LOUISE & Co.
This story was written purely for entertainment and is not for profit, and is not meant to trespass in any way on the holders of the rights to Starsky and Hutch.
Thanks, Tricia. After your beta work, my stuff always looks much better. And thanks, Wuemsel, for being always there, helping me.
Note. This short story deals with something I
keep wondering about every time I watch the episode “
Dobey had already shut his office´s door, but Starsky kept still holding Louise, the guinea pig in his hands, looking at the furry animal with deadpan expression. Then Hutch, feeling like a naughty kid, decided that it was a good moment to mess around a little with him…At times, the fun of teasing his naïve partner was just too strong and he just couldn´t help himself.
“Starsky?” He said as innocently as he could.
“Huh?” The brunet answered setting the grey animal back into its cardboard box carefully.
“Tell me somethin´, partner…Actually, how did you think you could get money with Louise if she had really been a chinchilla?” Hutch asked trying hard to keep a serious expression in his face. “Perhaps you had planned in hiring her out to satisfy the sexual appetites of all the ardent male chinchillas in the city?”
Starsky looked at Hutch raising one eyebrow “Geez, Hutch! Ya make it sound pretty nasty, like if I was a pimp, or somethin´!”
“Sorry partner” Hutch raised his hands in a mocking apology gesture “I didn´t want to hurt your feelings, but now would you mind answering my question, please?” Hutch pushed further,“How you had thought you could become rich with Louise?
“Oh, well, it´s easy.” Starsky said matter of factly “I told you already. I was planning to get a male chinchilla for her. Then, at the right time, hopefully she would give birth to a bunch of little chinchillas. And once they’d grow up, I´d sell their hair. You know, to make coats, jackets, that kinda stuff.”
“Oh, I see…”Hutch nodded sitting back in his desk. “But you know, partner…That was going to give you a bad; a really awful; terrible karma.”
Starsky, still fingering Louise´s soft hair froze in half motion, to look dumbfounded at Hutch
“Karma? What the heck does karma have to do with this, Blondie?”
“A lot, Starsk, a lot. Think about. Karma is nothing but the moral law of cause and effect.” Hutch recited seriously “And Karma said that one's actions in this life, no matter how trivial or momentous, will have a positive or negative effect upon the disposition of one's next life. One should therefore be ever conscious of the nature and intent of one's actions.”
“Really, Hutch. At times you say some truly weird things.” Starsky said scratching his head, positively sure that all those books his partner did read along with his Yoga exercises and funny food habits couldn´t be good in any way for his mental health. “Why on earth would such a harmless thing like doing a haircut to one chinchilla, could possibly give me any bad karma, huh? Maybe my hairdresser gets bad karma too every time he cuts my hair?”
“No, no, and no, Starsk.” Hutch said shaking his head and going into his best teacher mode. “Like I see it, you’re not getting any of this, buddy. It's not that simple.”
“What isn’t it that simple with a haircut, Hutch?” Starsky asked starting to feel truly puzzled.
“How do you think the thing does work really, Starsky?” Hutch asked looking sympathetically at Louise “I mean; how do you think the furrier industry get its raw material, huh? That is, the animals’ fur to make its items?”
“Uh… They shear them I guess” The brunet answered tentatively. “Kinda like the farmers do with their sheeps, to get the wool; right?”
“Uh-uh.” Hutchinson´s finger did make its apparition, waving quickly from left to right. “Wrong answer, Starsk. As a matter of fact, the whole thing is much more gory than that.”
“Do…Do you mean?...They? They have to…”Starsky stopped in half-question, as the realization flooded his mind; his eyes wandering down to Louise, then back up at Hutch.
“Yeah partner. ´Fraid so. They have to kill the poor things and get their skins off … A pretty horrible thing to do, if you ask me." Hutch stated with a wince.
“You aren´t fooling me, aren´t you?” Starsky asked swallowing hard and starting to feel like some kind of accomplice to a murder.
“No, Starsk, honest, partner. I´m not lying you.” Hutch said still dead serious and placing his hand over his heart.
“But that’s just…GRUESOME!!” Starsky exclaimed in a high-pitched voice as a few heads around him snapped up.
