Saturday, July 28, 2012


A man with dark circles under his eyes, drops his briefcase on the desk.   He removes his gray hunting jacket and drapes it over a chair.  He watches students populate the desks.

Their conversations stop as he moves to the podium.

He looks up at the crowd.  "Good afternoon, everyone.  It's always scintillating to see such participation."

He opens a thick binder on the podium.  "Today, since this is Penn State University,  and since our every breath is an immediate media story, I thought we could take the day off from Medieval English Lit., and just talk about how we all feel as Nittany Lions."  He raises his eyebrows.  "Any objections?"


"Okay, we've all heard about the Freeh Report.  267-pages.  It concluded  Coach Paterno, president Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz failed to protect children against a sexual predator for over a decade.

"The motive?  To shield Penn State and its Football Program from negative publicity."

He looks up at the young faces.  He sees fidgeting, squirming, and some throats clear. 

"Do you think we deserve the NCAA's penalties?"


"Please, " says the Professor. "Don't everybody jump.  I'll start."  He turns a page in his binder, and reads, "A $60 million penalty,  a four-year football postseason ban and they vacated all our football wins dating back to 1998.

"Do you think that was the right thing to do?  Should the NCAA be involved in this at all?  Shouldn't this be a problem we clean up ourselves?"

Again, silence, then...

"Somebody had to do something," says a student, his head down. Then he looks around, his voice louder. "Sandusky would still be running around loose if the NCAA hadn't done something."

Another student. "Somebody had to do something.  Administration's a bunch of cowards. What did Sandusky have on those guys, anyway?"

"It seems awful quick for the NCAA," says someone in the back. "Don't they have to have hearings, allow the university time to respond before anything is decided.  Usually takes time.  That Reggie Bush thing, he was playing pro before anything was decided."

"Why do you think it was so quick?" asks the professor.

A young lady in the front row. "It's obvious.  This whole thing is so incredibly awful, they got the report done, and worked this deal with the NCAA.  Get this off the Front Page, as fast as possible.  No matter what it took.  They paid the NCAA to get this done quickly."

"Got that right," says another student.  "Worked a deal.  NCAA agreed to take the word of this Freeh Report.  Usually don't they do their own investigation?  NCAA figured $60 million was good enough."

"Yeah but it's not going to change anything." says another.  "Sandusky's already been convicted of 45 counts of child sex abuse."

A lady sitting right up front.  She folds her arms, and turns toward the other students.  "I think everyone who knew about Sandusky should be criminally charged.  Everybody who knew and did nothing.  Edmond Burke...All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

"That's right," says the Professor.  "Edmond Burke, over two hundred years ago.  It applies today."

"And the report says Coach Paterno knew all about it," she says.  "He made a decision, but it was one he couldn't live with.  You could see it in his face.  He had been dying inside for more than a decade."

"Professor."  A hand goes up over by the wall.  "Let me ask you this.  Did you know anything about this?  You must come into contact with football coaches, now and then.  Did you hear about any of this?"

"If I say yes, I knew, and didn't say anything, I'd be as guilty as any perpetrator.  If I said no, I knew nothing, just from your question, you wouldn't believe me."  He points to a young man way up near the door.

"If Sandusky was doing all the things they're saying, they should closed this entire University.  Talk about a  freak show. "

Students turn and stare.

"Way I heard it," he says. "This Sandusky was not only molesting these poor young boys, but  when the team went on road trips, he had a network of other pervs who were paying big bucks for the same little boys.  $60 million probably cheap to get this whole thing over with."

A large man, workout muscle rather than work muscle, raises his hand.  "The football program itself did NOTHING wrong. The guys responsible have been fired or have died.  Those of us left aren't guilty.  I think the NCAA is just trying to look real tough."

There are a few nods.

The professor moves over to the desk, picks up his briefcase, and throws his jacket over his arm.   "Here's my problem.  I read the Freeh Report last night.  None of the people interviewed were under oath. And McQuery, the one who came out with the story, wasn't even interviewed."  He lowers his head  and walks toward the side door. "None of this feels right to me. There is more to this than they are telling us."

