Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wanted: Crminal Employment Agency

Going to go off topic here for a moment and take a step back into the past revisiting last weeks subject.
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Why? Well one reason is I already wrote this. And writers are busier than it appears. Another reason: I thought it was a good post on a good topic and I wanted it to see the light of day.
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Criminal Employment Agency
The dream is always the same. I walk into a modern office building. A pretty receptionist with perfect teeth waits there for me.
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"Hello Mr. Brown what can I do for you today?"
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I clear my throat, try to sound important. "I've come for a job... you know... a job."
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Pretty receptionist straightens papers. Smiles knowingly.
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"Yes of course. Right this way."
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She leads me down a long hall. Doors to the left and right have various signs on them: Shoplifter, Pickpocket, Vandalism.
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"Is this all you've got?"
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"Well, times are tough, Mr. Brown. The economy is not what it used to be. Even for criminals."
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"What do you mean?"
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She points to several doors. Big red "X"s cross out the signs. The lights about these doors are darkened. I strain to see what they say.
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"That door is for Investment Bankers," she tells me. "It was once our most popular and lucrative position. You could steel untold amounts from suckers in that job without even breaking the law - we called them bonuses it was great."
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"What happened?"
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She sighs. "With Bear Sterns, Enron, Bernie Madoff, and a dozen other Ponzi schemes that no one even remembers because they only stole a pesky few billion, it became a bubble."
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She looks at me. "Do you what happens to bubbles Mr. Brown?"
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As she pops her gum for emphasis I nod. "Yes of course, too many people trying to do the same thing, ruins it for everyone. What about those other crossed out doors?"
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She points. "Third World Dictator, Mad Scientist and Rogue Billionaire."
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"Rogue Billionaire?" I blurt out in shock. "That can't be gone, I'm using that in my next book!"
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She shakes her head. "Sorry, its been overused."
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"By who?" I demand to know.
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"Well, YOU for one. Remember your last book?"
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Suddenly I remember the RB WPBHOW - (rogue billionaire who played by his own rules) in my last book. She has a point. Note to self - make next villain poor, but... also figure out a way for him to own a submarine and mountaintop villa filled with expensive artifacts.
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"What about Rogue Cop who plays by his own rules?"
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"You have to go to the heroes department for that, we just do criminals here."
hat sounds like a long walk - I decide to see what else they have. But I realize the faltering economy has hit the criminal world hard. I'd better not be choosy.
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"Do you have anything a man of my talents might be useful for?"
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She checks a list.
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"Cat burglar?"
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"I have plenty of cats - don't need to steel any?"
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"Seconds story man?"
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"Afraid of heights."
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"Criminal speeding?" She taps her pad, eyebrows raised, looking hopeful.
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I hem and haw. "Honestly, I do that in my off time. I'm really looking for a change of pace here."
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And from here we begin walking again. Door after door goes by. "No" after head shaking "no". from me, until I begin to understand something: I like to write about criminals but in truth I'm not cut out to be one.
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I look at her and see the disappointment in her eyes. She knows.
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"I'm sorry," I tell her. "I just realized: 'I am not a crook.'"
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Suddenly, a 20 megawatt smile break over her face. She points to the door ahead of me it reads "Career Politician."
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"Which party?" I ask.
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"Doesn't matter - they're all the same."
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Such relief, I''ve found a job. And honestly isn't it good to know - when no one else is hiring the GOVT. has still got your back.
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Now if I can just do something about the tax rate.

9 comments:

Meredith Cole said...

Great post, Graham! Rogue billionaires are so much fun, it's no wonder they're all taken. It can be such a strain writing a book about a person who has <> a real job. Instead of jetting off to Costa Rica to follow a lead, they keep having to go to the office.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Oh, Graham, you picked politician? What will your mother say? Still, at least it's steady work.

Fun post, although I too am sorry to hear about the Rogue Billionaires Who Play by Their Own Rules all being taken. I have this idea for a book...

Graham Brown said...

Meredith you are so right - "degree of difficulty" increases when writing about real people.

Graham Brown said...

Becky - if anyone could come up with a new take on the Rogue Billionaire it is probably you.

Now about these poor villians who own yachts...

Kelli Stanley said...

Hilarious post, Graham! :) I'd like to see the Mad Scientist make a comeback--maybe in concert with the Alien Menace.

And you know, Agatha Christie wrote a novel about a villain named "Mr Brown"--I think it was the Secret Adversary--just sayin'. ;)

xoxo

Graham Brown said...

Thanks Kelli - Mad Scientist and Alien Menace together at last - sounds brilliant.

Also -I'm going to have to find this Agatha Christie novel - it could explain a lot of things.

Gabi said...

Maybe he doesn't have to own the sub and retreat. Couldn't he just rent?

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Gabi, I like that idea. Timeshare opportunities for Mad Scientists. $10K gives you 2 weeks a year and you can split it between a nuclear sub, an explosives packed mountain retreat, an island getaway with its own shark tank for dunking heroes, etc.

You could make a fortune on it!

Graham Brown said...

Gabi and Becky - you guys are onto something - it's like Net Jets for villians whp are not really in the upper echelon but wnat to appear to be.