. I had a chocolate chip cookie for breakfast.”
“That’s normal for you isn’t it?”
“Not just one cookie!!” Starsky corrected. “If I’m going to have cookies for breakfast, I’ll eat half the bag.”
“Naturally.” Hutch agreed pleasantly as he munched.
“I could pick up a few things at the grocery store myself.” Starsky remarked. “I think the milk in my fridge has solidified.”
Hutch’s face soured at the thought.
“Speaking of carrots,” Hutch continued. “I heard a story once that a woman was on a diet and she ate so many carrots her skin turned orange.”
“That’s not true.” Starsky sneered.
“Is too.” Hutch confirmed positively. “Why do you think Flamingos are pink?”
“What do flamingos have to do with carrots?”
“Well nothing, but they are pink because of what they eat.”
“Okay. I’ll bite. What do Flamingos eat?”
“Shrimp.” Hutch said simply. “They eat shrimp. That’s why Flamingos are pink.”
“You are making that up.” Starsky said as he glanced doubtfully at his cohort.
“Why else would they be pink?”
“Maybe they’re pink to attract a mate.”
“But, all Flamingos are pink, Starsky.”
“Got me there.”
“Not to mention zebras!” Hutch expounded abruptly.
“Zebras? What about them?” Starsky said slightly mystified by Hutch’s sudden change of subject.
“Well we are Zebra 3 which I never understood. We should be Zebra 2. There’s only 2 of us. So, why are we Zebra 3?”
Starsky did not even acknowledge Hutch’s observation. He looked bewildered and shook his head mildly, wondering where his partner was going with this strange train of thought.
“Anyway. Do you know why zebras have stripes?” Hutch continued.
“No. I never thought about it before. Why do zebras have stripes?”
“How can black and white stripes be camouflage?”
“Because when they are all in the herd, you know all together,” Hutch made a circling motion to emphasize his point “you can’t see how many zebras there are. They just look like one big, huge zebra. It’s harder for predators to single one out.”
He popped the last bit of shriveled carrot in his mouth and chomped. He glanced at his friend and raised his eyebrows smugly.
“Really?” Starsky looked suspicious. “That’s your theory?”
“It’s not a theory Gordo. I saw it on a documentary the other night.”
“You are just a fountain of useless information.”
“Yeah, well…. It’s a gift.”
9:46 a.m. – In the office
“Last one.” Hutch said as he ripped a report from his typewriter. “You ready to hit the road?”
“Hmmm?” Starsky replied without raising his head. He was engrossed in the morning newspaper.
“Should we think about maybe hunting down the city’s most heinous criminals?”
“Sure.” Starsky mumbled, still buried in the paper. He did not move a muscle. “Listen to this. It says here that a pig got out of its pen and stole some beer, got drunk and ended up in a fight with a cow.”
“Bottles or cans?”
“Bottles or cans of beer?”
“Well, did the pig have thumbs?” Hutch asked.
“Nope.” Starsky replied glancing back at his newspaper. “Looks like a normal pig to me.”
“Then how could it steal beer?”
“That’s what you get from this article? That pigs can’t steal beer?”
“Yeah. How did the pig carry the beer? How did it open said beer? That’s what separates us from other animals, Starsk. Our apposable thumbs. You need thumbs to steal beer.”
“I suppose you learned that from one of your animal documentaries with the zebras and the flamingos.”
“No. It’s just common knowledge.”
“Well, gorillas have thumbs. Racoons have thumbs. Koala’s have thumbs.”
“Then it’s plausible that a gorilla, racoon or koala could have stolen beer.” Hutch outlined as he rose from his chair. “A pig? Sorry Starsk. A pig could never steal beer. You can’t believe everything you read, ya know.”
“What about the fight?”
“The fight with the cow?” Starsky asked as he too rose from his chair.
“How big was the cow?”
10:13 a.m. – In the Torino
“Wanna stop for breakfast?” Hutch suggested.
“The carrot wasn’t enough?”
“Sure. You know me. I love breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day.”
“Should we just go to Huggy’s?” Hutch suggested.
“Nah. I don’t like his breakfast’s.”
“No? How come?”
“Everything smells like beer and cigarettes.”
