Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer

by J.D. Rhoades

God, I hate August. 

We are well and truly into the dog days of summer around
here. Vacation’s a distant memory. The kids are bored and cranky. And the heat,
good lord, the heat. When the dog goes outside to do the dog thing, he stops at the door,
sighs heavily and looks mournfully back over his shoulder at me as if
this is all my fault before slumping out the door with his head and
tail hung low. Walking from my office to the courthouse in a suit is like
the Sun’s Anvil scene in Lawrence of Arabia.


It’s hot enough to make a bishop cuss.  Birds are pulling worms out of the ground using pot holders.  I saw a dog chasing a
cat and they were both walking (rim shot).

So damn it, if we’re stuck inside, let’s have some fun.
Let’s play a game. 

I confess, this particular game is lifted from a recent thread
on the USENET newsgroup rec.arts.mystery.


To play, you have to come up with a
line from a mystery or thriller novel containing something a well-known character
would be highly unlikely to say or do. 

For example, RAMer
Jim Barker (who designed the cool logo at left) comes up with this gem:

“Jack Reacher admired the cut of his new Armani
suit, luxuriating in the feel of his
silk boxers against his skin.”

From Mary:

"Never mind the evidence, Watson," Holmes cried, "I just have a funny feeling about this!"

Here’s one of mine:

"Screw this elevator music,"
Harry Bosch said, ejecting the Art Pepper disc from the player. "Hand me
that Dixie Chicks CD."   

See how it’s played? 

So, what line are YOU unlikely to hear from your favorite
mystery/thriller character?

And while we’re talking heat, give me your best “It’s so hot
that…” joke.

And since every really good game should have prizes, best
one in the “unlikely lines from beloved characters” wins all three volumes of the Jack Keller
series so far: THE DEVIL’S RIGHT HAND and GOOD DAY IN HELL in paperback, and
SAFE AND SOUND in hardcover. All autographed. Best “it’s so hot that…” joke
gets to pick any one of the three. Entries must be posted to Murderati by
midnight EDT Thursday. Decision of the judges (me and possibly my wife) is

And just for fun…what line is unlikely to come from YOUR



53 thoughts on “Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer

  1. Bryon Quertermous

    Keller dropped his shotgun off with the receptionist and flopped onto the couch across from the therapist.

    “Alright, doc, I gotta talk about what happened to me back in the Gulf,” he said.

  2. B.G. Ritts

    Bill Smith said, “Lyd, let’s go to that new smoke-free diner. They have a piano that I can try to work ‘Chopsticks’ out on.”

    It’s so hot that people are looking for a nuclear blast for the breeze.

    Me: “Let’s take the longer trail, I love hiking!”

  3. pari

    “A whiskey on the rocks,” said Hercule Poireau, smiling at the young prostitute. “Ya know, that lobotomy was the best move I’ve ever made.”

    Dusty,I loved the line about the birds with potholders . . .

    I’ll think about an it’s-so-hot joke. I want those books!

    Sasha Solomon’s most unlikely line: “I do.”

  4. Naomi

    “Oooh, that Thirty-Minute Meal looks yummy and delish. Where’s my EVOO?!!” –Louise Ure

    “That’s it. I’m off of the Internet for good. I have to do something productive, like clean the bathrooms.” –Naomi Hirahara

  5. JT Ellison

    John Rain contemplated the amber hue of his Talisker, then looked at Delilah. “Let’s skip the scotch and sex and go see the new Harry Potter.”

    Dusty, this plays right into a blog I’m doing in a couple of weeks called the 4th dimension…

  6. Josephine Damian

    It’s so hot here in Florida we’re looking forward to Hurricane Dean’s destruction if it means we have a cool breeze.

    JA Konrath’s sleuth Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels:

    No thanks, bartender, I’ll just have a cup of tea.


    A cute suede skirt for $29.99 on sale tonight on QVC? Nah, I’ll pass, I’m all shopped- out!

  7. Louise Ure

    I particularly like Naomi’s offering!

