Tag Archives: back to the future

Happy Back to the Future Day – October 21, 2015

Hello 3.5 readers.

Happy Back to the Future Day!  Yes, today is the day that Marty and Doc visited in Back to the Future Part II.

Much has been discussed about what the film got wrong and right when it comes to predictions of what life in 2015 would be like.  Suffice to say, until pizza hydrators and flying cars are invented, the world will pale in comparison to what 1980’s folk envisioned for the future.

So I won’t get into that.  Rather, let me ask you a question.

Have you ever wondered how Doc and Marty met?

I mean, seriously.  A teenage boy and a crazy haired mad scientist.  What a combo.  The first film starts and they already know each other but we’re never told how they came to meet in the first place.

So intensely puzzled was I by this conundrum that I put Jake, my very own pop culture detective of Pop Culture Mysteries fame on the case.

CHECK IT OUT HERE for the answer as to how history’s greatest time traveling duo met.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Pop Culture Mysteries – Case File #003 – Relationships (Completed Case File)

5 bucks a case?  I need to renegotiate my contract.

Ever the pop culture fanatic, my boss, the exceptionally poindexterish Bookshelf Q. Battler, was a fan of a series of science fiction films about a teenage boy who travels through time with the aid of an elderly mad scientist with crazy hair.

Fine flicks to be sure, but the question on the boss’ mind?

How the hell did these cats know each other?

Most movies give you at least an inkling about how the main characters met, but this secret was tougher to crack than a titanium walnut.

The patented Jake Hatcher finesse was going to be needed for this one. Luckily, it was always in stock.

Part 1 – BQB’s attorney, the dazzling debutante Delilah K. Donnelly might have been the apple of my eye, but I was clearly the gum stuck under her shoe.  I hoped her late night visit was a sign she was hungry for a heaping helping Hatcher of hash browns.

Part 2 – Speaking of relationships, I reveal to the 3.5 readers of this site how my landlady, Ms. Tsang and I met…a long, long time ago.

Part 3 –  Agnes the Librarian does my homework again for me.  I ought to split the five bucks with her but…I’ve got expenses.

Part 4 – Like so much laundry, I hang up the research and figure out what’s dry and what’s all wet.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Pop Culture Mysteries – Case File #003 – Relationships (Part 4 – Conclusion)


PART 1 – A late night visit from Ms. Donnelly

PART 2 – A later arrival by Ms. Tsang

PART 3 – Once again, our resident gumshoe has Agnes the Librarian do his homework for him.


The pages of research that Agnes had printed out for me sat on my desk, pieces of of a puzzle that I needed to sort and put together if I was ever going to make heads or tails of this mess.

Bookshelf Q. Battler’s question needed to be answered:

How did Doc Brown and Marty McFly know each other in Back to the Future?


Doc Brown and Marty McFly weren’t two individuals who would hang out together under normal circumstances, that’s for sure.

“What’s a jiggawatt?”

DOC BROWN – Elderly wild haired scientist.  A genius to be sure and yet not all of his brain cylinders were firing at once when it came to mental stability.  What kind of a man makes a deal to build a bomb for Libyan terrorists with the intention of hoodwinking them and stealing their plutonium to use for his time machine?  I haven’t decided if that move made him certifiably bonkers, the owner of a big pair of brass cajones, or both.

MARTY MCFLY – Popular 1980s kid.  Liked trucks, music and his pretty girlfriend.  Doesn’t actually appear to be all that interested in science.


Not much.  The first film begins with the two already knowing each other.  Marty’s family don’t appear to know much or care about his relationship with Doc Brown.  There’s never any indication or clue as to how a teenage boy came to be the acquaintance of a mad scientist.


#1- They Were Friends

It may be hard to believe for a generation that’s glued to their beep boop machines, and their Facebooks and Twitters and social netwhatevers but there was a time when people actually walked around their neighborhood and got to know one another.

Even harder for you to believe is that there was a time when people actually gave a crap about each other.  You ever heard of the saying, “It takes village to raise a child?”  Used to apply.  Back in the day, parents would get reports on their kids from the teacher, the bus driver, the milk man, the barber, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, literally everyone who spotted the kid walking around town would notify the parents if the kid was acting like a jerk.

