Monday, February 28, 2011

How to Deal With a Bully

"Any idea who might have attacked McBain Mr Mews?"  Quigley asked.  Mews shook his head.

"No, but McBain did give me a lead however-he said that right before he went down he thought that he heard a woman's voice."

"Do you think the attacker was female Mews?"

"It's a distinct possibility.  Now whether this attack has anything to do with the larger case at hand-well, I'm not sure."

"So what's next Mews?"

"More suspect interviews Quigley.  We shall stay focused and not get distracted by stalkers and attackers-if what they want is for us to drop the case-well, they aren't going to get that.  There is nothing I dislike more than being bullied and harassed," Mews said sternly.

"Very well, let's get on with things.  Who's next on the suspect list my friend?"
"Looks like I've got a lunch date with McBain's producer-a Ms Scarlett White."

Friday, February 25, 2011


Feeling dizzy and confused, Regis McBain awakes underneath a holly tree.  "How did I get here?" he asks leaning forward.  "Ouch!"  The holly was prickly against his skin-but that was not his only discomfort.  As he began to get oriented he realized that a throbbing pain was growing in his head-and when he reached to touch it he felt a warm gooey sensation-blood!  

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lenin Speaks

"Yes, I actually know that McBain is being blackmailed because he called me and directly accused me of blackmailing him.  I said that I wasn't surprised, but that it wasn't me and that I wouldn't resort to criminal activity to get back at him," Jon Lenin said taking in a lungful of air through his nose.

"Get back?" Mews asked.

"Well, yes, for all the nasty comments he's made about me and my affiliations on the air over the years.  I used to take his bait and I've spent too many hours on the phone arguing with McBain and getting migraines.  I prefer to spend my time now editing my monthly newsletter and acting in my local community theatre group "Behind the Iron Curtain."  You see Mews," Lenin said leaning back into his chair, "I've in a sense retired from the frontlines.  I'm not interested in the tit for tat name calling that thrives in the political arena-on both sides.  And I admit that McBain is very good at what he does-better than I ever was.  You know we were best friends long ago."

"Yes," Mews said.  "Mr McBain said that you're friendship ended due to your political differences," Mews said stealing a sip of tea.  Jon Lenin's eyes widened and he smiled.

"Is that what he said?"  Lenin laughed.  "Always prone to hyperbole and half-truths that one.  "No.  It wasn't our politics that finally ended our friendship Mews.  It's much simpler than that.  You see he stole my girlfriend, Imelda."  Mews coughed into his sleeve.  "And then he married her."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Interview with a Socialist

"Ah, Mr Lenin, good of you to come by," Mr Mews said closing the door.  Jon Lenin stepped inside, nodded, and then waited for instructions.  "Please take a seat.  I'll have the coffee ready in just a moment," Mews said heading for the kitchen.

"No bother.  I don't drink coffee," Lenin said with a gruff stern voice.

"Tea then."

"I don't drink tea either.  Both coffee and tea plantations contribute to the deforestation of the native ecosystems of their given region.  I wish also to avoid contributing to the exploitation of the indigenous populations by multinational corporations and their stockholders."

"I see," Mews said looking through his cupboards.  Well, how about a cup of hot water and lemon?"

"I'll take nothing thank you.  I'm currently on a breatharian diet.  Just a deep breath of pure air will suit me just fine-and it's a guilt free pleasure.  Now, please tell of your business with me Mr Mews.  I'm guessing this has something to do with Regis McBain?"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mr Mews Has a Tail

"Hello?  Is someone there?"  Mr Mews asked.  A shadow moved and then disappeared in the hallway near his door.  Mews walked quietly down the hall towards the fire escape where he saw a tall figure jumping to the ground.  Mews picked up his pace but by the time he reached the bottom of the fire escape the figure had vanished.  

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mr Mews Receives Mysterious Phone Calls

"How long has this been happening Mews?  Hang ups?  Heavy breathing?  How bestial.  How amateur!  Any idea of who it might be?"  Quigley asked these questions as he examined new spring colorization on his wing.

"Just over the weekend.  And no, I have no idea of who it might be.  I'm assuming that it has something to do with the McBain case."  Quigley nodded and focused his full attention on Mews.

"Yes, but we know the dangers of assumption Mews.  We shall wait until we have facts.  Concrete, unwavering facts."  Mews looked up and smiled.

"Of course Quigs.  I'm glad to see you focused and clear headed.  I might say breaking up with Millicent has afforded you the presence of mind to think clearly again," Mews said lifting up his wine glass.  "While I realize you're gearing up for the frenzy of spring, I must say I'm impressed you aren't letting those old instincts get the best of you."

"It's a constant struggle between mind and body Mews, as you know.  May the rational and enlightened mind win every time."  At this the two old friends nodded knowingly and clinked their glasses.  

