Responses to subjects brought up by this blog are welcome. I can be contacted by e-mailing me from my website.
Subjects this month: Future of our debt, Oil Quote, Global warming--why worry? God quotes, Idiot pets, Fever, Oops!, Book Report, Quote from David Weber book, Tonto and the tomatoes, Quote from David Weber book, Words in English, Progress report, Excerpt from Hotline To Heaven.
Here is the cover for my upcoming third collection of stories. Publication has been slightly delayed but it should be out in August. I think it’s a great cover. Heck, if I saw it I’d buy the book without even knowing who the author was!
The future of our debt?
Most nations rise and fall but I've read of few in history where there is such a rapid and massive shifting of wealth from one country to others in so short a time. Our manufacturing machines are being scrapped, politically inspired regulatory bullshit drives companies wanting to build new plants to do so overseas, we allow China an artificial valuation of their money that gives them an unfair trade advantage and deficit spending on an unprecedented scale will in the near future result in paying a trillion dollars a year in interest on our national debt. Is all lost? There is one potentially bright spot I've been reading about that offers a little hope. The bipartisan commission studying ways to fix our debt appears to be gradually nearing a consensus on what to do. Once they accomplish that (if they do) then congress must give their recommendations an up or down vote with no provisions for amending or changing it. The politicians can't run for cover.
“…there will be oil spills and the oil companies will always declare that it can never happen again.”
From the novel Ill Wind by Kevin J. Anderson, copyright 1995.
Global warming? Not to worry.
I doubt that Global warming is such a horrendous, impending cataclysm as many environmentalists suppose. And before anyone begins lambasting me, please note that I am very much in favor of as many energy-saving and anti-pollution measures as can be reasonably undertaken. I hate the idea of using so much of the world’s oil to power gas hogging automobiles and such, just as I hate the idea of so much non-biodegradable plastic and other manufactured items clogging our oceans and landscapes. I’m all for any methods of using cleaner energy and/or less energy for a number of reasons, including the financial health of our nation. However, global warming, per se, is nothing to worry about so far as I can see. The earth has been much warmer than it is today, as well as much colder, for that matter. A warming earth would benefit some countries and work to the detriment of others. It would benefit some species and be hurtful to others, just as in the past. Population control, cleaner energy and biodegradable consumer goods are all to the good, but please, let’s not worry about the temperature. Concentrate on the items mentioned and the temperature will take care of itself as it always has and we’ll learn to live with it, just as any successful species has and will.
And a final note: we should be encouraging manned space exploration because as quickly as we begin getting industry into space, the cleaner earth we’ll have, not to mention methods of beaming energy to earth from space.
If the gods listened to the prayers of men, all humankind would
quickly perish since they constantly pray for many evils to befall one
I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do
because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.
--Susan B. Anthony
We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the same
sense to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is
beautiful and his children smart.
It is easier to suppose that the universe has existed for all eternity
than to conceive a being beyond its limits capable of creating it.
--Percy Bysshe Shelley
We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing/all-powerful
God, who creates faulty humans, and then blames them for his own
We have one ADHD dachshund, Tonto, one couch potato dachshund, Susie, and one cat, Velcro. All have strange eating habits. Tonto is certain we’re trying to poison him, Susie is equally certain we’re going to starve her to death and Velcro won’t eat fish unless it‘s Tuna from a can. Mealtime is always a zoo, with Susie gulping her food down whole and trying to steal Tonto’s and Velcro’s food, us pleading with Tonto to eat while he circles his food suspiciously, lays down and stares at it while trying to detect the poison we slipped into it while he wasn’t looking and Velcro meowing in disgust about us trying to slip some fish into his diet.
