The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Enjoy Montoursville, Moose

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Nov 20, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Young men with lots of money tend to wear expensive clothing. That is not to say it’s always tasteful, however.

For just about all of the Yankees, especially the younger ones, the t-shirt of choice is made by the designer Christian Audigier. These run for around $175. You read that right, $175.

Mike Mussina found this endlessly hilarious.

As teammates would come into the clubhouse, Mussina would invariably roll his eyes when somebody walked by wearing one of the gaudy designer t-shirts. “I wouldn’t sleep in that,” he said one day, pointing at the shirt one rookie was wearing. “I’m serious.”

The Moose gets his t-shirts on line and they cost $20. One day he would come in wearing a Sanford and Son shirt, the next day would be The A-Team. He wasn’t out to impress anybody.

I think that’s why he retired. He wasn’t out to impress anybody. Perhaps you or I would be motivated by the idea of winning 300 games or making another $10 million or winning a championship. But Mussina was more interested in spending time with his wife and sons. Brycen is 9 and Peyton is 4 and he wants to watch them grow up. They’re at that age now where having their dad around all the time means something.

A lot of ballplayers say how much their families mean to them and to some extent it’s probably true. But living the life and making some bank usually wins out. By walking away while still healthy and still able to pitch at a high level, Mussina shows that he really means it.

The Yankees will say the right things about him, but Mussina will not be missed by many in the clubhouse. For years, his closest friend on the team was bullpen catcher Mike Borzello. The Moose liked to read, work on crossword puzzles and search on line for old cars to purchase and fix up. If the Yankees had a day off, he immediately went home to Pennsylvania. In the eight years he spent with the Yankees, he probably went into Manhattan 10 times. He had a house in Westchester and he knew how to get to Yankee Stadium. That’s all he really cared to know. He liked his privacy.

A few people have e-mailed asking if Mussina will become a coach or a broadcaster. Forget it; he will be a ghost as far as baseball is concerned. Mussina is not somebody who wants to sit around talking about the old days or trying to teach some kid (in a $175 t-shirt) how to throw a curveball.

He did not suffer fools well, especially reporters who asked silly questions. (“What do you want now?” he would say at first before smiling) But if you had a story to write and you needed some perspective, nobody was better to talk to. He also was one of the few Yankees you could engage in a conversation about something other than baseball. For those of us who write about the team, it’s a loss. Not having the Moose and The Big G around will cut down on the laughs.

Back in 2002 or 2003, I was assigned to cover a game Mussina pitched in. He took the loss and when reporters gathered around his locker afterward, nobody was sure what to ask for a few seconds. Mussina looked over the crowd and simply said, “Bueller? Bueller?”

If you get that, you get the Moose.

Here’s hoping that in five or six years, Mussina gets inducted in the Hall of Fame. Now that would be a good speech.


T-Kep loves the Moose, too. So does Mark Feinsand.





259 Responses to “Enjoy Montoursville, Moose”

  1. Garym November 20th, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Pete,well said. I will miss seeing the Moose in post game interviews because i always got a kick out of him. You are right im sure there aren’t many players who will really care and Girardi also,they will all say the right things but I give the man credit,he went out on his terms after a wonderful season and he really does care more about family and this proves it. He truly is one of the nicer guys left in sports in that way.

  2. Dan November 20th, 2008 at 11:51 am

    It’s going to be weird not having him around, but you have to really respect the guy.

  3. Whitey Fraud November 20th, 2008 at 11:51 am

    “Brycen” and “Peyton”?

    Good thing Dad will be around.

    I recommended martial arts training, too.

  4. ANSKY November 20th, 2008 at 11:52 am

    An old teacher of mine used to say ‘a smart feller among fart smellers’

  5. rackem November 20th, 2008 at 11:53 am


    On Mark Mussina’s blog he just posted, he says Moose’s elbow was bothering him. You just said he was healthy, but do you think maybe his injury played a role in his decision?

    “Are you hurting”? I asked.
    “My elbow’s bothering me,” he replied.
    “For how long”? I continued.
    “Six weeks,” he deadpanned.
    “Is it that bad”? I said.
    “It’s not like a knife,” he explained, “but it hurts.”
    “Can you pitch?” was my last question.
    “I can get through two more starts.”

  6. j2 November 20th, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Nice, tribute. I love reading the oddities about players.

  7. vin November 20th, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Excellent post, Pete. Very fitting tribute/recap.

  8. SCRANTON November 20th, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Nice read Pete.

  9. mel November 20th, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Good post, Pete.

    Such a complex person. But like any intelligent person, he chooses to keep it simple.

