My butler Montgomery eased the Escalade into the darkened industrial park where I had a scheduled 2 a.m. meeting. I was in the backseat, wearing a black overcoat, tinted glasses, a long blond wig, a matching fake beard, and a straw boater. As we approached the center of the complex, I tapped Monty’s shoulder and pointed forward.
“OK, they said we should drive behind the main building — apparently the shipment will be waiting for us there.”
“Jolly good, sir!” Monty replied. “And I do say, it’s nice to engage in a bit of cloak-and-dagger work for a change. Reminds me of my years of service for Scatman Crothers, wot wot!”
“Why on earth would Scatman Crothers — look, never mind. Just concentrate on the driving.”
“Right-o, guv’nor! I’ll have us there in short order and Bristol fashion, or my name’s not Montgomery!”
As we looped around to the back, I observed a small throng of men standing near a semi-truck. They were wearing cowboy hats. On my command, Monty brought us to a stop, flashed the high beams twice, and powered down the driver’s side window. One of the loiterers sauntered over.
“Which one of you is Señor Oz?” the man said after leaning into the vehicle. I tentatively raised my hand. “OK, it’s all yours. Oh, and I’m supposed to tell you that Señor Randall Hank sends his regards.”
“What’s all mine?” I asked.
“The shipment,” he said, gesturing toward the semi.
“It’s inside the trailer?”
The man grinned. “No señor, it is the trailer! Señor Randall Hank always takes care of his friends, and he’s very grateful for all you did for him in Mexico. Come, have a look.”
Monty and I exited the Escalade and walked to the semi, the back door of which was thrown open for our inspection. Inside, row after row of large crates stamped with the inspirational Purdue Pharma logo stretched from floor to ceiling. I estimated there to be at least five hundred of them, with Nixon knows how many bottles of sweet, old-school, abuse-friendly OxyContin tucked inside each one.
“My god,” I said. “It’s full of stars!”
“And your head is so chockfull of gibberish that you can no longer differentiate dreams from reality,” said my father, whose sudden presence didn’t strike me as odd despite the fact that he’d been dead since ’81. “I see you’re still wetting the bed, too. Disgusting.”
“Dad!” I said. “It’s so good to see you again! What are you doing here?”
“Leaving. As you well know, I don’t associate with bed-wetters any more than I do Democrats or the Irish. Now good day to you!”
I awoke with a start, disappointment over the understanding that Hank Williams Jr. had not sent me a lifetime supply of OxyContin intermingled with relief that I’d only dreamed of wetting the bed. Until I realized that I actually had wet the bed, at which point I summoned Montgomery for emergency cleanup services. But let’s just keep that last part between ourselves, OK? Thanks.
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