Glum Estate Fragment – Dylan

Notes: This is the last semi-complete fragment from the Glum Estate.  As I recall this piece was going to include a sword fight on a pirate ship and a Scientologist rescue plan.  I still have a lot of the story mapped out including the fourth Glum sibling, Escher, a narcoleptic lesbian amateur boxer New York city business executive.  At the time I was working on it heavily, early 2009, I didn’t have the time or ambition that I felt like was required to do the novel right but I consider this something of a diamond in the rough and I will revisit it somehow.  

Two final comments: 1) the setting of the resort here is based on the same setting as the story I’ve posted, “Orlando.”  My wife likes to think Dylan Glum and Mark Dixon might run into each other.  2) Fresh, new material is on the way! –Erik

Although he regretted it, Dylan Glum was in Florida and it was all Liddy’s fault.  Liddy Bella-LeFlange commercial agent with her pee pants sympathy, a Razzanana smoothie with an extra shot of plant sterols and flax, handed Dylan a ticket to Orlanda and told him it would only be two days, what’s the worst thing that could happen?

“Where are your shoes?”  The fake policeman with the itchy taser trigger finger asked Dylan.

Dylan wiggled his toes.  “Overboard the pirate ship,” he said.

The fake policeman’s name was Roy.  That’s what it said on his nametag ; Roy, no last name or title.  He was eponymously, simply Roy.  He was a Florida native.  Dylan could tell.  Roy gave Dylan a suspicious look over the top of his InTouch celebrity gossip magazine.   “Hrrmph,” he half grunted.

“Look, do I get a phone call in this fake prison?”  Dylan asked him.

“You can make a fake phone call,” Roy chuckled.

“My cell phone is with my things,” Dylan said and pointed at his wallet and room key card.

Roy unholstered his taser.

“Jesus,” Dylan said and held up his hands.  “It’s a Nokia, not a dirty bomb.”

“Do you have someone you need to call at 1 in the morning?”  Roy asked him.

Dylan thought if he got a running start he could bowl Roy over.  He could shoulder-check him.  “My lawyer,” Dylan said.

“I think we want to leave lawyers out of this,” Roy said.  “We prefer to handle these matters internally.  But if you insist I could call a cousin of mine at the department.  Ask him to come down here and sort this whole mess out.  Probably not the kind of exposure an actor like you needs to have.”

Thanks, Liddy, Dylan thought to himself.  In Florida, no one can hear you scream.  What’s the worst thing that could happen?  I’m gonna get Florida taser raped.

It had actually started before Liddy with that sonofabitch JT Cord and the lunch Liddy set up for them earlier in the week after the announcement broke; JT Cord, the unholy progeny of Brett Ratner, Michael Bay and Paul W.S. Anderson was going to adapt Gwendolyn Kay Ross’s Captain Romeo Nitro books.

Dylan and Cord had actually met on a few occasions before their lunch though JT insisted he didn’t remember them.  Cord directed those Macho Laundry Detergent commercials from a few years back.  Dylan auditioned but had never gotten past the casting couch for Macho Detergent or any of the other Macho cleaning products targeted to suburban men.  Cord had a vision, he’d explained to Dylan after he told him he wasn’t right for the Macho brand.  Cord was going for Calvin Kline underwear model men, Bowflex men, shirtless, sorting the laundry, ironing, plugging in air fresheners between tanning appointments and weight training classes.  The Macho brand was a devastating financial failure on the same scale as New Coke, but the commercials filled with gravitas, homoeroticism and kinetic editing launched Cord’s career.  It couldn’t have happened to a cockier piece of shit.

“So,” JT said at their lunch, carefully arranging his feathered hair so it only partially obscured his sunglasses.  “Captain Romeo Nitro, huh?”

“Yeah,” Dylan said while he examined the menu.  “Where’s the lunch menu?”  He asked Cord.  “This just has juice and supplements.”

“This is the lunch menu,” Cord said pointing to the recycled piece of parchment with every menu item handwritten.  “Liquiddity is a pure liquid diet restaurant.”

“You’re joking,” Dylan said matter-of-factly and flipped over the parchment to look at the back.