He raises his hand to the students and waves.

"So, after some intensive thought, I've decided to leave Penn State.  It's a place I can no longer trust."

"But professor," says a voice from the back.

"Yes, Mr. Marks."

"Where are you going to go?"

"I don't know.  Maybe I'll take that trip to California.  UCLA, Berkeley, maybe Stanford.  Santa Barbara might be nice."

"How will that be any different?" asks the student.  "We live in a society where the Corporation is more important than the Individual.  Our banking system was too big to fail.  Businesses get tax breaks for sending jobs over seas.  Why are cigarettes still for sale in America?  Come on, Penn State comes first when there is a scandal."

"He's right, Professor," says a student wearing a 99%-er T-shirt.  "We live in a not so Brave New World.  Sandusky was like a Cancer.  So far we've cut him out.  And, we'll need some more treatments to get it all, I'm sure.   Let's just hope our insurance is adequate against all the upcoming lawsuits.  Stay and fight to make it right here.  Big corporations, and big money will always try to cover up the problems.  That's were the fight is."

The lady in front. "That's the right thing to do, you know."

The professor stops.  He stretches his neck, and slowly turns back to the podium.  "Stay and fight?" he says

He smiles, dumps his briefcase back on the desk, and approaches the podium. "So," he says.  "Guess I'm not quitting."

He stands with his head down.

"So you think I should stay, and fight the good fight, right here at Penn State?  And how do you think I should begin?"

The young lady over by the window.  "The responsibility of this University before anything else, is to teach every student to be moral, ethical, and always do the right thing.  That's before Football, before Business, before Medieval English Literature.  Our athletic department has been morally bankrupt for a long time.  It is up to us to speak out.  Not wait a decade.  Regardless of who it hurts.  We know what's right.  If you teach us that, then you don't have to run off to California."

Most nodded in agreement.

"Well, this conversation was certainly helpful.  It was for me.  Now...back to Medieval English Lit."  He looks up at the students, smiles, then flips pages in his thick binder.  Again he smiles.  "Remember the quiz on Friday.  Okay, now, back to Thirteenth Century Wales.  In a time when a word processor was only a dream, poets had to use..."

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012


"Newp, we gotta do something today," says Hampton.  "Can't just sit here by the pool.  I can only drink Mojitos for so long."

"Hamp, come on,"  says Newport.  "Go downstairs.  Play some black jack, slots.  That's why we moved here, hot as hell, and bought this place?"

"It's too early in the day.  I  was at the crap table 'til two last night.  And what, win a couple of grand.  What is that?"

Newport reaches into his terry cloth robe, pulls out an iPhone, and waves it in the air.   "Let's call Pepper and Cinnamon. They're real nice.  Stress release. They never say no."

"They're off in L.A. doing their thing with some movie star people.*

"Well, my friend, remember yesterday when we talked about investing big with our money?"

"Investing, yeah.  About the only thing that gets me my age."

Two ladies swimming past look up and snicker.

Hampton looks down at them, and shrugs ."It's true, ladies. I'm not eighteen anymore."

"Age is just a date, you know," says one.  The other nods.

"Skippy's coming over, " says Newport.  "Hey," he points, "here he comes to us about Newport Hampton International."

A young man in Florsheim and Armani, carrying a thick briefcase, strides into the pool area.

The two ladies, middle thirties, micro bikinis, one Honey blond, one Hazel blond, raise their eyebrows.  They float over, elbows over the side, chins on their arms.  This could be interesting.

"So, Skippy," says Newport, "What do you got for us?"

"Hello, gentlemen," he says.
He pulls up a plastic deck chair, opens his briefcase, and pulls out single sheets of paper.  "Got what you wanted," he says.  "I spoke with some friends.  Did my due diligence.  Bottom line:  It's a bad idea."

