Now Hiring: Private Investigator

Life as a private eye is tough, and the money gets tight after a dry spell. Some days you don’t want to wake up until the sun says adios, but in this line of work, all it takes is one cherry of a job to dig you out of that fifth of ripple, and back out on the streets sniffing out intel.

Job Ref: Private Investigator

Hey Pally,

You need a private dick, huh? Need somebody keeping his ear to the ground at every roadhouse and creep joint in town, associating with the less than desirables, milking information from boozehounds, greasers, and vagabonds, all for the sake of your wallet lining, eh? Yeah, I got no problem keeping your coffers full, so long as I stay paid and alive. In that order.

As for credentials, you ask for a former police officer like that’s a good thing. I got news for you, Jack. The badge don’t make ’em a saint, and I got the stories to back it up. A dishonest man can put that piece of tin on his shirt too, brother. So, that leaves us at square one. Nobody honest. And if you need a dishonest man to peep around for you, you can’t do much better than the mugg typing this letter. Am I the best? Nah. I’m not the best, but I’ll damn sure get my hands dirty for you.

What is it? Some crazy dame run off with the contents of her husband’s safe? Little man with a revolver get too carried away standing up to the mob? Some butler peddling smutty photos of his master? It’s probably not pretty if you called me to work on it. That’s fine. I stopped seeing beauty in this world when I lifted up the rock of humanity and saw what was really crawling around under there. I’ve worked these streets long enough to turn my hair white two times over. That’s why you pay me. To shake down the real scum, so you don’t have to. Outta sight, outta mind.

The Internet? Nah. Strictly analogue. I can have briefings hand-typed to you every evening by eleven, and a two-day turnaround to develop any surveillance pictures. Lucky you, I’ll throw in the photo-chemicals and red bulb for free.

250 grand? You got me priced all wrong, pal. I’ve worked jobs for nothing but a bloody ten dollar bill I had to fish out of a suspect’s rigor mortis grip before ol’ Johnny Law showed up to clean up the bodies. I woulda worked for 45 a day, plus expenses, but I’ll take the raise. Most of it’s goes to alimony or my pal Jose at the liquor store for a few hundred bottles of something brown.

Shall we toast to this new arrangement, or am I going to drink alone?

See ya in the funny papers,

Jeff Wattenhofer

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