Tag Archives: Mystery

Toilet Gator – Chapter 33.2

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While Maude fielded the freaks, Sharon and Gordon grilled Irving St. John. It was Sharon’s turn to hang back, while Gordon leered over Cole’s desk at the crooked agent. Irving had been allowed to put on a pair of sweat pants and a white T-shirt before the SWAT team hauled him up to Sitwell.

“Anything you want to say before I get started?” Gordon asked.

“I think you should be saying something,” Irving said as he struggled against the handcuffs that bound his wrists around his back. “A lot of things. How about, ‘I’m sorry, Mr. St. John” and “Please do sic all your high priced Jew lawyers on me for being an idiot?’”

“That’s very offensive,” Sharon said.

“And racist,” Gordon added.

“Why do people keep saying that?” Irving asked. “Do you know how long it takes to go to law school?”

“Three years,” Sharon said. “Four if you go at night like I did.”

Irving appeared shocked at that answer. Sharon continued. “We aren’t a couple of rubes that you can bark at until we give one of you no talent clients some air time. You wouldn’t be here without a good reason.”

“A very, very good reason,” Gordon said.

“Well,” Irving said. “I can’t imagine what that reason could possibly be.”

Sharon and Gordon traded knowing looks. Gordon opened up a file folder. “In total, how much money would you say you stole from your client, Miss Sally Ann Dubawitz, better known by her stage name, ‘Countess Cucamonga?’”

Irving laughed. “That’s a good one.”

The agents stared at the suspect long enough for him to realize they weren’t laughing. “You’re serious.”

“Dead serious,” Gordon said.

“I’m not saying another word until I can speak to my attorney,” Irving said.

Gordon looked at Sharon and shook his head. “That’s too bad.”

“Yeah,” Sharon replied. “I really thought he’d want to help himself.”

“Apparently not,” Gordon said as he closed the folder. “OK. We’re done here.”

“Wait,” Irving said. “What’s this about helping myself?”

“You’ve invoked your right to counsel, Mr. St. John,” Sharon explained. “There’s little room left for us to discuss the matter with you now.”

“Discuss!” Irving shouted. “Discuss, discuss!”

“You’d have to wave your right to counsel,” Sharon said.

“Consider it waved!” Irving shouted.

“Mr. St. John,” Sharon said. “At this time, I have to advise you that you have the right to remain silent. If you wave that right, anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of law. You also have a right to an attorney. If you can’t afford an attorney…”

“Yeah, yeah, lady,” Irving said. “I watch Law and Order. Just tell me how to get out of this nightmare already!”

“Truthfully,” Sharon said. “I’m not sure how much help we can offer given the gravity of the crimes.”

“Best case scenario,” Gordon said. “We’re talking about multiple life sentences.”

“Life sentences?” Irving asked.

“At best,” Sharon said. “We might be able to talk about making the conditions of your lifetime confinement more comfortable.”

“Lifetime confinement?” Irving said. “Just for skimming a little cream off the top?!”

“For the murders of Miss Dubawitz, Mr. Hogan, and Mr. Becker,” Irving said.

“Who the hell are Mr. Hogan and Mr. Becker?” Irving asked.

“Interesting,” Gordon said.

“Yes,” Sharon said. “He’s copping to Dubawitz but wants to keep playing dumb on Hogan and Becker.”

“Playing dumb will get you nowhere,” Gordon said.

“I’m not playing dumb!” Irving shouted. “I am dumb!”

“We’ve got the goods on you, St. John,” Gordon said. “Countless files and bank statements weaving the cheap and tawdry tale of how robbed Countess Cucamonga blind.”

“Impossible,” Irving said. “You’ve got nothing.”

Gordon spread out several documents across Cole’s desk. Irving read them and frowned. “How did you…but…these have to be fakes. I wiped the Countess’ computer after she…”

Sharon’s eyes widened. Gordon pounded his fist down on the desk. “After you killed her!”

“What?” Irving asked. “No!”

“Stop jerking us around, dildo boy,” Gordon said. “The Countess figured you out. You somehow caught wind of that and you put her on ice.”

