Cover image for Spanking Watson : a novel
Spanking Watson : a novel
Friedman, Kinky.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster, [1999]

Physical Description:
218 pages ; 25 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Mystery
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The return of private eye Kinky Friedman chronicles his efforts to test his stalwart band of Village Irregulars, seeking a right and proper sidekick among them, a search that coincides with a deadly danger menacing Kinky's upstairs neighbor.

Author Notes

Kinky Friedman is the author of twelve novels, including Blast from the Past, Road Kill, The Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover, God Bless, John Wayne, Armadillos & Old Lace; and Elvis, Jesus and Coca Cola.

He lives in a little green trailer in a little green valley deep in the heart of Texas.

(Publisher Provided) Author, singer, and songwriter Kinky Friedman was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 31, 1944. He grew up on a ranch in central Texas and received a B. A. in Psychology and Plan II Honors from the University of Texas at Austin in 1966. After graduation, he severed two years with the Peace Corps in Borneo.

In the early 1970's, he formed a country and western band called The Texas Jewboys. His music mixed social commentary with humor and dealt with topics such as racism and anti-Semitism. He reached cult status and was a musical guest on Saturday Night Live in October 1976.

After his music career ended in the 1980's, he started writing detective novels featuring a fictionalized version of himself solving crimes in New York City. Since April 2001, he has been a regular columnist for Texas Monthly magazine, but stopped in March 2005 due to his campaign bid for governor of Texas.

He founded Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch, whose mission is to care for stray, abused, and aging animals. He currenlty lives at Echo Hill Ranch which is located near Kerrville, Texas. In 2012, Kinky Friedman partnered up with Willie Nelson to write Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road which became a New York Times Best Seller.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Still seeking the perfect sidekick, detective Kinky schemes to get each of his ragtag collection of friends, the Village Irregulars, to help investigate a death threat against Winnie Katz, who leads the so-called lesbian dance class upstairs. The potential Watsons don't know that there is no death threat. Kinky just wants to harrass his neighbor, whose dancers have caused his ceiling's plaster to precipitate in large pieces (Blast from the Past [BKL Jl 98] worked out the consequences of a chunk conking Kinky), while putting each Irregular to the test. But a madman really is threatening Winnie and her dance class, so Kinky and cronies, plus a couple of mobbed-up plasterers, have to be ready to rumble. Friedman refuses to let an excessively contrived plot handicap another entertaining, politically incorrect mystery that, as a what-the-hell bonus, includes biographical information about a turn-of-the-nineteenth-century French performer known as Le Petomane, "the guy who had a farting act at the Moulin Rouge." --Benjamin Segedin

Publisher's Weekly Review

Frenetic amateur PI Kinky Friedman is up to his old tricks in this campy mixture of bawdy surrealism and Tom Sawyerish pranks. Kinky's sleuthing duties have taken a decidedly sluggish turn when the roof literally comes crashing in. His upstairs neighbor, Winnie Katz, a lesbian dance instructor, has been stomping through dance routines with her students for weeks on end and all the pounding has taken its toll on Kinky's crumbling ceiling. Kinky calls in an old favor from a mob-connected friend, and suddenly finds two oafish Italian workmen at his door promising to repair the ceiling as a favor to Joey the Hyena. The Hyena is indebted to Kinky for saving his daughter from a mugger, but Kinky learns from the workmen that Joey's daughter died three years before Kinky saved her. Annoyed that his Manhattan loft is virtually under siege and by the twist in the story of the daughter, Kinky decides to divert himself by writing death threats to Winnie. In an impulsive move, Kinky takes the prank one step further by offering Winnie the services of his good friends, aka "The Village Irregulars," to ferret out the source of the threats. The five "Watsons" are no sooner ensnared in Kinky's humorous web of deceit than a real stalker appears on the scene, threatening to kill Winnie for real. All's well that ends well in this slim mystery, but the ultimate moment of truth falls flat. Hardy fans of the indomitable Friedman won't be disappointed, however, with this rollicking followup to Blast from the Past. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