  10. Bill from NJ November 20th, 2008 at 11:59 am

    great post pete

  11. RayMagnetic November 20th, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Okay, so I just went on the Christian Audigier website to take a look at the clothing on there.

    It’s one thing to buy expensive clothing, but that website has some of the ugliest things that I have ever seen in my life.

    Even the wallets they sell are ugly.

  12. KennyH123 November 20th, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Good stuff. But I read that he already wants to be a spring training instructor for the Yanks and plans on being in Tampa in February.

    So much for being a “ghost” when it comes to baseball.

  13. bodhisattva November 20th, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    That is a moving piece of writing.

    I’ll never forget the “stay there!” command to Torre, attempting to come up the dugout stairs to take Mussina out.

    …Or the excruciating pause, the narrowing of the eyes, and the little groan of protest before he actually answers the soundbite YES questions…hilarious and unforgettable Moose.

  14. mcccc November 20th, 2008 at 12:01 pm


  15. Ed - (slacking in class now) November 20th, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Moose likes to keep it old school. :)

  16. RhapsodyInBlue November 20th, 2008 at 12:01 pm


    I did the same, I agree.

  17. vin November 20th, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    “So much for being a “ghost” when it comes to baseball.”

    Koufax shows up at Vero Beach every year, and he’s still considered to be one of the biggest ghosts out there.

  18. E-Man November 20th, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    I wish Girardi would retire instead.

  19. gayle November 20th, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Great post. Actually went back and re-read some of the Feinstein book last night and found one of my favorite hysterical quotes from Moose from the 2007 season.

    It was the day of the Mets game at the Stadium and Joel Sherman was hanging in the clubhouse trying to get some quote and he approached Moose (this is after Miguel Cairo tried to lay out some tape boundaries so he could get some privacy). of course Sherman gave him a hard time about it like he should be worried about other things other than closing off reporters BUT

    When Sherman asked Moose about how it was announced that Igawa had pitched on flat ground from 90 feet (remember he was coming off an injury) Moose said that’s great he must be on the Carl Pavano plan. Then went on to say how he never sees Pavano but knows he is on the team as his car is still parked next to his.

    Once again I recommend the Feinstein book for anyone that likes Moose,likes pitching or wants some insight into the game on both the personal and professional side (especially in this time of free agency) as there is great background on union involvement in the pressuring of players to take certain deals. BOTH Glavine and Moose are big union people.

  20. rackem November 20th, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Come on who wouldn’t want a hat like this?

  21. j2 November 20th, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Gayle, Thanks for the book tip. Do you have the title?

  22. jessica(Let's Go Yankees) November 20th, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Back in 2002 or 2003, I was assigned to cover a game Mussina pitched in. He took the loss and when reporters gathered around his locker afterward, nobody was sure what to ask for a few seconds. Mussina looked over the crowd and simply said, “Bueller? Bueller?”

    If you get that, you get the Moose.

    Can someone explain this for me? Thanks.

  23. rackem November 20th, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    If you have never seen the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, I suggest renting it. And then you will understand.

  24. Joey's Poodle November 20th, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    The ineffable Moose will be quite active in baseball. He’s a mainstay on the Board of Little League, which headquarters in Williamsport, PA, where Moose was born and not far from where he lives today.

  25. jessica(Let's Go Yankees) November 20th, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Thanks, rackem.

  26. Bronx Jeers November 20th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Nice Eulogy.

    Based on his post game (which was usually entertaining in itself), I guess we could see how his demeanor might rub some of the more younger at heart the wrong way. Still, his darker side had a bit of the trickster to it as opposed to say a Randy Johnson who just seemed to be flat out mean.

    I certainly will miss watching that curve fall over the plate. Hopefully he’ll soften up a bit in his retirement and pop in for an Old Timers Game.

  27. gayle November 20th, 2008 at 12:33 pm


    The name of the book is Living on the Black

  28. jimmy27 November 20th, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Great job Pete.
    So who will be the Laureate of the clubhouse now?

    I wonder if Moose has a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California in his collection
    - so choice, if you have the means I highly suggest picking one up –

    it seems that the writers like Moose – that will be enough to put him over the top and into Hall – IMO

  29. Sam November 20th, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    It is good to hear when people can see beneath the surface. Michael Kay has been killing Moose for a long time because he is grouchy. But there is a lot more to Moose than your average ballplayer, and that should be considered a good thing. You could tell he was an interesting guy with a good sense of humor when he did interviews with M&MD. It is too bad the average fan hears mostly the negative stuff on Moose, but those who really watch the Yanks and listen to him can tell he was a good person to have around because he saw things differently.

