Posts Tagged ‘Elvis gospel’

Sunday: Elvis and Ingrid


August 29th, 2010 Posted 8:38 am

How do I know it’s Sunday? Elvis gospel on the radio. We like Milky White Way the best, me and Bernie, but they haven’t played it yet. Meanwhile, Bernie says the Plunderers have been discussing the Extras. Here is some of the Extra from Into the Dark.

Dear Reader:

Welcome to extras. Extras! Just another feature, beside how cheap they are, that makes paperbacks great. I hope you enjoyed Into the Dark.

Mr. Samuels, editor of The Echo, interviewed Grampy shortly after the events described in the story. I was able – by methods that must remain secret – to lay hands on a copy of the interview, transcribed from the original tape.


Peter Abrahams

From the files of Mr. Samuels, Echo editor

Interview Transcript with reporter’s notes: Subject – Aylmer Hill

Samuels: Morning, Aylmer. Been a long time.

Hill: Since when?

Samuels: Why, uh, since we had a sitdown together, you and I.

Hill: When did that ever happen?

Samuels: Well, perhaps not formally – maybe making this a little more special, if you see what I mean. (Note: AH says nothing. Describe his gaze, clear and icy. Omit or at least tone down its disquieting effect.) Care for a Danish?

Hill: Nope.

Samuels: Must be why you stay so trim. If you don’t mind my asking, how’s your health these days?

Hill: Tip top.

Samuels: Probably feeling especially good right now, I’d imagine.

Hill: Why?

Samuels: What with your recent exoneration in the Thatcher murder and all. (Note: no reply, just the gaze again) Um, a splash more coffee?

Hill: Nope.

Samuels: How do you feel about the way the case was handled?

Hill: Been around the block.

Samuels: You’re saying you’ve been around the block?

Hill: What I said.

Samuels: Meaning, ah, in terms of the case, that …

Hill: Been in worse situations.

Samuels: Ah, let’s get into that. I take it you’re referring to your experiences in World War Two. (Note: again no reply, but possibly a slight nod) I’m sure The Echo’s readers would be interested in your account of those adventures.

Hill: Adventures?

Samuels: Ordeal might be a better word.

Hill: Think so?

Samuels: What word would you choose?

Hill: (Note: long silence during which AH’s eyes seem to cloud over) Long time ago.

Samuels: Meaning the memories have faded?

Hill: Nothing wrong with my memory.

Samuels: So when you think of the Bataan Death March –

Hill: I don’t.

Samuels: But if you did, right now, for example, as a matter of historical record for Echo readers, what would your thoughts be? For example, do you feel bitterness toward the Japanese?

Hill: (Note: an even longer silence) Only some of them.

Samuels: What’s your reaction to those who say that once the dogs of war are unleashed anything goes?

Hill: (Note: the disquieting look) Then we’re just beasts.

Samuels: So there should be restraint even in war?

Hill: (Note: perhaps another slight nod)

Samuels: Changing subjects a little bit, did you happen to catch your granddaughter Ingrid’s performance in the Prescott Players’s recent production of Hansel and Gretel?

Hill: Yeah. (Note: a sudden laugh) I snuck in the back.

Samuels: You snuck in the back?

Hill: Got a problem with that?

Samuels: Well, why not just take a normal seat, like anyone else? (Note: an icy look that goes on and on) Moving on to the play itself, what did you think of Ingrid’s performance?

Hill: (Note: After a sudden quick smile that changes his whole face) My family is a private matter.

Samuels: Meaning?

Hill: None of your damn business.

Samuels: So you’d like me to keep the Ingrid part off the record?

Hill: All of it.

Samuels: I’m sorry?

Hill: (Note: covers the mike with his hand) All of it. It’s all off the record. Every single word.

Samuels: But I don’t understand. You said that – (Note: subject has risen and is leaving the room.)