“I know,” Cord said.  “I had the same reaction at first but I’m hooked on this place.  I haven’t chewed in weeks.  I’m thinking about investing.”

Dylan ordered a Kiwi Orange Brain Blaster with extra ginseng.

“Can you believe this has the same amount of protein as a steak?”  Cord asked him, sipping at his Blueberry Nectarine Protein Obliterator.

“It certainly strains credibility,” Dylan replied dryly.

“Right, well,” Cord cracked his knuckles.  “Business, right?”

Dylan nodded.  “Business.”

“Gwendy is a big fan of yours,” Cord told Dylan.  “She said that you’ve been something of muse to her over the years.”

“I think there’s always been some good creative chemistry between us.”

“And the fans definitely know you.  You go to the conventions and things right.  Were you at San Diego this year?”

“No,” Dylan told him.  “I went to Madison and Palo Alto.”

“Palo Alto?”  Cord repeated.  “I didn’t know they had a con.”

“It’s small,” Dylan explained.  “Kind of an unofficial younger step brother of San Diego.”

“Right,” JT said.  He took another sip from his smoothie.  “So I totally respect the fans, man.  I love the fans.  I’m going to make this movie for the fans.  So, it’s really important to me that you’re involved.”

“That’s good to hear,” Dylan told him.  “There was all that speculation on the web.  Nikki Finke’s article when she put up the story about Nitro-“

“Fuck the web,” Cord interrupted.  “You can’t pay attention to any of that garbage.  This movie wouldn’t be right without you in it.  Don’t you agree?”

“I definitely do.”

“Excellent,” Cord said.  “So we want to time the announcement to go out with the next book.  Some good cross promotional synergy.”

“That’s great,” Dylan smiled.  “I’ll be doing some promo with Gwendy for the book.  Local morning shows, the book expo in Philly.”

“You’re going to need to get used to bigger venues, my friend,” Cord told him and slapped him on the shoulder.  Dylan laughed.  JT dipped his pinky in Dylan’s smoothie and sucked it clean.  “That’s some good shit,” he said.

“Yeah,” Dylan said, looking down at his drink and back at JT.  JT grinned at him and Dylan couldn’t stop wondering where exactly that pinky had been.  “I think it’s too much for me though, I think I’m done with it.”

“Take it with you,” JT suggested.  “Have a little pick-me-up with you all day.”

“Sure,” Dylan said and nodded.   “I don’t think I’m going to do that.”

Cord shrugged and put his pinky in Dylan smoothie again.  He rubbed it around on his tongue and gums then clapped his hands together suddenly.  “So we’re thinking Wartus,” he told Dylan.

“Wartus?”

“Yeah, General Cruelon’s henchman,” Cord said.  “Wartus.”

“I know who Wartus is.”

“Or we could go with the space bishop, Glob…  Glob…”

“Globnar,” Dylan said.  “Globnar the space bishop.”

“Of course, Globnar.  You’d have to wear a fat suit but there’d be a lot less face makeup.  Let time in the chair being tortured with the air brush and the lights.”

Dylan stared at Cord for a moment.  “What the fuck are you talking about?”

“Your part,” Cord said.  “In the movie.  I reviewed your clips.  There’s some not too bad stuff in there.  That cable commercial was good.”

“My part in the movie,” Dylan repeated.  “Captain Nitro.  That’s my part.”

“Captain Nitro’s the lead, Dylan.  We’re looking at Shia or that guy from all the Apatow movies for Nitro.”

“But I am fucking Captain Nitro, JT,” Dylan said.  “You said it – I’m Gwendy’s muse.  Seventeen books.  I’m on one in twelve bookshelves in the United States, Canada and Australia.”

“Come on, Dylan.  You’re a model.   You’re not an actor.  Warty, Space Bishop Globnar – those are good parts.”

Wartus, you shithead – the character is named Wartus,” Dylan seethed.  “Have you read the books?”