  30. Ziny November 20th, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    He will be missed.. :-(

    I loved watching him being interviewed. He’s pretty smart for a baseball player.

    Grest post Pete!

  31. steve November 20th, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    offer arbitration anyway(he’ll decline) this way if he pulls a brett favre and unretires and signs elsewhere , yanks will get draft picks

  32. j2 November 20th, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Thanks, Gayle!

  33. Jason November 20th, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    ive seen arod wear Ed Hardy Tshirts

  34. bigjf November 20th, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    He’s a HOF in my book. I don’t know if he’ll be in 5 years from now, but hopefully not too long after that. It’s one thing to criticize a “compiler,” as Francesa put it, but it’s another to have longevity over a long prosperous career, one which Moose spent 18 years in the AL East.

  35. Bostowned November 20th, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Moose was always my favorite pitcher. Even in his tough 2007 season. He proved in 08 that he still could pitch and Im proud to say I seen every start. First pitch in the new stadium?

    Long live the Moose!

  36. Rodney November 20th, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    man, hearing that the moose feels the same about those ed hardy losers is going to make me miss him even more. I hope he gets into the hall of fame, he’s always been a class act in my book.

  37. rover November 20th, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Moose took his job seriously did it more than well. I never felt he took himself to be all that. A quality a great many spoiled modern day athletes ougtha try emulating. Decent dude, great pitcher,Heres to the Hall. Moose deserves it.

  38. rover November 20th, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Now he needs to compete with Palmer for total underwear sales.

  39. saucY November 20th, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    nice post pete

    didn’t realize those ed hardy shirts were so expensive. i thought they were okay, but now knowing how much they cost, i probably won’t look at people wearing them the same way again. :|

  40. chaossolver November 20th, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    bye moose… now i need to find a new favorite pitcher…

  41. Khoa November 20th, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    What a great post Pete. Nice intro (the tees).

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    “The Great Grissini, of course. Let me find out where he is right now.” She punched the keys; and I tried to remember where I had seen her before. Angelina was far quicker off the mark then I was.

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    The canopy dropped down, rose an instant later and they were gone. The audience roared with appreciation when they saw that the cage was empty. Woman and swine had vanished. The curtains closed and I stepped out for a few last bows. Bolivar threw a bouquet of flowers which I neatly fielded. With a small movement of my thumb I indicated backstage and he nodded.

  49. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    “Now it really is a party,” I said. “So we can celebrate a bit-before we figure out what the next step will be. I have the strong sensation that our invisible enemies have been one step ahead of us ever since we arrived on this planet. Let us then do something to even the score.”

  50. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    He looked worried. I turned the knife in the wound.

  51. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    “At least we have no problems with the vault here. This is sealed tight. It has a time lock that cannot be altered from the outside. It will only open in the morning after the staff arrives.”

  52. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:46 pm

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  53. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:46 pm

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  54. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    “Deactivate alarms by placing your hand on the plate beside the rear entrance to the bank Do it now. “

  55. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:46 pm

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  56. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    He must have become aware of the partly open door because he grabbed the handle and slammed it shut. Moved off, still complaining.

  57. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    “Good day, sire. Luncheon is about to be served. Today’s special is steak. Genetically restored, genuine Jurassic Brontosaurus steak. Very lean, grilled to your choice. The normal order is one kilo, but for the really hungry we can serve any size portion. Ten, twenty, thirty kilos-” I raised my hand, almost losing my appetite at the thought.

  58. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Which he instantly did-after one shocked look at my face. Whipping out the detector and passing it down my body. Three coins, the usual, but one of my metal fly buttons turned on the red light as well. Chaise was getting trickier all the time. I tore off the button and handed it to Bolivar along with the coins. He took the insulated pouch from his pocket and tipped all the miniature transmitters into it, then sealed it shut.

  59. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Igor grabbed me by the ankles and dragged me off the bed. I threw myself sideways so I landed on my shoulder instead of my head. He hauled me, bumping and cursing into the other room. Then sat on me while he opened both pairs of cuffs.

  60. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    “Of course. Now please answer my question.”

  61. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    Puissanto lowered his head, braced his arms-then ran swiftly at the wall. Bending double as he ran. Lowering his head.

  62. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    Our guide droned on through her monotonous speech while the tour members gaped at the models and flickering lights. I looked over my shoulder after I had moved along the back of the tour, putting bodies between me and the entrance hall. Someone was running towards the outside door; there were loud shouts. Some heads turned to look as I worked my way farther into the room.