“And as you just freely admitted,” Sharon said. “You covered your tracks by erasing material evidence.”

“I’m not admitting anything,” Irving said. “I just know for a fact that those printouts cant be real.”

“Unless they represent files printed off of a device that was turned over to us by a concerned citizen,” Gordon said.

“One with a freshly inked immunity in exchange for testimony deal,” Sharon said.

Irving’s mind raced. He sat up. “That nerdy little stalker!”

“We can’t confirm or deny that,” Gordon said.

“I…I…I…” Irving stammered. “I can fight this. Those transactions are debatable. Justifiable, even. A good lawyer will be able to argue that they were owed to me based on a reasonable interpretation of the various contracts held between the Countess and myself. At best, they were legal payments to myself and at worst, they were accidental withdrawals based on a misunderstanding, one I’m truly remorseful for and I’ll gladly reimburse the late Countess’ estate immediately.”

Sharon and Gordon were silent.

“I went to law school at night too,” Irving said.

“The theft beef is the least of your worries,” Gordon said. “We get why you whacked the Countess. We just want to know why you killed Hogan and Becker. Give us the skinny so their families can have some closure.”

Irving looked at the agents with stone faced defiance. “I didn’t kill anyone. I kill with my charm, my good looks, my business savvy but with my hands? No. You’ve got the wrong guy.”

“Do we?” Gordon asked.

“Why would I kill the Countess?” Irving asked. “She was the proverbial goose that laid the golden egg and she laid a ton of ‘em, right out of that big gluteus maximus of hers. You think I ever wanted that gravy train to stop?”

“You strike me as the kind of pussy that would kill a woman because you know you’re too delicate to last five minutes behind bars,” Gordon said.

“What about Hogan and Becker?” Sharon asked.

“What about them?” Irving asked. “Who are they?”

“Your victims,” Gordon said. “If you’re going to go around and around with stupid questions you know the answer to…”

“Wait,” Irving said. “Are you talking about the other two people who died on the can the same night as the Countess?”

Gordon leaned back in Cole’s chair. “For a guy who says he doesn’t know much about it, you seem to know a lot.”

“Everyone knows about it!” Irving said. “It’s been all over Network News One!”

“How do they fit into your twisted little game?” Sharon asked.

“Bullshit!” Gordon shouted.

“I have no idea who they are!” Irving said. “I’ve never met them. But I’ve been glued to the coverage like everyone else. Look idiots, do you really think I could have killed the Countess, even though her guards where with me the entire time, then spoke to you two that night in her dressing room and then, what? I magically transported myself with lightning speed to a nursing home in Boca Raton and then to a college in Sitwell? Only the Flash could move that fast.”

“You’re a wealthy man, Mr. St. John,” Sharon said.

“You’ve got pull,” Gordon said. “Connections. Power. Combine that with money and I’m sure you could have found a way to have others do your dirty work for you.”

“First, a cover up murder,” Sharon said. “Then two random murders committed by hired goons under similar circumstances in order to make the Countess’ death appear as though it was one part of a mysterious serial killer’s bizarre master plan.”

“OK,” Irving said. “You two have gone gonzo. Batshit bonkers. I’m not saying another word until I can speak to my lawyers. I want my Jews.”

“Mr. St. John,” Sharon said. “If you…”

“I want my Jews!” Irving said. “And I shall have my Jews! No more questions.”

Gordon stood up, walked around the desk, and helped Irving to his feet. He then grabbed the perp by the arm and led him out of Cole’s office. Sharon followed.

While Gordon led Irving to a holding cell, Sharon looked around the room, her mouth agape at the sheer number of loonies who had shown up with something to say about the Toilet Killer.

“Wow Maude,” Sharon said. “Looks like your hands are full.”

“Yes,” Maude replied. “Anytime you want to spare some of those agents you’ve got running around, installing this and that and tearing up the place, and put them on nutcase detail, I’d appreciate it.”

Natalie Brock, who had been sitting next to Maude’s desk, stood up. “Agent Walker?”

“Oh, right,” Maude said. “Sharon, this woman claims she’s a Hot Ass Blonde Chick with Big Titties from Network News One with some important information for you.”

