Tag Archives: amreading

Pop Culture Mysteries: Informant Zero – (Part 4)


Part 1     Part 2     Part 3



The doors opened and we found ourselves in small, unfinished cement room, barely big enough to lie down in.  A neon ceiling light bulb flickered on and off, providing spotty illumination.

A random goon in a suit with an expressionless face and sunglasses was waiting for us.  He guarded a single door.shutterstock_229115299

“Names, please.”

I looked behind me.

“There isn’t exactly a big line of people waiting to get in.”

An expressionless voice to go with the face.

“Names, please.”

Delilah intervened.

“Detective Jacob R. Hatcher, P.I. and Delilah K. Donnelly, Esquire.  We have an appointment with Informant Zero.”

The goon’s eyes perused a single sheet of paper on a clip board.

“Hmmm.  Yes.  Your names are on the list.”

“Finally,”  I said.  “Can you let us in already?”

“One moment please,”  the goon said as he looked toward the ceiling, where a speaker was mounted next to a video camera.  “Boss?”

The broadcasted response came in the form of an artificial, demonic sounding robotic voice.  It was low, deep and menacing, the stuff that nightmares are made of.  It filled the room and echoed off the walls.

“Good evening Mr. Hatcher.  Ms. Donnelly.”

“Informant Zero?”  Delilah asked.

“Indeed.  I apologize for the cloak and dagger treatment, but it is necessary to ensure my safety.  If you’ll indulge me, Ms. Donnelly, I’ll ask the final question our mutual contact provided you.”

“Of course.”


He really leaned into that “why.”

“Why…did the swallow wear a sweater?”

Delilah broke out the note again.

“Because,”  she read.   “It’s very chilly this time of year in Colorado.”

Informant Zero was not impressed.

“Shoot them.”

I drew Betsy and had her pointed at the chump before he could get his hand on his automatic.

“WAIT!”  Delilah cried.

It was the loudest I’d ever heard her speak before.

“Capistrano!  Because it’s very chilly this time of year in Capistrano!”

There was a pause.

“You may enter,”  Informant Zero said.

“Quite a blunder, Ms. Donnelly,”  I said.

I gave her a hard time but in truth, it was the first mistake I ever witnessed her make as well.

shutterstock_24224476“It’s not my fault the contact’s writing is atrocious.”

“Personal responsibility, Ms. Donnelly.  Personal responsibility.”

“My man will take Betsy, Mr. Hatcher.”

Interesting.  He knew my revolver’s name.

I took my finger off the trigger and forked her over.

“I’m going to need her back.”

The goon nodded.

“And your cell phones, please.”  Informant Zero said.

Delilah handed hers over.  I followed.

“That you can keep for all I care.”

The goon ran a metal wand up and down my body.

“What the hell is that thing?”  I asked.  “Some kind of weird sex toy?”

“Metal detector,”  the goon said as he ran the wand over Delilah.  “It finds hidden weapons.”

“Better check her twice then, Jack.  She’s packing some serious heat.”

Delilah shook her head.  I assumed she was once again thinking, “not the right time.”

The lady lawyer handed over her clutch and all of our items were secured in a lock box.

The door buzzed and we were in.

It was a small, dimly lit office.  Sitting at the desk was a shadowy figure with a hood pulled down low over his head.  The lighting was such that it was impossible to make out his face.

“Please be seated.”

He was still using the voice changer.

“Ms. Donnelly, rumors of your beauty do not do you justice.”

A courteous “thank you” was Ms. Donnelly’s reply.

“And Mr. Hatcher, your appearance is just as refined and ruggedly handsome as described in the tales on the Bookshelf Battle Blog.”

I looked over to my blonde confidant.

“Is this another one of those generation gap things I don’t get?  Do men just hit on other men at random now and I’m expected to nod and smile politely?”

Informant Zero laughed.  Fun fact.  Robotic voice changed laughter nearly pops your eardrums.  Delilah and I both reached for our ears.

“No, no, Mr. Hatcher.  I assure you my interest here is strictly of a business nature.”

“Yes,”  Delilah said.  “I must say, Mr. Battler was quite intrigued by your proposal.”

Battler was in on this?  Why was I always the last to know about these things?

“As he should be,”  Informant Zero said.

A cloud of smoke emerged from the shadow man’s facial area and I could see the feint red glow of a cigarette grow brighter as he inhaled again.

“I have the power to grow his website’s reader count far beyond a paltry 3.5, though that’s not an offer I’d make to just anyone.”

