glanced up at my waitress and pointedly mopped
my brow with a napkin. "It's kinda warm in here,"
gave me a downward shoulder shrug of resignation.
"I'm sorry, but I'm new here, and I don't know
how to turn the furnace down."
glanced at the furnace. "Stop feeding it wood,"
then nothing. It'll burn down and go out." Sigh.
Private church-run school kid. What are ya going
to do? She gave me a doubtful look, which I more
or less expected. She figured I was a kidder after
I told her that in Australia, spring begins in
September and it's hot in December. She just saw
that as more proof that the ungodly couldn't be
trusted to tell the truth about anything.
stared out the window at the rain, brooding. At
least I hadn't had to explain that rain was just
snow that melted before it hit the ground. Like
most of the town kids, she liked to go down to
Redding to gawp at the tall buildings and watch
the electrical street lights turn different colors,
and down there, it rained in the winter most of
the time. For all I knew, it rained in the summer,
too, but nobody goes to Redding in the summer.
Third degree burns aren't much fun, you know?
some parts of the northern hemisphere, April temperatures
in the fifties with rain wouldn't be considered
unusual. But here, Spring was at least three months
off, and summer a half hour after that. Then we
could expect to see fifties and rain. This weather
went against nature.
kept a thermometer on the outside of my office
window, on the grounds that most other forms of
masochism that profound usually involve large
medical bills, and for the previous seven months
I had vaguely wondered, from time to time, if
the damn thing worked. It was strange seeing all
that red fluid in the tube this morning.
asked myself what I was doing inside on such a
fine day. It was unlikely that Miss Thirty-Six
Chromosomes was going to believe my advice about
the fuel supply for the fire, and the place was
stifling hot. I glanced out the window, to see
if there were any vacant tables available on the
patio. The front grill of a powder-blue limousine
advanced into the frame, followed by the hood,
which went on for quite a while, until eventually
a jet-black windshield appeared, followed by a
luxury liner's worth of jet black side windows.
wasn't in the mood for Paulie Five Fingers, and
here he was, right on schedule. I wondered how
Creeping Jimmy, the driver, had maneuvered around
the main intersection in town. Artie's AMC Pacer
(Priscilla) had finally died, and picked dead
center in the intersection to do it. The chief
of police had mentioned to me that he was going
to say something to Artie if he didn't get it
out of there by the beginning of next week. Artie
had much money, thanks to the late Priscilla,
now town monument under the only traffic light
and facing impoundment the first day of the week.
Sick Transit Gloria Monday. But now the chief
of police had stopped arresting Artie for Appearance
in Public and instead offered to help him get
a new car.
of the side doors -- the first of six, I think
-- opened and Paulie stepped out, directly into
a puddle. A look of consternation crossed his
face. Five hundred dollar Guccis might look pretty,
but they really aren't designed for comfort when
you step into six inches of icemelt. Paulie glared
down while I hid a grin (dark inside the restaurant,
he couldn't see me, but why take chances?) and
then peered around, his anger turning to incomprehension.
He leaned back and said something to the interior
of the car. I saw Jimmy's hand waving angrily
in the gloomy interior.
the funny thing is that I learned Italian sign
language just from watching Creeping Jimmy pick
it up from Paulie. To me, Paulie's gesticulations
were just hammy arm-wavings until I saw Jimmy
emulating them, and realized they were a form
I could see Jimmy's side of the conversation.
"Of course this is fuggin' Mt. Shasta. Where d'fug
you think we are? Queens?" Followed in short order
by "How the fug should I know why it's raining?
Do I control the weather?" This exchange concluded
with, "Well, why don't you ask him? He's probably
goofing off in that goddam restaurant." Jimmy
pointed a finger right at me, which was pretty
creepy. The limo crept forward past the offending
puddle, and Paulie straightened up, turned toward
me, and strode to the front door, air of calm
command and determination only slightly spoiled
by his new-found habit of stretching his right
leg out and shaking his soaked foot -- much like
a cat with a piece of tape stuck on the top of
the time he reached the door, I had my facial
muscles firmly under control. Paulie made his
usual effusive greeting, sounding like a cross
between Marlon Brando and Father Guido Sarducci
(both styles of speech totally affected for my
benefit, of course), gave a dazzled Thirty-Six
Chromosomes a kiss on the wrist (probably faking
it and kissing his own thumb), and invited me
out to the limo for a confab.
felt some trepidation as I stepped in. I didn't
think Paulie had any kind of a beef with me, but
I never liked being in a situation where he could
control my movements and ability to leave. Too
much like having to share a motel room with a
been in a limousine? There are certain things
you expect. Luxurious appointments, TV/DVD players,
a good satellite stereo, that kind of thing.
you do NOT expect is the odor of fish and chips.
