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Joe Fixadore was a policeman in the City of Angels, booted off the squad for a violation he swore he didn’t do those thirty-two times.

Now, he’s an ex-cop with a chip on his shoulder and a grudge to settle and he is determined to even the score and get back on the force.

Joe kept his badge and he kept it highly polished, though he was supposed to turn it in with his uniform and his pistol. He taped over the number and told everyone he knew, and even some people he didn’t know, that he was a “freelancing plainclothes enforcer of the law.” When nobody bothered to contact him, except his former Captain demanding he return the shield, he quickly changed his phone number and started running ads on the back pages of the paper:

ARE YOU IN A FIX? Better get THE FIXER!


Who said you couldn’t give yourself a nickname? That was his nickname: The Fixer. You know, because of the last name. He considered going with an additional slogan – “You’ll ‘Adore’ The Fixer,” but he thought that would be too easy for the cops to figure out it was him.


The Fixer set up operations by putting out his shingle at the cellar door of his mother’s house in Beverly Hills Adjacent, the lighting down there being appropriately noir as he filled up ash trays with cigarette butts, packs that he stole from the cartons of Kools his mom smoked upstairs. He had a Citizen’s Band Radio that picked up police calls if it was positioned just right (and it always was), and made sure to back his Cherry Red Convertible Coupe de Ville into the driveway, so he could dash out of the office, slide across the hood to the driver’s side, hit the gas and speed away to wherever in the Southland he needed to be, pronto.

But, business was slow and The Fixer spent most of his days getting good at cheating at solitaire, practicing signing his autograph for the legions of fans that would eventually greet him with his 8 by 10 glossy photos at all of the crime scenes he would resolve and, thanks to Mom’s old portable Zenith TV, getting caught up on the plots of “The Guiding Light” and “As The World Turns.” Then, right at “The Edge of Night,” the door flew open. A shadowy figure stood in the smoggy haze of the L.A. air. Stepping over the daisy floral welcome mat and past the collection of Betty Crocker aprons, this stranger walked right up to the desk.

“Are you ‘The Fixer?’” questioned the man, whose face was still not visible, tucked under a Pittsburgh Steelers baseball style cap.

“Who’s asking?” came the reply.

The man slowly tilted his head toward the light and The Fixer’s blood ran cold.

“Oh! I know you,” The Fixer shouted. “You’re that guy, Gary Drizzleski!”

“That’s not quite right.”

“You run that house of ill repute…”

“Literary agency.”

“Yep! I knew it!” The Fixer shouted. “What are you doing here, Driz? You don’t mind if I call you Driz, right, Driz?”

“I do.”

“Cool. What can The Fixer fix for you, Driz?”

After a deep sigh, “I need someone with the right attitude to help me resolve an issue. It’s a sensitive circumstance and must be handled with aplomb,” The client stated.

“So, um, listen Driz,” The Fixer paused to clear his throat, “I only deal in English words, capish? And if it’s plums you need, there’s a guy on the one-ten freeway that usually sells fresh picked fruit for two dollars a bushel.”

The door creaked open from the staircase above. “Joey? Joey? Who’re ya talking to, huh?” came the elderly female voice from upstairs.

“Nothing, nobody. It’s just the TV. I’ll turn it down.”

“I’m trying to watch my ‘General Hospital!’” the unseen woman squeaked.

“Okay! Okay, I’ll keep it down! I’ll keep it down!” The Fixer insisted.

“I’m trying to watch my shows! Hmph. And Joey, I’ve got an appointment this evening, so I’m going out later. And stay out of my things!”

The door slammed, hard. The Fixer gave his client a sheepish look.

“That’s my Ma- my landlady,” The Fixer stuttered, then whispered, “Very demanding.”

“I don’t have much time. Here’s the situation. A certain party claimed that I was with a woman who wasn’t my wife.”

“Really?” The Fixer asked, leaning back and putting his heels on his desk. “Who would do that?”

“That’s what I need YOU to find out!” The client reached into his pocket. “Whomever it was said that this,” he held up a photo, “was going to go to the papers as evidence unless I cave to their demands.”

A photo of 1974’s Playboy Playmate of the Year, Cyndi Wood, with a person that looked like the client was placed on the desk.”

“Wow! Hubba Hubba!” The Fixer exclaimed.

“I beg your pardon?”

“You know Cyndi Wood?!” The Fixer got all googly eyed. “I mean, I want to meet her. I mean, I would LOVE to meet her! she’s from Beautiful Downtown Burbank. Do you think you could introduce me?”