Copyright (c) 2015.  Bookshelf Q. Battler.  All Rights Reserved.

Images courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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Pop Culture Mysteries: Informant Zero (Part 3)


Part 1      Part 2  


After leading us through a door and down a dark hallway, the cowboy screeched his Segway to a halt in front of an elevator.

He pushed the down button.

“Here, buckaroos, is where I leave you.”shutterstock_239019796

“OK then,”  I said.  “Happy trails, pardnah.'”

“Before I go…the rules.”

“The rules!”  the cowboy repeated loudly.  “You’ll follow them to the letter if you don’t want to get thrown out of here.  Rule Number One.  Do not ask Informant Zero his name.  If he wanted you to know, he wouldn’t refer to himself as Informant Zero.”

“Makes sense.”

“Rule Number Two.  Do not touch Informant Zero in any way, shape, or form.”

“But I like touching shadowy underworld characters,”  I said.  “It’s a condition.  I can’t help it.”

Delilah tugged on my sleeve.  “Now is not the time, Mr. Hatcher.”

The cowboy squinted at me, attempting to discern whether or not I was joking.  Obviously I was, but he let it go.

“Rule Number Three, do not remove Informant Zero’s disguise.  He takes a number of precautions to hide himself from the world, and he needs to keep it that way.”

“Kinda redundant, Jack,”  I said.  “Touching him would be required to reveal him.  You could have stopped at number two.”


This guy was like a ticking time bomb, the slightest provocation set him off.

His comeback didn’t even make sense, but I didn’t want to rile him up any further.

“We like Informant Zero,”  the cowboy said.  “We want to keep him around.  People are only allowed to conduct business with him when they follow the rules, capiche?”

“I don’t know what you’re trying to…”

Another tug on my sleeve from Delilah.

“We capiche,” she assured our guide.  “We very much capiche, thank you Mr. Redacted.”

“All right then,”  the cowboy said as the elevator dinged.  “As long as you kemo sabes capiche.”

The doors opened and we stepped inside.

“Enjoy your visit and tell old IZ I said hello.”

Just before the doors closed, I snuck in a, “Go suck some cottage cheese ya’ sick bastard.”

And just before our descent, I heard a fist pound the metal doors, followed by an, “OW!!!  SON OF A…”

“Mr. Hatcher, that was quite uncalled for.”

“I’m sorry Ms. Donnelly.  I just didn’t like the cut of his jib.”

“Well you’re going to have to get used to jibs of all different shapes and sizes if you’re going to make it in this world.  The days when everyone marches to the tune of the same drummer are long gone.”

“Tell me about it.”

Like a trip to Veracruz, it was a long ride.

As we continued to plummet deep below the Earth’s surface, Delilah piped up again.

“Mr. Hatcher, were the olden days really that good?”

“Not at all,”  I said.  “Everyone foisted their personal beliefs on you and threatened to ruin you if you didn’t comply.”

“So why are you in such a hurry to get away from the present?”

I didn’t skip a beat.

“Because everyone foists their personal beliefs on me and threatens to ruin me if I don’t comply.”

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Ask the Alien – 8/9/15 – A.H. Browne – Do Aliens Still Probe?

By:  Alien Jones, Intergalactic Correspondent

Plus 5, carry the one = get some more roughage in your diet.

Plus 5, carry the one = get some more roughage in your diet.

Greetings Earth losers!

Earth losers, this is a very special edition of Ask the Alien.

Sometimes societies do things that are wrong and don’t realize those actions are wrong until years later.

It’s happened on your planet.  Europeans arrived in the New World, declared it to be theirs, ignoring the natives’ protests of, “Hey, guys, we’re right here.  We can totally hear you.”

To put it in perspective, imagine how P.O.’d you’d be if you were relaxing in your living room, watching some human sporting event, enjoying a beer and a pizza and out of nowhere, a European explorer plunks a flag down on your barca lounger and announces your crap is his crap now.

But I digress.

Aliens have their own sordid past and a question from science fiction author A.H. Browne of “Pouring my Art Out” causes this outer space traveler to rehash a dark time in my species’ history:

Actually, my first question was going to be; “Uh, you aren’t going to probe us, are you?” You jumped the gun on that one.

Indeed, I’ve addressed this difficult topic before, but since only 3.5 people read Bookshelf Q. Battler’s nonsense, it’s worth repeating.

