One Lonely Shoe Part 2/?

 

Author's Note: I kinda messed with some facts as far as the current Philippine political climate. In case you're interested, the current president (whose name really is Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) was the first elected official and shortly after she came to power, had the former president arrested and jailed. Many people are protesting her ability to govern and consider her elitist, and she relies on the military to prevent "anarchy." Also, in Zamboanga, three American captives are being held hostage by Muslim extremists. The Philippine government has refused US money and the terrorists claimed to have killed one of the Americans- though this has not been confirmed. They have already executed some Filipinos. The hostage situation continues, as far as I know. I do not intend to offend any one- just merely commenting on a political situation and making it partly fiction.

 

***

Margaret is a very excitable gal, and since I am the assistant with the most sang-froid, I am generally appointed to be the one to calm her down.

Okay, I'm not really "appointed." I'm voted into doing it. Every time. Alas, we are a democracy. A democracy that consistently, without fail, asks me to be the voice of reason to Margaret's paranoia on almost a daily basis.

Personally, I think Kathy should do it. She has nothing better to do other than steal and snarf down Sam's food. (And yet, I'm the one with the office rep for duplicity. How??? How???)

So off to Leo's office I went but for the grace of God and the Assistants' Democratic Vote.

Margaret was not fearing for her life. Nor was she heartbroken or in tears. This time, she was royally pissed.

"I can't go to the embassy ball," she grumbled, hanging up the phone.

"What embassy ball?"

"The embassy ball. You know, white ties, fine cuisine, the President of the Philippines..."

"The President of the Philippines?"

"Yep."

"When's he coming?"

"It's a she."

"Pardon moi, when is she coming?"

"Friday, for the embassy..."

"Ball, yeah, got it. Why can't you go?"

"Well, you see, my sister? You know, the one that lives in Baltimore?"

I nodded. Margaret only has one sister. When Margaret gets overly upset, she goes into explanation hyperdrive. I settled into a chair. This was going to take a while, I had a feeling.

"Well, she and her husband decided to go to Florida to celebrate their anniversary- it's their fourth, no, their fifth... whatever, anyway, they're going to leave on Friday and they need me to watch their dog."

"Their dog?" She had to be kidding.

"Sergio, yeah. He's a greyhound. He's huge. He used to run in the races and all, but once he reached a certain age, they put him out to pasture and my sister bought him. Anyway, he gets real nervous when he's not around people and tears up the house and stuff so I have to baby-sit him."

"And you can't leave for a few hours to go to the thing?"

"Not unless I want to redecorate, reupholster and refurbish every room of her house. And Leo the fascist dictator in there does not pay me enough..."

"Whoa, whoa, back up. What did Leo do?"

"He scheduled the damn thing."

"The anniversary trip?" I was so confused. This happens to me once Margaret starts going. I lapse in and out of consciousness and become disoriented. Margaret Madness Syndrome, or something akin to that.

"No, the embassy ball. The President set up this thing months ago and specifically left it up to him whether he could have it this week or next week. And he picked..."

"This week. Yeah. So what can you do?"

"Nothing. I hate him," she pouted.

"C'mon, he's not that bad. Not as bad as some other bosses around here..." I gestured to Josh's office. "Did I tell you about him and the filing cabinet yesterday...."

I filled her in on Josh and his battles with the Filing Fiend of Hell, as I heard him curse it later in the afternoon.

Her spirits were considerably lifted- though she was still smarting over the scheduling conflict.

"Why don't you get somebody else to watch the dog for that night? I mean, it's just a couple hours, right? Pay 'em a few bucks and go to the ball."

"A dog-sitter! That's perfect!" Her face lit up. Then, just as quickly as she had perked up, her countenance drew into a frown. "I don't know any dog-sitters."

"Maybe there's some in the phone book."

We checked. No such luck.

"How 'bout a neighbor?"

"She has scary neighbors. One of them dances around naked in his living room listening to..."

