Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Case of the Serial Proroguer

I was sitting alone in the bar of the Chateau Laurier, nursing my third Molson's Canadian. I've drunk more than my share of booze, but this was different: the more I drank the worse it got. I was considering changing to Screech, a hellish brew I'd only heard about in back alleys, when a woman came and sat down next to me. She was black, she was beautiful, and she had a constitutional problem. Two out of three ain't bad. I knew the third would be trouble.

"I think I know you," she said.

"That's more than I can say," I told her. "Can I buy you a drink?"

She gave me a long, lazy look, and said, "I only accept drinks from constitutional lawyers."

I held her gaze. "You're in luck, darling, I'm a constitutional lawyer."

"Too bad you don't have a drink."

I could see this one would be hard to handle. I ordered Screech on the rocks for both of us. She took a lady-like gulp and grimaced.

"That's more like it. Can we get raw seal?"

I motioned to the bartender who unobtrusively laid an adult seal on the bar, clubbed it to death, and cut out the heart for her. She munched appreciatively, and washed it down with more Screech. This was no ordinary woman.

Eventually, she opened up: "I have a problem with cowboys."

Constitutional problems and cowboys mix like oil and water. You shake them up, you get salad dressing. I played it cool.

"You don't seem like the type to have problems with any kind of boys."

She grimaced attractively and opened the next bottle of Screech with her teeth.

"It's not as simple as all that."

If Health Canada regulations had permitted smoking in public areas, she would have taken a drag on her cigarette and exhaled slowly. "These guys are something else. They don't play by the rules, they don't think there are any rules, and they play for keeps."

Now we were getting somewhere.. "So why bother with a constitutional lawyer? What you need is a gunslinger from Alberta."

She turned on me. "They're way overrated. They've only got six shots, the shots aren't all that impressive, and after that they're all talk."

"So what's the problem?"

"We need to take them out on my terms, not their terms."

Clearly, this woman could not be taken lightly.

"And that's where I come in?"

"Of course. I want to take these guys down, permanently, and I want them to look like fools while I'm doing it."

I played a long shot. "Have you read the Magna Carta?"

"Only in Norman French."

She had ovaries the size of grapefruit.

"OK, you've hired me, but I'm going to need an advance."

Her smoky gaze met me head on.

"You can have as much advance as you think you can handle..."

To be continued...