Trust Fund Baby ~ 27 A Satire

Chapter 27

J.drove twenty minutes to a part of the town filthy rich people ignore. Mother told me that is where the undesirables live. I asked her who was undesirable. She marched me into her bedroom and stood me in front of eight-foot mirror framed in mahogany. She stood next to me and pointed at our images, “Martin, who do you see in the mirror?”

I answered, “I see you Mother and me. Why?”

“Anyone who does not look like us is undesirable. Anyone whose net worth is less than 500 million is undesirable.”

“That doesn’t leave many people who are desirable, Mother,” I said.

“Exactly, Martin. It is an exclusive club.”

I never thought about it again until today. I wonder if Mother knows it turned into a huge urban prison because all the house have bars on the windows and doors. Those in charge of the prison must be trying to rehabilitate the prisoners through art. Interesting abstract and graphic art works covered the sides of most of the buildings, bridges, and billboards. We hadn’t driven more than three blocks when I changed my mind. I was sure J surprised me and had taken me to an urban movie location. The setting was perfect, most of the buildings were boarded up or had broken windows, a SWAT team and four police cars with sirens blaring passed us. 

I said, “Who’s staring in the movie? What company is producing it? If it is one of the big three, Father will get us tickets to a preview screening.”

We came to a stop at a red light. J glanced at me, “You think this is a movie set?”

“Got to be. I’ve seen a few movies that look like they were filmed here,” I answered. I wanted to keep the conversation rolling so I added, “Are you taking me to lunch at the movie studio?”

J didn’t answer. She gripped the steering wheel with both hands as if she were trying to squeeze the life out of it. Two blocks later she pulled into a parking lot surrounded by an eight foot chain link fence and topped with razor wire. The parking lot was next to a concrete one story building with  big neon sign that would make a Vegas casino proud, Harvey’s Huge Hamburgers. The H on Huge was shot out as well as the H on Hamburgers. I said, “What’s a amburger?” I was trying to impress J with my wit.

She said, “You open your mouth like that when we get inside, it might be the last time you open it. I will not protect you.”

My wonderful lover is always watching out for me. I bet they’re filming inside the restaurant and we’ll be extras. Mother and Father will be elated to learn my betrothed is connected to the movie industry and my betrothed and I will have a cameo in major film studio.

J turned off the engine and said, “You have never been on this side of the city, have you?”

I didn’t want to tell J what Mother taught me about this side of the city when I was a kid. I took a different tact, one that would impress her. I cocked my head a bit toward her and said, “Cut me a little slack, J. Before I had to work, my day was packed. I slept until ten. I went to the gym and worked with Carolyn my personal trainer for an hour.” I caught myself almost mentioning that many of the workouts between Carolyn and me didn’t take place in the gym. I continued, “After the gym, I had lunch at an exclusive restaurant with a friend. After lunch, I either played tennis, golf, or had a massage.”

J interrupted me, “This was your typical day?”

“You interrupted me. I didn’t tell you about my nights.”

“I don’t want to hear about your nights,” said J.

“Excellent, J. Don’t ask, don’t tell is a good policy for us to set as the foundation for our marriage. Does this place have an off the menu, menu.”

“What are you talking about?” asked J.

“Don’t ask, don’t tell or the off the menu, menu?” I responded.

J closed her eyes and rubbed her caramel colored forehead. I wanted to reach over and rub her right shoulder with my left hand to help relieve the tension built up inside her. It must be hell for a woman to be alone in a small car with a filthy rich sex magnet. I can only guess the internal struggle she’s going through to keep her hands off my body.

J opened her eyes and said, “The off the menu, menu.”

I said, “It’s common knowledge, if you give the waiter a big enough tip and ask for the off the menu, menu, the waiter will nod, and come back with an exclusive menu available to only those who know about the off the menu, menu.”

J is very religious because she keeps talking to Jesus. After she finished talking to Jesus, she said, “The menu is on the wall behind the counter. There is no hidden menu. You buy off the menu on the wall or you don’t eat.”

“Do they have a wine list or Perrier? If this is a BYOB, is there a liquor store nearby?” I asked.

The Toyota Corolla was filled with raucous laughter. It started to shake. I tightened my seatbelt in case J’s body movement flipped her car. When she regained control she said, “Wait until you see Harvey.”

Harvey? Who was Harvey? A boyfriend? A lover? A former husband? A husband? I subconsciously braced myself for an uncomfortable truth. J was going to introduce me to her boyfriend, lover, or worse, husband. I haven’t crossed the line as an adulterer, yet. I believe Mother and Father practice adultery they way they practice golf. In J’s case, I had no choice but to cross that bridge. I can’t live without her. 