"_I don't want to know_!" Then, a flash of brilliance came upon me. Josh says this happens to him all the time. I guess now I know how it feels. "What about Kathy? Ask her to watch Sergio." Take that, Assistant Democratic Vote!

"She's going."

"What?"

"She already bought a dress. She's going with some guy from accounting."

"She never told me! Nobody even told me there was a thing on Friday!" Out of the loop again. This is what I get for obsessing over Joshua and silly things like making sure he doesn't lose a limb.

"So you're not busy on Friday?" Hope reigned on her face. Damn. Walked straight into that one, didn't I? All righteous indignation and it bit me in the ass.

I sighed and resigned myself to my fate. A sentence for stupidity. "I'll watch the damn dog."

"Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!" she gushed, giving me a big hug. I had to keep reminding myself, "I like dogs..." so that I wouldn't throttle her.

Then she went on and on about some really hot Czech ambassador who was screaming at Leo that morning. He, of course, would be at the goddamn ball. No matter that it wasn't originally for him and that he really had no business being there. He was a hunk and he was going to the ball and I wasn't. I was babysitting a greyhound. I like dogs, I like dogs....

As I was leaving her office, I knew I got screwed. Viva democracy!

What I wouldn't give to be Socialist.

And that was how I got a date with Sergio for Friday night.

***

"You're late!" Donna rushed at me as I was briskly making my way into my office. Give me some credit- for a guy with a massive hangover, I moved pretty damn quick.

"Yeah, no sh-"

"You have staff in like..." she glanced at her watch, "Now. Pretty much now." She yanked my coat off, sending me full force forward into my office. Trying to stumble gracefully, is, by the way, a very difficult thing to do. Somehow I don't think I pulled it off.

She thrust files at me, screaming all the while. Well, at least, I thought she was screaming. She was probably talking in normal tones, but I was a man on the edge. Mice bellow at me when I get like that.

"Where the hell have you been? I've been calling your apartment..."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know..." As I had been dragging myself up from the carpet, I knocked my phone off the hook. I left it there and cursed at it when it made those beeping noises but there was no way in hell I was replacing it. Cuz if I went down, there was no way in hell I would have gotten up again.

She gave me a scrutinizing glare and wrinkled her nose in disgust. Damn. She knew. But then most people with even bad eyesight can tell when I've had one too many. At least, that's the rumor they like to prevaricate. I still hold that she knew because she has some kind of weird ass psychic thing going on. Either that or she's bugged my apartment with the same equipment she's got in my office.

"Get to staff, now," she ordered.

"Ja, mein damen commandant."

As I shuffled out of my office behind her, she went to her desk and grabbed her coffee mug. "One sip, Joshua."

I smiled. She was broken at last!

Or... not.

She glared, raised her index finger, and spoke sternly. "One sip. And only enough so your breath doesn't reek of beer when you open your big mouth to explain why you're late to staff."

I just grinned and took my allowed sip. It was damn good. No matter that I almost choked on it as she shoved me down the hall and wrenched the cup from my hand. That morning I drank from the cup of small victories, my friends.

Yeah. Don't hate me cuz I'm cool like that.

So I went to staff.

"How was school vouchers?" I asked sitting down next to Sam.

"Buried- so we hope," CJ replied.

"We got enough Senators to reject the proposal," Sam said, sipping from his coffee cup. I smugly reminded my growling stomach that I had enough coffee to last me for a while. The Victory Sip!

"Even Greggs will have to admit he lacks the vote, he can step down and we can move on," grumbled Toby. "To more important things. Like the embassy ball." And he glared at me.

The others followed suit. Damn. Leo just sat back in his chair with this smug expression on his face. A You've-Made-Your-Bed-Now-Lie-In-It-Without-Any-Help-From-Me kind of face mixed with a little bit of an Oh-How-I-Enjoy-Watching-You-Squirm grin.

