EPISODE 9


          "Doesn't it seem a little odd to anybody," Marty Lesh queried the two lefty lawyers… once Tony Nick had taken Emil's printout and begun his paperwork… "that this Federal money-changer blows into town just about now? I mean... these bank dicks leave trails of desolation and destruction everywhere they go. People follow Jerry Pettigrew ‘round the country like Deadheads used to follow Jerry Garcia... fucker's a one-man riot factory."








          "Someone had to prime the pump after the Mister Nine Percent inflation and his wrecking crew, and the lady as came before.  If I were inclined," Emil Hill suggested, "I'd be more interested in looking into how the demo started, then got out of hand so fast. Someone in a black mask, black clothes, black hoodie threw a bottle at the cops. Who?  Antifa?  Proud Boys?  As well as the number of vague busts here, there and everywhere over the past six years… conspiracies, so called, or terroristic threats… which are up not insubstantially..."

          "That's what I mean! First come all those CNC people around the CU, early, then they split.  Then they use Washington’s drone money to equip their sparrows with heat-seeking bioluminescence, take pictures of and round up dumpster divers and a few of Andy’s 86 cases sleeping under bushes at Sylvania Park or next to the Federal Building and send ‘em all to Jaminoe on felony conspiracies-to-misdemean.  What if, you know, the City and the Conks and Feds were all in on it together?"

          "Except that the only thing preventing Parnell from selling out to the Democrats... maybe in return for, well not Vice, but Secretary of Horses and their manure, Ambassador to Paraguay… something... is Tillerman.  And the only thing preventing Tillerman from entering the Republican primaries as the Tea Party’s finish-the-wall wonderfish now that The Donald is blowing cold again is the Catfish. And Rayna's money," Leo added, holding up his thumb and forefinger about an eighth of an inch apart. "Otherwise, everybody's this close to cutting that deal, if President Joe and McConnell don’t beat them to it the way they cooperated on IRS authorizing private mercenaries to conduct false flag raids against the poor which, of course, inspired so many scammers..."

          “Or, suggested Hill, “if those Green-Libertarian, Crump-Sharpton-Ye or Schultz-Ocasio pacts ever materialize…”

          "So?" Marty persisted. "Doesn't mean both parties can't work together when they perceive a common threat, or to get over on the people. That's like buying into the argument that Trilaterals were going to save the world from the CFR, or the other way around. Both fronted for Rockefellers and the UN, which is why they hired Zionist instigators of nine-eleven and a Soviet fifth column in the Taliban to invade Ukraine, overturn the Constitution and go back to being a part of the Soviet Union again.  Listen to the radio, read social media sites! The role of Parnell’s Coalition is to start making noise about it, enough to suck in all potential opposition and then break up, going round in circles for a few years like a bum tire deflating, then selling out, like the Tea Party to Christians, or going down in flames like the Reform Party after they poach a few votes from the Democrats in November.  It's all acting, like half the President’s cabinet. Wag the dog’s cock!  Actually, I think the CNC master-plan is sort of like Obama, our best Republican President since Clinton… give people a little hope and then crush it, so they'll never act up again... maybe for fifteen, twenty years..."

          "You forgot the cannibal child molesters in the Pizza Hut basement.  And I think you ought to cut down on your crystal," Andy suggested.

          "That's not at issue. It is a fix, guys, and the Conks are part of the plot out to get us; not because we really threaten them but, like, because we make an easy example, always running off to demos to get busted.  Like that rap singer set up to make Clinton look black or those other guys his wife hired, beating up Martin O’Malley, for what that was worth.  Like Hitler, setting his own buildings on fire in that TV miniseries..."

          "It was still better than that 'Hogan's Heroes' movie remake. You bring me something that stands up in a court of law," Emil proposed, "I'll take the case. Anybody wanna jerk me ‘round, I'll still take their money, but you gotta pay my retainer up front. In cash!"

          "Speakin' of cash," Tony interrupted, "lemme see what's in your pockets, now. I got your papers here. Everybody passes but this guy," he pointed, "that little code stands for warrants in uh... Minnesota? Wonder what they pay for skips, over there," he wondered aloud, and when nobody made any objection, went back to his terminal and began tapping out an inquiry.

          "Get Victor out in his place," Andy sighed, returned to the counter and began pulling dirty, crumpled bills from his jacket pocket, laying them out in small piles until they amounted to seven hundred dollars. "Thirty-two bucks left," he said when the cash had disappeared into Tony's drawer, secure beneath Tony's nice, Jewish machine pistol that the UN somehow had failed to get around to confiscating yet. "Any of you bighearted attorneys wanna buy the gratitude of some other asshole for eighteen bucks. No? How about that Aussie cameraman, Leo – think his company would be grateful for springing their man early? – given that those British journalists arrested during Trump’s last rally up at the Capital are still in the pokey?"

          "He doesn't work for a company," Leo explained, "he's freelance."

          "Know what that means," Andy shrugged.