“I love that smell.” Hutch grinned warmly.
“Me too, but not for breakfast.”
“Well, find someplace. I’m starved.”
“There’s a place on the next corner.” Starsky pointed.
“Nah no. I want a proper sit-down restaurant with tables and chairs. Not one of your greasy holes.”
“Greasy holes.” Starsky said with disgust. “You hurt me Hutch. Sometimes you really hurt me.”
10:42 a.m. – The Village Restaurant
“Does this meet your requirements?” Starsky asked as he and his partner entered the restaurant.
“It certainly does Ollie.”
The sound of knives and forks clanking against porcelain filled the air. The aroma of sweet buns and bacon was enticing. The boys took a seat in a booth by the window. A waitress sauntered over to them carrying a steaming pot of coffee. She filled both of their cups without asking. Most of it spilled on the table and the cops had to dodge the splash.
“What do you want?” She asked curtly. She poised her pen to pad.
Hutch stared at Starsky blankly acknowledging her distain. They weren’t used to it as most waitresses flirted with them blatantly.
“Huh. I’ll have 2 eggs over easy, rye toast and bacon…” Hutch ordered. “…please.”
“Ain’t got rye. Got whole wheat.”
“Fine.” Hutch nodded.
“And you?” She glanced down at Starsky.
“Blueberry pancakes and a side order of bacon. Throw some ham and sausage on there too.”
Starsky’s order made Hutch roll his eyes with disgust.
“Ain’t got blueberry.” The waitress announced.
“What kinda restaurant doesn’t have blueberry pancakes.”
“This one.” She said as if she were losing patience. “We have plain pancakes or French toast. Which one do you want?”
“I guess I’ll have plain. But, under protest.”
The waitress ignored Starsky’s jest and jotted down their order and walked away unceremoniously.
“Well, isn’t she lovely.” Hutch commented as he took a sip of his coffee.
“Yeah. A regular shaft of sunlight.”
“Speaking of lovelies. How is Stef?”
“Not so lovely.” Starsky answered grimly.
“Oh? I thought you two were pretty tight. You’ve been seeing her for a couple of months now. That’s like an eternity for you.”
“She dumped me.”
“What? Nooo. I really liked her.” Hutch replied placing his coffee cup on the table with disappointment. “What did you do?”
“What do you mean? What did I do?”
“Well, you must have done something! She was one of my favorite girlfriends. She could play tennis and dance and cook and…”
“If you like her that much, why don’t you go out with her.” Starsky interjected.
“I just might do that partner. I just might.”
“You would actually go out with one of my old girlfriends? A girl that broke my heart. A girl that…”
“Awww. She broke your heart?” Hutch mocked.
“Weellll, maybe not broke but slightly damaged.”
11:50 a.m. –In the Torino just cruising
“Yu know Starsk? In all the time we’ve worked together, I can’t remember business being this slow. I mean, all our paperwork is caught up. All of our outstanding cases are solved. No court dates. If this keeps up, we’ll be out of a job.”
“I know.” Starsky agreed. “What’s going on around here? Where are all the criminals? Here we are driving around the city spending people’s taxes and no one has the common courteously to commit a crime! What is this world coming to? I think you should check the radio and see if it’s still working.”
“I’ll think I’ll do just that. We haven’t heard from Mildred all day.” Hutch said as he picked up the hand piece. “This is Zebra 3. Reporting in… got anything?… over.”
“All clear Zebra 3.” The dispatcher replied.
“It’s workin’. Well, I guess we should be happy. Maybe our mission is accomplished.”
“That’s no fun. If we’re not fighting crime, then who are we fighting?”
“How about that cow?”
“You know. The pig and the beer and cow.” Hutch reminded.
“Oh yeah. The pig and the cow.” Starsky muttered.
“Speaking of cows. How about we stop and get some groceries.” Hutch suggested.
“What? Right now?”
“It’s all quiet on the Bay City front. Why not?”
“Yeah. Why not.”
12:43 p.m. – The I.G.A.
“You need more than milk?” Hutch asked as the pair walked through the sliding, automated doors that lead into the grocery store. The air conditioning was so cold, they felt like they just entered a meat locker. They zipped up their jackets simultaneously.