I said, “You and Harvey got something going? Let me know now. Don’t make me cry in public. I can’t handle rejection.”

J’s big brown eyes widened  and she started laughing, again.




Trust Fund Baby ~ 25 A Satire

Chapter 25 

There, I let it out. I poured my guts out to complete strangers. I don’t want to know any of them with the exception of Amber and that will only be for an occasional night with no commitment. Jill’s a possibility, but that would only occur if Amber wasn’t available. What am I doing letting these thoughts run around in my mind when the woman I love with all my heart is ten feet away sitting next to The Sage with a bemused smile.

Amber raised her hand and glanced toward J, “I have no clue who you are talking about. I   think she’s frigid. I’m not frigid. You are the hottest, sexiest doctor I’ve ever wanted to have.”

J’s spoke in a tone a feral cat might make before it attacks a rat, “She is not frigid.”

I had to partially agree with Amber. The opposite sex almost uniformly consider me a sex object. 

“How do you know this?” my conscience interrupted.

“Intuition,” I said. “Leave me alone. I like the direction the group is taking.”

“Doctor Sanderstuff? Doctor Sanderstuff?”

“Yes, The?” I acknowledged the Sage by his first name. I wanted to show the group my sensitive side. 

The Sage pulled his lanky, six feet three inch frame erect. I said, “Before you say anything, you look like hell. Are you on a starvation diet? I’ve seen better looking specimens standing on street corners holding signs that say, I’m honest. I need money for booze. Please help me.”

“I resent that, Doctor Sanderstuff. I am a vegan. I have the healthiest diet on the planet. You would look as good as me if you ate like me.”

The group started laughing and so did I. I don’t think a psychologist is supposed to laugh at patients. I think that kind of thinking is why psychologists get bad press. I said, “I think it’s pronounced vay gan.”

“It is not. It is pronounced the way I said it, vee gan. I’m tired of this argument. I have it all the time. I think I can help you win over your woman.”

“Don’t go there,” said Amber with an edge to her voice.

J patted The Sage on the back, “Go there. This will be interesting.”

“Is she part of our group? Is she on work release from the state prison?” asked Amber.

“Who are you referring to?” I asked Amber knowing who she was referring to, but I wanted to hear J’s voice. It is like the angels singing. Her voice is the song in my heart. It is the melody in my mind. 

“Her,” said Amber pointing at J.

“I hope that finger is not pointing at me, because if it is, I might get up and walk over to you and break it,” said J.

I needed to break the tension between the two women who are fighting over me. It’s a terrible burden to carry, being loved by two women and not being able to let go of either one. I said,  “I’m getting bored The. What’s your advice?”

The Sage gave Amber a smirk, then turned toward me and said, “Have you considered asking this beautiful woman to meet you at a coffee shop and asking her to tell you her story? Personally,  I like to ask a woman on a first date to go to a farmer’s market with me.”

Tito and Prince started laughing and giving each other  high fives. Then Jill said, “I think The is still a virgin. Tell me if I’m wrong, The.”

“I’m waiting for the right woman,” said The.

“Good luck with that one,” said Prince who fell off his chair and rolled onto the floor, the laughter spilling out of him like a river overflowing a dam after a torrential rains.

“You’re losing control of the group. I warned you this was a bad idea,” said my conscience.

“Get lost,” I said. Then I spoke to the group, “I am a Sanderstuff. I am a filthy rich, white man who has never worked a day in his life until this week. I will always be rich and I can buy everything but the woman I love.”  

“I’m available,” said Amber.

“Most men know that,” chimed in J.

“Meow,” said Tito trying to sound like cat fight.

“Man, what’s else could this woman want?” asked Tito trying his best to sound like a Latino but not coming close.

“I don’t know. I’m confused. I’ve never been in love before. All the women I’ve known wanted to be with me because I’m filthy rich.”

“What’s wrong with that?” asked Amber giving me her sexiest pout. I’m wondering if I should ask her for cell phone number. I also wondered if the half way prison house allowed conjugal sex.

“Don’t go there,” said my conscience.

“I thought I told you to get lost,” I said.

“Me?” asked The.

“I was thinking out loud,” I said. Then I added, “I’m having a breakthrough. I should have recorded this session to send to the American Psychological Association. Maybe I can get Mother to write a paper about it, with my name as author and I can present it at their next annual meeting.”