And more surprising to you folks is the fact that the parents would usually punish the kid appropriately rather than sue the adult reporter for offending them.

Times sure have changed.  There used to be a day when a kid could walk around with reckless abandon but today a youngster who does that risks having his face end up on the side of a milk carton.  (What, they don’t do the milk carton thing anymore?)

In simpler times, kids would knock on the neighbor’s door to say hello and they’d actually come back alive and well.  There were whole television shows about it.  Dennis the Menace was a late 1950’s/early 1960’s show about a boy who kept pestering his curmudgeonly neighbor Mr. Wilson, only for the lonely and childless Mr. Wilson to occasionally note that he appreciated the young lad’s friendship despite the hijinx that transpired whenever Dennis was around.

Hell, there used to even be a show on Nickelodeon called Mr. Wizard in which random kids would just stumble into a scientist’s house and conduct experiments with him.

And Mr. Rogers? He began each show by inviting the neighbor kids into his house with a “Won’t you please, won’t you please, won’t you be my neighbor?  Hi neighbor.”

And you know what happened back then?  Nothing.  Dennis the Menace returned to his parents no worse for wear, Mr. Wizard’s students returned to their homes with minds full of knowledge and Mr. Roger’s neighbors returned to the neighborhood, their heads full of stories and wonder.

Shows where kids and adults befriend each other have understandably gone extinct due to a multitude of news reports about adults doing evil, unspeakable things to children. As a lawman, I understand.  I trust no one and if I had a kid, I wouldn’t let it out of my sight for a second, let alone allow it to form a friendship with some random adult person.   There’s just too many freaks and weirdos out there today.

But keep in mind the 1980’s, like my own time in the 1950’s, was a less suspicious time period and it would not have been out of the ordinary back then for a teenager to befriend a mad scientist.  Today, Marty’s parents would probably call the cops on Doc Brown and file a restraining order.

Doc and Marty were pals to be sure, but that can’t be the end of it.

#2 – Employee/Employer

Could Doc Brown have hired Marty to help him out?  He was working on a lot of complicated experiments. Building a time machine isn’t a one man job.  It dawned on me maybe Doc gave Marty a few bucks to help him tote his plutonium and lug his capacitors and so forth.

The smoking gun that put this case to bed was right in front of my nose.  In an article on movieline.com, it is reported that Back to the Future co-writer Bob Gale has stated there was a backstory that never made it into the films.  Apparently, when Marty was 13 or 14, after hearing rumors that Doc Brown was a lunatic crackpot, Marty snuck into his lab, was in awe of all the gadgets and gizmos he found and Doc Brown decided to give Marty a part-time job helping out with the experiments.


I’m going to go with #1 with a side of #2 (coincidentally, my favorite order at Tsang’s China Palace.)

Marty was Doc Brown’s employee.  We don’t know how much moolah Marty made off the gig, but it makes sense.  Marty wasn’t a nerd and since nerds weren’t that accepted long ago, the movie probably would have tanked had Marty been some kind of geek who actually enjoyed learning about science from Doc.  Instead, Marty was presented as a cool kid, the kid that kids watching the movie wanted to be like.  A kid like that is only going to get interested in science if there’s money involved.

Still, there’s no doubt that a friendship was there as well.  Doc and Marty save each others’ hides throughout the film trilogy and a person doesn’t usually stick his neck out for another fella unless he cares.


Pop Culture Mysteries – Copyright (c) Bookshelf Q. Battler 2015.  All Rights Reserved.

Images courtesy of a shutterstock.com license

Got a lead on a Pop Culture Mystery?  Drop a dime.  Tweet to @bookshelfbattle  #popculturemysteries or leave it in the comments on this blog.  BQB will dispatch Attorney Donnelly to deliver your inquiry to Detective Hatcher posthaste.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pop Culture Mysteries – Case File #003 – Relationships (Part 3)


Part 1 – Attorney Donnelly visits Jake at an ungodly hour.  Ms. Tsang and Ernie arrive a little after that.

Part 2 – How do Jake and Ms. Tsang know each other?


