Tag Archives: film noir

Top Ten Things Your Girlfriend Might Say About You if She Were a Classic Film Noir Detective


Fear not, 3.5 readers.  Jake Dashing continues to file his pop culture mystery reports.

I’m just so bogged down with all my work here at Bookshelf Q. Battler Headquarters that I never have time to edit and post them.

I really need to hire an assistant.

I head a rumor though that after being told to pound sand one too many times by Attorney Donnelly, Jake has set his sights on a lady detective who he shares some uh, let’s say, “personality traits” with.

Here the mystery woman is, with the Top Ten Things Your Girlfriend Might Say About You if She Were a Classic Film Noir Detective.

(Translated from English to Film Noir Speak.)

10.  ENGLISH: Babe, you left the bathroom a mess!

FILM NOIR SPEAK:  Another day, another dollar and another twenty-four hours closer to meeting my maker. I gave up on a perfect life long ago but call me crazy, I feel like even a gal like me has a right to five minutes of peace alone in the powder room.

Sigh.  No such luck.  I open the door and find the floor covered with enough water to float the Titanic, which is ironic, because the floor is also littered with enough towels to soak up the Pacific Ocean.

I need to think.  I go to the sink and turn on the faucet, hoping a splash of cool water on my face will subdue my burning rage.  No such luck.  The sink is filled with a twisted concoction of whisker hairs, shaving cream, and toothpaste.

Just what ever gal wants. A furry viscous fluid waiting for her.  Lucky me.

Thirty seconds with a washcloth would have spared my eyes from this sight.  What’s the skinny on this palooka? Is he stupid? Rude? Was he born in a barn? Raised by hobos?

Is this some kind of bizarre power play? Leave a mess to see if the little woman will clean it up?

Or is he just that obtuse that he doesn’t notice things like this?

Speaking of noticing things, out of the corner of my eye I spot that the toilet is filled with more skid marks than the Indy 500 race track.

Men. Can’t live with ’em.  Sorry. There isn’t a second verse to that old song and dance number.

9.  ENGLISH:  I love you.

FILM NOIR TRANSLATION: Love.  That and a plug nickel will buy you a cup of coffee, but at least you never have to worry about your java sprouting legs and walking away.

Men, on the other hand, have a bad habit of becoming gold medal marathon runners when you least expect it.  There one day, gone the next, the only memories he leaves you with are his silhouette against the moonlight as he makes a beeline for the door and that old familiar throbbing in your ticker…


Then again, it could just be gas.

8.  ENGLISH: I wish you’d take me somewhere nice.

FILM NOIR TRANSLATION:  There’s a part of me that wants to dance. Not that I’m a spritely ballerina type mind you but the madcap irony of life is that the less you have of it, the more you want to embrace it.  Rattling around in the back of my mind like so many marbles shot by the kid with the best aggie in school are images of myself as a wrinkled up old broad, wrapped up in a shawl, rocking away in my wheelchair, cursing myself for not having danced more in my youth.

I owe it to that old gal to trip the light fantastic fella, so either cut a rug with me or I’ll find someone who will.

7.  ENGLISH:  I baked you cookies.

FILM NOIR TRANSLATION: Sweets.  They’re one of the many cruel jokes played on us by the man upstairs.

Surely you’ve realized by now that the Almighty  has a peculiar sense of humor, right?

Cookies are delicious, but too many and you’ll end up looking like the love child of Fatty Arbuckle and King Kong.

Making whoopee is an equally pleasant pastime, but pick the wrong person and you’ll end up with some kind of dirty social disease.  You know, the kind that makes your privates shrivel up, turn green, and that’s only if you’re lucky.

Still, everything in moderation is the way to go, so here are some cookies. One a day makes the blues go way.

Two a day will make me go away.

Make your choice, Jack.

6.  ENGLISH:  Do these jeans make my butt look big?

FILM NOIR TRANSLATION: Sizes are like opinions.  They vary greatly depending where you go, and they all leave you feeling like you’re going to explode.

In this case, I feel like there’s going to be an ass explosion. I’m not about to share my size with you, Nosebox McGee, but let’s just say I’ve always fit in the same number except for today, as I tried a new boutique where apparently it’s the company creedo that everyone should have an ass flatter than everyone thought the pre-Columbus world was.

I can tell you’re burning a hole in the back of my jeans with your lustful eyes, because like bathroom cleanliness, subtlety has never been your strong suit.

So make like a tipped over milk carton and spill, Jack. Is it round like a candy apple or does it look like it’s got its own gravitational pull?

5.  ENGLISH: You forgot my birthday, jerk.

FILM NOIR TRANSLATION:  Time. Oh how that relentless son of a bitch enjoys teasing me. Taunting me. Yanking days off the calendar of my life with reckless abandon, leaving me with little more than fuzzy memories of cheap men and even cheaper vodka.

Eighteen.  Twenty-one. All the best birthdays are gone now.  What’s left to celebrate to celebrate now other than being one year closer to shaking hands with Mr. Grim Reaper himself?

Now there’s a celebrity whose autograph you don’t want.

Still, it’s perfectly normal for anyone with a pulse to feel a burning desire to be remembered. In the end, when all is said and done, when the last clump of dirt is heaped on our graves and the undertaker collects his due, all we are to the people we leave behind is the sum total of the memories they carry with them in their minds.

And apparently, my fella isn’t carrying many thought drops about me in his brain bucket.

I saw a bum shivering on a park bench this morning.  Cold. Alone. Forgotten. Cared for by no one.

Whenever my man screws up like this, it’s hard not to see myself as ending up just ike that lowdown vagrant one day.

Cold. Alone. Forgotten.  Cared for by no one.

Thanks a lot, Jack.

4.  ENGLISH: Let’s move in together.

TRANSLATION:  Space. I have it. You have it. Who needs it? Let’s live in the now and share the cow.  My milk. Your milk.  Who cares whose gullet it goes down when it all comes out yellow anyway?

Splitting digs is always a big step in any relationship.  And sure, it might turn out to be the step that lands our feet on an emotional land mine that blows our psyches to kingdom come.

Then again, it could also be the step that leads us to the American Dream.  A nice house with a front yard, a white picket fence, three kids, a dog, and our very own shared subscription to Better Homes and Gardens.

Mull it over, palooka. For as Custer said on the way to his last stand, “What’s the worst that could happen?”

3.  ENGLISH: I forgive you for (whatever dumb thing you did recently.)

FILM NOIR TRANSLATION: They say love is blind but in my case, she must have had her eyes gouged out with rusty razors because despite all the strike marks you’ve got against you, you’re still aces in my book, bub.

2.  ENGLISH: We should get married.

FILM NOIR TRANSLATION:  Here we are, two dopes stuck on a big blue marble, our lives as insignificant as a couple of ants to the shoe of a random passerby.