The group broke into applause. Prince stood and said, “Bravo.” The rest of the group joined in the bravo chorus.

J spoke with a staccato beat, “What’s the breakthrough?”

“Glad you asked,” I said. “I’ve slept with lots of woman, but I’ve never been in love. I don’t know how to love. I think I’m in love and it’s driving me crazy. I don’t know how to do it.”

J stood up, “Group’s over.” She wore a look that a Marine drill sergeant would envy. My sweet and sassy ebony angel could tell I was emotionally exhausted and the only thing to save me was her love.

Tito was the last member out and he closed the door behind him. I smiled at J and said, “How did I do?”

“We’ve got to talk. I’ll have lunch with you, but I choose the place.”

“Can I hug you. You made me the happiest man in the world. I’ll buy the wine. We’ll make an afternoon out of it and I’ll introduce you to Mother and Father tonight. We’ll soak in my tub. I’ll have Nicole bring us wine and light scented candles to set the mood for our first night.”

“No. No. No. Keep your hands off me. We are not going to have wine. We are not going to hang out together after lunch. I do not want to meet your Mother and Father. We are not going to soak together. We are going to talk, that’s all. Go to the bathroom and freshen up. You look a mess,” said J. 

I caught a hint of a smile on her face as she turned and walked toward the door.

Trust Fund Baby ~ 24 A Satire

Chapter 24

“You don’t have a clue what you’re doing. Do you?” asked my conscience.

“No. Should I?” I responded. “This is my group. Leave me alone. I’ll fake it to make it. Besides, they’re here for my charm, wit, personality, and animal magnetism.”

“I need a break,” said my conscience.

I watched Jill unbuttoning her blouse and stopping just above her navel after J left the room. Personally, I’ve never really cared for plums. I’ll take a plum if it’s all I can get. Before I made that decision, I glanced at the door to the reception area. J left it ajar when she left.. J was listening to every word. “C’mon, Martin, get your head into the game, this could be your last chance to break down J’s love barrier.” I said to myself. I forgot what I was doing here. I had a plan and if slipped away like the morning dew.

My mind works in a funny way. It’s kind of like a butterfly. It flits from one idea to the next, it doesn’t hang around too long with any idea. I like to think I have a lot of interests. A former girlfriend told me I didn’t have depth.

“She’s right,” offered my conscience.

I’ve got to Google how to shut off my conscience. It is becoming a nuisance.

“You’re back? I thought you needed a break.”

“Why don’t you give me a name? I’d like to be on a first name basis with my clients.”

“You’re a conscience for more than one person?” I asked.

“I’ve been given a temporary leave from other ten people while I deal full time with you. I have to breakdown what you thought was your conscience and start new. Work is hell.”

“That’s what I tell everybody. I glad we agree on something. Any ideas on how I should handle class?”

“Try going into your short term memory. Didn’t you tell J and let me quote, “This one’s for you Babe?”

“I did. But I didn’t know what I saying. I was following Uncle Jeffrey’s advice, if it feels right, it is right.”

“I’ve been at this conscience gig for centuries. You’d think I’d know where to begin. I need some professional advice on this one.”

“Good idea. Leave me alone. I’ll wing it.”

“Doctor Sutherland?”

“Yes, Tito?”

“Who were you talking to? We only heard one voice.”

I didn’t realize the conversation I was having with my conscience was loud enough for the group to hear. I remember Mother’s advice as she walked me to my BMW this morning, “Martin always be assertive, it’s a good way to make people think you know what you’re doing when you don’t know what you’re doing. I only tell you this because your Feathering DNA is not pure. You have Sanderstuff DNA as well. Who knows how bad it was tainted by the surrogate mother we used to carry you to termination. She was the best we could do on a short notice.”

I’ve really got to find my surrogate mother. Maybe she was where I got my conscience. I’m sure of it. I’ve not known anyone on either side of the family to show any compassion or passion for that matter. I had to drop the thought, I had five sets of eyes staring at me. I said, “Of course I was having a conversation. I was communicating with the famous psychologist, Carl Jung.”

“Isn’t he dead?” asked Prince.

“He’s only dead if you think he’s dead. That’s why you can’t see him,” I said. Wow. I thought of this on the spot. It is a rare gem. One I can use again and again. “You thought he was dead, so he was dead to you. You all see where I am going?” 

I heard the laughter begin in the reception room. J must be watching comic videos on her computer. 

“That’s deep, really deep,” said The Sage.

