I swear, if Toons don’t kill me, Studio executives will.
My name is Valliant. Eddie Valliant. I’m one of those Private Investigators you read about in the papers. For the last twenty years I’ve worked in the entertainment industry as a “Fixer”, on retainer to the biggest studios in Hollywood, bridging the gaps between Man and Toon worlds.
The call came from the Head Honcho of Disney. One of their starlets, a Goldi Lochs, had disappeared in the Hills. Ms. Lochs missed her set call and was tying up Project Alice. It was already over budget and it needed to wrap up. The job would pay double she got delivered by eight. I wasn’t making any promises. The last golden goose chase ended up being a real stinker when I found out Pepe LePew wasn’t even a Toon.
This girl, at least, was human and predictable.
At least I hoped so.
Goldi was seeing Baby Baer-a pretty boy who worked both sides of the camera and both sides of other things, if you get my drift. Drifting Grifter or Grifting Drifter, both descriptions work. Baby Baer wasn’t a sweet, innocent cub, but a streetwise hustler ready to take advantage of young girl like Goldi.
He lived with his folks at the base of the Valley. Poppa was a set carpenter I met during the Marvin Acme case. A big, muscular guy who spent his off time as a bouncer in a bar on Ventura. Momma was a clueless housewife. The last time I dealt with any of them was a few years ago when I met up with Jessica Rabbit to clean up Roger’s estate. Baby had been named in the will. There had been a “relationship”, more like black mail. We got him tossed during Probate. Needless to say, he didn’t like me.
I got the runaround when I called. Baer said he hadn’t seen Lochs since Sunday afternoon when she left to go to a party. I asked what she was wearing. He said nothing and hung up. He was hiding something.
The next call was to a girlfriend of Goldi’s I knew. She filled me in on her family backgroud. It was typical. Headstrong girl from the woods takes off to try to find her way in the big city. I asked her what kind of car she owned. She said she had two, a little red Corvette the Studio had given her for a movie role and a Chrysler convertible which she drove most of the time.
She told me had seen Lochs and Baer in Griffith Park Sunday afternoon with a guy named Yogi, an up-and-comer at a new studio in the Hills. It was a real teddy bear picnic complete with five or six baskets, all stolen. She wondered out loud what Goldi saw in Baby. His manners were atrocious and Yogi’s weren’t any better. While were chatting, Goldi mentioned a wingding in Laurel Canyon Disney was throwing. She didn’t want to go, but Honcho was expecting her.
I wonder why?
Time to pay a personal visit, as if I I needed an excuse to pull out the Packard. The three-toned behemoth took Cahuenga like the boat it was. The wind felt good over my bald head as I topped the pass. I pull in to the overlook parking lot to get my bear-ings.
Yeah. A joke. Sue me.
The house was in a new subdivision called “Ursine Mews”. Where they come up with these names, I’ll never know. It consisted of four streets: Primrose Path, Garden Walk, Easy Street, and Ropemaker’s Alley. The last one wasn’t comforting when looking for a missing girl.
The houses looked like everything else in the Valley. slate roofed bungalows on square lots, until I got to the Baer house. There were so many Jacarandas and Eucalyptus you couldn’t see the front door. A stand of woods for their own benefit, if you know what I mean. As I drove by, I see three cars in the driveway: a Chevy, a Thunderbird and…a little red Corvette.
I’d say they were home.
I stop two houses down and pull out the binoculars. It didn’t take long. A tall gent with a stiff collar came out and got into the Chevy. Based on the description the girlfriend gave, I say it was Yogi. He backed out and headed toward the main road.
The lovebirds followed a minute later, completely hanging off each other. He was wearing a shirt with a lighthouse on it. Her dress was a clever pattern, sheets of paper that progressively folded into cranes at the hem. Delores would love it. Her birthday is coming up. Maybe, I should…
They piled into the ‘Bird. But instead of heading out to the main road, they passed me going further into the development. I wait two beats and do a ewie to follow. When they got to the end of Ropemaker, a hidden gate opened into the cliff. It was an back door into Toon Town I didn’t know existed.
I knew instantly where I was when we got to the other side-the alley behind the Acme Studios. The car pulled up to the stage door entrance. As they got out, something strange happened. The light on his shirt began to glow and the cranes on the dress flew, leaving her in her birthday suit. The luscious locks now covered her body head to toe.
Goldi was a bear. This is why she didn’t want to go to the party.
I knew there was a church around the corner to the left. Roger Rabbit’s funeral had been held there. I hung back to see if they would go through with it. As they approached the steps, Reverend Barney Bruin came out with his book.
“Do you?” He nods.
“Do you?” She nods.
“I Pronounce you Star and Starlet, you may maul the bride.”
Which they did. A few months later, Sylvie came and Goldi left acting for good. Baby had to grow up and he became a lawyer. They still live in house in Ursine Mews.
I sent the video of the mauling to Honcho. Alice was recast the next day.
Topic-Colleen Keller Bruenig
Pic- Christine Wichman
Pic guesses: Little girl, nightlight, dreams, teddy bear (in blog), wonder, woods (in blog), Lighthouse (in blog)