Fools in Paradise
Chapter 3

Copyright© 2019 by UtIdArWa

Eventually we finished dinner and had the kitchen cleaned and dishes washed up. And I’m sure that John was relieved. He was acting like a dog passing a peach pit. As we all sat down in the living room. Everyone’s glass was filled and we were all feeling pleasantly fed. Suzy gave me the go ahead to get started. So I started the conversation. “Alright John, this is your chance. Tell me about this ‘Unusual’ guide group you’ve got.”

“Well Matt, Ms. Suzy, You know that my oldest daughter is in college?”

“Yeah, isn’t it computer science at Seattle?” Suzy asked, She paid more attention to family matters than I did. Being a high school dropout, I didn’t have a lot of use for college. Personal prejudice I guess.

“Yup, and she’s doing pretty good. Anyway, they had an assignment to set up a website. Their grade was going to be based on the number of hits they had by the end of the semester. No porn or anything like that. Other than that, they had a free hand. At any rate she set up this website, and it did pretty good.”

“Give her My congratulations, but what’s that got to do with us, or you for that matter?”

“Well, she was contacted by this professor at Idaho State. He was impressed with what she had, and asked her for some help.”

“Good for her, but again, what’s that got to do with us?”

“I’m getting to that. This professor is sort of a biologist and he has some interesting theories about the wildlife up here. Anyway, Sissy pointed him to me to set up a guide job.”

I glanced over to Suzy, she was watching John like a hawk. I spoke up for the first time. “So, this professor wants to come up here, find some rare and endangered species. Which He hopes will get the government interested, then he ends up with a multimillion-dollar grant to investigate. And all the North American eco-nuts will rampaging in the media and the halls of Congress to put My Mountain off limits just to save the Rocky Mountain Tree Octopus?” I asked.

I could see the blush starting to rise on John. “No, not quite. He wants to look for Bigfoot.”

“BIGFOOT, are you nuts?” I exploded, “You want to Bring a bunch of those idiots up here. They’re almost as bad as the eco-nuts.”

John was shaking his head and waving his hands negatively. “Yeah, I know, but look, this guy’s got a lot of money, and he going to pay big bucks for this trip. Marie has been bugging me for a new washer and dryer and This’ll get her off my back. Plus, I’ll have enough left over for a big screen tv that I’ve been looking at.”

I sat and stared at John in disbelief for a minute. “OK, fine, you bring a bunch of coastal crazies up here. Then run them ragged through the hills. Get a big payday, clean clothes, A happy wife and Monday night football. But why me? Where do I fit into this? What do I get out of this deal?”

“Well, I was hoping that you could help me out by providing a little atmosphere to the trip.”

“Whoa, hold up John, I can tell you right now, I’m not getting dressed up in some monkey suit and start running through the woods.”

“No, No, No, that’s not what I mean. I want you to be the tracker. I’ll be the guide, you’ll be the expert tracker.”

“And track what? There isn’t anything to track. You have a better chance of finding Casper the ghost, as finding Bigfoot.”

“I know that. It’s like you said. I bring them up here. We run them around for a couple of days or a week. They wear themselves out playing in the woods. And we go laughing all the way to the bank.”

Suzy spoke up “How much? And there had better be a comma in that number.”

“Well, I was thinking a grand, plus I handle all the grub.”

“Let’s try 5.” I said.

“Come on, Matt, that’s too high. How about 1500 hundred?”

I had watched Johns eyes, and knew he was still low balling me. “how about 6000.00?”

“Wait a minute, you’re supposed to go down, not up.”

“Yeah, and you’re not supposed to insult my intelligence.”

Suzy jumped back into the conversation. “Hold on Matt. I’m sure we can work out a deal here. Something both sides can agree to. Just remember John anything that we demand, you can pass off to your contractor. You just tell him that WE are the one’s demanding more.”

John sat for a moment pondering what Suzy had said. “OK, “ he slowly replied. “But I’m sure he is on a limited budget? Limited funds?”

Suzy started laughing, “John, do you really think that the cost of this little adventure is coming out of his pocket? I can guarantee that he has a government grant going on. It may not be 7 figures, But I’ll bet dollars to donuts it’s in the mid to high 6 figure range. John, you tell this guy you want 100,000 and see what he does. Then when he doesn’t flinch, or bitch. You tell him that OUR services are another 50,000. 00.”

Both John and I stared at Suzy, gape jawed. “Suzy,” I started “Do you really think we can get that much? What if he says no?”

“Not a problem” Suzy grinned “WE, us three, are the resident experts. And as such our talents and knowledge are worth more than some minimum wage coolie. And he will have to pay for those services. If his grant isn’t what I think it is, we can start negotiating downward. Either way, You two fools are butting heads over pennies, when dollars go wanting. Besides, nobody comes up here without our permission.” She turned to John, “Isn’t that right MR. Wadsworth?”

I glanced over at John. I swear I could see him salivating. “ JOHN, “ I startled him back to reality. “ I can tell you right now. And Suzy will back me up. Any deals made with this guy HAVE to be on paper and both of us need to see it before anybody signs.”

“John, “ Suzy spoke in a sweet, low voice, and when she had his attention, “Don’t mess with me John. I like Marie and your kids. And It would pain me, PAIN me badly, to tell them about your tragic accident. But then again, if we can keep each other honest, I won’t have to do that, Now would I?”

Real fear was in John’s eye’s “Ms. Williams, I will do EVERYTHING in my power to avoid irritating you. Cross my heart, “ gulp, “ and hope to die.”

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