November 28, 2023

Interview with the Tycoon


At dawn the other morning, just before closing time at the Pink Nectar Cafe, a sleek private jet slithered into the Rimrock International Airport. Surrounded by a battalion of showgirls, who should step out? Fernald Frump, the legendary, the semi-mythical TV star and Eastern land baron.

Now it so happened that a Special Excentric Investigative Task Force was also at the airport that morning awaiting a cargo of common sense for local politicians. Sensing a scoop, your intrepid columnist approached the legendary tycoon, and his battalion of barely clothed lollapaloozas.

“Get away kid, you’re really starting to bother me,” he commanded.

“But, but,” this persistent columnist sputtered. “I’m a newshound, a news-junkie. Readers of Sedona’s world renowned throwaway rag would like to know why you are here. Perchance are you looking to cop a timeshare?”

“Get away kid, you bother me. I could get you fired! I fire people for a living. And by the way, timeshares are out of fashion where I come from. Hotels are in.”

Brushing aside the tycoon’s threat, this scrivener suggested that perhaps a good cup of coffee might be in order and perhaps he’d take a few ambiguous questions.

“OK, kid. I like your moxie. The Eastern Press is terrified of me.”

So off we went in The Excentric’s specially equipped Cadillac to the Pink Nectar Cafe not far from Sycamore Canyon where coffee beans harvested from the vortex nearby was ground and already brewing in a large crystal urn.

Standing around the turquoise bar was the usual crowd: a gaggle of unconvicted politicians on the lam, Roofer John, Mickey the Mug, John Steinbeck and Chet Baker–and someone that looked like Rita Hayworth. After a few gulps of half mocha, half dilantro coffee from the plantation in the vortex nearby, the tycoon lit up an illegal substance and said he’d take a few questions and maybe he’d answer one or two. By then he’d sent the lollapaloozas, the hot mineral baths in the Anasazi ruin nearby.

E: What is the top barrier to achieving success?

FF: Not being smart enough!

E: That’s it? It comes down to intelligence?

FF: Sadly, a lot of it is about that. And the other thing, and maybe even more important is that some people just don’t get it. They don’t have the ability to go forward. They don’t have the moxie to go forward. They simply don’t have the whatever it takes to not stop.

E: Do you always split infinitives?

FF: Never read one of those stinking grammar books. I’m a numbers man. Just ask the IRS.

E: What is your opinion of the 9/11 Report?

FF: So the FBI wasn’t talking to the CIA. And the CIA wasn’t talking to anyone but itself. And the Congressional Oversight Committee was on a junket to Bolivia and the press was asleep and both Presidents were dealing with their own Satans. So what’s new?

E: If you had the power what would you do about this mess? Would you create a new Intelligence department?

FF: Another bureaucracy? I’d fire them all. My coffee is unusual. I feel a little dizzy. OK. Just a few more questions young man. By the way who is your tailor? Wearing rags and shirt-tails hanging out is the latest rage back in New York.

E: What brings you to Sedona?

FF: Well therein hangs a tale. I heard that a fort might be on the market. As well, I’m thinking that I need a 10th home for my harem. Beyond that, I came looking for the Wrenwood Cafe and Bed and Breakfast. Beyond that, I heard that a special portal existed out on some ranch where one could see baby dinosaurs and nightly UFO air battles.

When this columnist advised the tycoon that the fort wasn’t for sale yet, he looked glum. When he was advised that the Wrenwood was no more, he looked even glummer. And when he was advised that only one Sedonan, a certain Mr. Mason, had ever seen baby dinosaurs and or UFO air battles, he seemed to be on the verge of tears.

“What about my chances for a 1oth home,” he asked hopefully. When he was told that most of the unsold houses were selling for close to a million dollars, he smiled. “Maybe I will buy a couple of them, what’s a million here, a million there. That’s lunch money to me, Mr. Reporter. Now what about these vortices I have been reading about? I feel the need for purification.”

As the interview came to close, the tycoon was handed some more unwelcome news: The woman who dreamt them up after several mugs of martinis with a twist left town for Virginia and took them with her–all except one. At that news, the tycoon, who was reeling now from too many special coffees yelled, “Ladies! Wheels up!” Then he fell off the barstool.

“The kid’s no trooper,” remarked Aurora, the morning bartender.

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