"Let me just say that none of you thought this was a bad idea when I brought it up." Still glaring. Damn. "We just got vouchers off the agenda! C'mon- it won't be that awkward."

"Do you know of any commonalties between the Philippines and the Czech Republic?" Sam asked skeptically.

"You're gonna have two very important people in a room, with nothing to say to one another except 'move over, it's my turn to talk' as they vie for the President's attention!" CJ balked.

"They can talk about the weather!" I countered. "Don't they both have weather?"

Okay, maybe not the smartest thing to say. But at least people are no longer yelling at me. CJ was grinning, Sam sipped his coffee silently, and Leo still had on The Face.

Toby sighed. "This is not what I wanted to discuss. We have to bring up the hostage situ-"

Leo cut him off. "I think offending one dignitary per week is enough, don't you? If you bring up the hostage thing, you're gonna piss Arroyo off."

"So we piss her off! She's eating our food, the least we can do is tell her what we think of her!"

And off launched Toby on another one of his- balls are a waste of food without an agenda that potentially offends the guest- spiels. He apparently has no qualms about pissing people off- as long as he's the one who gets to do it. When I do it, it's encroaching into Toby Territory. Or something.

Anyway, he was ranting about a hostage situation that had taken place months before, when Muslim extremists held a three vacationing Americans hostage and threatened to execute them unless... well quite frankly, I'm a bit fuzzy on their motivation. Most things right now are a bit fuzzy. A Sip can only do so much. Anyway, they were vehement, they were nuts and they were fully ready to behead about two dozen Filipinos and our citizens.

Yeah- and you thought the guillotine was a thing of the past.

Actually, what kind of instrument they were planning to use on executing them is pretty fuzzy too but I'm sure it would have been nasty. The Muslims were protesting or something... whatever. The thing is, the government in its stubborn no-ransom policy wouldn't take our advice, or our assistance, and one of the hostages died. The other two will probably have bad dreams for the rest of their lives.

And Toby was angry. And remained so. And wants to transfer this anger onto the new president, who quells the protesters in the streets with armed force.

He has this thing for protesters, he really does. A love-hate relationship. One minute they're amateurs who shouldn't be allowed to hold signs and the next, he's willing to jeopardize foreign policy for them.

I pointed this out to the group.

Then it was made known that I jeopardize foreign policy unequivocally, every day that they let me speak to someone in importance. Which is probably why they don't let me do that much.

That, and I've never been very good with languages.

But then, I don't need to. I speak the International Language.

Yep, that's right. The International Language... of Love.

Which reminded me that I was a man without a date for a Philippine President roasting on Friday night.

So maybe I'm not fluent in that either. But hey- the Victory Sip! And I had not yet been mauled by the hunk of scrap metal in the corner of my office. True, I had barely spent two minutes in there so far today, but that's all the time a Filing Cabinet of Death needs to gore a man alive.

I was alive and well and glowing from coffee that was not mine.

Everything else would fall into place.

***

Josh would not stop blathering on about the coffee thing this morning. I swear, no one else but me would put up with this. Anybody else would have murdered him in inventive ways.

Drawn and quartered.

Tarred and feathered.

Chopped into teeny tiny pieces with a letter opener.

That day, quite frankly, I had decided that I would not mind if the filing cabinet eats him alive.

Then, to coin a phrase, I got a bit of my own back.

Josh was searching for a date. Now, generally this kind of thing would worry me into a state of half jealous- okay more than half jealous- frenzy and I would obsess for days.

But... he can't find one.

Yeah, I was happy. It was so adorable. Him, tearing his hair out over a date like that. You would have thought it was the Inaugural Ball or something.

He took me to the Inaugural Ball. Well, to be fair, we also worked through most of it, but hey- he took me. Because he can't get a date.

Mister I'm So Perfect, I Have Women Fawning Over Me Left and Right, can't get a date.

