James West

1st recorded interview


Time: 9:15 AM

Detective Adams: Yes…uh…my name is Detective John Montgomery Adams, and I’m here with my partner, Detective Peter Davidson. This interview is being recorded via video. Detective Davidson and I are located at Glencove Police Station in Glencove Alabama, home of the Glencove Raiders.

Detective Davidson: Sir, you don’t need to mention that.

Detective Adams: Mention what?

Detective Davidson: The Raiders.

D. Adams: Why the hell not? Best damn college football team in the state.

D. Davidson: (sighs) Just go ahead, sir.

D. Adams: Thank you, Petie…uh…Peter. What’s your full name?

James West: I’m sorry, but are you addressing your partner or myself?

D. Adams: I’m looking at you, aren’t I?

James West: (smiles) Right, right you are. My full name is James West. And this

(points to cat) is my partner, Mr. William Whiteshoes.

D. Adams: No middle name, then?

J. West: No, I’m from England, Detective Adams. I’m afraid we don’t have a lot of middle names, there.

D. Adams: (smiles) I meant the feline.

J. West: (laughs) No, no middle name for William.

D. Adams: Excellent. Are you from England? I thought I detected an accent.

D. Davidson: Sir, I hate to rush you, but we’ve got another interview at 9:30.

D. Adams: I know that. I ain’t touched in the head, you know.

D. Davidson: Yes sir.

D. Adams: (shakes head) Like my young partner here says, we do need to hurry along. In your own words, why don’t you tell us what happened yesterday?

J. West: Thank you, you’ve been most kind. I was checking my phone for an update on a video that I had uploaded earlier. You see, it had just gone viral and—

D. Davidson: (interrupts) A viral video is a video that’s popular on the internet. I saw one, once, about—

D. Adams: I KNOW THAT, PETIE. (sighs) I do know about the internet, and about all the twitters, you know.

D. Davidson: Sorry, sir.

D. Adams: It’s alright, Petie…er...Detective Davidson. I think my blood sugar’s getting low. (turns to J. West) Anyway, Mr. West, just out of curiosity, what was your video about? Was...uh...Mr. Whiteshoes in it?

J. West: (smiles) No, I think William was taking a nap. At any rate, I work for a production company in London, and we specialize in reality t.v. shows with American participants. Yesterday, I took some footage of potential contestants. With their permission, of course.

D. Davidson: (leans forward) Hey, I think I know you! Aren’t you that guy from American Morons? I love that show!

J. West: (bows head) Thank you. I try not to draw attention to myself. Sometimes, it seems that Americans really don’t get the sense of humor that the show has--I get a lot of abuse.

D. Adams: I’m sorry to hear that, Mr. West. Would you send us the link to that video?

J. West: Of course. Are you a fan of the show?

D. Adams: No, I’m partial to the silver screen on general principle. Detective Davidson and I need to make sure that we haven’t missed any details. Dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s, so to speak.

J. West: (looks down) Oh, I see.

D. Adams: Anyway, I’m sure the humor in the show would escape me. I’ll give you our department’s email address, and Miss Dotty will forward the file to me. Anyway, after you checked the viral video, describe what happened next.

D. Davidson: Yeah! Did you see who caused the explosion? Was it your cat?

D. Adams: (sighs) I was getting to that, detective. Mr. West, could you see anything or anyone, from your position?

J. West: Well, I definitely heard an explosion. (thinks) Also, I did see a blonde lady with…umm…rather generous breasts.

D. Adams: Did you see this woman doing anything suspicious?

J. West: Well, she was running, and her hair was on fire.

D. Davidson: Well now. That is both suspicious and unusual.

D. Adams: You think? (to J. West) Did the blonde lady say anything unusual?

J. West: Yes.

D. Davidson: And what was that?

J. West: Well, as she was running, she was saying: “Ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod!”

D. Adams: (shakes head) That sounds like Sheila, my ex. Anything else?

J. West: No, nothing I can remember.

D. Adams: Here’s my card, and let me know if you think of anything else.

D. Davidson: (holds out box of donuts) Sir, would you like a donut?

D. Adams: (rolls eyes) Not now, detective. Why don’t you offer one to Mr. West and his animal companion?


Sheila Monalisa

Recorded interview


Time: 10:00 AM

D. Davidson: I’m Detective Peter Davidson, and I’m coming to you, live, from Glencove Police station in Alabama, with Ms. Sheila Adams.