          "Lemme have ten bucks," Marty pleaded. "Geez, I need it bad. I eat another breakfast at Malik's Hellfire Club, I'll puke. I'll die, pukin', honest!"

          Andy gave him a Lincoln that he knew would disappear up his arm within the hour, then peeled off another fiver for Emil, who glared at Abe as though the President were one of those cannibal child molesters.

          "Never say I don't make good on obligations," Andy rubbed it in, "what I can. Your tab's thirty-seven ninety-five, now. Sorry, Leo, you work for a paying charity."

          "Go ahead," said the lawyer. "I'm used to abuse from the people I help."

          While they talked, Hill stuffed the fiver in his shirt pocket. "When are you idiots going to realize what a fuckin' waste of time your demos are?  He's right," Emil added, jerking a thumb at Marty Lesh. "It is a fix. When are you two bozos going to wise up and get law degrees? Then you could smash the system, make money, and have fun doin' it!"

          The question unanswered, they picked up the bail forms and crossed the street again, delivered them to the man behind the glass and waited on cracked, plastic chairs with plastic cups of sour, machine coffee until a police Sergeant came out to deliver the bad news.

          "Counselors," he addressed Leo and Emil, "under the Revised Patriot Act, I cannot cooperate with your request to interview those people accused of felonies. Nobody... relatives, attorneys... nobody visits the holding cells until I get some say-so from some administration." Noticing a pile of anti-bank flyers someone had slipped onto the table with PAL literature by the coffee machine, he backhanded them into the trash.

          "So..." Leo answered, waiting a beat, and when the Sergeant kept looking at him, finished, "... just call your administration."

          The Sergeant looked distantly past them, out through police glass to the street and shimmering row of bailbond offices. Somewhere behind the glass, a radio warbled 2Crazy's "Take Down Da Cop".  He smiled.  "Administration's clocked out for the night. Come back early, say around seven; somebody'll see what they can do. Maybe..."

          "What are we talking about?" Goldman exploded. "There is no administration, it's just... people... the Captain, the Chief, the D.A.! They got cellphones.  Twitterers.  Where are they... whooping it up at one of those Coalition dinners? What you're not telling me is that Pinhead's got the police in his pocket, too, and after screwing the union over your pensions, too… remember? People accused of crimes have the right to legal representation... it's in the Sixth Amendment. And the UN Charter, too! Do you want me to contact the Innocence Project?"

          The Sergeant reddened, but did not reply. "Ain't this a scene," Hill suggested with a smirk. "If we had some media in town other than the useless Urinal... one call! Half the brass off at some political banquet with wild radicals like Catfish... well, maybe not him, since he's syndicated, but, at least, militia kooks from out-of-state, Oregon people... meanwhile the understaffed Hall of Justice bulges with dangerous felons."

          That brought the Sergeant up, tapping the side of his head with a pudgy index finger. "Hill, you're worse than most of your clients. We have had people looking into you. Some day... some day, we're gonna figure you out. When that happens I plan to be here to turn the key on you myself." He was a big man, with a big, heavy belt that he tugged at as one of the officers from the jail waved to him. "All in all, we've been more than cooperative in processing your fourteen misdemeanants in time for them to get home and watch themselves on television. Dangerous criminals!" he shared the joke with his visitors, smirking back... "and here they come."

          The approach of the released misdemeanants was heralded by their chanting: "Hey hey, Ho ho... Po Po Brutal’ty gots to go!" A dozen young, diverse and vigorous woke subversives rounded the corner followed by a pair of gray, shuffling wretches; street people swept up in the confusion and being expunged for lack of space (and before the State would have to feed them). A teenaged girl with frizzy red hair and "Meat Is Murder!" inked on the backside of her denim jacket blew a kiss at Marty; a jug-eared youth in a "Zionism is Racism" t-shirt broke ranks to accost them.

          "Hey Andy... guys..." he said in a hopeful whine, "they wouldn't give us anythin' vegan for lunch, ya know, except rotten baloney sandwiches made from ground up uh frogs, like... couldja spare some change, man?"

          Contempt escalated to rage in three fifths of a second. "Get the fuck out!" Andy roared, hurling his half-empty cup of cooling coffee at the mooch. The kid... with the rest of the newly liberated... scattered, conspicuously dodging the overwhelmed metal-detector and its guard, regrouping at the top of the steps of the Hall of Justice for a last chant of "Freedom for Amphibians!" waving middle fingers at the police and their rescuers alike before dispersing into the night.

          The sergeant leaned towards the four, thrusting his craggy face into Andy's in what would’ve been an infectious manner a few months back. "I'd be within my rights to pull you in for assault, or maybe littering, and only the fact that it's late and I'm sick of you and all your kind weighs against it. So I believe that the best thing for all of you to do would be to leave now... and take up the rest of your complaints with the morning shift."

          "Let's go," Leo said, pulling Andy away by the wrist, making for the door. Hill and Marty followed. The Sergeant motioned to the ancient janitor who worked the Hall of Justice by night, gesturing to the spill and pointing.

