Campaigning in Iowa, Rick Santorum said “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.” This was followed by applause. He later said that he was pretty sure he hadn’t said “black people”, but had said “blah people” instead.
The night was blah as pitch but the rainy streets below my window were lit up with a blinking red neon glow from the flophouse next door. My head was throbbing like the bass line in the Stone’s “Paint it Blah”. Too many dark and stormies – that’s blah rum and ginger beer if you don’t hang out in my neighborhood. Nina Simone was on the radio, singing “Blah is the Color of My True Love’s Hair”. There was a scratchy sound to the recording and I knew the jock was playing a record – that’s right, a grooved disk of blah vinyl - it’s what we used for music before CD’s and MP3 players. I lit a Gauloise with the butt end of the one I had just finished and tried to blow a smoke ring into the blahness of my office. I must have dozed off because when I heard the knock on the door, light was trying to make its way through the dirt and grease on my window. I knew from the knock that it must be a dame, so I said “Door’s open.” She was dressed entirely in blah – blah stiletto heels, blah fishnet stockings, a blah skirt that ended just above the best knees I had ever seen, a blah fleece pea coat, blah shiny lipstick and a blah hat like my grandmother used to wear, fixed with a blah stick pin. No doubt about it – this woman was seriously into blah.
“Are you the one they call Boston Blahie?” she asked in a voice that took my breath away. I suddenly felt things stirring in the blahness of my heart that I hadn’t felt in years.
“Yeah, that’s me”, I said, trying to take my eyes off those knees. “What can I do for you?”
“You talk funny.” She said, without a hint of a smile on her blah lips.
“That’s ‘cause I’m from Boston. We pronounce park so it rhymes with blah and like that.” I could have told her lots about Boston, if I thought she had any interest in me - about Old Southie and about Tony Nero, or Blah Tony as they called him. He was a made man and I had crossed him, so I left Boston in the blah of night and made my way here to Fargo, where I was unknown and out of reach. Or so I thought.
“My name is Morticia Blahbourne” she said huskily as she reached into her blah purse and pulled out a photograph, a ragged blah and white, and handed it to me. “He’s been missing for three days. He’s everything to me. Do you think you can find him?”
I looked at the photo. I wasn’t what I had expected…
“Miss Blahbourne…” I said slowly. “This is a dog, a blah dog.”
“Yes, of course. His name’s Blahie. That’s why I came to you.”
I suddenly needed some coffee – strong blah coffee – and so I suggested we go together to the Blah-Eyed Pea, a greasy spoon across the street and discuss her case further.