Call me naive. Call me crazy. Call me late for dinner but I love ya, ya big lug. There, I said it. Write it down, rubber stamp it, set it in a frame and hang it on the wall for the whole world to see.

Sure, we could end up crashing in flames like the Hindenburg but we might just circumnavigate the globe like Lucky Lindy. We’ll never know until we flap our wings and take that leap.

There’s no one I’d like to take that leap with more than you, see?

  1.  ENGLISH: I think we should break up.

FILM NOIR TRANSLATION: Alright, buster. Clean the wax out of your ears and listen up.

You and I are over. We’re done. Kaput.  It’s like seeing the final credits roll at the end of a three hour Judd Apatow film. I feel depressed that I wasted my time yet elated that this bullshit is finally out of my life now.

Take a long walk off a short pier, palooka.  Dumpsville just held an election and you’re the Mayor, the Alderman, and the dog catcher all rolled into one.

Aww, pipe down with the waterworks, see?  Like my Aunt Edna’s underpants, a crying man is a sight no one wants to see.

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SNEAK PEEK – All Day Sucker – Chapter One

On Jake’s last day in the 1950’s, a blonde femme fatale/movie starlet offers him a deal that lands him in hot water. Here’s the first chapter.

Let me know what you think, ya mugs. When I’m done working on Jake’s report, I’ll have it up on Wattpad and later on popculturemysteries.com

All Day Sucker – Chapter Oneshutterstock_71510056

May 31, 1954

I’ve always been a sucker for a pretty face and on the last day I can recall from the 1950’s there wasn’t an exception. 

Alana Harris. What…a…woman.  Whenever I spy my eyes toward a dame like Alana then peep at an old bag lady who collects cans on the street corner with her stolen shopping cart, I wonder how its possible that both creatures are labeled as females.  I’m not trying to be politically incorrect as I know that sort of talk will get a fella drawn and quartered these days.  All I’m trying to say is that Alana’s beauty was at such a high level that she defied any form of scientific nomenclature.  She was a member of a species of one and what I wouldn’t give to classify her genus.

She was a blonde, as all the femme fatales typically are.  I don’t know what it is about yellow hair that can turn even the brightest fella into a chuckling chowderhead.  Someone ought to commission a study on that one.  She had a set of curves, the kind you’d need a high performance Italian race car to drive around and a pair of lips so luscious you didn’t know whether to kiss them or frame them and hang them on a wall.  Hers belonged in the Smithsonian.

There Alana was, right in front of me on the big screen, her enchanting assets so enormous that it felt like I could crawl up in her bosom and take a nap.  I’m not talking about resting my head there. I’m saying the screen at the Montoya Theater was so big it looked like an actual me could fit between those casabas and go to sleep forever.  Talk about the sweet life.

The flick was Love Is Not Enough. What an understatement. Folks dug it back then.  It was a decent picture but it never generated any long lasting oomph.  I doubt any of you mugs have ever heard of it, and I’m not trying to be one of of those dirty hipsters by saying that.

“Johnny!” Alana said, only in this flick she wasn’t Alana.  She was Maggie, an ordinary housewife with a big secret.  Alana as a housewife.  Yeah right.  If that broad ever touched a vacuum cleaner one day in her life then I’m Mickey Rooney.

“Johnny, whatsamatter? Don’t you love me no more?!”

Zip Rogers.  As a certain cartoon rabbit would say, “what a maroon.”  Most actors were charming and handsome but this fella was as plug ugly as they come.  Yet somehow, he always got cast opposite the most alluring chickadees.  I swear, that dim bulb must have had pictures of studio executives in compromising positions with barnyard animals or something.

Zip was Johnny in this film.  For some reason, every male lead was named Johnny.  Writers had a very limited frame of reference for names at the time.

“Love you?” Zip/Johnny asked.  “Why, I can’t even stand the sight of you, you shameless, four flushing, two timing Jezebel!”

The theater was cold.  I needed a little sip of the old Irish courage to warm me up.  Luckily, I never went anywhere without my own supply.  I reached into my trench coat, withdrew my flask and treated myself to a nice long pull.

Tsk. Tsk.  The old broad behind me was flabbergasted.

“How dare you?!” she asked.

I turned around and offered her the flask.

“Sorry sweetheart. I didn’t know you wanted some.”

I might as well have asked her to make whoopee with the look she shot me.  Not that there was any chance of that happening.  I wouldn’t have touched her with your finger, Jack.

“Why, I never!”

“Well maybe you should, lady,”  I said.  “It might lighten your disposition.”

I returned my eyes to the screen.  Zip/Johnny and Alana/Maggie gazing deeply into each others’ eyes.

“You don’t understand what’s going on, Johnny,”  Alana/Maggie said.  “I know it looks bad but I swear I never did anything wrong.  I would never hurt you, my love.”

I took another swig. I felt a finger poke me in the shoulder.

“Sir!” the old bag behind me said.  “Put that away!  This is a respectable establishment.”

“I doubt it, Grandma,” I replied as I pointed at the screen. “If it was, they wouldn’t be showing this stinker.”

Some degenerate in the back got all heated.  “HEY!  SHUT YOUR FACE, MAC!  I’M TRYING TO WATCH A PICTURE SHOW HERE!”

“AHH, GO SOAK YOUR HEAD YA MOOK YA!” was my earnest reply.  The Irish courage medicine was kicking in.

“The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker?”  Zip/Johnny asked Alana/Maggie.  “What about the podiatrist?  Was he for ‘us’ too?”

Alana/Maggie bit her lip and turned away dramatically, unable to face her accuser.  “That one was…an accident.”

“An accident my eye,” Zip/Johnny said as he put his hand on Alana/Maggie’s chin and gently pushed her face towards his.  “Now you see here, doll.  You and I are calling it quits.  It’s Oversville, baby. Population: You. We’re through, even.  This screwy fling we’ve got going on is done and I don’t wanna hear another word about it, see?”

I took another sip.  That old broad was birddogging me but good.

“Disgraceful,”  she said.  She tugged on the shoulder of the old man next to her.  “Reginald!  Reginald, do something about this brute at once!”

By the looks of Reginald, he’d been henpecked till there wasn’t much left.  He was all skin and bones, nothing but a few tufts of gray hair on his head.  A good, swift breeze could have knocked that old bastard over.

“Tell you what, Reggie baby,”  I said.  “Let’s ditch this witch and you and I will go get us some real lookers.  Whaddya say?”

Reggie shrugged his shoulders and mulled it over.  That came to an end when his wife whacked him a good one with her purse.  She landed a good one too.  Made a big “thunk” sound.  Oh boy, if looks could kill old Reggie would have been a goner.

“Right away dear,” Reggie said with a resignation of defeat.  Slowly, he rose to his knees and walked away.

