Brody Brady nursed his drink with more than typical care—a swirl, a sniff, a savor on the palette, but only a small swallow. He was about to convince his friends to invest in a deal that would make them all rich—maybe, possibly, probably. Okay, he thought. It’s a crapshoot, but so what! They would be back in the game again, wheeling and dealing,thinking through their next move. It was the action that gave life its excitement, and this would put them squarely back in the action.
Though he’d always craved to be part of the action, his “aha” moment came years ago while dining one evening with a successful garage builder. T. Benson Moore had hired Brady as his public relations man during his company’s expansion into a number of other commercial ventures. Brady remembered sitting with Moore at a table in one of Long Island’s fancier restaurants when three members of the town’s board of trustees walked in. Moore waved them over and asked them to sit. After the usual small talk, Moore turned to Brady. “Go to the bar and get yourself a drink on my tab.” Moore wanted no witnesses to the rest of the conversation.
Brady sat at the bar and drank. A half hour later, Moore joined him. “We had a nice talk,” he laughed. “We all saw eye to eye in the end.”
“Talk, schmalk,” Brady countered. “You were bribing those guys. I want you to know I don’t cotton to bribery. Plus, you’ve got more money than God. Why in hell do you have to pay off these guys to get approval for a motel and gas station rezoning that you don’t need?”
Moore patted Brady’s back. He was almost as tall as Brady, and considerably wider. Moore often referred to himself as portly; others called him fat, but never to his face. Wealth brought a certain deference. “It’s not about the money. It’s all about me being in the game, Brody boy. Besides, I didn’t offer them bribes. I simply made generous donations to their campaign funds. It’s the American way…and above all else, I am a patriot.”
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