Sheila Monalisa: What do you think this is, Saturday Night Live or something?

D. Davidson: (coughs) No Sheila, I do not. Would you state, for the record, your full name?

S. Monalisa: It’s Sheila, but you already know that. How long did I babysit you for? Hell, I remember cleaning your dirty diapers. They smelled terrible—just like a bunch of dead possums.

D. Davidson: We already talked about this, Sheila. Just pretend this is a true crime show, and I’m the lead detective. For the record, state your full name.

S. Monalisa: Fine. My full name is Sheila Monalisa.

D. Davidson: What? That’s not your name. It’s Sheila Adams. (picks up paper) Says right here on this brief.

S. Monalisa: (leans forward) That ain’t my name, Petie. I changed it to Sheila Monalisa. It's my new name, for my new fashion brand.

D. Davidson: Look, everybody around here knows that John is your ex. Would you cut the crap?

S. Monalisa: I thought this might happen. (opens bag) Here’s my legal documentation from the courthouse.

D. Davidson: (studies document) Well, Ms. Sheila Monalisa, an eyewitness puts you at the scene of the fireworks explosion yesterday. Tell me, did you have anything to do with that?

S. Monalisa: No.

D. Davidson: (leans back in chair) Then why were you running from the blast?

S. Monalisa: Because my damn hair was on fire!

D. Davidson: (stands up) Yes, I know that, Sheila!

(Someone knocks at the door.)

Detective Adams: Is everything alright in here?

D. Davidson: …Yes.

S. Monalisa: (smiles) Everything’s peachy.

Detective Adams: Good, I’m missing out on my beauty sleep.

S. Monalisa: Go get some sleep, sugar. We won’t bother you any more. (stares at Davidson) Will we, Detective Davidson?

D. Davidson: (looks at table) No ma’am.

D. Adams: Good! (shuts door)

(D. Davidson and S. Monalisa stare at each other.)

D. Davidson: (mutters under his breath)

S. Monalisa: What’s that, young man?

D. Davidson: I’m sorry.

S. Monalisa: Me too. (lights a cigarette) Did you have another question you wanted to ask me, or is that it?

D. Davidson: Assuming you didn't cause the explosion, do you know who did?

S. Monalisa: Yes.

D. Davidson: (holds head in hands) Then why didn’t you say so?

S. Monalisa: (shrugs) You never asked me.


Recorded interview

Walt Whitman


Time: 11:00 AM

D. Adams: This is Detective Adams, and I’m here with my partner, Detective Petie…uh…Peter Davidson. Detective Davidson and I will be interviewing…Walt Whitman?

Walt Whitman: Yep, that’s me.

D. Davidson: Walt Whitman was a famous poet, sir.

D. Adams: (puts hand to forehead) Yes, I know that, Petie.

D. Davidson: Sorry, sir.

D. Adams: (turns to W. Whitman) Mr. Whitman, we have a witness who says they saw you create the explosion. What do you have to say about that?

Walt Whitman: Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no lies.

D. Davidson: (pounds fist on table) Tell us the truth, you pyro!

D. Adams: Do I need to call your mother again, Petie?

D. Davidson: No sir.

Walt Whitman: (laughs) You're in a heap of trouble now, Pete.

D. Adams: (takes off glasses) I don't know about you, but I'm hungry. The way I see it, this interview can go one of two ways. Either you both behave yourselves, and we mosey on down to Luther's Barbeque, or you can continue to behave like jackasses. Your choice, gentlemen.

W. Whitman: I’d much rather eat a pulled pork sandwich.

D. Davidson: I agree, sir.

D. Adams: Mr. Whitman, as my partner mentioned, you do have a tendency to enjoy pyrotechnic events. Did you start the fire that caused the explosion?

W. Whitman: (hangs head) Well, yes and no.

D. Davidson: Well, did you do it or not?

W. Whitman: (sighs) Yes, I did.

D. Davidson: I knew it!

D. Adams: Wait just a minute, Pete. Let’s see if the poor man has anything else to say for himself.

W. Whitman: (smiles) Thank you. As I was saying, I did start the inferno, but it was an accident.

D. Adams: How so?

W. Whitman: Well, I was auditioning for a new reality show, and the director said that he wanted to see a demonstration of my pyrotechnic abilities.

