The phone rang on my desk.
“Leathers, what up kid” It was Dan Kerr, he had been calling me kid ever since we turned Senator Sklidokis’s mistress into a Chinese finger trap after some fund raiser. It was his way of reminding me that he lasted longer. Childish and sophomoric but effective as he knew it annoyed me.
“Danny, you still looking for those extra small condoms?” I had been reminding him of his diminutive stature for just as long. “I’m told Ping Pong can hook you up”
“That’s not funny Leathers, if Ping Pong brings a RICO against the legislature we are all fucked and I don’t use condoms I’m a good catholic boy”
Dan was a catholic, good was a purely subjective adjective to describe his religion though. At last count Dan had been married 5 times, had no fewer than 8 mistresses while he was married, had been caught having sex with his secretary at least 10 times in the office alone and in what was without a doubt his greatest accomplishment had to have his office relocated from the Capital to the Legislative Office Building twenty or so years ago while he was Chief of Staff for then Senate Majority Leader Guido Sklidokis. Sklidokis eventually died in prison while serving a 10 year term for turning his office into a consulting practice that catered to New York City real estate interests. Dan’s office was relocated because he repeatedly used it to have indiscrete sexual liaisons with then Deputy Majority Leader Andrews wife. Dan’s activity might have gone unnoticed if not for Andrew’s wife’s proclivity as a screamer. In the long run Andrews got divorced, became majority leader and was the last Majority leader to leave office without serving time for a corruption conviction and Dan cemented his legend as the legislature’s top good catholic boy.
“I’m calling Leathers because the hose just called and wants to play golf at 11 this morning I’ll see you there and make sure Rocky is the fourth.”
I checked my watch, a Graham Chrono fighter that I won from Richard on a golf bet many years ago. It was 9:04 but the Graham was notorious for being a few minutes slow each week. Part of me always wondered if it was a real Graham or if Richard had been wearing a fugazy all those years ago. I was afraid to go to a jeweler and find out if it was fake for fear of being embarrassed twice, once by the jeweler and then by Richard. Assuming it was at worst a little after 9 I had plenty of time to make sure Rocky was at the course and still make an 11 am tee time.
“Pat, can you get me a tee time at The Bush (that’s what locals called the East Greenbush Golf and Polo Club) for 11 and have someone meet Rocky’s Lear at Millionaire and drive him to the course”
“I took care of all that before I transferred Daniel’s call”
“Daniel?” Nobody I knew other than Dan’s wives, ex-wives, mistresses, girlfriends and assorted one night or afternoon stands called him Daniel.
“Yes Daniel, he is one of your few acquaintances that I actually enjoy”
“Pat have you ever . . .” and I let the thought drift away as my cell phone lit up with Andy Karps number.
“Leathers I’ll see you at Eggy’s for lunch”
“Can’t do it Andy I have to play golf with the hose at 11.” Here comes the update on my bank balances.
“I know you are, I heard Dan’s call I was just testing you I’ll see you at Eggy’s in 20 minutes”
He heard Dan’s call? Was he tapping Dan’s phone or mine? Or both? In the long run I guess it didn’t matter as long as I was useful to Karp I had a get out of jail free card. As for Dan, he would have to take care of himself, I wondered if Karp’s wife was happy.
As I walked in to Eggy’s 20 minutes later a group of beefy gentleman wearing dark blue wind shirts with “Homeland Security” in yellow letters across the back were leaving.
I sat down at the table with my back to the door and the Eggman himself came over to take our order.
Before I could order Andy was practically shouting at the Eggman.
“You need to refill the sugar packets”
“I’m sorry but those cheap motherfucking cops that just left stole all the sugar packets and they took the jelly packets we put out for the toast too”
Andy looked at the table next to us, which had sugar and jelly, and asked the two old women having tea to switch tables with us. When they politely refused he took out his badge and told them to leave, what a cheap miserable bastard.
After we had switched tables and Andy had ordered coffee and pilfered the sugar, jelly and containers of fake maple syrup, he got right to the point.
“We have to move the timetable up on Ravi, that megalomaniac down south, Ping Pong, is going to steal my thunder. Do you know that cocksucker was in the room when I suggested we bring a RICO prosecution as part of our case against Andrews? He was the liaison to Shlumber’s committee and said I was crazy to even suggest it now he is going to become the Times “man of the year” if he pulls it off”
“How can I help?”
“Let’s start by wearing your wire today when you play golf with Hibert”
The wire really wasn’t a wire it was a microcassette with a really good receiver. And you didn’t wear it you kept in in a jacket pocket or in this case my golf ditty bag that I would have in the golf cart with me. You didn’t want a recording device on you if some paranoid criminal got suspicious and made you strip in front of him. Plus if you left the area and the recorder picked up a private conversation that was a bonus, illegal but a bonus.
“Get Hibert talking about Ravi and all the real estate deals going on out by the micro dot factory”
“Anything you say Agent Karp”
“I’ll get the tab Leathers you get the next one”
I hadn’t ordered anything, that cheap bastard.