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Previously on “The Fixer…”

Joe Fixadore was booted from the LA Police Force and set up shop as a Private Investigator out of his mother’s basement.

His first client, Gary (who The Fixer insists on calling “Driz”), owner of a literary agency, was being blackmailed by someone using a phony picture of him in a tête-à-tête with a Playboy Playmate as leverage. After being run off the grounds of the Playboy Mansion and losing his car to the LAPD, The Fixer and his client now proceed on foot to meet likely suspects that want to punish Gary for his past actions.


“I thought you said it would be one of the last three people who threatened me,” the client lamented, holding his jaw with one hand and his knee with the other. “We’ve been walking for hours!”

“That’s true, but we’re just going by the people who are in the neighborhood,” said The Fixer. “If those darn cops didn’t take my car, we could have gotten to all of those places like Mario Andretti.”

“Look, it’s getting late. I have to get back home to my lovely wife,” the client said, “and it’s gonna take forever on these buses.” A bus pulled up to the curb and the client was about to get on.

“You can get on the next bus, fella,” the bus driver yelled. “That’ll be the one for snobby editors like you.” The client just got his leg out of the way before the bus doors closed on it. The bus squealed away on a cloud of exhaust fumes.

“Let’s try just one more,” The Fixer paused. “I have a good feeling about this one.”

“Okay, It’s Tony “Noodles” Lasagna and he’s at this Medical Building up ahead.”

The elevator went up to eight and at the end of the hall a single light shone from behind an opaque glass door. Dr. Needleman, D. D. S., D. M. D.

“Well, well! Would you looky here! It’s like we special ordered a dentist for ya!” The Fixer said with pride. “Things are taking a turn.”

Walking into the waiting room, The Fixer noted the glow from the examination room.


Quickly, a man in a white smock and black pants strode out. “Excuse me, but I don’t accept walk-ins.”

“Are you Needleman?”

“Who’s asking?” came the reply.

“I’m The Fixer.”

“The Fixer, huh? I guess you could say I’m a fixer, too. I fix smiles.” Dr. Needleman said, shyly.

“I think we found you one great dentist, didn’t we, Driz?” The Fixer asked his client.

“You!” Needleman shouted as he looked at the other person in the room. “You were that literary agent who told me I’d never be a writer! You told me I had no business using words!” he shouted, bitterly.

“I’m sorry. I don’t remember you and I don’t think I was that melodramatic, honestly,” the client responded. “But you know what? I’m really in the market for a dentist right now.”

“Oh, in that case, please, come in!” Dr. Needleman said, cordially.

The three of them entered the examination room with the client taking a seat in the chair and The Fixer standing in one corner. Dr. Needleman pushed his chair around and got his set of tools, placed like ancient miniature jousting equipment, on the shelf in front of the client.

“When was the last time you had a checkup?” Dr. Needleman asked, shoving a dental mirror into the client’s mouth.

“Oah waa a yaaa oh soo aga.”

“Mmmhmm. And have you been flossing?” Dr. Needleman asked, probing with a scraping tool.

“Aavra laaks ah gaan.”

“I’m sorry to say you’re not doing so well. You have a cavity the size of a vest pocket dictionary, to put it in terms you can understand.” Dr. Needleman quipped. He picked up a small handled device. “Does this hurt at all?” And the doctor used the device to shoot hot air into the cavity.

“YEOW!” the client yelled, almost flying out of the chair.

“Tut, tut. That always seems to happen with exposed nerves. I guess that means I’m working later than expected tonight!” the dentist smirked.

“So, let me ask you, Dr. Needleman,” The Fixer began, “What happened between you and my client?”

“Oh. That.” Dr. Needleman stated as he got a probing device and started sticking the client’s gums with it. “Really it was nothing. He just said I had no propensity for writing and suggested I try a different profession.”

Dr. Needleman squirted cold water into the client’s mouth and his patient screamed again.

“Mutt aw yaa taahya ta goo!” exclaimed the client.

“You know despite my name, I tend to avoid Novocain,” said the dentist. “Many patients say it hurts more than the actual drilling!”

In the meantime, The Fixer was wandering around the outer area, inspecting everything. “I was just looking at the magazines in your waiting room, Dr. Needleman,” he called.

“I try to cater to a wide range of tastes for my patients,” he replied, stuffing cotton swabs into the client’s mouth.