Then since I'm kinda one of those fawning women- I'm on the right, by the way- maybe I shouldn't really gloat so much.

"Why don't you use your normal method?" I had questioned.

"Normal method?" The man was confused beyond belief.

"Oops, I'm sorry, did I just step on your foot?"

"Oh, that method. Won't work."

"Really? And what earth-shattering occurrence clued you in?"

"Donna, this is serious."

"No, actually it's hilarious."

"I live for your amusement." If he hadn't been so insufferably sarcastic, I would have thought that was a sweet thing to say. But I just sat on the edge of his desk, swinging my legs back and forth as he looked for phone numbers of available females.

He kept clearing his throat- as if I would take it as a signal to leave. The poor man didn't want to be embarrassed as he pleaded on the phone! So I pretended not to hear and continued to mock him until Sam came in.

"Hey, Josh, ya busy?"

"He needs a date." I smiled.

"Huh?"

"What do you want, Sam?" sighed Josh.

"You need a date?"

"Sam, what do you want?" Sam, unfortunately, can get easily led off track. Damn, and I was having fun watching Josh squirm.

"Toby's ranting about Arroyo again and apparently the President agreed that he had a point."

"Oh God...."

"We're doing a verbal reprimand."

"How bad? A warning, a detention or a spanking?"

"Uh- somewhere between no more TV and no car priveleges."

"Ouch."

"You need a date?"

Big Josh sigh. I decided to respond for him. "For the embassy ball on Friday."

"Oh, yeah. That. Well, what about that girl at the thing..." Sam began making gestures and Josh started to make gestures and I lost my grip on the whole conversation.

"Oh, okay. Fine. What about Donna?" Sam pantomimed at me.

"I am previously engaged," I replied stuffily.

"What?" That shocked him.

Sam smiled. "That's great."

"I have a date of sorts..."

"Of sorts?" Poor man, his voice cracked.

"Uh-huh."

"See, Sam, wouldn't work," he said and I was pretty sure he was trying to cover up some disappointment. Well, I liked to think so.

"Okay then- well I have a diatribe to write so happy hunting..."

Josh tried to clear his throat again. I guess it goes without saying that I paid absolutely no attention.

"Uh, Donna, d'ya think you could, like, go do some stuff...out there..." he gestured to the bull pen, "for awhile.... I- I have to make some calls..."

"What kind of stuff?"

"Don't you have a memo to type or something?"

"All typed."

"A folder to file?"

"All filed."

"A solitaire record to beat?"

"Beaten it."

"Look, Miss Over-Achiever, could you get your rear end off my desk and go torment some one else?!"

"Well, there's no need to get hostile."

"I do not get hostile!"

"Yes you do, and you are right now."

"Go! Go now!"

I hopped down off the desk and couldn't resist one last comment: "Too bad Joey Lucas isn't in town since you've decided to gather rosebuds..."

He threw a file at me. What puerile behavior, honestly! Yet, it didn't come within three feet of me. That's cuz, Josh, no matter what he likes to say about being an athlete or an outdoorsman, has no skills whatsoever.

Unfortunately, in my happy mood, I was completely oblivious to the fact that I was about to eat crow....

***

One Lonely Shoe Part 3/?

Author: Nefret24

Disclaimers and stuff: see parts 1+2

Author's Note: Do recall that this takes place in early/mid second season, i.e. without MS crisis and no Mrs. L death....

 

****

So Donna had a date. Did I mind? No. I do not have any interest whatsoever in the personal life of my assistant. If she wants to date gomers by the dozen, so be it.

Okay, so that's a lot of bullshit. This I have come to know. Painfully, and long in coming, but yes, I admit, I do have an interest in Donna's love life.

But purely for professional reasons.

No, no, really.

She gets herself all worked up over these inadequate excuses for men, which causes her generally to leave early and skip out on important government business like getting me my dinner from the mess. And then she returns heartbroken and sniffly and full of All-Males-Are-Evil-Angst and I have to put up with soggy files and insults.

