Tuesday, May 20, 2008


When I Grow Up (A Random Anecdote)

This next piece of writing dates from 6th grade and instead of writing a paragraph about what we wanted to do when we grew up, we were assigned to write about our jobs as though we were already living in the far-flung future of the 1990s and actually doing them.

By this point in my life, my parents had given me a hardbound journal full of blank pages and I spent every lunch hour and free period writing short stories and mysteries starring me and my friends. When I finished a new story, the book would make the rounds and my classmates would write comments at the end of each one--kind of like a hard-copy blog.


I thought quite a lot of my writing prowess at this point, in case the following doesn't give that away. And it's a sign of just how much I love you that I can bring myself to share this with you at all. My brother peed himself reading this aloud, with extra emphasis on all the accidental double-entendres, so it almost goes without saying that laughing and cringing is allowed (and even encouraged).

A Day with A Detective

My day starts in the middle of the night. Sitting in my all-black Corvette, binculars aimed at the window where the crime is about to happen. I sit and I watch for hours. I never sleep--that's the detective's motto.

People think private-eye work is all easy--sitting in your office talking to gorgous dames and solving mysteries in a snap, but it's not. You have to spend a lot of time watching and waiting.

But sometimes you have to eat and go to the bathroom. That's why I have a partner, Shawn. He takes over watching while I get the grub and do whatever else a man needs to do.

When I buy the burgers at the all night burger store, the waitress screams when I reach to give her money. "Uh oh." I said in my mind. "She's seen my peice." All detective are liscensed to carry guns. My one is a .45 automatic. I practice with it every day down at the shooting range and in my back yard with some cans. I could shoot the head out of a penny if you through it in the air. But I'd rather shoot dimes. I like Abe Lincoln.

Just then, my wrist walki-talkie buzzes. It's 1997 and everyone has them.

"MM, get back here! There's trouble on the double!" Shawn yelled. "I think--" But then his voice gets cut off by the sound of gunshots!!

The waitress screams again as I whip it out. "Call the cops, sweetheart!" I said. "I'm a detective on a case!"

"Are you really a private dick?" she exclaimed. "Let's see."

I have ID and everything. So I flash her. That gets her moving.

And then I'm running, faster than fast. I can see the flashes of light from the window--bullets of death streaking down to my partner and my car!

"My Corvette!" I shouted. Uh-oh. Now all the attention is on me. Pow! Pow! Badang! I'm diving into an alley as lead slugs go flying! I jump into a garbage can for cover. But now I'm pinned down.

KA-Chow Ka-Chow! Good old Shawn is hanging out of my car window, firing his snub-nose .38 revoler up at the window.

"Eeeyargh!" a thug screams and falls out. It's 20 stories to the ground. Plenty of time for his bad life to flash before him before.....THUD.

Now all those human crud-bums are shooting at my partner. My car is getting pretty holey. I can't see him any more. Is he alive or dead?

I peak out and aim my .45. I wait until I see the muzzel flash in the black night, then.....POW POW! I hear a cry and another bad guy buys the farm.

I stand up and call to my partner. "Shawn! Are you OK?" I heard a groan and then.....BANG! A third culprit by the door! I duck down but it's too late.


Arrrgh! He shot me through the can!

Blood blobs out of me like red Elmer's glue. The world goes swimmy. Everything seems to be spinning.....

I wake up. I'm in a hospital bed. Shawn is in the bed next to me, his head bandadged and his arm wounded but he'll be OK. The chief of Police is shaking my hand and there are cameras everywhere.

"You're a hero, Detective MM!" the Chief said. "You rolled yourself in the garbage can all the way down the hill and clobbered the last culprit all on instinct! Congradulations! Is there anything you need as a reward?"

"Yeah, a burger," said Shawn.

"And a typewriter," I said. Because when the long night is over, I need to write what happened for my next book of Real True Detective stories.


Well, we are the product of our influences, and at this point, my friend Shawn and I were actively running our own little detective agency, and I couldn't imagine doing anything cooler with my life.

Except perhaps writing about it after I did it.

As I've mentioned before, I found journalism to be a close parallel fit to detecting, because I still used the same skills--interviewing people on the scene, and using my powers of observation (and occasionally deduction) to put a story together. I grant you, that doesn't happen so much any more, but when I was just starting out, it was a close enough fit to suit me.

Plus, journalism was a lot safer choice of occupation than being a private dick.

After all, I've never once been shot in the can.


I laughed so - um - hard at some of those double entendres I nearly fell off my chair! Whilst not a double entendre, but still on the same sort of topic, I once told my kindergarten teacher that "an octopus has eight testicles."
Excellent onomotopeia, MM!

Love this line: "Now all those human crud-bums are shooting at my partner."


You rock for sharing this.
So, so awesome! We are not worthy. Thanks for sharing.
Hopefully you haven't had to flash anyone lately, either.

Hilarious story, thanks for sharing.
Never say never. ;)

That's actually much better written than several books I've tried to trudge through in the past year.
Oh thanks for sharing that one. I loved it! "My Corvette!!!"
What grade did you get on it?
LOVED THIS. Do you know about www.getmortified.com?
"Blood blobs out of me like red Elmer's glue"

I think that's my favourite bad metaphor EVER!
Doesn't everybody know that detective work isn't all about "gorgeous dames and solving cases in a snap" this post had me literally laughing out loud, thank you!!
I was laughing so hard while trying to be quiet (at work, you know) that I feared I'd pass out. I wish I could know which of those puns and double entendres were intended and which were happy accidents.
I recently read some of the "poetry" I wrote in middle school and high school. And yeah, not all the funny parts were intended as funny. In fact, I considered myself quite the dramatic writer. Of all the stuff I kept, I'm glad I found those.
I should not have read this while trying to eat lunch. I think I spewed more stuff on my monitor than I got down my throat. :)

Thanks MM! I needed a laugh, today.
That was awesome. A diamond in the ruff.
That is so funny. The entire story from beginning to end, what a crack up!
You oughta work in journalism or something! Effin' classic, and thanks for the warning about BB peeing himself...I was able to have an empty Diet Coke bottle at the ready. Good stuff. And I think the Word Verification is trying to tell me something. Maybe that story (and the inevitable others like it) can be categorized as "wuftepop". That's the word verification, and somehow it just seems appropriate.
You haven't been shot thru the can, but you have flashed, right?
These are great stories MM, thanks. I hope you reminded BB that he's been shot in the can!
- Aquilegia
Wow, dude, I was literally laughing out loud. It seems impossible that you could have written all that unintentionally.

"Are you really a private dick?" she exclaimed. "Let's see."

I have ID and everything. So I flash her. That gets her moving.

I about DIED.

You didn't make any creative revisions, did you?

However, this I totally believe:

I could shoot the head out of a penny if you through it in the air. But I'd rather shoot dimes. I like Abe Lincoln.

That's one of those things that sounds really badass when you're a kid.

You had great writing style even then :)
That'll learn ya to whip it out at waitresses. Gawd dang - that was a good cleansing laugh. Brilliant!
Pow! Pow! Badang!

Love it.
You should not have typed out loud about not getting shot in the can!!

I can see it, the entry about 5 days from now will have some can shooting story...

oh, and ellipses. :)
"The waitress screams again as I whip it out."

This happens more often than you might think.
I had a serious laughing jag reading this. I printed it out, for reading at home, and was truly gasping for breath while reading it in my bedroom. One of the funniest things I've read all year.
I have missed you! It's time to let light and laughter in again after such a crap time. Thank you!
What grade *did* you gte? and where's my Dick Tracy wrist radio?
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