“Lady, what’s your problem?”  I asked.

“You should not be consuming illicit beverages in a public place,”  the old bag said, huffily.

“Illicit beverages?”  I asked.  “It’s just a little bit of the old Red Eye, darlin.’”

That big mouthed lug in the back was at it again. “SHUT YER TRAP OR I’LL COME DOWN THERE AND SHUT IT FOR YA!”

“AWW, YOU AND WHAT ARMY?!”  I hollered back.

Everything got quiet for awhile.  Zip/Johnny had a black velvet bag in his hand.  He opened it up, turned it over and dumped out some shiny hot rocks.  Rubies.  Sapphires.  Diamonds.  All kinds of bling.  That’s a word you kids use, isn’t it?

“Do you deny that you stole the Duchess’ jewels?!”  Johnny/Zip asked.


“Answer me!” Johnny/Zip said.

Tears streamed from Maggie/Alana’s eyes.  Actresses who can cry on cue are a hot commodity in Tinseltown.  Always be wary of a broad who can turn the waterworks on and off at the drop of the hat. They won’t think twice about using that power on you.

“I do deny it!  I do!”  she cried. “A thousand times I do!”

“Then how did they get in your purse?”  Johnny/Zip said. 


Johnny/Zip stroked his hand through his hair, then grabbed the gal by the shoulders.

“Baby,” he said.  “If you can look me in the eye right here, right now and promise me that you’re a one woman man from here on out then I can forget the past…”

No you can’t,” I thought to myself. “Get outta showbiz, ya’ cheap hack, I’m not convinced at all.”

“I promise Johnny, oh I swear I do,” Alana/Lorna said.

“Good,” the so-called leading man said.  “Now, just explain to me how those jewels ended up in your purse and we can put this whole mess behind us.  We’ll run away and live happily ever after with a nice house, two kids, a picket fence and a car in the garage.”

“I…I can’t.”

“You can’t…or you…won’t?”

“Both,” Alana/Maggie said.  “Please Johnny, just trust me.”

“I can forgive your dalliances, Maggie,”  Zip/Johnny said.  “But I could never marry a wanton criminal…”

Another hand on my shoulder.  It belonged to a pimply faced usher.  Couldn’t of been more than sixteen.

“Sir,” he said in a squeaky voice. “I have to ask you to live.”

“As soon as the show’s over, Jack,” I said. “I paid my dough like everybody else.”

“SHUT THAT DIRTY SO AND SO UP!” the big mouth in the back shouted.

“AWW, YOU’RE ALL WET!” I yelled back.  Nothing like a good 1950’s insult.

“Please sir,” the usher said. “Alcohol isn’t allowed here.”

Here’s where I have to tell you that I’m not very pleasant when I’m drunk and I’m drunk most of the time ergo, I’m generally not a very pleasant person whatsoever.

“Why not?”  I asked. “Last I checked this is America, son.  Dwight D. Eisenhower’s running the show, not some lousy unwashed Stalinist Trotskyite commie.  If a fella can’t enjoy a pull of the old Red Eye without a federal case being made out of it then we might as well lock the doors and turn the keys over to the pinkos lickity split and call it a night.”

The kid was baffled.  “I…I don’t know sir but please leave.  My manager says I have to call the cops if you don’t.”

“Call ‘em, kid,” I said.  “This is about democracy now. What I do, I do for America.”

The usher stormed off.  The emotional temperature in the room was definitely changing for the worse.  The theater was full of hard working decent folk, people just trying to escape their hum drum lives for a couple of hours only to have it all spoiled by a drunk.  That’s how they saw it anyway.  I still blame that old bag.

Back to the movie.

“Maggie,” Zip/Johnny said.  “Surely you realize that if the jewels were in your purse and you refuse to tell me who stole them then the only logical conclusion I can make is that you…”

“I’ve told you I didn’t take them!” Alana/Maggie interrupted. “If you love me then that should be good enough for you.”

With a great flourish, Zip/Johnny spun around and snapped his fingers.  A contingent of coppers walked through the door.

And what a coincidence, a gaggle of coppers strolled down the aisle of the theater at the exact same time.

“Please Johnny, please!”  shouted Alana/Maggie as she was put into cuffs.  “Don’t let them take me away! DON’T YOU LOVE ME?”

“I’m sorry kid, but,”  Zip/Johnny said. “Love is not enough.”

BAH HA HA!” I laughed like an idiot. “He said the name of the movie!”

I knew all of the officers who came to collect me.  Before I went out on my own as a private dick, I served with them on the LAPD.  There was Renault.  Simmons.  Clement.  The sergeant leading them was that Irish prick Declan O’Connell.

Oh, I apologize, 3.5 readers.  I’m from the 1950’s and I’m working on my political correctness and cultural sensitivity skills so I can make a go of it in your time.  What I meant to say was “O’Connell, that prick of Irish descent, but I’m not trying to say he was a prick due to his Irish ancestry but rather, he’d of been a prick no matter what country his parents hailed from.”

Red hair.  Red beard.  The man was practically a damn red haired werewolf he was so hairy.

“Shite, it’s you,” O’Connell said.  Some people said “shite” back then. Folks from the old country, mostly.

“Howdy, Declan,”  I said.

“Hello Dash,” O’Connell said.  “Got a complaint of some horse’s arse ruining the picture show.  Public drunkeness to boot.”

The exasperated crowd gave up on the movie.  Everyone was watching me now.

“That’s terrible,”  I said.  “As a taxpayer, I demand you find that rapscallion posthaste.”

“Are you really gonna make us drag you outta here, boyo?” O’Connell asked.

“‘Fraid so.”

O’Connell nodded at his men. 

“You can’t do this!”  I shouted.  “This is America!  This is no way to treat a war hero!!!”

“War heroes are a dime a dozen around here, Dash,” O’Connell said.  “Let’s go.”

Simmons grabbed my left arm, Clement my right.  They lifted me up but I didn’t budge.  Renault and O’Connell each grabbed a leg.  Everyone in my row got up and moved to make way for the cops as they carried me out.

I screamed like a babbling idiot.  “This is the work of the commies, I tell ya’! They’re coming and they’re just as scummy as the Nazis!  When a man can’t even sneak a little bit of the good stuff without some old battle axe calling the brute squad then we’re all living in a police state!!!”

“Nothing more to see here, folks!”  O’Connell said.  “Enjoy the rest of your show.”

They carried me up the aisle.  Everyone clapped and cheered.

Unfortunately for them, I’d seen that movie before.  It wasn’t like today, where people have thousands of movies at their fingertips.  Back then, you went to the picture house and saw either the first picture, the second picture or once in awhile, the third picture.


The audience let loose with a resounding “BOOOO!!!” then pelted me with popcorn boxes and candy wrappers.

“You always had a way with people, Dash,”  O’Connell said.

