Friday, September 20, 2019


What did you do this summer? Did you take a break from writing? Continue to write while you were on vacation? Change your writing habits at all?

by Paul D. Marks

I really shouldn’t be telling you any of this. It’s classified. Top Secret. The kind of thing that if I tell you I’ll have to kill you. And, while I might be able to live with that cause people are pretty much capable of living with anything, I might get caught. Then I might go to jail. Then I might get beaten up. But worse I’d have to eat Nutraloaf and that would probably kill me. So I’m really trusting you and taking you into my confidence here.

Well, let’s start at the head, and not to brag, but there was a song written about me and my summer exploits. Of course, since the singer told all in the song we’ll have to kill him, too. (Hey, don’t get on me about killing—we all do it…in our books.) Here’s a sample of the lyrics: “There's a man (me) who leads a life of danger (danger is my middle name—that’s what the D stands for), To everyone he (me) meets he (me) stays a stranger (a stranger in a strange land), With every move he (me) makes another chance he (me) takes, Odds are he (me) won't live to see tomorrow.”* I’m not really happy about those odds. Can we change the line—the betting line?

Johnny Rivers - Secret Agent Man

It was a tough summer. No, it was a cruel, (cruel), cruel summer and it left me here on my own. But it was no more cruel than Cruella de Ville or any other cruel, cruel summer—they’re all pretty damn cruel, aren’t they? What I have to admit now is something I only tell my closest friends and associates—they really did give me a number and took away my name. I just hope it’s an unlisted number and that no one else gets it. I also hope I don’t get any telemarketer calls on it.

It’s tough going around the world with no name. You try getting on a plane without a name. What are you going to put on your Real ID? Your number? Hmm…

Bruce Willis - Secret Agent Man

I also spent some time swingin’ on the Riviera, but the beaches were closed due to the Toxic Avenger avenging. So I laid in wait in a Bombay alley the very next day. Luckily they had rerouted the Orient Express from wherever the hell it went—since it never made sense to me why it was called the Orient Express (is Istanbul in the Orient?)—to France and then to India, y’know, Bombay, or whatever it’s called today. I guess that’s one of the good things about the European Union.

I was wary of pretty faces, knowing that they could absolutely hide an evil mind. So I was extremely careful about what I said. Kissing persuasive lips made it even harder to stay mum, but mum’s the word.
Paul D. Marks - Secret Agent Man

All summer long we were dancing in the sand, listening to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band—and picking flowers. Let’s just hope it wasn’t the last rose of summer.

So, for me, it was a rather typical Tippecanoe and Tyler too summer. Nothing too out of the ordinary. Now, don’t breathe a word of this to anyone or you know what I’ll have to do…

And let me refer you back to my earlier post on summer, California Girls and Raymond Chandler’s Red Wind:

How ‘bout you? What’d you do on your summer vacation?

*“Secret Agent Man” by P. F. Sloan and Steve Barri.


And now for the usual BSP:

Don't forget to check out Broken Windows, the sequel to my Shamus award-winning novel, White Heat. Betty Webb at Mystery Scene magazine says: "Broken Windows is extraordinary."

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Dietrich Kalteis said...

Paul, just promise us you won't do anything that would make them feed you Nutraloaf.

GBPool said...

Anyone who can set his life to music is my kind of hero. Who knows what adventures Secret Agent Man will be up to in the future. Just make sure you don't become a Prisoner...

Paul D. Marks said...

I'll fight the Nutraloaf, Dietrich, believe me. I'll fight it. But it's hard to fight when you're chained and bound.

Paul D. Marks said...

Thanks, Gayle. My life is set to music. Kind of like a movie where there's mood music appropriate to every scene and action. It's spooky.