Sharon squinted at Natalie and moved in for a closer look. “That can’t be right.”

“Why do you say that?” Natalie asked.

Sharon struggled to find the right words. “Because you aren’t…and you don’t have…”presentation01

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 18

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As Sharon entered the lobby of the sorority house, Cole’s heart did backflips. Sharon was walking normally, but it had been so long since Cole had seen his ex-wife that he felt as though he was staring at her while she was walking in slow motion. Every hair flip took forever, every step seemed like it was a thousand years. It was almost as if his mind was slowing the image of his long lost love down on the premise that he better drink in a good view of her now before he never sees her again.

“Hello Cole,” Sharon said as she gave her ex-husband a brief, polite hug. Cole didn’t return it. He was so surprised to see Sharon that he just stood there in a daze. Oddly enough, he could even hear his favorite romantic cowboy song. He thought that was strange, and wondered whether or not he was losing his mind.

“Oh my old lady…done got up and walked out on me.
And now I’m so lonely, I can hardly even see,
What’s the point of not drinkin’ from now until infinity?
Oh drink, yes I’ll drink, till she’s gone right out my mind.
Toss back that whiskey, till the barkeep calls quittin’ time.
But no matter how much damage I do to my liver,
I’ll try my best to forgive her,
But Lord knows I’ll never forget her.”

Rusty’s voice broke Cole out of the trance. “Sorry,” Rusty said as he poked a button on his phone. “I bumped into the wall and my ass turned on my radio app.”

“Rusty,” Sharon said as she gave the red headed a lawman an equally quick hug.

He threw Cole a confused look. “Sharon.”

“How are you?” Sharon asked Cole.

Cole found a little spot on the floor to poke with the toe of his boot, a tactic that he used to stall for time. “Oh, fine, fine.”

Gordon had been standing off to the side for awhile. He coughed to remind his partner he was still there.

“Where are my manners?” Sharon said. “Cole, meet my partner, Gordon Bishop.”

Gordon and Cole locked eyes and traded angry glares. Neither of them knew why, but they instantly did not like one another. Their hands launched out like two angry sharks, consuming one another in a handshake. Gordon squeezed Cole’s hand tightly. Cole returned the gesture with a hard squeeze of their own. The faces of both men turned red. They gritted their teeth, waiting to see who would bow out first until finally they both caved at the exact same time.

“Gordon,” Sharon said. “This is Officer Rusty Yates.”

Before Rusty even knew it, his hand was being crushed by Gordon’s giant hand.

“A pleasure,” Gordon said.

As soon as Rusty’s hand was released, he shook it to and fro until the feeling returned. “Oh shit…likewise, big fella. Likewise.”

Cole scratched the back of his head. “What brings you big time city folk to our little old neck of the woods?”

“Take a wild guess,” Sharon said.

Cole was too busy sniffing the air. It smelled of Eau de Price Town, the cheap perfume that Sharon had always worn. How he missed it. It was as if each nostril full brought him nourishment.

“Countess Cucamonga,” Rusty said.

Sharon tapped the side of her nose with her finger. “You got it.”

“You got any leads?” Rusty asked.

“Just an idiot who’s cooling his heels in lockup,” Sharon said. “But other than that, not a one. Frankly, we were hoping you’d have some.”

Cole kept staring at Sharon. Suddenly, he realized he’d been staring for too long, so he looked around the room, anywhere he could to avoid eye contact.

“Cole?” Sharon asked.

“Huh?” Cole asked as he stared at the ceiling.

“You got anything?” Sharon asked.

“Oh,” Cole said. He half-looked at Sharon. He couldn’t bring himself to look her in the eye, so he focused on the wall just to the right of her. “Not much. Bunch of college kids in the bathroom. The male’s dead. The four females were knocked unconscious and rushed to the hospital.”

“Well,” Sharon said. “We’ll have to talk to them as soon as they wake up.”

Cole nodded.

“What about that old timer in the nursing home?” Rusty asked. “Saw one of the Hot Ass Blonde Chicks with Big Titties talking about it on NN1.”

