To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of my detective agency, I’d like to dispel some myths about being a private detective.

The business was started by my father, E.F. Rice, and at one time employed every single family member. I’ve run it for 25 years.

I don’t get hit on the back of the head, or shot in the shoulder every week. It’s more of a monthly thing. 

Glamorous women are not continually throwing themselves at me: Though they have a tendency to throw court papers back at me. 

I’m not a grizzled lone wolf sitting in a shabby office. I had to move out of my shabby office when the rent went up. 

Murder investigations are not my thing. I’m much better at finding witnesses to fender-benders, slip and falls and dog bites. 

I don’t have a seductive secretary perched on the corner of my desk. Actually, my wife was my secretary for several years and I don’t recall her perching. 

The police are not my enemy. When I’m making someone miserable by giving them divorce papers or a foreclosure notice, I’m grateful when they call the cops.

I have never fired a gun and have no plans to do so. Can you imagine how much my private detective insurance would go up if I were packing?

Seedy informants? I’ve never once used a seedy informant. They’re never around when I need them. 

I’ve been involved in exactly two car chases. The last one involved an elderly woman from River Forest. That mama could drive!

Unlike fictional detectives, I occasionally get paid: Just got a check for an invoice from October 2013.

I don’t have a bottle of bourbon in my desk drawer. I have to walk all the way to the kitchen. 

Wives rarely ask me to follow their husbands. I believe that relationships have to be built on trust and I don’t trust them to pay me. 

Following people with your car only works on TV and in movies. Even when I know exactly where a person is headed, I get stuck by a train. 

I happen to like wearing trench coats but my wife made me stop when we were dating. She also won’t let me wear a fedora, because it doesn’t go with my shorts and gym shoes.

If you’re excited by watching someone click on the internet, read court files and stand in line at post offices, you’re going to love my TV show. 

I’ve been involved in exactly two physical altercations and no – I did not duke it out with that woman from River Forest.

No one has ever asked to see my Private Detective license, although I’ve been dying to flash it someday. 

I do have a magnifying glass on my desk. I use it to examine tiny things like my bank balance. 

I may not fit the stereotype of a private detective but I did feel like a low-life gumshoe when I was renewing my license. There was a question on the application asking if I was more than 30 days behind on child support. What do they mean? I bought those kids a round of drinks last week. 

John Rice is a columnist/private detective, who has seen his business and family thrive in Forest Park. He thoroughly enjoys life in the village and still gets a thrill smelling Red Hots, watching softball and strolling through cemeteries.

John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.

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