|You hold the wine-soaked bone chips in your hand, after making sure you can't lick any residual wine off of them, and focus your mind on the world behind the world, and the world slightly to the southeast of that world. You open your third eye and find you're in a swirling mass of color and light, without form or shape.
Then you put a contact lens on your third eye, and find you're standing in a seedy, run-down office. A fan spins lazily and ineffectively overhead, and there's a beat-up old desk with a pile of dirty laundry carelessly piled on it, spilling into the chair behind it. The whole scene is lit by the sun shining feebly through a window with dusty horizontal blinds on it, barely penetrating the thick smoke that fills the air.
Suddenly, the pile of laundry sits up and you see it's a man with a 5 o'clock shadow, wearing whiskey-soaked clothes so disheveled you wonder if they were ever heveled in the first place. He glares at you with bloodshot eyes, and a disembodied voice begins to speak: "It was a dark day in the City With Chronic Indigestion. My head pounded like the world's biggest chain gang was breaking rocks in my head. Speaking of rocks, I wish I had some to put in my glass of bourbon. They'd at least kill that bittersweet taste of blood and regret. Dames. Why did it always have to be about a dame?"
"Uh. . . hello?" you say."
He looked at me the way you'd look at something you'd just stepped in and would have to run your foot back and forth on the grass to get rid of, only you'd never get it all out and the stench would follow you for the rest of the day. 'Uh . . . hello?' he said.He looked like he was 51 cards short of a full deck, but maybe he had a case for me. I hoped so, because I needed a case -- a case of bottles of bourbon, and for that, I needed money. Moolah. Simoleans."
You realize that, somehow, you're hearing the private eye's interior monologue. Only, if you can hear it, is it still an interior monologue? That's precisely the kind of conundrum that makes other planes of existence so mind-twistingly irritating. "I don't know if I have a case, per se," you say. "In fact, I don't even play the violin. But I can summon you into our plane of existence, where you can help me find things, I suppose."
"The guy was offering me a bright red apple of a deal," the voiceover says, "and I couldn't help but look for the worm. Maybe he wanted me to go to some crazy place where there wasn't any booze. Maybe it was a place with no dames. Maybe that'd be for the best."
"Oh, there's plenty of booze where I'm from," you say. "Just tell me your name, and when I get back, I'll summon you."
"The mook wanted to know my name. I was tempted to tell him 'Puddin' Tame,' but I couldn't shake the feeling that I should take his case. It'd pay the bills -- mostly Bill, the bookie, and Bill, the bourbon salesman."
"All right, palookah," the private eye says, opening his mouth for the first time, "the name's <name>. I'm a gumshoe. You know, a shamus, a flatfoot, a sleuth." You shake your head. "You know, a Private Dick."
"Well," you say, "I'll definitely summon you, then. Most of my friends are pretty public about it."