“I need EVERYTHING!” Starsky emphasized. “Let’s grab a cart.”
“I’ll get my own cart.” Hutch interjected. “I don’t want your stuff touching my stuff.”
“What’s wrong with my stuff?”
“You know I don’t eat THAT stuff.”
“You had no difficulty scarfing down that hamburger in Huggy’s yesterday.”
“Well, I was hungry and Huggy doesn’t have anything healthy.”
“You know what Hutch? You’re a food hypocrite.”
Hutch had no response as the cops parted ways. Starsky made a beeline for the bakery section while Hutch headed in the opposite direction toward the produce. A half hour later they met in the middle. The canned goods aisle. Starsky’s cart was full of crap – packaged cakes, bags of potato chips, cold cuts and assorted prepared Mexican burritos and tamales. Hutch’s cart overflowed with fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Hutch glanced at his partner’s choices and sneered.
“You are killing yourself, you know that?” He tisked.
“Yeah. But, at least I’ll die happy.” Starsky replied with a smile so wide it made the corners of his eyes crinkled. He picked out a can of soup from the shelf. “Care for some Clam Chowder?”
“Oooh. You’re hilarious.”
“Remember the last time you had Clam Chowder, Hutch?”
“How could I forget. Put it away before I lose my breakfast wouldja.” Hutch said as he held his stomach and bloated out his cheeks.
Starsky just chuckled sadistically. They continued down the aisle side-by-side pushing their carts slowly browsing the items.
“You know Starsk?” Hutch said. “To this day, I still haven’t been able to eat soup. I don’t think I ever will again.”
“Could be worse.”
“Yes, it could. I like soup.”
1:55 p.m. – In the Torino just roaming
“How do you feel about lunch?” Starsky asked as he drove aimlessly down the main street of town hoping to find someone to arrest for something… anything. Even a speeding ticket would suffice.
“I don’t know. Are you sure we can take time for lunch? It’s pretty hectic out here.”
“I could eat.” Hutch muttered as he laid his head back onto the head rest and closed his eyes. He was wracked with boredom.
“Where what?” Hutch said through an elongated and rather dramatic yawn.
“Where do you want to go for lunch?” Starsky enunciated.
“Well, we’ve got all these groceries. Why don’t we just go back to my place and I’ll make you lunch.”
“Hmmm. I don’t think so.”
“Because.” Starsky winced as he glanced at his blonde headed friend. “You’ll make something with eggs and seeds and some kind of deep sea plant life.”
“Yeah. So. What’s wrong with that?”
“Can’t we just stop at the taco stand?”
“Why? Do they have a new taco that you have to try? Peanut butter and jelly tacos?”
“Ya know? That sounds pretty good.”
“Heeey. It’s unAmerican to not like peanut butter. What’s the matter with you?”
“I’m going to get you to eat right if it kills me.”
“If you don’t kill me first.” Starsky mumbled.
“I care about you, Starsk. I want you to be healthy. I want you to live a long life.”
“Awww. That’s nice.”
“Besides, it’s too late in my career to break in a new partner.”
2:50 p.m. – Hutch’s apartment
“There ya go.” Hutch said as he placed a plate of food in front of Starsky. He sat at Hutch’s kitchen table. A half bottle of beer stood in front of him.
“WHAT is THAT?”
“This, my friend, is something you’ve probably never seen before. It’s a new thing on the market, Starsk. It’s called… a salad!”
“I know it’s a salad. But why? This is no kinda lunch for a grown man.”
“I’m having one. I’m a grown man.” Hutch reasoned as he grabbed his plate and took a seat opposite his partner.
“Can you at least put some bacon or salami in there to make it edible?”
“Will you just try it.” Hutch suggested as he placed a forkful of greens into his mouth.
Starsky sighed deeply and began tossing the lettuce. He stabbed a piece of tomato and celery and ate it. He made a face as if he’d just swallowed a bug.
“See? Isn’t that nice?” Hutch said as he chewed.
“I guess it’s okay… for a salad.”
“Listen. We gotta talk about the weekend. Now that Stef has dumped you, what are we going to do? We were supposed to go dancing on Saturday night remember?”
