As I walked in The Grove I did a quick scan of the room.
The hose was at his usual corner table, sitting with his idiot son and a rather large gentleman in a very expensive suit.
Mclowey was holding court from a table in the middle of the room surrounded by second floor suckups and fuckups. Chief among them his chief of staff a mean little shit with teeth that looked like a bad ear of corn, who used to be the County Executive of Oleans County who went by the name of Larry Smith and by the nickname “Licketysplit”. Not many people were aware that when Larry was born his name was Linda. He had gender reassignment surgery as a young girl and became a young man. For the last 50 years he had bounced around government leaving a trail of enemies resulting from his mean spirited machinations. It was said Larry wasn’t happy unless someone else was unhappy. Perhaps the best example of this was his role in the resignation of former Governor Mendez. Governor Mendez served as governor for a little less than 3 weeks after Governor Mazzone’s resignation resulting from the Dante typo and the uproar surrounding Mazzone’s use of the state plane to travel to the nation’s capital to fuck male prostitutes. Mendez was a likeable man that had spent a career as a State Senator representing a safe seat in Spanish Harlem. He was mute and relied on staff to translate his own unique sign language. He was also an alcoholic who had become addicted to a concoction of cheap brandy and expensive champagne he called “thugs punch”. You rarely saw Mendez sober or without his glass of “iced tea” which was really “thugs punch”. Smith was his chief of staff and in charge of translation duties one fateful press conference. When asked if he supported same sex marriage Mendez actually gave a very measured thoughtful response that left his political options open, Licketysplit translated Mendez’ signs and announced to the assembled reporters that Governor Mendez had said he “Doesn’t take it up the ass like our previous governor and would sooner approve marriage between the races than between same sex couples”. Mclowey as Attorney General announced he was opening a civil rights case against Mendez and then hired Larry as his Chief of Staff. Mendez resigned and started a career as a radio talk show host, which being mute did not garner many listeners. Mclowey wrote a book about the incident titled “Profiles of a Transgender” and became Governor in a landslide.
When Mendez was finally told by his son what Smith had said he signed, Mendez uttered the only words anyone had ever heard him say “Fuck me”.
One table over from Mclowey sat Richard Washington, Dixie Junkins and the entire Black and Puerto Rican caucus of the Assembly. The table was heaped with the remnants of a huge meal of lobster and steak. Now I know all those public servants received a generous per diem for traveling to Albany but their combined net worth didn’t exceed the cost of one lobster tail, someone else had to be paying for that meal.
Richard and Ravi were in the far corner trying to remain unseen behind a large ficus tree. Sitting with them was O. Robert Lambert the town’s self-proclaimed top criminal lawyer.
Before joining Sam at my table I stopped by Jelly’s host station to chat.
“Hey Jelly who is paying for “Shady’s” meal?”
“You will like this story Leather’s, so they come in take the big table and ordered everything on the menu, drinks, apps, main courses, sides, dessert you name it. The bill comes to several thousand dollars and Mr. Washington passes it to Mr. Jones who passes it to Mr. Farrah who passes it to Ms. Johnson and on and on it goes until it comes full circle to Mr. Junkins who tells Mr. Washington that he has no cash and his new credit card isn’t activated yet. Mr. Washington then makes a call to Mr. St. Lapierre and asks him for his American Express card account number. When Bobby asks why Shady says they need to pay for dinner and no one has any money.”
“What did Bobby say?”
“He said sure it’s the least he could do after Washington’s mom had sent him that big client and to thank her for the truffle butter. Have you ever had truffle butter Leathers? Is it something we should put on the menu?”
I chuckled as I walked over to Richard’s table.
“O. Bob how are you and what are you doing associating with these two dope dealers?”
“Now Leathers that should be alleged dope dealers, and I’m discussing litigation strategy with my clients so I would appreciate it if you could leave”
“No problem O. Bob, by the way who is picking up the tab for dinner?”
“Not that it is your business but I always ask for a separate check, pay my own way and then bill the client for my time and a reasonable markup on the reimbursement for my meal”
“Hey Richard things are looking good for you huh? Just keep yourself out of the pickle barrel and Ravi you might want to get your own criminal defense lawyer, it’s safer that way”
I could have sworn a puddle of piss was forming under Ravi’s chair.
“Hey Leathers fuck yourself”
“Nice comeback Richard, isn’t that your new lobbyist Dixie Junkins over there having dinner with Speaker Washington?”
“Yes it is we are expanding our practice into the minority community’s interests”
“Well good luck with that but you might want to check on who paid for that meal and why”
Without looking back I strode over to my table where Sam Casey sat sipping a Shirley temple with an umbrella in the glass.
“Sam why are you drinking anything with an umbrella in it?”
“Leathers we are in a public place I don’t want anyone thinking I drink alcohol”
“Sam you are in the Grove what happens or is said in the Grove stays in the Grove. Now let’s talk truffle butter”