I had a weird virus this past month. All that happened was a cycle of extremely high temperature spikes then sweating and shaking and repeated all over again and again. This went on a week. When I saw the doc and had some tests it turned out that the virus had caused my white blood cell count (white blood cells help fight bacterial infections) to drop so low the doc was afraid I might get a bacterial infection. Therefore I went into reverse isolation. For the next week I had to run for the bedroom when anyone came over. When I went back more tests showed that my CPK (a heart and muscle enzyme) was five times higher than normal and a liver enzyme was double what it ought to be. Fortunately, the CPK turned out to be from stressed muscles during my fevers and the liver enzyme returned to normal. For a week after that I still didn’t feel like doing much of anything and for another week still felt tired and listless. Thus, I haven’t done much writing but I read a whole bunch of books since that was about all I felt like doing. You should be able to tell that from the Book Report, even though I only report on what I think are outstanding books. There are more than usual in this issue. However there was one good thing about the virus: I had absolutely no congestion, sore throat or cough. Just the fever. I guess you have to find the good somewhere. I sure wouldn’t want to go through that again, no congestion or not.
And an update: Just about the time I felt like living again, Betty caught some sort of weird virus. Perhaps it was the same one I had but if so, it is acting differently. She has no fever or congestion but does have bad muscle aches and feels bad. The weird thing is that it has induced an overwhelming desire to sleep. She has been spending about eighteen to twenty hours a day in bed sound asleep. I hauled her to the doc and he drew enough blood to induce a case of anemia. We go back tomorrow for the results. In the meantime, we’ve kept her in isolation just in case her virus is acting like mine and lowering her white blood count. A further update will be included before this goes to press.
The update: Betty is about recovered, but no idea what she had, just as for me.
Robert J. Sawyer has produced a really dandy science fiction novel, Wake, and the best news is that it’s only the first of a trilogy titled WWW. In Wake he introduces a fifteen year old girl who has been blind from birth and a just awakening entity spawned by the internet. The girl has a brain tuned to the internet because she’s been going on line since she was a year and a half old. It makes her a prime candidate for a new technique that may give her sight. Sawyer’s descriptions of Caitlin‘s reactions as she first sees the internet and then the real world are awesome. I’ll confess I shed some tears during those scenes. He did a wonderful job capturing her emotions. And then there’s the way she recognizes the internet entity and helps it with its growing pains. It is a really fine novel by a gifted and hard working author who does all the research necessary for a book like this. I’ve ordered the second book and I’ll certainly buy the third as soon as it is out. Highly recommended!
I just finished a couple of John Lescroart’s recent books, Betrayal and A Certain Justice. He writes really good legal thrillers and is now gradually bringing in new characters to go with Dismas hardy and Abe Glitsky, the perennial duo of his former novels. Both these recent books are well worth your time.
I also finally finished rereading David Weber’s Honor Harrington series for the fifth time, I think. The last novel, Mission of Honor, sure sets the stage for some more books in this great series. I have thoroughly enjoyed every one of them but I’m wondering just how far he can carry his present characters. A long time yet, I hope. I bought the first five books of the series for both my brothers to introduce them to Honor Harrington, too.
Richard Montanari writes police procedural novels that get real down and dirty. In Broken Angels he carries several story lines at the same time in the hunt for a serial killer and does it well.
Killer by Christopher Newman is another slam-bang Joe Dante novel, just as good as the others by Newman. A stone cold killer is after Joe and the confrontation leads all the way from New York to Florida in a series of killings during the chase. I also read Hit and Run, another Joe Dante novel, this time on a case that involves wall street and a 38 million dollar motive for murder.
During my illness I re-read the trilogy Empire from the Ashes by David Weber. These were the first books by Weber I ever read. They are so good I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve gone through them. Basically, the series involves an astronaut who stumbles into a fifty thousand year old mutiny involving two factions from the giant space ship masquerading as our moon. If this sounds fantastic, trust me, Weber brings it off with ease, primarily because of his sympathetic characters and his brilliant portrayal of both the good guys and bad guys.