    How about Barbara Seranella’s Munch Mancini saying: “Hell, I don’t know why it quit running. Let’s call Triple A.”

  8. E Scott Johnson

    “Send someone else. Takedowns just don’t do it for me.” –Jack Keller

    In Florida, we hear a lot of these…

    It’s so hot somebody told me go to hell and I started packing.

    It’s so hot the farmers are feeding the chicken ice so they won’t lay hardboiled eggs.

  9. Rob

    Frankly, I’m not sure I can top: “Susan, would you shut the fuck up.” –Spenser

    I would love to see that.

    But I’ll give it a shot anyway:

    Lawrence Block’s Bernie Rhodenbarr: “If they ever make a movie about my life, I think Whoopi Goldberg should play me.”

  10. Ray Banks

    Parker: “Enh, you know what? Keep the money.”

    Any of George V. Higgins’ characters, opening his mouth to say something, then shaking his head: “Ah – nah, forget it. Doesn’t matter.”

  11. Jim Barker

    Oh well, if there are PRIZES… Here are the ones I posted on RAM:

    “Can i have another chocolate malted?” asked Susan Silverman as she chomped through her fourth cheeseburger and fries.

    Rebus contendedly sucked on his Perrier and lemon slice.

    “I’m full” said Lula, finishing her tub of cottage cheese.

    ‘Stephanie…” said Ranger. “It’s time you knew that Morelli and I are lovers.”

    Joe Pike threw aside his sunglasses and inserted his tinted contact lenses.

  12. Naomi

    “My dear Mma Ramotswe, I’m just not that into you.”–J.L.B. Matekoni from Alexander McCall Smith’s No. I Ladies’ Detective Agency series

    “Easy, let’s just forgive and forget.”–Mouse in Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlings series

  13. pari

    Okay, here’s a martial arts kind of it’s-so-hot joke:

    It’s so hot, his cups keep melting.

    Or, maybeHe’s so hot . . .

    Another line:”No thanks, I’m on a diet.” Nero Wolfe

  14. Jacky B.

    Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware: “Why do these psychotics do the horrendous things they do? You know, I don’t have a fucking clue.”

  15. Jim Barker

    “I’m Adrian Monk and I wanna make mud pies!”

    Charles Paris stood admiring the billboard outside the West End theatre where he was starring in Equus.

    “Ranger…” said Stephanie. “It’s time you knew Lula and I are lovers.””That’s OK, Stephanie… I only hang around with you because I have the hots for Grandma Mazur.

  16. Jacky B.

    Lee Child’s — Jack Reacher: “I can’t live like this anymore. This ‘clothes on my back’ scene is bullshit! Fuck it. Get me a Visa, MasterCard, American Express. Baby, I want it all!”

  17. Cornelia Read

    Nancy Drew: “Pass me that bong, Ned. I’ve just discovered the meaning of life during a threeway with Bess and George in the back seat of my spiffy blue roadster. And, by the way, you can’t give head for shit.”

    Clancy’s Jack Ryan: “All we are saying, is give peace a chance.”

    Favorite heat description was an observation by Robicheaux something like: “stepping outside felt like getting smacked in the face with a hot wet carpet.”

  18. Sue Trowbridge

    Kinsey Millhone: “I’m looking for a new place. My current home is just too small & cramped.”

    Sasha Solomon: “What, they’re giving out free cans of whipped cream? No thanks — I’ll pass.”

    Anyone who’s sick of heat should come spend August in San Francisco, where it’s always “jacket weather.”

  19. a Paperback Writer

    Nuts, someone already beat me to an Ian Rankin line. Oh well, here goes anyway:”Of course, Siobhan,” Rebus said into his phone as he stuck another nicotine patch on his arm, “I’ll be happy to meet up with you, but not at the Ox; let’s do the Starbucks by Tron Kirk. I’ll be over as soon as I update my blog for today.”

  20. Fran

    Joe Pike swallowed his last bit of rare steak and sat back, musing, “I’ve given it a lot of thought, honestly I have, weighed all the options and I just don’t think we can handle this one on our own, Elvis, even if I had the proper weaponry, which of course, I don’t.”