“The books are for fat horny housewives and geeks.  The Harlequin meets Star Trek set.  It’s all soft core and techno-babble.  I’m making a film for grownupsI’m not casting Sci Fi Fabio as the lead.  Do you think I’m fucking brain damaged?”  Cord shook his head.  He finished off his smoothie.  “Take the pity part, Dylan.  Use the check to get some botox and a clue.”

More or less once a year, Dylan would get a ticket to Tucson, dress in tights, fake muscles and a cape.  He’d pose with a space helmet in Eduardo Ortega Saiz’s studio.  Eduardo would tell him to push out his chest more, square his shoulders.  Dylan would struggle to pose on Styrofoam alien terrain.  He’d imagine he was Captain Romeo Nitro, space knight and intergalactic Don Juan.  A half dozen broken hearts left behind at every port.  The most desired and respected man in all of the galaxy.  The shoot would take a few hours and then Eduardo would digitize the photo, print it to canvas and paint over the top, painstakingly transforming Dylan Glum, unemployed commercial actor and mass market paperback book model into an interstellar Adonis.

Between the photo-shoots back in his normal life Dylan would sometimes wonder “what would Captain Romeo Nitro do?”  When he was recognized waiting in line at the supermarket, Captain Romeo Nitro would say “of course you recognize me, sweetheart – I’m the man of your dreams.”  And then he’d ravage her on the bridge of his space ship.  Dylan Glum would say, “well, I’m an actor.  You may have seen me playing Frustrated Satellite TV Customer or Fibertastic Laxative Guy.”  And then he’d return to his studio apartment and jerk off on his futon.

Looking across the table at JT Cord, Dylan asked himself “what would Captain Romeo Nitro Do?”  The answer was obvious.  Dylan stood up and threw a wild punch.  He was aware his mouth opened without good reason while he swung, that he made a garbled half-confused yawp.  He was aware that his smoothie tipped over onto the table and was running down onto his trousers.  He was aware of all of that but caught completely off guard by JT Cord’s Chuck Norris fast reflexes.  Cord moved like a blur, a ninja clad in acid wash blue Jeans, a faux vintage Rolling Stones t-shit, white linen unbuttoned shirt and flop flops.  Dylan’s feet left the ground, he went forward, face planted into a puddle of smoothie and the table, his arm twisted behind his back and up.

“Hap Ki Do, Dylan,” Cord said into Dylan’s ear.  “6 and a half years.”  He let Dylan go and left the restaurant before Dylan could regain his dignity.  Cord left Dylan the tab.  Thirty dollars in juice plus the cleaning bill for Dylan’s clothes.  What would Captain Romeo Nitro do, indeed?

Which led back to Liddy and her bladder control problem.  He never would have gone to Florida if it weren’t for the bladder problem.

“I’m thinking I should sue him,” Dylan told Liddy a day later at the same table in Liquiddity.  “My arm really hurts.”

“Do you know how much you’re worth to me when you don’t work, Dylan?”  Liddy asked him, raising an annoyed eyebrow.

“Or I could let it go,” Dylan suggested.

“Or you could tongue JT Cord’s asshole and balls and beg him to give you back the pity part.”

Dylan took a sip of Razzanana.  “You should really work on cleaning up your potty mouth before the bun is out of the oven, Liddy.”

“I’m not fucking around with you, Dylan,” Liddy scowled.  She was one those women that did not look more beautiful pregnant.  She looked more irritated.  If she was happy to be with child, it didn’t look like it on her small squishy face.  She was so small that the baby seemed to double her size.  Her stomach dwarfed her head, swelled more and more every day like fruit ripening just ready to fall or to burst through the skin and ooze out to waiting flies.

“I’m not sure I’d be very good at asshole tonguing,” Dylan offered.

Liddy drank from her ever-present water bottle and then from her own smoothie.  “You better practice then.”

“Fuck JT Cord,” Dylan said.  “He should fucking tongue my asshole.  There’d be no Captain Nitro movie without me.  Who the fuck does he think he is?  Macho fucking toilet paper guy, fucking CSI: Miami motherfucker.  It’s not like he’s some sterling fucking gold talent.”

Robots versus Zombies,” Liddy said flatly.

“I didn’t see that movie,” Dylan said.

“You and about 9 other people in the world didn’t see that movie.”

