Written by Maggie the Cat

AUTHOR'S NOTES: See, my best friend and I work at the same store, albeit on different days, so we write each other notes for entertainment. One Thursday night I was really bored and couldn't wait to go home and watch Homicide, so I wrote her...a Homicide note. One note--my friend's name is Shabniz Kurji (Shab-neez Kur-gee), and she is Muslim.

Hey. Hey, you. Yeah, I know you can hear me. Stop pretending you don't.

Meldrick, she can't hear you. We're just words on paper.

Yeah, well, Bayliss, she can hear us in her head, can't she? I mean, she knows us. She been to see the Baltimore poh-leece before.

FRANK: If I were you, guys, I'd make use of these handy name-tags to precede your sentences. It'll make it easier on all of us.

LEWIS: Yeah, fine, Frank. But she still ain't answering.

MUNCH: Well, that's because you're talking to her like she's a dog. She's not a dog, Meldrick--and even dogs have names. By not using her name you're reducing her to a faceless entity, a statistic, a mere passer-by in the grander scheme of things.

LEWIS: I don't wanna use her name.

HOWARD: Why's that, Meldrick? Wouldn't be because she's a WOMAN, huh?

FELTON: No. He just can't pronounce it.

PEMBLETON: (There, that's better than 'FRANK'.) You know, there _is_ a school of thought which holds the belief that a name is the seat of personal power. Speak someone's name, aloud, and you've just robbed them of a bit of their soul.

BAYLISS: Oh, yeah, like, uhhh...Rumplestiltskin, right?

FELTON: I think 'Rumplestiltskin' is easier to pronounce. What kinda name _is_ this, anyway?

LEWIS: It's Muslim. Like 'Rahim" or 'Rashida' or--

MUNCH: Mohammed?

LEWIS: I ain't even gonna dignify that, Munch.

FELTON: Shaaab-nyz. Sha-buh-neez. Shub-neece.

HOWARD: Beau, quit it. You're embarassing her. It's HARD having a funny name nobody can say.

PEMBLETON: Oh, and you would know, Kay Howard? What sort of linguistic moron has tripped over the ringing syllables of _your_ name?

HOWARD: Nobody, _Frank_. I'm just _saying_, huh?

BAYLISS: I remember, in grade school, the class bully used to call me Tim Payless. He thought it was really funny.

FELTON: What did _you_ think?

BAYLISS: Uh, for as long as he was bigger than I was, I thought it was hysterical. Then in sixth grade I had a growth spurt, and, y'know, I just didn't find it all that funny anymore. Neither did he.

MUNCH: Oh yeah? Try growing up with a name like John Munch. The _least_ annoying moniker I've ever been saddled with was when one wag dubbed me "Toilet Eater". Get it? John Munch? Yeah, I thought it was lame too. But it stuck. Right in my craw.

BAYLISS: What can you really do with a name like "Shabniz Kurji", though?

FELTON: Is _that_ how you pronounce it?

PEMBLETON: Well, there's an entire range of words which rhyme with "eeze"...Shabsqueeze, Shabcheese....

HOWARD: Shabpeas....

BAYLISS: Shabwheeze...

MUNCH: Shabsneeze....

FELTON: Shabfleas! Okay, okay--I'm sorry. I couldn't help it.

LEWIS: Yeah, yeah, whatever. That still don't change the fact, though.

BAYLISS: _What_ fact, Meldrick? You've been cranky from the start. Now what could Miss--it _is_ 'Miss", right? Okay--Miss Kurji here have done to inspire such hostility in you?

MUNCH: Yeah, she seems like a nice enough lady, despite being descended from Ishmael and Hagar. *grin*

LEWIS: I don't wanna say in front of everyone.

BAYLISS: Then stop bothering her! Miss Kurji, I'm really sorry. I've gotta apologize for my fellow detective here. Since he obviously has some sort of unresolved personal problem, we'll get him to stop harassing you. Sorry.

LEWIS: I just don't see what business it is a y'all's, that's all.

FELTON: Shab-niz. Shabniz. Is _that_ right? Shabniz...Kur-gye? Kur-jye? Jesus, her last name is just as weird!

GIARDELLO: And just what is it I find my detectives doing on this bright and no doubt homicidal morn?

PEMBLETON: Just conversing with an erstwhile visitor to the Box, Gee. Allow me to introduce Miss Shabniz Kurji.

MUNCH: She's a Moslem. What? Oh, sorry, Miss Kurji. Gee, she's a M_u_slim. There. Satisfied? You're welcome.

GIARDELLO: Welcome, Miss Kurji. And what are you in the Box for?..._Nothing_?

BAYLISS: Well, Gee, it was Lewis' idea.

FELTON: Yeah, we just kinda found here here. She seems to like it.

GIARDELLO: Is this true, Detective Lewis? Has this young lady been detained for no legal reason?

LEWIS: It's all true, Gee. But I _got_ a reason, see? Only I can't say it 'round you all, 'cause then I'd get my ass busted.

HOWARD: Well, that cleared THAT up.


Next week: Will Beau finally say your name right? Does Bayliss want to be your friend? What the hell _is_ Lewis' problem, anyway?