It was Dan Kerr. He sounded shaky and depressed.
“What’s wrong Danny? You sound like Bobby just took your wife to lunch”
“He’s welcome to her, she became ex-wife number 5 yesterday”
“Caught you with that new secretary?”
“No, we had to let the secretary go, in fact that’s why I’m calling. Mickey missed the last two payrolls I’m pretty sure the firm is going to fold.”
“Missed two payrolls? How is that possible? You have a ton of clients what were you? . . . Number 7 on the top ten list last year?”
“It’s possible because Mickey may be the world’s worst businessman. His idea of budgeting is if there are checks in the checkbook there must be money in the account. If we gross $5 million he spends $6 million. It was manageable while we were growing and bringing in that senate oppo money but with the hose going limp and no ties to Squabble our client base is shrinking fast and Mickey is delusional he keeps spending and hiring as if his hiring a masseuse for the office is going to solve our money woes”
“So your wife caught you fucking the masseuse?”
“It was only a blowjob, no big deal, but no Lori left me because I don’t have the cash flow to keep her amused anymore”
“I’m sorry Danny, what can I do to help?”
As soon as I said it I realized what a mistake I had made. Danny’s problem just became my problem since I knew what was coming next was “the ask”.
“I need to work Leathers”
Now this was going to be tricky. If Dan asked me for a job I was almost duty bound to give him one, but if he couldn’t bring clients with him, his pay would essentially be coming out of my pocket. I needed to head him off.
“You’re timing is excellent Dan. I was just talking to one of our clients that owns a crisis management public relations firm based in DC. They think Ping’s RICO is going to change the way things are done in Albany and they want to acquire a lobbying presence to transition lobby clients into communication clients. It could be huge, I can make inquiries to see if Dolan and Kerr is a good fit. Do you think Mickey would be open to a merger or acquisition?”
“I think he has to be since he is running out of checks in his checkbook, let me know what your client says”
I had dodged a bullet now all I had to do was keep dodging till Danny found a job or committed suicide or by some act of God I actually found a crises management firm that was dumb enough to buy a lobbying firm.
“I’m on it Danny, don’t worry God will look after a good catholic boy like you”
“The lobby world has changed Leathers God doesn’t give a fuck for the Irish anymore. It’s all about the minority vote now”
“It always has been Danny, it always has been”
No sooner did I hang up on Danny then my phone rang again.
The ID said “Communications International Advocates”. Was this a sign from God?
“Leathers May I help you?”
“I certainly hope so bitch, how’s it hanging?”
“Alex Shimmel, I thought you had died”
“Close, that little study panel stunt you pulled made it touch and go for a bit, I had to go skiing in Chile just to avoid a meeting in Miami”
“Let me get this right Alex, you piss off South American drug lords and your choice of a location to hide out is Chile?”
“Sure the skiing was awesome. And my guys have all moved to the United States, you want to see drug lords go to Boca you want to avoid them go skiing in Chile. Anyway after a couple of days they realized the study panel was an act of pure genius since it freezes everything as status quo, and for them status quo is very profitable. They were so happy with the political solution they asked me to start a new business for them as a crisis management political media firm. We are going to do what you did all over the country. First step is they want to acquire Leathers and Lace”
“Sorry Alex but we don’t want partners or bosses but good news is there are a couple of other firms in town that might be a good fit for you’
This was too easy.
“Before we get to that lets talk fee”
“Yes my fee”
“For what? Didn’t you get my voice mail before I went skiing? We fired you after the study panel. It might have been an overreaction in retrospect but my bosses would never admit a mistake so no more monthly fee for you”
“Which means no more having to do what you tell me to right?”
“I guess, but I thought we were friends”
“We are Alex which is why I’m only going to charge you 10% of the purchase price for any lobby firm I set you up with”
“10%? Deal. Now who is it?”
“Slow down Alex this is going to be a tough sell give me a little time to set it up”
“You know my bosses. They are not patient men. By the way who tried to put me in that Times story about hookers?”
“Times story? Hookers?”
“Right Leathers you don’t know anything about putting stories in the media. That’s why this town needs a good communications firm. Wait to you see the shit I’m going to stir up. I might even move to Albany spend some more time in that shitholes walk in freezer, where can a guy rent a luxury apartment? And hire an illegal to be my maid? Gotta go that’s Barnes and Noble on the other line my copy of McLoweys latest book is in”
“Why are you reading that shit?”
“Reading it? I wrote it for him later bitch”
With skills like that Alex might just become a power in this town.
“Pat can you get Danny on the line?”