  63. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    “Angelina!” I cried aloud.

  64. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    “Done,” he said. “And less than one-hundredth of one percent of the memory in this computer has been used. Now what do you want done with it?”

  65. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    “Who are you?”

  66. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    He took a palmtop computer from his case and put it on the table between us. “I have a mole, a very deep mole, who was planted in this particular building some years ago. He has been taking photographs of this building all of that time.” He typed in a command and a holopic of an immense white structure appeared before us. Mighty pillars supported a great plinth. Stairs led up the entrance behind the pillars and, as the point of view moved forwards, I could read the words incised in the marble above.

  67. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    “We have the germ of an idea but we need a few more facts. Were the guards in uniform?”

  68. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    “Your age is the right age,” I enthused. “You are gorgeous and desirable and every male past puberty in the audience will be watching you, not me. I can hear the orgone sizzling already.”

  69. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    “They mugged me.”

  70. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    “Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop.” On the fourth repetition they did. I leaned my lightning prod against the wall and trotted down the dimly lit hall. Counting the entrances as I went past them, rewalking in reality the virtual reality that I had walked through so many times before. There it was.

  71. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    “That was the front box office. A reporter from the Fetorr Times-Picayune wants to interview the Mighty Marvell for their Live Today, Everyday Program. You must remember that we show people do thrive on publicity, so I said yes.” She rose and beckoned to Bolivar. “This dressing room is getting entirely too busy. Come Believer, let us get you over to Gar’s before the press arrives.”

  72. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    “Insulting a police officer in the course of his duty!” the captain roared. “That is a criminal act! Arrest this man!” he shouted and burly rozzers leaped forward to seize my son.

  73. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:51 pm

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  74. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    “Don’t be cheeky. I mean it, seriously.”

  75. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:52 pm

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  76. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    “Buy my suit!” a mannequin in a window shouted as I walked.

  77. August 3rd, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Bolivar took a cab to the bank, while James took our shopping list. Angelina and I stayed in the warm security of the bar to await his return. I ordered another drink.

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    When we finally contacted Bolivar and Sybill with a conference telepresence call he looked gloomier and gloomier at his unavoidable fate. He could only wriggle on the hook.

  107. August 6th, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Bolivar gently took the explosive from my hands. “I never heard you say that before. I grew up believing that you could do anything.”

  108. August 6th, 2014 at 8:40 am

    “I did-and I meant it. But that was some years ago when I was much faster on my feet. Always on the lookout for a fresh challenge. Right now this old rat is feeling a bit rusty and put-upon. And stubborn. For a lot of reasons, including some I am not sure of, I do not want to back out of this one.”

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    Bolivar lifted an eyebrow and looked worried. “Let’s sit down for a bit. Before that bar stool throws you.”

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    He was a good and experienced climber. I would have stopped for breath by this time. He just went at it hand over hand at a steady pace. Reached the junction of the four legs. That should be it. But no, he went on until he appeared to be as high as the cables pendant from their immense insulators. Then he stopped. A dark smudge against the bright metal of the tower.

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    “You can see that I am! Just as you can also see that you are a construct-which indicates a constructor. You were made by humans-and you can also see that I am a human. Therefore I am a member of the human race who constructed you. And . a construct must always obey the orders of the constructor.” I shook my head. Not really believing that I was having a teleological argument with a robot.

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    I pulled on the gas mask with the darkened lenses. Turned on the brilliant flame of the thermal lance and began to burn a circle in the bottom of the van. But I was listening as well, and smiled when I heard the disguised van engine start, then move away.

  114. August 6th, 2014 at 8:41 am

    “Are you driving?”

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    “I’m looking forward to picking some of those roses,” was Angelina’s practical suggestion.

  116. August 6th, 2014 at 8:42 am

    “You are absolutely right,” I said with great authority. Then slumped into the seat. “Only we don’t have one.”

  117. August 6th, 2014 at 8:42 am

    “We’ll do it that way. Go through the house-and call me the instant you find out anything.”

  118. August 6th, 2014 at 8:42 am

    “I’ve had a long night,” I said and punched for the drinks menu. I ordered double eye-openers for both of us. “Let me tell you all about it.”

  119. August 6th, 2014 at 8:43 am

    I was happy to leave it behind. My contact lens stayed in place this time. My palm unlocked the door and I walked in.

  120. August 7th, 2014 at 2:21 pm

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  122. August 8th, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    “Not quite,” Angelina said, going over to read it. “It’s from James. He’s found a porcuswine for us! Full details follow. He has arranged for us to be met as soon as we clear customs. By a man named Igor who has a truck. He knows where we have to go. He closes with best wishes and good luck.” She pressed the print button and a copy of the message rolled out of the machine. “He has arranged our entire schedule.”