I also read two more novels by Greg Isles. He is a fantastic writer, producing 500 page novels that keep your interest going on every page. True Evil introduces a really, really evil character, a sharp FBI agent in purgatory for working so hard that fatigue causes her to misjudge a hostage situation and a doctor whose wife is one of many who have gone to a divorce lawyer who is in cahoots with the evil genius and together they have been murdering spouses for hire. Iles makes the whole thing very credible to readers. The other of his books I read was Turning Angel, where the protagonist of previous novels, Mayor of Natchez Penn Cage is forced to help defend an old friend, a doctor who is falsely accused of killing a high school girl. Drugs, blackmail and violence mark this page turner. I especially liked his insight into the minds of our modern day high school teenagers.
Quote from David Weber book
From one of Weber’s Honor Harrington books, slightly paraphrased: Nuts don’t need religion to make them nuts but it does seem to give them a certain added sense of commitment to whatever goals their nutdom decides to embrace.
Tonto and the tomatoes
Our new raised garden has some cherry tomato plants. They’ve grown so much that some of the vine is dangling near the ground now. Tonto usually walks along head down, sniffing things out since he’s cross-eyed and doesn’t see too well. As he was trudging along he bumped into the little tomato loaded vine. He jumped back and barked furiously at it for ten minutes. That’s his usual respond to events. He smells another dog’s mark on our truck tire he sniffs, stands back and barks at the tire for five minutes, just as if the dog was still there.
Words in English
There are an estimated 700,000 words in the English language and probably over a million if scientific words are included. Now that’s a huge vocabulary. But wait! How about words which have more than one meaning, for example the word “run“. Want to guess how many meanings it has? More than twenty! So if we count different meanings as separate words, we’d probably have a million total even without scientific terms. All this makes it both a chore and a pleasure to write in English.
I’m still working on a new book tentatively titled The Quantum Bond or maybe Entanglement and involved in a collaboration with Tony Teora on a novel that is nearing completion. I really like it and with Tony’s help I think it will turn out to be one of my best.
I’ve also begun an extensive update and revision of my ebook, My 100 Most Readable Science Fiction novels. This will take about a month or so to complete and then will go on sale under the title My All Time Favorite Science Fiction Novels. As a life-long lover of the science fiction genre and also a science fiction author, I really like to introduce readers, friends and family to my favorite reads.
Excerpt from Hotline To Heaven by Darrell Bain
Hotline to Heaven is the only true romance I’ve ever written, although there is much more to it than romance! A heartless scam artist convinces an innocent young girl working for the Salvation Army to hand him her life savings in order to form something called God’s Fan Club. Actually, it’s a scheme to bilk the public but she doesn’t know that.
"Violet, please don't sell yourself short. I'm feeling that call very strong right now, and I just know I'm going to need some help in answering it. I want to do right by God."
"Oh, I don't doubt that at all, Ed." She rolled the name around on her tongue and decided she liked it. She still didn't quite understand what he was getting at, though. Ed didn't either, yet, but ideas were coming thick and furious. Obviously, not many people would pay money just to write a letter to God when only the most fanatic would believe their missives went directly to the deity. There had to be a hook of some kind.
"Thanks," Ed rang his bell again, even though the nearest pedestrian was still too far away to make it worthwhile. It was an instinctive action, as if he were trying to get his mind to dump the rest of the idea down a chute into his consciousness. He said, "If you could write a letter to God and get an answer, would you?"
"Why, of course. Anyone would, wouldn't they?"
"That's what I think. This call I'm getting, I'm certain God is calling you, too. He wants you to be involved. I just know that if you prayed over a question in a letter, God would tell you how to answer it. You're such a good person."
"Please, Ed. You sound like the president of my fan club." Fan Club! It was almost as if God were listening to the conversation and feeding ideas to him. People paid dues to fan clubs, didn't they? Of course! And what Christian could resist the idea of a fan club devoted to God? God's Fan Club, that was it! How much should the dues be? Ten dollars? Twenty dollars? And how to spread the idea around? It would take some up-front money for advertising at first, but Violet said she had a little stash. And how to avoid controversy, or worse, disappointment at the answers?
