30
Jan
09

Fate Pays The Rent (First Installment)

“I just want you to see if he’s got any pictures of her.”
“And he’d have them at work why?”
“I dunno. Maybe he’s got a wife and he doesn’t want her to see them.”
“Right. So because he may or may not have a wife and she may or may not know he had a girlfriend who is now your girlfriend- God only knows why- he would keep pictures of her at work so some employee can find them and blackmail him or at least spread them all over the Internet?”
“Yeah.”
Clement looked across their desks at Jeff~, letting his eyes drift up to the framed 24×36 print showing the anatomy of a chicken. Jeff had found it at one of their first trade show and paid for the framing himself before proudly hanging it and declaring it ‘an inoffensive display of breasts and thighs.” Now he wanted pictures of another female’s anatomy. “Jeff, you’re an idiot. Not quite a flaming moron but definitely an idiot.”
“Clement, you’re my buddy, my pal. You gotta do this. Womb to tomb, remember?”
“Look, I only met you two years ago at the Cluck-Fest in Seattle.”
“And took me under your wing.”
“ And don’t give me that ‘West Side Story’ crap. Those guys all ended up dead or in ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’ which is almost the same.”
“How do you know that?”
“I got culture and insomnia.”
“They got a cure for culture. You oughta go see your doctor.”
“Idiot, you still haven’t convinced me why I should break into this guy’s office to see if he maybe has pictures of the person who is unfortunately your girlfriend.”
“That’s the coolest part. You wouldn’t be breaking in. She’s got a key and she’s gonna give it to me and I’m gonna give it to you.”
“Right. She got this how?”
“She made a copy of it when they were still together.”
“Right. The reason she doesn’t just go to this guy and say ‘Look, freak, I know you’ve got pictures of me and I want you to either give them to me or shred them’ is what?”
“She doesn’t know for sure. She always thought he had pictures but if he does he took them while she was asleep.”
“Asleep? Geez, I’ve been over at your place when she was asleep. Not only does she snore, which admittedly wouldn’t show up in the pictures, but she drools and her hair gets all stuck to one side of her face. Why does he want a picture of that? Unless he’s a freak about hydration.”
“Because she sleeps naked.”
“So what? Women tan naked. If he wanted naked, he could go to one of those tanning places and take a picture over the three-quarter wall with his cell phone. If he was quick, he’d get away with it. Or go to the nude beach. Put the camera in a diaper bag with the lens pointing through the clear part where the changing pad goes only don’t put the changing pad in it. Focus the camera at a mid-range distance so when he sees someone he wants a picture of he just has to push the button and it’s that quick.”
“Wow. You know a lot about this stuff. You do it?”
“Hell no. You think you gotta do something to know about it? I read the papers. I listen to people. I’m still listening to you to find out why I’m gonna do this.”
“She’s really worried he’s gonna put the pictures on the Internet. Like that ‘Hot or Not’ site where people vote on whether your girlfriend is worth it or not.”
“I know what the site is but why the hell would he care what people think of his ex-girlfriend? Especially when he’s married. Or if he’s married. This is really stupid. How come she’s got a key to his office and we don’t even know if he’s married or not? How come she doesn’t know if he’s married?”
“She never asked him. She didn’t wanna know if he was or not. If she asks him and he says he is then she has to know she’s the kind of girl who goes out with married guys. If she knows then she’s a home-wrecker.”
“Holy crap. She shouldn’t have to ask him. There are posts all over the Internet telling women how to tell. And nobody’s a home-wrecker anymore. People figure guys are autonomous and they don’t cheat because they got lured. Guys don’t get lured.”
“Girls.”
“What?”
“Girls don’t get lured. It’s from Bull Durham. This girl is talking to Annie Savoy, played by Susan Sarandon, and she says she didn’t mean to fall for this guy but she got lured and Susan Sarandon says ‘You did not get lured. Girls do not get lured.’”
“Enlightening.”