“I don’t get it,”  I said as Agnes switched off the library’s movie playing thingamabob.

“What’s not to get?”  Agnes asked.  “It was a movie.  It was fun.  Now it’s over.”

It’s a movie.  It was fun.  Now it’s over.

Agnes the Librarian, Champion Shusher

Agnes the Librarian, Champion Shusher

That’s the way I used to feel about entertainment.  That’s the way most people feel about it.  We all have so much going on in our own lives that there’s just not enough hours in the day to devote to examining the finer points of cinema and yet three cases in and I was becoming as obsessed as Mr. Battler.

And it wasn’t just a movie.  Agnes and I watched all three movies in the library’s media room.

(Not for nothing but I was a little concerned about Agnes’ work ethic.)

“So this kid goes back and time and boinks his mother?”  I asked. “That’s disgusting.”

“They didn’t boink,”  Agnes replied.  “Marty’s mother was young.  She assumed Marty was just another boy to make moon eyes at.”

“And yet when she grows up and gives birth to Marty, she never once finds it odd that her kid looks exactly like this Calvin Klein fella that she met when she was in high school?”

“I don’t know,”  Agnes said.  “Do I look like a movie expert or something?”

“And what kind of a guy just leaves his girl sleeping on a porch unattended?”  I asked.  “Ma Hatcher would jump out of her grave and beat me with a rolling pin if I ever did anything like that.”

Agnes ignored me and put away the movie discs.

“Have they invented hover boards yet?  And why is Biff such a horse’s ass?”

I followed Agnes out onto the library floor.

“It’s the end of my shift,”  Agnes said.  “I need to go check on Herbert.”

“All right,”  I said.  “Just one more question.  Did you happen to notice if there was ever a hint as to how the kid and the doctor knew each other?”

“What?”  Agnes asked with a sour looking expression.  She always made a face like she was sucking on a lemon whenever she was frustrated with me.

“Doc Brown and Marty,” I said.  “They’re the two main characters in these damn pictures and yet there’s not one line that mentions how these two met.  That’s a plot hole you could drive a dump truck through, isn’t it?”

The librarian threw her arms up in the air.


“Well,”  I said.  “If you’re going to be that way about it…”

Agnes rubbed her temples then put a hand on my shoulder.

“Young man,”  she said.  “I have to say, you have me a bit worried.  You come in here all the time reeking of hard liquor.  You’re unshaven.  You look depressed and frankly, you’re not taking very good care of yourself.  I don’t mean to pry, but do you have a job?”

“I’m a fully licensed and bonded private investigator, ma’am,”  I responded matter-of-factly.

“And you expect me to believe that?”  the old gal replied.  “Son, you need to get a job.  If you want to come to the library, that’s great.  You’re more than welcome.  But don’t waste your time here watching movies.  I can help you look for gainful employment.”

She wanted to help me find work.  The idea intrigued me.

“Think there’s anyone who needs a man who’s handy with a P58 Schotzenhauer?”

“I don’t know,”  Agnes said.  “Is that some kind of tool or something?”

“Not exactly,”  I said.  “But it sure did come in handy during the war.”

Agnes’ expression turned more solemn.

“Oh,”  she said as she covered her mouth.  “Oh you poor man.  That explains everything.  Say no more.”

I’d said too much.  Most WWII vets were either dead and buried or on their last legs.  I was the only one who was strutting around like a prized peacock.

“You know, there’s a support group for veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq that meets here twice a month,”  Agnes said.  “You should sign up for it.”

I didn’t correct her.  Why blow my cover?  Besides, wars are wars.  The shit is the shit.

“I’ll think about it,”  I said.

“You do that,”  Agnes said.  “But I expect you here next Wednesday for computer class.  I’ve already signed you up and you’ll never get a job when you don’t even know the difference between a mouse and a keyboard.”

I gave the broad a light, playful punch in the shoulder.

“You’re a good egg, Ag,”  I said.  “Don’t ever change.”

BQB EDITORIAL NOTE:  I’m starting to think I should just fire Jake and hire Agnes.  Why go through the middle-man?

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

Image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Pop Culture Mysteries – Case File #003 – Relationships (Part 2)


Part 1 – Jake gets a late night visit from Attorney Donnelly.  Our resident gumshoe freaks out when Ms. Tsang comes home after midnight with a new beau.


From the moth eaten pocket of my trench coat, I produced a worn out black and white photograph.  It was of yours truly standing next to an Asian couple and their eight year old daughter, a precocious kiddo with a wide smile and pig tails.

I handed it over to Ms. Donnelly.

Susan Tsang, Hatcher's Secret Niece/Unpaid Landlady

Susan Tsang, Hatcher’s Secret Niece/Unpaid Landlady

“You’re kidding,” was her reply.

“No ma’aam.”

“So she’s your…who is she to you exactly?”

“An adopted niece of sorts,”  I said.  “When my first marriage went up in a cloud of smoke and I was given the bum’s rush off the police force, I didn’t have two wooden nickels to rub together.  Ms. Tsang’s old man Joe was a buddy of mine in the war.  I saved his hide a few times and he was so grateful that he let me use the room upstairs as my office.”

“How old is she in this photo?”

“Ahh let’s see,”  I said.  “That was actually taken in 1955.  Same year I went under for the fifty-nine year nap.  She’d of been eight years old I think.”

Ms. Donnelly handed the picture back and I took another look at it.

“Jumpin’ Jehosaphat,”  I said.  “That little kid who used to run around this place is older than dirt now.”

“I understand the mathematics of it all,”  Delilah said.  “Technically, you’ve been alive for ninety-five years, but since you never aged past your mid-thirties, it just seems an odd sight to me to watch you lecture a woman who looks like she could be your mother.”

I tucked the photo back in my pocket for safe keeping.

“I surely do miss Joe and Evelyn,” I said.  “They were two of the good ones.  Let me use that room for years until my private investigation business began turning a profit.  I started paying them rent when I was able to afford it.  Kind of feel like a heel that I’m not able to now.”

“Perhaps you’ll find a few more clients with pockets deeper than Mr. Battler’s.”

It was a nice thought, but who’d hire a bum like me other than a second rate cheapskate Interwhatever scribe?

“Perhaps I will, Ms. Donnelly.  Perhaps I will.”

“You consider her a niece,”  Ms. Donnelly said.  “Yet you refer to her as, ‘Ms. Tsang?'”

“To keep up appearances,”  I answered.  “It’s not like I can walk around and tell people this woman who appears much older than I am is like a kid to me.”

“Some advice that you may take or leave at your leisure,”  Ms. Donnelly said.  “But she’s not a child anymore and maybe you shouldn’t treat her as such.”

Jake Hatcher, Pop Culture Detective/Secret Uncle

Jake Hatcher, Pop Culture Detective/Secret Uncle

“You’re right,”  I said.  “Hell, she kept this whole restaurant afloat after her parents passed on and took care of me while I was sleeping in the room upstairs for decades, so I should give her a little bit of credit.  Still, it’s hard not to worry about her when she’s out on the town.”

“I suppose a parent’s worries never end,”  Ms. Donnelly said.  “Or an adoptive uncle’s.”

“I trust you’ll keep this tidbit between us,”  I said.  “I’ve only shared it with you because of your trustworthy character, Ms. Donnelly.”

“Mum is the word, Mr. Hatcher.  Mum is the word.”

Delilah stood up, prompting me to do the same.

“If you’ll excuse me, I must be off.  I have to catch a two a.m. flight to Monte Carlo.”

“France,”  I said.  “Wow, Mr. Battler is pulling out all the stops.”

“Business for another client,”  Delilah said.  “There are people to work for other than Mr. Battler, Mr. Hatcher.  You should try it sometime.”

I held the door open for the lady.

“I’m touched that you trusted me enough to share the truth behind your relationship with Ms. Tsang ,”  Delilah said as she walked out the door.

A taxi cab was waiting for her.

“Touched enough to grab a bite to eat with me sometime?”

“Not that touched.”

“Of course,” I said.  “Good night, Ms. Donnelly.”

“Good night, Mr. Hatcher.”

I waited and watched until Ms. Donnelly was safely inside the cab and on her way before shutting the door and returning to the table.

