A Blind Pig and a Million Monkeys
While my stories will not be among the great works of the 21st century, every so often I nail a sentence—or so I like to tell myself as a way of continuing to write. Maybe I’m like one of the million monkeys pounding away at a typewriter, but here are a few lines that strike me as pure Riley from my next mystery, Lethal Fetish...
With regard to Carol (Riley’s girl-Friday who actually runs Goat Hill Extermination):
Carol grabbed a handful of my graying hair, looked me in the eye, and explained that she’d straighten my boxing-bent nose with a left hook if I messed up. Some women just refuse to accept that men have the world under control.
As much as Carol objected to stereotypical sex roles, she and Anna were having a grand time in their role as sous chefs [for Riley’s mother]. Sometimes activism gets in the way of having fun.
Some of Riley’s thoughts on American culture of the early 80s:
[in reference to sushi] As far as I’m concerned slicing raw fish isn’t cooking and a place that doesn’t cook isn’t a restaurant.
[in reference to Carol’s new, bobbed haircut] …far more appealing than the popular bouffant style makes a woman look like an electrocuted lion.
Finally, observations involving classical music:
A frozen pizza and a glass of low-end Jameson were about all I wanted—along with the third act of Rigoletto. Sometimes when you’re in a funk, going deeper feels good.
I sidled up to the old codger, who was leaning on the apron and grinning mischievously.
“What’s up, Marty?”
“Watching a man learn a lesson,” he said, shifting the unlit cigar to the other side of his mouth.
“You figure it’s okay for the pretty boy to take a pounding?”
“Two reasons. First, he got into the ring.” Marty spit some errant strands of tobacco onto the floor.
“So he consented.”
“Yup, he knew the deal. And second, he was over confident. Figured he was too pretty to lose and didn’t respect his opponent.”
“So he deserves what he’s getting.”
“Brainy sorts have yapped about this shit for centuries in highfalutin books. Nothing like a boxing ring to clarify what some people want to make complicated.”
There you have it — feminism, activism, sushi, hair styles, funks, and punks — the world according to Riley.