“The reason he’d put her picture up on ‘Hot or Not’ is if you’re gonna cheat on your wife-“
“Assuming you’re married.”
“You wanna be sure the girl is worth it. You’re gonna get caught and your wife is gonna want a divorce and you’re gonna end up eating dog food from a can for the rest of your life.”
“This isn’t a community property state. Nobody’s gonna end up eating dog food. That’s old people with no pensions. And even if he was married, she’s his ex-girlfriend so for better or for worse he got away with it and it doesn’t matter if she looks like a baboon’s butt. Which I’m not saying she does.”
“Look, just do this. Okay? It’d mean a lot to her so it’d mean a lot to me. She completes me.”
“Holy crap.”
The phone on Jeff’s desk rang. “Yeah. Yeah. No, sir, we didn’t. No. I can understand your anger and disappointment. I will check with my associate and see what he says but I can assure you we would never have done something like that without checking with you first. Thanks for calling, sir. Bye now.” He replaced the receiver, snatched a half-eaten pencil from the edge of Clement’s desk and arced it into the wastebasket. “Leonard’s Market says we delivered them smoked chicken strips and they ordered plain breaded ones.”
“We don’t sell smoked chicken strips.”
“I know. That’s what I told him.”
Clement pulled a lower desk drawer open and flipped through the files. “I don’t have a ‘Leonard’s Market’ in here. Do you have ‘Leonard’s Market’ in your drawer?”
Jeff scanned the files on his side. “No.”
“So this man who just called and received empathy from you is not even a customer of ours?”
“No. It would appear he is not.”
“Would you like to call him back and apprise him of the error?”
“No. I would not.”
“Did she ask you who you were?”
“You heard it. I didn’t even get to say ‘Hello’. I picked up the phone and he said, ‘You the guys that sell the chicken?’ I said, ‘Yeah’. He said, ‘Frozen chicken strips?’ I said, ‘Yeah’. He said, ‘Well, you’ve really screwed up my week. You know why? You sent me smoked chicken strips again when I ordered the plain ones.’ I said, ‘No, we didn’t’ and we were off to the races.”
“Unbelievable. Almost as unbelievable as you wanting me to break into this guy’s office.”
“You’re not even breaking in. You’ll have a key. She says he never locks the desk or anything. All you gotta do is let yourself in after he’s gone, look through some things. If you find any pictures then you bring them out with you. If you find anything else interesting, that’s yours too.”
“Now hold on. I’m not breaking in anywhere and I’m not stealing anything. The only way I’m justifying this whole thing to myself at all is by saying that since the pictures- if they even exist- are of her then really they belong to her. I don’t do this. It’s not my problem and it’s not my job. I’m not asking for any money to go in and you’re not paying me. Not even with naked pictures. After I’m done, assuming I turn out to be as stupid as you are, you’re gonna take me to Outback for a steak dinner and you’re gonna pay for that and you’re gonna buy one for yourself and you’re gonna sit there while we both eat. You’re not leaving a minute before I do because I am not gonna be fingered later for breaking and entering or entering without breaking. Got it?”
“So, you’re gonna do it?”
“Geez, I don’t know. It’s just so stupid and there’s so many maybes and I could stay home and watch ‘Battlestar Galactica’.”
“Come on…”
“Can you at least find out his schedule and whether or not he is married?”
“Man, I knew it! I knew you were gonna say ‘yes’.”
“I didn’t say ‘yes’; I asked you if you could find out a couple of things.”
“But you wouldn’t even ask me if you weren’t gonna do it. Oh man, we’re like that movie ‘Damon and Pythius”.”
“Right. That makes one of us Jerry Lewis and the other Dean Martin. I’ve heard you sing and your drinking is worse. When are you gonna see the Naked Drooler?”
“Tonight. Right after work, I’m going over there. Tuesdays we have Chinese and watch that cavemen show. She thinks that slacker caveman is hot and I’m not gonna complain. Lot of excess energy if you know what I mean.”
“TMI, Jerry. If you know what I mean.”

Advertisements

0 Responses to “Fate Pays The Rent (First Installment)”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: