January 19, 2007
The following story is inspired by fictional events.
It was a dark night in the lambent city. I was sitting in my office and had half-polished a bottle of corn when a dame walked in. She breezed past my secretary who wasn’t there. My secretary had stopped taking "I’ll be your friend" as payment six months before. I was three sheets to the wind. Two of those sheets were held on with really cheap plastic clothespins, and this dame was a strong wind. She had legs down to there, arms out to here, hair that was yay long, and eyes that ended somewhere in yonder. She sat down and crossed her teeth and laid the skinny on me quick and simple, which I liked because I’ve got a lower than average IQ. "I need help," she said. I knew what she needed because I’m a dick, a shamus, a sleuth, and I do a little detective work on the side. That’s when it hit me: a piece of plaster. I’ve gotta get that ceiling fixed. I poured each of us a cup of java, then got that funny feeling that she wanted me to rub someone out. Or she wanted someone to rub me out. Maybe she was even trying to kill me. I decided to breeze out. I set out on a long walk through a part of town that had been on the wrong side of the tracks since before there were railroads and stopped in at the Water Hole for a smell of the barrel and to jaw with McFeeney the Aardvark. There’s a funny story behind that name. I wish I knew what it was. McFeeney’s a kingpin, a butter and egg man who’s lousy with more cabbage than he knows how to handle. He runs a hinky flophouse for palookas, claims to be a world-class stoolie, and he could take duck soup and turn a Chinese angle on it from behind the eight-ball. I told him about the dame and said I was afraid I was going to dangle. I told him I wasn’t a rube, a sap, a Jasper, a roundheels, or a lunger. I was just a gumshoe on a job and needed him to be square. I didn’t want to make this trip for biscuits. He gave me a jorum of skee, but I think he slipped me a mickey because that’s when things got really weird. I think I was red-lighted, given a powder, stepped off, socked, snowed, maybe even thrown around a little. I’ll be square with you, officer. I’m really not sure why I was in the middle of a highway construction site putting pants on all the barricades.