"Ed ... Ed? You have a funny look on your face."
Funny! Of course! Levy the answers with humor, then make some of the letters public. A monthly blog? Sure, and a publicity plant for free advertising. My God, he thought, play this just the right way and it could turn into a bonanza. How many suckers could be induced to join God's Fan Club, Christian or no? Plenty, he bet, with a letterhead on the answer sheet that they could show around for laughs, proving that they had written to God and received an answer. Postage costs? Make the dues high enough to cover costs and way, way more.
Ed came back to earth, grinning beatifically. What an idea! And the best thing about it, the feds wouldn't be able to touch him. Who could prove they weren't God's personal representatives? If the Pope could get away with it, he damn sure could.
He saw that Violet was directing a worried gaze at him. "Sorry, Violet. I was preoccupied there for a moment. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it weren't God who was taking up my attention. It suddenly came to me, what He wants me to do."
"Yes," he continued, thinking fast, "and I just know God wants you to be involved. Just talking to you made the whole concept become clear. I think He wants us to start a fan club in His name. Just think of all the unsaved sinners we could reach like that, and think how much more personal letters are than preaching. We could touch individuals on an intimate basis, and through us, let the Lord direct them and guide them and help them spread the Word."
Violet felt her heart beat a bit faster. A fan club. God's Fan Club. What a wonderful, unique idea! And Ed wanted her to become involved. No, God wanted her to become involved. Ed had made that clear in describing his call to serve the Lord. Perhaps that's why she had hesitated so much at the idea of leaving the mission. God had wanted her to wait until the time was right, and now it apparently was.
"How do we get started?" Violet asked.
Ed put just the right amount of humility into his answer. "I haven't been given all the details yet, but I'm sure they will become clear very soon. I do know that we'll need a place to work and a little money to get the idea off the ground. After that, membership dues should support the work." He let his face fall into an expression of despondency. "It will take me some time to save the money, even after I find work. I just wish we could get started now." He held his breath, waiting to see if the fish would swallow the bait. Such a pretty fish, too.
"Oh, I do, too. How much do you think it would cost to begin with?"
Ed thought, wondering how much money he could separate her from. Probably not much considering what the Salvation Army paid. Still, she had said that most of her salary was in savings. "Not a lot, really. We'll need to rent an apartment to start with--" He caught her startled look at the idea of them sharing an apartment and nipped any objections in the bud. "A two bedroom apartment, of course, with two baths. We can use the living room as an office until we can afford a real one. And we'll need a computer to keep track of the letters and accounts. That's about it, I think."
"Why, that doesn't sound like much," Violet said. A vision of her savings passbook appeared in her mind.
"It really isn't, but it's more than I have now. In fact, I don't have anything since that woman ran off with my money. Oh, how I wish I hadn't trusted her." That was the truth anyway, even though it was designed to appeal to Violet's sympathy and unconscious desire to compensate for another female's dishonesty.
"If it isn't a great sum, maybe I could help," Violet offered. What better use to put her money than in God's work?
"You are truly an angel, Violet. You wouldn't have to worry, either. We could repay you from the first proceeds." Ed decided that he really would, if he could afford it, and she actually came through with the money.
"Exactly how much would it take?" Violet asked, hoping her savings would cover the sum he came up with.
"A deposit and the first three month's rent. We can get a used computer. A phone, then enough to place some ads so we can make our existence known. Say three or four thousand. That ought to do it."
Violet clapped her hands and practically danced in the street. "Then there's no problem! I have that much, even more."
Ed reached out and grasped Violet's hands in a tenderly. "The Lord must surely have been directing me when He steered me to your Mission last night. Look, I'll pick up a paper tonight and find us an apartment so we can get started. "
"Wonderful." Violet beamed. "I can hardly wait to tell Captain Wilshire what we're going to be doing!"