“I don’t know Cyndi Wood,” said the client.

“But this is a picture of you with her!”

“That isn’t me!” insisted the client.

“I’ve seen Cyndi Wood hundreds of times, and that definitely is her.”

“But that’s not me with her!” screamed the client, as The Fixer shushed him, then got out a magnifying glass to take a very close and very detailed look at the photo.

“Stop looking at the girl!” the client stated, snapping the photo away and replacing it in his pocket.

“Right, right,” The Fixer said. “Well if that isn’t you, it sure fooled me.”

“I need you to make this go away. What’s your plan?”

The Fixer brooded for a moment, then brightened. “Oh! I’ve got it!” The Fixer said with confidence. “Let’s go! But you have to cough up nine bucks.”

“What for?”

“Gotta fill the tank on the Caddy! Gas is fifty-five cents a gallon now, and money don’t grow on trees.”

“Doesn’t. Money doesn’t grow on trees,” the client said, fishing in his pocket. “You know, I have a reputation to protect!” he stated firmly, handing him a fiver and four singles.

“Trust me Driz,” The Fixer said with a wink and a smile as he pocketed the folding green, “Your reputation is as good as mine!”

After a quick stop at the Union 76 station (the Bicentennial was just a couple of years away, after all) and after the gas station attendant nearly choked the client because of earlier criticism about his syntax skills, The Fixer motored the Caddy up into the area where Sunset becomes a twisty challenge of turns and suddenly, there they were, at the gates of the Playboy Mansion.

“What are we doing here?” asked the client.

“Watch and learn,” The Fixer stated, as he pulled up to the entrance. A Security guard holding a clipboard stepped over to the vehicle.

“Welcome to the Playboy Mansion,” said the guard with the famed Rabbit Head logo patch on his upper arm of his uniform and on the front of his hat. “What is the nature of your visit?”

“Police business,” The Fixer said, without even glancing at the guard.

The guard looked at the first couple of sheets on the clipboard. “Well, I know we didn’t call the police, and I’ve never seen a cop driving a bright red Cadillac while on duty, so please explain what sort of business this is.”

“It’s undercover work.”

“Are you sure it isn’t ‘undercovers’ work?” The guard shot back. “You know, we get a lot of curiosity seekers who swing by here hoping to see some Bunnies or Playmates.”

“Listen,” The Fixer coaxed, flashing his badge in the eyes of the guard, angled perfectly to catch the sun, blinding him for a second. “My client here is being blackmailed by the Playmate of the Year. Is she here by any chance because we really need to talk to her.”

The guard took a close look at the client. “Ah. Of course. Now it all makes sense,” the guard said, relieved. “Cyndi Wood is blackmailing you two, so you came here to talk to her! You should have said that in the first place! Wait right here.”

The guard went back to his hut while The Fixer chuckled and punched the client in the arm. “We’re gonna meet Cyndi Wood!”

“The point is I never wanted to meet Cyndi Wood!” the client said, grabbing his bicep. “I love my wife!”

“Don’t you see, this is going to be the proof, Driz!” The Fixer stated. “She’ll meet you, tell you she doesn’t know who you are, and success! Your alibi is complete! And I’ll get to meet Cyndi Wood and who knows what might happen from there!” The Fixer waggled his eyebrows.

Suddenly, in the distance, the distinct sound of sirens could be heard approaching.

“Darn it, you S. O. B.!” The Fixer yelled at the grinning guard, as he backed up out of the driveway. “YOU S. O. B.!” He yelled again, because none of the TV detectives ever said any bad words.

“Yeah? Well your passenger needs to know I DID write my own cover letter!” the guard shouted back as The Fixer gunned the engine and sped off towards Mulholland Drive.

Later, the two men sat at a booth at Izzy’s Deli in Santa Monica, mulling over the circumstances and the menu.

“I don’t know what I want to eat,” said the client as a waiter arrived.

“It doesn’t matter. You’re paying!” The Fixer stated.

“I’m just going to have some warm coffee. My tooth aches.”

“Corned Beef on Rye, extra mustard, and a black cherry soda. And put a plate of fries on the side, and a tub of cole slaw!”

“How can you be so hungry when you haven’t done anything?”

“I did a lot!” The Fixer said, “I lost the cops!”

“The cops wouldn’t have been after us if you didn’t try to crash the Playboy Mansion!” the client said.

“That reminds me,” said The Fixer. “Has anyone said they wanted to kill you?”

