Jimmy Mcquaide – flower detective in The Bunch Connection

Detective Jimmy ‘The Florist’ McQuaide
sits in his fuschia pink chevrolet
sipping a batch roast cafe au lait
as he watches the offloading underway
at the dockside flower shop Botanica Francais

It’s a month long undercover surveillance
trailing a gang of Venezuelans
counterfeiting lilies, pansies, impatiens
spraying their leaves and plastic stamens
sacks of poppy seeds as payments

He grimaces as he suddenly observes
the bulky handles of secateurs
showing through the lines of their black suit curves
as they slap the backs of the proprietors
who’ve come out to greet les visiteurs

Suddenly he feels the press of cold steel
and a voice says ‘put your hands on the wheel’
then calls out ‘Vincent! Luis! Odile!
I’ve caught me an aphid – let’s squish him till he squeals’
then orders him out of the car to kneel

‘Easy man, easy!’ says McQuaide
taking off his groovy purple shades
getting out slowly, options weighed
as the other three perps with cutters displayed
saunter out from the shopping arcade

‘So – a new recruit to the bouquet mafia!’
snarls Odile, tying his hands with raffia
‘Is there anyone else we should know coming after ya?’
‘Just me’ says McQuaide, ‘Does that make you happier?’
‘Sure! And maybe your autographia?’

They drag him into a floral repository
piled to the roof with contraband floristry
sit him on a poppy seed depository
then the others leave Odile oddly solitary
so he can get all handily plotline expository

‘Let me tell you about our world’
smiles Odile, giving his cutters a twirl
‘how this whole magnificent bloom unfurls,
the cars, the seeds, the blooms, the girls…’
McQuaide’s moustachioed top lip curls

Suddenly he jumps with both hands free
grabs a vase of peonies
swipes Odile aggressively
who crashes back dramatically
into a zinnia display catastrophically

The whole place creaks and groans and shudders
McQuaide dives headfirst through the shutters
just as the ceiling shrieks and gutters
falling in with a storm of colours
‘Now THAT’S a flower press’ he mutters

Back at the precinct McQuaide sees the Cap’n
who wants to know what the hell just happ’n
under what authority he thought he was actin’
all the regrettable press he’s attractin’
he’s supposed to be arrestin’, not compactin’

McQuaide shakes his head quite bitterly
‘The flower bunch are no longer at liberty
but if you’re dead-heading, Cap’n, please consider me’
‘McQuaide? You handle yourself quite brilliantly
but the top brass say you’re a liability’

‘I’m sorry McQuaide,’ says desk Sarge Madge
as he hands her his bug gun, his gloves, his badge
‘You’re a maverick, man – but you sure make a splash’
McQuaide smiles, sticks a rose in her hatch
says they’ll find another gardener to work the patch

Outside he stops by a pink hydrangea
maybe this job was a real game changer
out of work but out of danger
feeling free but also stranger
maybe get work as a flower arranger

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