Friday, February 18, 2011

Imelda Speaks

"Look Mews, I know why you've asked me here.  Regis is in trouble-ha, what's new?  I'm here to tell you I know nothing of his latest issues.  Regis has been nothing but trouble for me-he was married not to me but to his microphone-and when he wasn't working at the studio he was drinking and chasing waitresses at that dreadful bar near his work-The Hand Me Down.  But I want nothing to do with him anymore.  I can't stand that beast and I couldn't even stand to blackmail him."  Mews nodded his head and Quigley jotted down some notes.

"Does he still frequent this bar-The Hand Me Down?"
"Oh, I don't know, I'm sure he does.  A malignant narcissist such as Regis needs to get his daily dose of not just Jack and Coke but of ego-stroking.  Lord knows why, but Regis has a way of making people do back-flips for him.  If you and Mr Quigley here would like me to accompany you to the bar I'd be happy to do so," Imelda McBain said flashing Quigley a lipstick-smeared smile.

"Thank you but no, that won't be necessary," Quigley said hopping off of his chair.  We want to thank you for coming," Quigley said cutting off the conversation prematurely. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Meet Imelda Marcus McBain

"Well you have a lovely view," Imelda Marcus McBain said turning towards Mews.  "Very quaint.  It's a very quaint little place-much too small for my needs of course, but cute.  Dollhouse cute," she said taking a seat on the couch near Quigley.  She smiled and stroked her hair.  As she eyed Quigley it caused him to slowly shrink away.  "Your friend is cute Mews," she said her voice crackly and deep.  "Such a little thing!  But such wonderful colors.  Imagine the hat I could make from those downy feathers!"  Quigley gulped and hopped up out of his seat as Mews offered her a refill on her coffee.
"He is a handsome fellow," Mews said smiling at a frowning Quigley.  "Now, Imelda-I may call you Imelda?"

"Oh yes, of course Mr Mews," she said rearranging one of her necklaces.  

"If we might get down to business-we have some questions about your ex-husband, Regis McBain."  Imelda's face dropped and her expression immediately turned sour.

"If we must discuss such a wretched topic.  Some husband he was!  Left me high and dry without a dime to my name," she said as her neck jiggled.  She lowered her voice.  "I have to say if something bad has happened to him I'll be the first person to say he deserved it.  That cad, he stole my youth!"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mews is Unavailable For Calls

"That's strange," Quigley said hanging up his phone.  "Mews hasn't answered my calls all day.  Highly unlike Mews.  I wonder if something's wrong," Quigley said hopping over to his window.  "Perhaps I'll pay him a visit."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Quigley Adds a Suspect to the List

"Mews, I do believe you've forgotten to add someone to your suspect list," Quigley said stretching in his chair.

"And who is that Quigs?"

"Why Fern Butterfield."

"Goodness gracious you're right Quigley!  How could I have made such an error?"

"She is certainly within his inner circle," Quigley said.

"At the tip of one's nose," Mews reflected.

"I've been skeptical of the relationship between Fern and McBain from the start," Quigley stated.  "What would a pretty young idealist see in an lumpy old standpat like Regis McBain?  I can't imagine the Butterfield family is too terribly happy about this couple."

"If they even know of it.  Why don't you see what you can find out about the Butterfields Quigs while I try and get some interviews lined up," Mews said escorting Quigley towards the window.  Before Quigley made his exit he turned to Mews.

"You know, Millicent was friends was Fern in high school.  Perhaps I'll question her and see what she knows of Fern's relationship with her family."  Mews raised his eyebrows.

"As you see fit Quigs." 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mews and Quigley Review the Prime Suspects

"I shall go down the list and give you a quick overview of the suspects Quigley.  Are you ready?" 

"Go ahead Mews.  My brain is much clearer today-I'm listening and taking notes," Quigley said reaching for a pad of paper.  Mews picked up his own notebook and began to describe the suspects in no particular order.

Scarlett White, The Producer
"Scarlett White is the producer of Regis McBain's daily show, "No McPain No Gain."  While they generally get along, McBain claims that Scarlett White has increasingly grown distant and resentful after McBain turned down her advances at the water cooler several months ago."
Ham "The Operator" Radio  
"Ham the Operator Radio is a younger, lesser known but more antagonistic protege of McBain's.  He's also widely known around the studio for coveting McBain's very desirable nine to noon time slot and for accusing McBain of "getting soft" over the years."   
Jon Lenin, The Embittered Marxist  
"Jon and McBain were best friends in their early radio days before their political affiliations ripped them apart.  Jon Lenin was especially offended by McBain in recent years when McBain publicly made fun of his rival's outdated facial hair while suggesting on air that Lenin was about as hip as a lawyer at a doorknob convention."
Imelda Marcus McBain, The Angry Ex-Wife
"Perhaps, Quigley, you remember their famously wicked divorce five years ago?  Imelda Marcus McBain held little back when it came to their private affairs and her expensive taste.  She is most famous for a statement she made on the front steps of the courthouse after the finalization of their divorce proceedings in which she stated, "I'd rather spend an eternity shopping at K-mart than spend one more day in that courtroom with that man!"
Jimmy Scape, The Enraged Blogger  
"Mr Scape has been an antagonizing figure in the blogosphere since blogging took its first breath.  When he's not online dreaming up especially creative euphemisms for his blog "Regis McBain is a Big Pile of Poop" he devotes his time to artisan cheese making and rock climbing."

