John D. MacDonald’s first novel was a somewhat hard boiled tale, The Brass Cupcake. He wrote it for the pulps but his agent, Joe Shaw (former Black Mask editor), saw an opportunity to make more money and submitted it to Fawcett as a Gold Medal Original. They took it and MacDonald would become the cornerstone of Gold Medal’s mystery/thriller line (just as Louis L’Amour was for their westerns).
MacDonald was appealing to the Mickey Spillane crowd with this book. As an acknowledgement to Spillane, he sent the following parody to Dick Carroll, his editor at Gold Medal Books:
It was one of those afternoons when the greasy sunshine flooded Third Avenue like a men’s room with a broken john. She came out of the alley lapping at her juicy red lips with her pointed spicy tongue.
I shouldered her out of the way and blew the smoke off of the end of the rod. He lay there in the alley and he was dead. I don’t know why I did it but I aimed at him and blew off the other half of his greasy skull. It was a dirty world full of dirty people and I was sick of it. I felt the crazy anger welling up in me. He lay there in the alley and he was dead. She rubbed her thorax against me. I blasted his teeth out through the back of his neck.
Pat shouldered her out of the way. He was picking his greasy teeth with a broken match. A smart cop, that Pat.
“I knew you was going to go kill crazy again, Mike. This has got to stop.”
I knew it couldn’t stop. Not while there were people left in the world. Dirty people in a dirty world. I had to kill all that I could. Even if they lifted my license. He lay there in the greasy alley in the greasy Third Avenue sunshine and he was dead and I was glad I’d shot his greasy skull apart.
“Mike, Mike,” she gasped, stabbing her tongue into my ear. It tickled.
I fingered her haunch, then shoved her away hard. She looked at me with those wide, spicy hot eyes.
“You haven’t fooled me a bit,” I rasped. Then I laughed. My laugh sounded like two Buicks rubbing together.
She knew what I meant. She said, “Look what I can give you, Mike.” She unlatched her Maidenform.
I looked at it. I felt the sadness, the regret. But the anger was there. Pat sucked on the greasy match. He turned his head. He was a good cop.
The first shot nailed her against the alley wall. While she was slipping, her eyes still pleading with me, I wrote my initials across her gut with hot lead. It was tricky shooting.
Pat sighed. He said, “Mike, the D.A.’ll have something to say about this.”
“Screw the D.A.,” I said. My voice sounded like a lead nickel in a stone jukebox.
We walked out of the alley, down through the soggy sunshine. Somehow, I felt very tired.
I don’t mind watching the Stacy Keach Mike Hammer television series, but I find Spillane unreadable, so I find this to be a pretty amusing parody.