“It had terrible reviews, abysmal critical response.”

Liddy rolled her eyes.  “Robots versus Fucking Zombies, Dylan.  It was presold with the title.  Critical response doesn’t mean squat as long as robots fight zombies.  JT Cord is the new DJ Caruso, Dylan.  He is sterling fucking gold talent.  And you’re Sci Fi Fabio.”

“Don’t call me that,” Dylan said.  He drank some more Razzanana.  “You know I hate that.”

“A speaking role in a JT Cord movie, in a JT Cord Captain Nitro movie which already has one of the highest Q scores since those vampire book movies by the way and it’s two years off, is worth a lot of dough, Dylan.  More dough than you’ve seen ever.  More dough than I’ve seen ever.  It’s worth a thousand commercials in terms of payday and exposure.  You get this part and no one is ever going to call you Sci Fi Fabio again.”

Dylan rubbed his shoulder.  “I should be Captain Romeo Nitro.”

“Be real,” Liddy told him.  “By your logic Eduardo should be the director.  You were the model for a painting for a paperback book, Dylan.  You’re no more Captain Romeo Nitro than I am.  Do your bank account a favor and check the ego.”

Dylan finished the Razzanana.  “This is on you,” he told her.  “Cord stiffed me yesterday.  This shit costs more than a cocktail and there’s not a drop of booze in it.”

Liddy scowled.  She dropped a wad of money on the table and stood from the table.  She waddled toward Dylan as he got his coat.  “I’m going to call Cord’s people and tell them you’d like to apologize.”

“I don’t want to apologize.”

“You’re going to apologize to Cord or I’m going to fucking tear your dick out through your throat,” Liddy told him.

“Jesus Christ, Liddy,”

“It’s the hormones, Dylan,” she told him.  “I will fucking murder you.”

“Alright,” Dylan said.  “Call Cord.”

They walked toward Liddy’s car. “There’s another thing, Dylan.  I got you a gig.”

“A gig?”  Dylan stopped at her Prius.  “You should lead with the good stuff, Liddy.   Don’t make me sweat it out.  Commercial or TV?”’

“Not exactly,” she said.

“Film?”

“It’s kind of like an event.”

“An event?”

“Easy money, Dylan.  Flat rate, $10,000 for two days minus my percentage.”

“10K?  For two days?  Are you pimping me, Liddy?”

She smiled.  “And there’s a per diem.”

“Per diem?  Where’s the gig?”

Liddy shifted on her feet a little.  “A resort.   Real fancy place.”

“Resort?  Where’s the resort?  Hawaii?  Vegas?”

“Florida.  Outside of Orlando.”

Dylan stared at her, confused.  “What kind of event is this, Liddy?”

“It’s a conference.”

“Conference?”

“Like a convention.”

“A sci fi convention?  Outside of Orlando?”

“It’s a sales convention.”

“I’m confused.”

“They want you to do the entertainment.”

Dylan was still confused.  “For a sales convention?  What the fuck do I know about selling things?”

“You know that your agent is going to have a baby to support and you need to work,” Liddy told him.

“Come on, Liddy,” Dylan said.  “I’m supposed to what, sing and dance like a monkey for some stuffed suits?  In Florida?  The population of Florida is roughly one third senile retirees, one third white trash alligator fuckers, one third retarded brain damaged cretins and one third incredibly hot Cuban women who won’t fuck me.”

“That’s four thirds, Dylan.  If you’re going to use math, you need to use it correctly.  And if they want you to dance and sing, you ask them what style.  You ask them if you should wear a jaunty cap.”

“I hate Florida, Liddy.  You know this about me.”

“You keep telling me you’re an actor,” Liddy reminded him.  “Act like you don’t hate Florida.”

Dylan shook his head.  “They want me?  For this sales thing?”

“They must be fans of your Fibertastic spots.”

“I don’t know, Liddy.”

“Two days, Dylan.  What’s the worst thing that could happen?”

In his head Dylan had already turned the gig down but before the words got to his mouth Liddy peed herself.  Dylan was shocked silent.  Liddy began to cry.  People on the sidewalk slowed down around them and spoke in hushed whispers.  Dylan took off his jacket and quickly wrapped it around Liddy’s waist.

