The dame was a knockout, there was no doubt about that but, as she stood there in my office, I could see she had trouble written all over her. I made a mental note to ask her later why she was covered in writing. I mean, sure, we've all got our share of Dragons And Demons. Me, I've got a small dragon called Rufus who lives in my head and offers me unasked for advice but I don't advertise it. For one thing, I don't think it would be good for business.
"I'm Just One Person, Mr Dick, it's too much for me to deal with on my own," smouldered the blonde, making a show of emotional difficulty. Her husband had died three days ago. Suicide, said the police. Murder, insisted the broad. The flatfoots were no help so she came to see me, P.I. Dick. With a name like that, what other career could I take? Don't answer that one.
"Who do you suspect?" I interrogated in my subtle fashion.
"Richard and his mother had a terrible falling out. Over me. She threatened him, threatened him terribly," she wailed, putting on a near perfect display of grief.
"Aha, Enter The Dragon," thought I.
"What? What's that? Did you call?" asked Rufus.
"Pipe down, I was being metaphorical," I thought back. I'd learned long ago not to answer him back out loud.
"OK, sister, Let's Face The Music And Dance. Who had the most to gain from Richard's death? In my experience, that's usually the wife."
The broad began to well up. I could see that well-rehearsed waterworks were on the way.
"I just want to know the truth, Mr Dick. There's A Ghost In My House and I want it exorcised," she wailed. I have to give it to her, this dame was good.
I decided to take the case, against my better judgement. I mean, what else was I gonna do today? Sit around the office having conversations with the imaginary dragon in my head? Believe me, brother, that gets pretty old pretty quick.
The elevator boy was being lazy again and I had to Shout To The Top to get him to bring the damn thing down. I swear, if this building wasn't so cheap and the only one in town that hadn't already evicted me, I'd move.
We took her car out to her place and I started nosing around the joint. Investigating's the technical term we use in my line of work. The newly-bereaved widow showed me the so-called suicide note which, for no readily apparent reason, took the form of an Eight Line Poem about Marijuana. It takes all sorts, I guess.
To be honest, my preliminary report was finding nothing of interest. I got the dame to give a rundown on how they met. She was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar when he threw up on her shoes. Love springs in some very strange places in this town. It's was a whirlwind romance but his mother was never a fan.
"So let me get this straight. He took the Expressway To Your Heart and you found yourself married. However, you claim that the Mean Green Mother From Outer Space wanted you to Breakaway and so laid Secret Plans to split the two of you. Plans that were so drastic that she'd kill her own son? Lady, if you expect me to buy that, you must think I'm a sandwich short of a picnic."
The broad crumbled. Here comes the confession, I thought.
"OK," she wailed, "you got me. I did it. He was planning to run away with Mimi, the other waitress at the cocktail bar, and I wouldn't have got a cent. So he came into the study here at the weekend for his regular afternoon tipple of scotch. Only this time, it was laced with arsenic..."
"So he came in expecting a Lazy Sunday and got the last rites instead? Nice work, sister." I covered her with my revolver. "Time to take this show downtown."
"I just wanted him to Show Me Love," she opined.
"Well, there's Nowhere To Run now, sister. Love don't live here anymore," chimed in Rufus in the recesses of my brain.
I had to hand it to the little guy; when you're right, you're right.
So, What Was All That About?:- Well, I'll tell you. In an effort to provoke some inspiration, I took the iPod, stuck it on shuffle and picked out the first 15 songs it gave me (no cheating). My challenge? To weave those fifteen song titles into a coherent story - the titles are the ones in bold italics peppered throughout the above tale (the other couple of song references I threw in for the hell of it). Did it work? Well, I guess you'll be the judge of that, won't you? And, in case you're wondering, here's your list of those songs:-
Dragons And Demons - Godiego
Just One Person - Bernadette Peters & The Muppets
Enter The Dragon - Lalo Schifrin
Let's Face The Music And Dance - Frank Sinatra
There's A Ghost In My House - R. Dean Taylor
Shout To The Top - Style Council
Eight Line Poem - David Bowie
Marijuana - Hayseed Dixie
Expressway To Your Heart - The Blues Brothers
Mean Green Mother From Outer Space - Levi Stubbs
Breakaway - Basement Jaxx
Secret Plans - Eagles Of Death Metal
Lazy Sunday - Small Faces
Show Me Love - Curtis Mayfield
Nowhere To Run - Martha Reeves And The Vandellas