“Regents Park. High Noon. Partly cloudy. Chance of meatballs…hehe…just kidding. Rain coming in from the west….the Dirty Bastard should be by at any moment.”
“Detective” Warhol – a self-appointed sleuth – released the record button on his oh-so-dorky handheld tape recorder. It looked like the Talkman featured in the Home Alone films. In fact, Warhol got it for that reason.
As Warhol predicted, a man wearing a Seattle Mariners baseball cap strolled by walking his Beagle, Buddy. Martin named the dog Buddy because that was the name of Bill and Hilary Clinton’s dog when they lived in the White House. He was a fresh-out-of-college aspiring politico in 1992 when he was hired to work on the Clinton campaign. That’s where he met his wife, an Irish woman named Molly.
His dog’s name was a tribute to that time in his life.
Martin and Warhol were engaged in a private neighborhood warfare. The thing is, poor hopeless Martin had no idea the spat was even going on! He was but a simple American, blissfully and obnoxiously ignorant. Actually, he graduated the top of his class from Harvard, but that’s neither here nor there.
“Dirty Bastard should be by at any moment…Camera phone is poised and ready. Soon, I shall have proof!…And I will get him banned from the park and my beloved rose garden.”
Warhol clicked off the recorder and retreated behind the prickly shrubbery to his left.
He followed Martin on his lengthy stroll through Regent’s Park: around the lake, (narrowly escaping a vicious pigeon attack – “They’re just rats with wings!” Warhol liked to say to anyone who would listen) past the cafe, over to the zoo, up the winding path to the tennis courts, and finally to the long-awaited destination where the deed would be done, just as Warhol had seen it happen every morning the past few weeks while he sipped his coffee on the bench in the rose garden, and watched Martin and the Beagle saunter in.
“The smug bastards,” Warhol would look up from his book and his coffee and mutter to himself, after he saw it happen beside the fountain.
The dog and his master entered the Queen’s Rose Garden. They were creatures of habit:
walking the perimeter of the garden, stopping by the far side for a sniff around and ending at the grand fountain.
Then it happened.
The Beagle relieved himself by the fountain. Among the pristine roses named for the Queen! Warhol was appalled, as usual. Shook is head in disgust and poised his Kodak disposable camera at the ready.
He snapped a picture, then jumped out from behind the bushes.
“Hah! Caught cha! And I’ve got proof! You know you can’t have your dog shatting about in these gardens! Just wait till I show these to the park authorities! You and your stupid baseball cap…think you can just come in here and break the rules, huh? Well think again, mate!”
“What? Oh, I…I’m so sorry. Normally I don’t take him in here, but I have the last few weeks. Since my wife died last month. I just can’t bear to walk him on our old route. We walked him together along Bayswater Road every night, but then she…”
Martin’s lip quivered and he pulled his baseball cap down a little further over his forehead.
Oh my G- I. I…you just. Go on, now. Do what ever you want to do…
Detective Warhol walked home to his flat, with his tail between his legs. He realized he needed a new hobby, and that it was him who was, in fact, the dirty bastard.
Anne McCarthy is a writer living in London. She is a graduate of Chicago’s Second City Training Center and a former intern at The Late Show with David Letterman. She is a contributing writer to the Second City Network, Bitch Media and Bonjour Paris. Anne is a Masters Degree student in Creative Writing at the University of Westminster. She and Steven Spielberg were both rejected from USC Film School upon application.