Jun 132017
 

Sir Percy Bysshe Blithering-Snype, Twelfth Earl of Dorking, Principal Attaché for Commerce and the Exchequer at the Embassy of Great Britain here in Washington was hardly his usual convivial self on Friday. He sat through most of our consultation on English specialty export markets with a preoccupied look, barely responding to my conversation. Toward the end, I decided to call him on it by making an absurd statement to see if he was even listening. “Therefore, whereas,” I ventured, “the elasticity of demand for spotted dick is proportional to the elasticity of Welsh flag novelty men’s boxer shorts waistbands, US imports of bitter brown ale from all points between Leeds and Newcastle can be expected to fall in the fourth […]

May 292017
 

Friday night after work, I stopped by the Round Robin Bar for a properly made cocktail or two, and was enjoying a Van Gogh Vanilla and Caffe del Fuego white Russian, up, shaken, with a sprinkle of powdered Sri Lankan montane cardamom when I spied a haggard gentleman with huge bags under his eyes pounding down what appeared to be Seagram’s Seven on the rocks. He was staring me, taking inordinately large draughts, obviously working up enough Dutch courage to walk over to my table, sit down and confront me. After a couple more, he did. “Tom Collins, I presume,” he opened with that distinct, supercilious smirk borne of excessive booze which innate cowards often sport when they are drunk, […]

May 142017
 

Another working Saturday for Gretchen and me – booked solid from six in the morning until well into the evening. And on top of that, there was someone who had been calling to ask for an initial consultation since early Thursday morning whom Gretchen simply had not been able to squeeze in. We discussed it during a twenty minute lunch break, and I agreed to stay late, let Gretchen go at seven, and deal with the new client by myself. The fact that this individual wanted a telephone consultation made it easier, anyway. So there I was at my desk in the gathering dusk, the setting sun obscured by a dismal overcast, a strange, cold May drizzle wetting the picture […]

Apr 232017
 

Earth Day 2017 here in Washington DC dawned cold and rainy, which was a disappointment for Cerise, who had gone to considerable trouble getting my concurrence for a proposed bike trip down the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal towpath from Great Falls to Georgetown and back. Instead, after rising early and finding the weather dreary, we returned to bed for a breakfast of duck eggs Benedict, white asparagus Bearnaise, some of my handmade almond croissants and slices of Cerise’s legendary walnut blueberry banana bread (originally scheduled for consumption during a picnic lunch at Lock Seven), accompanied by hand-squeezed blood orange Dom Perignon mimosas and Grand Marnier cappuccinos, followed, as might be expected, by some amorous activities and a subsequent return to […]

Apr 032017
 

“Does the name Elizabeth Tamariz Nunes mean anything to you?” Gretchen texted me during my eleven o’clock appointment with the Japanese Special Envoy for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Technology. “Because she’s called three times since 8 AM and says she needs one of your free telephone consultations right away!” “No problem,” I texted back. “Book her for the first available slot.” “OK,” Gretchen replied, “that would be 1:30. Who is this yammering [peach emoji], anyhow?” “She’s married to the US Representative for the 22nd District of California, who’s a total conservative [eggplant emoji].” I typed. “They’re Republican dairy farmers.” “Makes sense,” Gretchen quipped, “all morning, she’s been udderly annoying.” Nunes: Hello, is this Tom Collins? Tom: It is indeed. Nunes: […]