#389 Artie The Hustler
Artie the Hustler is sitting at the window in suite 2301 on the 22nd floor of the Hotel Especial and he's looking out at Central Park and wondering if there's a way he can call Kylie of the DeLuxe Escort Service and put the thing on his expense account.
Artie checks his wallet and he's got a coupla hundred cash, which is more than enough to have dinner even at The Especial Chalet, which is the main floor dining room.
Okay, so he can pay for his own food, and still voucher it. But a couple of hundred for dinner is going to raise an eyebrow or two and that's still not enough for Kyie. But maybe he can hustle something. Looks in his luggage. Good stuff in there. Calls Kylie. She's not there, but everyone who answers at DeLuxe knows Artie.
"How about sending Kylie over? I got maybe 200 dollars."
"Aw, Artie, you know we can't do that."
"Well, how about 200 and I'll throw in a Dualite CD player, complete with batteries, charger and special advanced digital headphones?"
"Artie... cash or credit card. No CD player. Just cash or credit card."
"Well, how about the 200 and the CD player and two tickets to Bela Fleck at South Street Seaport. You can scalp those for at least another couple of hundred."
"Artie, no one in New York will pay more than face for Bela Fleck."
"Alright. My final offer. 200 bucks, the CD player, the accessories, the Bela Flek tickets AND a year's subscription to my website."
"Ferchrissakes, Artie, okay, but don't keep her more than half an hour. And that Player better work."
Kylie is as good a hustler as Artie and when she shows up an hour later, she gets the cash, the player, the tickets, the web subscription, plus Artie's suitcase, his credit card, three bath towels a couple of water tumblers and a portable iron from the closet.
(This is a previously unpublished excerpt from "Tiny Tales." ©1996, 1997, 2008 WJR It's a couple of hundred words shorter than usual, but #385 was a double, so we're even.)