We had only just taken our seats and already Franklin Daring looked uncomfortable. His cheeks became red, and he shifted his ample frame in his chair.
“Have something to say, Franklin?”
Emily smiled her soft, caring smile at me, which was an obvious cue she was happy to start first.
“Okay, how about you, Emily?”
“As much as I could use the money, I would post something on Facebook and Twitter, maybe even put up a few posters near where I found the wallet. It’s possible the person really needs the money to pay rent, buy food or pick up meds. Plus, having to get a new ID and cancel all your bank and credit cards is a real pain in the butt.”
“Pain in the butt, I feel that, even given it a time or two, toot, toot.” Franklin raised his eyebrows suggestively in Emily’s direction.
Emily shook her head, “You know, Franklin, you’re almost as demented as some of the whacko’s I dealt with in Time Sneak Emergence, and a couple of those units weren’t even human!”
Franklin just shrugged, and shifted himself uncomfortably in his chair, as if he was sitting on a brick.
“Can I get you a different chair, or even a pillow, Franklin?”
“Oh, no, this is fine. What was the question again? I lost my train of thought.”
Franklin was nearly always a few cars and one caboose short of a train of thought.
“The question was, ‘What would you do if you found a wallet full of cash?’”
“Hypomythaletically, or for real?”
“A real-world scenario is better than a hypothetical one, Franklin.”
Franklin got up and, with great effort and not a little discomfort, pulled a huge wallet full of cash out of the back pocket of his jeans. It reminded me of an episode of Seinfeld when George Costanza had stuffed his wallet with a myriad of receipts.
“Where did you get all that cash, Franklin!?”
“Uh, I found it, toot, toot.”
It wasn’t worth pressing Franklin on the matter, but it was highly unlikely the small-time criminal, big-time boaster, found thousands of dollars.
“I will not ask where you found all that money, Franklin, but what do you want to do with it?”
“Strippers and shots, baby! I’m buying, for I am Daring by name, and daring with greenbacks! Plus, I know a place that’s just down the street and it stays open until 3am!”
“No, we can’t do that, Franklin.”
“Why not?” The big man pressed me.
“Because this group has standards to uphold. Also, some of us have jobs we have to get to in the morning.”
“Hooters then? It’s been too long since I ogled me some great hooters, toot toot.”
Raf, the regal white raven, had just stepped through the door. It was unusual for Raf to be late, but as a king is his world, there was probably something he had to deal with on Nova Terra.
"Squawk, squawk, squawk, noisy hoo-mans! Raf hear you from outside! What’s all squawking about hooters?”
“Franklin wants to check out the local Hooters.”
“Owls! Owls! Raf no want see Owls.”
Franklin sat down exasperatedly and said, “It’s not a place with owls, Raf, it’s a fine establishment where you can see chicks with great breasts, and even eat some too, toot, toot.”
Raf shook his head. “Frank-lin is sick head hoo-man…very sick hoo-man.”
“Suit yourself, bird-brain,” Franklin muttered.
I launched myself from my chair to stop Raf from tearing Franklin apart. It’s not that I would’ve minded, but I had brought no bleach and garbage bags with me.
Raf merely raked one of his talons across Franklin’s blue jeans, which tore a section away.
“Sweet, thanks, Raf! I be stylin and profilin in these ripped jeans. The strippers will dig it, toot, toot!”
We all just shook our heads.
If there is a moral to the story, free money may not be in your jeans and you might be better off just keeping your mouth shut.