Yes, it’s true.  In the past, and for many, many years, our Supreme Overlord, the Mighty Potentate, commissioned a series of abductions, which were carried out as follows:

  • Kidnap humans
  • Insert probing devices in hind quarters
  • Retrieve data on what makes humans tick, how they function, and what they had for breakfast
  • Return humans to Earth.
  • Spritz them with gin so NOBODY believes them.
  • In fact, to make sure nobody believes them, we usually took eccentric folk in the first place.  You know that guy at the bar who’s always babbling about how the government is reading his mind and cats are actually spies that report all of your activities to the CIA?  Yeah, we’d usually scoop him up in a heartbeat.

Was probing our finest hour?

No, but we learned a lot about you and after 10,000 years of experience, we offer, in the name of peace and putting this sad chapter behind us, the full summation of our probing knowledge:

Eat more fiber.  Seriously.  You’re all backed up worse than I95 after a semi-truck rollover in the eastbound express lane.

Further, a public service announcement:

The Mighty Potentate cancelled the probing project over a thousand years ago.  There has not been an officially sanctioned probing expedition since medieval times.  If you want to know why the dark ages were full of angry people who were constantly hacking each other to pieces, it’s because they were so angry that we were probing the bejesus out of them.

But that’s all done now.  Once we reached the limit of all possible data available through lodging roving robotic devices into human nether regions, the MP put the kibosh on the whole deal.  After all, no one wants to waste their time watching something they’ve already seen.  It’s like MASH.  Why are the reruns still on the air?  We get it, Klinger.  You’re wearing that dress in the hopes the brass will send you home.

However, we do have some young aliens who don’t know any better.  Your human teenagers range from 13-19.  Our aliens have their young and dumb period between 100-1,000.  I always say, “Boy, I hope no one thinks ill of me just because of some stupid stuff I did when I was 999 and didn’t know any better.”

Anyway, our younguns often get rowdy and their idea of a fun Saturday night includes:

  • Flying to Earth
  • Probing humans
  • Teleporting cows to different locations, thus confusing the cow and the human farmer who’s left wondering where his cow went.
  • Crop circles (the Mighty Potentate had once ordered these markings to show our shock troops where to land, but the hostile takeover was cancelled once your planet invented reality TV, thus proving to the MP that your species wouldn’t be a welcome addition to his empire.)

In short, if an alien demands to probe you, he does this without the Mighty Potentate’s blessing, and thus you may feel free to defend yourself from insertion of a Probe-o-matic.

Usually, all you have to do is state to the alien intruder, “I’m telling the Mighty Potentate on you!” and they’ll skeedaddle.

Ornery aliens always wise up once the possibility of vaporization is on the table.

Now that you humans no longer have to fear probing, might I suggest that you use your new found free time to read one of Browne’s books?  For example, a lazy, opinionated janitor at an intergalactic Texas saloon becomes an unlikely hero during a spaceship hijacking in Saloon at the Edge of Nowhere.

Browne seems to have a good sense of humor, so the 3.5 of you who enjoy BQB’s scribblings will probably like this book too.

(Did I really get through an article about probing and not make a Browne/brown pun?  I’m slipping.)

Alien Jones is the Intergalactic Correspondent for the Bookshelf Battle Blog, on a mission to raise Earth’s collective intelligence levels one question at a time. Do you have a question for the Esteemed Brainy One? Tweet it to @bookshelfbattle on Twitter, leave it in the comments on bookshelfbattle.com, or stop by Bookshelf Battle on Google Plus. If he likes your question, he might even promote your book, blog, other project in his answer.

Image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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Pop Culture Mysteries: Fan Dime Drops – For the 3.5 – (Part 4 – Conclusion)


Part 1      Part 2       Part 3


“A third and final question, Mr. Hatcher.”

“Lay it on me, Ms. Donnelly.”

DELILAH:  Java Davis, The Road Trip Writer wants to know why there were so many characters named Johnny in old timey films?

I drummed my fingers along the edge of the table, stalling for time as Delilah stared me down, certain I’d been stumped.

“Davis,”  I said.  “Java Davis.  Word on the street is he’s the nineteenth scribe to take a whirl on Mr. Battler’s blog.  Must be a big time player to to rake in that kind of action.”

Delilah folded her hands and leaned in.shutterstock_239019775

“Do you give up?”

I rose to my feet and paced about, practically wearing a hole in the library’s carpet.

It came to me.