I caught an arm waving out of the corner of my eye. I’m one to answer any question when it comes from Amber. I said, “You must be hot in that outfit.”

“I’m hot, very hot,” said Amber.

“Watch where you are walking girl. You are on a tightrope and you might lose your balance,” said J’s voice from the reception room.

I’m filled with happiness when J protects me because she is practicing bonding. I know she wants to be closer to me than green on money. But, I thought, why not give the girl a little rope and see where she goes. Why not let her express herself and fulfill her carnal desires. Who am I to judge.

J’s voice, “Pull your sweatshirt down or I’ll use it to drag you out of group.”

How does she know this stuff? I don’t know what she’s doing. I know she’s not peeking in here. I didn’t see any hidden cameras. I’ve got to ask her. Maybe she has a sixth or seventh sense. My conscience did say I said, “This one’s for you Babe, so here goes.”

I held my hand to signal the group. I’m not quite sure how the group might interpret my visual sign so I hurriedly said, “Group, I’m tired of listening to your problems. That’s all we done for the past two days. All I hear is blah, blah this and blah blah that. You’re boring. You make me want to fall asleep. There has to be more to life than leading this group, which brings me to my point. Today’s group session is all about me. I’m sucking wind. I’m walking on a tightrope and losing my balance. I standing at the edge of cliff and a gale wind is blowing at my back.”

J’s voice came from the reception area, “Enough with the metaphors. Get on with the stand up comedy.”

“I’ll save you from falling, Doctor Sanderstuff. Can I hold you and press your body to mine?” asked Amber.

This was a fantastic idea. J chimed in before I could respond, “You leave that seat girl, you won’t be able to sit down for a week.”

Amber turned her head toward the door and stuck her tongue out. 

“I know what you did, pull your tongue back in your mouth, you’re not auditioning for Dr. Sanderstuff. And, don’t think I don’t know if you flash him.”

J understands how helpless I am. She knows I’d be putty in Amber’s hands. I smiled at the group. I tried to put my thoughts together and then realized I’m in over my head. When I don’t know what I’m doing, I just keep doing it. I said, “I’m in love with the most beautiful, wonderful woman in the entire world. I’ve offered to take her to Paris, Rome, and Vegas. She will have nothing to do with me. I want to take her to finest restaurants, but she doesn’t want to go with me. What should I do?”

“Let her go, Doctor Sanderstuff. “You need a real woman. You need a woman who …”

“One more word Amber and your life is over as you know it,” 

Amber folded her arms under her breasts, puffed up and curled her lower lip, and went into a deep pout. J opened the door. She carried a chair into the room and placed it next The Sage. The group and I stared at her. J said, “I want to hear this.”

I sat still for a moment watching the tug of war between my libido giving it everything a libido can give for Amber and my heart, as tiny as it is, fighting with all its might for J. 

“Make up your mind, Pancho.”

“Who are you?” I asked.

“I’m a Mexican conscience temporarily substituting for your regular conscience who became burned out working for you. Don’t worry, I have a visa.

Trust Fund Baby ~ 23 A Satire

Chapter 22 

I thought of praying the group planned a mass escape and commandeered their bus; however, I was never taught to pray. Mother told me reading the Wall Street Journal is better than reading the Bible. Since I didn’t know how to pray, I decided to operate by a tried and true psychologist and patient principle, if a patient is one minute late, the patient is charged for the session and the psychologist cancels the session. I intuitively learned this principle from my filthy rich Uncle Jeffrey Feathering. Uncle Jeffrey, Mother’s older brother and mentor, pulled me aside at my tenth birthday party and said, “Martin, I going to give you the secret all the filthy rich people keep to themselves.”

I said, “Are you drunk, Uncle Jeffrey?”

Uncle Jeffrey said, “Yes, I am wasted. How could you tell? Never mind. I am going to tell you the secret before you have your bar mitzvah.”

“I’m not Jewish, I won’t have a bar mitzvah,” I said.

“It doesn’t matter, you look Jewish.”

I said, “No I don’t. I’m not circumcised. I’ll be eventually discovered when I take a high school physical.”

“Jeffrey, my boy, you’re still young. Choose a different obstetrician. Get circumcised.”

“I don’t want to be circumcised. I’m happy the way I am.”

“You need to see a Jewish lawyer to get you a special dispensation.”

“Can I skip the bar mitzvah until I decide if I want to be a lawyer or a doctor, Uncle Jeffrey?”

“Brilliant thinking, Martin. You’ll have to skip your bar mitzvah. Are you disappointed?”

