“Hi honey, I’m home,” Tina said sarcastically to her boyfriend Charlie as she walked into the little apartment on W. Cactus Ave. in Las Vegas.
Charlie was sprawled out on the couch as usual, watching TV. “Did you bring any beer”? he wanted to know as Tina sat down in the recliner. She told Charlie to get off his lazy ass and get his own beer. “And by the way, did you happen to look for gainful employment today,” she asked.
He told her that he was working on a plan right now that would take them out of the shithole that they lived in, and the payout would be huge.
Charlie Bargalo had never had a job and his only source of income, besides petty theft, had been a few slip-and-falls at stores.
His last caper paid a thousand bucks after he dropped an egg on the floor at Walmart and slid across the floor, landing on his butt and elbow.
He demanded an ambulance ride to the hospital and five days later, risk management at the Walmart corporate office in Arkansas sent him a check for pain and suffering.
“So what’s the plan now Charlie. Are you going to go to Starbucks and spill hot coffee on your lap? Some old lady already did that number on McDonald’s a few years ago.”
“Come on Tina, give me a little credit. I was watching The View today, and some ambulance chaser was talking about the porno star that says she had sex with Donald Trump before he became President.”
“I got it, Charlie, you’re going to contact this lawyer and tell him that you had sex with the President also, after you recovered from your fall at Walmart.”
“That’s not exactly correct, Miss I know every fucking thing. Here’s the real plan. The porno chick’s lawyer said that seven years ago, she was here in Vegas and was coming out of a gym when an unknown dude walked up to her and told her to leave Trump alone and forget the story.
The bad guy then leaned around, looked at her baby girl and said, ‘That’s a beautiful baby, it would be a shame if something happened to her mom.’”
“Yeah, I’ve seen some of this shit on TV Charlie, but what does this have to do with you making money?”
“What it has to do with me making money, is that this ambulance chaser and his porn star client offered a reward of $100,000 for information leading to the identification of this guy that was supposed to make the threat.”
“And you know where to find this dude, Charlie?”
“I sure do. You’re looking at him.”
“Let me get this straight, Charlie, the dude making the threat was you”?
“No, but after seven years, this bimbo isn’t going to know if it was me or not. And if she lied and made up the story, she’s not going to admit it because her credibility would be shot in her civil case with the President.”
While he was talking to Tina, Charlie pulled up the sketch of the man on his computer that the porno chick said made the threat to her and showed it to his girlfriend.
“I have to admit, there is a slight resemblance, and you are about the same size as the man described in the sketch,” Tina said as she looked at the sketch.
“Remember the police sketch of the Una Bomber several years ago? It didn’t look anything like the bomber that was arrested, and keep in mind that the only other person at the scene with the dude that made the threat was a baby.
I’ll get arrested and repeat the exact words that the bimbo and her attorney used on TV, and we’ll have a hundred thousand bucks in the bank.”
“So, you’re willing to go back to the joint for the reward money?”
“There won’t be any jail time. I talked with Junior today and he says even if this was a crime, the statute of limitations has run out. This is a civil case, and I will disappear after I get the money and before the case goes to court.”
Tina looked at Charlie and told him, “Junior went to the worst law school in the United States and doesn’t even practice law, why would you trust his opinion?”
“Don’t worry about that Tina. Do you know what they call the person who graduates at the bottom of their class in medical school?”
“Doctor,” Charlie told her as he headed to the kitchen for a beer.
She told Charlie that he might actually be onto something, but wasn’t he concerned that this could put the President into some kind of legal jeopardy?
“So what’s the plan now Charlie. Are you going to go to Starbucks and spill hot coffee on your lap?”
His answer was, “No, and I can’t vote anyway, I lost my rights when I went to the joint.”
Two hours later, they were at Arizona Charlies waiting for their law school friend Junior. Charlie was playing blackjack and Tina was in the bingo parlor when Junior found him.
Junior and Charlie headed for the lounge while Charlie called Tina on her cell phone and told her to meet them for beers.
As Junior sipped his Tecate beer, Charlie ran the plan down to him. After about five minutes, Junior lit a cigarette and said, “Pure fucking genius. This is one outstanding plan. I think it’s even better than your plan to fall down the escalator at the Stratosphere, and much safer.”
“No shit Junior, do you really think it could work?” Tina wanted to know.
“Well kids, I didn’t spend all that time in law school for nothing,” he informed his friends.