“Yeah,” Sharon said. “And frankly, I was surprised the media found out about that so quickly. Pretty much the same situation. Man sits on the toilet, ends up all over the walls. No one knows how. No one knows a damn thing.”
Rusty cracked his knuckles. “Sounds like we got the case of the century here.”

“Sure does,” Sharon replied.

“Well, as soon as the state crime lab boys grace us with their presence, we might know more,” Rusty said. “We’ve been cooling our heels waiting on them awhile.”

“Oh,” Sharon said. “I probably should have called ahead and filled you two in. I called the state crime lab off.”

Cole was useless. Still looking around the room. Still smelling the perfumed air.

Gordon chimed in. “Because we can’t trust a crime scene of this magnitude to a bunch of backwater hayseeds, Opie.”

Rusty stepped up to Gordon. “Opie? Who are you calling Opie?”

Gordon was at least five inches taller than Rusty and had fifty pounds of extra muscle. He looked down at his challenger. “You, Opie.”

Rusty’s angry face disappeared. A fake smile emerged. “Oh! Because of my red hair! I get it. Hilarious, man.”

Sharon turned to Cole. “Thank you for everything. We’ll take it from here.”

Cole nodded.

Rusty was irate. “What?”

“The FBI will be running with the ball on this investigation,” Sharon said.

“The hell you are!” Rusty said.

“You got a problem with that, Opie?” Gordon asked.

Rusty gulped a big helping of fear down his throat, then looked up at Gordon. “As a matter of fact, I do, Gigantor. Cole and I have been patrolling this town for going on twenty years now and the one time something happens worth investigating and you two hot shots with your fancy suits think you’re going to waltz right in here and take it away from us?”

“Damn right, Ritchie Cunningham,” Gordon said.

“Ah, hell,” Rusty said. “That doesn’t even count.”

“It counts,” Gordon said.

“No it doesn’t,” Rusty said. “Because Ritchie Cunningham and Opie were played by the same person, so it’s not like you thought of a new insult.”

“You know I did, Ron Howard,” Gordon said.

Rusty pointed a finger at Gordon. “Now, see! That doesn’t count either!”

Sharon inserted herself between Gordon and Rusty, largely because she saw Gordon was getting a crazy look in his eye, a look she’d seen before her partner had gone off on people larger than Rusty and crushed them with his pinky finger.

“Boys!” Sharon said. “That’s enough. Rusty, this case is bigger than all of us. We’re not going to shut Sitwell PD out of this. You and Cole will be a very important part of the task force.”

“Task force?” Rusty said.

“I’ve got a team on the way to set up shop in your department HQ,” Sharon said.

Rusty couldn’t believe it. It was like every word out of Sharon’s mouth was worst than the last one.

“You’re taking over our department?” Rusty asked.

“Don’t be silly,” Sharon said. “Just the building. Miami’s become a madhouse with all the media coverage, so we need somewhere quiet to work. But don’t worry, Cole will still run Sitwell PD.”

“Oh,” Rusty said as he folded his arms. “That’s very kind of you, Your Highness.”

“I don’t like your attitude, Rusty,” Sharon said as she looked to Cole. “Are you going to say something to your boy here?”

Rusty also looked to his longtime partner. “Yeah, Cole. Say something to these carpetbagging bottom feeders. Kick their asses outta here.”

It took a few seconds for Cole to realize he was being spoken to. When he saw Sharon and Rusty staring at him and waiting for a response, he started to walk away.

“Sounds good, Sharon,” Cole said as he pushed the lobby door open. “Let me know if you need anything.”

As soon as Cole was out the door, Sharon stuck her tongue out at Rusty.

“Succubus!” Rusty shouted.

“See you later, Ron Howard,” Gordon said.

Rusty flipped out. “I’m not Ron Howard! Ron Howard is bald! I have a thick, luscious mane of hair!”

The redhead stormed out onto the campus and caught up to Cole.
“What are you doing?” Rusty asked.

Cole walked faster than his feet had ever taken him before, putting as much distance between himself and the crime scene as possible.

