My name is Valiant. Eddie Valiant. I have a reputation as a "fixer" for showbiz types, called on to fix things that are embarrassing or illegal. All the studios use them to some extent, since actors can’t keep it in their pants or skirts as the case may be. Some people call me the PI to the Toons, because of my involvement in the Acme case a few years back. I really don't like them much, but I seem to always be drawn in by them. That and they always pay on time.
I got the call Wednesday from one of the suits at Warner Brothers. Their newest Darling had some really dirty laundry and Hedda Hopper was ready to hang it in the breeze. The rumor was he played for the other team and that wouldn’t look good for anybody. My job was to confirm or deny source of the stink. We agreed on a price and I loaded up for Palm Springs.
My target was smaller than I expected. Maybe 5 foot tall. He did have a debonair appearance until you got downwind of him, then you understood his stage name. LePew. Pepe LePew. According to the dossier given to me by the studio, his real name Paul Linberger. One of the few cases of both the stage name and real name worked. Originally from a town in Northern Wisconsin, he had left after being caught milking a bull. There were odd jobs on farms and ranches from there to here, always ending with some kind of animal behavior and a quick exit. He had signed to do a one off comedy of a middle aged husband flirting with a cat. The short did well and they kept him on, pairing him with various female leads.
The house across the street from the Inn had been booked by J.L. using a shell company he controlled and he gave me the key. It was a little adobe place that disappeared against the scenery. It looked like it had been drawn by for a Toon. It was perfect for watching and waiting.
I focused my attention on the window. Soon the door opened. I noticed the human had a clothespin on his nose, but otherwise was completely interested in the proceedings. They were clawing and kissing at each other harder than any couple I had ever seen. Then, something strange happened. LePew turned around and pulled his tail between his legs. The human pulled a hidden zipper. Like a magic, Pepe disappeared and Alfred Hitchcock was in his place. THIS was the dirty laundry they were talking about. And I thought Acme was weird. I nearly dropped my camera, but I managed to shoot two rolls.
And now I have to explain to J.L. that not only is his new leading man funnier than a three dollar bill, he isn't even a real Toon.
I need a drink.