  123. August 8th, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Another row of policemen, also aiming guns.

  124. August 8th, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    “Yes. That is what I had in mind.”

  125. August 8th, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    “Good. Than I shall not have to do that kind of thing a second time.” He turned to me before he left. “You are safe. I’ll give you one day. When I return you will be an authority on this building.”

  126. August 8th, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    “What is it?”

  127. August 8th, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Why not? I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

  128. August 8th, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    “See that you do arrive in time for opening night at the circus. For our mutual benefit,” he said. “See you on opening night.” He exited as swiftly as he had arrived and I went looking for Angelina, looking forward to one of those drinks she had talked about. She and Grissini were sitting and chatting in the atrium garden. I joined them and looked with more need than pleasure at a chilled and brimming glass that awaited me.

  129. August 8th, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    “How kind!”

  130. August 8th, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    “Never, my dear mother. This is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

  131. August 8th, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Igor did as ordered and the tumblers fell: a green light blinked. While he was waiting for orders to turn the locking wheel I turned the locking wheel. The bars did from their sockets and I tugged the door open.

  132. August 8th, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    “Take this. And bring me back a video of you handing it. to my wife. Let her read the news, then hold it up to the camera. Then I want her to say something that will positively identify her. Tell her that. She will think of something.”

  133. August 8th, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    “Pig poo in back. Twenty credits more.”

  134. August 8th, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Was this the end? Were we to be ground into the soil of this sordid planet at the galaxy’s edge?

  135. August 8th, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I was very glad at that moment that I was not on camera. I am sure that my expression was one of gaping stupidity; that of an eyeball-popping, hang jawed moron. What was happening? I took a quick look at Angelina and saw that she was as stupefied as I was. She recovered faster; touched her hair with the back of her hand, her expression now one of abstract interest.

  136. August 8th, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I got ready to plant the prepared spear-but I could not.

  137. August 8th, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    I felt suddenly very cold. Scanned the report quickly.

  138. August 8th, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    “Never! I’ll challenge anyone who calls you that! You are not a git.”

  139. August 8th, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    “And theoretically investigating Puissanto,” Angelina said. “Which, as I dimly remember, was the reason we came here in the first place. Shouldn’t we take a closer look at him?”

  140. August 8th, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    “I’m surprised that you remember that much. You fell sound asleep.”

  141. August 8th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    “A lot. My department of Galactic Tax Inspection has been working closely with the local tax authorities and the police. Their simple-minded brother in the hospital has already been fingered for assisting in the murder of a worker named Iba. Igor will get medical and psychiatric treatment. But the wounded brother in the next room goes down for murder. No death sentence on Fetorr. But a life sentence here really does mean life.”

  142. August 8th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    I managed a few hours sleep and awoke feeling a bit better. After a picker-upper pill I felt better still. As I did, first thing every morning, I checked my bank account. The expected four million from Chaise had not come through. But there was a message.

  143. August 8th, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    “Stop that! You break anything and you are in trouble.” The speaker pushed the guard’s shoe aside, straightened the limb he had assaulted.

  144. August 8th, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Well, deep down, I suppose he was. Though I did not like that Monstrous Ego crapola. But I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of having me agree with him. I pulled over a metal folding chair and sat down. Relaxed. Buffed my fingernails on my shirt and admired their shine.

  145. August 8th, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    He looked me up and down-then recoiled when he saw Bolivar’s repellent guise.

  146. August 8th, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    “The value of your craft has already been credited to your highly secret, known to no one, account in the Banco di NAPSLO. And as some recompense for hardship I do hope that you will be my guests at dinner tonight at the Earth light Room. Just tell the maitre d’ to bill Kaia’s account. You will dine as you have never dined before.”

  147. August 8th, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    “Tried run over me. Puissanto don’t take hestelort from dumb driver. No way.”

  148. August 8th, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    I opened my mouth to protest. Shut it again when I realized the futility. A holiday in friendly Swartzlegen seemed to be very much in order. Chaise drove me to the station himself. Gave me anther bundle of money and a telephone. And issued more orders to which I nodded, but didn’t listen. I knew what had to be done. Something dangerous, possibly deadly, in the sunny south.

  149. August 8th, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Was something wrong? Before my thoughts ran away with themselves Kaia’s black car pulled up beside me.

  150. August 8th, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    “Is that you, Marvell?”

  151. August 8th, 2014 at 5:21 pm


  152. August 8th, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    “When they discover that we are missing-why a couple traveling with a porcuswine would be, how should I phrase it, pretty memorable.”