The federal government simply will not stand for this decidedly unprofessional behavior. Which is why I generally take it upon myself to sabotage her dates.

For her own good. And for the United States of America.

Yet, however, I am not always successful. Like today, for instance. After Sam left, I had decided to grill her on exactly what sort of engagement she had planned for Friday night:

"So... what's Friday night?" Kept it casual, like any normal topic that regular ole Josh would bring up.

 

The everyday crazy, jealous, saboteur Josh.

She gave me a weird look- and to tell the truth, it wasn't annoyance. Generally when I pry into her personal life- no, when I casually inquire after her personal life (much better), she gets huffy and throws things.

"I have a date."

"Yeah, so who's the lucky gom- guy?"

"His name happens to be Sergio." She had that odd half-smile on her face as she looked up from the folders she was sorting.

She had to be kidding. "Sergio? Ser-Gee-Oh. Any relation to Fabio?"

"Accent free, born and bred in the US of A."

"Then what, were his parents demented or something? Ser-Gee-Oh, dahl-ing, please pass the I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Butter..."

"You don't like his name?"

"I'm just saying you don't hear it used much anymore."

"I think you're jealous." She appeared to be very amused with the whole conversation. I thought that I was definitely missing something.

"What? Me? No! No. I think he's girly."

"I think you're jealous that I got a date and you didn't." Big Donna smile. Hell, and she's right. I hate that.

"I think he likes guys." Am I the comeback king or what?

"I think that you make way too many assumptions without thinking at all."

Oooh, a zinger from Donnatella. Probably on the mark with that one, but we Lymans are quite the proud bunch.

"No, it's just that I think really fast. Faster than most normal men."

"Ah, I see." I can't tell if she's agreeing with me or mocking me. Odds are, she's mocking me. I hate that too. If anyone's going to be mocking others, it ought to be me.

"All that know me are cowed by my intellectual prowess," I declared, waving my arms to the bullpen with a sweeping gesture that I think I can without hesitation call, in a word, mighty.

"And this would be who?"

"Whom. Let's be grammatically correct, Ms. Moss."

"Oh, let's, Mr. Pedant."

"I am not a pedant!" Goddammit if my voice didn't crack when I yelled... er, stated that in perhaps a slightly loud voice.

"Yes you are." And she got up to leave.

"Slink away, inferior orator, but know that greater men than you have come before me and failed to meet my standards."

"You're too magnanimous, Mr. Pedant."

"AM NOT!"

Now the little people who work in the bullpen- mostly interns and other people whose names I don't know but I fake it til I make it- or call them any name that pops into my head- started to look at me funny cuz I think I said that a bit loud again.

Whatever. I'd just like to state for the record that Joshua Lyman is not a girly man, nor is he a pedant and his intellectual prowess has reduced men of great stature to shriveling and weepy children.

And he at that moment he was available to any female that would have him for a date on Friday night. Even that freaky ass chick Kathy Bates played in Misery would have sufficed... okay, well, maybe not. I could just probably do better than an overweight, homegrown psychopath.

That was a very conceited little thing I did there and looking back on it does not bolster the ole Lyman ego but hey, nuthin' but the truth.

And in the spirit of all this honesty, I have to admit that Donna's little comment about Joey Lucas did spark some hope. I mean, she'd go out with me. That is, if she wasn't in California.

But see, I didn't know for sure where she was. She moves around. She visits places. She's a mover and a shaker. She visits DC a lot.

She could be here at any time and there is no written law that says I would know about it. Should be, but hey, it's not the case.

As it turns out, she was. In DC.

Exceptionally bizarre. The Lyman luck strikes again. See, most people follow that adage that if you're lucky in cards, you're unlucky in love and vice versa.