“Aww, who gives a shit, Rusty?” Cole said. “They want it? Let ‘em have it. I got more important things to do. I don’t need to be marching all over God’s green earth looking for the fat ass pop star killer.”

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Nine Weeks of Toilet Gator Sundays!

Happy Easter, 3.5 readers.  Do yourself a favor.  Cancel all your plans with family and friends.

Instead of that whole mess, kick back with a beer and a chocolate bunny and read the greatest novel ever written about an alligator who pops out of toilets and bites people on the butt.

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Toilet Gator – Chapter 11

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12:00 A.M.

The late Countess Cucamonga’s dressing room had become a full fledged crime scene. FBI Agent Sharon Walker supervised as an army of forensic technicians worked the scene, placing every blood soaked item into individual evidence bags. She was a tall woman in her late thirties. Her long black hair was pulled back behind her head in a ponytail and a pair of sunglasses sat on top of her forehead. Much like her black pantsuit, her demeanor was all business.

“Bag and tag everything, people,” Sharon said. “And God help you if I see those butt implants being sold on the Internet.”

Sharon’s partner, Gordon Bishop, was a snappy dresser. He wore a dark suit with white pinstripes, suspenders, and a wide white tie. A red pocket square poked ever so slightly out of his breast pocket.

“What do you suppose could have done this?” Gordon asked.

“I don’t know,” Sharon said. “Chainsaw? Wood chipper?”

“I suppose,” Gordon said.

“What else could liquify a human body within seconds and leave it sprayed all over the walls?” Sharon asked.

“So I’m a world famous pop star with a fat ass,” Gordon said.

“The fat ass part is the only believable portion of that statement,” Sharon replied.

“Shut up, bitch,” Gordon said. “You know I work out more than you do. So anyway, I’m a world famous pop star with a fat ass. I just did a big show. I say good night to my manager and my security guards. I come inside my dressing room. I enter my bathroom to take a shit and what, some psycho with a chainsaw is waiting for me?”

“Or a wood chipper,” Sharon said.

“OK,” Gordon said. “Assume for the sake of argument that some whacko was able to sneak a chainsaw or a wood chipper or some other kind of large cutting device into the building and get past all of the security and end up lying in wait in Countess Cucamonga’s dressing room and he slices and dices her, what happens next?”

“Both guards made it clear in their statements that the second they heard the Countess scream, they ran into the room and found the bathroom in the horrendous state it is in now,” Sharon said.

“Right,” Gordon said. “Which begs the question, ‘How did the perp get away?’”

“It’s like he vanished into thin air,” Sharon said.

“With his giant cutting device as well?” Gordon said. “Something doesn’t add up.”

Sharon poked her head into the bathroom, where a technician was taking photographs of all the blood and guts stuck to the walls. “A lot of things don’t add up.”

“Why would the suspect bust up the toilet?” Gordon asked. “Why would he break the water pipe?”

Sharon sighed. “It’s like every question generates a new question…and the answers never come.”

Gordon’s ringtone blared. “Stank Daddy in the house, gonna smack a bitch…”

“Hello?” Gordon asked as he raised the phone to his ear. “Uh huh…”

Gordon looked to his partner and raised his pointer finger up in the air as if to say, “one minute.” He then stepped out into the hallway.

Irving, Countess Cucamonga’s manager, sat on a couch, crying with his head in his hands. Sharon took a seat next to him.

“I’ve answered all your questions!” Irving snapped.

“I know,” Sharon said.

Irving wiped the tears from his cheeks. “I’ve got nothing to hide.”

“I didn’t say you did,” Sharon said.

“Good,” Irving said.

Sharon ran her left hand along the soft, velvety couch arm. “Although in my experience, people with something to hide usually don’t blurt out, ‘I’ve got nothing to hide.’”

“I didn’t do it,” Irving said. “Why would I? The woman was making me a fortune. She was my cash cow, my meal ticket, my, my…”

“Relax,” Sharon said. “I don’t think you did it.”

“Thank God,” Irving said. “I wouldn’t last a day in prison.”

