Lying in the Sun

Columbo Crazy

Columbo Crazy

For anyone who happens along and reads my little blog – I have to tell you that this is my last.

I have been diagnosed as mentally ill by none other than a visitor to the site…Bless!

To prevent my wild imagination, well…running wild, it seems the cure is for me to get a job to occupy my time…pay a visit also to the Community Mental Health Unit, where they will free my mind of all thoughts I’ve ever harboured of being Columbo – don’t know where they got that idea… 

And one more thing… 

Prescription: Murder (2013) 

Mr Gordon enters -  introductions -

Lt. Amaral: Lieutenant Amaral. 

Brown Gordon: My name's Gordon. I'm with the British Government… 

Lt. Amaral: Yes sir, I know.  

Brown Gordon: I’d appreciate it if there was anything you can do for Dr. McCann, he's a good friend of mine. 

Lt. Amaral: I can’t make promises I deal in truth, not lies!

Brown Gordon: Any, uh, any progress so far? 

Lt. Amaral: Well, it's, uh, still a little early, but, uh, you know, sooner or later, something usually breaks.  

Brown Gordon: Mmm-hmm. Well, let's make that "sooner," right, Lieutenant? 

Lt. Amaral:  Try my best. 

Brown Gordon: Yeah, I'm sure you will. That’s what’s worrying us! 

Brown Gordon: I don't think I have to remind you that this could be... quite the little feather in your cap. Wrap it up and everybody's happy… lieutenant? 

Lt. Amaral: Um, yeah, I'm sorry. I was, uh, I was just thinking about something. 

Brown Gordon: What was that? 

Lt. Amaral: No, it's nothing important. It's, uh, Dr. McCann, he didn't go look in on the kids, or call his wife’s name...  He just came in front door – made beeline for bathroom, straight back out front door…. 

Brown Gordon: I don't follow you. 

Lt. Amaral: Oh, well, I was in the bedroom. I was checking some things, and I heard him open the front door, and he didn't say anything, and... gee it's funny how people are different, isn't it? Now you take me when I come home from a trip, uh, the first thing I do is I say, "Honey, you here?" And I always want to see my kids…

Brown Gordon: Exactly what is your point, Lieutenant? 

Lt. Amaral: Point? Oh, I wasn't making a point. 

Brown Gordon: It sounded to me as if you were... You heard the man admit that he had an argument with his wife night previous, he walked out left her standing at bar.  She slept in kids room probably still had a chip on her shoulder next morning, and it spilled over to last night... 

Lt. Amaral: I was only tryin' to... 

Brown Gordon: Lieutenant, I have already told you that Dr. McCann is a close, personal friend of mine. Now I hope he's not going to be annoyed by a lot of tactless remarks, especially at a time like this. 

Lt. Amaral: Well, I'm sorry, Mr. Gordon. I guess I shouldn't have mentioned it.  

Lt. Amaral: Dr. McCann? 

Dr. G. McCann: Who are you? 

Lt. Amaral: Lieutenant Amaral, police. 

Dr. G.McCann: Well, what is it? Tell me! 

Lt. Amaral: Well, um, you said somebody broke in here and abducted your wife, but forensics didn't find any trace of shutters windows been damaged, front door intact too... We think someone may have tried to kill her though ...just one theory...someone known to her, we think they came in the through the patio door or she may have opened it for him invited him in someone who liked her a lot but she felt he was a bit of a pain...

Dr. G. McCann: [McCann feigns shock for a moment when the words register] "Tried" to kill her? 

Lt. Amaral: That's right, Doctor. She's lucky she's probably alive no evidence to say she’s come to any real harm found herself in a bit of situation we gather, bit bashed up real harm, British Police say she might have disturbed a burglar...but not credible line of inquiry

Dr. G. McCann: [feigning relief] She's still alive!  Well, where is she now? Is she conscious? Has she been able to say anything? 

Lt. Amaral: Well, I'm afraid not, nothing much. A family saw a man carry her off they say they could ID him if they saw him again…but she looked as though she was sleeping, but murmuring...  Don’t worry sir we’ll catch him…

Dr. G.McCann: Well, what's her condition right now? Oh, come on, I must know the truth! 

Lt. Amaral: Yeah Truth’s always good sir – but It's not great news, we haven't caught him yet as I was saying... Doc. We only hope she is found quickly, and she comes round, long enough to be able to talk to us. Family who saw her say guy who was carrying her was struggling a bit, sweating a lot, seems your wife was heavier than she looked, guy could hardly carry her, her bare feet were dragging along the cobbles.  One of the family is sure she heard her whimper ‘Terry, stop Terry’…something like that…Did you know your wife was in her jim jams – big tea stain on front the family said – washing machine in your apartment was broken I gather…Dr O’Brien, didn't you know he's dab hand with laundry..?

Dr. G. McCann:
: Just tell me truth, forget the police Red Tape, do you know who the killer is? 

