Hard-Boiled Thought of the Day: Collection #2

You can’t keep a good simile down. There’s nothing like a catching the aroma off that first cup of the day, that curl of smoke off your first stick, and the whiff of a finely tuned, hard-boiled thought.

Here’s another set of favorite thoughts of the day, collected from my throw-back series and posted with semi-frequence upon the ether.

  • “You ought to be ashamed, pop. You’re old enough to be her dead grandfather.”
  • I could trust her about as far as I could throw the Monadnock Building.
  • You could see at a glance she’d been around the block, as long as the block was clean, god-fearing and cut off from the real world.
  • “Lookit. It’s just like cooking, see? You cook, don’t you?”
    “Does toast count?”
    “No, toast doesn’t count.”
  • Believe nothing the first time around.
  • You can count on a walk in the park being anything but.
  • “I don’t mean to be rude. It’s like this proclivity I’ve got,” I said. “Whenever I get strong-armed, it kicks right in. I go on autopilot. It’s like a syndrome with me. Sometimes I can’t help myself. The rudeness bubbles out of me just like Alka-Seltzer. Sometimes my line of work calls for it.”
  • I needed work from this gink about as much as Venice needs a plumber.
  • I pictured her likeness on some prow down at the harbor. Then I recalled that feeling I always get in my gut from sailing—a group of bats having a go at badminton.
  • I smiled. Tom, Dick and Harry didn’t crack a smirk. I’ve seen cattle on meathooks with warmer dispositions.
  • “You’ve got more sales angles than a used car dealer with a three-way mirror.”
  • The surreptitious glimpses and rounded shoulders, the way she clutched the handbag in her lap—the whole mousy demeanor fit her like an ascot fits a python.
  • He looked forward to it as much as a corpse anticipates a funeral.
  • Who stumbles into a P.I.’s office with nothing to kick? Especially at that hour? Nothing from this baby. No “hello.” No “allow me to introduce myself.” No nothing. Instead, the guy’s lousy with hiccups.
  • I felt as rumpled as the two-bit bed beneath me. I felt as two-bit as the room. I felt like something somebody had spit out.
  • Murphy came off as irresistibly cute approaching saucy. Something of an innocent live wire. The girl next door ready to go wrong.
  • He quivered like a priest giving communion to a pair of stripteasers.
  • A few have too much of everything. Too many don’t have enough of anything. In between there’s hardly enough left to go around.
  • Even in the dark you could tell they’d croaked. There’s no mistaking that peculiar stillness of death. A quality of frozen permanence. Time hangs on a corpse like eternity. Like a busted clock.
  • I felt like a feather caught between two bowling balls.
  • I’ve seen plenty of clients try to rub out their past like chalk on the sidewalk—it never holds up. You can’t swap faces in the mirror. You can’t help but look at yourself square on. Sometimes my line of work calls for it.
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