“Yeah, it sure is…But you already know the saying, partner. Money is the root of all evil.” The blond one shrugged his shoulders, though mischievously enjoying his partner´s bewilderment
“Okay Starsk. Don't feel bad. There´s no way a city guy like you could have known it. Now, let’s forget the whole matter, okay?” Hutch said getting to his feet and reaching for the coffee pot. “Wanna coffee?”
“Uh?...” Starsky asked absentmindedly, still looking at the guinea pig in the box.
“Coffee, Starsk. You know; that brown, warm liquid.” Hutch said; a smile of amusement dancing in the corner of his mouth.
“Oh…No; no, thanks Hutch…Listen. Mind covering for me for a little while? If Dobey asks, tell him that I got sick to my stomach or something, will ya? I got somethin’ to do. But it won't take me too long. I´ll be back here in no time.”
“Sure, but…Where are you going, Starsky? Want me to come with you?” Hutch asked, wondering what his partner had possibly got into his head all of sudden.
“No need to, Blondie. But there’s somethin’ else you can do for me. Mind lendin’ me a few bucks? I´ll give ‘em back to you tomorrow...Well; maybe in a coupla´ days...”
“A few bucks?” Hutch asked scrutinizing the curly-headed man with his eyes.
“It's just a loan, Blintz. I´ll give ´em back to you, honest.” Starsky assured, looking at Hutch with the characteristic puppy look he had in store to bring into play every time he needed to talk his partner into doing something.
“Okay, okay” Hutch said shaking his head while digging in his jacket pocket for his wallet. “That’s enough?” He said producing some bills.
“It’ll have to be, I guess” Starsky answered picking the money from Hutch´s hand.
“Thanks, Hutch. You´re a partner.” He said squeezing Hutch´s shoulder fondly “Take care of Louise for a while and get her somethin´ to eat, okay?” Then Starsky stood and grabbing his jacket, he headed decidedly out of the squadroom as Hutch watched his leave before going back to reviewing his reports.
The blond detective spent a quiet while working in his paperwork; later, he was feeding Louise with a few pieces of an apple that Minnie had gotten for the animal, when Dobey´s voice thundered calling for Starsky.
“STARSKY! Get in here!!”
´I´m afraid this time you´ll have to put up just with with me, Cap´ Hutch thought while heading to Dobey´s office.
“Your partner?” Dobey asked as the blond stepped inside.
“Oh, well, he´ll be back here in a little while, Cap… He´s not feeling too well.”
Dobey raised his eyes from the papers he was looking at. “Nothing serious, I hope”, he asked as his look softened.
“Oh, not. He´s just a little sick to his stomach. He ate too much chili for lunch I guess, and right now he’s taking a trip to the cafeteria to grab some tea.” Hutch said shifting uncomfortably on his feet. Dobey was too much of a smart man to lie him easily, but it looked like this time he might buy it.
“Go home Hutch. Both of you. Go pick up Starsky and get him home. And make sure he takes good care of himself…And that he eats a decent dinner,” the huge man commanded gruffly, not too successful as usual in hiding how much he cared about both detectives.
“Thanks Cap.” Hutch smiled, heading back to the door.
“But I want you both here first thing in the morning, on time Hutch. Got it?” Dobey added.
“Sure Cap´n. First thing in the morning.” Hutch went out of Dobey´s office picking his jacket from the back of his chair, and wondering a bit worriedly where his partner could be. Starsky was out of sight since more than an hour and a half earlier, and definitely that wasn´t what the blond one would say be back here in no time. On top of that, Hutch didn’t have a car to get home with, since Starsky picked him up that morning for the ride to work.
He was putting on his jacket when the phone rang. Hutch picked it quickly, hoping that it would be Starsky
“Hutch, partner, sorry for the delay…”
“For Christ’s sake Starsky!” Hutch snapped. “I was about to put an APB on you. Where the hell are you?”
“Oh, well, things got a little out of hand...” Starsky said, in a nonchalant tone
“You okay?” Hutch´s heart began pounding. His partner was really like a magnet for trouble, and hearing him talking about things getting out of hand wasn´t sounding reassuring at all.