I paused, letting my nose explore, while Paulie
gave me his very best shark's smile. There was
a table, white linen, two silver half domes of
warmers, a bucket of champagne -- no, not champagne.
I crouched and walked over. They've never quite
solved the problem limos have with four foot ceilings.
regarded beer as soda pop for alcoholics -- and
Paulie had no time for soda pop or alcoholics.
He was about as likely to drink beer as it was
to . . . to . . .
to rain in Mt. Shasta in April.
inclined his head and waved toward the spread,
palm up. Dig in.
opened the server nearest me and blinked, puzzled.
There were two bundles of newspaper there, with
glittering grease stains on them.
I got it. I once told Paulie about my childhood
in London, and how they used to wrap fish and
chips in newspaper and serve it that way.
what is all this?"
is the date today?"
glanced at my watch. Oh, hell. It was my birthday.
That must have been what those phone calls I refused
to answer this morning were about. So Paulie had
decided to get some fish and chips, wrapped them
in paper, and then served them on linen with real
had his moments. I grinned, thanked him, and started
unwrapping the paper.
stopped cold. The paper was the London Times.
Only it didn't look like the Murdoch broadsheet.
It looked like the old lady of Fleet Street type
Times. I opened out a page and glanced at the
date. August 7th, 1957. Then I spotted the fish.
picked up a piece and peered at it. I was expecting
to see the type of cod that the local restaurant
fried in bread batter. This was real beer batter.
I sniffed. Deep fried in lard. I opened the other
package, carefully. Manchester Guardian, October
6th, 1956. Prime Minister Eden was doing well,
much to the Guardian's chagrin. I personally had
no memory of the man, since I was pre-school when
he left office.
chips were the fat, greasy, mottled, lard-fried
chips -- Freedom fries, I believe the colonial
chappies call them -- from my youth.
put a finger to his lips. "Happy Birthday. Eat."
Zelazny said you should never question miracles.
I ate. Paulie joined me, pouring the Watney's
into big, clunky, chipped old pint glasses. That,
at least, didn't remind me of my childhood. Even
in post-war England, very few pubs served beer
to four year olds, and chippies didn't have off-site
for the rest, Dylan Thomas once said you could
never go home again, something I took to mean
you could never return to your childhood. Everything
would be smaller, dimmer, less wonderful. I took
a bite of the fish, and decided Dylan Thomas was
full of shit. It was exactly how I remembered
it. Same rich, greasy taste, rich Icelandic cod,
stout Irish potatoes. I sucked grease off my thumb
and reflected that there was a lot to be said
for infantile regression.
ate in silence, my friend and I, something that
was an homage from Paulie, normally so voluble
finished, and Creeping Jimmy cleared the table.
I'm quite sure he was enjoying the same repast
in the driver's seat while we enjoyed our meal.
That's just how Paulie worked.
put a couple of bright, roughly cylindrical objects
about eight inches long, each end tied tight with
a loose flare of crepe paper on the out-side,
on the table. "How do these work?"
stared, laughed. "Paulie, those are crackers.
You have those for Xmas, or maybe New Year's."
I grinned, and picked one of the novelty-cap favors
up. And birthdays, too, I reflected. "You see
this cardboard tab in the end? You press it firmly
with your thumb, against the crepe paper which
your front finger will press on. I do the same
at this end, and on the count of three, we pull
sharply. One, two, THREE."
looked startled at the bang of the cap. I guess
he hadn't known why they called them crackers.
Jimmy's arm swung out over the back seat, holding
a gun. He peered around, glanced at Paulie. Paulie
made some signal hidden from me, and Jimmy nodded
and put away the gun. Paulie looked thoughtfully
at Jimmy. "Perhaps we should save the other one
for New Year's, at that." He lifted his head at
Jimmy, who pulled back into the front seat, closing
the privacy window behind him.
that's why I always feel a little guarded around
Paulie. There's always a risk you might get shot
or something. Paulie, for all his voluble affability,
is a threat in and of himself.
leaned back into the well-cushioned seat, interlaced
his fingers over his belly, and smiled at me.
