PREVIOUSLY ON POP CULTURE MYSTERIES…
Part 1 – Hatcher is on the hunt for hooch…
Part 2 – …but he “serves” a stick-up man instead.
AND NOW THE POP CULTURE MYSTERIES CONTINUE…
Funny thing about La Orina de Serpiente.
Turns out you don’t buy it. You only rent it.
I’d parked my posterior on a city bench and helped myself to half a bottle. Lou wasn’t joking about that dish rag flavor. After a half-hour of wallowing in my sorrows, I felt leakier than a German U-Boat after a date with Admiral Nimitz.
I ducked into a dark alleyway, invited my John Thomas to step outside, and relieved myself behind a dumpster.
I’ve seen my fair share of dark alleys in my day, but this one was positively the pits. Junk strewn everywhere, a moldy couch with a rat scurrying around the cushions, and a pair of beaten up chrome hubcaps propped up against a rusty dumpster.
I was surprised no one had stolen them yet. Come to think of it, they were probably jacked off of some poor unsuspecting citizen’s vehicle and stashed there for safekeeping.
My moods have a tendency to swing like a pendulum when I’m on a bender. Most of the time I feel lower than an ant competing in a limbo competition. However, on that particular night I was feeling giddy.
“Pop Culture Mysteries.” Five bucks for every entertainment related case I solve for a nerd.
Maybe Delilah was right. Maybe I was better than this.
When the LAPD and I parted ways like a couple of ships passing in the night, there were plenty of naysayers who said I’d end up on the skids.
I showed them all and I showed them good. In its heyday, “Hatcher Investigations” was the premiere private eye firm in the City of Angels. I owed most of that to the organizational prowess of good old Connie, my former secretary and the third ex-Mrs. Hatcher.
Everyone from the lowliest mook to captains of industry ponied up the dough to purchase my sleuthing skills and by gum, if only I’d clean myself up and give the suds the old heave-ho, I could rebuild what I’d lost and become a respectable member of society again.
I’d just lectured that wannabe stick-up man about not ignoring a second chance and here I was giving short shrift to my own.
Sure, 2015 was a time that made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever but maybe I could embrace it, learn about it, and eventually call it my own.
Hell, maybe I could even turn myself into the kind of guy that could turn the head of one Ms. Delilah K. Donnelly.
I was so excited I broke out into song.
“Camptown races, sing this song! Doo da! Doo da!”
What do you want? No, I wasn’t about to break out into one of those foul mouthed rap songs you folks seem to love nowadays. Buncha grown men talking in rhyme about dames with corpulent derrieres. The classics suited me just fine, thank you very much.
“Camptown races, sing this song…all the doo da…DACK!”
My good mood was a goner and so was I when a hand wrapped around my mouth and pulled me backward. I felt a sharp pain as my throat opened up and blood gushed out of my carotid like an Old Faithful geyser blast.
The hand let me go and in vain, I spun around to confront my attacker only to fall flat on my back.
I was getting weaker and weaker. I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflective surface of one of the hubcaps. My throat looked like a pile of butchered meat ready to be sold for a buck a pound. That was a good deal in my day.
I could barely make out my assailant’s face until he leaned in closer and pulled his hood back.
There he was. Grinning at me like an idiot.
“What do you know?” he said as he retracted a switchblade. “Looks like I was the wrong guy after all.”
Everything went black and I was able to feel the kid rooting around in my pockets for a few seconds before I lost consciousness.
Looking back on it now, I wasn’t sure what infuriated me more: that after a lifetime spent beating out Nazis and gangsters, I’d allowed a nobody to get one up on me, that I was left to die in a puddle of my own Orina, or that I’d yet to return my tallywacker to its natural habitat.
Copyright (c) Bookshelf Q. Battler 2015. All Rights Reserved.
Image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.