Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Vinnie the Plumber

I don't think my face (in the photo above) adequately conveys my horror at Jewell Marceau's behavior during a particular incident a few weeks ago. Well, upon second glance, maybe it does. Here's the story behind the alarming photo:

Last year Jewell and I decided to go work for a bookmaker after the federal government banned online gambling in the United States. We saw an opportunity to capitalize on the frustration of numerous, frustrated Internet sportsbetters. As it happened I knew a bookie who always came into the club where I danced. Everybody called him "Vinnie the Plumber". I once asked him how he came to have the moniker and he greeted my question with cool silence and an inscrutable expression. Aside from that one occasion he had always been friendly. He seemed like the perfect guy to help facilitate my entry into the world of illegal gaming so I inquired if he needed any office help. Imagine my delight when he hired me on the spot!

My first day on the job went great. I poured coffee for everyone in the morning, sat around all day, and then mixed martinis for Vinnie and his employees in the evening. He thanked me for a job well done so I showed him a photo of Jewell and told him that she would love to work for him too.

"Bring her on in!" he crowed magnanimously after he passed the photo around the room.

Jewell and I showed up for duty the next day. Thus began a span of several weeks in which Jewell and I did nothing except, serve coffee, pour drinks, and occasionally answer the phone. Jewell became antsy but I reassured her that we would have ample opportunity to prove ourselves invaluable to the organization. Less than two days later all the guys left early to hit a strip club. Vinnie informed me that he was expecting an important phone call and that I needed to take down some numbers when I answered the phone.

"It's important that you get the numbers right, doll." he told me. "Don't be hitting that pitcher of martinis before you take this call."

I smiled and winked at him as he shuffled out the door.

"You better let me answer." Jewell said after we heard his car heading down the driveway. "You always screw things up."

I almost started to argue with her, but then thought the better of it.

"Fine." I replied as I sauntered over to a glass pitcher and began pouring myself a martini. "Go ahead and answer the phone."

I began getting sloshed and Jewell started getting bored after about an hour. Finally she sighed and said:

"I'm going to smoke a cigarette outside. Just wave at me through the glass if the phone rings."

I nodded my assent and lay back in my naugahyde recliner as she strode outdoors. The phone rang. I thought "oh, what the heck" and I picked it up.

"Where's Vinnie?" a gruff voice demanded.

"He's not in. May I take a message?" I purred into the receiver.

"You the one who's supposed to take down the numbers for the line?" he asked.

"Why, yes, that would be me." I confirmed.

"OK, you ready?" he said.

"Yes, I'm ready." I lied.

I fumbled around for a pen and a piece of paper as he began rattling off names of cities and numbers. He'd gotten halfway through his spiel before I finally found a working pen.

"Ya got all that?" he asked when he finished speaking.

"Uh, yeah." I responded.

"Good." he said before he hung up and the line went dead.

The whole phone call was very short and Jewell walked back in the room just as I was replacing the receiver in the cradle.

"Who were you talking to?" she demanded, her eyes narrowed into slits.

"That was Vinnie's guy." I said. "I've got all the info."

She snatched the paper out of my hand.

"What is all this chicken scratch and why are there question marks on the page?" she demanded with rising alarm.

"Um, I didn't catch a few of the numbers.. " I admitted. "but I think I can more or less remember what he said."

"What?!" Jewell screeched at me.

"Listen.. we'll just make up some numbers and no one will ever know." I reasoned with her.

Jewell looked like she was beginning to hyperventilate.

"You have got to calm down." I admonished her. "Vinnie might come back any minute so don't make a scene! The only way we will get caught is if he sees you acting like this!"

Jewell did not bother to respond with words. She picked up a thick file folder and hit me in the face with it. I was getting really scared. Vinnie would know something was very wrong if he walked in and saw her behaving like this! I had to calm her the fuck down. All of a sudden the nickname "Vinnie the Plumber" took on a type of eerie significance in my mind. I did not want to learn the reason for his catchy moniker so I threw every ounce of my strength into subduing Jewell and making her see the light..

Who won this nasty battle? Are Jewell and I still in the bookmaking game? Are we still alive? Join http://www.tanyadanielle.com/ now to see the entire "Office Brawl" gallery and find out all the answers!

- XXOO Tanya


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