And held a steady gaze. I was to begin the conversation.
I hate starting conversations under the best of
circumstances, and with Paulie, a certain amount
of thought had to go into the opening remark.
Something like "So, how does it feel to be a retired
Mafia Don?" might fall flat, especially if he
was being less than straightforward in his claims
to have embraced la voca legitima. "Is your foot
still wet?" while promising, indicated that I
had witnessed that particular undignified episode,
and worse, would call attention to the fact that
he was now wearing only one shoe. A faux Paulie.
So I leaned back in my well-cushioned seat, interlaced
my fingers over my belly, and smiled at Paulie
with a steady gaze while buying time. He begrudged
an approving smirk.
see someone bought the Dodgers."
shrugged. Eh bien. "Murdoch wanted too much money.
I am looking into an expansion team."
particular location in mind?"
Jersey, of course. Where do you think I would
put a team?"
impossibilities came to mind. "And the team name
you suppose ĆThe Dons' would be suitable?"
about ĆThe Wiseguys'?"
laughed, and Paulie regarded me speculatively.
"I want to offer you a job."
don't play ball, Paulie."
waved my objection away. This was well-trodden
ground. From time to time, he would offer me employment
at a spectacular rate of pay, and I always turned
him down. People who worked for Paulie made lots
of money, but they did so with an eye over their
shoulder. If office politics didn't get them,
the Feds would. It never struck me as an appealing
is a bit different. I am not asking you to come
into my employ. I wish to secure your services
on a contract basis."
That was different. Paulie had been adamant before
that I work for him if I was to associate at all,
in an employer/employee relationship. That meant
he could determine my hours and general availability,
and of course, it would make me a part of his
organization, something I wasn't particularly
anxious to do.
a contract basis, it meant simply he laid out
a task, I gave him a bid, and upon completion
of the work, he paid me, with neither side having
any obligation. It greatly reduced chances that
I might find myself explaining my relationship
to unamused agents with the Department of Justice
or the IRS.
could probably do work with Paulie on a contract
basis. Of course, I was going to have him be very,
very specific about the job, since I didn't want
to find that I was involved, however remotely,
in the vice-president having a "skiing accident,"
or to learn that I could never again visit Reno
for a relaxing weekend playing the slots.
pretended to be pushing a stray piece of fish
out from between two teeth with my tongue while
I thought it over. I gave him a level stare. He
gazed back, relaxed and confident. I realized
my next question would come as no surprise to
sort of job?"
is your opinion of the presidential race as it
I stopped to think. Paulie used tangents like
a handball player. Nothing bounced off a wall
without purpose. It also meant he had a pretty
good idea what my answer was going to be.
don't know, Paulie. With Iraq and the economy
and all the fuckups this administration has committed,
Kerry should have at least an eight point lead
yet it appears he does not. Why do you suppose
that is the case?"
hasn't been aggressively capitalizing on Republican
errors and set-backs. He is still vacillating
on Iraq, waiting for the public to lead him to
a conclusion rather than the other way around.
He's been proposing things that people like, but
not really coming out with something that will
excite anyone. Democrats have been talking for
years about things like workers' rights and universal
health care, but they always speak in abstract
terms about these things. Kerry is speaking in
abstract terms. Nobody is hearing anything that
fires them up." I leaned my head back, contemplated.
Paulie was as motionless as a Komodo dragon. "Kerry's
playing it safe."
is how I perceive it, Zepp. Why is he doing that?
Is he timid, or weak?"
The man has a silver star, a bronze star, and
three purple hearts. Quite the opposite of the
chickenhawk disgrace whose job he was after. He
was fearless in eighteen years in the Senate,
amassing one of the most consistently liberal
voting records around. Whatever it was that was
holding Kerry back, it was not timidity or weakness.
And yet his opponent, widely seen as a weak and
rather stupid puppet of the right, a man who hid
behind staged press conferences, "first amendment
zones" and an utterly shameless disposition to
lie his way out of any situation, was seen as
straightforward and assertive, while Kerry was
being painted as dissembling and weak.
isn't weak. Or timid. You know his record. But
he's being far too careful."
gave me an Ćoh-yes' nod. "Why is he being too
advisors are telling him to be careful, or the
right wing media will do a Howard Dean on him.