“I try,”  I replied.

“WAIT!”  the big mouth in the back yelled.

“WHAT?!”  I screamed as my head just barely avoided slapping into each step as the cops drew closer to the door.

“WHAT ABOUT THE PODIATRIST?!”  the big mouth screamed. 


Another “Booo!” from the audience as the fuzz carried me out the door.  They walked through the lobby, lugging me all the way.

“You know Dash, I don’t blame you for hitting the sauce after what you did but do it at home, all right?  I don’t feel like dragging your fat arse all over creation again.”

“Does everyone hate me?”  I inquired.

“Of course,”  Dashing said.  “You got a bunch of your former fellow officers killed and a bunch more are headed to the stoney lonesome on corruption charges.  But at least you get to be the big man that took Mugsy McGillicuddy down.  Was it worth losing every friend on the force you ever had?”

“I haven’t decided yet,”  I said as I looked up at the fellas carrying me. “But then again I never had much use for friends anyway.  Do you hate me too, O’Connell?”

“Not as such but my goal in life has always been to keep my head down and my nose out of places it doesn’t belong, lad,”  O’Connell said.  “I wish you’d done the same.”

“But I made LA better, didn’t I?” I asked.

“Sure,” O’Connell said. “For about five minutes…until the next snake in the grass rears its ugly head to service the public’s illegal addictions.”

“You have that little faith in people?” I asked.

“You don’t?” O’Connell answered.


The boys took me outside.  It was warm, but not stifling.  There was a nice breeze in the air.

“Ready, boyo?”  O’Connell asked.

“Ready when you are, ya’ Irish prick,”  I said.

Don’t be scandalized, 3.5 readers.  Back then, O’Connell would have been completely befuddled had I said, “Ready when you are, you prick who happens to be Irish though your Irish ancestry is not the direct cause of your prickosity.”

The boys swung me back and forth like I was lying in an imaginary hammock then let me loose on the third swing, sending me sailing through the air only to land six feet away on the pavement.

“AND STAY OUT!”  O’Connell shouted.

Don’t worry about me.  My face broke my fall. I wasn’t using it for much anyway.

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Now up on Wattpad – Enter the Blonde – Revised Edition

shutterstock_24224476 June 1, 2015. It was the day that Jake Dashing returned to his office to find a beautiful blonde attorney sitting in his desk chair.

She came with an offer: solve 100 “Pop Culture Mysteries” for her eccentric client, the notorious nerd blogger Bookshelf Q. Battler and in exchange, said nerd will dish the details on how Jake can return to his own time.

Delilah K. Donnelly. Was she an angel with the answer to Jake’s prayers, or like so many dames before her, was she just looking to dance the Charleston on Jake’s ticker?

Only time will tell.

Bookshelf Q. Battler reviewed the report Jake filed on this matter earlier this year, fleshed out the details and slapped it up for public consumption on Wattpad.

You can find it in Pop Culture Mysteries – Season One.

Right after the story there’s an ad from the American Organization Against Anti-American Tomfoolery advising you on how to figure out whether or not your neighbor is a smelly communist.

You can never be too careful when it comes to those pinkos.


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Golden Age of Hollywood Interviews


You’re an expert in Ancient Tinseltown, that era when movies just started
moving and every gal with a pretty face hopped a bus out west in hopes of becoming the next star.

Noir? It’s all up in your reservoir.

Private dicks and foxy chicks are your bag and your bag is full with tales to tell.

Jake Dashing wants to strike up a gabfest with you for popculturemysteries.com, see?

And as you consider this fantastic offer, keep in mind the following:

COMPENSATION – None, as Jake’s boss, Bookshelf Q. Battler, is as poor as a church mouse and twice as homely. BQB will steer his 3.5 readers your way though. Seven extra eyeballs on your Mickey Spillane action ‘aint half bad, kid.

TRUST – BQB has interviewed over fifty authors without a single complaint yet, plus he offers a guarantee. You don’t like the post of your interview?  Toot your horn BQB’s way to let him know and it will come down faster than a starlet’s stockings on a cast couch. No muss, no fuss, no problem. BQB goes out of his way to promote writers and keep them happy.

So whaddya say, mac? If it’s a thumbs up, let Battler know and he’ll get down to writing his questions, the answers to which you’ll write yourself so you’ll be able to get out exactly what you want to say.

But if it’s a big goose egg, that’s fine as wine too, Jack. No hard feelings.

Thanks for your consideration. It’s been a real gas, see?

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Pop Culture Mysteries – Case File #TBA – Kill ‘Em Again (Part 1)

By: Jake Hatcher, Official Bookshelf Battle Blog Private Eye

Our resident gumshoe

Our resident gumshoe

Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, 7:00 p.m.

For a lawman, there’s nothing more disturbing than a knock on the door.  Sure, it’s probably just an old friend stopping by to wish you well or a neighbor in need of a cup of sugar, but when you’ve seen as much action as I have, you can’t help but wonder whether or not it’s some stickup artist coming to separate you from your wares at gunpoint.

Tentatively, I opened the front door to Tsang’s Hong Kong Palace, the restaurant above which I occupied a small office.

Sure enough, I found a tiny trio of masked hoodlums with their hands out.

“TRICK OR TREAT!” they shouted.

One of them wore a black mask and a cape.  I think he was supposed to be that Darth Vader cat from that flick I watched with Agnes the Librarian this summer.  The kid in the middle was some kind of space alien and there was also a girl dressed up as a fairy princess.

“Now see here, bums,” I said. “I don’t know what gave you the impression that this is some kind of charity operation but I’ll have you know this is a capitalist establishment, see?  Head down the street three blocks and take a right if you want the nearest soup kitchen.  You’ll find no New Deal Democrats here.”

“Oh Jake, knock it off!”

Ms. Tsang, my landlady, dressed up as a hideous green witch, walked over with a bowl of candy and doled out free goodies to the little freeloaders.

“Thank you,” said the Darth Vader kid.

“Lose this address, degenerates,” I said as I slammed the door in the kids’ faces.

Ms. Tsang walloped me in the shoulder.

“Get in the Halloween spirit!”  she said.  “You used to take me trick or treating and you never complained this much.”

“Yeah,” I replied. “But that was back when kids made their own costumes and didn’t buy a plastic get-up from the pharmacy and you could trust that your neighbor wasn’t some kind of a nut job pervert sticking razor blades in the candy apples.  Hell, you could even eat an unwrapped candy apple.  Like everything else in this time period, Halloween has gone downhill fast.”

Ms. Tsang handed me the candy bowl.

“Man the door,” she commanded. “Pass out the treats.  Keep the lectures to yourself.”

“Free food to any jerk that knocks on the door,”  I said.  “I swear the…”

“The Commies didn’t win!” Ms. Tsang interrupted as she headed for the kitchen.

