Chapter 24

Early in his career, Inspector Pigshit spent six months on a secondment to the Dogs Unit, where he worked at the airport with the sniffer dogs who checked suitcases for drugs and explosives. Pigshit himself didn’t handle the dogs because he was not, by any means, a dog lover, or even someone who liked dogs. He always made sure there was a proper, trained dog handler to look after the hounds. Indeed, Pigshit could never work out why people liked dogs. Or cats. But dogs especially. He’d see those blow-dried mutants on Crufts and wonder if alien life had already been discovered and we just hadn’t realised.

Nevertheless, the secondment was good for two things. Firstly, he had a very enjoyable sexual relationship with a trainee dog handler called Jane Bishop, and secondly, working with the sniffer dogs helped him develop a very keen sense of smell.

And so, when he entered the gents’ toilets at the Village Inn, his olfactory alarm bells started ringing.

There was a window open, presumably to dissipate the malodorous stench of customers’ bowel movements, and there was, inevitably, the weird, unnatural lemon scent of those little yellow urinal cakes, but amongst that, he could make out the unmistakable smell of a Sharpie permanent marker. A fine liner, even.

Black ink.

Pigshit looked up at the traps. One door was open, the other was locked. Some bastard was in there writing graffiti.

He kicked the door down.

“You fucker!” he shouted as the door fell in on the man inside.

The man – mid-forties; bald, with a stupid earring – fell back. Pigshit noticed the guy had his trousers done up, so obviously he was there just to write or draw something, rather than take a dump.

“Ouch,” shouted the man as Pigshit punched him hard in the face.

“You’re fucking nicked, sunshine,” said Pigshit. “What were you writing, anyway? HIBS ARE SHIT?”

“It was supposed to be SHITE but you stopped me before I could do the E.”

“Jambos fan are, you?”

“No, Motherwell.”

“Motherwell? FFS! You from Motherwell?”

“Aye.”

“So what the fuck are you doing in Edinburgh, on a Monday, vandalising pub toilets?”

“You broke my fucking nose,” complained the man.

Pigshit kicked him hard in the ’nads.

“Listen, matey. This is my fucking city and no-one comes here causing criminal damage. Got me?”

He handcuffed the man to the pipe that goes down from the cistern.

“Stay there. I’ll send an officer round to collect you. Six months, creep!”

Pigshit stepped out of the cubicle and went over to the urinals to have a long and much-needed Jimmy Riddle.

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