Not long ago I emailed our children and said, “Ask Dad about his luncheon with drug dealers,” just to see how they’d respond.
And I can’t tell you how disconcerting it is to have one’s children take this in stride, as if it happens all the time, not even the sort of thing to elicit a response. Here is the only way I can see their silence: One, they know me too well and know there’s more to this story, or Two, they are themselves having luncheons with drug dealers (thus no big deal) and I need to go into hysterical Mom Panic.
So, despite my own children not grabbing the phone to call at once, I shall share this story with people who actually care: My blog readers. You.
It all started with a good deed. Before Bob and I even met (so, back when Lincoln was President) Bob put his Man Purse on top of his car and drove off. He would not call it a Man Purse, but this was when guys were all carrying those leather pouches and believe me, it was a Man Purse. But even more incredible, he had $1500 in it! Excuse me? Who does this? Not my husband, let me tell you.
Still, my lovable Scrooge McBob evidently had big bucks in those days, so there it was. And a guy found it and returned it with every dollar intact! Bob was hosting a game show and a TV talk show in L.A. at the time, and was so impressed that he had the guy on his show as a guest, and commended him for his honesty. He also gave him a hundred bucks as a reward.
Flash forward thirty years. We are now living in northern California and if I had $1500 in my purse it would be the 8th Wonder of the World, but out of the blue, the good Samaritan calls. He’d found Bob on the web, noticed that Bob now has a company called Nova Green World that sells environmentally safe chemicals to big industrial clients, and wants to meet with him to talk about it. The guy flies up to Oakland from L.A., meets a buddy of his there, and the two of them drive to Sacramento and take Bob out to a swanky restaurant for lunch.
Well, of course, not having seen the guy in a few decades Bob has no idea what he looks like, and just gives his name to the maître d’ who points him towards a table in the middle of the room where another man is seated. As Bob approaches the man looks up, smiles, and says, “Hey, you must be Bob!” and holds up a gigantic book with the word, MARIJUANA across the top in huge lettering.
Bob’s eyes bug out and he quickly sits down, glancing around to see if anyone in the restaurant can see this giant prop, still in plain view. Then his buddy, who was outside smoking who knows what, comes in and joins them. Bob is feeling prickles of sweat around his collar, now, as they explain that they are at the forefront of the entire marijuana industry and they want Bob to market the environmentally safe pesticide they’ve been using on their massive marijuana operation. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall! What I wouldn’t have paid to be in disguise and to walk by at that exact moment and say, “Hey, aren’t you the Bob Hilton who used to be a TV news anchor here in town?” Well, I wouldn’t have paid $1500, but I would have paid twenty-five. Had I only known what this luncheon would entail! We could have gotten the restaurant to play some Bob Marley music, or something by the Grateful Dead!
So, of course Bob tells these guys there is no way on God’s green earth (green with legal crops) that he can get involved in this shady (shady with giant marijuana plants) business. They understand, as kindhearted crooks often do, and part as friends. Then Bob scoots home, hoping nobody saw him. Of course, the wife has a blog, so good luck keeping that one a secret.