"Geez," says Newport.  "That was quick.  Real sure about this?"

"In effect, you want to start up your own NASCAR Circuit. But I think your money's better off in the bank?"

Honey and Hazel look at each other, and smile. Skippy looks down at them, their bikinis, and adjusts his horn rim glasses.

"But," says Hampton.  "They got no real competition.  We can compete.  Just takes some money to get it started."

"Okay, guys.  You're unconcerned about cost.  You wanted to do more than just invest, you wanted to start something new.  At least 9 figures.  You suggested creating a new NASCAR.  Three year plan, build seven to ten new race courses, bring on TV coverage."

"Me and Newp were watching the 500," says Hampton. "We saw all the crowds, and Wa-La, all the advertising possibilities."

"You want the bottom line?" says Skipper

"Not a good idea?" says Hampton.

"It's a mistake."

Skipper offers copies of his one page analysis.  Hazel waves her hand.  Hampton shrugs. 

"Go ahead," he says. "Give the ladies a copy.  We'll get some independent corroboration."

Skippy hands one to each. They both flash their lashes up at him.  He breathes deeply.
"Okay," he says. "You're paying me by the hour, so here it is.  Without further Government intervention, NASCAR gets $100 million a year in tax breaks, and a substantial decrease in  ticket prices, they will cease profitability.  Getting involved would be financial folly.  Daytona has lost more than 40 percent of its ticket revenue, since 2005.

Advertising should make up for it," says  Newport.  "All those ads on the hoods, and those jump suits.  Don't even have to be car stuff either.  Tide, National Guard, M&M's, even GoHampton, our Internet Escort thing..."

Hazel raises her hand.   "Real sad to say, but when Dale Senior left us, he was the last of a long line of drivers who made NASCAR. It's not the same anymore.  We used to watch him on TV when I was real little, me and my Dad."

Hazel is right," say Honey. "Guys that drive today can't drive like the good ol' boys, The Allison brothers, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Neil Bonnett, Harry Gant.  They used to fight each other, remember?"

"That's your problem, guys," says Skippy.  "It' should I say it...Boring.  NASCAR is owned by the France Family.  They blame the economy, but there's more. Sky high ticket prices, cost of travel, getting a hotel.  Who can go anymore?"

Honey smiles up at the three men.  "I like car racing.  Used to anyway.  You got plate racing now, restricts the power, otherwise insurance cost are through the roof.  And those phantom debris cautions.  What is that?  It's not the same anymore."

They all look at Honey.

 "What?  I used to date this pit crew dude."

"Precisely," says Skippy.

Newport waves his hand.  "We'll just reduce the ticket price.  We’ll do discounts for folks, the four-family-packs and the six-family-packs.  Lunch included in the ticket.  We'll get fans. Lots."

Skippy looks down at the two ladies.  "Your right ladies. It's boring to watch, the drivers are boring, heck, even the sponsors are bland.  The drivers are look-alikes, clean shaven white guys in tracksuits, and their cars, they're interchangeable."

Skippy shakes his head. "Coke Zero 400 had 57,000 seats in the backstretch empty."

"NASCAR drives need to get crazy," says Honey.  "It's like cookie cutter.  Get Jerry Springer behind the wheel.  That'll bring in the fans."

Hampton raises his Mojito, and a man in a bow tie scurries over with a replacement.  "Maybe we could run shorter races, without all the rules?  That'd be more exciting."

"Stop Gap, sir." says Skippy.

"I got Hillbilly roots," says Hazel. "I get the biggest charge watching figure 8 Demolition Derby.  That's my favorite."  She giggles.  "Daytona, the last ten laps, only part that's any good.  $75 is too much to hear an announcer say,'And another left turn' 40 to 50 times in one afternoon.  No me."

"Yeah," says Honey.  "Let's bring back Richard Petty in one of his Plymouth Super Birds."

Hampton looks over at Newport.  "I like these ladies."