“Do you get lots of money at a bar mitzvah?” This is a question filthy rich kids always ask.”

“Tons, that’s why I suggested it,” said Uncle Jeffrey taking another glass of wine off the tray of the beautiful woman carrying the tray of drinks around to the guests at my party. No kids were invited to my party because Mother said she can’t stand the noise two or more children make when they are together.

“We’ll talk about the bar mitzvah at next year’s party. Here’s the secret of the filthy rich people. If it feels right, it is right. It doesn’t matter if everybody else thinks it’s wrong. It only matters what you feel. This way, Martin, you can do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it, and not feel guilty.”

“Really?” I asked.

“It’s what filthy rich people have done for centuries. The poor haven’t caught on, that’s why it’s such a closely guarded secret. I got to be going. I want to see if the beautiful waitress will have sex with me.”

“What will Aunt Emily say?” I asked.

“She’ll say, Jeffrey if it feels right, it is right. Do you mind if I go shopping?”

“Wow. Thanks Uncle Jeffrey.”

That’s how I came to this way of thinking. Uncle Jeffrey gave me the keys to the castle. Now I understand another of Mother’s maxims, rules are for the poor, money is for the rich. 

My conscience spoke, “Do you believe all the crap your Mother tells you?”

“Who are you? Where are you?” I asked.

“I’m your conscience. I tell you what’s right of wrong.”

“I’m calling Mother. She told me not to talk to strangers who are not rich. Get lost.”

“You need some serious rewiring,” said my conscience.

Before I could offer an counter argument, I heard J’s voice,  “I’m going to say it once, that’s all. Amber, slip this sweatshirt and sweatpants over your outfit.”

Amber pouted, “What’s wrong with a mini baby doll outfit? Can we let Doctor Sanderstuff decide if I can wear it?”

“Sister, you can wrap a frail male ego and a mind that can’t function when the libido is engaged around your little finger and impress them with your silicone, but I’m calling the plays. Think of me as the team coach and Doctor Sanderstuff as my star player. Now, all of you drag your butts into group. The doctor is waiting for you.” 

My precious love called me her star player. What does this mean? Is she telling the group we are in an exclusive arrangement? I’m ready to fly with my Venus as my navigator. She didn’t have to protect me from Amber, I have the moral fiber of a … I couldn’t come with an image that fit. What’s wrong with Amber modeling for me? She probably want’s my opinion if her outfit will help her find  future employment when she’s fully released from prison. I’m going to put in a good word with Mother about Amber. Nicole could use some help.

“Have you thought this one through?”

“Why are you back? I thought you left,” I asked my conscience.

“I go where you go.”

“I don’t remember you ever being with me before.”

“I was always with you, but you stuffed me so far back into the recesses of your consciousness I couldn’t see daylight.”

“I was happy when you were stuck back there. Why didn’t you leave well enough alone,” I said.

“You opened the door to my prison and let me out when you fell in love with J. Now, I’m free and I’m going to torment you until you get your act together.”

“Did falling in love do this?”

“I’m afraid so,” said my conscience.

“But, Uncle Jeffrey said, “If it feels right it is right. I think I’ll give Amber permission to take off her sweatsuit. She can’t see you and only I can hear you.”

“Are you sure you want to do this?  How will you feel if you spend the night with Amber?”

“Great. Exhilarated.”

“How will you feel when J asks you how you enjoyed your night?”

“Who’s going to put that question in her head? You wouldn’t?”

“Oh, yes. I’ll make sure it goes off like an alarm clock and it will ring until she answers it.”

“Okay, the sweatsuit stays, but you are no fun. No fun at all.” Between J’s voice and my nagging conscience, my hopes for an early work day were dashed. 

J opened the door. She stood there looking like Aphrodite. My sex goddess. 

“Are you okay, Doctor M? Who were you talking to?” J asked. 

My mind slammed into a brick wall at one-hundred miles an hour. My gaze riveted on God’s masterpiece. If it were true that tongues could be tied, mine was braided into a thousand tiny knots. 

J kept the group in the outer office. She came over to me and bent over to speak so only I could hear. Her breath was as sweet as the fragrance of honeysuckle. Her skin as smooth as a new born baby’s skin.

“Ouch. Why’d you do that?” I said after J smacked me on my cheek.

“You’re losing it. You’ve got to get out of the love funk. Stop being obsessed with me.”

“I can’t help myself. Will you take a selfie and text it to me so I can have a tattoo made of your image on my heart? Ouch.”

“Earth to Double M. It’s group time.”