I picked up the bottle.

“At least you never turn me down,”  I said as I poured a shot.

I swigged it back and opened the envelope.  A new letter from Mr. Battler.

Detective Hatcher,

A teenage boy.  A crazy wild-haired scientist.  A limited edition sports car that travels through time when it is driven at precisely eighty-eight miles per hour.

Doc Brown and Marty McFly entertained and thrilled audiences in the three part Back to the Future trilogy.  Together, the duo went on an adventure that took them to the 1950’s (which probably doesn’t seem so bad to you), a highly optimistic version of this year, 2015 (will scientists ever figure out how to rehydrate a pizza?) and even to the Old West.

One question the films failed to answer – how the hell did these two know each other in the first place?

I mean, honestly, three movies and not one peep about what kind of a relationship they had.

I’ve got to know, Hatcher.  Figure this out.


Bookshelf Q. Battler

What a segue way.  Just moments earlier, I’d been discussing with Ms. Donnelly the nature of my relationship with Ms. Tsang and now Mr. Battler wanted an explanation of the relationship between a teenage time traveler and a mad scientist.

It was so convenient that it might as well have been written for the benefit of an Interwhatever site read by 3.5 readers.

And by the way, 3.5 readers, if you could keep the secret about Ms. Tsang under your hat, I’d appreciate it.  I never tell anyone because the last thing I need is for one of the criminals I’ve encountered to use information like that against me.

There are plenty of degenerates out there who are more than willing to hurt a fella’s loved ones just to get at him.

Luckily, only 3.5 people are reading this, so the secret should be safe.

Jake, we really need you to get to Doc and Marty.

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

Images courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Pop Culture Mysteries – Case #003 – Relationships (Part 1)

By:  Jake Hatcher, Official Bookshelf Battle Blog Private Eye

Pop Culture Mystery Question:  How did Doc and Marty from Back to the Future movies meet/know each other?  (Or, what was their relationship?)

That old familiar brown liquid sat in my glass, staring at me, leering at me as if I were some kind of cheap dime store call girl.

Sure, that hooch would go down smooth and we’d have a good time together, but the next morning it’d be gone and I’d be left to face the world as a desperate rummy instead of the decent man I knew was lurking somewhere deep inside me.

Alcohol – all it ever provided me was short term relief from a long term problem.

Hatcher can't get enough of that delicious brown stuff.

Hatcher can’t get enough of that delicious brown stuff.

“I don’t need you,”  I said as I slid the shot across the table.

Five seconds…ten…fifteen.

I barely made it to thirty before I seized the glass and tossed its goodness down my gullet, the warm contents falling into my stomach and launching my mind into outer space.

Oh well.  Who cares about tomorrow as long as you can feel good today?

I liked to think of myself as an independent man, a fella who didn’t need anyone or anything but alcohol was the monkey on my back that refused to relinquish my banana. 

I wanted to quit drinking but the world was such a harsh place that booze had become the only cure for what ailed me.  It distracted me from crippling loneliness and the sinking feeling that I’d never know the soft touch of a woman ever again.

The ironic twist?  It was a filthy habit that was causing the ladies to steer their cabooses onto any other track but mine.

I drank because I was lonely and I was lonely because I drank.  I was like a junkyard dog chasing its own tail.

I looked at the clock above Ms. Tsang’s stove. 

Midnight.  The witching hour.  The start of a new day.  I knew it wouldn’t be any better than the one before it.  I suppose when a man reaches that point he might as well keep on pounding back the hard stuff.

So I did.  I had another one.

Like a paparazzi’s camera roll after a starlet sighting, I was spent.   Without the strength to carry my carcass upstairs to my office, I did the next best thing.

I laid down smack dab in the middle of Ms. Tsang’s kitchen floor.

It wasn’t as bad as you might think.  Ms. Tsang was immaculate when it came to her workspace.  It was already a floor you could eat off of so why not sleep there as well?

I’ve never been an overly religious man, but that night I was feeling low (well, lower than usual) and had a hankering to communicate with the almighty.

