Maynard Soloman: A Guest Post by Benjamin Sobieck

* An excerpt from 6 Funny Detective Stories – Maynard Soloman Smokes the World’s Problems, available exclusively on Amazon here.

Maynard Soloman, gal-damn detective, has wrapped up more of the world’s problems in his crime fiction humor e-book series than any amount of bullets, bullshit and blow (also known as the United Nations) could ever hope to achieve. The War on Drugs. Social Security. Illegal immigration. Gay marriage. Public transportation. Even the existence of Santa Claus.

The current events that theme the Maynard Soloman short stories triggered questions from readers. Am I trying to make a political point? Am I a liberal? A conservative? Or just an idiot with a keyboard?

Except for the last one, none of those are true. The underlying philosophy is this: The world’s problems aren’t fixed, they’re replaced. This is the great folly of humanity, and Maynard Soloman is the way I dissect it.

Here’s what I mean about replacing problems.

Problem: People use drugs to get high. This lowers productivity in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Solution: Wage a War on Drugs to go after users and producers of drugs.

New problem: Any gain in productivity is eaten up by the money it costs to wage the War on Drugs. Crowded prisons, expensive law enforcement operations, an overburdened court system and other socio-economic ills can be linked back to the very thing trying to cure these problems.

See what I mean?

You don’t have to think any certain way about the War on Drugs or any issue to appreciate Maynard Soloman stories. What I’m highlighting is that when the world’s string-pullers set out to fix one problem, they create at least one more.

This isn’t unique to our times. It’s unique to our species. Leaders during World War I dubbed the conflict the “War to End All Wars.” What did their solution deliver? World War II. Out of that came the Cold War. This molded the War on Terror of today. Problems don’t end, they’re replaced.

What’s a guy to do?

Enter Maynard Soloman, gal-damn detective. He is the essence of the American individualist spirit. He’s mobile, entrepreneurial and out for his own interests. He’s a little guy up against the world’s biggest problems, represented by his clients.

Granted, he doesn’t actually “solve” the War on Drugs or “fix” Social Security. No, he’s taking the more effective route. He’s changing individuals, not systems, one at a time.

As I write this in mid-2012, it seems much of the world is trying to change the system. Massive social and political movements across the globe (the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement, the Tea Party, etc.) are looking to fix problems.

If these movements succeed in taking over the political top, I believe they’ll wind up substituting in new problems. Again, this is the folly of humanity.

The Arab Spring will trade one kind of tyrannical government for another. The Occupiers will push regulations that hurt the people they’re trying to help. For all its talk of economic freedom, the Tea Party will perpetuate expensive social policies, such as the War on Drugs and the War on Terror.

The real fruits of these movements will occur not at the top, but with the individual at the bottom. Regardless of how it’s been packaged throughout history, the message of any movement has always been the same: People want to live decent lives. If individuals, one at a time, recognize this message, meaningful change will happen from the bottom up.

Take phone books, for example. Their time in history is over, but they still come every six months or so. It’s a hassle each time. You can throw them away (seems wasteful), store them (inconvenient) or try to unload them on someone else. Just ask the people who deliver them.

One solution would be for me to become a phone book executive. Then I could make all sorts of decisions about how they’re delivered. Yet I have a feeling if I did, it’d be in the best interests of keeping my job to order more print runs. After all, who would want an executive intent on destroying the company outright?

At that point, my solution to the phone book problem would have perpetuated the problem I set out to solve in the first place.

It’d be far more effective if individuals, one at a time, just stopped paying attention to phone books. The advertisers would pull out. The phone book company would have no choice but to close.

See what I mean? You can’t change systems from the top down without introducing new problems. You can only change individuals, working from the bottom up.

It’s at the bottom where you’ll find Maynard Soloman. Underneath his crust, he cares about helping individuals with their problems. In doing so, he fixes the world’s problems. After all, it’s individuals who make up the world.

I hope this sheds some light on the Ol’ Badger. He’s a complicated guy, see. And he’s gal-damn tired of all my poindexter malarkey. I’ll step aside and drag my knuckles elsewhere. It’s time to grab your ‘nard bag, hop in the ‘bago and hit the road.

Click here to get 6 Funny Detective Stories – Maynard Soloman Smokes the World’s Problems from Amazon for Kindle.

Benjamin Sobieck is a crime fiction author. His website is




  1. Thanks much for having me here!

    • No. I should thank you, for the views and the traffic your news brings. Always keep me in mind for any future projects. 🙂

  2. Love it Ben. I wanna hop in the bago with Maynard. He’s a crusty varmint after my own heart.
    Reblogged this:)

  3. Reblogged this on fuonlyknew and commented:
    Hop in the bago with Maynard

  4. Thanks, and FU, too!

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