Posts Tagged ‘Mesquite Rd.’

What’s In A Name: Leda


April 15th, 2013 Posted 8:00 am

Ms. Publicist: Fifteenth of the month, when we discuss names. Last time, Spence, in our discussion of Ms. Oxley, a minor character in A Fistful of Collars, you mentioned how important names were to you, and that you actually can’t write the character until you have the right name. How about this month we talk about a more important player in the Chet and Bernie series, namely – as it were, heh, heh – Leda?

Spence: That came to me right away – there were no other candidates for the name of Bernie’s ex-wife. At first, I was just attracted to the sound: strong, punchy, even a bit harsh. And of course if you had a South Boston accent that would be exactly how you’d say “leader.” That put me in mind of Orwell. So the name was carrying some connotative freight, but hidden so you don’t get hit over the head with it.

Ms. Publicist: Speaking of freight, we haven’t even come to the Greek mythology part yet.

Spence: An added bonus, that led directly to the swan fountain left behind by Leda on the back patio of Chet and Bernie’s place on Mesquite Road. Bernie – at least so far – hasn’t thought about the fact that in the myth Leda had a husband and that the swan was the seducer, and that therefore a stone reminder of her infidelity is splashing merrily away out back twenty-four seven.

Ms. Publicist: Will Bernie think about all that in some future book, say, The Sound and the Furry?

Spence: Good question!

Ms. Publicist: See you May 15, everybody, for our next installment of What’s In A Name!



They Get Their Man


June 23rd, 2011 Posted 8:42 am

“Hey,” Bernie says. “The FBI caught Whitey Bulger – never thought that would happen.”

The FBI. We’ve run into them once or twice. There was Agent Pottiger, for example. Bernie said he was the best paperwork guy he’d ever seen. He was also great at ironing shirts. He asked to borrow our iron! That was fun, the search for the iron. It ended up being in the freezer. That’s the kind of thing that happens at our place on Mesquite Road.

Welcome Sailor Jerry.


Can Spring Be Far Behind?


January 28th, 2011 Posted 8:21 am

“Looks like there’s a lot of winter going on in other parts of the country, Chet,” Bernie says.

Uh-huh. We’re out on the patio behind our place on Mesquite Road. I’m lying in a nice patch of sunlight, feeling good.

“The Wall Street Journal here says that in the cold, small dogs, especially short-haired, inactive ones, often need some kind of coat when they’re outdoors.”

Coat? I have a coat already, nice and glossy today, as it happens.

“And here’s something I didn’t know. People use rock salt to melt ice, and it’s not good for dogs. It can hurt their paws, mouths and digestive systems. Even the supposedly pet-safe ones can cause problems if eaten in large amounts.”

What was this? Something new on the menu? I wait for Bernie to say more, but he doesn’t. Instead he has his face turned up to the sun, catching a few rays. Winter is what, again?


Surprise/No Surprise


December 6th, 2010 Posted 8:50 am

Ratko was out of the parade. My memory was clear on that. Strange how the memory works. Just the other day I all of a sudden had a memory going way back to my puppyhood – at that crack house in South Pedroia. It’s actually not a very pleasant memory – my first pleasant memories come from the time in K-9 school, even the last day, because that last day, not perfect, was how come Bernie and I got together – so maybe I’ll go back to forgetting it soon.

But the point was: no possibility of Ratko, there in our house on Mesquite Road. So it wasn’t a surprise to me when Foster, dressed all in black, stepped out of the office. Our office, which was kind of annoying.

“You look surprised to see me,” Foster said.

Did Bernie look surprised? Yeah, he kind of did, and that was a surprise. This surprise no surprise thing was getting confusing.

“I’m surprised to see anyone in our house without an invitation,” Bernie said.

Foster smiled. “Got something even better than an invitation,” he said, taking some paper from the inside pocket of his jacket. “Here’s a warrant, duly signed by a judge, almost totally sober at the time.”


The Books

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