After the recent, highly disturbing commotion at the Chelsea Hotel, minority shareholder David Elder had retreated to his bungalow in L.A., 3,000 miles being what he figured was a safe distance from the scene of his hilarious public humiliation. Having disconnected his phone and discontinued his mail service, he figured there was no way any of those pesky Bohemians could possibly contact him. Finally beginning to relax after a week of looking over his shoulder and jumping out of his boots at the slightest sound, Elder was just sitting down to a steaming plate of Chef-Boy-Ardee spaghetti-and-meatballs when he heard a rather insistent rapping at his door.
Peeking out from a crack in his curtains, Elder’s body convulsed in a spasm of terror when he spied the tiny, scowling woman, and he immediately lost control of his bowels. It was Marlene Krauss, Harvard MBA, Mistress of the Damned.
“I see you in there, Elder! You ratfink! Let me in this minute!” Marlene screamed, hammering on the door with her fist.
Elder dropped to the floor, crawled quickly across the room, and hid, shivering in fright, underneath his bed. Cursing under her breath, Marlene found a shovel that the gardener had left in his wheelbarrow and used that to pry open the door. Striding across the room, she reached under the bed, got a hold of Elder’s ear, and, twisting it painfully, pulled him out from under the bed and up to his feet. “Get your things together right now,” she commanded. “You’re going back to be slumlord of the Chelsea!” And then, wrinkling her nose in disgust, she exclaimed, “My God, you stink! You’re riding coach!”
“Please, Marlene, don’t make me go back there,” Elder begged, trembling uncontrollably. “You promised me I was going to be a high powered real estate mogul, but instead the Bohemians threw stink bombs in my face and poured water on my head!”
Glancing around, Marlene seized the plate of spaghetti from the table and slopped it upside Elder’s head. “Get a hold of yourself!” she said. “Be a man!”
“Artists, my ass. Treat ‘em like the deadbeat scum they are. Put the fear of God in them, and they’ll fall to their knees and grovel. That’s the best policy,” Marlene declared . “The only policy. And while you’re at it, get rid of that tailor too. I’ve got a plan to put a pay toilet in that space and make a real killing!”
Elder tried to slink back under his bed, but Marlene grabbed him by the ear again and stood over him while he packed his suitcase. For his punishment, Marlene denied Elder the box lunch on the plane back, which was a big disappointment for him, since it contained a reconstituted turkey sandwich, carrot sticks, and a fudge cookie. He would have surely starved, he reflected with pride, had he not had the presence of mind to suck the spaghetti sauce from his shirt.
Back in New York, Elder hesitated once more as he was getting out of the cab, and so Marlene, with the help of the bouncers from Star Lounge—who thought their tip quite inadequate--had to drag him bodily into the Chelsea. “Don’t you make me have to come back here again,” Marlene warned Elder as she deposited him in the lobby. “I can’t stand this godforsaken dump.” -- Ed Hamilton (Many thanks to a tipster for the photo.)