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Dec 7, 2002

Deborah and her friends Russell, Tom and Sharon all flew in from South Carolina late Thursday night and are staying for *free* at the Embassy Suites in Battery Park courtesy of a few NYPD / DEA officers. Deborah became affiliated with these officers when the Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association hosted some trips for them after 9/11. So now they are returning the favor to Deborah complete with car rides all over the place and free tickets to musicals. She’s got it made for the next three days. Two officers, Joe and Ed, met us for lunch before having to go on a drug bust. Both men were very fun and gracious and generous; Deborah has found some great friends.

A few hours after lunch while sitting in P.J. Moran’s, Tom realized he didn’t have his cell phone. After some frantic searching, Tom decided his phone must be in Ed’s car which is now staked out in some weeds near one of NYC’s harbors while Ed & Joe watch motion sensors and stare at crates of cocaine just delivered from Columbia instead of hanging out with us. Deborah called Tom’s phone hoping someone would answer. We wondered aloud if this was such a good idea. What if the phone rang at the precise moment the criminals are making off with all the coke? That’s much worse than the annoying cell phone ringing in the theater.

Ed didn’t answer, but called back a few minutes later saying he’d found Tom’s phone buried in the back seat and would send it to the hotel via messenger. While Deborah chatted with him, we all were voicing various things in the background for Ed’s benefit: “Is that my kilo of coke? Hey, pass the heroin! Damn, man, get your own needle! Don’t smoke it all, crack doesn’t grow on trees.” They didn’t buy it…I guess nabbing drug pushers is more important than us recreational folk. Hmmph!