Samm is like every other detective tracking their target. That is, if every other detective is a demon banished from Hell and their target is an escaped rabid soul! At its heart, the comedy-fantasy world of Little Idiots is a detective novel where demons are the good guys, humans are ridiculous and angels have bad attitudes. Samm is nothing more than a horned Sam Spade, and like any hard-boiled detective, food never touches his lips; he subsides on cigarettes and booze.
And man, does the booze ever flow. Alcohol is Samm's solution to all problems - get beat up by demon mafiosos? Have a drink. Angel trying to assassinate you? Have a drink. Your apprentice bringing home Cerberus' stray puppies? Have a drink. And put newspapers down on the floor. Lots of newspapers. The main location in the novel is set in the bar of the recently deceased Evil Moe, which supplies not only Samm with ample drink, but also the characters around him, from human detective Barney Little (Scotch on the rocks), witch-in-training Adesina (vodka cranberry), to Jude (grain alcohol and gasoline).
Much to Samm's chagrin, everyone's drinking, but nobody's paying. To Samm, "free" is the ultimate dirty word, right next to "bath". Villians pause their beatings to grab a free beer or two, cultists are swiping Southern Comfort by the gallon. Even Samm's best mate and fellow demon is walking away with the stuff:
Jude grabbed two more bottles of grain alcohol. Samm raised an eyebrow.
“Consider it an advanced payment for this job.”
“I wasn’t planning on paying you,” Samm declared.
“Then it’s a good thing I’m here to correct your mistakes.”
Where does this obsession with drinking come from? Granted, a detective story without cigarettes, booze, and dames is like... well, like a detective story without cigarettes, booze, and dames; but there's a personal reason as well. Twenty years ago, I realized I was in a battle with alcohol and I was losing. I worked through my personal demons and stopped consciously drinking. Five years later, I stopped unconsciously drinking. Samm's alcoholism reflects my own. He gets to indulge in the thing that I crave, but cannot have. Mo matter how fantastical their characters, writers sprinkle bits of themselves in them. And Samm is all me. Or I'm all Samm; I forget which. Being able to view alcohol through the eyes of my wise-cracking demon helps me to put the kibosh on my own secret desires.
Four decades ago, a demon came into my life and wound up being the best sponsor I've ever had. I admire his tenacity. I respect the humanity that slips through his demon facade. Most of all, I like him. I think you will too. Pick up a copy of Little Idiots on Amazon. And when you're done laughing at Samm and the gang's adventures, take in an AA meeting. You'll need it.
Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Christopher!
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