Nights of Noir
It was a dark and stormy night
You know the kind------------
I turned down the brim of my hat,
Turned up the collar of the trench,
And stepped out into the rain.
Somewhere out there in that rain,
There was a dame with blonde hair,
Long legs and sexy shoes,
Holding a martini............
And I meant to find her.
Being a Private Eye
Sometimes meant long, lonely nights,
Sometimes meant getting your teeth knocked out,
Sometimes meant hours of boredom in dead cars
And sometimes meant getting lucky.
I was going to make my own luck tonight
Joe's Bongo Banana Bar called my name
Well, not really, but you know what I mean
The gaudy neon sign had blinked into my office
And reminded me that I needed a drink.
It had been a quiet day
A day filled with dust bunnies
Floating on bright streams of sunshine
And filing cabinets that needed files
And ringless telephones.
Finally at three, a call awoke me
I was dozing on my office's cheap divanette
Dreaming of blondes and Mom's apple turnovers
The women were bad and cold and the turnovers, good and hot.
"I need your help." a sultry voice said
And I rubbed my eyes, yawning
"How may I help you?" though I didn't want to
"I need you to follow my husband." she whispered
(Oh, goody, the standard old cheating husband routine!)
It was not my favorite thing to do
But it paid the bills----------
"Okay, I'll get right on it." I promised
And grabbed a pad and pencil
And took down her particulars.
Then it all took an interesting turn
"I want you to follow him and then call me," she said
"And let me know where he's at
Because I'm going out with Big Arnold tonight
And I don't want to run into him."
What a lovely situation!
What did she think I was!?
I forgot. I was a follower of people. For money.
But Big Arnold was a gangster
And I valued my life, if only a little
And I didn't want to get on the wrong side of that guy
Or her husband, who to turned out to be Berny the Weasel
So I turned the job down and left her real mad.
The rent would just have to wait for a while
Something would turn up. It always did-------
Usually wearing mink with piles of bleached hairdo
And red, red smiles of flaming lipstick.
I ducked under awnings trying to keep out of the rain
And noticed some action going on down the street
There were two cop cars and a skinny guy in handcuffs,
A loud wail of anger and a big clock that said ten.
"Evening, boys." I said as I walked to the scene
And the cops grunted at me, "Move along, move along
Nothing to concern you at all here, Gumshoe."
For they clearly despised me and all of my kind
But their kind kinda kept us in business.
"I'm being framed!" the guy in cuffs yelled
In my general direction, and then, "Can you help me?"
And I didn't know and I said I would consider it
And I seriously did till they told me his name:
Berny the Weasel was going downtown.
Well, I knew two people
Who would be happy to hear that,
Maybe had a part in it, for all that I knew
Had lined somebody's pockets
But I just didn't care.
I walked into Joe's
Grabbed my favorite booth
A martini was brought me
Without my having to ask
The waitress, outrageous, flirted as she always did.
"You watch too many P.I. shows."
I scolded the kid
'Cause she had infatuations for Marlowe and Bogart
Desperate love for Dick Powell
And I came close enough.
I sat watching the rain through the bar's steamy windows
Sipping my drink, and then I checked my watch
Yep, it was still there............
The thunder roared and the lightning flashed
And then I saw her coming towards me in the flash.
She had wavy blonde hair,
She had long pretty legs,
She was carrying a martini---------
But she had on the ugliest shoes
I'd ever seen in my life!
"Mind if I join you?" she murmured and sat
Before I could issue an invite, or look her over twice,
Or move my poor hat
Before she plopped herself on it.
"Sorry." she smiled, extracting the hat
And placed it on the table
Where I uncrumpled the crown and put it back on my head
"It's okay," I said, huskily and gave her a wink
"Darling, you can sit on my hat anytime."
I ordered us another round
And dove into her eyes like an Olympiad swimmer
There was something about her, something so fetching
Something mysterious, something so good,
And something, let's face it, that was very, very bad.
As the night wore on, I fell in love
In love, as only gumshoes can
Who don't know any better and have nothing better to do
It happened a lot. It was an addiction
And I needed a fix. And she had the cure.
She told me starry-eyed tales of her Iowa town,
Farm life and moo cows and home on the range
She was charming. She was lovely
She was the devil in disguise
(For none of it was true. But I was a sap.)
I still visit her...... often.... in prison
For she was, of course, a murderous girl
She had killed her 4th husband, the oil millionaire
All of his staff, including his butler,
His chauffeur, his cook and even his parrot.
She wanted me to help her flee out of the country
Had heard I was educated, and knew all the tricks
And finally admitted after the seventh martini
That she'd been told I was a sucker for girls of her kind
Long curvy blondes with long sexy legs.
But I let her down....... ultimately......like I often do
And watched big crocodile tears run down her face
As they roughed her and cuffed her and took her away
She'd been mine for five hours and now she was theirs.
The boys in blue had been brutal and had taken me down
To the station to tell them what I knew about her
Why I had been plotting with her in the bar,
And what in the heck had been done to my hat.
But I was a P. I. in diminishing love
And I didn't want to admit that I'd been a fool
I tried to defend her, tried to say she was innocent,
But deep in my heart, I knew she was guilty,
Knew she was a killer. She was just so darned cute.
When I left the station,
It was about almost Seven
The sun hid behind clouds, avoiding the rain
The city was rising, like an alcoholic stumbling
And I needed some coffee and some good bad morning news.
Then the day passed-----------
And the evening showed up
Still raining, still stormy and still with no rent in hand
I thought about the dame with the high priced ugly shoes
And wondered how she looked in her striped prison suit.
The phone rang just as I was reaching the door
It was a woman----------- well, no, maybe not
It sounded like a woman but I wasn't sure,
It was high pitched and hoarse and was pleading with me.
"Calm down, lady." I shushed her politely
And sat back down behind my battered desk
"Give me the facts as you know them now, honey
And I'll try to help you the best that I can."
(Five minutes later, I realized that I was talking to a parrot.)
A parrot who had lost her son
In a massacre days before
She was distraught and the cops wouldn't help
For she was a bird and had no legal rights.
"I'll take the case." I said like a man in a dream
For the parrot had said that she was flying right over
With a thousand dollar bill (which sounded real good to me)
And besides, it would keep me involved with the dame.
Two hours later,
I was walking out...........
And down the street in dark distress
The rain had slowed to a freezing drizzle
That chilled me within and without.
The Bongo Banana called but I didn't listen
I crossed the street, got into my car
Drove over the bridge and for what seemed like hours
Parked outside a cabin by a lake in the woods.
A giggling girl in an ermine coat
Came tumbling out of the doorway
A married man in a reddened face
Said "Be quiet! Someone might hear!"
And I waited till they pulled away and started up my car.
It was back to business as usual
For the rent was really late
I'd waited for the parrot till I knew that I'd been had
By a dirty cop playing a dirty prank cause he didn't like my face
(For the parrot hadn't shown up with that thousand dollar bill.)
Yeah, sometimes nights were boring
As you waited for those husbands
Sometimes nights were lonely as you waited for those wives
And sometimes you got lucky when you walked into a bar
But every night in a Private Eye's life, man, it always seems to rain.
©by the nutty Voo
November 6, 2010