The well dressed business man walked into Hardee’s just as I sat down to review my tape from the night before. More importantly to me was the last three hours. I was occupied so even though I noticed him walk in the place, I didn’t keep track of him. When he sat down at the table I paid a lot more attention to him.
“So are you Randal Davis king maker or one of his flunkies?” I asked.
“You know, if I wasn’t Randal you really would have pissed me off with the flunky comment,” he said.
“Well, if you were a funky, the political business pays way too good for a funky to have been dressed so nice,” I explained.
“Very good, so we have decided that you should run as a republican. We are withdrawing our support of the former chief of police of Dobson. We thought he had the best chance of beating Webster till I talked to you. Let us take over your campaign and I’m pretty sure we can get you elected,” he said.
“Oh and what do you get?” I asked.
“Someone in the sheriff’s office that listens to us, rather than the old power structure,” he said.
“I will listen to you like any other resident of this country, but I will do what is best for the people. I don’t fit well into anyone’s pocket.” I informed him.
“Good, you do the right thing and we won’t have a problem,” Randal said.
“I could say the same to you. You do this and don’t expect anything in return except what anyone else gets,” I said.
“There has to be more than that, or it isn’t worth our involvement,” he said.
“Then go with the chief from Dobson, and I guarantee you will be looking at Sheriff Webster come next November.” I said with a laugh.
“Look it’s too early for negotiations it 7am in April, the election isn’t till November.” He said.
“Yeah, you have to take it one step at a time,” I agreed.
“Okay first step you don’t register till June. If things don’t change between now and then, you are the republican candidate. If they do, you run as an independent.” he suggested.
“That works unless someone else comes along and makes me an offer,” I said.
“Nobody is going to do that I assure you,” he said. He was just a little too smug.
“I’m expecting between now and June to hear from the libertarian party and the Tea Party. I would rather run as a libertarian, but as tea party bitch I would be okay.” I said.
“I think you would agree your best chance is with us,” he said.
“I think you would agree, that if I ran under either of those, I could take enough votes from you to guarantee we both lose. Would I do it, you bet your ass I would,” I said. “I’m not a politician, I’m just an evil bitch at heart. So I will fuck you up and laugh about it, because it ain’t personal is it?” I asked.
“Okay I get it. I will meet with some people and let you know something by the weekend, if we want to wrap this up,”
“The weekend is two day away, so you better have your meeting soon,” I said.
“Well, Webster isn’t going anywhere,” he said.
“To tell you the truth I’m surprised he is running at all. He has been out of the chief deputies chair for a while,” I said. “Even so that is his claim to fame.”
“Yes but the current chief deputy has only been in his job a couple of years at most. Webster was there twenty plus years.” Randal said. “That’s why he is running.
“He wasn’t chief deputy all that time. But you are right, he was chief deputy a long time,” I agreed.
“How do you stay skinny eating this shit?” Randal asked looking at his sausage biscuit.
“I’m may be skinny, but my arteries are fat,” I said.
“No doubt about that,” he agreed. “I will call you before Saturday with our decision.”
“That’s fair,” I said. I was thinking that his most likely would be the only offer I got, if I got one from him. I would really like to run as a libertarian or even a tea party candidate. I no longer wanted to win. I just wanted to worry the shit out of them all.
I didn’t bother to ask how he knew where to find me, it seemed that everyone knew my schedule and habits. I had decided, when I thought the Miami Mafia was after me, that if they want you, the assassin will come down your chimney, so why bother to hide. That did not mean I went anywhere unarmed in those days.
I went back to the house and showered. I decided after the shower and clean clothes to go do laundry and stop my Jeremy’s studio. It took an hour and a half to do the laundry, but I didn’t leave it the whole time it ran. I didn’t want to find my panties gone when I got back from a trip to Jeremy’s studio, so I waited and read the online news. I could piggy back the wifi on almost a dozen sources in the downtown.
When I finally finished my laundry I folded it all, I put it back in the black cloth bags I recently acquired. Then I headed to Jeremy’s studio. I couldn’t believe that there were actually customers in the place.
“My god kid you look busy as hell,” I said.
“I am. Seems the tourist finally started to move. Most everyone is from out of town. I have been selling shit like crazy, well like crazy for this place,” he said showing his good humor. He actually made a sale while we were talking. He sold a very old framed print. It had to be from the 1940s. It had to be one of those estate pieces we bought.
“So, you getting it rich or what?” I asked.