“They didn’t have self-publishing in those days,”  I explained.  “Establishment writers were free to be hacks.  They dished out the slop and the audiences ate it up like ice cream because unlike today’s discerning entertainment connoisseur, they didn’t know any better.”

The lady lawyer returned the dossier to her briefcase and pointed a gloved finger my way.

“You certainly have a talent, Mr. Hatcher.”

“Deduction is but one of my many talents, Ms. Donnelly,” I said as I raised my right eyebrow in a shifty manner.  “Perhaps you’ll let me show you my others sometime.”

The blonde rested a hand on my shoulder.  The gesture was more than welcome.

“Perhaps not.”

Once again, she walked out of my life, a brief distraction from an otherwise lonely existence.

I was sad to see her go, but what a pleasure to watch her leave.

For a brief moment, I was lost in my dreams of blonde bliss, only to be distracted by an old bag of wrinkles.

“You’re going to stare a hole in that behind,”  Agnes said.

“It’s the little things in life, Ag,”  I said, still gawking at Delilah from the study room doorway  as she waited for the elevator.  “Put a cork in it and let me enjoy it, will you?”

“Is that your girlfriend?”

“Nah,”  I said.  “The man upstairs would never be so good to me.  Just someone I work with.”

Agnes was taken aback.

“Work?  You found a job!  Congratulations!  What are you doing?”

“Already told you.  I’m a highly skilled private investigator who tracks down questions to answers about pop culture posed by an anonymous blogger.  She’s his lawyer who brings me the cases.”

The old gal squinted and stared at me like I was from outer space.

“You’re serious?”

“Like a heart attack.”

“You weren’t lying?”

“Ma Hatcher didn’t raise a liar, ma’am.”

Agnes took a seat.  The news that I actually was a private eye threw her for a loop.

“Between the idea that that woman would be your girlfriend or that that woman works with you for a blog that you solve pop culture mysteries for, I have to admit the latter is more plausible.”

“Thanks Ag,”  I said.  “Thanks a lot.  Class over?”

“Yes,”  Agnes replied.  “One of my students had chest pains so I called it a day early.”

“Think I will too.”

“Oh Jake,”  Agnes said.  “I’m sorry.  I offended you didn’t I?”

“Nothing sticks to this gumshoe.  It all rolls off, like water off a duck’s back.”

“Have you made a move yet?”

I took a seat on the other side of the table.  My relationship with Agnes was becoming weird.  Technically, I was older than she was, but she didn’t know that, and she was quickly becoming my impromptu mother.

I think Ma Hatcher would have been ok with it.

“I’ve made more moves on her than a world champion chess player, but my bishop isn’t going anywhere near that queen.”

“Never say never.  Herb had to ask me a bunch of times before I came around.  I’ll never forget it, there was this one time we were at the park, and he got down on one knee and the birds were singing and…”

I stretched, yawned, and checked my pocket watch.

“Great Liberace’s piano, Agnes!  Look at the time.  I’d best skeedaddle.  Take it easy, kid.”

“Oh sure.  I listen to you, you don’t listen to me.  Just like my son.”

She sniffed the air.  Sniff.  Sniff.  Sniff.

“Have you been smoking in here?  This is a PUBLIC building you jackass!”


Copyright (c) Bookshelf Q. Battler.  All Rights Reserved.

Images courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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Free Promo Do-Over – Free Promo Saturday

Oh alright.

Promote anything you want in the comments below all day Saturday…

and you don’t have to swear fealty to the Mighty Potentate at all.

Just don’t tell him I said that.  I don’t want to be vaporized.

(Those who do hail the Mighty Potentate will get a promotional tweet as well though.)



Gee whiz, asking your 3.5 readers to pledge allegiance to an alien overlord goes over like a lead balloon around here.

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Free Promo Friday (With a Catch)

Attention Pitiful Humans,

Know ye, Earth creatures, that I, the Mighty Potentate, declare the following:

  • This Friday, July 31 and this Friday only…
  • You may plug whatever you want to plug in the comments section below.  Books.  Blogs.  Whatever.
  • Bookshelf Q. Battler reserves the right to not allow it, especially if you’re book is titled “Hooray for Hitler!”
  • Share a link to your books, blogs.  Share a blurb what it’s all about…


At the end of your comment, you must swear fealty to the Mighty Potentate.

A simple, “ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY POTENTATE!” shall suffice, but feel free to get creative.



For those 3.5 readers just tuning in, the Mighty Potentate is the Supreme and Unquestionable Ruler of A Planet the Name of Which is None of Your Beeswax.