“Lord,”  I said.  “Your servant, Jake Hatcher here.  I must say I’m awfully fond of one of your creations, Ms. Delilah K. Donnelly.  If you could see fit to convince that gal to go ga ga over yours truly, I promise I’ll take good care of her.”

Me take care of her.  That’s a laugh.  Delilah was one of the most independent women I’d ever seen in all my days.  If anything, it’d of been vice versa but the last thing she needed was a washed up old has been like me weighing her down like an anchor around her neck where her pretty pearls normally resided.

Ms. Tsang’s doorbell rang.

“CLOSED!”  I shouted.

I wished I hadn’t.  I had a headache that felt like a drum solo was being beaten into my brain.  The sound of my big yapper made it that much worse.

Another ring.


The tiny beep boop machine in my pocket rang.  I picked it up.


“Mr. Hatcher?”

Jesus, Mary and Joseph plus all the saints thrown in for good measure.  Who says prayers go unanswered?

“Yes,”  I said.  “Ms. Donnelly?”


Three more doorbell rings.

“Hold on,”  I said as I raised my weary body up to a tenuous standing position.  “I have to go deliver a clothesline straight to the snot box of whoever’s ringing Ms. Tsang’s door bell.”

I opened the door and there she was, a stunning blonde vision, switching her beep boop phone off.

“Ms. Donnelly!”  I said, surprised.

“Good evening, Mr. Hatcher,”  Delilah said as she crossed the thresh hold.  “I wasn’t sure you were awake so I gave you a jingle.  I do apologize for paying a visit at this ungodly hour.”

“Not a problem whatsoever, Ms. Donnelly,”  I said as I closed the door behind her and ushered her to a chair at the kitchen table.  

“And pretell, Mr. Hatcher, what would your mother say about you threatening to punch a woman in the…what was it?  ‘A snot box?’”

I always got a kick out of it whenever Ms. Donnelly said lowbrow words in her high society Patrician accent.

“If I apologize a thousand times a day from now until the day I’m six feet under, it still won’t be enough.  Please understand, it was a case of mistaken identity.  I thought you were some bum trying to get Ms. Tsang to make him a late night snack.”

“I see,” Ms. Donnelly said. 

She even looked good at midnight.

She even looked good at midnight.

“I’d sooner chop my hand off with a rusty butter knife and feed it to a great white shark than raise it to a lady,”  I said.  “Ma Hatcher never even had to teach me that one.”

She tilted her nose upward.  It wasn’t that far of a trip, since she walked around with it in the air most of time anyway.  She sniffed the air and a disgusted look took over her face.

I reeked of booze.  I wasn’t proud of it.

“Well Mr. Hatcher,”  Delilah said as she handed me an envelope.  “I shan’t keep you from your pleasant evening of inebriation for much longer.  I just wanted to deliver your next Pop Culture Mystery.”

“Thank you ma’am,” I said.  “Not that I’d ever scoff at your delightful company, but I must say I’m intrigued to see you here at this time of night.  It almost makes one wonder if you felt a sudden need to feast your eyes on my mug.”

“One should keep wondering,”  Delilah instantly replied.  It would of been nice if she’d at least taken a minute to think it over.  

The front door opened and Ms. Tsang walked in.  She was approaching seventy years old and yet the look on her face?  The old gal was giddier than a school girl who’d just won a hop scotch game.

Her escort for the night was some old timer.  A little bald man with great big horn rimmed glasses.  He was hunched over and leaned on his cane as he plopped a smooch on my landlady’s cheek.

“What a wonderful night, Susan,”  the old man said.

“It doesn’t have to be over,”  Ms. Tsang replied.  “Come on in and I’ll get us a nightcap.  Maybe we can even…”

And then Ms. Tsang spotted Delilah and I sitting around her kitchen table.

“Oh, Jake!”  she said.  “I didn’t see you there.  Ernie, come meet my tenant.”

I stood up and walked over to the geriatric couple.

“Pleased to meet you,”  Ernie said as he stretched out his hand.

I was madder than a hatter without a cup of tea.  I smacked the geezer’s hand away and grabbed him by his shirt collar.

In retrospect, it probably wasn’t my best move.  Old Ernie was about as frail as a bag of chalk.

