Cliffhanger


Paddy Mitchell

It seems I’ve left a lot of friends and readers hanging by their fingernails on the white crumbly chalk of Dover.

But not for long.  There’ve been a lot of developments yet that need a clear moment for me to tap out.

In the meanwhile, two nights ago, 10 pm California time and Mazie and I are holed up in a bottom feeder in Petaluma.  It seems every room in the county is booked up on account of some speedway event.  So we’re relegated to this grim shoebox pinned between a mostly vacant industrial park, victim of the Great Bubble, and an indian casino wedged in by the 101.  Roar of a freeway outside, the sheets smell like pee and loud banging emanates from the room next door.

The phone rings.  It’s Poppy Davis from the USDA (more on Poppy later).  It’s one a.m. in D.C. and she’s doing her best to impersonate an official from Fish and Wildlife.

She eventually breaks.  Remember when I had to reprimand Mazie for writing about your youthful indiscretions on Facebook? she asks.

I do.

Well now I’m doing the same for you, she says.  YOUR WIFE IS A DOCTOR.  You cannot be writing about illegal activities on your blog.

Yeah.  She’s right.  Which is why I tried to password protect it, but in the end it would have required too much policing and management, and as long as our exact whereabouts are not disclosed – well heck, California’s a big state.

And who would Paddy Mitchell and the Stopwatch Gang have been without their brazenness?  It distinguishes the petty thief from legend.

I peek out the curtain and look down at the tawdry lights from the casino.  I didn’t know their were any gaming tribes down this way.  A minivan weaves erratically through the parking lot.

What would a raven do? 
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