“Oh, yeah, sure Hutch. ‘M fine. Look, partner; I´m sorry but it looks like I´m not going to be able to come back there to pick you up. Mind taking a cab and joinin’ me at my place?”
“Starsky, would you please tell me what’s the matter with you, huh?” Hutch inquired feeling himself at the end of his rope.
“Once you get here, you´ll find out for yourself. Just get over here Hutch…Oh, and ya mind getting a box? Wood, cardboard; any material will be okay. It doesn´t matter. Just make sure that it´s as big as possible, ‘kay? I bet the supply boys will have something useful. And don´t forget Louise! See ya, Blondie”
“Sta…STARSKY!!” But Starsky had already hung up the phone without giving Hutch time for asking any questions.
“Oh, great! A box, a cab, the guinea pig!” Hutch mumbled getting increasingly annoyed “What else I should get? A couple of ladies wearing golden bikinis and coming out of a giant cake, maybe?”
Grumbling and swearing all the way, the blond one lowered the stairs to the supplies department, managing to get a cardboard box that he hoped would be big enough to suit Starsky´s mysterious need.
A while later Hutch was out of the cab that dropped him at Starsky´s place and climbing the stairs.
“I´m here Starsk!” He said opening the front door
“Come on in, Blondie!” Starsky said from the kitchen where he kept himself busy filling a bowl with a strange brownish stuff and another one with water.
“Here, your box…is it big enough?” Hutch asked putting the larger box onto the floor, and the smaller one containing Louise onto the breakfast counter.
“Oh, sure. It’ll be perfect, thanks partner.”Starsky said while taking the guinea pig out of its box and approaching it to the bowls with the food and water.
“And now, mind telling me what’s going on, Starsky? Why did you leave the precinct in such a hurry, and what did you mean about ´things getting a little out of hand´, huh? WHAT exactly got out of hand? And, why in hell do you need this Godforsaken box, by the way? ” Hutch asked standing in front of Starsky with his arms akimbo.
“Well, Hutch, It's about what you told me back in the precinct, you know; about the chinchillas…” Starsky began to explain shyly.
“Yeah?” Hutch´s brow deepened as he crossed his arms in front of his chest
“You know, about what the furrier industry has to do with those poor animals to make its pieces of clothing, the Karma and all of that.”
“Aha.” Hutch kept listening, not liking at all what he was already guessing.
“Then, I´ve thought, well, ya know, Blondie. A few of them doesn´t solve the problem of all, but it´s a start…I mean, if you could perhaps take a few of them with you at your place for some days, then I´d take care of the rest, and I´m sure that soon we´d be able to find a good home for those poor things, I dunno, maybe any kid willing to love ‘em, or…”
“How many, Starsky?” Hutch cut off in his most velvety and soft voice, clenching his fists.
“Sorry?” Starsky asked with the same expression of a kid caught hiding a cookie jar behind his back.
“How many chinchillas did you buy Starsky?”
“Uh…well…nine...Yeah, nine. All those that were for sale in the pet shop...And, guess what?" Starsky asked smiling proudly. "They were much cheaper than I had thought. After getting their food and all, yet I have two dollars left!”
“Two dollars left?? But, I…I loaned you…Oh, forget it!” Hutch said, doing a huge effort to contain himself from rattling his friend’s shoulders.
“Where are they Starsky?” The blond one asked in exasperation.
“In the bathtub…I was waiting for the box” Starsky pointed with his index finger at the large box in the floor. “To settle them for the night in a more suitable place than my bathroom.”
Without a word, Hutch headed to the bathroom, getting in and closing the door at his back. The next thing Starsky could hear were his partner guffaws before he got out of the bathroom, drying his watering eyes.
“Tell me something, Starsky.” Hutch asked among the giggles
“Were you really born in
“Of course I was born in
“Did you ever go to
“Yeah Hutch, I went to
“Squirrels, Starsky!!” Hutch said panting for air. “That’s what so funny…this time you’ve bought squirrels!!...”
“Oh Hutch, stop joking!” Starsky said waving his hand “Really do you think I´m that dummy? Squirrels are brown!”
“Yeah sure, a lot of them are brown…but, know something, buddy? There are GREY SQUIRRELS too!!”