Apr 17 2008


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“Really, is that all you do is sit around here writing all day, then go to whatever party you can dig up with your yuppified friends on Friday night?” Brigid said. “Lord, and I thought I was dull. You need to get out more!”

“That’s not all I do,” said Greg.

She crossed her arms and cocked her head. “No?”

“Sometimes I go to used bookstores.”


“Besides, you’re one to talk. You go to work, come home late, go to work, come home late, invite yourself along with me to whatever party I can dig up with my yuppified friends on Friday, and complain about it the whole time. I don’t see how that gives you any room to criticize.”

“Very funny.”

“Anyway, I might be more interesting than you think. You don’t know how I spend my days; I could be living a secret life of danger and intrigue, of which you have no inkling because if you found out about it I’d have to kill you. How would you know? This persona you know of as ‘Greg Bumerli, mild-mannered and somewhat eccentric writer,’ could be a complete fabrication.”

“If it is, it’s not a very good one,” Brigid said.

“All part of its brilliance!” Greg said. “Its sheer unlikeliness makes you inclined to believe it, because obviously nobody would come up with a cover story like that.”

The ringing of the phone interrupted this dispute, causing both them to jump. Greg scooped it up immediately. “Greg here. Yes? Yes.” He looked over at Brigid with narrowed eyes. “I can’t talk right now, darling,” he said in a conspiratorial tone. “Hey diddle, diddle, the cat and the fiddle. The banjo becomes angry at midnight.” A few seconds later, he added, “I think you know precisely what I’m talking about,” and hung up.

“Cute,” said Brigid.

“What?” said Greg.

She tapped on the cradle of the phone, and said, “Although it would have been more convincing if the caller ID didn’t say ‘WALL STREET JOURNAL SUBSCRIPTIONS, THE’ in big letters.”

Greg looked at the cradle, looked at Brigid, looked at the cradle again, then looked at Brigid again. “Oh yes! Wall Street Journal! Yes. That’s who it was. Totally The Wall Street Journal. Not a devastatingly-attractive double-agent I’ve been seducing for information. I don’t know where you get these ideas! Ha, ha, ha!” He waved a hand airily, then fled for his room.

Brigid watched him go. “Silly bastard,” she finally said, and hit the caller ID “erase” button.

-The Gneech

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