“Please,” said the client, sipping his coffee and holding his cheek. “too many to mention.”

“It must be one of them! It’s somebody who held a grudge and who wants revenge! I feel it in my bones.”

“How am I supposed to figure out who set me up based on the thousands of people who want me dead?” lamented the client who was holding his cheek even more firmly and opening and closing his mouth like a carp.

“For the sake of this story, it’s gotta be one of the last three people who said it to you.” The Fixer got out a pad and a pencil. “Write their names and addresses down and let’s solve this mystery!”

“Excuse me sir,” the waiter interjected. “Are you the owner of that red convertible parked out front?”

“Why, yes, I am!” said The Fixer, aglow in false modesty.

“Oh. I thought it was this guy’s,” the waiter pointed at the client. “The guy who called me a ‘dirty hippie’ when I happened to step on his lawn after a meeting about my novel, which he then rejected,” the waiter said to The Fixer. “Well, I guess the cops are towing YOUR car away.”

The Fixer raced to the door just in time to see the LAPD tow truck speeding away on Wilshire with his sweet, sweet ride.

“Funk in the Trunk!” He shouted as he returned to the table and lit up a cig, angrily blowing the smoke all over. “On second thought, write down the names and addresses of the people within walking distance of here.”

TO BE CONTINUED…

//

This story was written for LJ Idol using the prompt Canard

The story continues HERE

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
bleodswean
Jul. 17th, 2017 09:38 pm (UTC)
Bravo! This is one heck of a vacuum cleaner of a story - it sucked me right in and wouldn't let go!

I like how you maintained your breakneck speed! That isn't an easy thing to do!
penpusher
Jul. 18th, 2017 01:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks very much! when I saw the prompts, I realized that I wanted to do something more lighthearted and fun which I hadn't done much of this season so far. The Gary notations made everything really easy - and I hope people take all of this in the spirit that it was intended, a kind of Get Well Card for Fearless Leader!
i_17bingo
Jul. 18th, 2017 09:42 pm (UTC)
I particularly enjoyed the hard-boiled mixed in with the embarrassingly mundane. Joe is such an idiot, but I admire his optimism.
penpusher
Jul. 19th, 2017 02:32 am (UTC)
Joe is a schnook for sure, but when you believe you're a TV P.I., how can you lose?! Thanks for reading and commenting!
ryl
Jul. 18th, 2017 10:48 pm (UTC)
It's been too long since we've had some meta fun in Idol. Well done!
penpusher
Jul. 19th, 2017 02:34 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! I definitely had the most fun all season writing this piece, so I'm very glad you enjoyed it!
rayaso
Jul. 19th, 2017 08:21 pm (UTC)
The worst fixer in history! "Your reputation is as good as mine!” should make any client walk out the door. I loved the office in the mother's house. Can't wait for Part 2.
penpusher
Jul. 20th, 2017 05:01 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! I can't say I wasn't thinking of you writing a comedy piece this week!
beeker121
Jul. 19th, 2017 11:35 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed all the 70's details (oh that price for gas) and your PI is a hoot. A wonderful combination of gung-ho and no idea.
penpusher
Jul. 20th, 2017 05:01 am (UTC)
Thanks for some wonderful compliments! I'm glad the fun came through, because this really was fun to construct.
j0ydivided
Jul. 20th, 2017 07:18 pm (UTC)
Oh my God, I can't even with the references in this. This is great! I hope Gary agrees. ;)
penpusher
Jul. 21st, 2017 02:09 am (UTC)
Thanks for a fantastic compliment! I did intend this as a small tribute to Gary and his issues, so I'm glad people are viewing it through that lens.
halfshellvenus
Jul. 20th, 2017 10:06 pm (UTC)
Hahaha-- hardboiled detective fiction, mooching sons creating their own humiliation, delusions of grandeur, meta, and panache!

This was all kinds of fun. :D
penpusher
Jul. 21st, 2017 02:11 am (UTC)
I'm delighted you found it so! Thanks very much for reading and for your wonderful comment!
marlawentmad
Jul. 21st, 2017 03:17 am (UTC)

It's nice to get a light hearted romp of a tale.

penpusher
Jul. 21st, 2017 01:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading and for commenting!
flipflop_diva
Jul. 21st, 2017 08:52 pm (UTC)
This was hilarious! I loved everything, from getting caught up on soaps to ideas of fame and glory to be so just darn dumb. Amazing!
murielle
Jul. 21st, 2017 10:34 pm (UTC)
LOL! So funny! (Poor Gary!) So funny!

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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