D. Davidson: (thinking) Wait a minute. What was the director’s name?

W. Whitman: Uh…James. Mr. James West. Why?

D. Adams: It’s nothing to trouble yourself about, Mr. Whitman. Please proceed.

W. Whitman: So, I shoved a big old firecracker up my butt and—

D. Adams: (interrupts) What in the Sam Hill?

D. Davidson: Let the man go on, sir! What happened next, Mr. Whitman?

W. Whitman: After I shoved that firecracker up my butt, I lit the fuse.

D. Adams: (sighs) I guess it’s true what they say, truth is stranger than fiction. Why would you do such a thing, Mr. Whitman?

W. Whitman: It’s one of my special tricks, and it’s a real crowd-pleaser...at carnivals and such.

D. Davidson: That’s a trick?

D. Adams: (puts down pen) Alright, I’ll bite. What happened after you lit the firecracker?

W. Whitman: Normally, I time it just right. Before the firecracker burns my ass, I run around and pretend that I don’t know the first thing about extinguishing fires.

D. Davidson: Why?

D. Adams: So he can jack up the suspense before he extinguishes the blaze. Is that right, Mr. Whitman?

W. Whitman: (grins) Yep. It’s a real humdinger of a trick, and I always get a big laugh from the crowd— when I ease my rear into a big old bucket of water.

D. Davidson: I don’t think that’s a trick; that’s just insanity.

D. Adams: Hush, Pete. Mr. Whitman, I think I understand how the explosion

started. You looked for the bucket of water to extinguish the…uh…conflagration, and it wasn’t there, right?

W. Whitman: That’s exactly it! How’d you guess?

D. Adams: (smiles) Trade secret.

D. Davidson: (tilts head to one side) Huh? I just don’t get it.

D. Adams: I’ll tell you later.

D. Davidson: Wait a second! If there was no water bucket, how did Mr. Whitman put out the fire?

D. Adams: He didn’t. Walt, would you kindly tell us what happened?

W. Whitman: Well, Mr. West gave me another bucket of water, and I dipped my butt down in that one.

D. Adams: And that was when the explosion occurred?

W. Whitman: Yes sir. That son of a bitch had poured gasoline into the bucket.

D. Davidson: Can't you tell the difference between gasoline and water? Even I know that.

W. Whitman: Of course I can tell the difference! I wasn’t exactly in a position to take a gander at the bucket, now was I? My rear end was about to detonate!

D. Adams: Detective Davidson, would you go and save us a table at Luther’s? (to W. Whitman) They fill up fast about now.

D. Davidson: Do I have to? (points at W. Whitman) He was just about to get to the good part.

D. Adams: I think it would be best, don’t you?

D. Davidson: Well, okay. Bye now. (exits room)

W. Whitman: Will he be alright? He looked as sorrowful as a wet hen.

D. Adams: (writes) Oh, Detective Davidson? He’ll be fine. Just needs a little time to cool down. He gets excited sometimes. Anyway, what happened when your backside hit the gasoline? Seems like your hind end is normal.

W. Whitman: Yes sir, the last time I checked, it was fine and dandy. (laughs) Yep, when my fundament hit the gasoline, I hit so hard that the firecracker fell out. It’s a shame, you know. It’s hard to buy high quality roman candles, especially the miniature ones.

D. Adams: (chuckles) Were any other people around at the time?

W. Whitman: Well, I’ll tell you what. A blonde lady came out of nowhere, and shoved me out of the way. Then, that roman candle blew itself up! That’s the biggest blaze I’ve seen since the whiskey distillery fire in ‘95.

D. Adams: (writes) Yes, that was a memorable one. I’ve got one more question for you, Walt. Was the lady’s name Sheila?

W. Whitman: How’d you know? Anyway, if you know her, please give her a thank you from me. She saved my life!

D. Adams: (smiles) And your ass.

W. Whitman: Oh, definitely.


2nd recorded interview

James West

Mr. William Whiteshoes


Time: 1 pm

D. Adams: This is Detective Adams. Detective Davidson and I are here with Mr. James West. Mr. West, we have an eyewitness who says that you caused the conflagration yesterday. What do you have to say about that?

James West: (pets cat) I’d say that they were mistaken.

