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Popular Authors and Characters, Moonlighting (1981)

Popular Authors and Characters, Moonlighting (1981)

©1981, 2013 by Dallas Denny

Source: Denny, Dallas. (1981). Popular authors and characters moonlighting Unpublished short fiction.

For the better part of two years I was a child protective services worker for the state of Tennessee. That, and my twisted sense of humor, explains the following.



Popular Authors and Characters, Moonlighting

By Dallas Denny


Housing Projects Inspector: Mickey Spillane

I got out of the car and looked around. Into the distance in all directions stretched row after dreary row of tenements. Inside those blank walls human beings lived their assorted and sordid lives: lived, loved, hated. There were probably some tender scenes taking place behind some of those walls at that very moment, but I wasn’t apt to see them. Not in my line of work. I deal with the misfits, the derelicts, those who have procreative ability and not much else going for them. I deal with those who slip between the cracks of life. It’s a living.

Inside one of those anonymous dwellings occurred an incident that defies description. I walked up the glass-littered sidewalk to Apartment 307 and rapped on the door, hard. A pouty-looking thirteen-year-old opened the door. My gaze swept past her scantily-clad body to take in a bewildering array of torn paper, ashes, empty liquor bottles, soiled clothes. I stepped inside.

Mildred Jones was in the kitchen, lighting a cigarette from the eye of her gas stove. “Mike Hammer!” she gasped, backing quickly into a garbage-strewn hallway. “I— I wasn’t expecting you!”

“I guess not,” I grunted. I turned off the stove, snatched the burning cigarette from her lips, and put it out between thumb and forefinger. There was a slight sizzling sound as the flesh burned.

“You’re not going to hit me again?” she whimpered.

“No,” I snarled, “but I’ll have to report this to the manager of the projects. Why don’t you people learn to use matches? That’s what you get relief for.” I started down the hail toward the bedroom.

“No!” she cried, blocking the door. “Don’t go in there!” She looked up at me and smiled in a pathetic attempt at seduction. I shoved her aside and…


Summons Deliverer: Louis L’Amour

The noonday sun was bright as I left my trusty Pinto and sauntered onto the baked clay where there should have been a lawn. I shifted the straw in my mouth, moving it from the left side to the right. Squinting into the sun, I lowered my Stetson. It keeps ‘em guessing when they can’t see your eyes. I patted my shirt pocket to make sure the papers were still there. They were. I smiled, made a half turn to the left, then whirled suddenly back to the right. The papers seemed to leap into my hand. I patted them affectionately and put them back. Yep, I still had the touch. I figured I would probably need it.

This promised to be a rough one. The sun glinted off of something in the left front window. They were expecting me. As I turned to face the window, the curtain moved back slowly. It was now or never.

Child Abuse Worker: Dr. Seuss

Is that your son

Over there?

Did you hit him

With a chair?

Did you bop him

Smack or bam?

Did you bop him



Do you cook

Green eggs and ham

That’s not good

For little Pam

It makes her sick

Green eggs and ham

Did you cook them



So you think

Your children strange

You must not leave them

in the rain

You must not feed them

Green eggs and ham

You must not hit them

Bif or bam

You must not hit them


Infanticide: Author Unknown—Found in a Dry Cave in Palestine

  • And there came a great pestilence unto the land, and much suffering. And tempers grew sore.
  • And Adam begat Cain. And he smote him, hard.
  • And Adam begat Abel. And he smote him, hard, causing him to fall down.
  • And Abel’s head came together with a rock, with great force.
  • And Adam was sore perturbed, and shewed great gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair, because he saw that Abel was slain.
  • And Adam, being in great fear of the Lord, was in sore need of a scapegoat.
  • So Adam offered up his son, Cain, swearing that Abel had been smitten by the hand of Cain.
  • And God understood, saying that with the passage of time he would offer up his son in like manner.

Door-to-Door Sales: Mary Worth

I walked cautiously up the sidewalk. A person can’t be too careful. And, although I am by nature a cheerful person, I was, to be quite frank, a bit cross that morning. At the time I thought it might have been due to the two charming young gentlemen who had helped me across the street. I hadn’t been going in the direction they chose, but the knives had made it hard to argue. And there was the matter of the taxi driver, who refused to go any further into the neighborhood that was my route. “Not after dark, sister,” he had said.

I rapped smartly on the door and it opened about a quarter of an inch. I swung my heavy sample case back, then brought it forwards with all my might. It hit the door with a satisfying thump, and the door flew open, knocking the young man who had opened it onto his posterior.

I stepped inside. “I’m Mary,” I announced nastily. “You’ll be getting your Avon from me from now on.”

Radio Broadcaster: Marcel Marceau

”                        “

Home Decorator: Woody Allen

I inched up to an apartment, one among many. People are like apartments, do you realize that? All the same, just with little differences. My mother and father locked me out of our apartment once.

My client was home. She is a physically large, intimidating woman, towering two full inches over my not inconsiderable height. The most ferocious cocker I have ever seen was eyeing me nastily from a corner. My voice came out in a squeak: “I’m the decorator. I’m here to look over your apartment. The apartment manager is having all the units redone. Of course, if you WANT to leave your apartment like it is, who am I to tell you to change it? I mean, everything is relevant, right? What do you think of Marshall McLuhan?”

Plumber’s Helper: Rex Reed

The architect who designed these monstrosities must have bought her license at a rummage sale. I mean, they’re simply DREADFUL! And the arrangement. I mean, really! With three bedrooms in a town-house apartment, the LEAST they could have done would be to have put in a bath downstairs (the upstairs bath has this incredibly tacky tile that that bitch Truman refused to believe when I told her about it).

But the matron who lived there deserves that apartment. Her curtains are burlap, no less. Tres chic, you say? Well, not when they say “Genuine Idaho Potatoes”. And the children! I have never SEEN such a run of louts. They’re simply IMPOSSIBLE.

I would have loved to have snooped around, but the man with the cigar was calling me from the bathroom.

I could have kept going in this vein forever, but I figured I should stop while I was ahead.