I suck at cards. Just ask Sam- I have a really lousy poker face. He must have taken me for a couple hundred bucks throughout our whole acquaintance cuz we like to have little tests of manhood called Poker Night. Poker Night generally occurs when I'm drunk so I confess that this could be partially the reason why Sam kicks my butt.

But what I was trying to say was that while I'm unlucky at cards, I'm lucky in everything else and hey, Joey Lucas was in town when I needed a date.

To quote a very inconsiderate assistant, it was the season of rosebud gathering.

Now, how did I know she was in town? I just knew. I'm psychically connected like that and have powerful spy satellites at my disposal.

And possibly I heard from my friend at Justice that he had been talking with a very nice senator from Nevada who had a very nice, very pretty, and very deaf pollster working for him on a little project here for the next week and a half.

And being the Deputy Chief of Staff typically affords you things like phone numbers to senators' offices- and sometimes even their homes.

Yeah, I love my job.

Which is pretty much how the Joey-Sergio Bloodbath o' the Century began.

****

Josh is a very transparent man. He likes to pretend that he is completely disinterested in my personal life. He is either deeply in denial or he really sucks at being disinterested- cuz generally some freaky ass big-brother instinct kicks in and we have to start Twenty Questions every time he hears I have a date.

I didn't have the willpower to tell him that Sergio was a dog. I was having too much fun watching him make a fool of himself. More than usual, that is.

He kept attempting to tip-toe over to his door when I wasn't looking in some weird attempt for stealth-which he cannot do, cuz he tiptoes like a parade of elephants- and then closing the door whenever he had to make one of "those" calls. Those please-please-go-out-with-me-but-don't-give-me-any-responsibility-the-day-after-like-remembering-your-name-type calls.

It was hilarious. A girl can't find better entertainment. Unless, perhaps, you count the time he spilled coffee on his pants and was skulking around his office in his boxer shorts all morning... but that's another story for another day.

Anyway, I was having a pretty pleasant sort of day until Josh courteously informed me that Joey -as I like to call her- "Friggin' " Lucas was in town and snuck back into his lair, closing the door quietly behind him and stuffily asking not to be disturbed.

Then my day pretty much sucked.

Insufferable Obnoxious Josh had returned, making numerous references to his confirmed date on Friday.

"Yeah, you are really somethin', Josh, " I had conceded. Once. And only once.

He smiled.

"Not only did you finally ask out a girl, but a guy too! All in one foul swoop! Tell me, are you going to get Kenny a boutineirre to match Joey's corsage?"

The smile fell. All those innuendos about sexual prowess and all those veiled hints about good times crumbled. Apparently, it had finally dawned upon him that those kind of things might be awkward to fulfill under the watchful eye of a certain pollster's interpreter.

"Learn sign language yet, Joshua?" I smirked.

He grumbled unintelligibly- something about not needing words for the International Language- what the hell is up with that?- and spent the rest of the afternoon tossing his head back and forth, as if he had a long mane of hair and saying, "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" with a thick accent. The voice was pure Obnoxious Josh but the whole head tossing thing was completely disconcerting. It looked like he was having some kind of bizarre, uncontrollable spasm that should be reported to medical personnel immediately.

Sam agreed with me. He happened by the bullpen and stopped by my desk. Using a conspiratorial whisper, he asked me if Josh was in his right mind.

"Is he ever?"

"Point taken. But he's been doing this thing..."

"With his head."

"Tossing it from side to side."

"Yep." I nodded.

"So I'm not alone in this?"

"Nope."

"Does he need a doctor?"

"No, he needs a psychiatrist. He's trying to be Fabio."

"Fabio? The butter guy?"

"The very same."

"Why would he want to be the butter guy?"

"Cuz he's Josh and he's twisted that way," I sighed.

"I don't even think he's working anymore." Just then, Toby passed by. "Hey, Toby, you remember Fabio? That guy who did the commercials for the butter?"

"Yes, and before you begin, I don't even want to know why you're bringing him up..."