  153. August 8th, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    “A great scenario,” I said. “I tip my hat to Chaise, a true criminal genius. As well as being a brain-twisted swine.”

  154. August 8th, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    “Stand there. Do not move.” I looked again at my watch. “In a few minutes the armored van will come over the top of the hill there. That’s it, use the binoculars, sight along the arrow painted on the ground. Good. And what do you do when you see the van?”

  155. August 8th, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Up into the air they went in brief arcs. To be seized by those giant hands as they dropped. Grabbed and thrown aloft once more. Five times he performed this act of strength and coordination before he lowered them safely to the stage at last. The girl kissed him, the audience went wild. Harley Davidson, who was standing close by me, shouted aloud across the stage. But so wild was the audience that I was the only one who could hear him.

  156. August 8th, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    I shook my head no.

  157. August 8th, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    “I don’t like driving this thing,” Igor said, echoing the doubts of his employer. “Not with all that stuff packed in around me.”

  158. August 8th, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Kaia’s cashcard worked fine. As did the driving record and license of one of his employees that was held in the central computer’s records. No other queries were made. My clothes, money, cash tip and mere presence in this habitat of the good and golden was passport enough. I drove out into the sunlit brightness of the day.

  159. August 8th, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I am afraid that all we could do was gape blankly and adenoidally at this news. Yet it was true. He had us stand to the side, squarely facing the metal slats of one side of the cage.

  160. http://net_client/ August 8th, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    “Very true. And we can forget all the other banks on the other planets that were robbed as well. They may not have any relevance to this investigation, since the facts that apparently linked them together were probably fabricated.”

  161. August 8th, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    “We will forget the matter of the tax files for the moment. If it is not taxes-why are the police so eager to capture you?”

  162. August 8th, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    “I’m afraid you will have to find out for yourself. This is all I could uncover now. Plus the fact that Special Corps thinks that Gar Goyle can be trusted. If I find out anything else I’ll let you know. How are your magical studies going?”

  163. August 8th, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    “What’s going to happen to them?”

  164. August 8th, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    “Maybe a little water now and then-but no food. I want you weak but I don’t want you to die on me. I think another week will bring you around to my side. If not-why then another week. Then perhaps I can supply some interesting interviews with your wife.” I writhed realistically at that. “Even you will break, Jim, I guarantee that.”

  165. August 8th, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    No alarms had gone off yet so it looked as though this was going to be a silent chase. After the first shouting someone with intelligence would take charge. They did not want to disturb the visitors who had not been drafted for radioactive duty. Someone in authority had realized that if the ferry were stopped from leaving, I would also be stopped from leaving the island. They would take care of the ferry first. After it had been searched and I wasn’t found, then someone would remember about the guided tour. That would take some time because the only person who had seen me clearly was the guard I had knocked down. He would have to be revived, sent after the tour to identify me. And I wouldn’t be there. The search would widen to the island. And more sinister, would extend through this building. What next?

  166. August 8th, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Then he reached up with his upper set of arms and plunged his hands in the flesh of his neck and ripped down. Angelina gasped as the skin parted. He pulled the opening wide and a man wearing a kilt stepped out: he only had two arms.

  167. August 8th, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    The grunted response could have meant anything. I tried to smile warmly while I introduced myself and Angelina. He broke in before I was done.

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    It exploded with a glare of flame, a blast of noise.

  172. August 11th, 2014 at 12:25 am

    “Which is?. . . “

  173. August 11th, 2014 at 12:26 am

    “Yes, you said that.” Did I detect a note of electronic exasperation? “Would you please tell our millions of viewers just what kind of a clue you are holding in your hands?”

  174. August 11th, 2014 at 12:26 am

    “Atomic energy and the generation of electricity. It keeps our technological society running. What do you know about it?”

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  176. August 11th, 2014 at 12:26 am

    The rest of the voyage passed this way. While I honed my magical talents she finalized her costumes. We ate well, slept well-and other than a glass or two of wine with meals the only booze I enjoyed was my evening libation.

  177. August 11th, 2014 at 12:27 am

    “Nothing. Or rather the knowledge, or faith, that when I press a button the lights come on.”

  178. August 11th, 2014 at 12:27 am

    “As a reward for your medical ministrations I would say that another cool glass of bubbly would be in order,” I offered.

  179. August 11th, 2014 at 12:27 am

    I cringed. “Dear, sir,” I whined. “You must forgive me, carried away by these terrible events, you are of course right. Justice will be served. While I crawl back to my miserable hovel and berate myself deeply at my mistake.”

