Good evening, sir. A big ring-a-ding-ding to you, too. And mademoiselle! Welcome to Toots Shor’s. Yes, quite a swinging clam-bake tonight. I hear it always is.
Table for two? I see. We’ve nothing just now. Perhaps for quite some time.
Yes, I’m sure you are ready to wet your whistles. Unfortunately, as you say, the clams are really baking, aren’t they? What name shall I put your party under?
Could you spell that for me? S-I-N-A-P-R-A. Mr. Sinapra, if I could just get you to step aside–
Oh, Sina-TRA, is it? I beg your pardon. As you can see, Mr. Sinatra, we’re rather busy at the moment. Friday night, all of Midtown swinging. So have a seat, and I’ll call you when—
Seated now? I’m terribly sorry, sir. It’s quite impossible. These good people ahead of you have been waiting– Continue reading One Half of an Awkward Conversation: Table for Mr. Sinatra
March 24, 2016
By Certified Mail
Mr. Robert Mangeot, Author of Shameless and Baseless Works of Fiction
Dear Mr. Mangeot:
The venerated and venerable law firm Vernon Stagg and Associates represents the selfsame Vernon Stagg, Esq., a noted figure of legal and civic stature in the greater metropolitan Nashville area. We mean none other than the capitol of the great state of Tennessee. Music City.
As you must surely know, having authored such a mistaken and misguided mischaracterization as “The Cumberland Package,” published in the May 2016 edition of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, you present to Nashville’s reading and voting public a grievously and grotesquely false depiction of Vernon Stagg. For the legal record and for all other records of important nature, now and in perpetuity, in his representation of Mr. Chit “Big Kick” Bowling, Vernon Stagg at no time and in no way engaged in any of the following: conspiracy to commit murder; Continue reading Humor: In Which Vernon Stagg Self-Lawyers Up
JOHN GERMAINE, a play-by-play announcer
HAMISH MacFLAGON, a color analyst and former world champion
PETER CHERSKY, a Russian championship contender
EMILIANA, a Brazilian championship contender
various officials and audience members
JOHN: This is it, the match we’ve waited for all year! Welcome, everybody, to beautiful Dubai and the WFTTT World Tic-Tac-Toe Championships. Glad you could join us. I’m John Germaine, and with me as always is legend of the three-by-three Hamish MacFlagon.
HAMISH: Noughts and crosses, Johnnie! Noughts and crosses do not get any better!
JOHN: Hoo boy! It does not. It’s all come down to this, Hamish. Two contrasting styles going for the trophy today, Russian ice versus Brazilian fire.
HAMISH: Aye, we got a belter of a match ahead. A real belter. They go about the hashtag in their own way, but both can put three squares together.
JOHN: Russian Pyeter Chersky was Continue reading A Play in One Scene: Glory on the Hashtag
Bob’s note: written for the season of good natures and with love and respect for Raymond Chandler’s work. The main case referenced below is the plot thread of Farewell, My Lovely, my favorite of the Marlowe books and set in 1939.
Christmas Eve, and a blade-straight wind is scraping dirt off the San Gabriel Mountains. Out my window the drunks are slurring carols, and eggnog-soaked housewives are screaming their holiday wishes. So much for throwing open my sash.
I shouldn’t complain. Tonight marks the first holiday in memory no one has sapped me roadside, bedside, poolside, ringside or portside. Take how 1939 came: the hard way. My first waking moment of it was from the bottom of a Malibu ravine, courtesy of whoever dumped me there. Midnight on December 31 some people got a kiss. I took a sap to the head. Happy New Year, Marlowe.
I write you from inside a cloud of cigarette smoke. Outside the cloud is my room at the Bristol. It is the kind of place you might want to call home, but only after waking up in a few ravines. On my door hangs a sunburned wreath as gnarled as the traffic on Sunset. Around my window is a strand of colored lights supposed to make the season merry. Half the bulbs have already called it quits. I don’t blame them. In Hollywood neon outmuscles electric and keeps my apartment tinged the local brand of scarlet. I also tied a bow atop my house bottle of Four Roses. I am in a cloud of that too.
The bourbon is in the hopes Continue reading Satire: Philip Marlowe’s 1939 Christmas Card Note