If he speaks out about the administration's lack
of cooperation on 9/11, he'll be painted as a
conspiracy nut, irresponsible with national security.
If he challenges Putsch to any sort of head-on
intellectual challenge, they'll paint him as arrogant
and condescending." I sighed. "And of course by
being careful, they get to paint him as weak and
without direction. He can't win."
good answer, worthy of considerable discussion.
However, it is not, in my opinion, the correct
cocked an eyebrow at Paulie and waited. If this
circuitous discussion was Paulie's idea of a job
offer, I wondered how he ever proposed to his
is being careful because he is a member of the
privileged class, and they are, by nature, defensive
and even reactionary. He has much to lose by upsetting
the social order, and it is becoming clear that
such an upset will be necessary to offset the
one the reactionaries of the GOP have implemented."
Paulie looked openly surprised. I don't think
he got told his political theories were a load
of shit very often. "If Kerry was a safe reactionary
millionaire, he wouldn't have testified before
Congress the way he did in 1973. He wouldn't have
stood for the things he has in the Senate, and
his views would be indistinguishable from Putsch's."
was Paulie's turn to muse. "OK. Fair enough. Perhaps
I have overstated my case."
what about FDR? Wasn't he a child of privilege,
a member of the ruling class?"
would argue that the fact that he was perceived,
in 1933, as a genial dilettante incapable of taking
the sort of revolutionary actions needed to deal
with the Depression had a lot to do with his being
that's probably true. But it didn't stop him from
carrying out precisely those types of actions,
but it did cause him to run a vapid, even timid
campaign. It is impossible to guess at what his
inner thoughts were, but he clearly was spending
more time reassuring his own class that he was
harmless than he was trying to assure the country
he could take bold and drastic action." Paulie
stroked his chin. "Do you think, had the crash
and subsequent Great Depression not occurred,
that he would have been elected in 1932?"
considered. Al Smith was still popular despite
his loss four years earlier, and John Nance Garner
was considered the next big thing for the Democrats
at the mid terms. "He probably wouldn't have been
nominated to run."
so. But he was. So tell me: were the Republicans
able to run an effective counter-campaign against
of course not. The economy had collapsed, millions
were out of work, and Hoover was seen as ineffectual
and out of touch. Basically all the Republicans
could do was stand and watch the electoral tidal
wave break over their heads."
he got elected, not because he ran a strong campaign
that inspired people, but because the Great Depression
made people angry enough at the administration,
and scared enough to vote for him, just because
he wasn't Hoover."
do not have a Great Depression now. At the very
least, the people have not noticed how bad things
have gotten. So why is he running such a vapid
media will eat him alive if he does anything faintly
outrageous. They'll do a Howard Dean on him."
so. I rest my case."
you haven't made a case."
smiled, tapped well-manicured fingertips together.
"Do you believe in the liberal media?"
course not. The media is corporate reactionary.
Oh, there's a few exceptions like Air America..."
is the media, the guardians of the public good,
reactionary and eager to pounce on a candidate
who doesn't comfort the comfortable."
the media is a creature of the corporations."
this influences the political races in what way?"
now I saw it. "By assuring that only politicians
who don't pose an overt threat to those same interests
get nominated, and jumping on any who step out
Kerry called for anti-monopoly laws to be enforced
against the networks?"
would crucify him."
so. Monied interests will blindly safeguard that
money, even when it goes against their own best
interests. Did you know a sizeable majority of
reporters -- nearly two thirds -- think the media
is being too easy on Bush?"
are being too easy on him. The man should be ridden
out of Washington on a rail."
why isn't the media harder on him?"
represents the interests of the corporate owners
of the media."
has the media prospered from this?"
stopped to consider. The public was getting restive,
and more mistrustful of the way news was presented.
It used to be most Americans listened to and believed
Uncle Walter each night. Now it was sad creatures
like Rather and Jennings, pretending to be journalists
but really just mouthing the best interests of
Disney and Viacom. I used to watch Walter Cronkite
every night, and held CBS as a beacon of journalistic
integrity. Now the only news show worth watching
at all was 60 Minutes, an anachronism in a time
of "No-Spin Zones" and Baba Wawa.
newscaster dreamed of approaching the ratings
CBS news once had. Combined, all newscasts had
lower ratings, despite 24/7 availability and huge
networks had lost credibility and viewership.
The cable networks were the province of partisan
hacks who didn't want news, but mere reinforcement
of their prejudices.
used to be proud of their freedom of the press.