Hazel and Honey breast stroke to the shallow end, and wriggle out of the water.  They both put their towels around their necks, and walk toward the men.  Skippy, the gentleman that his is, tries to stand but his knees buckle at their sheer presence, a tad stunned, and he falls back into the chair.

"Sorry," he says.  "Ah, well, thank you ladies for your input."

Hampton and Newport beam.

Honey extends her hand.  "I'm Honey.  And this is Hazel.  We're on vacation.  We're kinda all alone."

"It's our pleasure, ladies," says Newport. "We should continue this discussion...over Champagne?  After all this is Las Vegas?"

"We'd be delighted." says Honey.

"So Skippy," says Newport.  "I think our money will be fine, sitting in the bank today.  Good job. You probably saved us a ton."

"Just doing my job, sir."  He stuffs the papers into his briefcase and waves as he leaves. "You all have a nice day."

"I'm sure we will," says Hampton. 

Honey takes Newport's arm, smiles and winks.  "Me and Hazel've been dying to try the dice table, but it's kinda scary..."

"Ladies," says Hampton.  "Please, let me stake you.  I know a little about this place.  Brunch is sounding terrific.  All of a sudden I'm feeling real lucky."

"Me too," say Honey and Hazel in unison.  They bump fists.

The four laugh, and arm in arm, stroll toward the elevators. Being with two nice ladies, who will help them spend their money?  Sounds exciting.  And isn't that really what they wanted all along?

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* NCAA Throws the Book at Cal Tech,,  (July 18,),,,

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


A man in a brown suit, black shoes, and white socks, stands in front of the Cal Tech Book Store.

He clutches a leather briefcase to his chest.  Adjusting his dark glasses, he walks toward two young men sitting on a concrete bench.

"Excuse me, I'm with the NCAA.  I'm looking for the school's athletic director."

The two young men stop, close their lap tops and stare up at the man.

"Athletic Department?" says the one wearing a Rolex.

The other, wearing red Converse, shades the sun with his hand.  His brow furrows.  "We have an Athletic Department?"

"We have reason to believe there have been NCAA violations," says Mr. NCAA.  "We will impose sanctions.  If you could direct me."  He reaches into his briefcase, and takes out a small notebook.  "And your names are?"

Rolex glances over at Red Converse.  "My name?  It's...Obi-Wan.  And...this is Mr. Kenobi? That's with a K."  They snicker.

"What is this all about?  Did one of our mighty Beavers think too long over a chess move against Harvey Mudd?"  More snickers.

"Much more serious than that, I'll have you know.  The NCAA takes rule violations very, very seriously."

Rolex points west.  "I think our...athletes?...spend a lot of time at the stadium, over near the Robinson Laboratory.  That's where you need to go."

"Thank you gentlemen, your assistance will be noted in my report."  As he walks west, he scribbles their names.  "Obi-Wan, and Kenobi?  With a K," he says to himself.

Moving west, there is a fork in the road, so he proceeds south, must be right, toward the large buildings.  Fleming House, Winnett Lounge, and, yes, the Robinson Laboratory.

 Approaching from the west, an older man jostles arm in arm with two blonds.   He wears a rumpled fedora, boots, and a man purse.  A bull whip sticks out from his belt. 

"Excuse me," says Mr. NCAA.  "I think I'm lost.  I represent the NCAA, and I need to speak with your Athletic Director." 

"Well, Hello."  says the older man.  "Let me introduce myself.  Ohio Smith, and these little ladies are Pepper, and Cinnamon.  NCAA, huh?  What seems to be the problem?"

NCAA man squeezes his briefcase closer to his chest.  He adjusts his dark glasses.

"Well," he says, looking around. "I shouldn't be commenting on an on going investigation," looking around again, "but," he moves closer to the three, and bows his head, "over the past four years, this institution has allowed 30, that's right, 30 academically ineligible students to play in 12 sports, including Baseball, Basketball, Tennis and Swimming."