Lt. Amaral: Yeah, I know what you mean, red tape, judicial secrecy I really can’t tell you anything Doc…only that they didn’t take your wife out through that shuttered window or patio door, no siree…forensics confirmed that.  Brit cops say there were loads burglars, people lurking everywhere that night they've started an investigation to run alongside Op Grange - Op Luz Lurkers, so many were on loose...and another woman dressed in jim jams like your wife was wearing, she too was seen being dragged along, but slightly different way of carrying her though, it was her knuckles that were scraping the cobbles... And I don't think I said you killed her Doc..?

Dr. G. McCann

: Well, let's get on with it. 

Lt. Amaral: Get on with what? 

Dr. G. McCann: YOUR red tape.  

Lt. Amaral: [reaching in his pockets]

Oh, uh, a few questions for my report, Doc. 

[searching other pockets

Lt. Amaral: Now, uh, you were in Tapas restaurant, when this thing took place, and... uh... the times there were... uh, gee, you don't have a pencil, do ya? 

[McCann hands him one of the kids crayons

Lt. Amaral: Thanks. You know, my wife, she gives me one every morning, but I just can't seem to hold onto it. 

Lt. Amaral: There must be something wrong with me. I seem to bother people, to make them nervous. 

Lt. Amaral: I think I'm too suspicious. I don't trust people, that's my trouble! 

Lt. Amaral: What'd you say, Doc? 


Dr. G.McCann  [laugh, a sly smile escapes] You're a very funny man! 

Lt. Amaral: I wasn't trying to be funny. 

Dr. G.McCann: But you are, and more than you know.  

Dr. G.McCann: They expect me to be on call at all hours. 

Lt. Amaral: Same with me, Doctor. 

Dr. G.McCann: People don't always do the rational thing. 

Lt. Amaral: Oh, they sure don't! You learn a lot about that in my line. Well, I guess you do in yours too. 

Lt. Amaral: You know my sister she has a living room that's very, very modern. But the minute you sit down in it, you can't open your mouth. You know, she's got this big kidney-shaped coffee table it upsets me just to look at it. Her husband doesn't say anything and I figure the coffee table got to him years ago. 

Dr. G. McCann: Is there something I can do for you? 

Lt. Amaral: Oh no, not really, doctor, no. I, I just want to give you your crayon back….

Dr. G. McCann
: Well thanks, I missed it. 

Lt. Amaral: You know, that's my trouble, I got a bad memory. My wife tells me I ought to have strings on all ten fingers. 

[Lt. Amaral has a drink with Dr. McCann and looks at his bookshelves

Lt. Amaral: Like to read, huh, Doctor? 

Dr. G. McCann: I do.  My mate Dr Oldfield does too, pops in now and then has a browse.  

Lt. Amaral: You read murder mysteries?  

Dr. G.McCann: Not very often. But I did enjoy one recently, an Interpretation of Murder!

Lt. Amaral: Oh, me, I love 'em. I find 'em nice and relaxing. You know, the only trouble is that they got nothin' to do with real life. I mean, the guy who did it, they catch him every time, and you and I know that it doesn't always work out that way. 

Dr. G. McCann: You never stop, do you? 

Lt. Amaral: What? 

Dr. G.McCann: The insinuation, the uh, change of pace. You're a bag of tricks, Amaral. Right down to that prop cigarette you use. 

Jane Tanner: I want to call my lawyer. 

Lt. Amaral: Dr. McCann murders his wife and you want to call YOUR lawyer? 

Jane Tanner:  Well I said something I shouldn't have, said I saw something, or someone and I didn't, and I think I might need one, or two, best make that three...a girl can never have enough lawyers...

Dr. G. McCann: I want the man who murdered my wife. Everything else is irrelevant. 

Lt. Amaral: Well, I'm only trying to... 

Dr. G. McCann: I know. You're only trying to tie up loose ends. Well, if you spent a little less time on loose ends, maybe you'd come up with something important. You know, sometimes I get the impression you think *I* killed my wife. 

Lt. Amaral: You? Oh, no, Doc. How could you? You were out at Tapas Bar. 

Dr. G. McCann: I'm glad you remembered that. Unless you think I hired someone to kill her. The blonde boy who confessed? Maybe I paid him to do it? 

Lt. Amaral: No, Doc, you didn't do that. 

Dr. G. McCann: How do you know? 

Lt. Amaral: I already asked him.  

Lt. Amaral: I was wondering, Doctor, would you take me on as a patient? 

Dr. G. McCann: Take you on as a what? 

Lt. Amaral: No, I mean it. Maybe you can help me. I don't know, there must be something wrong with me. I seem to bother people. I seem to make them nervous. Maybe you can tell me why. 

Dr. G. McCann: I'm going to tell you something about yourself. You say you need a psychiatrist? Maybe you do, maybe you don't. But you are the textbook example of compensation. 

Lt. Amaral: Of what, Doc? 

Dr. G. McCann:  Compensation. Adaptability! You're an intelligent man, Amaral, but you hide it. You pretend you're something you're not. Why? Because of your appearance! You think you cannot get by on looks or polish, so you turn a defect into a virtue. You take people by surprise. They underestimate you, and that's where you trip them up.  Like coming here tonight!.   Hope you're not planning on turning up at Court?