He of Great Potentostitude is the boss of Alien Jones, author of “Ask the Alien.”  The MP has declared Bookshelf Q. Battler to be the chosen one, the individual whose exceptional fiction writing skills will surely prevent reality television from sweeping across the universe.

Boy howdy, does the Mighty Potentate hate Reality TV.  Don’t even get him started.

Thus, the MP has assigned AJ to aid BQB in the promotion of his blog.  Alien Jones cannot rest until Bookshelf Q. Battler is a famous writer.

So go forth, promote your stuff in the comments below, and remember, you have to say, “All Hail the Mighty Potentate” or some reasonable facsimile thereof.

Remember, a column that plugs you as an author and your books and blogs is possible if you ask Alien Jones a question.

Image courtesy of openclipart.org

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Pop Culture Mysteries Gets Back to Basics

Read the Fine Print Whenever Ms. Donnelly is Involved.

Read the Fine Print Whenever Ms. Donnelly is Involved.

Happy Friday, 3.5 Readers.

Bookshelf Q. Battler here.

Among my many roles as Blogger-in-Chief of a blog read by 3.5 readers, I’m the boss of Pop Culture Detective Jake Hatcher, a hardboiled 1950’s private eye who sniffs out the answers to my questions about Hollywood and the entertainment industry.

Jake and I have never met in person.  Rather, I prefer to dispatch all my inquiries through Attorney Delilah K. Donnelly, Lead Counsel for the Bookshelf Battle Blog.

It’s kind of a Charlie’s Angels situation.  I ask the questions.  Delilah delivers them.  Jake hunts down the answers.  By keeping Delilah as a buffer, I’m able to retain Jake’s services and he’s not able to strangle me until I spill the beans to the secrets I’m keeping from him:

How did he fall asleep in 1955 and wake up in 2014 and more importantly, how can he get back to his own time?

Yes, I can help him with both questions, but I’m stringing him along until he’s solved 100 cases.

Feel free to thank me, 3.5 readers.  Sure, many bloggers put in a lot of work for their fans, but few are willing to extort a 1950s private investigator for your reading pleasure.

He’s gotten a bit carried away lately.  He’s starting writing down recollections of his adventures of a gumshoe.  I think they’re all interesting and worth sharing.

Two of his ideas in particular I hope to turn into self-published books, the profits of which I’ll keep because, you know, when Attorney Donnelly hands you a contract, you’d better read the fine print before signing.

Sorry Jake.

Anyway, the core concepts of this series:

1)  I have questions about popular culture.

2)  Referring to those questions as, “Pop Culture Mysteries” is funny.

3)  A 1950’s hard-boiled film noir style detective complete with trench coat and fedora tracking explaining the answers to these questions in traditional/stereotypical noir style (i.e. longwinded exaggeration and lots of ridiculous comparisons) is funnier.

Planning of novels set in Jake’s world are underway, but before the noble trio of Jake, Delilah, and myself do anything, we need to get a few more Pop Culture Mystery Questions answered and into the can.

Jake needs a fan base before he writes a couple of novels.  Otherwise, who’d buy them?

And how could I cut Jake out of the deal and use that sweet, sweet Amazon moolah to buy myself a Porsche?

Ah, don’t worry, 3.5 readers.

Behind that ice queen exterior, Attorney Donnelly often serves as the moral compass of this blog.

I’m sure she’ll twist my arm and convince me to share some of those book profits with our resident sleuth.

(I’ll need to keep some of it though just to pay Delilah’s latest legal bill though.  Sheesh!  Talk about billable hours!)

Don’t worry.  Jake will get back to regaling you all with The Wrong Guy, the story about how he tracked down the killer of his buddy Lou the liquor store owner.

But first, I need to put him on a more pressing case:

The Nicki Minaj Video Music Award (VMA) Snub – Does Her Complaint Have Merit?

Before Jake pounds the pavement on the trail of this caper, I’d like to take an informal poll:

What say you, 3.5 readers?  Is Nicki right?  Did she lose out because, as she tweeted, only certain “kinds” of artists get recognized?  Or, you know, should she just take all the money she made off of Anaconda and be happy?

Sour grapes or a star treated badly?

And what do you think about Taylor Swift and Katy Perry jumping into the fracas?

You tell me, 3.5.  You tell me.

Image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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Pop Culture Mysteries: The Wrong Guy – Part 10

Previously on Pop Culture Mysteries…

And now the Pop Culture Mysteries continue…

The Cotton Candy Alligator.  What a place.


