Sir Robert, Meet Davis!
By Mike Stevens
Davis Conover had gotten out of jail; not released, mind you, but escaped. He had climbed inside a bread truck making a delivery to the prison. He’d been locked up for the last two years, and that seemed long enough to him. Up until that point, he’d been a model prisoner; ingratiating himself with Warden Foster. As a result, he was outside sweeping the parking lot, unsupervised, which was against every rule of the prison, but, because the Warden trusted him, the normal rules didn’t apply. He had watched as the Boffo’s Bagles truck had pulled in to restock the prison’s supply. He’d been looking for a way back to freedom, and this was it. He waited until the driver went inside the prison, and climbed in. Luckily, the keys were still in the ignition. He was planning on hiding in the back, but this was perfect! With the keys left in the ignition, he simply started the van, and drove away.
He abandoned the bagel van about 10 miles from the prison, as he didn’t think driving around an advertising sign, that screamed, “Bagels; Escaped Convicts Here!” was a great idea.
The first thing he did was change his name to Shorty Phallis. Then he had run some child-like scams on people; strictly nickel and dime stuff, but they gave him enough cash to lie low, while he came up with his bigger scam; one that would make him a healthy chunk of change (or, whopper dollars)!
Sir Robert read the ad again. “Are you a band that just needs to get some exposure for your music, and your band would make the big-time? Well, here’s your chance; expose yourselves! Play before thousands! For a small, one-time fee of $2,000 dollars, your band will get to play at my ‘Big-Fun, Big-Time!’ concert, two weeks from this coming Saturday. And just who the hell am I you ask? Well, I was a powerful concert promoter, who, because of a crack cocaine problem, and prison time, fell from grace. I mention that only so you’ll know I want the big-time again as much as your band wants to make it initially. So just send $2,000 dollars (in unmarked bills; ha, a little prison humor!) to P.O. box 787 here in town, and I’ll tell you the when and where; please make checks payable to Shorty Phallis.”
Sir Robert felt a surge of excitement. This sounded like just the thing for his band, Sledgehammer Nightmare. $2,000 dollars would use up all the money he had managed to save towards a car, from doing odd jobs around town for the last 6 months, but this was just the opportunity he’d been waiting for; The Hammer was about to explode all over America!
Shorty Phallis, or in reality, Davis Conover, smiled to himself. Another idiot band had fallen for his bulls**t. What was these moron’s band name? Sledgehammer Nightmare. They were the latest band to fall for the fantasy he was offering. So far, 10 bands had sent in their money. Well, he’d better call this Sledgehammer Nightmare and hand out more of his b.s.
Sir Robert was worried. Everyone had told him he was one gullible dip-s**t for sending in money, and the more he thought about it, the more he thought that maybe he should call his bank and put a stop payment on that particular check.
Just when he had decided to do exactly that, his phone rang.
“Hello?” he said.
“Yes, I’m looking for Sir Robert Timkins. This is Shorty Phallis, and I wanted to tell him that Sledgehammer Nightmare is scheduled to hit the main stage at The Big-Fun, Big-Time concert I’m holding at 8 pm. They’ll be right after Anarchy, Inc. The location is 1234 Upper-Crust Way, here in town.”
“Really? This is Sir Robert Timkins, and great; we’ll be there, and thank you for calling.” He hung up the phone. Well, it looked like he hadn’t been so dumb, after all.
Davis Conover thought, what a dumb-s**t; wait until they pull up to a sewage pumping station to play! He should have been thinking about leaving town; he’d forgotten one major thing!
Sir Robert couldn’t hold in the excitement; he had to go see where they’d be playing. He had to walk, because he’d spent all of his $2,000 on signing up Sledgehammer Nightmare to play in the ‘The Big-Fun, Big-Time’ concert. He set out walking, and miles later, he was still walking!
This couldn’t be right; all he saw at that address was a sewage pumping station. Surely, he’d gotten the address wrong; but no, this was the place. He at first felt shock, but that quickly morphed into blinding rage. He’d been duped!
He tried to think of his next move. He was pissed with himself for wanting something so much, he’d been blind to the danger of just sending money, money which he could ill-afford to lose, into some stranger on his word alone. There wasn’t much he could do, however. The chances of this Shorty Phallis calling from his own home phone were zero, but what else could he do? He punched *69 on his phone, and got the last number. He dialed the number with dread running through his veins. He just knew that no one would answer; that he’d find out later it was a pay phone. But, almost right away, Shorty Phallis’s voice answered,
"This is Davis Conover, how may I help you?”
Davis Conover? Of course, Shorty Phallis was only an assumed name. He hung up the phone without saying anything. He’d be damned; Phallis, or Conover, had been stupid enough!
The knocking on his front door woke Davis Conover from a sound sleep. He groggily stumbled his way to the front door. “Yes?” he asked after unlocking the door and opening it.
“Mr. Davis Conover?” asked a man of medium height, whom Davis had never seen before.
"Yes, and is there a problem?", he said into the chilly air of the still-darkened morning.
“Davis Conover, you’re under arrest for fraud!” replied the man, suddenly brandishing a policeman’s badge, and waving it in front of him.
Sir Robert Timkins felt a little better when the police had called, saying Davis Conover had been arrested. Once he had learned the man he knew as Shorty Phallis’s actual name was Davis Conover, and he had called from home, which Sir Robert found stunningly moronic, he’d looked up the name Davis Conover in the phone book, gotten the address, gave all the information to the police, and they had made the arrest. Now, it may take a while, but he had a chance to recover his money. He was still bitterly disappointed that Sledgehammer Nightmare had taken it in the shorts yet-again, but at least Shorty Phallis had been brought to justice!