Charlie Poker, The Gambler 
"Charlie Poker, Quigley, is not really politically motivated.  But he has been known around town for getting involved in nefarious activities in order to pay off his rather bulky gambling debts.  I myself had a run in with Charlie Poker not long ago when he tried to involve me in some dreadful timeshare scheme.  Well, good thing I did a little investigation before I ended up calling the police from a studio apartment in Blue Goose Bucksnort Tennessee."  

"Goodness sakes Mews-good thing you escaped from that predator.  Now really, everyone on this list at first glance looks as guilty as the next."

"I agree Quigs, at first glance the mystery oft seems impenetrable.  That's why we take baby steps towards the truth Quigs," Mews said setting his notebook down.

"Baby steps!" Quigley exclaimed.  "A good rule to live by Mews!" 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Quigley Makes a Decision

"Quigley.  Quigley, were you even listening to my summarization of suspects?"

"What?  Oh, yes, I'm afraid I'm a little tired Mews.  I was up all night consoling Millicent.  You see I broke things off with her and she didn't take it well."

"I see," Mews said looking on.  "Perhaps she is not accustomed to being on the losing side of a break-up."

"Well, the old girl was heartbroken-I'm heartbroken.  It was really quite tragic Mews.  But our love is not meant to be.  I just know in my heart of hearts she will fly away from me someday-off to her next adventure.  Love, Mews, it's the hardest work in the world sometimes.  But I'm afraid I'm being unprofessional-I shall try and focus on the issue at hand-you seem to think that the blackmailer is politically motivated, no?"

"Yes," Mews said happy that Quigley was changing the subject.  "It does seem that way-yet it's much too early to rule anything out."

"Really, Mews, is there anyone in town who wouldn't enjoy blackmailing Regis McBain-even just a little?"  Quigley asked.

"It would seem so.  But I feel that the blackmailer is someone close to him-or at least within his inner circle."

"Why look abroad when the answer is at the tip of one's nose?"

"That's right Quigley.  I'm glad to see that you're thinking clearly again," Mews said with a grin.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Enemy List

"First on the agenda McBain is to gather a list of your professional and personal enemies," Mews said.

"Ha!" McBain tossed his head back and guffawed.  "My enemy list, Mews, would wrap around the city a hundred times over."  He was starting to look a little glum.

"Yes, I see," Mews said.  "In that case let's start closer to home."  McBain nodded and began talking.  After nearly an hour Mews had jotted down about twenty names-seven of them had stars next to them.  

"You've got your work cut out for you cat-that's for damn sure," McBain said.  Humbled, he looked up at Mews.  "You're the only one I can trust right now Mews.  You're the only one fair-minded and level-headed enough to get to the truth of the matter and see past the baloney.  Most people in this town-they can't stand me and they can't wait to see me go down in flames."  As they parted ways Mews and McBain shook hands and Mews thought of Quigley-his friend and colleague was perhaps one of those who wished to see McBain consumed by a fiery conflagration.  As Mews shut the door behind his client he thought of ways in which he might dampen Quigley's ire the next time his friend joined him for tea.  

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mr Mews Views Scandalous Photos

"Let me get this straight McBain-you say someone has incriminating photos of you and this Fern Butterfield.  Yet you are not married and neither is Miss Butterfield.  Explain to me how these photos threaten you," Mews said as he watched McBain pull the photos out from underneath his jacket.

"It's all publicity Mews.  I'm a conservative talk show host-I'm the guy that eats liberals for breakfast.  I can't be the guy who eats tofu with his hippie girlfriend!  I'll be ruined.  If word gets out that I've been running around with the city's biggest bleeding heart blogger my fans will turn against me and my enemies will be fighting over what's left of my bones."  McBain shook his head as he handed Mews a photo.  "Look at that.  That's me and Fern braiding hemp bracelets at her old man's cabin.  Someone followed us all the way to California.  And look at this one.  Me and Fern sipping wheat grass after our Tantric couples retreat.  I don't even wanna show you this one," McBain said rubbing his forehead.  "You gotta help me catch this guy."

"Or gal," Mews said raising an eyebrow as McBain handed him a third photograph.    
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