Tom Wolfe had the “Masters of the Universe” in The Bonfire of the Vanities, I have the GM of the Evil Empire.
I need a title.
The Life of Brian would be good, but it’s taken.
But we’ll worry about the title later.
A useful technique in fiction is that if you have the exoskeleton of a story mapped out in your mind, but don’t want to lose the plot by thinking too much, then you come up with names that represent the role of the characters therein and give them believable names once a rough draft or outline is complete.
But if you’re doing satire and want it to be clear satire, you give them names that are so absurd that they have to be real.
It’s a fine line.
Truth is stranger than fiction and given the names of the two protagonists—Brian Cashman and Louise Meanwell—are so ludicrous for a story of this kind, I feel compelled to come up with some names for the other participants.
They may or may not be thinly veiled for “real people”.
May or may not.
Let’s take a look:
Brian Cash-man: GM of the fictional Big Apple Highlanders (*wink*), he’s enduring a mid-life crisis that resulted in his newfound honesty in dealing with his players to the detriment of his employers, engaged in at least two affairs that have gone public and acquired a real life would-be stalker who tried and succeeded in extorting money from him.
Louise Mean-well: Is she a crazy criminal or is she a crazy person who got involved with a powerful man and used that to her advantage by trying to accumulate money?
There’s more to her story than the tabloids are telling and because someone may or may not be mentally unstable doesn’t mean they’re lying about everything they say.
A.J. Tabloidreporter: Working for a self-described muckraking website and crossing the line from exposing athletes and sports people into the tawdry, he broke the story just as it was about to explode.
Perhaps there’s a correlation between the two.
Or maybe not.
Jimmy Goodcop: a lifelong Highlanders fan, walking the beat in the toughest neighborhoods to “do some good”; he’s honest to a fault, plays by the rules and is the legitimately kindhearted police officer who arrested Ms. Meanwell and assured the Yankees GM that he and his estranged family were safe.
Robert Badcop: A fan of the crosstown Meadowlarks and Jimmy’s intimidating partner who made sure to let Ms. Meanwell know that she would never ever harm Mr. Cashman nor his family. His tough guy persona is a cover for the underlying heart of gold.
Jane Prosecutor: Attractive, conservative and not a baseball fan, she’s considered a hardline district attorney who advocates harsh sentences for any and all crimes and public transgressions. Political aspirations will be ably assisted by this high-profile case. Her intention is to publicly dress down the Yankees GM for his complicity in the prototypical affair.
Michael Yankeesshill: The lead broadcaster for the Highlanders signature network, HEN, in his delusional world if the story isn’t mentioned by him, it didn’t happen.
If Cash-man had worked for the crosstown Meadowlarks and was dealing with the Ponzi scheme perpetrated by international criminal Irving Made-Off gutting their coffers and ruining their team and reputations or if it was the scandal-plagued former GM of that team—Phil Stevens—the story would’ve been the entire show even during Super Bowl week.
Instead, it was ignored.
Fritz and Helmut Sensenbrunner: the owners of the Highlanders and right wing conservatives for whom any embarrassment to their franchise is spitting on the grave of their late father, the tyrannical raving maniac Rolf Sensenbrenner. They’re unhappy that the GM of their team is behaving in this way and, worse than anything, getting caught.
A-Rod: Alex Rodriguez has to be in this story as A-Rod.
In all seriousness, when Deadspin broke the story in a gauche manner with A.J. Daulerio going so far as to say he was wearing Cashman’s pajama bottoms at “Lou’s” apartment, it was something that was done to embarrass a man because of his personal life and it wasn’t really anyone’s business but Cashman, his family and the Yankees.
The next day, it became news that is going to affect the Yankees organization because once it reaches these proportions, the behavior of the man running the team is absolutely relevant on and off the field.
Cashman was obviously involved with this woman.
If he hadn’t been, why did he pay her one penny let alone $6000? Why is there the audio of Cashman calling her (in a tone that suggests he wants her to do his taxes rather than contacting a former or present lover) and writing recommendation letters on her behalf?
And why, if she was some “psycho stalker”, was he taking part in consultations with her family and psychiatrist? Is he a humanitarian that he wants to save the world lunatic by lunatic?
Why didn’t he call the police and alert the Yankees that he had a problem with a disturbed person? She would’ve been arrested and the police and Yankees would’ve taken steps to protect Cashman and his family.
This ongoing saga is a strange, scandalous turn of events that will go on and on until the media and public tire of it.
And that’s not going to be for a long, long while.