“What I would like to know…”

Irving interrupted his inquisitor. “Seriously, they’d pass me around the yard like a doobie and do all manner of unspeakable things to my butt hole.”

“Your butt hole is safe,” Sharon said. “Now, what I would like to know, is who do you think did it?”

Irving sat back and stared at the ceiling. “Who do I think did it?”

“Any suspects come to mind?” Sharon asked. “A jealous ex-boyfriend? An ex-employee with a grudge? A psycho fan, a…”

Irving snapped his fingers. “A psycho fan.”

“She had one?” Sharon asked.

“Tons of them,” Irving said. “Literally every man in the world was in love with her enormous behind.”

“I’m aware,” Sharon said. “I have a TV.”

“Thousands of letters pour in everyday, weirdo perverts ranting and raving about all the terrible things they want to do to her butt,” Irving said.

“The price of fame,” Sharon said.

“Yeah,” Irving said. “But there’s this one guy. Freddie Milton.”

“What about him?” Sharon asked.

“Insane stalker,” Irving said. “Sent her videos of himself naked, cutting himself, saying he wanted to crawl up inside her giant ass and live inside it forever.”

“Ugh,” Sharon said.

“She had a restraining order against him,” Irving said. “Last year, she came home and found him lying on her bed, wearing her clothes, two giant soccer balls stuffed down the back of his underpants. Told her he wanted to be with her while he was dressed like her.”

“What happened?” Sharon asked.

“Security goons beat the shit out of him,” Irving said. “Drove him out to the desert and threw him out of the car. Judge ordered him to stay a thousand yards away at all times. She never heard from him again.”

Sharon pulled a small notebook out of her pocket and jotted Freddie Milton’s name, as well as some of the details Irving had shared.

“I’ll definitely be passing this along to Miami PD,” Sharon said.

“Miami PD?” Irving asked. “But the Countess deserves the best!”

“Honestly, sir,” Sharon said. “We came at the request of Miami PD to back them up as this is a high profile celebrity case but ultimately, this is Miami’s jurisdiction here.”

Irving pointed towards the bathroom. “I know a lot of people wrote her off as just another flighty diva, but she was an angel, I tell you.”

“I’m sure she was quite special,” Sharon said.

“She was literally on the verge of saving the world with her exquisite ass!” Irving said.

“I’m sure she was,” Sharon said.

Gordon appeared in the doorway and motioned for Sharon to join him. As soon as Sharon entered the hallway, Gordon started walking. Sharon followed.

“Where are we going?” Sharon asked.

“You’re never going to believe this,” Gordon said.

“Try me,” Sharon said.

“Two more murders,” Gordon said. “One at a nursing home in Boca Raton. One at a community college.”

“Holy shit,” Sharon said.

“Same circumstances,” Gordon added.

“Same circumstances?” Sharon asked.

“Victims killed on the toilet,” Gordon said. “Their bodies eviscerated, nothing but blood and guts on the walls remaining. Toilets and water pipes broken.”

“A serial killer?” Sharon asked.

“Or a serial killing cult,” Gordon answered.

“Holy shit,” Sharon said. “The FBI has jurisdiction then.”

“Damn right we do,” Gordon said. “Special Agent in Charge Baker says we’re on this mess for the duration.”

Sharon pulled a pack of cigarettes out of her pocket and popped a smoke into her mouth. She then pulled out her lighter and lit the cigarette.

“Guess I’ll be putting off my plan to quit smoking until next month,” Sharon said.

The duo reached an elevator. Gordon pushed the call button.

“Do what you want,” Gordon said. “But can I give you some free advice?”

“Would it matter if I said no?” Sharon asked.

“No,” Gordon said.

Ding! The elevator doors opened. The duo entered. Gordon pushed the button for the lobby.

“If you wait for your life to get easy before you fix it, then your life will never get any easier,” Gordon said.

“That was exceptionally profound, Gordo,” Sharon said. “You pull that out of a fortune cookie or something?”

Gordon shook his head. “Read a book, bitch. Read a book.”

Ding! The elevator doors opened. Sharon and Gordon made their way into the lobby, through a sea of unruly fans and out of control paparazzi. Their camera flashes were blinding. Sharon dropped her sunglasses over her eyes.

