The Estranged Bride of Frankenstein

Hack wrote this autobiographical piece about the time he went home with a chick he met at a bar and her husband walked in just as the ‘shrooms they took kicked in.

The book opening:

“For many people, the holidays are hard. For me, the holidays make me hard. Especially halloween.

Every halloween, I find myself in a bar looking for companionship. By itself, that doesn’t make Halloween any different than any other day of the year. Except on halloween, I’m wearing a slutty costume.

I was three whiskeys into the evening when she walked into the bar. I instantly thought, that’s a woman with potential, that’s a woman I could put a ring on. I didn’t mean a wedding ring. I meant the ring attached to a belt that you put a strap on through.

Little did I know when I started that evening, the evening would end with me getting the shit beat out of me, in a hospital room, not sure if I would live. If I had known that, I would have started the evening much earlier, so it would have lasted that much longer.

Ultimately, this is a story about the redemptive Spirit of Christmas and how it can change our lives and enrich our souls. That may be the shrooms talking since the story took place entirely on Halloween and had nothing at all to do with Christmas whatsoever. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let me start again, at a more appropriate moment, with the gag ball.”

The Thin Man’s Wife

Myrna Loy was a huge star in the 1930s and 1940s best known for her onscreen partnership with William Powell, especially as Nick and Nora Charles in the popular “Thin Man” series of mystery movies. Hack fell in love with Loy in those films and grew to detest Powell, so he wrote this novel in which his signature team of great detectives, Jonny and Boris, have an affair with Nora Charles and her dog Asta so they plot to murder Nick. They ultimately come up with an outlandish plan where she trains Asta to brutally attack Nick, leaving him dead in a pool of his own blood. Since the police in those movies are nitwits and Nick isn’t around to solve the case, they get off scott-free.

He Liked to Watch

Hack was a big fan of “The Bob Newhart Show” in the 1970s but wrote this after he became obsessed with the concept that Suzanne Phleshette, who played his wife on the show, was much too beautiful to be believably married to the titular character. While most of Hack’s work based on television shows and movies resulted in legal action, no one could really argue with this one.

“I Think She Really Likes Me”

Hack based this novel on the trophy wife of a multi-millionaire he once knew whose spouse mysteriously disappeared the day after Hack was heard bragging to all of his friends that she’d agreed to have sex with him if he murdered her husband. The police declared the case unsolved when she disappeared the day after Hack was heard complaining to all of his friends that she’d reneged on her promise to have sex with him.

A Death Worse Than Fate

When Nancy Kulp of The Beverly Hillybillies ran as a Democrat for Pennsylvania’s Ninth Congressional District in 1984, she asked costar Buddy Ebsen to support her. But Ebsen, an ultra-conservative Republican, deemed Kulp “too liberal” and went so far as to record a radio commercial for her Republican opponent. The ploy cost Kulp the election and she didn’t speak to Ebsen for several years, although she ultimately made peace with him. Hack, however, considered it a dick move for one friend to pull on another and he never forgave Ebsen, writing this novel to smear his once-beloved reputation.