by Randolph O. Mann
“Ok, here’s the deal, boss", Randy explained, "For a ‘nominal’ fee, Lieutenant Carnita Ensulada is willing to sanction the two of us, as a consenting ‘married’ couple, to perform our own cavity searches, but only if she is present to observe the whole process. To make this happen she wants one thousand dollars, American. I only have five hundred dollars left, so if you give me your travel cache that will make it one thousand. We both know this is ‘so wrong’ ‘on many levels’, but frankly we are stuck with a connecting time window that is closing very fast, so if you want us to make that conference we can not waste anymore time negotiating in Spanish with this bitch. As the boss you have to make this corporate decision. After all, it was your bright idea that got us in this mess to begin with.”
Linda sighed, “Ok, I give up. Let’s just do this and get the hell out of this backward country.”
I can not believe that I, Linda Browne, a T. Winston INC. Departmental Staff leader, just had to agree to pay one thousand dollars for such humiliation, and I know the next few minutes are paying me back for the bad karma debts I have been accumulating on this business trip. But it is still hard to understand how my plan could go this far awry. All I wanted to do was save a little money, is that such a karmic crime? A little white lie to take advantage of an off-season businessman’s airline coupon. Buy one round trip airfare and hotel package and bring your spouse along for free. It made perfect sense. If Randy and I posed as husband and wife instead of T. Winston employees we could travel at half price, bill the company full bore, then split and pocket the difference. Creative accounting has always been my strong suit. So why do I find myself walking down this hall to be examined by my personal assistant who also doubles as the self appointed company gossip?
I’d like to wipe that smirk off his face as he holds the door open for me and this Lesbo-Nazi-Official. I know Randy is enjoying this whole unbelievably stupid development. And as for that Latin lieutenant, I don’t even want to know what could be going on her sick mind; she truly needs to get a real job.
Just look at this room. It is right out of a Raymond Chandler novel; walls painted pale green, dark brown examination table and two matching chairs, an examination light overhead and a box of latex gloves. Don’t you wink at me Randy, you little charlatan, and start unbuttoning your jacket. I was not born yesterday, I have not lost all of my powers of logic and deduction, I am not that stupid and I am onto your little scheme. If I were naive enough to let you go first there would be no deterrent stopping the depravities I will surly endure at your hands during my examination. I must maintain the threat of my retaliation at all times. I will just slide this box of latex gloves access the table, which should clearly reestablish the corporate pecking order here.
“Randy, you know my conditions, I must start.”
You can raise your eye brows and shrug your shoulders all you want towards the Lieutenant, those are my rules and that is that, Mr. Randy. Here goes everything. I will start with my blazer, two large buttons, first the left sleeve then the right and then... oh yes, I will hand the garment over to my loving ‘husband’ Randy as he handles all the ‘heavy lifting’ in our department, I almost forgot that. Next the matching knee length skirt and this too must be handed over to Mr. Randy for proper filing...
What is everyone staring at, haven’t you two seen thigh high stockings in the business environment before? Please, Give.Me.A.Break!
Now for the accessories: amber bracelet, rolodex watch, two earrings, one bogus wedding ring, and a bolo tie.
Let me see, yes, the chair will do fine as a support while I lose my left shoe then the right; I got them on sale too. I should keep this chair for a foundation while I place my right foot upon the cushioned seat as the garters snap loose and I slide the silk along my shapely leg... Don’t go there little girl! ‘We’ must keep ‘ourselves’ under control and functioning at a purely professional level!
Now where was I? I remember, I was about to hand Randy the stockings. There you go, big guy, remember to call me sometime, you lucky jerk.
Guess I can’t put this off any longer. The blouse is the next logical item to remove and I can see according to the sun dial at Randy’s crotch the witching hour is upon me. I have a classic stripper’s dilemma: attack the buttons top to bottom or bottom to top. Agood argument can be made supporting both theories. What the hell, top to bottom, that is why I make the big bucks... ‘Make the big bucks,’ that is funny, I can do that too.
Each hand is holding the nearest lapel tightly, one quick pull and the curtain retreats revealing a sparsely outfitted stage, for everyone to see, It’s Show Time folks! Blouse is now traveling off the shoulders, round the back and over to Randy’s waiting hand before his makeshift filing can begin.
I have found front clasping bras have both their advantages and their disadvantages. Today the clasp is sticking and Randy is enjoying the delay that my problem is causing, there it goes and the two sisters tumble into view. Early birthday present for Mr. Randy and you had better enjoy a good long look too, because there are no plans for these babies to make your acquaintance any time soon. I am just going to finish this show as fast as possible. Using both hands I grab the hem of each leg and pull down,, and the ‘boy shorts’ are around my ankles. With a quick side step before rising, I am revealed, the way god made me.
Here are my pants, Randy. Randolph, close your mouth and stop staring, there is still work to be done. I must now climb up onto the table, for all to see,
At another time or in another locality, with another partner, defiantly with another partner! and absolutely no rubber gloves, somehow those rubber gloves are devoid of all romance, this occasion might have possibilities, but today, my friends, I am afraid I must just bit my lower lip and just endure.
Lotion! You can never find the simple amenities in third world countries; easy there Chief. Ouch! Damn, Randy, you handled that with the subtlety of a freight train. Now, if you think that was amazing wait until he enters door number one. Ooh, yes, Randy that was better, ooh, let’s behave Randy, we can not have this corporate adventure turn into a common field trip, my dear. Need I remind you, Mr. Randy, pay backs can be a bitch.
Why are Randy and the Lieutenant now talking at mile a minute in Spanish, what is the new hitch? First I will slip into my blouse, which makes me feel much better. I don’t understand one word they are saying except ‘dinero.’ I must get a translation of this new situation. This is why we should never cut Spanish class, students; you never can predict when a second language will come in handy.
Randy muttered, ”Linda, I was afraid of this.”
“Come here; whisper it into my ear, Randy.”
“She wants more money.”
“Have you lost your mind, Randy? I am not going to let this backward, Banana Republic, Spanish speaking, lesbian bitch, Lieutenant Carnita Ensulada, just steal one thousand dollars of our money!”
“Linda dear, judging from your scant attire and the loud tone of your voice I believe this discussion could take a while. So, I suggest, I could earn back some of our lost time, if I take the company credit card and just run down to collect the rental car, if you don’t mind. I can meet you at the luggage carousal next to the gambling lounge, after you straighten this out with the authorities, see-ya, honey.”
“Ok, sure. No, no, wait a minute, come right back here, you haven’t been searched yet! Lieutenant Carnita Ensulada, do you speak any English? Don’t just stand there, order him to come back here right now!”
“Ms. Browne, for your information I have been university educated and speak perfect English, I am happily married and the mother of three children, my rank is Coronal, NOT Lieutenant and my name is NOT Carnita Ensulada, it is Maria Dolores Alvarado Jiminez, and I do not take my instructions from you, I work at the pleasure of ‘this backward Banana Republic'! NOW, there seems to be some confusion concerning our Border Crossing Policies that need to be cleared up. Frankly, I do not understand your perplexity Mrs. Browne, as I have already explained to your husband it is your country’s requirement that all passengers wishing to enter or exit the United States of America must pass through electronic x-ray surveillance or voluntarily submit to a strip search. Your husband conveyed your preference towards the later for medical reasons and I have graciously complied with your modesty requests, now what is your problem?”
“Randolph! Randolph! We need to talk!”