Wow, that was intense. It involved some of the best moped driving I've ever seen on the part of my four-year old daughter, a couple near misses on the fire escape, and some serious wangling for quick disguises outside a Chinese laundry, but I believe I've escaped the villains for now. Some day I'll give the full account of the heroism I have seen and the base wickedness of my pursuers, but the important this is this: my family is going to be safe while I do what needs doing.
I'm not going to even disclose what state I am in at this point. I may even be abroad. I am typing this on a disposable laptop with an encrypted ISP. I'm destroying it as soon as I hit "Send."
It was ESPN. I should have known ESPN was behind this from the start. But they made a big mistake. They let me get away. Now I get supplies. Now I take the fight to them. This ends on my terms.
I'll be back in a week with the rest of the profiles of my friends and acquaintances at the final table.
Name: Scott Montgomery
Occupation: Telephone psychic, fortune cookie poet.
Nickname: "Throatwobbler Mangrove" aka "Hicky Burr", aka "Skinny"
Poker Style: Trappy; will shoot angles at every opportunity.
Card Capper: A fortune cookie, which he'll eat only if he wins the whole thing.
Favorite Country Song: If I Had Shot You When I Wanted To I'd Be Out Of Jail By Now, by Gordon Earl Bainbridge III
Brief Bio: Scott Montgomery is the kindest predator you'll ever be eaten by. He puts in 12 hours every day on the phones, except for Saturday, dispensing platitudes disguised as supernatural insight. His voice is the gentle purr of the car filling your garage with exhaust. He can get your social security number from you like a parson picking a pauper's purse. You won't even know you gave it. He'll give you great advice, though. Save your marriage. Get the girl. Improve your love life, or your golf swing, or mend your relationship with your children. Then he'll slash your credit rating and buy himself a car. He stole my identity once, but he didn't like it and gave it back. There was gum under the seat. He's a slob.
On Saturdays, though. . . that is when his soul sings. That's when he takes the most heart-rending, the most beautiful, the most compelling of his client's stories, and crafts beautiful sparse poems about them for a fortune cookie magnate out of Chicago. His services are in high demand, and he is careful not to give away detail that would cause him to be caught telling tales out of class.
Once a night, however, he just can't help himself, and he throws a poison paper grenade in there, something dark and too specific. You don't know if, following a repast of General Tso's Chicken, you'll open your little twisted biscuit to read:
She knows it was you.
You're not fooling anybody.
Meet me at the corner of Mulberry and Swanson. Wear a white silk hat so I'll know it is you. I have your money.
His greatest fear is that one day he'll get amnesia and unwittingly steal his own identity. Such a weird guy.
Fun Fact: Montgomery goes antiquing obsessively. He can often be found at the flea market, buying, oh, just about anything. Living room, bedroom, dinette. Oh yeah, you can find him, at the market -- I'm talking 'bout flea market -- Montgomery, flea market. It's just like a mini-mall. Hey hey. Flea market. Montgomery. It's just like . . . it's just like, ah, a mini-mall.