The Case of the Exploding Whoopie Cushion

by Taffy Cannon, with apologies to Erle Stanley Gardner

Della Street nibbled on a pen labeled “Walker Novelties” and jotted an occasional note.  Beside her, Junior Walker slumped in his seat.  On trial for murdering his father, he claimed to know nothing about the explosive-filled whoopie cushion that had killed Senior Walker.

On the stand now was Senior’s blue-haired veteran secretary, Leticia Larue, dressed in severe black and dabbing at her eyes with a lace hankie.

“You heard Junior threaten Senior?” District Attorney Hamilton Burger asked.

“He said he’d blow him to the Great Joke Shop in the Sky.”

“No further questions.”

Perry Mason approached the witness, leaned forward and adjusted his lapel.  Suddenly water squirted from his carnation into Leticia’s beady gray eye.

She leapt up, screaming.  “You’re all alike, overgrown little boys!  I did it!  Forty-seven years of plastic vomit in my typewriter, rubber tarantulas in the powder room sink.  Fake dog doo on the coffee maker, bloody green fingers in the donut box.  The last straw was when I came in and found an inflatable lady sitting at my desk.  She had … she had a rubber snake coming out of her mouth.”

Leticia collapsed and was carried away while Judge Crater gaveled for order.  “Case dismissed,” he said.  “See you later, folks.  Maybe.”

Junior Walker rose.  “Walker Novelties will go on,” he vowed.  “Thanks for everything, Mr. Mason.”   He extended his hand.  As the lawyer shook it, a loud BZZZZ reverberated through the courtroom.

Della Street grinned and capped the Walker Novelties pen.  “The last laugh’s on you,” Chief.”

“Don’t be so sure,” Mason said, rubbing his palm.

Della’s teeth were stained chartreuse.

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