"What is he doing? You know, I don't think he makes those commercials anymore..." wondered Sam aloud.

"Thank God," said Toby. "I'm going to go get some coffee and pretend I don't know you people."

"Maybe he sits at home and makes toast," I offered.

"Well, I'm sure he got a lot of free butter," conceded Sam.

"It isn't really butter though, it's..."

And in the middle of sharing my knowledge of food products with Sam, a "Hey Don-na" in a forced accent came over my intercom. I gave Sam a do-you-see-what-I-put-up-with glare.

"He's talking like him too?"

"Yes, Sam."

"Don-naaa..." the intercom said again.

"Joshua..."

"I can't find the Kallender file and..."

"And what?"

"I seem to bring myself to admit that this is not butter..."

Sam giggled. After I glared at him, he stopped pretty damn quick.

"Josh, I refuse to continue working today until you resume your normal voice and refrain from all references to butter, margarine and other condiments."

Josh came out of his office and placed his hand on the door frame. He began to do the weird head tossing thing again. Sam tried to hide his smile underneath his hand and I glared.

Toby walked by and did a double take at seeing Josh. He stopped and said," You really should see a specialist about that twitch you've got there."

Josh stopped and looked confused. Sam lost the battle for composure and laughed.

"Sam, I believe you have a reprimand to write..." he added, glaring at him.

"Yeah, sure, in a minute..."

"Like now, cuz last time I checked you still had no punctuation and talking about some butter guy is not going to remedy that!"

"Imagery, Toby! It's called imagery!" And the two of them continued to bicker down the hallway to the communications offices.

"Do you see what you've started?" I said to Josh.

He was watching them walk away. "Do I have a twitch?"

"Yes. Yes you do." I'm too tired to explain that they all think he's ill because of this singular attempt to provoke me.

"I do? I never knew I had a twitch..."

"You'll get over it, I'm sure..."

"Is it like a Herbert Lom twitch?"

"Your eye isn't the problem, it's the head movements that does it..."

"I was being Fabio!" Ah, realization had set in. Good- cuz I really didn't need a neurotic Josh asking me medical questions about the nature of his twitch.

"So you thought."

"You don't get the same effect without the hair I suppose..."

"No, cuz it looks like you have a twitch."

"Do you think I'd look good with long hair?"

"God, no."

"I should grow it long and then I could toss it from side to side..."

"And look like a complete idiot."

"Fabio doesn't look like an idiot- so you say."

"So I did say- cuz he looks good with long hair. You would look horrible with long hair and so I say again: you'd look like a complete idiot."

"Thanks for the vote of confidence."

"Anytime."

"So are you going to get me the Kallender file?"

"Would it kill you to get it yourself?"
"I have a medical condition!"

"Terminal stupidity. Here's your file."

"Did I tell you of the school voucher smack-down?"

"No, you did not."

"The WWF has rarely seen such slaughter."

"You didn't take a folding chair to Greggs, did you?"

"No- but I bet it feels like I did. My intellectual prowess, you know..."

"Oh, brother."

So it was all settled by the end of the day. I got the key to Margaret's sister's house and scheduled lunch with her for a briefing on what to do with Sergio and what purse she should take with her to the ball.

Josh was confirmed to go with Joey (and consequently, Kenny) and was feeling pretty smug about it, yet conceeding to my request, mentioned butter only five more times during the remainder of the evening. Not really a victory, but the best I can do when Josh gets in one of those moods.

At least he stopped doing the voice. Once he answered the phone "in character" and it was Leo. I shudder to think what he thinks is going on over here.

Josh was still asking me questions about Sergio and I kept making up vague answers and/or changing the subject. He also seemed bent on comparing my "date" and his with Joey.

I think since his is actually human - though on my more resentful days, I have doubted that and considered her rather as the spawn of Satan- that he has one-upped me in this case.

Ah well. There's always tomorrow.

****

TBC...

 

 

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