I’ve vowed I won’t kill Alfred Hitchcock though I’d certainly be justified as a matter of self-defense. Until he and his grisly mind invaded my Perkins Motel east of Los Angeles, I made a decent and unstressful living.
I recognized him, of course, the instant he struggled out the back seat of his chauffeured limousine, slowly walked into my office, and said, “What a marvelous place you have here.”
I should’ve thrown him out. The Perkins Motel is clean and quiet and safe but no sincere person would describe it as marvelous. I guess marvelous are the places where creative predators like Alfred Hitchcock live and play.
“For my next movie I’m searching for a quaint roadside motel with an eerie mansion high on the hill behind it.”
“We can’t shut our hotel or we’d lose our regular customers,” I said.
Rather a ham than an actor, Hitchcock rotated to survey my empty parking lot.
“Must be your off season. Let me use this establishment for three weeks, four at most, and I’ll pay your gross receipts for the preceding twelve months. The publicity would help as much as the money.”
I doubled the real total, surmising he wouldn’t ask to see the books.
“Deal,” he said, shaking my hand. “Whose name shall I write on the contract?”
“Is there a Mrs. Perkins in that ornate home behind us?”
“No, just my mother,” I say. “Taking care of her and this motel is all I can handle.”
“I’d be delighted to talk to her.”
“She’ll no doubt be pleased.”
Hitchcock and I walked up many shaky wooden steps and he was huffing before we reached the porch. We entered and I shouted up the stairs, “Mom, guess who’s here?”
“I have no idea, Anthony. Who is it?”
“Don’t be silly,” she said.
“Are you decent? We’re coming up.”
I worried Hitchcock wouldn’t survive more stair climbing but he did and, upon entering my mother’s large bedroom overlooking the motel, said, “Madam, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“I’m thrilled, Mr. Hitchcock. You’re the greatest director in history. Before my fall I used to go to all your movies.”
“I hope you watch Alfred Hitchcock Presents on television.”
“Every week,” she said. “And sometimes your old movies, too.”
“Where is Mr. Perkins?”
“He died many years ago,” she said.
“He must’ve been quite young. May I ask the cause of his demise?”
I glared at Hitchcock before Mom said, “He died of a heart attack, just like his father.”
“Was there an autopsy?”
“Oh, yes. But we all knew he was dead before he hit the kitchen floor.”
Hitchcock surveyed the bedroom and said, “So you’ve been alone a long time.”
“Well, I wish I had been, except for Anthony. About ten years after his father died I married a no good man who wanted my money. And he tried to get it by pushing me down the stairs. I’m lucky I survived but I could never walk again. He probably would’ve finished me off but Anthony heard the ruckus, rushed out of his bedroom, and shot him.”
“Fascinating,” Hitchcock said.
“You could make a movie about our adventure,” said Mom.
“We certainly could, Madam, but I already have an even more horrific tale in mind.”
Many of you know what that is. The character based on me stabs a beautiful blonde in her motel shower and also dispatches a private investigator who tries to talk to the mother, and my character pretends to be his mother whom he’d long ago murdered along with her second husband and kept her mummified corpse in her bedroom and is now psychotic in outer space. I guess I must be haywire, too, or I’d never have let Alfred Hitchcock into my family history. At least my attorney tells me he’ll soon be paying plenty to get out.