"That sounds serious."  says Ohio Smith.  "Are you sure you have the right campus?  This is Cal Tech."  He looks down at Pepper and Cinnamon.  All three star back at NCAA man.

"But, what?  You've come to penalize us?  We can't lose any athletic scholarships because we don't have any.  Look, my friend, our baseball team is on a 237 game losing streak. The water polo team had a nine year losing streak snapped last year.  And mighty Beavers basketball?  We've won one conference game in the last 26 years." 

All three move past Mr. NCAA Man.
"Don't you think that's punishment enough?" 

They wave as they move by.  Then to the little ladies, who hang on his arms, "You'll both have to help me embark on my last crusade."  All three giggle.

"But, the athletic director?"

Ohio Smith points toward a large stand of trees.  "Try the Isotope Handling Laboratory, my friend.  Good Luck."

NCAA Man shudders.  Isotope Handling?  Sweat forms on his forehead.  He takes deep breathes.

He's gotten this far, so he trudges west, and what do you know?  An ivy covered building.  The Isotope Handling Laboratory.  "Lead jackets...?" he mumbles to himself.   A university campus, there's nothing to worry about.  Still, sweat runs down his cheek, as he moves up the steps.

Inside, he peeks into one chemistry lab after another, until...

Two men are in discussion. One sits with his feet up on a table, and dib-dabs a tea bag into a steaming tea cup.  The other, in a lab coat, lights a cigar with a Bunsen burner. 

"I’m sure," Mr. Tea Bag is saying.  "No way Einstein left out three pages of calculations.  It's obvious to any right thinking person that he was simply applying the Chain Rule for Partial Derivatives.  Conversely..."

"Hello," says NCAA Man.  He sticks his head into the room.   "This wouldn't be the athletic department would it?  Please be..." 

"You got it my friend, such as it is."  They both rise.  Mr. Lab Coat flicks ashes from his cigar.   Mr. Tea Bag, wearing a power yellow bow tie, continues to dib-dab a tea bag in his steaming cup.  They smile.

"Well, finally.  My name is Rooney.  Ed Rooney."  He brushes off his coat, and pulls out a file from his briefcase. "I'm an Assistant to the Vice President in charge of Rule Violations."

"Yeah, we know," says Mr. Tea Bag, still dib-dabbing his tea bag. "Wait, let me capture the text of our notification to the NCAA."  He looks toward the ceiling.  "We very much regret that the high standards we expect of ourselves were not met.  We acknowledge our responsibility and have taken all necessary steps to remedy this situation and ensure it does not happen again."

They smile at Mr. NCAA, one dib-dabbing, the other puff-puffing.  Ed half smiles back.

Flicking ashes at arms length, "Ed, as you well know, we allow students to "shop" their courses.  They attend classes for three weeks at the beginning of a term before registration. They like the class they stay.  Unfortunately, under NCAA rules, they aren't considered full-time students when they take the field.  We caught the problem, and immediately reported it to you guys."

"Well, yeah. already know...I thought..."

"It was simply a failure to communicate between athletic administrators, that's us, our coaches and the registrar.  Nothing criminal, purely inadvertent."

"So the NCAA has outlined the penalties..."

"We already imposed our own penalties.  No postseason play next season, three years of probation, one year of no campus recruiting and the vacating of wins...except for our basketball win last year, 46-45 over Occidental.  First win in 26 years. "

"I didn't know this was already handled?" says Ed.  "I was under the impression..."  His sweat returns.  He stretches his neck.  His chest hurts.  " It says there any know, medical..."

"How does shopping classes give athletes an unfair advantage?  Unbelievable."  He dib-dabs with force.  His eyes narrow.

 "Shopping classes," says Mr. Cigar.  "Admittedly, an academic fraud, but it is present at other lofty towers of academia."  He flicks more ashes. More burning embers.  "Yale."  He stomps his foot.  "Dartmouth." He stomps his other foot.  "Sarah Lawrence."  He waves his cigar.  "What about Bryn Mawr?  Huh?"  And throws his cigar across the room.  It lands in a pod of Erlenmeyer flasks.  Bubbling Erlenmeyer flasks.

