Jimmy McQuaide – Flower Detective in: Dead Header

Retired flower tec, Jimmy McQuaide
rocks on his porch in hat and shades
quietly sipping pink lemonade
as around him an arbour of roses fades
in a pathetic fallacy display

Suddenly somebody flips the latch
on the garden gate, shows a badge
and into the garden walks Sergeant Madge
‘Sorry to intrude on your beautiful patch
but we’ve got a serious perp to catch’

McQuaide takes a long and thoughtful sip
as Madge tells him how the city’s been gripped
by a pair of secateurs who snips
fancy selections of planted strips
in oddball patterns no-one predicts

‘I’m begging you Jimmy – come back to base
they sent me to ask you, face to face
it’s not been the same since you quit the place
a nose like yours can’t be replaced
so be a sweetpea and take this case’

They ride in his fuschia pink chevrolet
to the scene of the latest horror that day
a tub of pansies in a shopping arcade
their sweet little flowers clipped away
leaving their stubby green leaves on display

Whilst Madge throws up in a shopper’s tote
McQuade pulls out a boastful note
stuck together from letters and quotes
from Honeysuckle monthly – a mag he hoped
might help them get the psycho smoked

‘Y’know they’re calling this sicko Dead Header?
Well – y’don’t have to be a flower professor
to see they’re under serious pressure
I don’t know if they’re just lucky or clever
but they seem to come and go at leisure’

‘Hmm’ says McQuaide, smoothing his tache
‘Luck is for losers, this one’s too flash
our friend here wants to make a splash
this ‘ain’t yer average garden trash
this is more horticultural dispatch’

Just then a guy in green overalls
stepped out anxiously from the mall
‘Hey man – any news at all?
I think our friend is having a ball
No way I see him stopping till fall’

McQuaide piles him face first into the ground
‘How’s it going, Dead Header? Ya clown!
You couldn’t help yourself stickin’ around
to see your handiwork goin’ down
Cuff him, Madge and take him downtown’

Back at the precinct Madge is puzzled
‘How did ya know to give him the muscle?’
‘Easy!’ says McQuaide, ‘his bag was unbuckled
I saw his chopped-up Honeysuckle
Boy! These psychos make me chuckle’

‘Be honest!’ says Madge. ’You LOVE this shit.
You’re a Flower Tec, baby! Be proud and shout it!
You’re the best of the bunch, so go ahead, flout it!
Don’t kid yourself you can live without it.’
McQuaide just smiles: ‘I’ll think about it.’

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