D. Davidson: Tell the truth, you limey!

(Mr. William Whiteshoes jumps onto the table.)

D. Adams: My apologies, Mr. West. Detective Davidson means well, but he's been known to put his foot in his mouth.

J. West: Oh, that's quite alright. (picks up W. Whiteshoes) What was it you were saying?

D. Adams: I believe you caused the explosion yesterday.

J. West: Nonsense! (W. Whiteshoes meows.) Be quiet, William!

D. Davidson: Well looky there, Mr. West. I believe your cat's tail is burned at the end. How did that happen?

J. West: (sighs) Very well, have it your way! It appears that I may have set up a pyrotechnic stunt to raise publicity for my new t.v. production, American Imbeciles.

D. Adams: I think you mean to say that you recklessly endangered the lives of three human beings, and one poor animal.

J. West: (smiles) Do I?

D. Adams: Miss Dotty will draw up a confession, with words to that effect, and I think you'll sign it.

J. West: Or what?

D. Davidson: He'll throw the book at you!

D. Adams: Quiet, detective.

D. Davidson: Sorry.

D. Adams: That's okay, Petie, we're almost finished. (smiles at J. West) If you don't sign the confession, that's your choice. However, because of the evidence, we'll have to lock you up for a bit. More for your own protection, though. Folks don't look too kindly on a foreign firebug.

D. Davidson: They might even think you're a terrorist.

J. West: Fine! I'll sign. Anything to get out of spending time in a small town jail. I imagine I'd only get stale cornbread to eat.

D. Adams: You might get stale buttermilk biscuits on a good day, but you won't be avoiding jail time.

D. Davidson: I called the network!

J. West: What? (W. Whiteshoes hisses.)

D. Adams: That's right, my partner called your network, and explained that you’re being charged with reckless endangerment in Glencove.

J. West: But…that’s preposterous!

D. Adams: I think you can cut the bullshit, Mr. West. Detective Davidson also found that there’s an outstanding warrant for your arrest, in Britain and Ireland. (looks at bulletin) Manslaughter.

J. West: Surely, you must be joking.

D. Davidson: He’s not. And don’t call him Shirley!

D. Adams: Now calm down, Petie. Homeland Security should be here about (there is a knock on the door) now. Come in, gentlemen, don’t be shy.


Accidental recording


Time: 2 pm

Detective Adams

Detective Davidson

Mr. William Whiteshoes

D. Davidson: I think that last interview went well, don’t you? Like I always say, it takes a smart person to play dumb. Isn’t that right, Mr. Whiteshoes? (scratches W. Whiteshoes behind the ears)

Mr. William Whiteshoes: (purrs)

D. Davidson: John, I’m happy as a pig in a watermelon patch that we got our man. I feel like I’m wasting my education, though. How about you play “dumb cop” next time? (pets cat)

D. Adams: You’ve got a point there, Pete. I do wish we could’ve told Mr. West about your time at the University of PA. I expect he would have been impressed. You take the lead, next time.

D. Davidson: Thank you. I think I’ll have a hard time trying to keep a straight face, though.

D. Adams: (smiles) I know what you mean. I almost broke when you said: “And don’t call him Shirley.” Did you get that from Airplane?

D. Davidson: Yes sir, I did.

D. Adams: What a coincidence! You know, that’s one of my favorite movies.

D. Davidson: Mine too.

W. Whiteshoes: (scratches at the door)

D. Adams: Well, as they say in Casablanca, this looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

D. Davidson: What should we do with the cat?

D. Adams: Well, we can’t give it back to James West, that’s for sure. Why don’t we keep William as our unofficial department mascot?

D. Davidson: Let’s do that. He’s a cute little guy, though he does smell of burnt hot dog.

D. Adams: So, why don’t you give him a bath?

D. Davidson: I don’t think you know how cats work, John.

D. Adams: I’ll learn.

D. Davidson: Alright then, but you can give him a bath.

D. Adams: (chuckles) As long as you pay for dinner at Luther’s.

D. Davidson: That sounds fair. What do you say about that, Mr. Whiteshoes?

W. Whiteshoes: (says nothing)

D. Adams: (smiles) That’s about what I thought he’d say.

(They exit the room.)


