With this Ring
4:30 am on a Sunday Morning, 1973
Mmm. Um. Starsk?
Hutch, there’s a girl on my couch.
S’nice. Why’re you... It’s the middle of the night!
Who is it?
Does he know what time it is?
Is that Van?
Don’t tell me he’s drunk again!
No, no, it’s... uh, work. A case. Just go back to sleep.
I don’t know why he has to... inconsiderate... That’s the third time this week!
Oh, goddamn... Starsky, it’s four thirty-seven in the morning!
I’ve got a photo shoot in three hours! I can’t show up with bags under my eyes!
I’ll get the phone in the living room.
Close the door on your way out. And don’t come back!
Yeah, okay. Okay! I’m here.
Sorry for waking up Van.
Not as sorry as I’m going to be.
Hutch, who the hell was I out with last night?
How am I supposed to know?
But you’ve got to know her. She’s sleeping on my couch.
Well I hope there’s lots of room, ’cause it looks like that’s where I’ll be sleeping from now on,
I don’t know why she’s on my couch, and I don’t remember her name either. I don’t even
know if we did anything last night! God, my head hurts...
Calm down, Starsk. If she’s on your couch, you couldn’t have done much.
How do you figure that?
Think about it. If you’d been terrific, she’d be in your bed right now. And if you’d been terrible, she’d
have left. My guess would be that you passed out before you got around to doing anything, so she put you to bed and decided
to wait for morning.
Makes sense, I guess...
Now, tell me what she looks like, and I’ll tell you if I remember ever meeting her.
Okay... Um. She’s Asian.
You’ve got to give me a bit more to go on than that.
Black hair, cute nose. And she’s tiny. I mean, she’s really, really tiny. She looks about twelve.
Oh god, Hutch. I remember now! We met at a bar last night. I made her show me ID before I’d buy her a drink.
Great, then what’s her name?
I don’t know! Geez, Hutch. This is what happens when you don’t come out with me. You’ve got
to start standing up to Van. Make her let you out at night sometimes. You deserve a social life, too, you know...
I’ll take a pass. Falling down drunk and blacking out isn’t my idea of a good time. Did she leave her purse around
Uh, yeah. It’s on the coffee table. You know, I wouldn’t have got this drunk if you’d been there.
S’what partners are for.
I’m pretty sure cruising bars together wasn’t stipulated in the Academy handbook. Look, if you can get to her
purse without waking her up, why don’t you go check her ID again?
Oh... hey! That’s a good idea.
Yeah, I’ve got lots of them. You can hang up the phone now, Starsky. Starsky?
Oh, did I wake you up? You don’t have to sleep on the couch, you know.
. . .
Yeah, sorry about that. I thought maybe...
. . .
Breakfast? Mmm. Ah, that kind of breakfast. Not very nutritious, but... Yeah.
Starsky! Hang up the damn phone!
See, there’s a funny thing. I don’t remember...
. . .
What? I was just saying I, uh. Never mind, it doesn’t matter.
Fine, leave your phone off the hook. I’m hanging up now!
Do you like it when I do this? Yeah, you can touch me there. Just be careful, I’m a bit ticklish...
12:45 on a Monday afternoon, 1974
Jesus! Where’ve you been? You know I was this close to putting an APB out on you?
Van. She’s gone. She said...
Okay, Hutch. Where are you?
What does it say on the napkins? Just read me the napkin, okay?
The Golden... Clam. That’s stupid. Why would you name a bar after a... uh... seafood? I don’t think they even
serve seafood here. Oh god. You know, Van likes shrimp cocktails. She orders them all the time, says they go best with martinis...
Okay, Hutch. I want you to just stay put. I’m coming to get you, okay? So stay right where you are.
I dunno. There’s another guy here looks like he wants to use the phone. He’s kind of big... Got muscles, you know.
You can give him the phone. Just stay in the bar. Don’t go anywhere!
My marriage is over, Starsky. I used to be married, and now... I’m not.
I’m coming, okay? Just hang on and wait for me.
. . .
9:20 on a Tuesday morning, 1975
Urg. Go ‘way.
C’mon, Hutch! Up and at ‘em. Shake that bushy tail!
Shake your own tail. It’s my day off. I’m sleeping in.
You’re going to waste the whole day sleeping? On our day off?
It’s my partner.
Oh, I remember! Your friend with the curly hair, right? His name was... Starky?
Hey, Hutch! You got a date?
Yes, I have a date.
Hello, Hutch’s date!
I have a date, and I’m going to be very busy today, so you’ll just have to find something to do all by yourself!
Oh, poor Starky! You should tell him to come over here.
No, I’m not going to—
I thought I heard an invitation. Did I hear an invitation?
It’d be rude to turn down a lady’s invitation.
But we had plans!
The bed’s big enough for three. It’ll be fun.
Oh, yeah! Please, Hutch? Pretty please? With cherries on top?
I think he likes the idea, Starky!
No, no, I don’t like the idea. I think it’s a terrible idea. But...
But what the lady wants, the lady gets. So haul your tail over here, Starky – I mean, Starsky.
3:58 on a Wednesday morning, 1976
. . .
. . .
Who is this?
Hh... Hutch. Help.
Okay, just hang on. I’m coming! Oh, hell, you’d better be home... C’mon, just tell me that’s where
you’re calling from. Starsky!
2:34 on a Thursday afternoon, 1977
How did you know it was me?
Because this is the fourth day in a row you’ve called me at this time.
Sorry, Starsk, I’m just going crazy here. Bored out of my skull.
What about those Star Trek coloring books I gave you?
Yeah, thanks a lot.