A bunch of PI Kinky Friedman hangers-on are vying for the role of official sidekick, so the Kinkster suggests that they try to figure out who sent his upstairs neighbor a death threat. He doesn't realize until too late just how serious this death threat really is. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Chapter One It was Monday morning, and the cat and I were staring sulkily upward into the moon-sized crater in the ceiling of my loft. Indubitably, it had been the result of the constant pounding on the floor above by Winnie Katz and her lesbian dance class. The previous morning, after attending services at the Church of St. Mattress, I'd finally gotten Rambam on the blower and he'd promised to call Joe the Hyena to round up several handpicked members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Rambam also promised that he and the workmen would show up this morning at eight o'clock sharp. It was now ten-fifteen and there was no one in the loft but me and the cat. "It's a shame what's happened to the glorious tradition of unions in this country," I said to the cat. "We've gone from legendary leaders like Joe Hill to modern-day mob leaders like Joe the Hyena. Of course, without Joe the Hyena we wouldn't be currently receiving the help we're currently not receiving. What would Woody Guthrie or Tom Joad have to say about all this? At least we can thank the Baby Jesus that lesbians don't have unions. We'd never get this damn ceiling paid for." The cat absorbed my comments in a state of stoic silence. The cat was a Republican and had never cared a flea about the problems of the working man or woman in America. I, on the other paw, had a great deal of sympathy for the plight of the working person. It couldn't be said that I had a great deal of empathy, however, seeing as I'd never worked a day in my life unless, of course, you wanted to count my two years in the Peace Corps, where I labored rather fruitlessly in the jungle teaching people who'd been farming successfully for over two thousand years how to improve their agricultural methods. The only things that came out of all the time and effort I expended there were a large harvest of tedium, a tattoo, a handful of friends I'll probably never see again, two blowpipes gathering cobwebs on the wall, and an occasional late-night craving for monkey brains. Some would say that's pretty good for eleven cents an hour. "Monkey brains," I said to the cat, as I drew my second cup of espresso, "are considered quite a delicacy by the Punan tribe of Borneo." The cat wrinkled her nose slightly in a moue of distaste. She followed this patrician behavior with a barely audible mew of distaste. Like many cats, and many Republicans, she was extremely ethnocentric. Her attitude toward the Punan tribe of Borneo might be effectively summed up as: "Let them eat monkey brains." Just to irritate the cat, I stayed on the subject a little longer than was probably necessary. I lit a cigar and, with a certain professorial detachment, watched the fragrant blue smoke billow upward into what used to be my ceiling. Then I continued, undeterred, with my anthropology lecture, which I could tell was starting to make the cat want to climb a wall. If the truth be known, it wasn't all that exciting from my side of the lectern either, but if you're waiting for Rambam and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers you've got to pass the time somehow or you'll inevitably become highly agitato, then you'll snap your wig, then you'll hang yourself from the nearest passing shower rod, then you won't ever have any problems with your ceiling again because your floor will be the sky. "The Punan tribe of Borneo are nomadic pygmies," I continued, "who by this time have no doubt been displaced by some totally unnecessary government dam or have ceased to exist entirely because some Japanese lumber conglomerate has cut down all the trees. No trees, no monkeys, no brains, no Punans. The only anthropological relics of their existence, indeed, may be these two blowpipes one sees exhibited upon this wall." As I turned to direct the cat's gaze to the wall in question I observed a rather curious scenario. There were not only no trees, no monkeys, no brains, and no Punans. There was also no longer any cat. Fighting down a mild panic, I had just begun to start searching for the cat when a noise that sounded like a foghorn from a large ship at sea drifted ominously into the loft. I walked over to the kitchen window and shoveled a glimpse four stories down at Vandam Street. It was pretty foggy out there and I couldn't see the ship. No trees, no monkeys, no brains, no Punans, no cat, no ship, no ceiling. Have a nice day. The foghorn sounded again, and this time I flung open the window to the arctic void that was New York City in February and noticed a rather nondescript van parked on the sidewalk somewhere in the middle of a necklace of garbage trucks. The van began spitting out several little stick men and one of them appeared to be beseeching me from the street. "Throw down that fuckin' puppet head!" shouted Rambam. "I'm freezin' my ass off down here!" I wandered over to the refrigerator and plucked from the top of it the last cheerful face in the city. The face belonged to a little wooden puppet head, and nobody knew where the puppet itself was now. Very possibly its strings were currently being pulled by a crippled ballet dancer on the seventh ring of Saturn. But as far as the head was concerned, it was still smiling, even with the key to the building wedged firmly in its mouth and a brightly colored parachute attached from the place where its neck would've met its body. I threw the little head out the window and watched it float gracefully down into Rambam's rapacious hands. Then I closed the window before my own neck froze off my body and somebody tied a brightly colored parachute to my scrotum. "Come out, come out, wherever you are," I chanted loudly, "or I'll puff on your whiskers with my big cigar." The cat and I did not enjoy a particularly healthy or mature relationship, and certainly the cat did not come out from wherever the hell she was. In a state of high exasperation I gazed up at the ceiling, and that brought me back to the situation at hand. This was hardly the time for a game of cat and mouse. Winnie Katz and her lesbian dance class had done severe damage to the ceiling of the loft and, to add insult to injury, Winnie had refused to take any responsibility or to help pay for the necessary work required to fix it. "One man's floor is another man's ceiling," I'd told her rationally over the blower. "It's one person's floor, cowboy," she'd said. "And there's nothing wrong with my floor. Your ceiling is structurally weak." "Right," I'd said. "And how many lesbians do you think can dance on the head of a pin?" "I wonder how many can dance on top of your pinhead?" she'd said, and hung up the blower. No doubt, I'd sort out the cat and the lesbian situation later, I figured. I could hear Rambam and the workmen coming up the stairs, and with any luck they'd be on the job soon. The ceiling did look structurally weak, actually, and besides, staring at that yawning chasm was beginning to give me an empty feeling. Like I'd been living on this planet for fifty-three years and all I had to show for it was a hole in the ceiling. "Joe sends his best," said Rambam, walking in the door with the puppet head in his hand. "He also sends Vinnie and Gepetto." "Jesus Christ!" said Vinnie, as I started to introduce myself. "Who the hell lives up there? A fucking elephant trainer?" "A lesbian dance class," I said. "Dat explains it," said Vinnie. "What time is it?" "Ten-thirty," I said. "But it's no problem. We've got all day -- " "All day?" said Vinnie. "You gotta be kiddin'. Dis could take all week." "Sorry we're late, by the way," said Gepetto. "We had to stop by da fish market to -- uh -- take care of a little business dis morning. Shit, man, dis looks like a big job. Could cost a bundle." "Joe told me he'd give Kinky the Israeli Discount," said Rambam. "I know," said Gepetto, "but he didn't know da hole in da ceiling was big enough to hide Jimmy Hoffa." "I'll talk to Joe again," said Rambam. "Right now I've got to run. I've got to pick up a delivery of sock puppets at the airport. You guys might as well get started, and I'll check back later. In the meantime, ask Kinky if there's anything you need." "Hey, Kinky," said Vinnie, as Rambam started down the stairs, "dere is one thing we might need." "What is it, Vinnie?" I said. "Mustard," said Vinnie. "It's lunchtime." Copyright © 1999 Kinky Friedman. All rights reserved.