Weatherby Stein and I arrived early to the Shim-Shim-Shammy for a meeting that some anonymous caller said would be ‘worth our while.’ The Shim-Shim-Shammy was a rundown roadhouse a couple miles from San Diego. Weatherby and I were staying in San Diego in between jobs. I spent money on booze and he spent his money on books. Whoever called knew who we were, but didn’t want us to know who he was. So we showed up to the meeting early, heeled and ready for trouble.
The Shim-Shim-Shammy was a dark structure of wood that could have been a barn in a previous life. There were peanut shells lying thick on the floor, and neon signs advertising the beer - and not the water that came with it. Weatherby looked at the musty bar as we sat down at a round back table, shaking his head with snobbish disdain.
“What a shabby little gin palace,” he said, kicking a pile of peanut shells away from his polished shoes. “Why must we always wander into the sleaziest locales in existence, Morton?”