“It’s like you’re going out of your way to call attention to yourself,” I said, taking a clipboard full of papers from the cop on the other side of the scarred desk.
She stood haughtily in her borrowed sweat pants and too-large “I Hate Mondays!” T-shirt. “I have no idea what you’re referring to.” Her expression reminded me of the time we’d spent learning to play Space Poker in some distant future.
I started ticking scandals off on my fingers. “You rigged the Lottery and then wasted all your winnings to build the biggest, ugliest statue I’ve ever seen, right where half of London has to witness it on their way to work.”
“I’ve seen uglier. It was a disappointment, really.”
“You filmed yourself paying politicians for sex and then released all the videos on Youtube under the pseudonym ‘Jerkhumper’.”
“Not very inventive, I know. I was kind of super stoned for that one.”
“You spiked the communion wine at a church in Texas with LSD, then dressed up as an angel and jumped down from the rafters in the middle of the children’s sermon to proclaim that Jesus had been reborn in San Francisco as a gay black woman.”
“Your tone of voice implies you think that’s a bad thing.”
“And now this, riding a bull naked through Wall Street with a bear on a chain behind you, screaming about how Lady Godiva stole all of your best ideas?”
“Ah-HA!” she yelled, slapping the wall with one hand. “But did she really, or was that just a clever ruse?”
“I’m guessing she didn’t really,” I admitted. “Because that doesn’t make any damned sense.”
“Sense, smensh,” she said as I signed the last page of the forms. “Oh, sorry. Forgot who I was talking to.”
“The nice guy who’s bailing you out of jail again?” I tried.
“My Anchor! My John! My boringest of borings!” she cried with outstretched arms. I saw the hug coming and managed to dodge, so she settled for embracing a large plastic ficus.
As we hit the street outside, a grimy old man lumbered over to us. “We don’t have any money,” I tried, wondering how it is these guys can stand wearing four winter coats at the same time in weather that left me dripping sweat in my t-shirt. He ignored me and reached shaking mismatched gloves out to my companion, who held her own white knuckles out as though expecting a kiss. I groaned and wondered what new nonsense was about to unfold.
“Is it done?” she asked, hopping in place a little as he grabbed her hand.
“Yaargh,” he said, or something like that. “Dankee.” Then he stumbled away to wherever.
“Friend of yours?” I asked as we walked off.
“Partner in crime,” she replied, holding up a memory stick that presumably hadn’t been in her possession a minute ago. “You have to admit, I make a pretty good distraction.”
I shook my head. “I don’t even want to know what’s on that.”
“Nope,” she agreed, hiding it away somewhere with a twist of her wrist. “You really don’t. And neither does the CEO of – ”
“La la la I can’t hear you,” I yelled with my fingers in my ears.
As we pulled away from the curb in my hybrid, I wondered aloud, “Where’d the police put your zoo animals, anyway?”
“Right,” she said. “I was wondering when we’d get to that. Let me answer your question with a question: how does your landlord feel about pets?”