Norman blew into the room, talking to a young woman who was working on being haggard. "This is awful, wretched. I'd say it was crap, but crape is useful. You can put it on crops. It's fertilizer, it grows things. And it's natural." His round face was in a sort of vibrato of disgust. "There's nothing more ogranic than crap. so give me something is at least crap. Not that I haven't put crap on the air, right, Doug?"
"I think yesterday's show qualifies," said a guy with a roundish face, a doughy face, beard that didn't look likeoneof those ten-blade razors.
"I took a clip home and my wife put it on the tomato plants." Said a younger guy.
"And rememebr," Wexford said to the young woman. "I am a horrible human being. The worst in the world. Right Doug?"
"Well, I've never met Idi Amin," he said. "Or Pol Pot. Not to mention Mao."
"Or Hitler," the younger guy said. "Oh, wait a minute, you are Hitler."
Wexford slammed his heels together so violently the young woman gave a start, and she and the two men burst in laughter, edgy laughter.
"Vhat do you mean, that I am not the vurst person in the world."
"Well, that is the worst accent," I said.
"You mock das Fuher?" he said.
"You've been doing that accent for like ... " I had to do the math in my head.
"Silence, schwein!" he shouted. "Zat is de state secret! Jon, you asshole, it's so good to see you again."
The thing was, he hadn't changed much. An advantage of being round and round-faced. Thinning hair, smally, beady vicious eyes; a look of bemusement at the horror and wonder of the world; fair skin, small mouth; heavy, but the heavy of a tackle, a farm boy, a heavy that could throw you through a wall if he wanted to, or needed to; a crackle about him; there was a power substation in my neighborhood when we were growing up, a green metal shell amid some pine trees; and he exuded that. I could half-imagine the humming around him, and the voltage. You just didn't know when you were going to be shocked.
"Do you carry a gun?"
"Of course," He astonished my by grabbing the waistband of his pants and pulling it, reach down into his pants, and pulling up a semi-automatic pistol."
"Glock nine millimeter."
"That's the best kind of holster," he said.
"For god's sake, keep your hand off the trigger."
"Don't worry," he said. "And ... " He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a gun so small it looked lke a toy. "North American Arms makes these. Twenty-two magnum."
"Gotta have backup," he said. "Always have backup."