I heard J mutter a prayer, “Dear God in heaven, why me? I’m a hard working black woman. I go to church every Sunday. I honor my mother and father. I was the first in the family to graduate from high school and college. I don’t lie. I don’t cheat on my taxes. I’m kind and respectful to most people. Why did you put this man in my life? He is a burden almost too much to bear.”

Trust Fund Babe ~ 19 A Satire

Chapter 19

I ate dinner with Mother and Father. Mother sat at one end of the ten foot cherry table. Father at the other end. Me on the side placed exactly the middle. My place setting was not one centimeter to the left or to the right. It sat exactly in the middle. Mother is obsessive compulsive about order. According to Mother, everyone eating dinner arrives precisely at seven-thirty. Arriving a fraction of a minute late brings an icy glare from the ice maiden. Father and I stood behind our chairs until Mother nodded. She nodded in a way that let both Father and I know she is in charge. I notice she has a bit of a glow, then I remembered today was her day with Oscar. I wonder if she had a happy ending. I decide this may not be an appropriate question for the heir apparent to ask his mother.

Once we sat, Mother placed her two cold, passionless hands palm down on the table. I wondered if there was any blood circulating in her fingers. I saw similar fingers several years ago on an episode of the walking dead. She looked first at me and said, “Martin, where is your tie?”

I said, “I don’t know. The last time I wore a tie was for Grandmother Houston’s funeral. Nicole tied it for me.”

“Martin, you are going to have to be comfortable wearing a tie if you want to go anyplace in this world.”

“Can Nicole tie it for me?”

“Martin, Nicole is not in your class. You have to stop fixating on her body. Think about her net wealth,” said Mother. She has a way of making clear what is important to her.

I was feeling feisty. I get it. I’m upset over J going drinking without me. I’m worried J will quit. I don’t know what I’ll do with my life If J walks out of it. I made a mental note to ask her about her net worth. 

I reacted to Mother and said, “Mother, I am thirty-three years old. I am living at home. Each time I bring a woman home to spend the night you lecture me the next morning about practicing safe sex. I don’t know how to work. I’ve worked for two days and I’m overwhelmed. I’m burned out. I want a life. I want my trust fund. I want J to accept my marriage proposal. I don’t want to live with you and Father. I don’t mind Nicole, but you two will be history.”

Mother’s back stiffened. She moved her head slightly away from me toward Father. She looked like a Canadian goose. Unlike a Canadian goose’s neck, her’s is wrinkled. If I mention the wrinkles she’ll be in surgery tomorrow to have them removed. She pointed her beak at Father. “Father?”

“Yes, Mother.”

“We’re you listening to Martin?”

“I didn’t miss a word, Mother.”

“Please correct his thinking so I won’t lose my appetite.”

I didn’t know what my thinking had to do with her appetite. I spoke before Father had a chance to speak, “If I may?” I said not asking permission. “Mother, did Oscar cut the massage session short today?”

“Why, yes. How did you know,” she said.

“I have a feeling you didn’t get everything you expected from the massage and you are taking this out on me. I have not worn a tie to the dinner table since I went to college.”

Mother looked at me and said, “Let’s leave Oscar and my massage out of this. Father?”

“Son?” Father started right on cue.


“I know work is maddening, I’ve never experienced it and I never had a trust fund. Grandfather Sanderstuff didn’t believe in work for the wealthy. He always said, “The wealthy need time to think. Those not wealthy need to serve the wealthy. These words are as true today as when he sat me on his knee and made me memorize them.”

“You made me memorize it when I was three, Father. What’s your point.” 

“Mother and I had a long talk last night. We want to meet your betrothed.”

“That’s my problem, Father. I betrothed her. She didn’t accept my brothel. She said she’d rather betroth a gorilla than betroth me if we were the last two people on earth.”

Mother chuckled, “Oh, Martin. Surely, you can see through the very flimsy façade she placed in front of you?”

Suddenly I saw J dressed in only stilettos, her body gesturing and gyrating back and forth toward me. Then, the voice of the ice maiden.

“Martin! Martin! You’re glazed over. Pay attention. When you see Ms. J tomorrow, casually ask her how much she will inherent. I assume she is an only child.”

“She has a brother, Mother. His name is Dante.”

Mother clasped her right hand over her tiny right breast. A look of rapture filled her face. She said, “Oh good heavens, he was named after the Italian poet Dante Alighieri. I can’t wait to meet this family. Is Dante a poet like his name sake? Please invite him for dinner, Martin.”