My niece knew me all too well.

I spied one of the minuscule candy bars.

“Fun size,” I read on the wrapper.  “What’s so fun about it?”

Another knock.

“Can’t you loafers read the sign?!” I asked as I opened the door. “NO SOLICITORS!”

Delilah K. Donnelly, Legal Counsel for a Website with 3.5 Readers

Delilah K. Donnelly, Legal Counsel for a Website with 3.5 Readers

Oops.  It wasn’t a Trick or Treater this time.  It was delicious dish Delilah K. Donnelly, Attorney for our mutual client, Bookshelf Q. Battler.

Hair as if she’d just stepped out of the finest salon and a dress to match, she was a stunning vision as always.

Now there was one treat I’d like to trick.

“Have I come at a bad time, Mr. Hatcher?”

“Ms. Donnelly!” I said.  “No, not at all!”

I showed her in.

“I apologize for that obnoxious outburst,”  I said as I took the lady’s faux fur stole.  “I thought you were someone else.  You can feel free to solicit me anytime.  Early and often, preferably.”

“I haven’t time to feign a lack of disgust in the face of your perverse inclinations, Mr. Hatcher,” Delilah said. “I’ve come on most important business.”

“Of course,” I said.  “Please, tell me all about it.  Can I offer you something sweet, delicious and fun sized?”

“Thank you but no,” Delilah said as she walked toward the booth in the back left hand corner of the restaurant.  “I refrain from candy.”

“Who said anything about candy?”  I asked.

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Pop Culture Mystery Revamp?

I don’t think I will do this but I want to get the 3.5’s advice first.

Suppose I:

  • Remove Bookshelf Q. Battler
  • Remove the Pop Culture Questions
  • Rewrite it as a series about a 1950’s detective who fell asleep, woke up in modern times, and an elegant lady lawyer acts as a go between, bring a new case to Jake every episode on behalf of a mysterious benefactor.  Maybe a rich man who wants justice done or something.  I don’t know.  It’d be some person more realistic than Bookshelf Q. Battler.

Why I Thought About It:

  • We’re reaching a point where Jake barely talks about BQB’s question.  It just usually descends into “Oh, that question reminds me of the time when…”
  • Example.  BQB asks Jake “How did Gilligan get washed up on the island?”  Jake’s response would be, “Ahh that reminds me of the time when I was shipwrecked with a band of pirates, goes on about a shipwreck related mystery, and then briefly at the end also answers how Gilligan got lost.”
  • Will the public at large get “Bookshelf Q. Battler?”

Why I’m Leaning Towards Not Doing It

  • To remove the pop culture is to remove the title, and “Pop Culture Mysteries” is such a catchy title. Sad to say, but often it’s all about the title.
  • I feel like at some point the issue can be addressed with something like:

DELILAH:  Mr. Hatcher, Mr. Battler has become very disappointed with your reports.  He asks you a simple question and all you do is drone on and on about your adventures instead.  Could you perhaps reign it in?

JAKE:  What?  And deny the 3.5 my stories?

I don’t know.  Let me know what you think.

As I’ve said before, I started writing this in April and September is around the corner.  It’s the longest I’ve kept going on a project and mainly because when it’s just a guy sharing his memories, it’s kind of impossible to “write myself into a wall” the way I’ve done with other ideas.

Any feedback you can provide on these stories (good, bad or otherwise) is welcome.  My goal is to finish the series of posts by the end of the year, edit and rewrite them, starting posting them daily on a Pop Culture Mysteries spinoff blog next year and then work on and release a Jake novel next year.

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Pop Culture Mysteries: Case File #005 – Smeller vs. Denier – (Part 12)


Part 1


“Signor Hatcher,”  Bellavenuti said.  “I must protest the way you are treating us like criminals.  Your concern over your check is unfounded, no?”

“How do you figure, Signora?”

“Because all you need do is call the casino first thing in the morning and request they cancel the missing check and issue you a new one!”

“I could do that,”  I said.  “But suppose the crook beats me to the punch, cashes it, and runs away never shutterstock_239019796to be found again?  What then?  I fight some cockamamie international legal battle from my home in the states for the rest of my life?  Not a chance…especially…”

“Especially, what?”  Signora Bellavenuti said through her luscious lips.

“…when YOU DID IT!”

“BASTARDO!”  Signora Bellavenuti shouted as she stood up and slapped me across the face.

“Admit it!”  I said.  “Long before you started your own designer label, ‘Haus of Bellavenuti,’ you were a gorgeous fashion model who walked the runway with poise, precision, and grace.  Why, I bet you could put a book on your head and walk from here to Romania without it falling off once!”

“What are your implying?”

“Implying?  I’m saying!  You’re no klutz, Signora, and when you spilled that wine all over the best jacket I own, you did it so you could slip your nimble fingers into my pocket and grab my loot!”

“Best jacket?!  Patooie!  I spit on your best jacket!  If that is your best jacket then you are no better than the beggar who pleads for the scraps that I throw away!”

With that, the Signora removed her stole, unzipped the back of her dress, and allowed it to fall to the ground.

There she stood in a black bra and panties.

“Oggle all you wish, pervert!  I do not need your money, you fool! I can buy and sell a horde of you!”

I gave her voluptuous form the old once over with my peepers.  I didn’t want to but I had no choice.  I was a detective.  I had to do what I had to do.

“My apologies, Signora,”  I said.  “I can now rule you out as well.”

“I should rule out your face!”

Professor Fremont’s head was pointed at me, but his lazy eye was aimed at the Signora’s form.  The ex-model wacked him upside the head.

“Stop gawking at me you deviant!”

“I can’t help it!”

“Can’t you, Professor?”  I asked.

“I really can’t,”  Professor said.  “My eye is permanently stuck toward the right.”

“And yet, you made sure you positioned yourself in a seat that allowed that eye to point at the Signora all evening.  You’re attracted to her aren’t you?”

“She’s quite fetching.”

“You’re madly in love with her!  You’ve been following her around all night, trying to impress her with superficial philosophical observations completely devoid of any real meaning.”

“He has!”  the Signora said.

“What we do and why we do it are two separate agendas,”  the Professor said.  “When it comes to a man’s motivations, the Id, Ego, and Superego all come into play.”

“Did you stink her out?”

“Excuse me?”

“The Signora!”  I said.  “She spurned your advances one too many times so you got your revenge by letting one rip in her general vicinity, didn’t you?  DIDN’T YOU?”

“I most certainly did not,”  the Professor said.  “Detective Hatcher, while tales of your investigatory prowess precede you, you have embarrassed yourself with this line of questioning.”

“How so?”

“Did you forget the part where I passed out?”

He got me.

“I’m afraid I did.”

“It’s an incontrovertible scientific fact that a man cannot be offended by his own expungements,”  the Professor said as if I were one of his students.