“It’s the baby, Dylan,” she said.  “It’s so big pressing on my bladder…”

“Shhh,” Dylan said.  “You can hold onto the jacket, Liddy.”

Liddy nodded.  Dylan opened the car door for her.  She wiped some of the tears away from her cheeks.  Liddy climbed into the car.

“Are you sure you can drive home okay?  I could give you a ride?”

“I’m pregnant, not drunk,” she said.

“Sorry.”

Liddy started the car.  “I’ll get the ticket for you, Dylan.  Window seat right?”

“Window seat,” Dylan repeated.  He was a sucker for incontinent women in public.  “That’ll be good, Liddy.”

Outside of the security gates at the Orlando airport Bryson Cromwell stood holding a sign saying “Captain Nitro” with a blown up cover from one of Gwendy’s books.  It was the bare-chested Martian battle cover.  Dylan knew it well.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Dylan said to himself as Bryson waived at him enthusiastically.  Bryson Cromwell was middle-aged, not-too-portly, bearded but well trimmed, wearing slacks with a nice long sleeve button up shirt.  He had a fifty dollar belt that matched two hundred dollar shoes.  He had a wedding ring around a pudgy finger.  He could have been a perfectly normal person.  But he wasn’t.

“Captain on deck!”  Bryson called out as Dylan neared him.  Dylan stopped ten feet away.  Bryson chuckled.  “I’m sure you get that all the time.”

“Sure,” Dylan said.

Bryson blushed and put the sign down.  “I’m sorry,” he said.  “Couldn’t resist.”

“Yeah,” Dylan said.  “Sure.”

Bryson stepped forward and reached his hand out.  “Bryson Cromwell,” he introduced himself.  He had a big, enthusiastic smile full of white wholesome teeth.  He had the smile of a man that drank plenty of milk.  “Founder and President of FaithWorX.”

In Bryson’s rental car on the way to the hotel, Dylan learned that FaithWorX was a business consulting company.

“We’re LDS,” Bryson explained.

Dylan turned to him and stared blankly for a moment.  “Dentists?”

“Oh gosh!”  Bryson shook his head and smiled his big milky tooth smile.  “Latter Day Saints,” Bryson told him.  “Mormon.  We help LDS companies work with other LDS companies and we help businesses balance their economic and spiritual commitments.”

“This is a religious convention?”  Dylan asked feeling worse and worse about the whole arrangement.

“Oh no, no no no,” Bryson said.  “This is an employee and family getaway for FaithWorX and business associates.  Little bit of business whole lot of letting our hair down.”  Bryson turned to Dylan.  “Just because we live our lives in service to Heavenly Father, doesn’t mean we don’t take vacations every once in a while.  It’s a networking thing.  For LDS businessmen.  This is our third year doing it.”

“Ah,” Dylan replied.

Bryson’s smile disappeared.  “I should come clean about something, Dylan.”

“Yeah?”

“I have a confession to make,” Bryson told him.  Dylan thought of four or five hundred terrifying things the confession could be all at once, they fell all over themselves bubbling up to his consciousness.   The possibilities ranged from sexually deviant to psychopathic.  They almost all ended up with Dylan debating whether or not it would be better to leap from the moving vehicle and take his chances on the freeway.  “I’m kind of a big fan,” Bryson said finally.  He blushed.  “Captain Romeo Nitro.”

“Oh,” Dylan said, still waiting to see if there was something more to the confession like that Bryson wanted to wear his skin like a suit and try to sodomize lunar rocks or something.

“I have all the books.  First editions.  All of them but Venus in Springtime are in mint condition,” Bryson said.  “My wife, she dinged a corner.”  He frowned.  “But I’ll find a replacement on eBay soon enough.  To err is to be human, right?”

“Sure.”

“It would really mean a lot to me if – I mean, you don’t have to but if you had some time I’d really like it if you’d autograph one or some of them,” Bryson stammered.

“You have them here?  In Florida?”