“Mostly I do the online sales, and I’m not going to be a Rockefeller, but I’m doing okay. Maybe you should let me take care of your stuff. I don’t mean take the money from your display sales. I mean to mount those prints you bought. You know they are more in my area of expertise than yours. You are more jewelry than art.” It was bit of an insult, but I really didn’t mind because I had pretty much come to the same conclusion.
“Figure out what is fair and you have a deal,” I said.
“How about we take the cost of the purchase and the cost of the framing off the top and split the rest 50/50?” He asked.
“That sounds fair. You can do the book keeping and I wont even ask what you are up to,” I promised.
“Are you sure?” Jeremy asked.
“Jeremy I will sign anything you want in order to give you power of attorney or something like that.” I said.
“Just a management contract would be fine. Just to protect us both,” he said.
“Call Rita and get her on it. I’m good with anything,” I said.
“That sounds like a plan. I will have myself declared your retail sales manager and you give me the power to make all retail sales decisions for you.” Jeremy said.
“Well not all, just all I surrender to you. I will give you absolute control to sell the items I turn over to you for sale. Certain items I might want to sell to friends without going through a retail transaction,” I said.
“I’ll have Rita make arrangements for that as well,” Jeremy agreed.
“Then it sounds perfect to me,” I said.
“Did you know that the local U haul dealer out in the plaza is having a sale on their trailers,” Jeremy asked.
“I didn’t even know we had a U haul dealer here,” I said.
“It’s that big service station at the plaza. The one with the BP gasoline. They rent U haul trailers. I think they are going out of the U haul business. Anyway they have some trailers for sale. I know you wanted a small one your little truck. You could haul stuff inside out of the weather. You might want to run down and take a look,” he suggested.
I left with a promise to do just that. I carried my newly clean clothes to the box house first, then I went to the BP station at the Plaza. It was just like Jeremy said. There were a half dozen trailer parked in a rear parking lot. But there was no signs about a sale.
“Hey there,” I said to the old man behind the counter.
“Hi, what can I do for you?” he asked.
“A friend said you guys were selling the used U haul trailers,” I suggested.
“Yeah, I’m giving up the franchise. If you buy one I’m going to spray paint the U haul name over,” he said.
“That sounds reasonable. I would have to have it painted anyway. I really am only interested in the smallest one you have.” I said.
“Well I sold some so go back and take a look. You can buy anything that’s left for a price,” he said.
“Fair enough,” I replied. Then I walked around back and took a good look at the two small trailers there. One of them was tall like a horse trailer and the other was about the height of my pickup’s cab. It had a little damage in the front, but it was to the enclosure not the frame. I went back inside. “Tell you what I’m interested in that smallest one, but it’s damaged.”
“Yeah got a bad spot on the corner where the last guy to rent it made a turn to short.” he said.
“Well my guess is the insurance has already settled. That is the kind of thing that takes a lot off the value so how much you asking?” I asked.
“Five hundred,” he said.
“You are kidding right,” I asked.
I have to have it repaired and painted on that corner, not to mention it needs tires and God only knows what else,” I said.
“Five hundred is fair,” he suggested.
“Tell you what home depot sells that size for 1000 bucks when it is on sale. If I start there and deduct two tires, that brings it down to 800. The paint and repair is going to run another five hundred so now we are at 300. Tell you what I’ll give you 300 in cash right this minute,” I said pulling the three one hundred dollar bills out of my wallet.
“Make it four and you got a deal,” he said.
“I will do 350 and not a penny more,” I said removing two twenties and a ten from the money pouch.
“Alright it’s a deal. Let me get you the title,” he said.
I already had a trailer hitch so he spray painted the U out with a can of orange spray paint. It must have been a touch up paint from the company because it matched pretty good. He did leave the word haul on each side of the trailer. There was a orange globe and a square that had once been his dealer name and address.
I was tickled to know that I wouldn’t need a camper shell for the truck. I really wanted to keep the back of the truck open. I drove the truck to the box house and parked it.
I admit I am terrible for turning my phone off for hours at a time then catching up all at once. That is why I had three messages. One was from the Brit to let me know that the pub was serving the hamburger pie I loved so much. The second message was from Colonel Martin giving me the GPS coordinates for the camp. It was also a request that I go up and see, if the construction had begun. The third message was just a hangup after letting it go to voice mail I noticed it was a blocked number. My guess was the Miami Mafia.