“Say, what’s the big idea, bub?”  I said.  “This here’s a respectable woman and you’re trotting her out at all hours of the night like you’re some kind of Good Time Charlie.”

 Ernie was befuddled.  His face turned as red as a pack of wild strawberries.

“I…I don’t…I don’t know?”

Ms. Donnelly was taken aback and did her best to pretend like she wasn’t noticing the scene I was making.

“Jake!”  Ms. Tsang hollered as she whacked me upside the head with her purse.  “Let him go!  He has a pacemaker!”

I did as instructed then turned my venom to Ms. Tsang.

“And you!”  I said.  “You’ve got a lot of nerve, young lady!  I’ve been up all night worried sick and you don’t so much as call to tell me you’re ok.  It’s a big city out there!  You could have been kidnapped by perverts or sickos or communists or God knows who else…”

“You’re not my father, Jake!”  Ms. Tsang shouted as she stomped her foot.

“I know I’m not!”  I said.  “Thank the maker he’s not around to see what a shameless hussy his daughter’s become!”

Oh boy.  That last one cued up the water works.  Tears poured out of the old gal’s eyeballs like they were a pair of busted faucets.

“Ernie you’d better go,”  Ms. Tsang said as she hugged her companion.  “I’ll call you tomorrow.”

“It’s ok,”  Ernie said.  “I’d better go make sure the orderlies at the old folks’ home aren’t stealing my stuff anyway.  Last week my room mate stayed out past midnight and they sold his sleep apnea machine.”

The old man looked up at me.  “It was nice to meet you.”

Yeah, I was confused too.  I’d just roughed him up and he was being nice to me.  I’m not sure all the bats were fluttering around in Ernie’s belfry.  He probably wasn’t too sure of what was going on.

“Yeah yeah, whatever you say, Jack, just watch those hands.  They’re busier than a child laborer at a sweat shop sewing machine.”

I slammed the door in Ernie’s face and looked at Ms. Tsang.

“I think you’d better go to your room and think about what you’ve done, young lady.”

“I hate you!”  Ms. Tsang said as she walked out of the kitchen.  “I wish you’d of never woken up!”

Ouch.  That one broke my heart…the pieces of it that were left anyway.

I returned to my seat at the table across from a very bewildered Ms. Donnelly.

“Mr. Hatcher,”  Delilah began.  “I rarely ever inquire about the personal lives of my work colleagues, but after witnessing you scold an elderly woman as if she were a teenage girl I must say I’m curious to find out what just happened.”

Don’t worry 3.5 readers.  Jake will EVENTUALLY talk about Back to the Future.

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

Images courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hatcher’s Next Case

“I really should be getting ten bucks a case.”

A teenage boy.  A crazy haired mad scientist.

And a car that travels through time when it’s driven at 88 miles per hour.

The three Back to the Future films entertained and delighted audiences but they never answered this burning question:

How the hell did those two know each other in the first place?

Next time on Pop Culture Mysteries, a feature on the Bookshelf Battle Blog (bookshelfbattle.com)

Got a Pop Culture Mystery?  Drop a dime.  Tweet to @bookshelfbattle #popculturemysteries or just leave it in the comments on this site.

A few solid citizens have already come to the aid of our noble detective.  Rest assured, he’s working diligently to answer your questions (when he’s sober).

Tagged , , , , , , , ,


Pop Culture Mysteries is a new feature on the Bookshelf Battle Blog, hosted by a storytelling nerd of world renown, the one and only Bookshelf Q. Battler!

Jake Hatcher, a hardboiled 1950’s film noir detective in the tradition of Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe, has agreed to solve one hundred pop culture mysteries and file his reports right here on bookshelfbattle.com

LADY: Oh Detective, can you solve the Mystery of Why BQB Only Has 3.5 Readers? HATCHER:  Because he stinks worse than a swamp on low tide day, ma'am.  Now that'll be five bucks.

LADY: Oh Detective, can you solve the Mystery of Why BQB Only Has 3.5 Readers?
HATCHER: Because he stinks worse than a swamp at low tide, ma’am. Now that’ll be five bucks.


1)  How the hell did Doc and Marty from Back to the Future know each other?