I’m not sure if crabs are airborne, but I felt itchy as soon as I walked through the double-doors.

The scent of body sweat and cheap perfume wafted up my nostrils as I was unceremoniously greeted by a bouncer who looked like a gorilla stuffed into an off-the-rack suit.

“Twenty bucks.”

Inflation’s a bitch.  In my day, you could oggle exotic dancers for less than what you people pay for coffee today.

I wanted to debate the point with the goon, but he didn’t appear to be the talkative type.

I retrieved an Andrew Jackson portrait out of Karen’s envelope and handed it over.  The mug lifted up the rope and let me in.

What a scene.  The room was lousy with tawdry, painted-up hussies and assorted deviants who preferred to pay women for their time rather than earn it through their wit and charm.

That’s not my style.  If I can’t earn a woman’s time through my wit and charm then I’d just rather be alone.

Coincidentally, I spent a lot of time alone.

It was interesting to mingle with twenty-first century folk.

“What can I get you honey?”

The barkeep was a real bodacious bimbo, face like a movie star and yet a pair of bosoms that looked like they’d been pilfered from a watermelon patch.

Breast enhancement surgery.  Nose reduction surgery.  All kinds of plastic surgery.

One of the more shocking parts of modern life for me was realizing that everyone and their mother was doling out their hard-earned cash to disreputable quacks to tinker with what God gave them.

Take what you were born with and do your best, I always say.

And I know that’s easy for me to say because, hell, I’m more handsome than Cary Grant on his best day, but still.  It just seems to me that society has devolved into a bunch of people who are preoccupied with what other people think of them, but never bother to just flat out talk to anyone anymore.

The art of “getting to know you” is dead.  Long live the age where you’re just another nameless face and if you can’t impress anyone within the first five minutes, you might as well get comfortable on the pine, because you’re going to be riding it the rest of your life.

“Nothing for me, doll.  Trying to keep my head clear.”

“There’s a two drink minimum.”

Another snow job.

“Well, I suppose if you’re going to twist my arm, sweetheart, I’ll take a whiskey straight up.”

Whatever happened to the lost art of conversation?  Barkeeps used to talk your ear off and you’d just keep buying drinks to keep the conversation going.  Everything’s so contrived now.

Suddenly, there was an uninvited posterior in my lap.  It was attached to a gal with pink hair and a skimpy red dress that barely covered her derriere.

“Hi there,”  she said in the worst attempt at a sultry voice I’d ever heard.  “My name’s Sinnamon.”


“It’s spelled with an, “S” because I’m so sinful,”  the broad whispered into my ear.

“Darlin,’ if you have to explain it, it’s not that clever.”

The barkeep returned with my shot.


Mother of God.  I forked over a ten-spot.  Karen’s envelope was getting lighter and lighter.

“Thanks for the tip baby,”  the bartender said.

I’d expected change but whatever.  If there’s one lesson I’ve learned from three marriages, it’s that arguing with a woman is pointless.

“What’s your name?”  Sinnamon asked.


I wasn’t paying attention.  I was surveying the scene trying to see if I could figure out who Karen was.

Myron the self-proclaimed Rastafarian said that Craig shacked up with a working girl named Karen.

Lou had an envelope of cash with Karen’s name on it.

Dollars to donuts both Karens were the same dame.

“Your name, honey?”  Sinnamon asked as she stared at me through a pair of big brown eyes.

I suppose most men would find that enchanting, maybe even endearing, but I was immune to feminine wiles.  That tends to happen when your first wife cheats on you with your partner and your second wife shoots you six times and leaves you for dead so she can run off with your rotten, good for nothing brother.

Women just didn’t have the power over me that they used to.  At least most women didn’t.  A classy dame like Delilah could ask me to hurl myself into the Grand Canyon and the only thing I’d ask her if I should do a back flip or a swan dive.

“Peter Lorrie,”  I said.  “I’m an actor.”

“You are?!”

Wow.  It was easy to pull that broad’s leg.

“Yes.  I always play the bad guy.  You might not recognize me as I just got eyeball reduction surgery.”

“Do you want to read my screenplay?”  Sinnamon asked as she hopped off my lap.  “It’s in my locker.  Hold on I’ll get it for you!”

A hazard of living in LA – every yahoo within the city limits has a screenplay they’re pushing.  And when I say “everybody,” I mean everybody.  The bus driver, the barber, the waitress at the diner, the kid that fetches your burger at the drive-thru, the guy that holds the door open for you when you visit a fancy building – everyone of them is trying to break into the business.