How do I tell Mother and Father Dante is doing 8 to 15 years for burglary with a deadly weapon. I took an evasive course of action, “Dante’s calendar is filled to the maximum for the next ten years.”

“Surely, Martin, Ms. J can pull some strings and help her brother break some of those appointments. After all, it’s not everyday a Sanderstuff invites you to dine. Tell Ms. J to tell Dante that we’ll invite only the wealthy to dinner, those who believe a million dollars is spare cash.”

“Good one, Mother,” said Father giving a chuckle that sounded more like a gerbil grunting when it’s having a bowel movement.

“I’ll mention it, Mother.”

“Very good. I’ll have Victor get started on planning the wedding for Ms. J and you. We’ll make it two years from now. It will be perfect. Of course, I’ll have to have a nip and tuck here and there. Oscar will have to help me firm up. It’s time to eat, I’m famished. Isn’t wonderful how we can talk about difficult issues and resolve them. It’s what the wealthy do, Martin. Never forget that.”

“I won’t, Mother,” I said relegating myself to living the rest of my life as an adult child living in my Mother and Father’s mansion. At the peak moment of self-loathing, my cell phone vibrated, I checked my text message and my heart did three orbits around planet Earth. The text read, Sorry I left the way I did. I should have smacked you aside the head and given you a good kick in the ass instead of walking out. Don’t think you have my phone number, this text is from a throw away phone. I still don’t trust you.

It was J’s way of saying she loves me.

She’s A Snob’s Snob

I feel like I’m walking in quicksand. I’m sinking deeper and deeper into La Flor’s world. Yesterday, La Flor told me her resume matched up perfectly with a job opening working for Big Carmen in his “other” business. You know about his “other” business. She invited me to work for Big Carmen. I passed, again. I hired a plumber to unclog my toilet after O’Leary stopped by to use it. I didn’t realize donuts had that much fiber. My front door is back on its hinges. I hope LC remembers to use the nob instead of his shoulder the next time he opens it. I’m going to talk La Flor out of working for Big Carmen. Let’s see how it goes.

La Flor and LC were out late last night, they’re sleeping in this morning. The house is quiet, until I hear, “LC, please get me a cup of coffee. I can smell it. Ray must have made it for me.”


LC walked out of the bedroom in his pajama bottoms, hairy chest, disheveled hear, rubbing his eyes. It’s not his best look. He sees me, “Ray-mo is dis what they calls da break of day?”

I ignored his question. I already have La Flor’s coffee in her favorite mug, the one with her image on the side, “It’s over there, LC. Do you have a hangover?”

LC pretended as he didn’t hear me. He walked over to the coffee maker and grabbed hold of La Flor’s coffee cup, “Do use tinks, my beautiful, tough, and edgy woman will notice if I takes a sippy?”

“What do you think, LC? I’m not helping you if you do,” I said.

“Geez, can I has a sippy of yours?” said LC.

LC took my cup and walked back to the bedroom. A moment later LC reappeared, “Ray-mo, use got any bagels left? I got to toast one, spread cream cheese on it, cut it into fourths, and brings it with a nappy to my beautiful, tough, and edgy woman.”

“Yes, there are two bagels left, I was saving one for …”

“Me? Tanks. I won’t forgets dis,” said LC.

Dear reader, do you think this is a one time occurrence? I think not. It happens at least five times a week. LC is getting in shape running back and forth from the bedroom waiting on La Flor. He doesn’t seem to mind. A hour later, La Flor makes her entrance. I’ll rephrase that, the queen makes her entrance. Not a hair out of place, makeup perfectly applied, clothes and attitude – casual chic.

“La Flor, we need to talk. You can’t work for Big Carmen,” I said.

“Ray, Ray, Ray. You are the epitome of  jealousy. You cringe when others are successful. You envy brilliant minds like Big Carmen’s and mine. You become so insecure when our shadows fall upon you.”

So much for a dialogue this morning.

“You’ve accepted the job? Do you know what this means? Are you ready to face the consequences?”

“Those are the wrong questions, Ray. You should ask, “Can I throw a party for you for being so successful? That would be good for starters.”

“Let’s have a civil discussion, La Flor. What will you be doing?” I asked.

“It’s under negotiations. One possibility is to be wheelman?”

“Wheelman? Do you know what a wheelman is?”

“Ray, I was born on the weekend, I’m not sure which one. Can you help me here. Another possibility is connoisseur of acquired property, especially jewelry. And, there’s a third option, it’s my fav,” said La Flor.