“And I just happened to notice THIS magazine,” The Fixer walked back in, holding up the February 1973 issue of Playboy.

“There are some patients that enjoy reading that periodical. It helps them relax.”

“Aha! But I notice that all of the pictures of the playmate in this issue have been removed. That playmate was Cyndi Wood!” The Fixer stated triumphantly. “I know because I have several copies of this issue, along with her Playmate of the Year issue which was out a couple of months ago.”

“I’m sorry that the pictures were removed,” Dr. Needleman said, prepping his drill. “Sometimes people tear pictures out. I have no control over that.”

The Fixer grabbed the dentist by the shoulders and held the magazine in front of his nose. “Except these pictures weren’t torn out. They were clipped with a pair of scissors! You might even say they were surgically removed!”

“Caa yaa guss hutt uck!” yelled the client through the gauze and utensils in his mouth.

“What are you trying to say?” Dr. Needleman asked.

“Admit it. You’re the blackmailer. It all fits! The picture of the Playmate, cut out of the magazine, the anger over the comments Driz here made about your bad writing. You want to ruin his life so you could get your revenge!”

Dr. Needleman stood back and stared at The Fixer. “I will not be disparaged in my own office by some two-bit detective and the knucklehead who hired him. Vamoose!”

The client stood up, spitting cotton into the sink. “Oh, hold on there. Listen. I really need my cavity filled before I return to my beautiful wife.”

“You can have it done at any other dentist’s office in the Greater Los Angeles area,” Dr. Needleman sniffed.

“Let’s not be hasty,” said the client attempting to get the dentist to pick up some of his tools. “I didn’t say anything bad about you.”

Dr. Needleman glared.

“Lately?” the client added.

“Well, I know you did it,” The Fixer stated. “You’re as guilty as sin and I’m calling the cops and hauling you to the hoosegow! Where's your phone?”

The dentist gave an incredulous look and The Fixer dashed out of the office and walked down the hall, looking for a pay phone. Just then, a very tall and muscular man exited another suite. “Excuse me, would you mind if I used your telephone for a moment? It’s just a local call.”

“Not a problem,” came the reply from the oversized man/tree as he let The Fixer enter his area.

“Great!” The Fixer said, reaching for the telephone. This really is help… ful…” There, on the wall, there was a collage, a whole series of photographs of his client, some on dart boards, some with the eyes scratched out, others with big “X” marks across the chest or the face or the whole body. And in a stack, on a table, he saw the clipped photos of the Playmate from the dentist’s magazine.

“What did you say your name was, um, sir?” The Fixer asked.

“I din’t. But since you’re askin’, it’s Tony Lasagna. But my friends call me ‘Noodles.’”

The Fixer suddenly went into a coughing fit.

“You need a drink of watta?” The potential Offensive Lineman for the Rams moved to the water cooler and got him a cone to sip.

After downing the drink, The Fixer smiled nervously. “You know, I just realized that I forgot the number I have to call. It’s in the other room. So, if you could do me a favor and wait right here, I’ll be right back.”

After a grunt in reply, The Fixer dashed back to Dr. Needleman’s office.

“Dr. Needleman, hurry. We need to get Driz out!”

“Oh, he’s out alright,” the dentist said, moving away.

“Hiiiiiiiiiiii!” smiled the client.

“I just gave him a big dose of Nitrous Oxide,” said the dentist. "Laughing gas. He's feeling NO pain."

“We gotta get him out of here! There’s an oversized maniac on this floor…” The Fixer said, just as he heard low, rumbling, deep breathing coming from above his head, behind him.

“I don’t believe it, it’s unbelievable,” Lasagna stewed as he shut the door behind him. “It's that jive turkey himself," he approached the dental chair. "The guy that thinks he knows words or something. Where are your words now, genus?”

“Hiiiiiiiiiiii!” smiled the client. “Genus? Not with a species like you!”

“Grr!” Lasagna steamed.

“It’s times like these I wish I hadn’t turned in my revolver,” The Fixer said, just as Lasagna grabbed the client.

“I’ve waited a very long time for this,” Lasagna smoldered. He hauled off and slugged the client in the jaw, just as The Fixer dashed into the corner to cower.

“Is that all you got?” the client asked, then started to laugh. He grabbed several of the dental tools and started flicking them at Tony.

