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Rick knew that all good detectives need an image. Hercule Poirot has his moustache; Colombo has his cigar and raincoat, Sherlock Holmes his pipe and James Bond his BMW. Rick wanted one too, and now is the best time to buy one. It’s January and the prices in most of the New York stores are reduced. everything is cheaper and on sale.

Rick was organised. he woke up early and made a shopping list of the things he needed for his image:

At 9.30 Rick was walking along the Streets of Manhattan. It was busy. Rick thought that everyone in New York was out shopping for bargains. 

Our hero had a good idea of what he wanted. He had walked the streets late the night before when the stores (US)/shops (UK) were closed, looking in the windows. He liked window shopping because it helped him to relax and to clear his mind.

Rick went into Bloomingdale’s and found the hat department. The assistant was very sexy.

‘Hey babe,’ said Rick. ‘I need a hat.’

She turned quickly, her long brown hair falling provocatively across her face.

‘I have something special for you, sir.’ she replied in a soft Brooklyn accent.

She gave him a green baseball cap with ‘New York Jets’ on the front. Rick tried it on.

‘Is it the right size?’ she asked.

‘Yes, it fits me,’ replied Rick, ‘But does it look good, babe?’
‘Sure, it really suits you,’ said the young girl. ‘You look like a famous detective now.’

‘Can I put it in the washing machine?’ asked Rick.

‘I think so. Look at the label’.

Rick looked at the small paper inside the hat. It said, ‘machine washable’.

‘Great, I’ll take it,’ said Rick. ‘Where do I pay? And where do I get your phone number?’

‘Over there at the cash desk, and I’m married.’

Rick went to pay. The cashier was even prettier than the first girl.

‘How much for the hat babe?’ asked Rick, with his best smile.

‘$69,’ replied the beautiful blond.

Rick wasn’t stupid, $69 sounded too expensive for a baseball cap.

‘I think you’re overcharging me, sweetheart.’

‘No sir,’ she replied in a hard voice, ‘It’s reduced from $106. It’s made by Channel.’

‘Oh,’ said Rick, impressed. ‘That’s okay then babe.’

Rick paid by credit card and she gave him his receipt

‘Will you give me back my money if I don’t like the hat?’ asked Rick. ‘It would be a perfect opportunity to see you again.’

‘No,’ replied the girl looking coldly into Rick’s eyes. ‘We don’t give refunds.’

As he stepped out of Bloomingdale’s into the New York sunshine he felt good. He put on his cap and breathed the cold, fresh January air. Now he had an image!.

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