And one final stomp for emphasis.

The ensuing explosion catapults Ed Rooney, the NCAA guy, out of his black shoes, across the room and out the window.  He hits the lawn face first.

Still holding his briefcase, he jumps up, befuddled, and without looking back, scurries off toward the far stand of trees.

 Mr. Cigar, and Mr. Tea Bag, cough violently, and wave at the smoky air.

"Go away, Sir. We handled all those violations already," says one. "On our own."

"Yes. Mr NCAA Man, our athletic program is completely under control," says the other,  "Completely under control."

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Obi-Wan Kenobi/WikiPedia,​Indiana_​Jones,

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


My iPhone jolts me awake.  It buzzes on the table.  I can't reach it so I lunge, half out of bed, one hand on the floor.  I get it.

"Need to talk with Belair."

I squint.  It's  5:15.   "Who needs to talk with Belair?  Only reason anybody'd call this early, something bad's happened.  Or you need me for some kind of bail.  Which is it?"

"This Belair?  'Cause it's the only time there's no long line for the phone in here."

"So...Speak to me."

"This is Marcus Shaw.  I'm still in lock up.  Alexis...Alexis Adams already got out."

"Who?" I say.   "Marcus who?"

"Thought you knew.  I'm in all the papers.  The guy who was trying to do a deal with that punk Jackson, Coach of the Warriors...Basketball?  They're saying stuff's not true, so I need you to tell it know, since you're big in sports, Sports Blog and all.  Tell my end of this."

Now I remember.  "Oh, yeah, the guy tried to shakedown Coach Jackson for $200 grand.  Extortionist.  Sure, I read about you."

"Don't believe any of it.  Listen to me.  I'll tell you how it really is.  No extortion, simply a business deal.  I'll tell you what happened, then you can write it.  Got it?"

"Okay, okay," I say.  "Let me hear what you got, then I'll decide what to believe.  Hope you got something good, this early in the morn..."

"It's good.  It's real good.  Me and Alexis, done this, okay, but nothing illegal.  And she ain't no Skanky Whore neither, or Stripper like they say.  She's an Exotic Dancer.  And a Singer.  Get that straight."

"I thought she was a..."

"Exotic Dancer, and a good one.   Anyway, she has an affair with this dude Jackson, back a few years.  Guy's married with four children, sixteen years, and he's doing Alexis on the side, can you believe.  And he's a minister.  That's right.  A preacherman.  And they're calling me bad.  You gotta tell them my side."

He takes a deep breath.  "Okay, so one day Alexis shows me these pictures of Jackson all naked and everything.  I was shocked.  From the front.  And it's all there. So I'm thinking we save this guy.  If we put these pictures on the internet, his life is in ruins, he's destroyed, everybody finds out he's doing Alexis, you know, behind his wife's back?"

"So you had naked pictures of Jackson?"

"And a CD, caught him talking some real crazy sex stuff, his congregation would blush for sure."  He laughs. "$200 grand to save his life, his career, save his marriage.  It was going to be a simple business deal."

$200 grand?" I say.

"That's cheap for this guy.  He has a lot to lose, but no, fool goes to the cops.  This I can't believe.  We thought his family was important to him, so I guess they ain't."

"They would probably know sooner of later," I say.  "Hard to keep an affair secret."

"Those pictures show everything.  You'd think he'd want that stuff private.  I sure would. Keep his privates private."  He laughs.  "Told him you don't want the vultures of the media get a hold of them."

"So, you didn't get bail?"

"Flight risk, I guess.  Alexis, damn girl, she's 28, so she got out.  But me. I'm  40, and I got a Robbery conviction, and I got  arrested for murder, but it got dismissed, but still.  No way I can afford any bail."

"And you thought you'd get away with deal?"

