Being a right-wing private eye has its bad days. The client, name of Lowry, wanted me to look into the background of some jasper named Regnerus, in from out of town, that he was thinking of doing business with. Seems that Lefty, a higher-up in the corrupt local P.D., was poking around about Regnerus and hinting he was a bunco artist, and peddling bad product on Main Street. As I said, our P.D. here is corrupter even than a corrupt P.D. ought to be, so Lefty’s hassling could have been totally bogus, just a typical shakedown; but the client was in a hurry, and wanted to find out PDQ whether Regnerus was on the up-and-up.
There’s a local bar that conservative intellectuals hang out at. You know the kind of bar: small front room with vintage portraits of Burke and Shaftesbury on the walls and Vivaldi on the stereo, and much larger back room with Frankie Goes to Hollywood on the jukebox, late-70s Clash posters, and you can get anything you want if you got the dough. I found myself, not for the first time, in that back room. I slipped the bartender a Franklin.
“Any idea where I can find a guy named Regnerus?”
“You mean Regnery?”
“Listen, buddy, if I were looking for two guys I would have said so.”
(Hat tip: No controversy is entirely wasted if it sends us in the direction of the legendary Wayne and Shuster. They are much missed, and “Rinse the Blood Off My Toga” is one of their classics.)