Hardboiled just don’t get old. When I find myself sweating over a story or characters, pretty much all I have to do is turn on cable news for inspiration. In these days of 24/7 of the number of soap bubbles in a soap dish, granted you have to filter out the latest insignificant brouhaha about one of them Kardasians – not to be confused with the scaly alien Cardassians on Star Trek: Next Generation, kind of junior league Klingons — but once you do that, there’s some awfully juicy stuff floating around out there.
Submitted for your approval; the story of one Patrick J. Sullivan. For twenty years Mr. Sullivan served as the high sheriff of Arapahoe County, Colorado. Fact this law-and-order was named sheriff of the year in 2001. Recently he was busted for offering a man meth in exchange for sex. He was cuffed, booked and jailed in the Patrick J. Sullivan Detention Facility.
Or take Mister Please, Please, Please, Black Walnut, Herman “Big Daddy” Cain. Here’s a cat when the first of several sexual harassment allegations surfaced about him, initially stated as if reading from the Watergate textbook of Stonewalling, he had no recollection of any sort of settlement in this regard. Then as evidence mounted to the contrary, he countered as if it were semantics, “you say settlement, I say agreement.” But the best was on Halloween at a National Press Club press conference he was conducting in D.C. Hermdog got the show started by singing a few bars from a gospel number called “He Looked Beyond My Faults and Saw My Needs.”
You can’t make this stuff up. In the old days if you re-worked this for your book, an editor would say such a passage was too over-the-top. But damned if you can’t riff on a character like Cain who, at least as far as his public personas goes, is almost a parody of himself.
But is there any topping Jon Corzine in his testimony before Congress regarding his investment firm Man Financial Global “misplacing” $1.2 billion? Here’s a former governor of New Jersey, a former U.S. senator and Goldman Sachs honcho too, doing the equivalent of the yokel bit Cain did when he quipped, “Uz Becky, Becky, Stan, Stan,” proud of his ignorance about foreign countries and foreign intricacies.
“I simply do not know where the money is, or why the accounts have not been reconciled to date,” Corzine said under oath. He further stated, “I know only know what I read,” said Corzine, who added later that he first learned that “there were un-reconciled accounts” on the night before the bankruptcy filing.
Astounding. Wasn;t there a clue that somethig was up if the initials for the investment house was ‘MF?’ I recently completed a four issue comic book mini-series about a high end money launderer called The Rinse. My anti-hero Jeff Sinclair gets involved in a scheme wherein 25 mil is ripped off from a mobbed-up individual – a gent who’s made that money skimming for the take he’s supposed to pay out to his silent partners — who runs a casino in Las Vegas. The couple who’ve ripped off the gangster are on the run from his goons and need Sinclair to wash, to do the rinse of their money, and obscure its illicit roots. In my original pitch, I had Sinslair getting sucked into doing the rinse for a crooked general who helped himself to a few million of those pallets of money we sent over to Iraq.
Almost $12 billion in $100 bills was airlifted into Baghdad on shrink-wrapped pallets by the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority. The cash was distributed with no proper control over who was receiving it, and how it was being spent. This was the biggest transfer of cash in the history of the Federal Reserve has been graphically laid bare by a US congressional committee.
I had to crank it down from the initial idea as it was deemed too out there, too controversial.
Heh. Like I said, hardboiled never gets old.