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“Fill out these forms,” said Sankari. She stapled her business card to a sheaf of papers and passed them to Cindy. “And don’t forget you’ll need references, people to vouch for you.”
“No problem,” said Lobo. “Tony will vouch for us.”
“The great thing about Mr Looby is that he is committed to making a significant donation to the alumni fund,” I announced. “We’ll draw up the payment schedule and he will sign it in front of you.” I was talking fast with an absurd level of enthusiasm so no one would interrupt.
“Sally, draft the schedule on Sankari’s computer,” I suggested.
Lobo glared at me.
“You’ll get a brick with your name on the alumni walk of fame,” I told him.
“The walk of fame? Where’s that?”
“They’re going to build one.”
Now, I know what you’re thinking. What kind of fool is Tony Javelin? Doesn’t he realize that Lobo’s fantasy isn’t worth a farthing? — But don’t worry. Everything was under control. That’s what I explained to Sally later at the wingporium downstairs where I ordered the suicide wings.
“It’s a very pragmatic outcome,” I explained. “I supported Lobo’s comeback fantasy because this way there is a possibility he might actually pay the pledge, there is an avenue for that to happen. He can cheat and bullshit his way back into the big time. He knows people with money. If he can convince them, they'll lean on BIF and he gets his grant. It’s an outcome so rotten to contemplate that it’s bound to come true.”
I chomped on a wing. “Besides,” I added, “Even the worst of us has some good qualities.”
“Certainly you have some good qualities, Tony, nobody disputes that,” Sally reassured me.
“No, I meant Lobo, he must have some good qualities.”
“In the meantime, you’re broke.”
“I’ll get a few bucks from Lobo’s brother, who wants a report. I’ll have to hurry before Lobo goes up there himself.”
“Where’s your car?”
“That’s another problem. It’s probably in the pound by now. I don’t want to talk about it.” I was feeling dead tired.
“Sally,” I said, “let’s go somewhere and live a quiet life, out in the country where no one will find us, where I won’t have to worry about being assassinated all the time. I’ll get a job on the valley murder mystery train. We’ll live like normal—”
“Tony, good buddy!” Lobo strode across the room, Cindy hobbling behind him. “We completed the application,” he declared proudly. “This is going to be one amazing company.”
“What’s your jacket size?” Cindy asked me.
She marked that down on her phone.
“I can get you a beautiful pin-stripe suit for only $179,” said Lobo.
“I don’t need clothes,” I said. “I already got clothes.”
“You change your mind, come find us,” Lobo said. “No hard feelings, eh?”
They waved back at us through the window when they went out onto the street again.