"another lawyer." applesauce repeated. "they must have special pods to grow lawyers these days."
"it's just not right," mike insisted. "a guy gets shot, he gets recycled, he is due to get out of recycling, and he is out on the street right on the day he is due to be out. and you pick him up because he is a suspicious character?"
"he was hanging with suspicious characters," applesauce answered. "namely you, johnnie cochrane."
'you know," said rango, "we still have to make that special pickup. if we take all three of these guys we might not have room for the special pickup. especially if it turns out to be a fatso."
"they can sit in each others laps."
"they wouldn't be properly secured. it would be against regulations," rango reminded his human partner.
"all right," applesauce finally said. "we'll just take two of them."
"great."said mike. "take the two of us, let sammy go."
"what!" mac the mailman shouted. "what about me? i'm not any guiltier than he is! i was just out for a walk!" he looked from applesauce to rango, desperate for a flicker of sympathy from either.
"i'm a mailman. you know, the mailman going for a walk?"
"no," said applesauce, "i don't know."
"it's an old joke, the mailman goes for a walk on his day off."
"it's not very funny."
"an old joke,"added rango, "maybe it died and they ought to bury it."
"you're a mailman?" applesauce asked him. "what kind of a person is a mailman in today's world? sounds like a lot of opportunity for unsupervised behavior."
'look, " said mac, "if mike wants to go with you, that's up to him. but me and this guy, maybe we could flip a coin?"
"who has a coin these days?" mike asked.
'i have a coin." applesauce said. she took a coin out of her pocket.
"where did you get that?" rango asked her.
"i found it."
one side of the coin depicted the emperor tilgath-pileser iv ascending the steps of the guillotine with king nebuchednezzar ix and richard coeur de lion behind him. wat tyler, as executioner, awaited them.
on the right side of the platform, tallien, madame tallien and the abbe sieyes were being shoved aside by robin hood as he aimed an arrow at wat tyler. below the platform, st just , marat and josephine beauharnais were pointing excitedly at robin hood. the archhangels uriel and jeremiell hovered overhead.
the other side of the coin showed the patriach abraham, pharoah's daughter and zoroaster waiting somewhat impatiently by the side of a flooded river for st christopher, who was engaged in a heated argument with eusebius of caesarea. pharoah's daughter was leading a child or midget by the hand, but as the coin was rubbed a little smooth, the child or midget's identity was uncertain. the branch of a tree overhung the river, and petronius arbiter and the emperor hadrian were sitting on it.
mac looked at the two sides of the coin as applesauce quickly flashed them. "which side is heads and which is tails?"
"just call it, i'll let you know."
"the side with the guillotine must be heads," mike pointed out.
applesauce looked at him sharply. "you don't know that."
"right," mac agreed. "they are going to lose their heads, so it must be tails,"
"not if robin hood saves them," rango pointed out.
"the side with the river must be heads," said sammy. these were the first words he had spoken since they had left the recycling center. "a river has a head, it doesn't have a tail."
"a river has a mouth, not a head," mac countered.
"it must have a head if it has a mouth."
applesauce was twirling the coin in her fingers. "just call it," she told mac.
she flipped it and caught it on her wrist. "tails," she announced and put the coin in her pocket.
"that's not fair!" mac cried. "i didn't even see it. i never knew which side was which."
"we've wasted enough time," applesauce announced. "get them in the van."
"the whole thing was rigged!" mac persisted. "the fix was in!"
"save your energy for the chain gang, fella," rango told him as he produced a pair of handcuffs,
"i think he has a point," mike told mac.
the morning shift at universal upkeep underwriters was proceeding uneventfully.
bessie started to sing a little song.
a frog and a spider were sentenced to hang
but they put the pig on the old chain gang
they gave the pig a nice new hammer
and the captain's daughter started to stammer
"can you sing about something besides chain gangs?" nancy interrupted. "it's kind of a depressing subject."
"i think bessie has a nice voice," said edna the friendly robot.
"thank you, edna," called bessie.
elizabeth looked up. "perhaps you sing about something nicer, bessie. or maybe you could just hum something."
"sure," bessie agreed. she started to hum. ida started to hum along with her.
suddenly there was a loud knock on the outer door and it burst open.
applesauce and rango walked in, rango was twirling a pair of handcuffs with "special" stamped on them.
"special arrest," applesauce announced loudly. she took a slip of paper out of her pocket. as she did so, the coin she had flipped when arresting mac and mike slipped out of her pocket. it rolled half the length of the floor and came to rest under loulou's chair.
"1H-38y56-6616gt-656398a, sally johnson," applesauce read. "we have a warrant for your special arrest." she looked around.
sally finished the number she was inputting and then looked up at applesauce, who was standing right behind her.
"they let me go this morning ," sally said. a few gasps from her fellow employees . "it was only four or five hours ago." she stood up.
"i guess they changed their minds," said rango, as he cuffed her hands behind her back.
"four or five hours," applesauce laughed. "that's more than a lot of people get."
they led her out.
"humans, please!" elizabeth exclaimed. "keep quiet please, and keep working. there is nothing to be alarmed about. i will get a replacement for sally as soon as possible. in fact i will call the agency right now. what are you doing, loulou?"
"nothing." loulou had picked up the coin that rolled under her chair.
"there is nothing to get upset about," elizabeth repeated. "you have all been behaving very well lately. we will get a replacement for sally, maybe this afternoon."
"i always liked sally," said edna. "she never had much to say."