Deadpan Again

They're back, just in time....

Deadpan Again

by Erin Halfelven

"Got something in your eye, Joe?"

"No, Frank."

"I mean, I just asked -- cause, like, you're blinking a lot."

"Must be the smog."

"Yeah, smog. That could be it."

"What else could it be, Frank?"

"Nothing, I guess, Joe."

"That's right. Nothing."

"You sure are cranky lately, Joe."

"What do you mean, 'cranky', Frank?"

"No, not me, you."

"What?"

"You called me, 'Cranky Frank,' Joe."

"Forget it."

"Okay, sorry. You feelin' alright, Joe?

"I'm fine."

"You're acting like your feet hurt."

"My feet do hurt."

"I thought so. Maybe your shoes are too tight."

"We're cops, Frank, our feet are supposed to hurt."

"These shoes are killing me, Joe."

"You should have worn flats."

"Ha. Ha. Very funny, Joe. Hey, you know, I think that's the first time I ever heard you tell a joke, Joe."

"I tell jokes all the time, Frank. You just don't notice."

"How am I suppose to tell, Joe? You never smile."

"Not much to smile about in this business, Frank."

"Especially today."

"Yeah."

"The way my feet hurt."

"Yeah."

"And the smog."

"Yeah."

"You got something in your eye, Joe?"

"Don't start that again, Frank."

"This case is getting on my nerves, Joe."

"You don't say."

"That was a joke, wasn't it?"

"I didn't smile, did I?"

"No, you never smile. But I said, 'This case is getting on my nerves,' and you said, 'You don't say," and obviously, I did say -- so that must have been a joke. What you call it, irony."

"I've underestimated you, Frank."

"It's cause I'm so short."

"I guess I'm your straight man."

"Now that's pretty funny, Joe."

"Not really."

"Yeah. I guess not. It's this damn case."

"Yeah."

"All these crossdressing zombies."

"Yeah."

"Enough to give you the willies. Except they don't got no willies."

"Frank."

"Yeah, Joe?"

"I'll tell the jokes today."

"But -- no one will know!"

"It's better that way, Frank."

"You're sure cranky today, Joe."

"I think we're both a bit cranky."

"Maybe...."

"Don't say it."

"Well, it is February 14th. So it's kind of true."

"Whaddaya mean, Frank?"

"We should be home with our wives. Not here in the red light district."

"I'm divorced, Frank."

"Oh, yeah. Sorry, Joe."

"You're right about one thing."

"What's that, Joe?"

"My feet are killing me."

"It's these shoes."

"Whose idea was this anyway, Frank?"

"It was yours."

"Yeah, I know."

"You said, 'Maybe we can find out who's killing these transvestites by going undercover.'"

"I know it was my idea, Frank."

"That's why we're out here, standing on the street corner dressed like drag queens."

"I know."

"So why did you ask whose idea it was?"

"You never get any of my jokes, Frank."

"Aw, I'm sorry, Joe. I can't tell cause you've got that deadpan puss."

"I'm smiling on the inside, Frank."

"You look constipated."

"..."

"Sorry, Joe."

"Here comes someone."

"Aw, shit. Do you think he sees us?"

"He's supposed to see us."

"I'm gonna die of embarrassment."

"Do I look all right?"

"Not exactly. You look like a skinny transvestite hooker, Joe."

"That's what I'm supposed to look like."

"How do I look, Joe?"

"Dumpy."

"Aw, Joe. That wasn't nice. Where did our suspect go?"

"He went to the other side of the street."

"I wonder why."

"I can't imagine, Frank."

"That's a joke? But you still ain't smiling, Joe."

"I'm a Capricorn, Frank. We're all constipated."

"Damn."

"I got you, Frank."

"I keep falling off these heels."

"You could lean against my lampost."

"Har-de-har. That was actually kind of funny, Joe."

"Write it down."

"All I've got is an eyebrow pencil, Joe."

"Too bad."

"You're blinking again. You got something in your eye, Joe?"

"Since you ask, yeah."

"Yeah? Really?"

"Yeah, I think it's the Valentine's Day Mascara."

"I'm worried about you, Joe."

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This story is 653 words long.