“She didn’t dump me.”
“Starsky an hour ago you told me she dumped you. Remember the damaged heart?”
“Dump is such a harsh word. Besides, I was going to break up with her anyway. She just beat me to it.”
“Of course, she did.” Hutch smirked.
“We’ll go stag.” Starsky suggested.
“You can. I’m taking Avery.”
“Do you still want to come?”
“Yes, I still want to come.” Starsky sounded insulted. “Maybe I’ll meet someone there.”
“Sure. Maybe.” Hutch shrugged.
The pair sat quietly for a few moments concentrating on their mid-day meal. The sound of chewing the crisp vegetables bounced off the walls of the tiny flat.
“You know…” Starsky began as he pointed his fork at his partner, “I get the feeling this lull is going to catch up with us. I can feel something big is going to happen.”
“Oh yeah? Like what?”
“Not sure. But, I think I’m going to enjoy this peace while I can. I like getting paid for eating and driving and shopping.”
“I don’t know.” Hutch said as he scraped up the last of his lunch and threw it in his gob. “I’m a little bored.”
“Are you saying I’m boring?” Starsky sounded hurt.
“No. I’m saying I like to be busy.”
“Well. Can’t we just ride this out for as long as we can.”
Hutch grabbed the plates and put them in sink.
“Come on. Let’s go. Maybe something has happened out there.”
“Okay. Sure. Let’s think positive. Maybe crime has made a comeback in the last hour.”
“One can only hope, Starsk.”
4:12 p.m. – In the Torino
“Hey Mildred?” Hutch blarred into the radio hand set. “What’s going on down there? We haven’t had a call all day. Did you forget about us?”
“All clear Zebra 3.” Came the static reply. Mildred was not verbose.
“Nope.” Hutch confirmed. “Peace and goodwill have fallen on our fair city.”
“Well, that’s no good.”
The partners continued on down the road aimlessly. They eyed the sidewalks for anything noteworthy but it seemed harmony prevailed. There was simply nothing to chase, interrogate, arrest or investigate. It was all too serene.
“You know I was thinking about that pig.” Hutch blurted.
“The pig and beer and the cow.”
“I think maybe a pig could steal beer, ya know. They are supposed to be pretty smart. Smarter than a dog they say. Maybe it held the beer in its mouth and pried it open somehow.”
“Man. You are bored.”
“Well. You’re the one that told me the story in the first place.”
“I wish I hadn’t.”
Hutch took in a big lung full of air and let it out slowly letting his lips flap making a sputtering sound. He continued his symphony by creating numerous squeaks and grunts to combat the tedium.
“Will you please stop that!” Starsky protest while giving his friend an annoyed stare.
A few moments of silence prevailed until Hutch piped up with yet another tidbit of banter.
“I was listening to a song today and the lyric was ‘I like my sugar sweet’. I thought. That’s dumb. How else would you like your sugar? Sour?”
“Dats what they call an oxymoron.”
“I think it’s a contradiction. An oxymoron is like Passive Aggressive or Jumbo Shrimp.”
“Yeah or Government Intelligence.”
Hutch smiled broadly but was then distracted by a man across the street. He pointed in the general direction.
“Hey. Look at that.” He said with slight excitement.
“The guy in the red jacket.”
“What about him?”
“He just jay walked. Pull over.”
“Hutch. We are highly trained homicide detectives. I am not going to waste my time on a jay walker.”
“Starsky. We are cops and he is breaking the law. Pull over… he’s getting away.”
“I am not going to pull over.”
“Look. Hutch. We have 2 hours left in our shift. I am not going to spend it taking him downtown, booking him and filling out a report. Just cool your jets. I know you’re bored but just let it pass. Let it pass.”
“Two hours.” Hutch resigned. “What are we going to do for 2 hours?”
“How about dinner?”
“Starsky.” Hutch sighed. “We just had lunch.”
“I was hungry after one bit of that so-called lunch you made me. Let’s just go to Huggy’s and get a proper meal.”
“Oh, you mean proper like a burger and fries.”
“Yes. That is exactly what I mean.”
“Did you ever notice when you’re not busy you eat more.”
“No. I never noticed.”
