Nice Work if You Can Get It

    I was thinking yesterday, as I pulled a wad of $20 bills out of my bra to send to the evil corporation ConEd, that sometimes my secret job is a hell of a lot of fun.  

     Don’t get me wrong–I remain committed to quitting by July, at the latest.  But it’s still damned entertaining sometimes, and when the wind blows in the right direction, it can be very, very lucrative (I was never a top earner, despite having cultivated a decent skill-set and a deep personal interest in S&M–I have zero hustle, I don’t do the sexy stuff, and I won’t do things that gross me out).

   Remember terror-and-blackmail Joey, from Tales from the Biz?  Well, sure enough, he doesn’t find me as scary as he used to, so he’s fallen down on his game.  I decided that I needed to step it up a little bit.

    Now, as I said before, I’ve never actually called him or made good on any of my threats to fuck up his life.  I just can’t.  I’m not cruel enough.  I don’t want to hurt his relationships.

    Well, yesterday I decided that I’d shake it up a little.  Put a little fear of God in the man.  The House was slow and the marks on my back were costing me business.  

       I ran out to a payphone (the Surgeon taught me that) and dropped two quarters on Joey.  What an excellent investment that was!  

       Ring!  Ring!  He picks up.

      “Hi, is this Joey (Surname)?”


        “Joey of (street address)?”


       “You know, it really hurt my feelings that you didn’t give me anything for my birthday.  Not even a card!  I was complaining about it to the others.  Know what we did?”

        Dead silence.  I’m sure he was either jerking off or making a ligature out of his belt to hang himself with.  

        “We decided to make a card for you!  We printed out those pictures I took of you with my cell phone–I like that wacky one of you holding up your driver’s license and that copy of the New York Times the best–and put them into a card for me.  We made a place for you to sign inside!  When can you come in to see it?  It’s sitting out with the others in the consultation room with my cake!”

         “Other people can see it?  It’s laying out?”  his voice is high and screechy, which cracks me up.


           “You have to take it down!”

             “Why should I?  It’s a big hit!  People ask about it!”

             Sure enough, Joey rolled through the Lincoln tunnel and in to see me within the hour.  He was sweating and shaking.  I haven’t seen him that upset in a long time.  

              I took money out of his wallet without asking.  I would normally never do that to someone, but I was 99% sure that he’d like that (and I would have given it back if he protested).  If the babbling emails he sent me were any indication, my intuition was right.  

             Nice work if you can get it!  

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