Aw, c’mon, Hutch. Some of those alien chicks are pretty hot. And you can color them any way you like.
Tell me what you’re working on. Any interesting cases?
Nah, nothing much. Have you met any cute nurses?
Mm. Yeah. Maybe.
Oh yeah? Did she give you a sponge bath?
A gentleman never tells.
A gentleman might not, but you would. C’mon, Hutch! Details, man. Details.
She’s a lovely girl.
Blonde’s good. I like blondes. Even ones dumb enough to get themselves squished under their own cars.
And she’s got legs.
Well, we do prefer our women ambulatory. Especially the nurses.
Get it? Ambulatory? Ambulance? Huh?
I got it, I got already!
. . .
Hey, Starsk! Where’d you go?
Aw, crap. Dobey’s yelling again. I can’t talk. Are you gonna call tomorrow?
Good, ‘cause I wanna hear more about that nurse.
I think I can fit you into my busy social calendar.
I’m coming, I’m coming already! Geez!
7:37 on a Friday morning, 1978
Who else? So...?
C’mon, Hutch! You took off with the Swedish twins. Both of them! If you’re going to be a greedy bastard,
the least you can do is fill me in on the action. Make it good, and I might decide to forgive you.
I can’t talk... For crissake, they’re still here!
C’mon, you’re already whispering. They’ll never hear a thing. Details, Hutch! I want details!
Okay, funny guy. It’s my turn to drive, isn’t it? Why don’t I come over right now? I can entertain
your guests while you get ready for work.
Oh, no. No way.
I heard Inga and Erika were very concerned about my health last night. It seems while I was in the bathroom someone
told them that I was sick, just before that same someone took off with them both. I think the ladies should know who else
got screwed last night.
They’re twins, Starsky. I’ve never had twins all to myself.
. . .
So, that’s all this is? It’s got nothing to do with what Tessa said the other night?
What? About me paying too much attention to you, not her? That’s crazy! Tessa’s just a... She doesn’t know
what she’s talking about.
Look, I got greedy okay? Inga and Erika won’t be leaving until Sunday. Why don’t we get together tonight? All
four of us.
No tricks. Honest!
Well, okay, then. I won’t rat you out. But I’m still driving. I’ll pick you up in an hour.
Wait! Starsk? Starsky!
It would have been more fun if you’d been here.
7:14 pm on a Saturday evening, 1979
Yeah, what now? Did you forget where to find Huggy’s—?
Hutch, it’s me. Did, uh... did you just get a call?
Starsky? Uh, you mean from Kira?
Yeah. Um. Did she say she, uh, wanted to meet for drinks at the Pits?
I was just on the phone with her. She told me to get myself a beer and set her up with a daiquiri.
She’s playing us.
I got that impression, yes.
Are we gonna let her do that to us?
Hey, pal. Whatever you decide... Whatever happens, I can handle it.
Who wants to handle it?
I don’t want to handle anything. I just want my best friend back.
Look, the way I see it, it takes two to screw. She’s playing innocent, but she’s just as guilty. More,
even, because she let me think...
Oh, hell, Starsk. I should’ve—
Look! If it’s gotta come down to a choice between you or her... Well, I’d rather have you watching
I fucked up.
Yeah, you sure did. You’re one hell of a turkey.
. . .
But you’re my turkey, and I don’t like having me and thee yanked around by some half-baked
broad. She says it’s a feminist thing. She says she’s acting just like a guy, but I’m a guy and I never
messed around on any steady girl. We’re better than that, Hutch!
So... how do you want to play this?
She thinks she’ll have us both sitting at her feet, waiting for her to choose. I say, if there’s going
to be any choosing, we should be the ones to do it.
But what are we choosing?
I told you already, dummy. I’m choosing you. You’re choosing me. We’re a matched set. If she
can deal with that, great. If not... I say we should give her the same bullshit she’s been giving us.
You mean stuff like not treating us as objects to be jerked around?
Respecting us for our minds, not our bodies.
And damn fine bodies, they are, too. But we’re human beings, first.
If you prick us, doth we not bleed?
That’s great! But...
Starsky... What if she goes for it?
So what? Let her feel like the third wheel for once. We don’t need her.
Hell, Hutch. The way I feel now, if I never saw another woman again...
Our threesomes would become twosomes.
. . .
Uh... I didn’t mean...
No, wait. Gimme a minute.
Seriously, Starsk. I don’t...
Okay, look. We gotta meet her in about ten minutes. But we’re going to talk about this after. I mean, just
think about it, Hutch.
What’s left that we haven’t done to each other already?
Well, I don’t think we’ve...
Who cares if there’s a girl in the bed with us or not?
You’re thinking about it, aren’t you?
If you don’t stop, Starsky, I’m not going to be in any condition to go out in public.
I knew you were thinking about it! Hey, I bet you’re touchin’ yourself right now.
No, I’m not!
Yeah, you are. ‘Cause you got that sound in your voice. I bet you got your hand down your pants, and you’re
This is... revenge. Isn’t it?
You need to unzip, Hutch. I don’t want you hurting yourself.
Damn right. We don’t need them, do we?
You might want to speed that up, though. We’re on a schedule here.
Nah, I won’t hang up. Not before you’re done. ‘Cause I can hear you, you know. I can hear how
close you are. You’re breathing fast and hard...
And you’re not going to forget, are you? From now on it’s you and me, babe. Some lucky girl might
get invited to play, but she’s never coming between us again.
. . .
I bet that felt good, huh?
Yeah, that was... great. But, hell Starsky! You just turned me inside out, and you’re not even here.
Next phone call, you get to do me.
It’s a date.
See you in five!