Now those Americans not contemptuous of the press
were instead contemptuous of the notion that the
press should be free and independent. It was a
pretty bad fall from grace.
let me guess here, Paulie. You think Kerry is
tolerated by corporate media because he's seen
as non-threatening to corporate interests, and
as long as he's well-behaved, they won't savage
so many words, yes."
what am I supposed to do about that? Write a letter
to the editor?"
would not hurt. But I want you to support clean
was the optional public financing of campaigns
idea that was spreading slowly among the states.
It made it easier for challengers to take on incumbents,
and most important, reduced the role corporate
and other fat cat spending had on the campaigns
already support clean campaign laws."
want you to support them in a meaningful way."
back a step. What does this have to do with John
Kerry? You want to get rid of Kerry? I gotta tell
you, Paulie, this is not a good time to reject
a candidate for being rich. Have you looked at
the guy in the White House?"
tapped his upper lip, which I took to indicate
mild self-remonstration. "I like Kerry. I think
he'll make a good President, and I've talked to
people. He will be our next President. Bush is
if that was meant to enlighten..." A horrid thought
struck me. "ĆTalked to people.' Paulie, you aren't
strong-arming people, are you?"
that probably was an exquisitely stupid thing
to say. Even if he was strong-arming people, he
wasn't going to admit it. And if he wasn't, I
just pissed him off.
he smiled at me. "Zepp, these people are people
who are in positions where they could most likely
strong-arm me. I'm talking about Senators, CEOs,
even some religious leaders. Do you think that
with a 55% disapproval rating, Bush's opponents
are still limited to just liberals and civil libertarians?
These people are often Bush's alleged beneficiaries
-- the rich, the powerful, the well-connected.
They are, at the least, embarrassed by the size
of the gifts Bush bestowed upon them, and at most,
outraged at the attacks on liberties and freedom
this administration has led." Paulie's smile widened.
"Do you know, I even had the head of a large timber
firm tell me Bush's Healthy Forests Initiative
was going to destroy American forests? Can you
imagine how draconian things must get for that
were distracted by a series of outraged female
squawks from the direction of the restaurant.
We peered into the rain, and spotted my erstwhile
waitress sitting on her bum in the same puddle
Paulie had stepped in, and looking generally furious.
She slapped angrily at the water, looking for
all the world like an infant in a bathtub.
water is cold," Paulie observed with a certain
air of authority, "I wonder why she is sitting
probably didn't realize it was water until she
stepped in it, and fell because she was startled."
we go help her?" As if to emphasize the point,
the waitress hurled herself over onto her hands
and knees, and then slipped on the ice beneath
the water again, doing a fairly good belly flop.
shook my head. The girl had written a letter to
the editor a few weeks ago, proposing that the
city ban non-Christians from all public areas.
Her whole family was in a religion that would
probably end up drinking koolaid in some Central
American compound some day while waiting for the
flying saucer to come take them away. "If you
want to help her, go right ahead."
now, the girl had regained her feet and was expressing
her displeasure by spitting furiously into the
puddle that had claimed her. Paulie pulled his
head back, startled. Even mafia dons don't mess
with the religiously insane.
Kerry," I prompted.
then. This isn't about Kerry, per se. We'll get
rid of Bush, and have Kerry in his place. Kerry
will run a cautious campaign for the reasons I
mentioned, and probably he will be a good president.
the circumstances that led to Bush becoming President
will still be there, and it will only be a matter
of time before America finds itself with a president
as inept and radical as Bush is, or perhaps someone
even worse. The only thing saving America this
time is the sheer incompetence of the Bush administration."
nodded his head slowly. "Certainly, there's little
hope that Congress and eventually the Courts will
consist of anything more than well-tended servants
of the rich and powerful. If only 1% of the population
would ever be affected by the estate tax, how
did its dismissal get through the House of Representatives?