A vision of the gruff, suspicious Wilshire appeared in Ed's mind, and then he remembered that he was gone, out of town. But for how long? He'd have to work fast in order to get Violet out of the mission before he returned, lest he talk her out of moving, especially into an apartment with a relative stranger.
Violet informed Ed that they were allowed to use a few dollars from the pot each day for lunch and let him talk her into fetching them hot dogs from a nearby stand. She very nearly was run over by a metro bus while crossing the street because she wasn't watching the light. Her head was way up in the clouds with thoughts of the great work she would soon be doing. The vendor gave her his usual hungry stare, but it passed her by. She wasn't unaware of her beauty, but she was as innocent as a baby bird of how she could have taken advantage of it. Cloistered by her parents at an all-girls religious school and protected since then by the rigid rules of the mission, she'd had only passing thoughts of romance or men, and those she had were weak and fleeting. She had no idea that she was finally falling in love. She attributed the ecstatic buoyancy she felt within herself to the Lord's touch and was humbly, simply, grateful for the wonderful soaring of her spirit.
While she was gone, Ed bought a paper from a passing vendor and folded it back to the apartments for rent section. He selected several places he thought they could afford, wrote the addresses and phone numbers down in the little notebook he always carried, and then discarded the paper in a nearby trash bin. When Violet returned with the hot dogs, he waited until they'd finished eating before he broached the subject of God's Fan Club again.
"Violet, your offer to help us get God's Fan Club started so soon has really inspired me. What would you think about withdrawing enough money now so that we can go ahead and find a place today and get started as soon as possible?"
"Why, I suppose I could. I have an ATM card, even if I have never used it before. How much will we need?"
"A couple of thousand should do it for now. Why don't you go ahead and make the withdrawal, then when the van comes to pick us up, you can ride back with it and I'll try to find an apartment. We can meet back at the mission. If all goes well, we can move in tomorrow."
"Oh, dear, so soon? Captain Wilshire and Mr.Wales are sure to be upset if they don't have us to cover this corner tomorrow."
"I know, but just think of how much good we're going to be doing. In fact, why don't we plan on helping the Salvation Army with some of the proceeds? They've been good to us both and I always like to repay kindness."
It was the perfect ploy. Violet went across the street, watching for buses this time, then down the block to a bank. Ed breathed a sigh of relief. He realized he's been practically holding his breath through the whole conversation.
A few minutes later, he had two thousand dollars in his hand. It almost made him close his eyes and offer a prayer of thanks, except he didn't believe in prayer. That was for the marks they were going to be dealing with. He had to admit, though, that it really did seem as if someone was watching over him. Everything was falling into place as neatly as pool balls in a rack.
He gave Violet a surreptitious wink as she climbed into the van at the end of their shift. He had already asked her not to say anything until he returned. She smiled back at him, reminding him anew of how pretty she was. He could already see that once they were living together, he was going to have a hard time keeping their relationship on a business basis. He made a vow to himself right then to avoid any romantic entanglements with her. Business before pleasure, as the old saying went. He wondered if he would be able to keep the vow.
He waved down a passing taxi while wishing that he had renewed the lease on the Lincoln before leaving for Vegas, but perhaps it wouldn't matter. If this scam worked as well as he thought it might, he could buy a damned Lincoln. Of course the big problem was going to be convincing Violet to go along with some of his ideas for the fan club. While a lot of details still remained to be worked out, his mind raced with viable ideas.
It was after dark when they returned to the apartment. Since Violet was still wearing one of her dowdy old dresses, he suggested that she change into one of her new purchases.
"What should I wear?"
"Why don't you try the stone washed jeans and the chambray work shirt? They're both soft and won't have to be washed before they're comfortable."
She dimpled and carried her purchases into her bedroom. A few minutes later she returned, wearing the new clothes and a pair of soft moccasins. The transformation was amazing. He already knew she was beautiful, but the casual clothes turned her into a modern Madonna. He stared.
