Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The CWA of Dr. Z. Smith: Episode #97: Suckers And Their Money

“So what's the damage?” Asked Capt. Brown.
  “There was no damage. They agreed. Three hundred dollars.”  Said Mr. Slant, Lawyer, Zombie.
 Capt. Brown's heart beat a tattoo in his chest.  He was having a hard time containing his excitement.
         “We had to…throw in some extras.”
             “Like what?”
                “A camera. And you cannot create a competitor for six months.”
   This didn't sound good. “Why Six months?”
             “That's how long they believe it would take them to create a TaVee show. However, once they start broadcasting you may, of course sell to whoever you like.
Capt. Brown shrugged, that sounded reasonable.
      “You of course told them it would be in cash, up front?”
          “Of course.” Mr. Slant nodded at Mr. Radio's heavies, they opened their suitcases and dumped the contents on the table.
   A small fortune spilled out.

-=fig. 618: a small fortune=-
Three-Hundred Dollars.
 Enough to buy a reasonable-sized house outright, or four-hundred pounds of bacon and still have enough left over for a a truck to carry it all in.
  Mr. Slant produced a contract, it was as thick as a paper-back novel. “Sign…here. And there…” He indicated a spot on every page. and when Mr. Radio was done signing he tore the back half of the contract off. “Our copy.” He said and handed the front half to Mr. Radio.
  “A pleasure, Gentlemen.” Dr. Smith said. “I'm sure you can show yourselves out.”
Once everyone had left, Capt. Brown and Dr. Smith did a little dance. “WE'RE RICH WE'RE RICH WE'RE RICH!” They sang, badly. “I Will, of course,” Capt. Brown said,“be taking my Agent's Fee of half.”
   “Of course.” Dr. Smith said, Handing Capt. Brown a bill. “We need to split the last hundred in half JEEVES WE NEED FIFTY DOLLARS! I hope you don't mind taking it in gold?”
     “Of course not” Capt. Brown said “That way it'll be easier to spend.”
   A door opened, and Jeeves appeared wheeling a giant chest filled with gold.
    He set it down in front of Capt. Brown.

-=fig. 619: fifty dollars in gold=-
“HA HA HA!” Boomed Capt. Brown. He felt like a thief, a hundred and fifty dollars, and it was his! All his!
   Dr. Smith looked at him worriedly. “Are you alright, James?”
      Capt. Brown had never had this much money at once. He had grown up pretty poor, and then when he became mayor, well, there really isn't very much money in public service.
   “I'll be fine. Hee HEE! I'm buying a new hat! So. What are you doing with your money?”
      Dr. Smith shrugged.  “Put it in the treasury room with all of the rest.”
          “The Rest? How much do you have?”
             Dr. Smith shrugged again. “Couple thousand.” He said as if it were pennies.
 Capt. Brown eyed his Hundred-and-Fifty dollars. It didn't seem like so much, now.
    “What'd you do?” He asked, hiding his jealousy badly. “Knock over a bank?”
       It was lucky Dr. Smith couldn't register subtleties. “No. You know all those little inventions? The Device for Drying Hair, the Spill-Free Ball-Bearing Fountain Pen and all that other stuff? Those little 25 cent royalties really add up.”
     “Well.” Capt. Brown said. “I'm glad you have so much money.”
       “So Am I,” Dr. Smith said obliviously, “It takes a lot of the worry out of life.”
         “Be Seeing you.” Capt. Brown said, through his teeth.
           Dr. Smith caught that, It wasn't even close to a subtlety.
            “Did I do something wrong?”
             “No. Zachary. No. You haven't done…anything.”
               “Okay then.” For Dr. Smith, that seemed to settle it. “Do you want help…?”
                  “No, I'll get it.” He wrestled the chest, which weighed more than he did, out into the street.
Dr. Smith watched him. “Did I say something, Jeeves?”
                Jeeves had been listening. “You did, Sir. You basically rubbed your money in the Captain's face.”
  Dr. Smith was shocked. “Why Didn't you stop me!”
        “It didn't seem my place, Sir.”
          “Take note, whenever I start to do anything like that, stop me.”
             “Very good Sir.”
“James! Wait up!” Dr. Smith ran after Capt. Brown.

-=fig. 620: chasing capt. brown=-
“JAMES!” He bellowed.
   Capt. Brown finally stopped.
     “What.” He said impatiently.
        “This is yours.” Dr. Smith said, handing him a hundred-dollar bill.
        Capt. Brown had been brought up modest, “No, I can't–” He tried to start, But Dr. Smith cut him off.
          “You're my agent right? It's a bonus. Without your clever talking and that lawyer of yours, neither of us would have any money. I'm still keeping my fifty dollars, and you're not getting any royalties, mind, but this is definitely yours.” He pressed the bill into Capt. Brown's hand, and pointed his finger right up close to Capt. brown's face, saying, quite threateningly, “And don't you dare try to give it back. or Else.”
  Capt. Brown broke into a smile. Very few things are more hilarious to him than being threatened by Dr. Smith, who was at least a half-a-foot shorter than he was. “Alright,” conceded Capt. Brown, His hands up “I'll take it. Thanks.”
     “Alright.” Dr. Smith said, nodding, that seemed to have gone well. It was then he noticed where they were. “Why are we here?”
          “This is where I live.”
             “Well, I know that,” Dr. Smith lowered his voice, “What I meant was, why aren't you taking all this to the bank?”
                 “My house is safer than any bank.”
 Dr. Smith pictured Capt. Brown's house, which was a glorified room. It was also his Mayoral offices, and you could barely see the floor for all the loose papers people wanted him to sign.
  As far as home comforts went, there was cot behind the desk and a bathroom downstairs, but that was it. That was why he spent so much of his time at Dr. Smith's house.
  “James,” Dr. Smith said “I can barely imagine anyone living in your house, let alone storing anything important there. Besides, It's up three flights of steps, how are you going to carry that–” He indicated the large chest, filled with gold “–up three flights of steps?”
   “Don't have to.” Capt. Brown said with a smile, “I'm the Mayor, I have People for that.” As he spoke, ropes fell from the sky, they had hooks attached to the ends.
The hooks didn't fit in the chest's handles, so Capt. Brown whistled.
  A small steel platform fell out of the sky, and Capt. Brown quickly slid the chest off its wheelbarrow onto the platform and clipped the hooks to the platform's provided loops, then gave a shout.  It began to rise.

-=fig. 621: winch=-
    He elbowed Dr. Smith, “C'mon, Let's race it upstairs!” He then took off up the stairwell, as the chest rose straight up, pretty quickly for it's weight.
  They had nearly reached the third floor, when there was a huge crash, and a thump from directly above them.  Capt. Brown charged into the room, and, ignoring the chest on the floor, stuck his head out the broken window; “You're slipping!” He yelled, “I nearly beat you!”
   “What happens when you beat him?” Dr. Smith asked.
      “I fire him.  If he can't pull whatever it is up here faster than I can run up the steps, He deserves to be fired. He knows that.”
     Dr. Smith was mildly shocked, “You were taking the steps two at a time!”
         Capt. Brown winked, “Keeps 'im on his toes.”
           Dr. Smith laughed. Today was turning out to be a good day.
              “Okay,” Dr. Smith asked, “Why didn't it go through the floor? I heard it hit pretty hard.”
                 Well after this room was set on fire¹ I re-enforced the walls and floor with steel. Nothing gets in or out of here unless I want to, this room is a fortress.”
 “Hello, Mr. Mayor.” Said a voice from behind them.