Not one in three Americans believe global warming
is a myth, and even less believe insurance companies
should be permitted to name their price in selling
drugs to Medicare, and yet those passed Congress
owners of the media were amply rewarded for their
refusal to permit questioning of the Bush administration
during its first three years. That Faustian bargain
that Michael Powell pushed through still stands,
and so a small coterie of crackpot right wing
billionaires control much of what Americans see,
and hear . . . and think. That won't change soon,
even if Kerry tries to change it. And that's not
guaranteed; the system supports those who play
ball, savages those who don't, and Kerry has already
demonstrated that he is, at the very least, cautious
of these people and their power to make or break
clean campaign laws, we stand a much better change
of electing people who aren't afraid to annoy
Rupert Murdoch or Richard Scaife or Sun Myung
Moon. We might get people who support what 95%
of Americans want, instead of what 5% of industry
heads and right wing demagogues want."
you're preaching to the choir, Paulie. I agree
with everything you've said."
gave me an arch look. Of COURSE I agreed with
everything he said. I was intelligent, wasn't
I? He slapped his hands together. "Good. So all
we have to do is work out the details."
your new position, of course!"
maybe the hot weather has addled my brains, but
I don't remember accepting any job offers. In
fact, I have a vague memory of declining one."
have declined many. This time will be different."
to do with John Kerry and the Clean Campaign laws.
This didn't sound like the sort of work Paulie
normally offered. One of the more memorable --
and somewhat tempting -- was a cost/benefit analysis
of the time it took a stripper to get down to
the final flourish, and what would maximize audience
"interest" and "donations." A slightly crestfallen
Paulie reported about a year later that the results
depended on how alluring the stripper was rather
than how long it took to strip. I had made the
same remark in our discussion the previous year,
and if Paulie had listened, he could have saved
himself several hundred thou. At least he got
to keep the videotapes from the test runs on strippers.
Hell, maybe that was what he was really after
to begin with.
thanks for the meal. It was delicious." I made
to get up.
half expected Creeping Jimmy's arm, with gun,
to come snaking through the driver's partition.
Nothing of the sort happened. Instead, Paulie
raised both hands, palms out, and made a gentle
pushing motion. "I am not asking you to work for
me as an employee, Zepp. You would be working
for me autonomously, as an independent contractor."
that was what Paulie had said before. Apparently
he meant it. "Define Ćautonomous.'"
would reserve the right to dismiss you for non-performance
or unsatisfactory performance. Otherwise, you
would have complete say in how you performed your
functions, and could tell me to go fly a kite
if I were to be so crass as to butt in on your
had my interest now. "And what would those Ćaffairs'
would write essays and general items of interest
promoting Clean Campaign Laws."
gave Paulie a puzzled look. "I do that now. And
I've told you before that you could use any writings
I did regarding Clean Campaign. What would be
would be getting paid to do it."
couldn't hurt. But why buy a cow...?"
grinned. "I am establishing a fundraising 521
organization, non-profit, non-partisan, to promote
Clean Elections and to help get it on the ballot
in all states that have the initiative process."
it had sounded too good to be true. "Paulie, I
suck at fundraising. Seriously. I'm doing good
to balance my check book. And I have no intention
to trying to navigate the labyrinth of laws surrounding
won't need to. You would be working with a staff
tasked to those duties. You would write what you
wanted, and perhaps give an occasional speech.
You can do that, can you not?"
autonomy? My own hours? My own topics? Can I leave
nodded at each one, interrupting only at the last
question. "I would require you to give notice,
and having done so, the relationship would terminate
immediately, with severance pay."
you put that in writing?"
reached down, pulled out a contract and handed
it to me. I looked it over. Paulie had foreseen
all of my questions and answered them. A guarantee
of autonomy, either party could terminate relationship
either with cause (see sections 9 and 10) or upon
mutual agreement. Section ten gave me the right
to leave if Paulie interfered with my writing
in any way.
looked Paulie in the eye. "Why?"
I can't do it. Because I know your opinions, and
know we agree on this matter. You'll be doing
it out of conviction, instead of just for the
I noticed, was quite good.
I have a couple of days to think it over?"
I have to go down to LA." Paulie smiled. "They
seem to think I might make a good consultant on
a movie about snowboards."
what? Paulie, have you ever been on a snowboard?"
is a complicated matter. Incidently, why is it
raining in April? Doesn't spring start about the
Fourth of July?"
don't know. Global warming, maybe. Incidently,
leaving your limo running for two hours while
we eat lunch probably isn't helping any."
is not hurting. This vehicle runs on hydrogen.
A gift from your esteemed governor."
Why would Arnold give you a limousine?"
I am consulting on snowboards."
I want to know?"
some future date, undoubtedly." Paulie waved a
finger. "See you in two days."
It is, as I said, a complicated matter."
Posted: June 1, 2004