"Ed? Don't you like them?" she asked in a trembling, little girl voice, as if she were about to be spanked by her mother.
"You look wonderful, Violet. So wonderful that I was speechless for a moment." He meant it, too. The redheaded manager he had spotted from time to time faded from his thoughts like a ship lost in fog. "I can't wait to see you in the rest of your new clothes. And don't worry about the money. You needed them. We'll be dealing with the public before long and I want you to be dressed for the part." He didn't mention what a bikini might have to do with the public, other than possibly starting a riot when she wore it if the hip-hugging jeans and tight blouse were any indication of how it might look on her.
"So long as you think it's necessary," she said. "Are you ready for something to eat?"
"You bet," Ed discovered that he had a ravenous appetite with no scotch to kill his hunger and dull the taste buds.
"I'll get started. Porterhouse steak and baked potato?"
"Sounds great. While you're cooking I'll start working on our first ads."
Ed already had some ideas. He wished they could afford a professional media expert, but his lifelong work as a scam artist had of necessity had given him a good idea of the psychology of the hook, that first, attention-grabbing presentation that set the stage for the subsequent separation of cash from the marks.
He booted up the computer and began working. A half hour later, the first draft read:
THE ULTIMATE FAN CLUB!!
Join God's Fan Club Now!! Correspond directly with God!! Ask any question! He will always answer, but He doesn't guarantee you will like what he says.
Dues: $20.00 per year.
Address queries to:
C/O GOD'S FAN CLUB
P.O. Box xxx
Houston, Texas 73411
Note: You must become a member of GOD'S FAN CLUB in order to receive a personal reply from God. Queries without dues must be accompanied by SASE.
He was just finishing when the doorbell rang. "I'll get it," he called to Violet, who was unwrapping the steaks. He took one more look at the prospective ad before getting up to answer the door. Not bad for a first effort, he thought, but it still needs work.
The Salvation Army officer stood in the entrance, looking as wrathful as an Old Testament prophet. The only thing missing was a handful of lightning bolts, but the fire and brimstone sparking from his baleful gaze substituted perfectly.
Before he had a chance to set fire to the room with his blazing eyes, Ed diverted his attention. "Violet!" he called. "Look who's here. It's Captain Wilshire. Come in sir, come in!"
Wilshire stepped inside. Now his eyes bugged out in astonishment as he caught his first glimpse of Violet in her new clothes, with her shining locks pulled back in a ponytail and tied with a new scarf. "Violet. Violet, what have you done to yourself?' He asked in a cracked voice.
She smiled prettily. "Oh, Captain Wilshire, I'm so glad to see you. I wanted to tell you goodbye when we left the mission, but of course I couldn't because you were gone."
"Oh, these." She opened her hand and gestured at herself. "I had to have new clothes because we're going to be dealing with the public soon." She remained by the stove, keeping an eye on the steaks.
"So I heard from Mr. Wales. Violet, you must stop this blasphemy and return to the mission. We will pray for forgiveness together."
The deacon picked exactly the wrong word to chastise her with. There was no way she could think of blasphemy in terms of anything she did. "Oh, please, Captain Wilshire, don't say such things. Ed has received a genuine call to work for the Lord, and we're certain that the call included a place for me as his helper."
"Helper! Please don't tell me you're going to help this, this--this man with his ridiculous scheme. God's Fan Club indeed!"
Ed spoke up, knowing that Wales had spilled the beans. "Please, sir. It's not ridiculous. Many people join fan clubs. Unfortunately, most of them become members of clubs devoted to those sinful denizens of Hollywood. I believe God has called me to change all that. Within another week, all those wayward joiners will be able to belong to a fan club sponsored by God Himself. How could that be wrong? How could it be ridiculous?"
Wilshire tried to recover. "Sponsored by God, you say. Who told you?"