May 15, 2020 01:50

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Daryl Gravesande
00:37 May 28, 2020

Dang!!! Great STORY!!! I loved it so much!!! So detailed!!! Never stop writing, plz. Ur stories are SOOO good. Love to read more!


Ruth Porritt
07:05 May 28, 2020

Thanks so much, Daryl! :) You made my entire day. When I get a spare moment, I am looking forward to reading the rest of your work. Gotta go, Ruth


Daryl Gravesande
12:50 May 28, 2020

No prob. I'm always looking for a good story and this was one of em. Glad to see you commenting!


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23:37 May 25, 2020

Hi!! I really truly love this story, and it would be amazing to see more of your writing! It would be awesome if you read Daryl Gravesande's stories, and then like and follow!! His favorite is the first! Then please spread the word! I would gladly do the same for you! Thanks so much for the support! Stay safe!-Avery.


Ruth Porritt
01:27 May 27, 2020

Hey Avery, Thanks again, and no problem! :) Take care, and catch you around Reedsy, Ruth


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Ruth Porritt
01:30 May 27, 2020

Hey Avery, I feel like a dumb-dumb brain, :) but how do I find Daryl Gravesande on the site? Thanks, Ruth


11:31 May 27, 2020

Don't feel that way!!! Here is the link: https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/daryl-gravesande/


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Patrick Samuel
00:18 Dec 30, 2021

At least it ended well for the cat :) The construction of the story, along with the reality TV show reference, made me think of Kim Newman's "Going to Series" which I mentioned to you earlier in another thread. This almost could be the lighter, comic relief version. (And if you haven't read it yet, I think you'll love it.) This reminded me of the absurdist comedy sketches that would pop up on British or French TV in the late 70s/ early 80s - a time I associate with a begone artistic freedom, when you'd turn on TV at your own risk and never...


Ruth Porritt
07:28 Dec 30, 2021

Hello Patrick, Yes! :) Lol. It did end well for the cat. I had forgotten about this one, and to be honest, I am a little ashamed of this work. (When I read back over it, my inner editor really is ruthless. No pun intended.) Anyway, thank you for the high compliments. I am hoping to have time in February to go back over all of my Reedsy short stories and to mercilessly edit/revise them. I will definitely have to check out the "Going to Series". Because of my father, I grew up watching a lot of 1950s through 1980s comedy shows/movies. (I r...


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Pika Okoye
16:49 Jun 15, 2021

Wow...............Long and lovely, liked the damn expressive language, attitude of the characters (specially humorous). Sometimes (very rarely) long pieces gets inactive in between, but this one can keep it's reader stick to it till the very end. Super satisfying, Good job Ruth 👍 Would you like to read my stories? :)


Ruth Porritt
01:00 Jun 16, 2021

Hello 9 P, Thanks so much. It always makes my day when someone laughs (in a good way) at something a character says or does. :) Sure, I'll read. Just one moment... Ruth P.


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Steven Dall
12:45 May 23, 2020

Hey ruth, that was great, real fresh perspective and i felt like i was in the interview room. And with the alabama references and airplane culture, had some laughs. Thank you


Ruth Porritt
06:34 May 24, 2020

Thanks, Steven! :) You've made my day. :) Have a great weekend, Ruth


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A. Y. R
20:17 May 17, 2020

This was a really interesting way of presenting your story! The unusual plot kept me engaged, not knowing what to expect next!


Ruth Porritt
04:01 May 18, 2020

Thanks, A. y. R! :) Nice to meet you, and catch you later, Ruth


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Ruth Porritt
09:00 May 17, 2020

Hello Anna, Thanks so much! You made my entire day. (I agonized over this one.) Once, my dad and brother went to West Virginia, to check out a white water rafting expedition that Dad was thinking of choosing for a wilderness camp. I still remember my dad telling me all about this weird guy he met, who actually said: "You want a ride? Just stick your butt down in that inner tube, (and throw it in the river) and you'll get your ride! That's how I wanted Walt Whitman to sound. :) I hope that guy my dad met is now a grandpa. Woul...


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23:42 May 15, 2020

"That sounds like Sheila my ex", "So, I shoved a big old firecracker up my butt", "My rear end was about to detonate!" And that's all I have to say. Kidding, but I loved the mystery in the story and It had such the unexpected plot! Wow! I couldn't stop laughing! Keep up the good work! Sincerely, A


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