    “It’s so hot it’s like breathing under a lead blanket on the sun!” – I used that one one summer in Las Cruces.

    And if you ever hear me say “I’m SO jazzed about the new war movie, but you can keep your damned chocolate” you’ll know someone’s got a gun to my head. A really big one.

  21. Dave White

    “Fuck it,” Spenser said. “Let’s just kill ’em all.”

    Hawk paused. “But that’s not the way you–“

    “Fuck it, I said. Let’s kill ’em all.”

    “Are you sure you’re okay? You misquoted Shakespeare this morning over tea and crumpets.” Hawk loaded his shot gun.

  22. Dennis Venter

    Robert Crais’s Joe Pike: “Ooh, Elvis. Love me tender.”

    Charlie Huston’s Joe Pitt: “Ew, gross. Blood.”

    Miss Marple: “Dude! Shut up and suck my nut up.”

  23. Michael

    Sgt. Dudley Smith handed Exley the bowl.

    “Here laddie, pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers. They’re magically delicious.”

  24. a Paperback Writer

    This afternoon as I drove back from setting up for a new school year, I realized that it was so hot that the synthetic flowers on the dashboard of my VW looked wilted.Then I realized that might make a good “it’s so hot…” joke, so I’m posting it.

  25. Tom

    Harriet Vane exhaled the big toke she’d been holding. The giant spliff stuck to her index finger, defying gravity even as she coughed.

    She took a slug from the beer mug full of Canadian Club. “I’ve had enough,” she said. “I’m too tall for most men, too smart for nearly all men, and not smart enough about making money from the publishing biz. I’m quitting men and I’m quitting writing. What’s to lose? I’m impoverished, lonely, and there’s not a thing in my wardrobe that looks good on me.”

    “I’ll tell you what looks good on you,” said Irene Adler in that thrilling contralto voice. “Me. Me all over you. That’ll look good – you’ll see.” She rose from her armchair, took a trembling first step. “Harriet – oh, god, Harriet – I’ve waited much too long to tell you.”

    A pistol shot cracked from a dark corner of the room; the table next to Irene rocked with a splintery furrow across its top. “Stay the hell away from her,” said Della Street. The old Webley was rock-steady in her hand. “Harry is my tomato, mine and no one else’s.”

  26. jimcor

    JW Jackson checked the oven and the Mrs. Paul’s fishsticks that were just about baked to perfection. Along with the succulent fish, pork and beans, and fried canned potatoes would complete the family’s favorite meal. “Delish!”, thought JW.

    GBNF Philip R. Craig

  27. B Ferris

    Travis McGee: “That’s it, Meyer. I’m selling this damned boat and moving to Ohio.”

    Ferris line not ever to be uttered: Of COURSE I vote Republican!

  28. J.D. Rhoades



    Oh, my god…rarely have I laughed so hard at blog comments. You guys are amazing. It was a tough, tough choice, and I really have been going back and forth over several of these responses, changing my mind several times about the winner….but in the end, I have to choose one, and that one is:

    (drum roll)

    (wait for it)

    (commercial break)

    (retrospective montage of all the competitors and how they got this far)

    (commercial break)

    The winner is:

    “Ned, pass me the goddamn AK-47 and let’s get on with it.” — Nancy Drew

    I just love the idea of Nancy going all gonzo with a Kalashnikov.

    Lisa, stand up, take a bow, and send me your snail mail address so I can get you your books.

    As for “it’s so hot” jokes, submissions were a little thinner there. Winner was E Scott Johnson:

    “It’s so hot somebody told me go to hell and I started packing.”

    Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to everyone for being so creative.

    And thanks to Jim Barker, for being such a good sport about me completely stealing his idea. Pick which book you want, Jim, and I’ll get it to you.

    Send snail mail addys to:

  29. Tom

    Dusty, you know this is just too good to let it end here. What you and Barker have is a whole new subgenre of fiction. And it wants to live.


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