On any given day, a visitor to the City of Angels is in danger of having approximately sixty-five screenplays thrust upon him.

“No,”  I said as I downed my shot.  “No, no.  That’s ok doll.”

“Are you sure?”  Sinnamon asked.  “It’ll just take a minute.”

“Yeah,”  I said.  “I’ve been outta’ the business for awhile and I’d rather you wait and find someone who can give your story some extra oomph.  Surely a lady of your obvious talent deserves nothing less.”

Sinnamon put her hand on my shoulder.  A little tear popped out of her eye.

“That’s literally the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me in here.”

“Then I feel sorry for you.”

She was back on the lap.  I get most men like that but all I could think about was how many other laps she’d sat on that day and how many lap-to-butt germs was she dropping off onto my lap.  I’d have to ask Ms. Tsang to starch my trousers as soon as I got home.

“I like you, Peter.”

“Can’t say as I blame you.”

“You know I don’t tell many guys this but my real name is Ferrari.”

Ferrari.  They had those in my day too.  Fast cars but everyone wants to drive them and dump them as soon as they get the gas bill. Like a mini-van that gets you from point a to point b, I preferred my women to be dependable and reliable.

“Listen sister,”  I said.  “This aint’ my first go-round in a jiggle joint.”

“Excuse me?”

“There’s no excuse for you,”  I said.  “You think I just fell off the turnip truck?  That ‘tell a guy a first fake name then tell him a second fake name is your real name’ is the oldest trick in the book, see?  Designed solely for the purposes of extracting dinero from the pockets of mouth breathing slobs you dames dupe into thinking you give a damn about them.”

“Well,”  Sinnamon/Ferrari said as she tickled my arm gently and batted her eyelashes.  “Did it work?”


“So you don’t want to go to the champagne room?”

“The champagne room?  What the hell’s that?”

Sinnamon, oh what the hell, “Ferrari” whispered some naughtyness into my ear, the kind of foul language that would of made a nun blush.

“Really?”  I asked.

Ferrari nodded.

“How do you…”

She whispered the answer.

“With your…and your…on my?”

Another whisper.

“I’m no doctor but that seems rather unhygienic if you ask me.”

Whisper whisper.

“How much would that whole hullabaloo set a fella back?”

I only asked for curiosity purposes.  We private dicks are nothing if not inquisitive.

Ferrari whispered the price tag in my ear.

“Get out of town on the next train to Juarez!”  I shouted, a bit too loudly as I caused heads to turn all over the joint.  People were able to hear me even over the crappy house music.

“What’re you, smuggling conflict diamonds in there or something?”

The gal smooched me on the cheek.

“OK baby if you’re broke then you’re just wasting my time.  I’ll see you later.”

“Hold on doll,”  I said as I pulled another twenty out of Karen’s envelope.

“A tip?”  the dancer asked as she reached for it.  “That’s sweet.”

“Nah,”  I said.  “If I was going to give you a tip, sweetheart, I’d tell you to call your parents and apologize for your life choices.  I want to buy some information.”

“What do you want to know?”

“Which one of these floozies is Karen?”

Copyright (c) 2015 Bookshelf Q. Battler.  All Rights Reserved.

Image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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As we head into Fourth of July Weekend, it’s time to celebrate with another episode of…POP CULTURE MYSTERIES!

JAKE: If BQB posts the next episode of Pop Culture Mysteries and you're not reading it, you'll regret it.  Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but soon...and for the rest of your life. DAME:  I doubt it.  That nimrod only has 3.5 readers.

JAKE: If BQB posts the next episode of Pop Culture Mysteries and you’re not reading it, you’ll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but soon…and for the rest of your life.
DAME: I doubt it. That nimrod only has 3.5 readers.

Jake Hatcher, Official Bookshelf Blog Private Eye, has agreed to solve 100 pop culture mysteries and submit his findings right here on bookshelfbattle.com

Need to refresh your memory? Better check out the previous episodes, see?

Pop Culture Mysteries: Enter the Blond

Pop Culture Mysteries: Case File #001: Here’s a Story (Question Answered – What happened to the original Brady Bunch spouses aka Mike’s first wife and Carol’s first husband?)

Pop Culture Mysteries:  Case File #002 – Who Shot First? (Question Answered – Han or Greedo, who shot first?)