"God did," Ed said simply.
"He did," Violet affirmed. "I was there when he got the call. It was like a miracle. Each thing we said led to another, just as if God were directing our conversation. In fact, I'm sure He was. "
"I don't believe it," Wilshire said.
"Why not?" Ed said. "Don't ministers get calls? Didn't Jesus Himself get a call to preach?"
"This isn't preaching. It's--it's--" He couldn't think of a word harsh enough to express his outrage.
"It's even better than preaching," Violet said. "Otherwise, I wouldn't have left the mission. With God's Fan Club, we can reach out directly to a myriad of lost souls and give them personal counsel. Please, Captain Wilshire, I just know this is a good thing."
"What will it avail you to harvest lost souls when you are losing your own?"
"Whatever do you mean by that? I'm not losing my soul, I'm strengthening it."
"By living in sin with a man, you strengthen your soul? "
Ed shifted uncomfortably while Violet and Wilshire argued. The ad for God's Fan Club was still displayed on his computer screen and he wasn't yet ready to let the old man see that! Taking advantage of the expression of outrage appearing on Violet's face, he took Wilshire by the arm, and resisting his attempts to pull loose, led him toward one of the bedrooms. He opened the door and gestured inside. "This is where I sleep." He pulled him to the opposite side of the living room and opened that door. "And this is where Violet sleeps." He let go of Wilshire's arm and walked back to stand in front of the computer screen, blocking it from view.
"Maybe I jumped to conclusions," Wilshire admitted. "Still, it's not a healthy arrangement. You leave too much room for temptation, for the devil to rear his ugly, lustful head."
"The Lord is present here," Violet said. "We don't have to worry about the devil and his tricks. Would you like to join us for dinner, sir? We would be glad to have you."
"I've eaten, thank you, Violet." He turned back to Ed. "Be it as it may, I still have a question for you Mr. Tanner. Yesterday you were destitute. Today I find you living in opulence. Where did the money come from? Have you been lying about your finances to us?"
"Not at all. Violet advanced the money for us to get started."
"I see. I see it all now. How can you live with yourself, taking advantage of this poor girl's innocence? You must have robbed her of her life savings. There are words to describe men like yourself, Mr. Tanner."
"Please, Captain," Violet pleaded. "Ed and I intend to donate a percentage of the proceeds from God's Fan Club to the Salvation Army, in return for its kindness, not only to us, but to all the homeless and destitute. He insisted on it."
"How can a fan club have proceeds? It seems to me that it would cost money rather than make any."
"We'll be charging dues and asking for offerings to support the Lord's work," Ed explained. "I expect we will have much less overhead than a televangelist and be able to return a greater percentage of the money to the Lord."
Wilshire stood indecisive. His instincts told him something wasn't right, but he had run out of arguments. He took one more look at Violet in her new jeans and wondered how long it would be before Tanner had them off her, but there was little else to say. "Very well, let's leave it at this for now. However, Mr. Tanner, I warn you, I will monitor this endeavor and you, personally, as closely as possible. Violet, remember your upbringing."
"I will," Violet said as Wilshire left and closed the door behind him.
Ed saw that Violet was on the verge of tears. He went to her and wrapped her in his arms. "Now, now," he said, patting her shoulder. "He was just trying to look after you. I don't blame him one bit."
"Oh, you're so good, Ed. Here I was with anger in my heart and you excuse him so easily." She snuffled against his shoulder for a moment while he held her. She was a pleasant armful, but her voluptuous body was too close for comfort. He pushed her away and tried to get his mind back on the redhead. Wilshire knew what he was talking about. This was an unhealthy situation so far as being able to resist temptation went.
Later that night, unable to sleep because of the mindless urgings of his body, he thought that they had better really get rolling with the club and start bringing in some money, not only to weaken Wilshire's suspicions, but because Violet's bank account was getting low. And if the redhead across the way didn't work out he was going to just have to find some release elsewhere.