Back in January 1976 when Gary Cartwright wrote "Is Jay J. Armes for Real?" Armes was best known to the average Joe or Jane as "the dude with the hand-hooks who can do karate." He bragged that he was a private investigator who employed more than two thousand agents, that he held psychology and criminology degrees from New York University, and that a trigger for a .22 magnum had been wired to his biceps and could be fired only by his brain. Cartwright interviewed Armes at his El Paso mansion and concluded that Armes had fabricated many—if not all—of his claims. Yet the fable that is Jay J. Armes has grown over the years. Now 62 years old, he is a visible figure around El Paso, where he still lives. He served two terms on the city council, from 1989 to 1993, where his statements were occasionally challenged with a certain amount of exasperation. This spring, after promoting himself on local talk radio with a routine that sounded more like superficial rambling than political commentary, Armes lost his latest bid to win back a city council seat. Not one to walk away crushed, Armes is focusing his attention on his company, The Investigators, which continues to thrive.