With the upcoming release of José Picada, P.I.: Deception Al Dente, we thought we’d mark the occasion by having an interview with Josie Cates, the story’s main character. Unfortunately, she was unavailable. We were, however, able to speak with her mother.
BRAINERD & FRASER: So, Mrs. Cates, you must-
JOSIE’S MOM: It’s Gehry.
JM: It’s Mrs. Gehry. Bitsy Gehry. I haven’t been Mrs. Cates in a very, very long time. My husband, Hank, owns Gehry Sanitation in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s a pretty big company. He just got the contract to handle all the garbage from TommyTown, you know.
B&F: The amusement park?
JM: That’s the one. You don’t mind if I give Gehry Sanitation a quick plug, do you?
B&F: No, go right ahead.
JM: Call Gehry Sanitation for all your refuse-hauling needs. No job too big or too small. Check your local yellow pages for our number. Okay, I’m all set. What was your question?
B&F: We were just going to say that you must be rather proud that your daughter had a book written about her.
JM: Oh, well, I guess so. I’m kind of surprised, actually. I was a little skeptical about this whole private investigator business. She had a nice job at the insurance company. I was shocked when she just walked away from it. I mean, it was about as good a job as she was going to get with an art degree. I’ve heard that starting out on your own like that can be difficult. I’ve offered to help her out with her finances, but she’s just too stubborn to accept.
B&F: About the investigation business. She operates under the name José Picada. What’s that all about?
JM: That’s a good question. I’m not totally sure. She explained it to me once, but it was kind of confusing. It had something to do with an advertising mix-up, I think. Plus, I was trying to make dinner while she was telling me over the phone, so I was only half listening to that part. Do you know how easy it is to ruin chicken à la king?
B&F: No, we don’t.
JM: Very easy, let me tell you.
B&F: How do you feel about the dangerous situations that her job puts her in?
JM: I’m okay with it now. I wasn’t at first, though. I used to watch that Magnum, P.I. show all the time. But he was getting shot at every week, so I was worried about Josie. She told me that television has it all wrong and investigators never get in situations like that. Though I wouldn’t mind seeing her live in Hawaii and drive a Ferrari. But she says it’s mostly sitting in a car taking pictures.
B&F: And getting nearly murdered by voodoo priestesses.
B&F: She didn’t mention that part?
JM: Oh, she most certainly did not. I think we’re going to have a little chat after this.
B&F: Oops. So… moving quickly to a different topic… We understand that Josie and her friend Bobby are quite close.
JM: Are they, now? Oh, I do like that nice Robert! He’s good people. Josie says they don’t see that much of each other, though. She said they have very different schedules.
B&F: Well, since they’re both self-employed, they kind of make their own schedules. They seem to hang out quite a bit.
JM: Do they, now? I had no idea. Guess I’ll add that to the list for my little chat with my daughter.
B&F: Er… well, maybe we should talk about something else.
JM: Oh, no, I like this topic! Don’t you think that Josie and Robert make a lovely couple?
JM: I mean, they’re both strong, independent, um…
JM: So, you do think they’d make a good couple? Because I’ve been telling Josie that for years, ever since they were in college together.
JM: I’m not getting any younger, you know. Don’t tell Hank, but I’m older than I look. It’s about time I had some grandchildren in my life.
JM: And I just love weddings!
JM: And it would make me so happy to know that my little girl is taken care of. She talks tough, you know, but she’s really just a scared little kitten underneath all that.
B&F: A scared little kitten?
JM: Yes. Or something similarly cute and needy.
B&F: We wouldn’t characterize Josie as “cute and needy.”
JM: Well, how would you fancy author types characterize her?
B&F: Uh, attractive yet slovenly? Smart yet befuddled? Streetwise yet a total newb?
JM: I’m not even sure what that last one meant. Can I talk about Gehry Sanitation some more?