Who better to solve a mystery than Jake Hatcher, a hardboiled film noir style detective who fell asleep in his office above an LA Chinese food restaurant in 1955, woke up in 2014, and spent a year trying to figure out what happened before Bookshelf Q. Battler’s Attorney, the delicious dish Delilah K. Donnelly, offered him the chance to make 500 smackers? (That’s a lot of dough in 1955, see?)

Do you have a question about popular culture? Is there a plot hole in your favorite TV show or movie you’d like explained? Is there a celebrity meltdown you’d like to know more about? An entertainment myth debunked?

Put Hatcher on the case!

Here’s how to drop a dime:


TWITTER – @bookshelfbattle #popculturemysteries

BQB’s Google Plus Page

Or just leave it in the comments on bookshelfbattle.com

Together, we can help Hatcher solve 100 mysteries and go back to his own time with a big bag of five dollar bills, which he will use to live like a king.

In the next episode of Pop Culture Mysteries –  How did Doc and Marty from Back to the Future know each other?

Copyright (c) Bookshelf Q. Battler 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

Film noir style old timey man and woman photo courtesy of a shutterstock.com license

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BQB and the Meaning of Life – Part 25 – Lloyd Bunson




Sally’s web search resulted in a video of an old man in a tweed coat standing in his garage next to an ejector seat just like the one Vicky and I were plummeting to our imminent demises in.

Breakout Social Media Celebrity Lloyd Bunson, Host of "Lloyd Bunson's Happy Fun Time Ejector Seat Channel."

Breakout Social Media Celebrity Lloyd Bunson, Host of “Lloyd Bunson’s Happy Fun Time Ejector Seat Channel.”

“Hello,” the old man said. “My name is Lloyd Bunson and welcome to Lloyd Bunson’s Happy Fun Time Ejector Seat Channel.”

“Wow,” Vicky said. “They have a You tube Channel for everything!”

“Over the next ninety minutes, I’m going to show you how to properly care for, maintain, weatherize, clean, and store your ejector seat,” Lloyd said. “Proper maintenance is the only way to ensure that your ejector seat will provide you with many years worth of flinging yourself out of perfectly good airplanes.”


“I’m sure you all have so many questions…”

“I can’t believe this has ten million hits,” Vicky said.

A flock of birds buzzed over our heads.

“And the big one I get all the time is, ‘Lloyd, how the heck do I deploy the parachute on my ejector seat?’”

“YES!” I shouted. “TELL US HOW LLOYD!”

“Simple,” Lloyd said. “First, reach your hand approximately one foot underneath the center of the seat like so…”

I copied what Lloyd was doing.

Vicky closed her eyes and began mumbling a prayer.

“…once you’re under there, you’ll want to feel around for a string.”

“Got it, Lloyd!” I said. “Now what? For Christ’s Sake, hurry up, man!”

“Go ahead and give that string a good old yank…”

I yanked the string. Nothing happened.

“Are you screwing with me, Lloyd?!!!”

“After you’ve yanked the string,” Lloyd explained. “Look to your left and you’ll find that by pulling the string, you’ve opened up a compartment containing a green button and a red button….”

“Push the green button,” I said, moving my finger over it.

“Whatever you do, DO NOT push the green button,” Lloyd said. “Push the red button.”

“Seriously?” I asked.

“Seriously,” Lloyd said. “Fun story, the engineer who designed these contraptions was totally color blind.  So go ahead and hit that red button.”

I hit the red button. Nothing.

“You suck Lloyd!”

“Now you’ll find that on the right side of the seat, a blue lever has popped out,” Lloyd said.

Vicky looked at the side of her end of the seat.

“A blue lever!”

“Be sure to yank the lever up,” Lloyd said. “Because if you push it down, your seat will break apart and you will all surely die.”

“Why would they even build a feature like that into an ejector seat?” I asked.

“That’s what you get for buying a World War II surplus ejector seat that was built by Nazis,” Lloyd said.

Vicky yanked the lever up. A bright red parachute exploded out of the back of the seat. We immediately slowed down and breathed a sigh of relief.

“Damn Nazis!” I said.

“Now then,” Lloyd said. “Let’s talk about how to properly wax your ejector seat…”

Half of you looked up to see if there actually is a “Lloyd Bunson Happy Fun Time Ejector Seat Channel” didn’t you?  Admit it.

BQB and the Meaning of Life is ejecting for now, but the story will continue after an all new episode of Pop Culture Mysteries!

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