Neither Tina or Charlie had the heart to tell Junior that even though he spent all that time in law school, he didn’t pass the bar exam and was now working for a car repo outfit.
They ordered another round of beer, with Jagermeister shooters, while they went over the plan again.
Tina had known Junior for a couple of years and did not waste any time asking him how much money he wanted to make on Charlie’s plan.
“If I’m just involved in the planning, my fee would be two thousand bucks for the legal advice.”
“Come on Junior, you aren’t a real lawyer, how about a thousand bucks,” Tina insisted.
“I could walk out and leave you two hanging, if you want to insult me Tina.”
“Come on you two, knock off the bullshit. Junior knows too much now and two thousand bucks won’t make or break us, Tina. I say we agree on two thousand.”
“That’s fine, Charlie. But don’t get greedy, Junior.”
“Greedy my ass. You two will be setting on ninety-eight thousand bucks and I’ll still be out repossessing cars.”
They decided that Charlie would move into his brother’s apartment, without telling the brother the plan, just saying that Tina had kicked him out.
Tina would then go to the Metro Police station on Windmill Lane and ask for Detective Geeting, and state that she knew who the man was who made the threat to the porno chick. She would say that she was sure it was him and that he was an ex-con, and she recognized the sketch the moment she saw it.
Junior would make a phone call to Geeting tomorrow morning, telling him that he would be bringing a woman to the station that had information on the whereabouts of the suspect in the porno chick case.
Junior knew Geeting, and Geeting was totally incompetent. He would most likely be more than willing to take the case because it was all over the news.
Geeting was planning to retire at the end of the month and this would be the icing on the cake for his career, Junior guessed.
“What if this chick changes her mind after I get arrested and says she made up the story about the man that threatened her,” Charlie asked Junior.
“Do you think she’s that stupid. That would screw her entire story up and her credibility would be shot. What are the chances that she would recognize the man, even if it did really happen the way she said it did, after seven years?
“An encounter that lasted less than one minute and there’s no way a baby could recognize anyone. Just stick to your story and the cops will have to believe you. You know that some dumb ass detective like Geeting would love to get his hands on this case and have his picture all over cable TV news shows.”
“OK, what if this detective falls for the story and Junior is arrested, what then?” Tina asked Junior.
“I don’t think he will be arrested, but if he is, the bail would probably be set at ten thousand dollars. Charlie only has to come up with ten percent of that, so I post his bail for one thousand dollars after you come up with the money, Tina. The case will be thrown out of court before the porno chick’s attorney issues the check for the reward.”
“What if the cops don’t arrest him because of the statute of limitations?”
“If Charlie is not arrested, I’ll ask Detective Geeting for a copy of his report stating that although Charlie has admitted to being the suspect in this bullshit crime, the statute of limitations has expired.
“This will be all over the news by that time, and as your legal advisor, I contact the Stormy Weather’s attorney and advise him that the sketch and description say information leading to the man’s identity, and we have identified the man.
“The Stormy chick will not want to admit that she made up the story and will agree that Charlie is the mysterious son of a bitch who terrorized her in the parking lot after she sees the photo of Charlie taken by Detective Geeting at Las Vegas Metro.
“I will personally pick up the certified cashier’s check for one hundred thousand dollars, or whatever the amount may have gone up to on the day of the arrest, made out to Tina McFarland at his office in Los Angeles.
“Once I get the check in my hand, my fee goes to five thousand dollars, cash, payable when I escort Tina to the bank to cash the check.”
“Shit, Junior, I thought we agreed on two thousand bucks? If you want to rob me, you should get a gun.”
“We did agree, Tina, but that was for my legal advice. I’m the one who’ll have to go to Los Angeles and convince her lawyer that I’m a real lawyer before he hands me the check.”
“Damn Junior, you should get your license. You would make a great ambulance chaser.”
“Thanks, Charlie, that’s the nicest thing anyone has said about me in a long time.”
“Ok, today is Monday, let’s do it on Wednesday. Let’s head back to our place and we can go over the words that this dude supposedly said to the porno queen, so I can repeat them verbatim to the cops,” Charlie told his partners.
“Not supposedly, allegedly,” Junior corrected Charlie.
“Oh yeah, that’s right, you did go to law school and I didn’t.”
They went back to the apartment and watched the CNN’s Anderson Cooper interview with Stormy Weather over and over, while Tina and Junior coached Charlie until he had the exact words that Stormy used to describe her encounter with the mysterious man seven years earlier when she walked out of the gym with her baby daughter.