“What are you reading?” Starsky asked, seeing his partner pick up the small paperback book. “Whatever it is, it must be good. That’s the third or fourth time this morning you’ve picked it up.”
Hutch closed the book and at the next stoplight, he showed the book’s cover to Starsky.
“Haikus?” Starsky shook his head with a soft chuckle.
“Do you know what they are?” Hutch asked, his voice taking on that pretentious tone Starsky hated.
“Of course I do!” Starsky hastily replied. “Japanese Poetry.”
Hutch groaned and went back to reading.
“What… I’m right aren’t I?” Starsky asked with a snide tone of his own.
“Yes, you’re right… to a point,” Hutch informed him, still using that tone. “It’s the most stringent and precise poetry ever written. No room to get off point. The number of syllables is locked in each line.”
“Right, I know. I remember the rules from my English class in high school.” Starsky smiled at the look of disbelief on his partner’s face. “I even wrote one once.”
“Do you remember it?” Hutch asked with genuine interest now.
“Give me a minute,” Starsky said, his brow furrowed in concentration.
“Well?” Hutch pressed for an example.
“Okay… here you go…” Starsky cleared his throat, then began.
“Seeking warmth in candle flame,
“You damned idiot!!”
Starsky sat back, obviously pleased with himself, and enjoying the look on his partner’s face.