“Which is?” I asked.

“Teaming with LC so the Feds and local police don’t get too interested.”

“Did use call me, beautiful, tough, and edgy one? What does use need? I am at use beck and call. I am use dog and pony show. I am use gopher. What use wants, considers it done.”

“I see your teamwork is already paying off,” I said.

“Listen, Ray. I’m only going to say this to you. I want you to go with LC and me tonight. We’re going to case Francine Peony’s mansion.”

“Francine Peony, the famous writer? She’s always on the talk shows. Your going rob her place?”

“No. Big Carmen acquired an invitation to her party so the three of us can go. You can help us take notes of her jewelry, paintings, and other expensive items and report to Big Carmen.”

“You can’t do that,” I said.

“Francine is the snob’s snob. A little humility will be good for her. Now don’t say a word.”

Before I can speak, “Open up, it’s the police.”

“LC, let O’Leary in,” I said.

O’Leary comes in carrying a cup of to go coffee and a bag from MacDonald’s. “I’m on break. I don’t like to eat alone, so’s I taught I’d stop by.”

“Is that a happy meal?” I said.

O’Leary nods. “I skip the donuts today to keep my weight down. I like to keep my snacks light so’s I can keep trim and fit.”

I can’t see his belt. His belly is smothering it.

“Before I sits down. I’m going to turn around. Tell me if use can see my wire.”

“You’re wired,” I said.

“You betcha.”

“Who you after?” I asked, worried it was someone in the house.

“I’m not quite sure, but when I find them, I’ll know.” O’Leary turned around.

I said, “This is not police department issue. You going rogue?”

“How did you know?” asked O’Leary.

“You’re wearing the wire on the outside of your coat.”

Oh my. What’s going to happen at Francine Peon’s party? Come by tomorrow to find out.

She Have A Twin Sister?

“Why do I have to drive? Why are we sitting in a car on a dark street near the Fur Palace? Why are you two making out in the backseat and I have a small cold pizza from Carmen’s Pizzeria?”

No Answer. Message not received in the back seat. Only heavy breathing.

A beat up pickup pulls in front of me. It’s O’Leary.

O’Leary gets out of the pickup, walks over to the passenger side door, opens it, sees my half eaten, cold pizza on the seat. O’Leary says, “I’m hungry do you mind if I have a piece?”

“Have it all, I’m finished,” I said.

O’Leary slid into the passenger side. He layered the four pieces of pizza, opened his mouth and slid the pizza inside. After he finished chewing,  he said, “This way I can tell my doc I only ate one piece.” He looked into the backseat, “Great cover, I got to hand it to them, nobody can figure them to be on stakeout. It almost looks real, what they’re doing.”

“Yah, they got it all together,” I said.

“She have a twin sister? I’m thinking of going back on the market after my bad breakup,” said O’Leary jerking a thumb over his shoulder.

“Not that I know of,” I said.

“I’m gonna hit the gym foist. I wanna lose these love handles, drop my double chin, trim my waist down about seven inches. How long you think it’s gonna take?”

I want to say an eternity. I hold my thought and said, “Oh, about two to three weeks. You have high metabolism. I can tell.”

A voice from the back.

“O’Leary, use wanna go out wit Gina Abbrighi? I can fix use up. She jus got done wit a bad breakup so use two got something in common,” said LC.

Yah, nobody likes either one. My thought remained silent.

I thought I heard the B word coming from the back seat, but I’m not sure and besides, it’s a family blog.

“Feed her donuts, O’Leary. She loves them. She’d like a dozen donuts more than a dozen roses,” said La Flor in a faux sincere voice.

“Gives me a week to go to them gym. I tink I’ll start laying off broccoli and spinach. Those go straight from the lips to the hips,” said O’Leary.

“Where’d you hear that?” I asked.

“From Joey G. He owns Joey’s donut shop.”

O’Leary felt his cell vibrate. He took it out of his pocket. Turned it on, read the text message. “French Furs was hit on the other side of town.”

O’Leary turned to the backseat, “They got some smarts; don’t know how they figured we’d be watching dis place; they hit Frenchy’s Furs on the udder side of town.”

“We’ll stay a few more minutes O’Leary in case they try to hit the Fur Palace knowing you left,” said La Flor.

“Use got brains to go wit that beauty,” said O’Leary as he closed the passenger side door.

“Besides, LC and me have a little unfinished business. Ray, keep watching the Fur Palace and turn the music up high.”

I don’t even have a cold cup of lousy coffee like they do on a TV stakeout.