Raymond was shaky after a bruising session that saw him elected as chair of the Economic Committee. He craved a drink so badly he was hallucinating, and only by force-of-will and God’s grace was he able to drag himself to a meeting.
He asked “guidance” in the meeting and, to his surprise, a slightly built woman with hair the color and gloss of peanutbutter suggested they step out for coffee afterward. Her name was Grace.
Sitting on the cheap, vinyl covered chair he examined his benefactor. She looked to be in her mid-fifties and had little surplus flesh. She was not emaciated. Raymond saw muscle definition. It was simply a lack of fatty tissue. She was deeply tanned and the deep wrinkling on her face and neck suggested it was not a new phenomena.
“What’s on your mind, Bunky?” she asked.
“I had new responsibilities added at work. I have to run a committee, which I have never done before. The worst thing is that I am stuck with a loud-mouth who is a loose cannon. And I think she hates me.” Raymond said.
“Of course she hates you. My husband hates you, too.” Grace said.
Raymond was quite taken aback. “How can your husband hate me? We never met.”
“He was watching the legislative session live-streamed on his computer. He had just taken a mouthful of café con leche. He has a real sweet tooth and loads his coffee with, like, five big spoonfuls of sugar.” Grace said.
“He heard you tell Nuffin that your honorific was “Hammer of God” and then the look on her face…well, he spewed it all over his keyboard. No way in hell is he going to be able to clean that syrup off the keys. He’s gonna have to buy a new keyboard.”
“So how can I help you out, young man? Do you need help on running meetings or help on Economics?” Grace asked.
“Both.” Raymond answered, bending down to take a big slurp of his coffee.
“Well, let’s talk a little bit about economics. That is one of my passions.” Grace said.
Raymond squinted at her a little bit. She looked different when seen through the tops of his eyes. And her voice seemed a little bit familiar.
“Wait a minute. I think I know you. Weren’t you the Dean at Junior College?” Raymond asked.
“Still am.” Grace said. “Inside an AA meeting I am just another person fighting the devil. You are going to find that a lot of people in AA are very high performing people. Maybe it is because our minds work faster than other people’s and drinking was a way of slowing it down so things seemed to make sense. I don’t know.”
“The thing is I am qualified to give you advice about both topics.” Grace said.
“The first rule of economics is that there is no free-lunch.” Grace said.
“The second rule of economics, according to Grace, is that control is an illusion.” she continued.
“The third rule of economics is …”
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