It’s the middle of February, a couple degrees above zero. So where are all these people going? It takes me an hour to drive from the outskirts of town to the seafront, and another 20 minutes to find some place to park. The beach is crowded with people from London town and seagulls from France. Those jokers better not think I’ve forgotten the last time they tried to mess with me. Nobody takes a dump in Luigi O’Reillys ear and flies off majestically into the Malibu sky. Nobody. So I’m behind enemy lines, I’m eating a doughnut I paid too much dough for from some nut on the pier. I’m looking straight at the seagulls and I’m guessing they’re looking straight at me. This time they ain’t gonna swoop down and grab my doughnut with their pretty beaks. Not this time. See, I got too much pride to let some two-bit scavenger make a monkey out of me.
What the hell is this? You call this a beach? No sand, just stones the size of eight balls, stretching out miles along the coast. Crazies sitting on the stones eating their crazy man food. Then I get to thinking, they can’t all be crazy. And they sure ain’t here for the weather. Something’s going on here and I’m gonna get to the bottom of it.
I leave the beach and head back into the town, after only a couple of hours I find a place to park. I think about checking the parking sign but figure it’s Sunday and I’m hungry – so I go looking for a bar. I find one. They got steak on the menu.
“How do you want it done” the kid says.
“Well…”, I said, pausing dramatically.
“I want it it done quick, and I want it done good. But mostly I want it done quick.” I turn my gaze sharply to the ceiling, following his eyes, but there’s nothing there. I guess he’s just kinda nervous.
I get back to my car and see some kinda piece of paper on the
windshield. This ain’t gonna be good I think to myself. I pick it up
and read it. It’s a parking ticket. I look all around me, nobody there
to stare menacingly at. I look up. Then I get it straight in the eye.
Somebody needs to fix those seagulls, they’re playing with fire.
I find a hotel, 12 bucks a night. It has a bar, 10% off drinks for
guests. I ask the broad behind the bar for a calculator. She don’t
have one. I try to figure out how much I gotta drink to stay for free
but after a while my head starts hurting so I go looking for another
bar. All the bars are empty, but the streets are filled with people, some of ’em walking, some of ’em driving. Where are they all going? I find a gin joint with a sign outside saying ‘come on in, let us Brighton up your day’ Cute. But I ain’t buying it. I step inside, a few shady looking drug dealer types cling to the walls. I think I like it.
“Bourbon and soda, hold the rocks. Say, speaking of rocks, what’s the lowdown on the beaches ‘round here?”
“Two pounds and eighty five pence please sir.” That guy sure talks weird.
I leave the bar and look around me at the tall white Victorian
buildings and the gay homosexual males that are into other men and don’t dig dames. I glare out at all the traffic and the steep hills….
That’s when it hits me.
I’m in some kind of parallel universe. I’m in…..Frisco?
I call my agent to tell him I’ve cracked the case wide open and
this time nobody’s gonna slam it shut in my face.
“Luigi, Luigi, Luigi”, he says my name three times, just like I say he does.
“What did I tell ya about getting some rest and forgetting about Frisco and the crazy Greek broad you took the rap for over the Blue Moon racket?”
“I forget, remind me”, I tell him, but I haven’t forgot anything.
“I told you to take a holiday, get out of the private dick game for a spell,
write a travel book.”