Lt. Amaral: Boy, you got me pegged pretty good Doctor. I'm gonna have to watch myself with you, 'cause, uh, well, you figure out people pretty good. 

Dr. G. McCann: Now you're trying flattery.  

Lt. Amaral: Well, I know it's easy enough to figure out about a patient or a guy like me that's always hanging around all the time, but what about a stranger? What about a, uh - a fella that you'd never met before? Can you tell what makes him tick? 

Dr. G. McCann: Any particular one in mind? 

Lt. Amaral: No, nobody special. Just- just a angry murdering type... 

Dr. G.McCann: Like a murderer, for instance? 

Lt. Amaral: Well, yeah, now that you mention it. I guess we're on the same wavelength. 

Dr. G. McCann: Yes, I guess we are. 

Dr. G. McCann: What about this hypothetical murderer? 

Lt. Amaral: Well, I'm not talking about your average hothead, you know, the guy who pops somebody over the noggin with a bottle. What I mean is, uh, the kind of man that, uh, figures everything out in advance, who takes everything step by step who plans it.  What do you know about that kind of man, Doctor? 

Dr. G. McCann: I should charge you for this, but since it's on a theoretical basis, let's just call it a free consultation, all right? 

We are talking about a man who commits a crime, not the garden variety bar room brawl, but an elaborate intellectual project. What do we know about this man? Obviously, he's not impulsive. He plans, he calculates. He minimizes risks. He's oriented by his mind, not by his emotions. And he's probably well educated, too. 

Lt. Amaral: Like maybe a professional man? 

Dr. G.McCann: Like maybe. At any rate, an orderly man with an eye for detail and courage.  

Lt. Amaral: Courage? 

Dr. G.McCann: Oh, certainly. To go through a thing like this, whatever it may be, it takes a strong nervous system. 

Lt. Amaral: But one thing bothers me, Doctor. This man that we're talking about has taken a human life. Now wouldn't you say that he was insane? 

Dr. G. McCann: Why, because he committed an immoral act? Morals are conditioned, Lieutenant. They're relative, like everything else is today. Our murderer may be as sane as you and me. Killing may be repugnant to him, but if it's his only solution, he uses it. That’s pragmatism, my friend, not insanity. 

Lt. Amaral: Tell me, Doctor, how do you catch a man like that? 

Dr. G. McCann: You don't. 

Lt. Amaral: You're probably right. He sounds just too clever for us.

What I mean is, you know, cops we're not the brightest guys in the world. Of course, we got one thing going for us: we're professionals. I mean, you take our friend here, the murderer. He's very smart, but he's an amateur. I mean, he's got just one time to learn. Just one, and with us, well, with us, it's - it's a business. You see, we do this a hundred times a year. I'll tell ya, Doc. That's a lot of practice. 

Dr. G. McCann: With all that experience, you jumped to the wrong conclusion. 

Lt. Amaral: What do you mean? 

Dr. G.McCann: I didn't kill my wife. 

Lt. Amaral: I never said that you did. 

Dr. G. McCann: Oh, that's true. Imply. "Imply" is more the word. But if I killed my wife - and I did say "if" - you're never going to be able to prove it.  Find the body and prove I killed her. 

Lt. Amaral: You know what I think the problem is? I think I'm too suspicious. I don't trust people. That's my trouble. For instance, when I get taken off a case, right away I figure somebody put the pressure on. Right away I ask myself why?  What do you think, Doc? 

Dr. G. McCann: I think you'd better get out of here. 

Lt. Amaral: Beg your pardon? 

Dr. G.McCann: Amaral, you're a public servant. You say you've been taken off the case, fine. Bother me again, and I shall have to talk to your superiors. 

Lt. Amaral: You've been talking to a lot of people these days, Doctor. 

Dr. G. McCann
: Amaral, you are magnificent. You really are. 

Lt. Amaral: Well, what makes you say that, Doc? 

Dr. G. McCann: You're the most persistent creature I've ever met, but likeable. The astonishing thing is you're likeable. Has anyone ever told you you're droll? 

Lt. Amaral: Who, me? 

Dr. G. McCann: Yes, you. 

Lt. Amaral: [embarassed, laughing] Oh, come on, Doc. Come on, come on. 

Dr. G. McCann: Oh, but you are. If my wife was here she’d say you were a Fucking Tosser, but I like you.   You say you've been thrown off the case, and yet you have the flagrant audacity to come back here and bother me again. I respect that. It irritates me, but I respect it. How about a drink? 

Lt. Amaral: No thanks Doc, I’m working, got a murder to solve… 

Dr. G. McCann
: Okay Lieutenant, but if there's any further way I can be of assistance to you?

Lt. Amaral: Oh, no, no, no, you just make out a list of your buddies who you were with you last night that'll be fine, Doc. 

Dr. G. McCann: Thank you – but I’m a step ahead, old colouring book belonging to one of my kids used back of that. 

Lt. Amaral: There's just one more thing, sir....What door did you say you entered the apartment by..?

Oh, oh, one more thing, before I forget...
26th October 2013

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