Posts Tagged ‘Greed’

Getting Clued In


May 2nd, 2009 Posted 12:17 pm

“Did I say Ezra Printz was Kelo’s grandfather?” said Arnold Fetzer. “I meant great-grandfather.”

Uh-oh. This was getting confusing already. And who was paying? I couldn’t quite remember. Also – has this ever happened to you? My eyelids suddenly got very heavy. And there I was, in the nice quiet shadows under the table.

“The point is,” Fetzer said, “Ezra Printz did some of the PR work on the movie Greed. Familiar with the movie?”

“Not really,” Bernie said.

“An amazing story,” Fetzer said. “Shot partly on location in Death Valley in the height of the summer. It’s probably one of the most important lost movies in the history of cinema. Not lost totally, of course.”

“What do you mean?” Bernie said.

Fetzer answered, but it was just lots of buzzing sound to me, on account of my eyes had closed and I was drifting off. I love that drifting off part. I caught something like, “It starts with a dentist winning a lottery,” and the next moment I was in dreamland, chasing javelinas down a dry wash.


More Greed


April 30th, 2009 Posted 6:34 am

“Now that we’ve bonded over the ukulele,” Bernie said to Arnold Fetzer, the art gallery dude, “what have you got for us?” We were working on what Bernie called the Greed Case, not sure why. We had a paying client, which was good. He was a Hollywood producer named Kelo Printz, who’d hired us to find a missing can of film. We’d found the can, all right, in a cave in Death Valley, but there’d been no film inside, instead a folded-up painting by Martin Ramirez. What else? Oh, yeah: Kelo Printz was missing. And I think there’s more, too. Milk bones in Fetzer’s drawer, for example. I sidled over that way.

Fetzer cleared his throat. I can do that, too. Once I got a chicken bone stuck in there, a story for another time. “You say you’re interested in Martin Ramirez,” he said. “Know much about him?”

“I’m listening,” said Bernie.

“He was a poor Mexican immigrant who came up to California in the twenties looking for work. By 1931 he was in the Stockton State mental hospital and he spent the rest of his life institutionalized. He also took up painting, and is now recognized as one of the leading painters of Outsider Art. In that first year at Stockton, he met a fellow patient who’d worked in Hollywood as a PR flack. The flack’s name was Ezra Printz.”

“Ah,” said Bernie.

Ah? Meaning what? The milk bone smell was overwhelming.




April 26th, 2009 Posted 7:12 am

“What a nice-looking dog,” said the bearded guy in the art gallery. “Does he like biscuits?”

“He just ate,” Bernie said. 

Somehow I found myself all of a sudden sitting quite close to the bearded guy, a kind of sitting I do with my tail sweeping back and forth on the floor. 

“Is it possible he knows the word biscuit?” said the bearded guy.

Bernie sighed. “Just one,” he said.

The bearded guy opened a drawer, took out a nice big milk bone. Hadn’t had a milk bone in who knows how long.

“Those teeth are quite impressive,” said the bearded guy. “What’s his name?”

“Chet. And I’m Bernie Little.”

“Arnold Fetzer,” said the bearded man. “Interested in art?”

“Don’t know much about art,” Bernie said. “What can you tell us about Portia Peters?”

“Is she a friend of yours?”

“More of an acquaintance.”

“What is it you’d like to know?”

“For one thing – ” Bernie stopped talking, turned to the front window. Outside a nasty-looking dude with a big bald head was driving off in Portia’s red Audi. Don’t take my word for it on the red part.


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April 8th, 2009 Posted 7:58 am

The phone was on speaker. A guy with a deep, rough voice said, “Bernie Little?”

“Yeah?” said Bernie. “Who’s this?”

“Never mind who’s this,” said the guy. Already I didn’t like him, was up on my feet, maybe growling the slightest bit. “Now listen good. We’ve got your client, Kelo Printz. He’s healthy at the moment. Whether he stays that way is up to you.”

“Who is we?” Bernie said.

“You gonna make trouble or do this right?” the guy said.

“Trouble’s here already,” Bernie said. “The only way to make it right is for you to release him unharmed.”

“Happy to do that, pal. First we need that film.”

“What film?”


Bernie looked at me. Then he went to the safe and spun the dial. The .38 Special was coming out. My tail started wagging.


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Posted in Chet The Dog

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