  180. August 11th, 2014 at 12:28 am

    “One of these days, Igor, I am going to maim and kill you. Or worse.” He emitted a sound somewhere halfway between a laugh and a grunt.

  181. August 11th, 2014 at 12:28 am

    I patted the thing’s leathery hide. “Good as done.”

  182. August 11th, 2014 at 12:28 am

    “No,” I said. “Stop it. There is a good chance that Angelina is either in the truck or in the house. Igor will know one way or the other.”

  183. August 11th, 2014 at 12:28 am

    “We have heard a lot about you,” Angelina said, menacingly.

  184. August 11th, 2014 at 12:29 am

    “How can you tell? Igor brain-dead.”

  185. August 11th, 2014 at 12:29 am

    “I’ll . . . get them. . .” Cracking and husking of course.

  186. August 11th, 2014 at 12:29 am

    The robots chuntered along their appointed courses and I was barely aware of them. Only if one of them stalled in a feedback cycle did I remember what I was supposed to be doing and shock it back into action. Then I would sink back into the insolvable circle of my thoughts.

  187. August 11th, 2014 at 12:30 am

    “Let’s make tracks,” I said. “Before they discover that they were fighting the robot pilot.”

  188. August 11th, 2014 at 12:30 am

    “With good reason, Tom. Igor collapsed and had a massive heart attack. He has had an acute posterior myocardial infarction, a major one. It knocked out a good deal of the right ventricle. He is responding to the emergency treatment and the consultants are talking about bypass surgery as soon as we reach the hospital. How is your house hunting going? “

  189. August 11th, 2014 at 12:31 am

    “When I was a small lad they were my only friends.”

  190. August 11th, 2014 at 12:31 am

    “Step back!” I ordered. “That is a savage watchpig trained to kill anyone foolish enough to approach its owner. In any case-the computer is over there. It is built into that suitcase.”

  191. August 11th, 2014 at 12:32 am

    “All in place. We leave in ten minutes.”

  192. August 11th, 2014 at 12:32 am

    will need for tonight’s operation.”

  193. August 11th, 2014 at 12:33 am

    “Igor will take you to the depository now,” he said. “I will be right behind you in my car. All of the way. I ‘will also be close by when you come out in the morning. If I have any suspicion at all that you have not done exactly what you described, you can be perfectly sure that you will never see your wife again.”

  194. August 11th, 2014 at 12:33 am

    “Either you are being facetious-or you are as much of an imbecile as Igor. Not bondage but bonds. A financial entity.”

  195. August 11th, 2014 at 12:35 am

    “Don’t patronize me, you kidnapping crook. I want hard evidence, not generalities.” I looked around, then saw in the rubbish on the floor the printouts he had brought, with the headlines about the armored-car theft. I seized them, dusted off the top sheet and handed it to him.

  196. August 11th, 2014 at 12:35 am

    “I’ll be just fine,” he said. At the very same moment the door chime chimed to contradict his words. “But I think that I’ll be finer if I step into the other room.”

  197. August 11th, 2014 at 12:35 am

    “Bowb off!” I said, with some feeling this time, as I sparked my robots back to life. I had until the end of my shift to figure out a way.

  198. August 11th, 2014 at 12:36 am

    “Like here on Fetorr?”

  199. August 11th, 2014 at 12:36 am


  200. August 11th, 2014 at 12:37 am

    “Of course. Your clothes are folded on the chair there.”

  201. August 11th, 2014 at 12:37 am

    Dawn was just breaking when we got back. R day was here.

  202. August 11th, 2014 at 12:38 am

    “No!” I was suddenly quite angry. “He, they, it, shewhoever or whatever is behind these games is not going to get away with it. If we leave now we will never know what the goings-on on this planet are all about. And besides, I like earning four million a day.”

  203. August 11th, 2014 at 12:39 am

    “Thank you, no. Well, maybe a small bite and a drop of wine. Thank you.” She sipped and smiled. “I just grabbed a few minutes to talk while Bolivar attends a board meeting for our newly established private bank, Credit Dew. There are some investments we have been toying with.”

  204. August 11th, 2014 at 12:39 am

    At that instant the alarms sounded deafeningly and all of the security lights began an eye-stabbing flashing. The captain was shouting into his phone, then waved forward the jumble of policemen that was coming through the door.

  205. August 11th, 2014 at 12:40 am

    I strolled across the room and took up the book of imaginary clippings about my totally fake career. Riffled through it, held it out to him.