“That’s true,”  Yakubovich said.  “Some men even sit around and sniff their own stink as a reminder of their personal machismo.”

Everyone glared at Yakubovich.  He sunk down in his chair.

“So I have heard.”

“My body found the air to be so foul that it shut my entire system down to prevent me from breathing it in any further, thus saving my life,”  Fremont argued.

“Maybe you were faking,”  I said.

The Countess intervened on the Professor’s behalf.

“He wasn’t,”  my host said.  “I held the smelling salts under the Professor’s nose for quite some time.  I checked his pulse and it grew so slight I feared I would have to call for the undertaker.”

“You see?”  the Professor said.  “You can no sooner accuse me of being the olfactory offender than you could purport that Sir Isaac Newton caused his infamous apple to fall on his own head.”

I extended my hand.  The Professor shook it.

“You’re off the hook, nerd.”

“Of course I am,”  Fremont said.  “And while I have the floor, I must object to your investigatory methods.   You’ve engaged in plenty of speculation and conjecture, but only a scientific approach can draw the delinquent out into the open.”

“You’re right,”  I said.  “I’ve been in remiss.”

“Hatcher,”  the Count said.  “Perhaps you should analyze the diplomats’ motivations?”

“He who sniffed it, biffed it!”  Sir Rupert said.

“He who thwarted it, borted it!”

“Borted it?”  Rupert said.  “Bort isn’t even a word!”

“Oh, and biff is?”

“I could do that, Fabes,”  I said.  “But each man would simply accuse the other of cutting one as a precursor to global annihilation.  I’d get nowhere.  No, Professor Fremont is absolutely right.  If this case is to be put to bed, I must conduct a more thorough, rational inquiry.”

Copyright (c) 2015 Bookshelf Q. Battler.

All Rights Reserved.

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Pop Culture Mysteries: Case File #005 – Smeller vs. Denier (Part 11)


Part 1


“Two heinous misdeeds have occurred this evening,”  I said.  “The theft of my poker moolah and an expulsion so ghastly that it not only drove my wife mad…”

“Grandpappy Guilliaum, is that you?”  Muffy asked.  “Come back to me, Grandpappy!”

“…but it also rocked the stability of the Allied powers.”

“He who expounded it, pounded it,”  Rupert said.

“He who deceived it, retrieved it,” Charbonneau replied.shutterstock_71510056

“SILENCE!”  I shouted.

The room grew quiet.

“Two offenses,” I said, “And not one of you will come forward to claim either or both of them.”

“Are they even connected?”  Fremont asked.

“An astute question, Professor,”  I said.  “If either action was not a reaction to the opposing action then that is quite a coincidence and my detective’s intuition always mandates that I must never assume a coincidence has occurred until two events are proven to be unconnected to one another.”

“I am surrounded by idiotas,”  Signora Bellavenuti said.

“Motivation,”  I said.  “Though a circumstantial lens through which to view a case, motivation, more often than not, provides the first glimpse of the true culprit.  Though a person had a reason to do something does not mean he or she did it, determining who had the most reason to do it is a necessary exercise in any investigation.”

“Then exercise away,”  the Count said.

“I will,”  I replied.  “And Count Rickard, I will start with you and the Countess.”

The Countess’ monocle popped off yet again.

“How dare you?!”

“Hatcher,”  the Count said.  “Why would one of us ruin our own dinner party?”

I thought about it.

“You wouldn’t,”  I said.  “You are a couple of leisure and you enjoy consorting with the various celebrities and beautiful people who make their way to Monaco in the summer.  Pardon the pun, but one whiff of what happened here this evening will lead to your social calendar being very empty.  Neither of you would have done this.”

The Count was furious.

“Then stop wasting time and tell us who did it!”

I spun around and pointed at the would be big game hunter.


Collective gasp.


“Yes you!”  I said.

I walked over to the corpulent self-proclaimed Safari master and got right in his face.

“Stereotypically speaking, you’re the prime candidate to pin the evil excretion on!”

The Lord’s eyes shifted back and forth.  He looked exceptionally nervous.

“I am?”

“You are,”  I said.  “Pardon my impropriety, but these are desperate times, so I must point out that you are the fattest person in the room, and thus if we are to remain true to our default mindset, then you are the one to blame, for one of the oldest stereotypes in the book is that the obese have no ability to control their bowels!”

“Yes!”  Signora Bellavenuti shouted.  “It was the fat man!  Take him away!”

“I didn’t do it I swear!”

“Didn’t you?”  I asked as I studied the man’s eyes.  “You consume more food than the average man…”

“I do not!”  Lord Blackburn interrupted.  “It’s glandular!”

“That’s what they all say!”  I screamed in the Lord’s fast as I grabbed him by the shoulders and continued my interrogation.  “You eat more food than the average man and therefore, you have a greater propensity to produce an emission!”

“LIES!”  Lord Blackburn cried.  “ALL LIES!”

“Hatcher,”  Yakubovich said.  “Of course the overweight Westerner did it.  All you capitalist pigs do all day long is stuff your faces and pass gas with nary a thought of the rest of the world.”

“Did you do it?”  I asked.




Lord Blackburn broke out into tears and made an impassioned plea.

“All my life, I have struggled with my weight.  And all my life, whenever the source of an odor is in question, the finger is immediately pointed at me.  I bathe early and often, multiple times a day just to avoid suspicion for I know the world is full of cruel, callous people and false accusations of odor production will always be my lot in life.”

My heart sunk.  Sometimes being a jerk is part of a private dick’s job.  It’s necessary, but it’s also the one aspect I despise the most.

“I assure you sir, it was not me.  I can control myself just as well as any man.  I was once chased by rabid cougar and not once did I expectorate through my sphincter.”

“Hmm,”  I said.

I patted the big galoot on the shoulder.

“I believe him.”

I was derided throughout the room.  “Oh come on!”  and “He did it!” and so forth.

“No,”  I said.  “People, please.  The only thing that separates us from the animals that Lord Blackburn claims to murder so often is the ability to make deductions based on reasoning and not preconceived notions about a man just because he’s part of a certain group or class.”

“Your heart is bleeding, comrade,”  Yakubovich said.

“Yes,” I said.

I crossed over to the other side of the table.

Now it was my turn.

“Stand up!”  I ordered Yakubovich.

“You’re insane!”

“Please do as his says, Mr. Yakubovich,”  the Count said.  “We must get to the bottom of this.”

Yakubovich rose up.

“And it was out of your bottom from which this entire evening came, isn’t it Yaku-bopper?”

“Watch your tongue before I cut it out.”

“Earlier, you came to me and asked me to stand up,”  I said.  “I expected that you were going to throttle me but instead you gave me a hug.  It was most out of character for a man suspected of being one of the  world’s most notorious black market arms dealers!”

