What do you call someone who refers to any given objet
as a "dingus," takes calls on a "blower," takes a "Nixon" rather than moving his bowels, and uses "ankles" as a verb? Try Kinky "Big Dick" Friedman, the fictional star of The Mile High Club
, 1999's Spanking Watson
, and 11 earlier amateur detective novels by the real-life musician-turned-novelist Kinky Friedman. As The Mile High Club
opens, the Kinkster is holding forth with his gorgeous Middle Eastern seatmate, Khadija, on a flight from Dallas to New York City. As the plane begins its landing approach, Khadija rises to visit the loo, neither returning to her seat nor deplaning with the rest of the passengers. And Kinky's left holding her bag.
Unable to reach her and intrigued by several callers claiming that they, in fact, had Khadija's bag, Kinky and his real private-eye friend, Rambam, (Rambam, writer Mike McGovern and the Watson-like Ratso are the series's "Village Irregulars") jimmy open the bag to find, among other things, a vibrator.
"It has three gears apparently."
"Does it have four-wheel drive?"
"We have some slinky black lace panties, stockings, and lingerie."
"Many terrorists shop at Victoria's Secret."
"We have men's socks, undershirts, underwear."
"Boxers or briefs?"
"Extremely brief briefs. Khadija may be a little kinky. Pardon the expression."
"If that's all that's in there, what's the big fuss about? That's pretty much standard contents for most carryon luggage when the final destination is the Village."
"Yes, but they don't all include this," said Rambam, holding up a large plastic Baggie full of enough passports to make a customs agent put in for overtime.
And so it jauntily goes until its nifty surprise ending. Here, as in earlier cases, the plot is marginal and intentionally laughable. It's the straight man, really, enabling Kinky's well-done paeans to Sherlock Holmes, Dashiell Hammett, and Raymond Chandler, his three-page dissertations on outdoor urination, ruminations on Talmudic proscriptions against indoor nail-clipping, and, most appreciably, his obvious facility and fascination with the language. --Michael Hudson
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Aficionados of the Kinkster and his gang of Village Irregulars are in for another round of hilarious hijinks. On a plane from Texas to New York, the intrepid detective/humorist/musician agrees to keep an eye on the little pink suitcase of his seatmate, the exotic Khadija Kejela, when she excuses herself to go to the bathroom. She never returns. After the plane lands in New York, Kinky gets a call from Khadija about the suitcase, which he's taken with him, but she doesn't show up to claim it. Curious about the contents, Kinky and his PI pal, Rambam, force open the suitcase and find a plastic bag full of fake passports for possible Middle Eastern terrorists. Realizing that both he and Rambam may be in danger, Kinky rounds up his old friends Ratso and McGovern to help figure out what's going on. Mayhem ensues. This is guy territory, albeit Greenwich Village '60s style. When necessary, Kinky takes cover with his bottle of Jameson's, a couple of Monte Cristos (preferably No. 2), his espresso machine and his long-suffering cat, whose litter box becomes the hiding place for the passports. Sometime girlfriend Stephanie DuPont adds to the chaos. As usual, the mystery at hand counts for less than the time spent in Kinky's company. The fun is in the ba-da-boom dialogue and the throwaway references. Occasional lyrical passages amidst the raunch surprise and please. The resolution may not convince entirely, but Friedman fans will be too busy laughing to notice. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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