“Of course,” Bryson said.  “There’s the hotel,” he said, pointing out at a monstrous multi-domed compound.  “It kind of looks like the space Amazon compound in From Rigel Kintarus With Love, right?”

“Little bit,” Dylan said.

“It has its own environment inside,” Bryson said.  “It’s the largest fully domed resort in the world.”

“That’s… wonderful,” Dylan managed.

Bryson pulled up to the valet.  “Did you bring the Captain Nitro suit by chance?”

Dylan opened the car door before the car was fully stopped.  “Do you have my room key?”

Gaillard Sands, the largest entirely domed resort in the world was like a strip mall had been eaten by a ravenous biosphere.  There was a massive “mariner themed” hotel, four restaurants, a half dozen bars, a Starbucks and a full sized chain fitness center linked with “natural” landscaping and cobbled streets.  There were four waterfalls of varying heights.

Dylan politely separated from Bryson and went to his room.  He dropped off his bags, checked for a mini bar without luck and then went back downstairs to the nearest bar.

“Hi Liddy,” Dylan said to his agent’s voicemail.  “This is Dylan.  You should call me.  Now.  Call me now, Liddy.”

The closest bar must have gotten confused and thought it was in a domed resort on Hawaii.  The Blue Maui was a Tiki bar decorated with coconuts, mermaids and palm leaves.

“I’d like something wet and alcoholic please,” Dylan told the bartender.

“What kind of alcoholic?”  The bartender, a bored kid in his mid-twenties asked.

“What the fuck am I doing in Florida with a bunch of Mormons alcoholic.”

“Got it,” the kid told him.

“FaithWorX, right?” A woman down the bar asked him.  He turned to see her.  She had freckles and a real sitcom leading lady in twenty-something comedy show thing going on.  She tapped her FaithWorX convention badge.  “We’re in it together.”

The bartender delivered Dylan’s drink; something with pineapple juice and more booze than a Long Island Iced Tea.  “Nicely done,” he told the kid.  He looked back at the woman.  She was a different kind of beautiful than the beautiful women in LA.  Maybe she was from Phoenix or Las Vegas.  What would Captain Romeo Nitro do, Dylan thought.  He moved closer to her.

“I’m Haley,” she said and pointed to her name on the lanyarded badge.

“Dylan.”

“Don’t I recognize you from somewhere?”   She asked him.

Dylan smiled his best bar smile.  “If you want to,” he said.  It was the smoothest thing he’d said to a woman since he turned thirty.  It must have been the jetlag.

“Oh shit!”  Haley said.  “You’re that guy from the satellite commercial.”

“Among other things,” Dylan said.

“You’re an actor?”

“I am.  I have a SAG card and everything.”  Dylan didn’t actually have a SAG card.  He’d joined an upstart competing commercial actor’s union/medical marijuana club in the late nineties and even served on the board of directors.  He still got Arbys coupons in the mail as a perk even though the union had technically been dissolved pending a DEA investigation.

“You were up on the house during that thunderstorm, “ Haley recalled.  “Trying to get the satellite dish to pick up your favorite shows.”

“If only I’d had cable,” Dylan said.  He looked down at her drink.  “What are you drinking?”

“Cranberry juice.”

Dylan picked up her drink and smelled it.  “Virgin?”

“Not at all,” Haley said and gave him her own bar smile.

“Hey chief,” Dylan flagged down the bartender and offered him the cranberry juice.  “Let’s try this one again with some vodka in it.”

“It’s not even 7 o’clock,” Haley said.

“It’s happy hour in Hollywood.”

Haley laughed.  “It’s four in Hollywood.”  She reached out and took her cranberry juice from Dylan.

Dylan’s pants started vibrating and sang out “I don’t waaaant anybody else when I think about you I touch myself.”  Dylan jumped up from his stool and spilled half of his drink onto his crotch.  “Ohhhh, I don’t want annnnybody else when I think about you I touch myself.  I touch myself.  I touch myself.”

Haley laughed and braced herself on the bar.

