How To Talk To Girls, As Told By A 1950s Detective
Yeah, I knew this one guy, real wise guy, who was always takin’ notes in a little leather note-book whenever he entered a crime scene. Real uptight. Give it a rest, I sez, you ain’t foolin’ no one. Pretty soon though he’d start ridin’ me about proper procedure, but I’d tell him where he could stick that ‘cause I been solvin’ murders since he was suckin’ tit. Anyway, joke was on him, ‘cause I was givin’ it to his missus, a real fire cracker, Filipino or Chinese or one of them things; who can tell, am I right? [Laughs] Wait, what did you ask? How to talk to girls? Jesus kid, gimme a sec… [takes a long drink from a stainless steel flask inscribed with MC]. Ok, that’s better. Christ, I could use a smoke.
I tell ya what kid, dames is trouble. Don’t get me wrong, I love ‘em, but they’re big trouble. Mikey, that’s a buddy of mine down in Pacific Heights, he had this one dame, some actress, real big-time, and it was fun for a while but she was crazier than anything. She hired him as a private dick and, well, turns out her husband was three-timin’ her. Feel sorry for the guy, really, cause she was crazy, like I said. Anyway, Mikey, that’s my buddy, he comes in to tell her the news and she meets him in the dining room butt-ass naked. Yea, you heard me, no joke. He tells her what’s what, and the whole time she’s just eatin’ this big juicy pear, lookin’ at him and archin’ her eyebrows real amused-like as he tells her ‘bout her husband. [Laughs.] Jesus, you believe that? It gets better. She lets him stand there for a minute as she finishes the pear and then tells him, real elegant-like, “Well Mister Logan, I would write your check, but I seem to have soiled my hands. I suppose I should wash them off.” So she brings him outside to the pool and there are these two fellas, Mikey swears by his dead mother, may she rest in peace, that there are these two big strappin’ fellas out there in the pool sippin’ Mojitos and all they got in is those little French hats, uh, them berets or whatever. Then she asks him, “oh Mister Logan, how can I ever truly repay you?” real suggestive-like. Then she bends over to wash her hands. Don’t that beat all. Well Mikey is sweatin’ bullets but decided, why the hell not, but that was a big mistake; once he put his finger in the honey pot there was no washin’ his hands, if you follow my meanin’. [Laughs.] Christ. [Takes another drink, shakes his head.] Them Hollywood types is all crazy.
So I guess the first rule, kid, is don’t get tangled with them crazy dames. Seems like I can never follow my own advice though. [Laughs.] Hey, you got a smoke? I’m dyin’. Thanks. [I light his cigarette, he inhales deeply.] Christ, that’s better. Anyway, where was I?
Oh yeah. [Another smoke, a long pause, seems reflective.] Kid… they’re a mystery to me, and I’d say I pretty good at solvin’ em. But talkin’ to em? Easy: compliments. The little things. She got her hair done, you gotta notice it. What she wears. Jewelry. I spent my life noticin’ the little things, so it’s no big deal, but you don’t get there overnight. Then buy her a drink. Make her feel special. But you gotta be all class about it; broads, the worthwhile ones at least, they can smell shit a mile away. You gotta mean it, even if you don’t believe it. Whatever you do though, don’t fall in love with a broad. Jesus. Never fall in love, ok?
I guess that just about does it. Anythin’ else?
[I ask him about the Incident.]
Jesus. I knew this would come up. This is why you don’t fall in love kid. Let me say though, I didn’t know nothin’ that he was no bishop, ok? I see him, I think, what’s this guy, a comedian? So I give him the old right hook, and everyone starts screamin’, and I’m shakin’ him back and forth, real rough, askin, “where’s the girl you sunofabitch,” and then someone yells, “he’s the bishop!” I sez, bish-wha? but I’m already think’, “oh, goddammit. Goddammit you’ve really done it this time, Mark Clifford.” So I throw him down maybe none-too-gentle and start sprintin’ for the door. I would have made it too, but I guess I had one too many scotch ‘n sodas because I trip and everything goes black and next thing I know I’m downtown and the Captain is reaming my ass, yellin’ on about how I’m an embarrassment to the institution and so on. Whatever. [Long smoke.] They need my ass; I’ll be back.
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The best thing about being a young adult right now is that you, more than any previous generation, have the freedom and the resources to create your own religion. So, let’s get started.
The apartment you lived in your first year out of school, the walk-up with a view of the street.
I wanted to quit my job. I hated my boss.
His eyes widened, he became angry, and backed off of me. I told him he could leave now. Now. He said “With you being a good Christian girl, and me studying to be a priest, I think it’s important we not tell anyone what we did.”