Chapter 1: Lunch Break
"Albert..." the voice trailed off. "Albert," the voice repeated not so uncertain this time. "Albert! Wake up this instant," it barked.
He sat immediately up. "I... did, did, not do do anything," he said a bit startled and jittery.
"Exactly! You didn't do anything. You fell asleep. Again!"
"Fall asleep?" he put on his best confused face, "I did nothing of the sort Chief Bucklang. See I'm typing, and writing, and doing my research..." The Chief didn't buy it.
Don't pull any bull with me Albert; do your sleeping at home, so you can work here!" With that he left, and shut the door abruptly. Albert sunk back into the papers.
It wasn't easy being a detective. Getting one piece of evidence was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. To make matters worse, usually it was a dull needle. So then it was back to the paperwork. Albert hadn't found a lead in over a month. It was beginning to irritate him.
Albert began to close his eyes again. His office door opened, and he sat up right. It was only Robert, a police officer, and his best friend.
"Hi..." Albert muttered drowsily.
"You look like you need a good cup of coffee."
"No, just sleep. Plus I hate coffee."
"Well let's go get some doughnuts."
"You know what Robert," Albert started.
"What?" he asked.
"You would've made a better comedian than an officer."
"Real funny Albert. I can't control my uncontrollable laughter."
"Yeah, I know."
"Anyway, you want to get some lunch?" Robert suggested.
"What are you crazy? It's like none o' clock in the morning."
"No actually it's twelve."
"Geez I slept long!" Albert exclaimed, "but sure why not. I'm pretty hungry too." Albert got out of his chair, and walked to the door. He reached for the light switch, "one more thing Robert; you're driving, I'm sleeping in the back." He flipped the switch to off, and they left, closing the door.
Soon they were on the road.
"So Albert, where do you want to go?"
"I duh know," he muttered.
"How 'bout Quiznos. That sound good?"
"Do you want a combo, or just a drink. Do you want a cookie? They got good cookies."
"Stop asking me so many questions. I'm trying to catch up my Z's."
"Gotcha. An anti-question sandwich with a large order of sleeping pills."
"I'm ecstatic." Albert tried to get some shuteye, but the traffic was too bad. Plus Robert was always yelling things like, "green means go! Not sit here and wit until it turns red again!" Albert just gave up entirely.
"What's wrong Robert?" he asked looking over the seat.
"I'll tell you what the problem is, these people won't move!" Robert stuck his head out his '98 Taurus's window, and yelled some more. "There must be an accident or something," Robert concluded. "Man Albert, of all the places we could have gone, why'd you pick Quiznos?"
"That's pretty low Robert; accusing me for the mess we're in. Just roll your windows up, that way we can talk in silence, without the sound effects of the cars."
"I think you just want to sleep."
"Precisely, well aren't you a genius?" The cars began to roll. "See Albert, I told you it was all your fault, someone just had to admit it."
"Ugh," Albert sighed.
"What?" Robert asked suspiciously.
"Never mind, just keep driving." Robert kept driving, and Albert tried to sleep again. This time he got a little bit of it. Even though the wreck had been cleared, the traffic was still relentless. It was so backed up it took them five lights to get through. Albert was fast asleep when Robert pulled into the Quiznos driveway.
'Man,' Robert thought to himself, 'If they're closed, I'm really gonna sock Albert, but what the heck. I'll do it any ways.' He opened the back door where Albert was sleeping like a baby. Robert pulled his leg back ready to kick Albert when suddenly Albert yawned, and rubbed his eyes. Yawning he asked, "Robert are we there yet?" A bit taken back by Robert's foot, he immediately followed the question up with another one, "what the heck are you doing practicing soccer in the middle of a parking lot?" Robert began to whistle like when your mom says your name real sternly because she knows you did something, but you try to act innocent.
"Okay Robert, I see how it is. You're a bit agitated at the traffic, also you want to blame it on me," Albert yawned again. "But that doesn't mean you have to go and kick me, just for kicks."
"Let's just go eat," Robert suggested. They crossed the asphalt-paved parking lot, leaving all their problems in the car.
Albert opened the door holding it open for Robert. In the corner a couple was quarreling over something. The guy put his hand on hers, and said, "it will be okay. We can work this out." She just slapped him. She stormed out, and he followed her. As he walked out, he gave a word of advice to Albert and Robert, "don't fight, you'll always lose." He ran out the door after her.
At another table there was a family of four. The baby was crying, and throwing his tomatoes on the floor. The employee sighed. The little girl who couldn't be more than six was complaining about getting onions.
Albert looked at Robert with a half smile. Under his breath Robert muttered, "I'd rather be in traffic." They walked up to the counter. The employee was a short redhead. She was probably trying to make enough money to make her car payments. Her tag said Rachel. She began talking. "Hi, welcome to Quiznos," she said sort of monotone, "how may I..." Robert cut her off. "Hello uh... Rachel, we're from the Saint Paul Police Department, and we're here to investigate some recent reports of food poisoning from angry parents," Robert reported casually. The parents at the table listened intently. Everything went quiet.
"I'll have, to to, ge ge ge get my my manager on this," Rachel blurted.
"April Fools!" Robert yelled.
"Um Robert," Albert nudged him, "It's May," Albert pointed out.
"That's not funny," Rachel said, "I could get you arrested for impersonating cops." Robert whipped out his badge to show proof. Albert stepped forward at this time. There was a sigh in the background.
"Actually Rachel, we are cops," Albert explained pushing away Robert's badge, "We're just hungry."
"O.K. fine, just that freaked me out. What do you want?"
"I want a Honey Bacon Club Combo, and Robert what do you want?"
"I'll have a turkey breast combo." She glared at him.
"For here or to go?" Rachel asked impatiently. Albert looked around. The dad stood up looking at his little girl, "If you do that one more time, we're leaving, and your grounded!"
"To go," they both said in unison.
"Onions! Ick! I hate onions! She put them on here purposely! We're going back! Wait 'till I get my hands on her. Evil Witch girl!" Robert was infuriated.
Robert, just throw them out the window. Besides if you sue her you'll definitely make it on to the 'Worlds Lamest Reasons to Sue', unless that's one of your dreams."
"Why I oughta... whoa horsy!"
"Robert, stay in one lane before you get us killed!"