          "There you go, Willie! Another mess the white folks left for you to clean up."

          "Remember," Emil said at the door, "I'll volunteer my services to anyone who cares to file lawsuits against this Department. Some day, you'll answer to the taxpayers!"

          "We all do," the Sergeant spat, "until the UN tells us otherwise." And then he turned his back.  And Andy couldn’t help needling Hill…

          "Having fun yet?"

"Fun?  This ain’t fun, it’s maintaining credibility with our community," the fat lawyer snapped.

          "Need a ride?" Leo said awkwardly, once Hill and Marty were out of earshot, dispatched onto their disparate missions.

          A cold, annoyingly misty rain had begun falling by the time Andy and Goldman squeezed into the latter's ancient Japanese sedan. "Well," the lawyer pounced, "I have to say you really blew it. I thought we had a chance of getting some of the felonies, at least, out before tomorrow."

          Andy remained silent through more of the lawyer's complaints, gazing out the drizzly window while the Drifters' "Up on the Roof" played softly on the oldies station.

          "Marty was right," he said finally.


          "He was right about the cops and the CNC. Somebody planned this; nobody sensible's getting out before the Convention. They're smarter than we are... smarter and richer, and they're a whole lot tougher. And ordinary people still don't give a shit. The television and Urinal tell them look at the stock market - things never have been better and they lap it up... all the way until the job's lost, house foreclosed, guns pawned, their savings worth as much as toilet paper even as credit card rates keep rising and the sheriff puts 'em out on the fuckin' sidewalk and they're still waving flags, blathering how proud they are to be Americans and not black, or gay and they’re still rugged individualists who can take their punishment like men, while tides from the global warmed-over rivers rise up from their ankles to their knees and the gomers migrate from MAGA to Uncle Joe like hungry gators!  Eggheads are still complaining about the stolen election, Jack Parnell mouths off against the banks and oil companies and the Chinese, so people figure he's on the job and might even be more uncompromising than Trump for them, and they give him their seventeen bucks, letting them roll over and press the snooze button while he cuts his deals on their behalf."

          "I had half my life's savings in the Lambert Deposit and Loan when it was frozen," Leo objected. "Nine hundred bucks... not even enough for a good used car when this bastard dies. I wrote the Feds and they say write the IMF... after they sent Dodd-Frank to the same dumpster as Glass-Steagall and crooks started up all these Building and Loans, I saw those ads with photoshopped Jimmy Stewart... hey, that four and one half percent interest looked good. Nobody bothered to tell me that the collateral was in Zaire or Venezuela… no, Venezuela’s solvent now, sort of, after the coup, it’s one of those Guyanas, somewhere.  Jonestown?   I dunno... maybe people don't care. They believe that if they wait and buy more crap on credit things'll work out, maybe they're just distracted... look at Baby Claire! The system's rotten... but where do we go, other than to the Conks?  Back to Trump? Ross the boss… rest his demented soul?  The Clinton and Romney and Bush dynasties?  Cruz or Pence?  One of those crying Democrats… Storny Daniels’ lawyer or the coffee guy?  Bloomberg - that poster girl for the nanny state and you and me wouldn't exactly be welcome in that Charles Barkley-Sharpton party, let alone the Christian Republicans… everybody still hates the Greens over 2000 and Florida, 2016, the Squad over 2020 and Putin! You want, maybe, to go back to the olden times Socialists... Workers, Labor, whatever, always trying to get over on each other? Do they still even exist?"

          And, on the radio, the Drifters sang on that there’d be room enough for two... up on the roof.

          "I'm an attorney. I have a certificate to practice law," Goldman explained, "I made my mind up when I was a kid in grade school, when the people made Nixon resign, that I was going to make a difference, too. Now I got this shitty car, a job people laugh at me for and a crap apartment in the North End I can't afford to keep heated in winter. Most women I come in contact with are man-hating lesbians seeking alimony or settlements for some sort of harassment, like losing jobs they weren’t qualified to do in the first place.  Microagressions!  I'm staring at fifty in the rear view mirror and still, thanks to my law school loans, have a net worth of less than zero so thank you, Betsy DeVos.  My old classmates got rich either pimping for Big Insurance and the pharmaceutical companies, or suing them. Everything on the boob tube is cruel reality shows and reboots; the plague is sneaking back into Miami and Fox is bringing back 'Queen for a Day?' Who’d want to marry a public advocate up to his neck in debt? Well... which way do I turn?"

          "That way...no, sorry, take me back downtown? To the Ivona.  Gotta meet somebody there."

          "No problemo," Leo said. "Hang on..." he warned, wheeling the wheezing import into a squealing U-turn on the wet, deserted street.

          "Leo," said Andy, patiently, "that remark was racist, and you're just committed a vehicular misdemeanor."

          "What can I say?" the lawyer answered. "Like that old Burger Jack commercial went, before they blew up Jack like a bus stop in Damascus, sometimes you gotta break the rules!"  









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