“I am legitimate businessman!”  Yakubovich said.  “And I wished to apologize for being a poor sport but now I wish I hadn’t it.”

“Or perhaps you never did?”  I asked.  “Perhaps when you hugged me and squeezed me with the muscles you formed while toiling your youth away in a Siberian gulag…”

I reached into the man’s jacket pockets.

“…you were merely distracting me just long enough to stick a hand inside my coat and swipe the check for the winnings you were not man enough to admit that you lost fair and square!”

I turned his pockets out.


They were empty.

“Oh,”  I said.

“What a moron,”  Yakubovich said.  “Hatcher, you are making a spectacle of yourself.  Your check probably fell out somewhere around the house.  You should retrace your steps for it.”

“Should I?”  I asked.  “Or should I…check your pants pockets?!”

I turned those inside out too.  Nothing.

“Damn it!”

“Fine!”  Yakubovich said as he angrily unfastened his belt.  “You want to inspect everything?  Here we go!”

The Russian dropped his drawers to reveal a pair of red polka dot boxers.  He ripped off his coat and shirt for good measure, but left his undershirt on.

He stood there in his skivvies staring at me.

“Are you happy now?!”

“Good news, Sergei,”  I said.  “You’re in the clear!”

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Pop Culture Mysteries: Smeller vs. Denier – Part 10


Part 1


I positioned my body in front of the door, preventing Yakubovich’s and Bellavenuti’s attempts at a swift exit.  My intervention gave the Countess enough time to produce a key from her pocket and lock the door.

Tempers were flaring.  I knew I had to restore order lest the group turn shutterstock_187399232into an angry mob and maul the Countess for the key.

“Remain calm and return to your seats,”  I said as a I raised my hands.  “As the only detective here, it is my duty to preserve the crime scene until this matter is resolved.”

“A crime?”  Yakubovich asked.  “You’re being ridiculous, aren’t you?  Surely, someone in this room has committed a breach of social etiquette but I highly doubt it would constitute a jailable offense.”

“I’m not talking about the antagonizing aroma,”  I said.  “I’m referring to the underlying offense that the stench was intended to quench, or cover up, as it were.”

The countess held a vial of smelling salts underneath Professor Fremont’s nose.  He began to stir.

Meanwhile, across the table, Muffy was in her chair, curled up in the fetal position, babbling on and on about her grandpappy Guillaume.

Lord Blackburn, who’d spaced out for a bit, managed to regain control of his senses.

“That was the most vile smell to have ever transgressed the depths of my nasal passages,” the Lord said.  “And in that assessment, I include the time I slit open the belly of a bull elephant and hid inside its guts for three days whilst trying to evade a predatory pride of lions who were hot on my trail.”

“Wow,”  I said.  “Three whole days?  No, no matter.  People, I had a check from the Hotel Rondileau in my jacket pocket for the sum of twenty-five grand and now it is nowhere to be found.”

Professor Fremont, now awake, sipped a glass of water.

“Are you sure you looked everywhere for it?”  the uptight intellectual asked.

“Of course.”

“Because it’s always in the last place you look, which seems like an ironic statement because of course, if you find it, then obviously that would be, by default, the last place you look.  Why would you continue the search for a found item?  But you know, Descartes once said…”


Looking back on it now, Bellavenuti’s “ughs” were the highlight of the evening.  She always went out of her way to make it known whenever someone was displeasing her.

“Signor Hatcher,”  the fashion designer said.  “You embarrass yourself with this petty accusation.  Look around you.  You are surrounded by people of high class and stature.  No one would lower themselves to abscond with your winnings.”

“Wouldn’t they?”  I asked.  “My dear, Signora Bellavenuti, one would ALSO presume that a gas attack so obscene in its approach and violent in its execution could NEVER occur in a room occupied by such a resplendent cadre of characters and yet here we are, are we not?”

For once in the evening, the good Signora was speechless.

“He’s got you there,” Fremont said.

“Oh, stifle yourself you pathetic creature.  You have been leering at me with that evil eye of yours all evening!”

“I was kicked in the face by a goat on my uncle’s farm when I was five years old,”  the scholar said.  “I can’t help it!”

The Count was back in his chair, watching helplessly as the duo of diplomats continued to eviscerate one another.

“We shall burn London to the ground!”  Charbonneau declared.

“We’ll knock over the Eiffel Tower and pick our teeth with it we will!”  Rupert replied.

“Hatcher,”  the Count said as he rested his head in his hands.  “Perhaps there are more pressing matters to attend to than your precious payday?  Such as, the preservation of peace, perhaps?!”

“You know you did it!”  Charbonneau said.

“Oh yeah?”  Rupert said.

The Brit stood up, leaned over the table, and prominently announced, “WELL, HE WHO SMELT IT, DEALT IT!”

A hushed panic embraced the group.  Gasps.  Whispers.  We were all descending into madness.

Charbonneau got on his feet.  He scratched his head, causing that dead animal he was trying to pass off as a wig to flop about, until finally he arrived at the perfect comeback.

“Sir.  I shall have you know that, HE WHO DENIED IT, SUPPLIED IT!”

And thus, the verbal joust began.  The scene became like a tennis match. One diplomat would levy an accusation, the other would knock a denial straight over the net.

“He who detected it, projected it!” Rupert proudly declared.

“He who refuted it, tooted it!” was the French ambassador’s entreaty.

Back and forth.  Back and forth.

“He who sayed it, sprayed it!”

“He who refused it, abused it!”

“He who bemoaned it, foamed it!”

“He who withdrew it, pooed it!”

“He who squealed it, congealed it!”

“He who said “no,” made it go!”

“He who announced it, pounced it!”

“He who doubted it, touted it!”

“He who flaunted it, taunted it!”

Two men.  Both masters at diplomacy, skilled in the art of debate.  They continued to attack and deflect for an hour.

They grew sweaty and weak.  They removed their jackets, loosened their ties and each man’s voice grew hoarse with exhaustion.

“Sir Rupert,” Charbonneau said.  “I have made accurate points.  You have returned with commendable counter-propositions, but even you surely must agree that….”

We waited for it.  It was on the tip of Charbonneau’s tongue.  He tapped a finger to his chin as he selected his words carefully.”

“…he who shunned it, BUMMED IT!”

“No!”  Rupert said, slapping his knee.  “That is off-rhyme, Ambassador!  ‘Shunned’ and ‘bummed’ are close together in sound, but close is not the name of the game here.  Relent sir, for you have been matched!”

“Preposterous!”  Charbonneau said.

That rug was barely hanging onto the Frenchman’s head now and he didn’t even notice.

“At no time was that made a rule of this contest.”

“It is an unwritten rule,”  Sir Rupert said.  “Concede your loss!”


“Gentlemen,”  I said.  “This is getting us nowhere.”