"Why wasn't she bangin' Tiger Woods.  $200 grand, dude like that, it's pennies.  We'd be gone, living the life."

"Maybe Jackson thought you'd keep coming back for more?"  This guy's interesting.  From the horse's mouth.  This will work for a blog post.  So I play along, keep him talking.

"I keep saying, it's nothing personal," he says.  "I ain't no criminal.  Told the dude, I'm in the Reputation Management Business.  Alexis figured he'd leave his wife first, but that never happened. So I made up a story, like good salesmen do, make thing easier for all parties."

"A story?" I say.

"Yeah, took some thought too.  She meets the guy back when he was announcing the Nets games, and she was working at a Gentleman's Club.  They hit it off real good, doing it while he's got four kids at home.  And they're calling Alexis a scumbag whore?  You getting all this?  It was business."

"I'm listening.  How did you contact him, anyway.  Just walk up to him?"

"Pretty much.  I took the time to drive back to Memphis.  I see him in a hotel where they're playing.  He's now the Coach of the Warriors.   In the lobby I showed him the pictures, and tell him the story.  Sounded legit.  We even had CD's.  Told him I found it all in a storage locker I bought.

"Got $5 grand from him, but that was it. Never got anymore. Guys a fool.  You'd think he'd know more about ball control."  He laughs again.

I laugh too, at that one.

"When I achieve wealth and national acclaim," I say.  "I'll get nude pictures taken with a Stripper...I'm sorry... an Exotic Dancer.  What could possibly go wrong?"

"I know.  I saw those pictures, I had to sit down.  Dude's some kind of pastor, lets somebody take naked pictures, and the CD's.  Guy has no control whatsoever.  Dude needs professional help."


"So, you're getting all this?"

"Every word.  And I know what he'll be saying.  Satin is trying to destroy my ministry.  Lots of tears too, I bet."

"Got that right," he says.  "True Love Worship Center International in Van Nuys.  Been there three years.  Anyway, he says $35 Grand, but I say add $165 Grand more and you're saved.  Didn't know the cops were listening.

"So, I'm thinking, hey, how about the wife.  She don't want her husband's package going out on the internet.  She'll pay."

"Makes sense." I say.

"Stop, guys, I'm talking here.  Trying to make a call.  This place...So, listen to this.   I get in touch with the wife.  Smart, right?  She should get a load of her reverend husband.  She's got a stake in this business proposition too, right?"

"I would think." I say

"So I set up a Gmail with the name Mark Smith, and, and send a message to the wife.   But she's just like him.  Don't care about family.  They're both fools."

"If memory serves, that's how they caught you.  Traced your IP address."

"  Took me some time setting that up.  They find me by my IP address.  Stupid to give my real address.  Stupid, stupid, stupid."

"Yeah, that was probably a mistake.  You want to keep your privates, private."

"You got that.  And can you believe what he says afterwards to the press?  Wait I got it right here. 'I recognize the extremely poor judgment that I used both in having an affair six years ago--including the embarrassing communication I exhibited during that time--and in attempting to deal with the extortion scheme at first by myself.  I made some egr...egre...


"Yeah, that.  'Errors.   I apologize for any embarrassment I may have caused my family, friends and, of course, the Warriors.'"  He laughs.  "I'm embarrassed just reading this.  The fool."

"How could his family not be embarrassed seeing their father, husband naked." I say.  "I don't think embarrassed is the right word.  Outraged, or Repulsed, or maybe completely Sickened by whole thing."

"Hey, stop pushing," says Shaw.  "Belair, I gotta go.  You print this.  Tell them no hard feelings.  It was a business deal, plain and simple.  Wasn't trying to hurt nobody.  Just trying to make an honest buck.  Save the guy's reputation.  Hey, that don't come cheap.   Dude goes to the cops, can you believe...for a lousy $200 grand?...Hey...I'm making a call here...stop pushin''s not your turn...Damn, I gotta get out of here."


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