AIG’s Newfound Pendantry

by

The following is a story meant to represent news of AIG demanding that bonuses be paid for their executives totaling 165 million dollars after receiving over 100 BILLION dollars in TARP money.   President Obama said today that the federal government is going to pursue every legal avenue to retrieve the bonus money.  It’s smoke and mirrors.  The money is gone.

Lockwood, MT – July.  I’m six years old and playing hide-and-seek tag with Chase and Adam, brothers that have scuff marks and scratches on their faces.  The sun is high and our faces gleam with sweat as we tuck, sprint, and wrestle in and out of every nook of our neighborhood.

Chase is eight and a real bastard to find.  Adam has searched everywhere.  Through Mr. Guerrero’s garden, under the Williams’ deck, and behind each piece of junk in the Costello’s front yard.  He even knocked on Old Mrs. Faber’s front door to see if Chase was inside.  I’m starting to get bored.  It’s been ten minutes since Adam found me behind my parents’ hedge.  But I outran Adam and made it to the base.  His last chance is to find his brother.

He decides to get risky.  The Ramen’s backyard.   Chase must have found a way to outsmart Blitz, a two hundred pound Rottweiler with four inch fangs and an insatiable penchant for the flesh of children.   But if Chase can do it, then Adam can as well.  Adam tiptoes to the fence, I stand twenty feet back.  We don’t see Blitz through the chain link, which either means he’s inside or in the makeshift scrap metal dog house in the corner of the yard.

Adam grips the cold bar at the top of the fence and hoists himself over.  Silence on the other side.  No growls.  No barks.  Nothing.  Adam steps lightly in the yard, searching underneath a patio table and behind a charcoal barbeque grill.  He eyes the dog house.  I know what he’s thinking.  Chase could fit in there.  Adam eases toward it.  Each step quieter than the last.

A stick breaks behind me.  It’s Chase, emerging from what must have been an amazing hiding spot.  An amazing spot that did not involve sneaking into Blitz’s domain.

“What’s he doing?” Chase asks.

I can’t even breathe.  I just stare into Chase’s eyes.  I can’t yell to Adam because the dog could wake up and get him.  So Chase and I watch as Adam nears the tattered metal house, praying to whatever god will listen.

The first bark explodes like dynamite.  Chase bursts into a sprint toward the chain link.  Adam does the same, pursued by a flash of black, tan, and foaming white.  With every stride, Blitz’s big body gets closer and closer to Adam, like a pursuing Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker.  Five feet before the fence, Adam jumps and stretches his hands to the crossbar.   His right foot slides between links halfway up the fence.  Blitz leaps toward the soft tissue in Adam’s calf.

Chase grabs Adam by the shoulders and lifts him over the bar.  Blitz crashes into the chain link and snarls.  The brothers tumble to the grass, lying on their backs and breathing heavily into the blue summer sky.

Adam grabs Chase by the shoulder.

“You’re it, motherfucker.”

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