  206. August 11th, 2014 at 12:40 am

    Bolivar had been busy on the phone, so that when we emerged from the house James was already pulling up the drive in his car. Another blissful reunion and we were in the car and away. While I brought her up to date, James drove us to a shaded mall. He parked as far as he could from the other vehicles, so children could not see me and get nightmares, then he hoofed it to the nearest take-away. Unhappily it was a MacAlpo outlet. But this did not seem to bother Angelina who wolfed down a Double-Doberman as I talked. Gloriana snuffled as she pigged down her double fried potatoes.

  207. August 11th, 2014 at 12:40 am

    A large, black saloon which opened to my touch, started instantly, bore us away into the night. “I’ll park around the back of the building,” I said. “We will go in through the front. Move fast, play it by ear, not stopping, get Bolivar and get out.”

  208. August 11th, 2014 at 12:41 am

    I shorted out the electronic door lock, then accessed the door frame alarms and neutralized them as well. Then came the only tricky part; sliding the infrared generator in front of the receiving lens without breaking the beam. Slowly forward, angled square on, only too aware of the sweat that was trickling down my face. There!

  209. August 11th, 2014 at 12:41 am

    I waited a decent amount of time, then exited. When I opened the door to our dressing room I was preoccupied, still pondering my recent discovery. Angelina was at the dressing table.

  210. August 11th, 2014 at 12:41 am

    “Of course. I don’t plan to become a teetotaler.”

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    He stepped aside and a four-armed, green-skinned man took his place and bowed low. He was wearing a tartan kilt and sporran. He took a small white skull-with tiny hornsfrom his sporran and tossed it into the air. Then another until the air was filled with flying skulls, juggled in complex patterns by his four hands. It was most impressive and greatly enjoyed. Particularly when he launched the skulls, one by one, into the audience. The audience fought to catch them then, after examining them, ate them. Because they were made of candy.

  216. August 13th, 2014 at 7:25 am

    We certainly had. Raised them, or dragged them up, right. Sons to be proud of. Not to say daughters-in-law.

  217. August 13th, 2014 at 7:25 am

    “Dad,” he asked, “what do you know about banks?”

  218. August 13th, 2014 at 7:26 am

    “Of course you do. But I was also thinking of the little matter of reaching the Colosseo. I’m sure that all the police have my photo by now and are on the lookout. The streets are not safe.”

  219. August 13th, 2014 at 7:26 am

    I still didn’t see it. “What can he gain by starting a run on his own bank? What if it goes bust?”

  220. August 13th, 2014 at 7:26 am

    “I think we had better change the subject before you get yourself overexcited and burst a blood vessel. We were talking about lies. I respect you for that, if nothing else, for you are a master liar. The more I think about it the more I begin to think that probably everything you have told me since we met was a lie. You only wanted me on Fetorr as a cover for your robberies. To be the one and only suspect in what I am sure is to be a spectacular series of future bank thefts. The profits of which will go to you!”

  221. August 13th, 2014 at 7:27 am

    “I do. I am an officer in the Health and Security Police and you are one of our agents. “

  222. August 13th, 2014 at 7:27 am

    “Goo?” Angelina said, and he fearfully waved her to silence.

  223. August 13th, 2014 at 7:28 am

    “Go, go, here I come.” Memorizing the number as I stood up.

  224. August 13th, 2014 at 7:28 am

    “They wanted me-against my will-to work with radioactive material!”

  225. August 13th, 2014 at 7:28 am

    “Evidence. Found in the vault. A telltale clue we are sure.”

  226. August 13th, 2014 at 7:28 am

    “But it is true,” Angelina said. “We had a long talk about it. No work and plenty play. All calls from Inskipp go unanswered. The Special Corps can take care of itself. We live off of our savings and resist all schemes, honest or dishonest, to add more credits to our kitty.”

  227. August 13th, 2014 at 7:29 am

    This was the perfect way to rob your own bank. Slip into the vault after closing time and open the chamber under it; undoubtedly installed by crooked offworld builders. Then clean out all of the valuables and raise the lid. Grand theft, shock, horror-and undoubtedly, writhing and complaining, the insurance companies paid out for the losses. Now, doubly rewarded, this crooked banker still had the theoretically stolen loot.

  228. August 13th, 2014 at 7:29 am

    “But-if he doesn’t climb the rope-who does?”

  229. August 13th, 2014 at 7:30 am

    “Where you going?”

  230. August 13th, 2014 at 7:30 am

    I chewed down as much as I could of it, threw the rest of it out and found the bunk farthest from the loudly snoring Igor.

  231. August 13th, 2014 at 5:21 pm

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