Copyright (c) Bookshelf Q. Battler 2015.

All Rights Reserved.

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Pop Culture Mysteries: Behind the Scenes – What Do You Think About Informant Zero?

Hey 3.5 Readers.

I'm looking for a better IZ pic but this will be him for now.

I’m looking for a better IZ pic but this will be him for now.

Another PCM Behind the Scenes, where I seek the advice of the 3.5 in writing Jake’s life.

So…Informant Zero.

What does everyone think of him as a character?

Here’s the lowdown of why I created him:

  • Originally, PCM was just supposed to be a fun, quick column.  I’d ask Jake, “Hey Jake, in the movie X, why did Y happen?
  • Then Jake would respond with a quick, “blah blah blah.”
  • But then imagination took over and I developed this long sweeping backstory that takes us through Jake’s past and his present with an ongoing hanging question of why did Jake fall asleep for 60 years?  (And eventually as the story progresses, why are all his past friends, enemies showing up in the present day?)
  • Therefore, Informant Zero will take on the “quick column idea.”
  • When the PCM site starts up, I’ll still give Jake “mysteries.” And he’ll go with the formula.

What’s the formula?

  • Jake’s doing something.
  • Delilah delivers him a mystery.
  • They banter.  Jake wants her.  Delilah rebuffs him.
  • Jake says “Oh this mystery reminds me of the time when….”
  • Jake recalls his adventure.
  • People who enjoy reading the adventures will hopefully have fun.  People who just wanted to know “Why X happened in Y movie” might get bored.
  • But then at the end Jake will offer his two cents as to why x happened in y movie or whatever the original PCM question was.

So basically, Informant Zero will just provide that quick Pop Culture Q and A.  A Q is asked and he gets right to the A without a big story in between.

But what do you think of him as a character?

I really enjoyed writing the parts about the “Anything Goes Club,” especially the first part where Jake and Delilah have to navigate past all sorts of debauchery.


  • I wrote the part about the “Anything Goes Club” because I just enjoyed the absurdism and found the idea of a secret club where celebrities go to do whatever they want and have wild, out of control parties was funny.
  • And then I put Informant Zero’s secret lair in the basement of that club.
  • But wait, if Informant Zero is “a shadowy information broker” who collects and trades info about celebrities, then why would the celebrities party at a club where his office is located?
  • Good question.  I realized that and tried to write my way around it.  I tried to explain it.  Let me know if the explanation makes sense.


  • Informant Zero uses his info gathering powers for good, not evil.  He’s not out to actively embarrass celebrities and/or the rich and influential, but will if he learns of some injustice afoot and needs to lean on someone with the power to change a bad situation into a good one.
  • He takes money from celebrities to use his powers to cover up their scandalous behaviors, ergo they like him and party at his club.
  • However, he’d never cover up a crime, just embarrassing scandals.

MAYBE IZ shouldn’t own the club?

All the debauchery described in part one is intended to be funny and more or less you could write it off, but then note there is a guy serving drugs at a bar, and that part was mainly added just so that there could be a joke where he rattles off a list of awful, hardcore drugs and then adds “Flintstone’s Vitamins” at the end.

Just random silliness, basically.

But then it hit me – If IZ owns the club, then he’s a drug dealer!  And we can’t have drug dealers working for BQB’s PCM spin off blog!

What would the 3.5 readers think?

So this will definitely need a rewrite.


  • IZ doesn’t own the Anything Goes club.  The celebrities just give him sanctuary there because they appreciate his coverup skills for their minor infractions.  He ignores their general debauchery, but does get involved when he learns of a crime.
  • Seperate IZ from the Anything Goes Club entirely.  IZ works somewhere else.  Think of another mystery entirely in which Jake investigates the Anything Goes Club or has to visit there in the course of an investigation, because the scenes themselves are too funny to lose.


IZ isn’t going to become that involved in the story.  His main function is to do what Jake was originally going to do, namely a quick Q and A about pop culture.  Occasionally, IZ might toss Jake a mystery or give him an assist with some info for a case he’s working on.

So it’s just a matter of coming up with an origin story.

Admittedly, a guy who collects info on celebrities with an office in a private celebrity depravity club is kind of problematic so I’ll have to figure this one out.


In PCM, BQB is already kind of the shadowy figure.

On the Bookshelf Battle Blog, BQB openly admits he’s a nerd from East Random Town, USA who by day works at Beige Corp and by night pursues his dreams of becoming a writer.

But in PCM, BQB is kind of like Charlie from Charlie’s Angels.

If you’ve never seen Charlie’s Angels, the angels were three hot 70’s women who worked for Detective Charlie.  They never actually saw Charlie.  When Charlie had a case for the angels, they’d meet with Bosley, Charlie’s assistant, and Charlie would talk to the angels through an intercom.

Mine’s different.  I, BQB, refuse to meet with Jake as I fear he’d just beat me senseless until I explain how he fell asleep in 1955 and woke up in 2014 and I’m withholding that info until he’s filed 100 PCM reports (in the hopes this will raise my readership past 3.5)

So I dispatch my attorney, Delilah, to deliver the mysteries to Jake.  Jake, in theory, could lean on Delilah to spill the beans, but he has the hots for her so doesn’t.

In other words, we have shadowy figure BQB and then we’d have a second shadowy figure, Informant Zero.

I don’t know.  Once IZ’s back story is set up he really won’t have much of a function than to write a quick, short weekly column, barely 500 words just providing quick explanations about PCM questions.

Redacted Celebrity Names

In the story, Jake’s new to the present, so he kind of recognizes the celebrities from TV, but doesn’t know them by name.  Delilah does recognize them, but when she refers to them, it comes up in the story as “Name Redacted.”

Because obviously, if Jake’s invited to a private club to conduct business, he wouldn’t blurt out the name of a celebrity he saw in his report to the 3.5 readers.

However, that cowboy with a cottage cheese problem – assuming there’s a point where I see this project is worth it to continue, I envision a season where Jake gets a job as a babysitter/security guard for a rambunctious actor.  Jake will continue to solve PCM’s but will do so out of the actor’s house where he’s staying instead of at his office above Ms. Tsang’s restaurant.  There will be a side story where Jake’s constantly bailing the actor out of trouble.  (Jake needs some kind of paying job above $5 a PCM case and can’t sponge off Ms. Tsang forever.)

So I’m thinking maybe this cowboy could become that actor (he’s not a cowboy he just likes to wear that hat while Czech dwarves…well, you can read the rest.

I’m not sure how to reconcile that.  Eventually, that celeb will have to be named.  Maybe when the time comes Jake can be like, “remember that cowboy from a previous post, well turns out I’m working for him now…”

Or forget the cowboy.  I could just invent a new, equally rambunctious actor.  There are probably a bunch of them.

What say you, 3.5?

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