Coming at you with 1.21 jigawatts of power, it’s Lisa Burton Radio, the only show where I interview the characters from the books you love. My special guest today is Moe Fishbein. He lives in LA, and dabbles a little in skip tracing, vehicular repossession, and even the law on rare occasions. “Welcome to the show, Moe.”
“Good to meetcha, Lisa. But please…my friends just call me Fish.”
“Lawyers make bank, and I’ll bet Los Angeles is an interesting market. Why would someone walk away from that kind of career to go solo?”
“You ever heard of a law firm called Uptight, Rigid, Repressed and Lipshitz? Hey, if somebody – or some government agency – is hassling you and you’ve got the bucks, they’ve got the power, the muscle and the connections to make it go annoy somebody else. I was an associate there for almost five years, then I just couldn’t take another day of defending the rich and powerful for committing the indefensible. So, I told the management committee to take their partnership offer letter and use it as a suppository.
“Now I live at the beach, on top of a cliff that overlooks the little cove where they used to park Jim Garner’s trailer when they were shooting Rockford Files. Now, I just dabble. Practice a little law here…a little vehicle repoing and bounty hunting there. Backed up by my two best buds in the world…Einstein, who’s all but dissertation on his Ph.D. in physics. And Kenny, who became my first bail capture, legal client and employee – all on the same freakin’ day.
“What else do you want to know? Lived in L.A. my whole life. Pretty much grew up next door to the Brady Bunch. Did a little time at UCLA and Valley State. Kicked around restaurants as a sous chef for a few years, while I went to night law school. Quickly became the Uptight, Rigid, Repressed and Lipshitz associate voted most likely to royally piss off the Appellate Court. Go ahead, call me a wise-ass. WTF, everybody does. I’m kind of like John McLane from Die Hard…but without the firepower.
“Sure, we work hard. And we’re pretty damn good at getting the job done – without fracturing too many statutes along the way. But, this is L.A. we’re talking about. With a heavy side order of the entertainment industry. Where EVERYBODY packs a hyphen and valet parks on the whacko side of the street. So, we usually don’t have to go looking for trouble. It’s always got our GPS coordinates.”
“Repo and bounty work is kind of dangerous. Seems to me the courtroom is a safer place to earn a living.”
“That’s why I never go out on a job alone… Hey, Sinatra had his Rat Pack, right? Well, I’ve got Einstein and Kenny. And Beast, my head of security. We all keep an eye on each other’s 6. Kenny is fully fluent in ‘Dude’. He stumbled out of the 70’s a few brain cells lighter than when he face-planted in, and is sniper/scout material when it comes to paint ball guns. Einstein is close to his Ph.D. in theoretical physics, and he never met a neutrino he didn’t like. Especially, the ones that hang around the ignition system of your average deadbeat’s car. And Beast? He started out as a pampered little Beverly Hills lap pooch. Now he’s rockin’ a tiny little body full of dredds, day-glo patches of dyed fur, beads…and whole new attitude. He’s my little go-to guy.”
“Where did you boys go?”
“Where, on our little vacation? Hey, where does anybody who can spell the words Harley and Davidson want to spend their vacation?
“I’ll even give you a little hint: picture more than a million Harley owners. Partying HARD in a Black Hills town of only about 8,000. Hey, forget Tomorrowland. Sturgis, South Dakota HAS to be the freakin’ happiest place on Earth. And me, Kenny, Einstein and another bud, are all lickety-splitting our way down the highway to get there. Then we get picked up by a force of nature named Shawna Kretschman, a bad-ass blonde with her own full-race hog. Not to mention a short fuse, some serious fighting skills and an outfit that leaves zippo to the imagination. So, now we’re all headed for Sturgis to link up with more than a million of our best buds and budettes at the town’s annual Motor Cycle Rally.
“Too bad we never got the memo about the real estate developer who wanted all the bikers gone, so he could sell the area as a family-oriented resort town. And how he’d stop at nothing – including murder – to get it. All of a sudden, bikers and locals are dropping all over town. And me, my lady friend, my buds and my big mouth are all in the developer’s crosshairs.