“Ow!” Lasagna was cheesed, backing up. "Now You’re gonna get…”


The exam room door solidly hit the back of Tony’s head and he solidly hit the floor. Three point five on the Richter scale. Everyone turned, and the dentist spoke.

“Mrs. Fixadore! You are just in time!”

“What’s going on? I hope I didn’t hurt someone,” she said, looking at the mountain range of a body under the dental chair. “And what’s my Joey doing here?”

“Mamma? This was your appointment?” The Fixer asked. “But I thought you had dentures!”

“Oh, Joey, really. My appointment with Dr. Needleman has nothing to do with teeth,” she winked.

“Ugh. I think I’m gonna be sick!” The Fixer said, lighting up a smoke.

Just then, the client rolled around to pick up an object on the floor. “Hey! Look! It’s the tooth that had the cavity!” he said, smiling and slurring.

In the end, Lasagna, a hard-boiled criminal, got a sentence of twenty-five years to life for his crimes, even though a massive amount of public opinion stated he was completely justified.

The client went back to being extra strength critical of everybody except his beautiful wife, who, by association, became known as Ms. Driz.

Dr. Needleman and Mrs. Fixadore started seeing each other regularly and started getting hot and heavy for people of their particular age.

1974 Playmate of the Year Cyndi Wood managed to negotiate all of Southern California without ever meeting Joe Fixadore.

And The Fixer, because of the success he claimed in bringing Lasagna to the cops on a platter, got an invitation to be reinstated to the force.

But, he decided, after getting his car back from the impounded lot, maybe, just maybe, he’d be better off outside of the structure that police are forced to live by, and chose to remain…



This story was written for LJ Idol using the prompt Toolbox


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 17th, 2017 09:46 pm (UTC)
Hahaha! You didn't lose the frantic pace once as you took this barreling into the finish line! I liked your round-up there at the end. A very enjoyable read.
Jul. 18th, 2017 01:39 pm (UTC)
So glad you liked it. It was the most fun I've had constructing a story this season, for sure, but who can't have fun with a 1970s TV style private investigator! Thanks for reading and your comments!
Jul. 19th, 2017 11:38 pm (UTC)
This went in an unexpected, improbable direction, which is exactly what I expected, given the first half.
Jul. 20th, 2017 05:03 am (UTC)
That's very high praise so thanks very much!
Jul. 20th, 2017 08:28 pm (UTC)
You did a great job carrying on the pace and action from the first part, with wonderful snappy dialog. I loved the details, especially the absurd ones, like the bus driver refusing to let a "snobby editor" on the bus.
Jul. 20th, 2017 09:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks very much! I was really trying for absurd here, maybe specifically because the prompts suggested something much more serious. Thanks for reading and your comments!
Jul. 20th, 2017 10:19 pm (UTC)
This was a riot, start to finish, and it got even zanier at the end.

his set of tools, placed like ancient miniature jousting equipment,
Hahaha-- just as many dental patients probably consider them to be. They are weapons.

I loved laughing-gassed Gary, and the legions of bitter rejected would-be writers: a cavity the size of a vest pocket dictionary // The guy that thinks he knows words or something.

And then there's Mrs. Driz, and the Needle/Fix pairing.

Just fantastic. :D
Jul. 21st, 2017 02:22 am (UTC)
I really appreciate your comments and that you caught so many of the details I threw in there. Thank you for all of this!
Jul. 20th, 2017 11:34 pm (UTC)
So the fixer accidentally found the right guy while looking for a phone to call the wrong guy in? Sounds about right for him, the plot was fun but it's the details (again) that make it, uh funner?
Jul. 21st, 2017 02:26 am (UTC)
I was trying to toss in every comedic element I could and still have it all be logical, so I'm glad you picked up on those points and that you found that they worked! Thanks very much for your great compliment and for reading through!
Jul. 21st, 2017 09:54 pm (UTC)
Hahaha. What a perfect end. I love how after all the disasters of the first part — and, well, the disasters in this part — it all managed to work out. And I love the extra doses of humor there with Mama Fixer and the dentist.
Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:34 am (UTC)
LOL! Beautiful wrap-up! So glad that Mr. and Mrs. Driz lived happily ever after. :-))
Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:46 am (UTC)
This series was so much fun! I love the nicknames for everyone in both entries. Very nicely done!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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