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Today for Private Eye monthly we are interviewing Mike White, local gumshoe and veteran of the mean streets of Bedlam. It is a priviledge to have you here today and we have a bunch of questions for you. 


Why did you want to become a private investigator? 

It was something I had always dreamed about since I was a kid. Most kids dreamed of being the next Rocky Marciano, the Capo di Capo or chief of police. Not me, comics made me yearn for a life of excitement, solving crimes and getting all the dames. 


How's that going for you? Has it been what you expected? Yes and no, there has certainly been danger. No one ever tells you about the times someone sticks a gun in your face or a couple a gorillas decide you been askin' too many questions and you think that maybe you have run out of luck. 


What about the dames? Is there a Mrs White? (Mike laughs) There mighta been a dame or two but this life isn't great for relationships. Your partner never knows when that 3am phone call is gonna happen. There's no guaranteed paycheck, the hours can be murder, and it can be hard explaining that you needed to go to a bar for 3 hours to speak to witnesses who might be hookers and strippers. Who knows though, right? Maybe someone who will come along who can understand the life. 


You talk about how tough Bedlam is, even though you have been here 15 years as a private eye. What is the secret of your success? That's a pretty tricky one to answer. I guess I try to never go into a situation unprepared. In this game knowledge is king. Here we got a lot of puppets and not so many puppet masters. You gotta know the puppet masters and know whose back to scratch. You can't outfight every gangster in town. You gotta know how to talk to people.

You also gotta look after the people who are looking after you. Your informants gotta know you will move heaven and earth to protect them.

I guess the last one is trust your instincts. 


Have you ever had to shoot someone? 

Nope. When I was a cop I saw how many lives got ruined by guns. Besides, you can't arrest a corpse, can you. Also, vendettas still happen. 


Doesn't that put you at a disadvantage? 

Not really. You see if you can pull a gun before I knock your face out the back of your head. I don't need to worry so much about hurting innocent bystanders neither. 


Nowadays, there are new criminals. Some of these guys are bulletproof or can shoot laser beams out of their eyes? How do you deal with them? 

Politely. Seriously though, same way as anybody else. Gather information. Find out who is pulling their strings. 


Why did you leave the police force? Geez, you been doing a little research yourself. Bedlam cops are doing a thankless job in a dirty city. I have huge respect for them. I guess I just wanted to not be at the beck and call of anybody. Although this life can be tough I can choose my own clients and which cases to do. I can choose my own hours too. I am doing what I love. 


Do you think there is still a place for private detectives when you got guys like the Mystik and Hammer of Justice dealing with criminals? 

More than ever. Those guys might be great at stopping those eye laser beam guys but they don't know nothing about helping that little old lady down the street get back her wedding ring that was burgled from her place or help someone find out whether they have been catfished or not. I don't think it is in their job description. 


Here's a million dollar question for you. How would you solve the problem of crime in Bedlam? I guess you need to change the conditions that lead to crime. Poverty. This is largely caused by corruption. You gotta persuade the puppetmasters that there will be direct, personal consequences for them if they remain in Bedlam. This stuff though is way above my pay grade. 


So you've never been tempted to put on a cape? Are you crazy, and look like a kook. Nah, give me a decent pair of trousers and a nice shirt. Them other weirdos can wear the silly costumes. 


You look like a pretty fit guy. How do you keep in shape? I'm pretty old-fashioned. I go to a boxing gym 3 or more times a week. 


What do you do when you aren't working? When my bank manager gives me time off ya mean. It seems like every day someone else in the family is getting married or having a birthday or their first communion or something. If that ain't happening I enjoy going out at night. There's a few good poolbars still around. Failing that I look a good book now and then. 


How would you describe yourself? I'm just another good italian guy. I am 5'10. I am in pretty good shape and I still got all my own teeth. Maybe I take my job too seriously but when I set my mind on something I usually get it done. I like to dress nice and look professional. I don't drink too much and I don't smoke. When I get excited or I'm around family my accent comes back stronger and I use my hands more when I speak. 


What things are most important to you in your life? Hmmm... Self-respect, family, God, America and it's ideals, justice and independence. 


Do you have any deep dark secrets you want to share? Nope. 


Was there anyone who inspired you growing up? Yeah, my uncle Joe. He was an old-fashioned cop who was tough and would give you a beating if he thought you was getting yourself in trouble. He probably kept me out of jail or worse. 




Do you have any regrets and would you have done anything differently? Yeah, I got a few. There were a few times that maybe I made the wrong choices or did deals I shouldn't have. There was a time when I asked the wrong person for help only to be let down. 


What legacy would you like to leave? I ain't dead yet (laughing). I guess I would like people to know that you don't need to change the world to make people's lives better but by making people's lives better you can change the world. I would like people to think of me as someone who worked hard helping other people. 


What would you say to people who wanted to be like you and follow in your footsteps? 

For crissakes, don't try and be someone else, especially me. Be the best you that you can be. As for being a detective, this is not a life for everyone. Go be a software developer or surgeon or something that will actually make decent money. 


Thank you Mike for your time and your insights into the life of a private detective. 

Edited by Poodle
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