Last week, Billie Jo Payne told me that she was doing a podcast with the newspaper. It was something new they were trying out and she wanted me to be her first guest. Feeling honored that she thought I was guest-worthy, naturally I agreed. I thought we’d be discussing her latest case with the Attorney General’s office and how she helped blow it wide open (with my help of course). Boy, was I ever wrong. The interview happened just this morning. This is how it went:
Billie Jo Payne: Joining me today is acclaimed private investigator, Shelby Nichols. Besides working as a paid consultant for the police, she has her own agency, and has been instrumental in solving several high-profile cases. Her latest involved an unsolved murder, which Shelby solved in a matter of days. She was also instrumental in helping me with my own investigation into the Attorney General’s office. How does she do it? What is her secret that gives her the edge over others who have tried and failed? Now is our chance to find out.
Thank you, Shelby, for agreeing to join me for an interview today. With your track record, you have become something of a phenomenon. Most people would agree that you have an uncanny ability to solve cases. Almost like a sixth sense. Is this something you were born with, or did you grow into it as you’ve honed your skills?
Shelby: Oh, I think you’re giving me more credit than I deserve here. I mean, most cases are solved after a lot of hard work and effort. I just happen to have a knack for figuring things out.
Billie: Is that why you got started in the P.I. business?
Shelby: Actually, I’m more of a consultant, but yes, I suppose that’s correct. I started helping the police after I was involved in a bank robbery. Since I was the only witness who could identify the bank robber, he tried to kill me, but as you can see, he didn’t succeed. While I was involved with that case, I spent a lot of time at the police station, and began helping them with a few little things here and there. That’s where I found out I had a ‘knack’ for it.
Billie: By ‘knack’ do you mean premonitions? That’s what you call it, isn’t it?
Shelby: Uh…yes…that’s what I call it.
Billie: What was the first “real case” you solved?
Shelby: Well…I think it was the time I helped the police with some stolen art.
Billie: That’s right. That’s when I first heard of you. Didn’t they put a plaque up in the museum with your name on it or something?
Shelby: Yes. It was a surprise to be honored that way.
Billie: (chuckles) Well, if you say so, but… shouldn’t having premonitions make it kind of hard to surprise you? I mean…isn’t that what it means to have premonitions? I’m sure everyone would love to know how that works. Could you explain that to us?
Shelby: Um…I’ll try, but it’s pretty abstract.
Billie: That’s fine, just do your best. Anything you offer will be great.
Shelby: Hmm…okay, but once I get done, just remember you asked for it. Because…I had a premonition that you were going to put me on the spot like this, but I mostly blew it off because you’re a friend and all, but I should have followed my instincts and turned you down.
Billie: Huh! Well…I guess you were right about that, but if you ask me, that’s more like deductive reasoning. So what you’re saying is your premonitions are more like a gut reaction, or instincts. You don’t actually see into the future?
Shelby: No, not really. I probably should have called what I do something else, like intuition. Maybe that’s a better word for it.
Billie: Shelby! How can you say that? I think what you do is lots better than intuition. I mean, I’ve seen you in action. You know things that no one else could possibly figure out without some kind of extra-sensory perception.
Shelby: Oh…so now you’re calling it ESP?
Billie: That might make more sense.
Billie: Just think about it…there are times when you get into a lot of trouble. If you had a premonition that it would be trouble…why would you still do it? So maybe ESP is better.
Shelby: Geez, Billie Jo. I can see now that my premonition about coming here was right and I should have listened to it.
Billie: So you really don’t know when it’s a premonition? Don’t you get some kind of a little ‘zing’ or a vision? You told me once that sometimes you saw things in your mind that meant something about a case, if only you could figure out how it fit in the puzzle.
Shelby: I think I’m done with this interview. (un-clips the microphone)
Billie: Wait…don’t go…I’ve still got questions…
Billie: Well, thanks for joining us everyone. Next time we’ll be interviewing Detective Harris from the police department…wait, what are you doing? You can’t take my microphone…I’m not done…
Well – that’s what happened this morning, and I’m still not over it yet. You can imagine how terrified I was when Billie started asking about my “secret” and how I solved cases. I never thought she would put me on the spot like that… and what did I do? I left! Now everyone will think I’m a jerk…and I’ll hear it all! Remind me not to do that again. Unless it’s something like The Today Show. I don’t think I could turn Matt Lauer down…