2)  Why didn’t Rose take a seat in one of the life boats so Jack could keep that lousy piece of driftwood in Titanic?

3)  Who shot first?  Han or Greedo?

All these and more coming soon…but first up tomorrow…What happened to the original Brady Bunch spouses?

Do you have a pop culture mystery you want to put Detective Hatcher on?

Tweet it to @bookshelfbattle or leave it in #popculturemysteries (Because BQB totally owns that shit now)

Tell him on his Google Plus page

Drop it in the comments of bookshelfbattle.com

Together, we can help Jake solve 100 mysteries, earn 500 bucks and go back to 1955 where he will live like the King of Siam with his bag of green Abe Lincoln portraits.

Film noir detective and client photo courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Back to the Future II – It’s 2015, What Happened, What Didn’t?

God help me, I remember watching this movie when it first came out, and it seemed like there was enough time between then and 2015 for the futuristic world it depicted to come true.

Everyone is talking about it, since 2015 is finally here.  If you want a breakdown of what the movie predicted and what actually happened, Gawker has it for you.

I’ll add my thoughts to the mix:

1)  Flying Cars – I suppose it’s not wise to say something is “impossible” but I feel the term “flying car” is equal to “small plane.”  We’ve had large planes for a long time now.  And there’s an entire multinational infrastructure put in place to track them via radar to help them not crash into each other.  After all, if you’re in a plane, can you see what’s above you?  To the left or right?  Underneath you?  Behind?  People get into accidents all the time just with their boring old land cars.  If they invent flying cars, i.e., small, personal planes, then people would just be smacking into each other constantly.  And while fatal car crashes do quite sadly, happen all to often, it is at least a possibility to have crashes that are just minor fender benders that one can walk away from.  In a flying car, if your car crashes, that’s it, you’re plummeting to your demise.  Hell, if you forget to fill up on gas or the engine conks out, you’re going to plummet to your demise and slam into the Earth.  I barely trust the guys that work on my land car, but at least if my car breaks down, I can pull over and call AAA.  If my flying car stops flying, I’m screwed.

2)  Tablet Computers – Remember the old man that asked Marty for money to fix the clock tower?  They’re here!  They’re also awesome and believe it or not (forgetting about the occasional bug here and there) they actually work!  I feel like if you took me out of the past, brought me to the future, and showed me an iPad, my jaw would drop.

3) Dehydrated Pizza – Not here yet.  Dehydrated food does exist, but not to the point where you can store it and turn it into something yummy and delicious when you want it.  I suppose when they figure that out, restaurants will go out of business, which in the case of McDonald’s, probably wouldn’t be a bad thing.

4)  Handless Video Games – There’s a scene where two kids balk at Marty’s love of a game that requires the hand to hold a toy zapper gun  – “Wild Gunman.”  I’m not sure what the kids meant here.  I have a theory they meant that one day there would be games that enter your mind and bring you into some kind of virtual reality.  In theory, that’s awesome.  On the other hand, there are games where you don’t need to hold a controller – i.e. the Nintendo Wii and X Box Kinect.

5)  3D Movies – I was actually surprised they made such a comeback.  I assume its an attempt to keep the movie theater industry from losing out to digital downloads.

6)  Self-Lacing Shoes – I’d love it if they could invent that.  All that damn time lost tying my shoes when I could be doing more important things, like playing Parcheesi and curing cancer.

7)  Video Conferencing – It’s been here for awhile, but aside from college kids, I can’t really imagine who uses it.  I don’t want to worry about my appearance just to make a phone call, do you?  Seriously, someone calls you in the middle of the night, do you really want to get on video in your pajamas?

8)  Hoverboards – Clearly, this was the best prediction.  They aren’t here yet, though supposedly great progress has been made.  See my discussion about flying cars, though, as I think they’ll just result in a lot of people hover boarding into each other, filling the nation’s emergency rooms with hoverboard accidents.

9)  Fax Machines – They’re big in the movie, but in reality, died out long ago.

10)  Cubs Win the World Series – Poor Cubs.  It was far fetched back then.  It’s still far fetched today.  Tablet computers are here, and flying cars will probably be here before the Cubs win the World Series.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,