PREVIOUSLY ON POP CULTURE MYSTERIES – ENTER THE BLONDE:
PART 1 – Detective Jake Hatcher returns to his office to find a mysterious blonde dame sitting behind his desk.
That dame was all class, but a bit snooty – like an exceptionally attractive school marm.
She read from the file of poop she’d scooped on me with all the enthusiasm of a professor giving a lecture on transcendental metaphysics.
“In 1920, you were born one Jacob Ronald Hatcher in Bayonne, New Jersey,” the dame said. “Parents Gus and Mitsy, a barber and a housewife, both solid citizens who never did you wrong, unlike your conniving brother Roscoe who…”
“Yeah do us all a favor a skip over Roscoe, lady,” I said.
“In 1938, you turned eighteen and moved to Hollywood, deluded by the misguided hope that your handsome face and macho physique would be more than enough to provide you with a career as a movie star…”
“People have done more with less,” I interrupted.
“Alas, like most newcomers to Tinseltown, you were turned away by every producer and found yourself on the streets,” the dame continued. “You made your living as a prize fighter, taking on all comers and throwing matches for a fee under the names of ‘Punchy McGee,’ ‘Take a Dive Dan,’ and ‘The Down for the Count Kid.’”
“Yeah,” I said. “Well, it’s not my fault that was a rigged racket.”
“War broke out three years later and in your early twenties, you found yourself in Europe, fighting on the front lines,” the dame said, studying the file like it was the Old Testament. “I see you fought in D-Day and marched with Allied Forces all the way to Berlin.”
“You ‘aint just whistlin’ Dixie, ma’am.”
“There’s a notation here that you were involved in a special mission?” the dame asked.
I gulped my drink and poured another.
“Care to share?” she asked.
“Hitler,” I said. “I punched him in the face.”
The dame’s big blue eyes widened with shock. “Excuse me?”
“I infiltrated a secret Nazi bunker and punched Adolf Hitler square in his stupid face,” I said. “Knocked the son of a bitch out colder than your demeanor.”
I could tell by the look on the dame’s face that she was impressed.
“You punched Adolf Hitler in the face?”
“Adolf Hitler…Der Fuhrer of the Third Reich?”
“That’s the one.”
“I thought he committed suicide,” the dame said.
“That’s what the powers that be want you to believe, ma’am,” I said. “Truth be told I delivered Hitler to General Eisenhower, who had Old Adolf hauled off by a bunch of G-Men to a secret government lab. They did all kinds of experiments on him. They wanted to see what made an evil lug like that tick in the hopes they could prevent another monstrous dictator from popping up ever again. Given the headlines these days, it doesn’t seem to me like they were very successful.”
“And you’re telling me this…why?”
“You asked,” I said. “I’m not a liar, ma’am. A lady asks me a question, I give her an honest answer. Mitsy Hatcher raised a gentleman, I’ll have you know.”
“But the dishonorable discharge?”
“The brass didn’t want the public to know about Operation Fuhrerpunschen and I was a loose end,” I said. “They booted me out on a bunch of trumped up charges that weren’t worth the paper that they were printed on. Ordered me to keep quiet but hell, all of those bums are long dead now so it’s not like there’s anything they can do to me.”
“I see,” the dame said, turning her attention back to the file. “You returned to LA in 1945 and joined the Los Angeles Police Department.”
“Seemed like a shot at a steady paycheck,” I said. “Didn’t realize it was an invite to every two-bit thug to declare war on me…and honest cops? They didn’t last long back then.”
“I’m not sure they last long now either, Mr. Hatcher,” the dame said as her sad lips curled up into a rare smile. “Now, after the incident vis a vis your wife’s infidelity with your partner, you quit the force and went out on your own as a detective for hire, is that right?”
“That’s the long and short of it, ma’am,’ I said. “But what gives with the twenty questions anyway? You writing a book or something?”
“No,” the dame replied. “I just like to make sure I know everything there is to know about a man before I hire him.”
“Speaking of,” I said as I looked at my watch. “It’s been longer than five minutes and you’ve yet to explain to me why you’re here.”
Why is this dame here? Find out in the next part of Pop Culture Mysteries: Enter the Blonde!
(Yeah, I know, we really need to fire the guy who writes these post titles).