Twenty minutes later we were all out front with our bags and headed to the car. (Yes, twenty minutes. Women shop, guys buy, especially when we are starving.) Me with a shiny new Acer Aspire which came with a built in DVD, a burner phone, toothpaste, a large plastic water glass and a plastic fridge pitcher with a lid. Who knows what they had? I was just worried about the thin plastic bag letting the computer show through while I was standing out there waiting on them. Everything but the laptop went in the trunk. I fished the laptop and its charging cable out before dropping the its box in the trunk.
It’s a weird thing to realize you stopped somewhere to eat leaving five pounds of diamonds, not to mention however much gold and whatever was left of the cash bag sitting in the car. This weird feeling happens when the “business” section with the power outlets is in the quiet area, well away from the windows which look out to the parking lot. I’m pretty certain I’m the only one who had this weird feeling too. It was my money after all.
We did manage to find a Residence Inn with an available two bedroom suite for the next three days. Slim memorized the address and the little map which came up on the screen. Fatigue didn’t start setting in until we finished our meal. By then we had booked a service appointment with a Pepboys not far from the hotel. I told Stretch to charge that burner tonight because they were going to be calling when they looked up the book hours for putting quick struts under an Avalon. Now that I had managed to locate several of my ID kits with functional prepaid cards, we would be good. I said I would go with him to help pick out the tires.
After we got checked into the hotel I told the guys the trunk had to be empty for tomorrow as Pepboys would have to take the back seat out to work on the rear set. I reached in the freezer and pushed down the lever to engage the ice maker and took the smaller bedroom. Tomorrow was going to be a long day.
The morning came late for me. It was nearly 9am when I woke. I have to hand it to the Acrobats. They weren’t bad traveling companions. A younger me wouldn’t admit it, but I was still recovering from Melony. This body wasn’t used to that kind of punishment. At this age, I could only put out like that about once every other month. Places I didn’t know I had still ached.
Giant was using the laptop at the table. I was pleasantly surprised to see he too had booted the Linux live DVD so nothing would be stored on the hard drive. He saw me checking out the screen and the Web browser and stated “Don’t worry, I’m not using Google. For-profit wing of the NSA. I heard you.”
The NSA would like to be able to violate privacy and copyright law with the wanton abandonment Google does” I stated as I filled a pot with water and set it on the hot plate with a lid.
Stretch and Slim noticed my cooking activities and shared a smile before Stretch asked “What are you doing old man. Making your morning enema so you can get on with your day?” All three of them bust up laughing and even I had to chuckle.
Making iced tea” I responded. “If there aren’t enough tea bags in this room there will be more down stairs at the little coffee bar I saw while checking in.”
Why can’t you drink coffee like ordinary people?” asked Slim.
Coffee is the nectar of the damned. Filthy disgusting mud which gives people the breath of dog feces” I answered.
Oh! And tea is the nectar of the righteous hallowed few” teased back Stretch.
No. Just those who tend to outlive the damned” I laughed back. I thought it was funny, but they all started looking down at their coffee and got silent.
I will teach you what I can, but, now that this company has the factory in place, churning out disposable razors, this won’t be a long term career for anyone anymore. Get used for a few shaves and get tossed in the trash. Honestly, I’ve been thinking about getting out for a while. Well, a decade if I speak the truth. I just never found anything else I really thought I could do to occupy my time.”
Giant” I said, looking directly at him. “See if there are any old coin shops near by which buy gold and coins. Preferably one which can pay by wire transfer. I just came up with a much better way to get money on Stretch’s card.” I walked over to the courier case and fished out six of my oldest looking one ounce Krugerrands. I handed them to Stretch saying “These may actually be worth more than the price of the gold. We need to have you sell them at a coin shop which might even be slightly honest. A paw shop is going to pay you gold price. If they wire the money directly to your card it will be more than enough to pay for the car.”
I thought you were worried about a large amount being reported” Stretch responded.
A large amount of cash being reported” I answered. “This is a property sale through a legitimate business.”
When they ask, what do I tell them?” queried Stretch.
Tell them you won them in a poker game. Tell them they were a childhood gift from your uncle and you never knew what they were or their value, but you need to make some car repairs and you are hoping their sale covers it. I don’t care. You’ve run a scam before. You will be in there alone so play it how you wish. If they opt to not buy them or refused to pay you electronically, walk out. We can take a pair of ingots to a pawn shop. I hung onto these so long because of the dates on them. I thought they would be worth more than the new ones. Even if they only pay you gold price, that will be north of six grand which should easily cover the car repairs. Your ID is on the paperwork for that car, so it has to be you.”