5:23 p.m. – The Pits
“Well. If it isn’t Mr. American and his sidekick.” Huggy welcomed.
He stood behind the bar. His place was quiet.
“Hey!” Starsky protested. “I am not his sidekick. HE is MY sidekick.”
“I was talking about you.” Huggy said with a devilish smirk to avoid conflict.
Hutch ignored the comments all together.
“What’ll you have?” Huggy asked.
Starsky and Hutch took a seat at their usual table. Even though their day had been out of the ordinary it was comforting to come into their haunt where everything was “usual”.
“So. What are we going to do Saturday night?” Hutch asked his partner as he grabbed a handful of popcorn from a bowl that was left in the middle of their table.
“I’m going to go through my little black book and see which lovely I am going to take.”
“Oh yeah? Like who?”
“Maybe Rebecca.” Starsky said smugly. “Maybe April.”
“April. I like April better than Rebecca. Definitely April.”
“You sure have a lot of opinions about my girlfriends. Are you sure you don’t want me to just give you my little black book so you can call whomever you like?”
“That’s the difference between you and me Starsk.” Hutch lamented. “I don’t need a little black book. I don’t even own a little black book. You see you need one. I don’t need one. The girls come to me. They ask me. I don’t need to ask them.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes. That is so.”
The boy’s repartee was interrupted by Huggy who placed a tantalizing hamburger with all the fixings and a stack of crispy fries. Starsky rubbed his hands together, picked up the sandwich and sunk his teeth deeply into it. The look on his face was etched with pleasure and a bit of grease.
“Hey?” Hutch protested. “Where’s mine?”
“Starsky called me to say you were on some special diet.”
“What? I’m not on any diet. Now get me my burger!” Hutch demanded.
“You said you don’t eat this kinda stuff.” Starsky tried to enunciate through a massive chunk of meat.
“But, I’m starving.”
“That’s because you had a salad for lunch.”
Huggy placed a glass of water in front of the blonde-haired cop. Hutch stared at it woefully. He glanced up at his partner and sneered. Starsky returned the gaze with a smug, full-mouth look. He licked his fingers one-by-one loudly.
6:45 p.m. – In the Torino
“Fifteen more minutes to go.” Hutch reported with a glance at his watch.
“I can’t believe we got through a whole day without one call.”
“Dobey is never going to believe it. Looks like our “daily” report could become a “weekly” report.”
“He hates that.” Hutch chuckled.
“Do you want to go back to my place and watch the game?” Starsky suggested.
“You are kidding me, right?”
“No. I’m not.” Starsky sounded hurt.
“No offense partner, but I’ve had just about enough of you for today.”
“Yeah. Haven’t you had enough of me? I mean all we’ve done all day is drive around town and eat.”
“Hutch.” Starsky began. “We have spent most of the last 6 years together. Eight to ten hours a day. Just about every day. We work together. We play together. We drink together. We eat together. What’s that? 20 thousand hours we’ve spent together?”
“18,720 actually.” Hutch calculated. “What’s your point?”
“My point is. What difference does it make if you spend 3 more hours watching the game with me?”
“Well. In the scheme of things… nothing, I guess.” Hutch reasoned.
“Okay then. Do you want to come over and watch the game with me then?”
6:45 p.m. – In the Torino outside Hutch’s apartment
“There ya go.” Starsky said as he brought his car to a gentle stop. “Home safe and sound. Now get out. I’m sick of the sight of ya.”
“Okay, okay.” Hutch replied as he gathered up his stuff. “It was a real pleasure. Shall we do it all again tomorrow?”
“Oh gawd. I hope not. I can’t take the stress.”
Hutch opened the door and stepped out of the passenger seat and onto the sidewalk. He slammed the door and peeked back inside for the last word.
“I’ll drive tomorrow.”
“If you insist.”
“Oh and Starsk?”
“There’s a documentary tonight on pigs and cows.” Hutch said. “Do you want to come up stairs and watch it with me?”
Starsky smiled broadly and paused momentarily.
“Sure. I’ll park the car and be right up.”
“I’ll have a cold beer waiting for you partner. I just can’t get enough of you.”
“I just knew you couldn’t.”