Sundays With Ingrid


July 18th, 2010 Posted 9:03 am

Ingrid Levin-Hill, three weeks past her thirteenth birthday, sat thinking in her orthodontist’s waiting room. You’re born cute. Babies are cute. Not hard to guess why—it’s so everyone will forgive them for being such a pain. You grow a little older, and people say, What beautiful hair, or Get a load of those baby blues, or something nice that keeps you thinking you’re still on the cuteness track. Then you hit twelve or thirteen and boom, they tell you that everything needs fixing. Waiting in the wings are the orthodontist, the dermatologist, the contact lens guy, the hair-tinting guy, maybe even the nose-job guy. You look at yourself in the mirror, really look at yourself, for the first time. And what do you see? Oh my God.

Two orthodontists divided the business in Echo Falls: Dr. Lassiter, who didn’t mind pulling a tooth or two to speed things along, and Dr. Binkerman, who liked to say he’d turn in his badge before sacrificing a single tooth. One kind of parents sent their kids to Dr. Lassiter. Ingrid, whose parents were of the other kind, was well into her second year with Dr. Binkerman, and behind her braces lurked the same jumble of teeth she’d come in with in the first place. And by the way, what stupid badge was he talking about? Ingrid flipped to another page of Seventeen. The glossy paper made an angry snapping sound.

From Down the Rabbit Hole.
Why? Because it’s Sunday. How do I know? Elvis gospel on the radio!

Rube Goldberg Rides Again


May 16th, 2010 Posted 8:53 am

Bernie’s in a real bad mood about this oil spill, fit to be tied, he says. Don’t worry: no one’s tying up Bernie, not while I’m around, and I’m around, better believe it. Not even Elvis gospel is cheering him up. Giant plumes? Plugs made of golf balls and old tires? Not getting this, myself. Repost from May 2:

“Bernie’s not happy today, something about an oil spill. Not sure what that is, exactly. Once on the freeway – we’ve got freeways out the yingyang in the Valley – we saw a tanker truck flip over and oil got spilled all over the place that day, but I think this is different.

“These BOP’s,” he is saying, “blowout preventers – they sure look like Rube Goldberg devices to me. And now it’s up to robotic subs to make the damn thing work? If they can’t do better than that they shouldn’t be allowed to drill so deep.”

Hard to follow, but Rube Goldberg had to be a perp of some kind. There was Rube Double X, of course, this rapper we once worked bodyguard duty for, but he was no perp, in fact a great guy who liked me and my kind, and to this day I have no idea what happened to that gold-nugget chain of his. No reason anyone would want bury it in a flower bed. Hey! Except maybe to keep it from getting lost. How come I just thought of that now? Life was funny sometimes.”

Elvis just sang Milky White Way, our favorite. Bernie tapped his foot a bit. Love when he does that. Can’t stop myself from pawing at his foot while it’s tapping. So why even try?

Happy Birthday, Dad.


Bob, Ray, Bakersfield (More)


April 11th, 2010 Posted 9:01 am

“Can we go back to that chipped tooth for a second?” Bernie said.

Teeth, again? All of a sudden, for no reason at all, I felt like gnawing on one of the desk legs.

“Uncanny,” Colonel Bob said.

“Because there’s no way it’s genetic?”

“Exactly,” said Colonel Bob. “So I told him ‘hate’ was a pretty strong word, especially to throw at a stranger, but my heart was kind of sinking at the same time. And he said, ‘Look at me,’ which I did, and then he said, ‘Remember Astrid Jason?’ And it was all clear.”

“Wonder how many of us have time bombs like that,” Bernie said, “waiting to go off?”

Uh-oh. Bombs. I stopped gnawing on the desk leg. I’d done some bomb sniffing work, learned all about it in K-9 school. I’d been the best leaper, don’t know if that’s come up yet. And then – that last day!

Coming Opening Day 2011:

And today is Sunday. How do I know? Elvis gospel on Sirius/Xm. Did someone say something about Admin being on Sirius during Edgar week? Can’t remember. Milky White Way is our favorite. Bernie always says does it really matter that Elvis ripped it off note-for-note from the Trumpeteers.


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