“What the fuck?!”  Dylan spat.  He stuffed his hands in his pockets and found his cell phone.  Liddy.  Of course it was Liddy.  “Just a minute,” he told Haley.  “This is just going to be a minute.”  He flipped open the phone, ending the vibrating and the ringtone.  “Liddy,” he said.  “Apparently you found some time alone with my phone.”

“You never answer your phone, Dylan,” she said.

“I hate my phone,” Dylan reminded her.  “I turn off the ringer.”

“This is what I’m saying.”

Dylan pulled the phone away from his ear and searched the phone menus quickly.  “Liddy, how do I stop this?  How do I turn it off?”

“You’ll never figure it out,” she said.  She was right.  Dylan was an avowed Luddite.  He hated computers and phones and Twitter like a grumpy old man.  He’d dragged his feet for as long as possible before Liddy finally forced him to get a cell phone because she was tired of never being able to contact him.  He still hadn’t figured out how to use all of its features.  Apparently his phone could tell him the current temperature when he was outside.  It was a mobile fucking weathervane.  “It’ll be an incentive to answer the phone quickly,” Liddy told him.

Haley handed the bartender some money and smiled at Dylan.

“You’re going,” Dylan said to her.  “You can’t go.  30 seconds.”

“Maybe I’ll catch you later tonight,” Haley told him.  “At Captain Ahab’s.”  She pointed to the other side of the biosphere courtyard.

“Yes,” Dylan said.  “Ahab’s.”

Haley waved and slipped out of the tiki hut.

“You wanted something, Dylan?” Liddy asked on the phone.

Dylan took a drink from his pineapple-y booze concoction.  “I did,” he said.  “You just completely cock blocked me, Liddy.”

“A woman was talking to you?”

“It happens.”

“Prostitute?”

“Fuck you, pee pants.”

“You called me, Dylan.  You wanted something from me.”

“Yeah,” Dylan sat back down at the bar.  “This guy – Cromwell.  He’s LDS.”

“And?”

Dylan paused.  “That doesn’t mean he’s a dentist.”

“I know what LDS means, Dylan.”

“You should have told me,” Dylan said.

“I should have told you he wasn’t a dentist?”

Dylan shook his head.  “Damn it, Liddy.  You know what I mean.”

“Thank God I rarely do,” she said.

“Well, he’s a Captain Nitro stalker,” Dylan told her.  “Did you know that?”

“You’re a paperback back book cover model,” Liddy told him.  “You don’t have stalkers.”

“Someone didn’t mention that to Cromwell.”

“Can you just do what you’re told and not piss off the man paying for your nice Florida weekend?”  Liddy asked him.  “Is it possible for you to not fuck this up?”

Dylan scowled.  “Dancing, singing monkey.”

“That’s right.”

On cue, Bryson appeared in the courtyard, scanning the businesses for Dylan.

“He asked me if I brought the Captain Nitro costume, Liddy.”

“Two days, ten grand,” Liddy reminded him.

“You’re a pimp,” Dylan said, waiting for Bryson to see him.  “And I’m your ho.  Except I think hoes get more for a weekend than ten large.”

“If I was a pimp, I’d get a bigger percentage and I’d slap you a whole lot more,” she said.  “You know I’m very pregnant, Dylan and I’m trying to rest before this fucking baby tears its way out of my tiny fucking vagina but here I am babysitting you and leaving a half dozen messages a day for JT Cord saying how sorry you are.  I have hemorrhoids Dylan, like burning kisses from Hell, and I’m pacing around here cleaning up your goddam messes.  If he wants you to dress up like a fucking leprechaun I will FedEx you a costume.  DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?”

Bryson waved and smiled at Dylan.  He started to approach.

“It’s good talking to you too, Liddy,” Dylan told her.  She started to scream more but Dylan hung up the phone before she started using human words again.  “Hey there, Bry,” Dylan called out to Cromwell.

“I was thinking if you’re not interested in the pirate ship, there’s a steakhouse,” Bryson said.

“A steakhouse sounds excellent,” Dylan lied.

Bryson looked around and when he seemed certain no one was looking pulled out a Captain Nitro book in a fitting protective plastic box from under a man purse hung on his arm.  “Shhhh,” he said.  “Meet Me on Saturn 9.”

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