“Where’s the community college?”

“Sitwell,” Gordon replied.

Sharon’s face turned red. “Son of a bitch.”

“Something wrong?”  Gordon asked.

Sharon went into a trance for a few moments, then snapped out of it.  She pulled her phone out of her pocket and started dialing.  “No.  I just need to get a pervert arrested.”

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TV Review – Pushing Daisies (2007-2009)

This is the best show that you probably never saw.

Dead revival powers + lighthearted mysteries + awkward (and dangerous) romance = Pushing Daisies.

BQB here with yet another TV review.

It often astounds me what the network suits decide should be cancelled and what should stay on.  It was truly a “grave” (ha, puns!) injustice that this show didn’t get more seasons.

How to explain it?

As a child, Ned learns he has a mysterious, supernatural power – he can bring the dead back to life with his touch.

Of course, nothing is that simple and there are some catches:

  • If he brings a dead someone or some thing back to life, a live someone or some thing in the surrounding area will die to balance things out.
  • If he touches the revived dead again, he/she/it will die again, this time permanently, and the touch will not work on that subject again.

As an adult, Ned (Lee Pace) has opened up his own pie show, “The Pie Hole” but it is failing financially.

So, he teams up with private investigator Emerson Cod (Chi McBride).  Ned touches murdered people, he and Emerson ask them how they died and (hopefully if they know, who killed them).  They only have sixty seconds to make their inquiries and then Ned must touch the person before someone else in the area dies in the revived dead person’s place.

Emerson then passes it all off as though he solved the crime through his masterful detective skills and splits any ensuing reward money with Ned.

The situation becomes complicated when his childhood friend Charlotte aka “Chuck” (Anna Friel) returns to her hometown, but not as Ned would have hoped.

Chuck has been murdered, but when her body is shipped home for burial, Ned brings her back to life.

Chuck is grateful and joins in Ned and Emerson’s crime solving routine.  Alas, Ned and Chuck must figure out a way to keep their romance alive despite Ned not being able to touch Chuck ever again because if he does…she’ll die.

Without giving too much away, it involves a lot of plastic wrap.

I’m not sure where you’ll be able to watch it, 3.5 readers. At the time of this writing, I wasn’t able to find it on Netflix.  I’m sure it must be around somewhere and I suppose if you have the dough and love the show enough you could buy it but if you know where it can be streamed let my 3.5 readers and I know.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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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.

Silence.

“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. 

Nothing.

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.

“IT WAS HER TWIN SISTER ALL ALONG!!!”  I hollered.  “SHE SLEPT WITH ALL THOSE MEN!  SHE STOLE THE DUCHESS’ JEWELS!  MAGGIE WAS JUST TAKING THE RAP BECAUSE SHE DIDN’T WANT HER SISTER TO WIND UP IN THE SLAMMER!”

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. 

“IT WAS DARK AND HE PRETENDED TO BE JOHNNY!”  I screamed back.  “IT REALLY WAS AN ACCIDENT!  NOT HER FAULT AT ALL!”

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.

“Touche.”

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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Coming Soon – Pop Culture Mysteries – All Day Sucker

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Blondes – the bane of Jake’s existence.

June 1, 1954. It was the day Jake Dashing fell asleep at his desk, never to wake up again until June 1, 2014. He slept for sixty years exactly.

Soon, Bookshelf Q. Battler’s 3.5 readers will learn the details behind the last day Jake spent in the 1950’s.

Our resident gumshoe always was a sucker for a pretty face and on the last day from his past, there wasn’t an exception.

Alana Harris. The buxom bombshell actress and star of the film, Love is Not Enough comes to Jake with a proposition: snap some photos of her husband Buck Bettencourt in the throes of passion with his floozy on the side and she will…make it worth his while.

Jake’s pretty sure he knows what that means but demands clarification nonetheless.  Never trust a dame, especially a dazzling one.

But Bettencourt isn’t just any old mark. He’s a major Hollywood power player, the owner of Bettencourt Studios and the friend everyone in Tinseltown wants to have.