“We’re all on a weird-ass collision course that includes phony cops and bar fights, pepper spray-laced paint balls, a no-holds-barred wrestling match in a ring full of chocolate pudding and getting adopted by the Sioux nation. Even a little manscaping.
“Y’know, like the old rock ‘n roll song says, “girls just wanna have fun”. Shawna says they also wanna have a lavender-tanked hog and bottomless saddlebags packing everything from high fashion to large caliber playthings; thigh-high leather boots to latex-covered toys.”
“Oh I like her. We sound like kindred spirits, only I carry all my stuff in my sidecar.
“Oh yeah. It’s a modern build of an old Army motorcycle. That’s a sweet Panhead you rode in here.”
“Funny, Lisa. Mine’s a modern build of an old classic, too. Right down to the puddle of engine oil that’s always on my garage floor. And the hardtail frame that sends so much vibration and road shock my way, it’s paying for my proctologist’s vacation home on Maui…
“Yup, I definitely think you and Shawna would get along. Tell you what—let me give her a quick call, and we can all go out for a fictional drink when we’re done. Get to know each other, have a few laughs…maybe insult the Hell out of a wise guy or a city councilman, or something…”
“I’m curious, Fish. How’d the two of you get together?”
“Actually, we met about five years ago, over a not-quite so stolen RV in Twin Falls, Idaho. The owner was more than a year behind on the payments, so the bank sent us there to repo his rig. And Shawna ended up booking us into Twin Falls’ right friendly little jail…and treating us to a complimentary de-lousing and the jail’s Grand Theft Auto suite. When the boys in blue figured out that we had legitimately repoed the RV, they let us go. Then they found the body of the owner stuffed into a large freezer in the belly of the beast, and Shawna got to give us our official welcome and de-lousing again—this time for murder. When all THAT got sorted out, I ended up inviting her down to Malibu for a few days of surf, sun and whatever.
“She showed up on a surprise visit about a month ago, right as we were getting to hit the road for Sturgis, South Dakota, and the biggest biker party in the business. And, we’ve been ‘whatever-ing’ a ton ever since.”
“What do you think, Fish? Was it kismet that brought the two of you together? Fate? Karma?”
“Hah! Nah. Probably just a writer with a vivid imagination and a warped sense of humor. But if you tell Shawna, I swear, I’ll deny every word.”
“Fish, you’re fun, and you certainly don’t leave for any dead airspace. Any last thoughts for our listeners today?”
“Hey, thanks for taking the time to hang with me today, Lisa. This has been a ton of fun. Gotta tell you, you’re good people – even for an android. Seriously, thanks.”
“If you want to learn more about Fish and his friends, pick up the Adventures in La-La Land series by Jeff Lee. I’ll post all the pertinents on the website.
“Don’t forget to tip your waitress by using those sharing buttons. I know Jeff and Fish would appreciate it, and they’ll do the same when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”
Hurricane Kretchman is book number four in the Adventures in La-La Land series, featuring Fish and all his friends.
You can download it directly at this link.
If you’re like many of us and prefer to start at the beginning, you can find all the books at Jeff’s Amazon Author Page.
You can check out Jeff, and follow him, at the following locations:
Jeff Lee Bio:
Born in New York and raised near San Francisco, I’ve been a copywriter and creative director for some of the country’s most creative ad agencies. Won a lot of silly awards for my creativity and wise-ass sense of humor.
And I’ve been writing in L.A. since before KC even HAD a Sunshine Band.
So, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that, given half a chance, this city can be a never-ending cavalcade of rib-tickling fun — and funny — things, people and approaches to this thrill ride we call life.
Like phony televangelists who produce biblical-themed porn for the faithful.
Bat-shit crazy showbiz moms.
Defrocked talent agents posing as Reality Show producers.
The Rose Parade.
It never freakin’ ends with this place.
There’s always something — or someone — to gape at and giggle over.
I tell ya, you’ve just GOT to love this town!
It’s the law.