Jake arrives on the scene only to find foul play.  Is it a set up? He’ll spend his last day in the 1950’s clearing his name.

Bookshelf Q. Battler is currently reviewing Jake Dashing’s case report and hopes to add it to Pop Culture Mysteries – Season One by New Year’s.

Of course, it’ll become part of popculturemysteries.com later in 2016.

What is it about yellow hair that turns a man into a chuckling chowderhead?  If Jake knew, his life would be a lot easier, but a lot less interesting.

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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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Pop Culture Mysteries – Season One Ranked #795 on Wattpad

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Take a knee, 3.5 readers, for I have some joyous news to share.

Pop Culture Mysteries – Season One is currently ranked #795 is Mystery/Thriller on Wattpad.

I know! It’s the first time I’ve been ranked on any kind of list, and that includes all of those field day participation ribbons I racked up in elementary school.

You have questions, don’t you?

WHAT IS WATTPAD? 

It’s a great site where writers can publish and share their stories.

WHY WOULD I WANT TO DO THAT?

To gain a following. To share ideas. To get feedback. For me, it has helped me get over that little voice that whispers “you’re not good enough!” in my ear. When people start sharing positive comments, that voice starts to pipe down. I highly recommend it.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE RANKED #795?

Fame. Fortune. Hot babes throwing themselves at me. (Video Game Rack Fighter is too busy playing Car Thief Mayhem to care.)

No. None of these things. It basically means of all the Mystery/Thriller stories on Wattpad, I’m in the top 1,000.

That was a big boost that I needed. As we head into the new year, there’s been a voice in my head nagging me that I’m wasting my time with this and I needed something like this to happen.

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Aunt Gertie’s going to tell all the gals at the old folks’ home about this!

HOW DID IT HAPPEN?

I’m not sure. If you know how the Wattpad rankings work, please let me know. I’ve been making an effort to comment/share feedback on others’s stories lately, I started a new site for the “Pop Culture Mysteries” –  popculturemysteries.com, a Facebook page  and so on.

I’ve been posting the story in rough draft form on this site, Bookshelf Battle, since June and have been sharing PCM stories on Wattpad for awhile.

BUT – what really surprised me is that this particularly version “Pop Culture Mysteries – Season One” has only been up since the beginning of December. So to get into the top grand people really began taking notice, however it happened.

WHAT’S GOING ON WITH SEASON ONE?

My writing process:

  • I’ve written some posts on this blog. I am writing others in a word document.
  • I’m revising them, polishing them, and posting them in Season One on Wattpad.
  • Eventually, these posts will reach their final home on popculturemysteries.com, which should be “officially” up and running by April 1.
  • Right now, I’m wrapping up a revised edition of “Enter the Blonde” in which Jake and Delilah meet for the first time and negotiate the infamous “Pop Culture Mystery Contract.”

HOW CAN WE HELP YOU, BQB?

An excellent question. Frankly, it’s about time you asked it. The first thought you should have when you wake up in the morning should be, “What can I do to help Bookshelf Q. Battler’s writing career?”

I’m not doing this for me. I’m doing this for Earth. The Mighty Potentate has threatened to conquer our planet if I don’t get myself established as a noteworthy scribe soon.

My hope is to sustain and even surpass this rank. I’d like to move up higher on the charts.

If you’re on Wattpad, please consider following me – @bookshelfbattle and voting for/commenting on “Pop Culture Mysteries – Season One.”

Let me know what’s working and what isn’t. All kidding aside, this is a fun, unique story told in a very distinct hardboiled voice, and I think people are slowly but surely starting to recognize it.

I just need to get my butt in gear to keep them coming back for more.

If you’re not a Wattpadder, become one! Sign up, share some stories, trade ideas with other writers. Maybe this will be your big break. A number of writing careers have been successfully launched thanks to Wattpad.

THANKS 3.5 READERS

You are all appreciated. I couldn’t have done this without you. By the way, do you realize if each of you would just tell one friend about my efforts, I’d end up with 7 whole readers?

So many readers.  Must have more readers…

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Golden Age of Hollywood Interviews

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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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