The Reporter and the Tranny

He kissed her, um, him, and that was only the beginning.

To accomplish this feat, he had put together a band of retired special forces soldiers from all over the British Commonwealth — Canadians, Kiwis, a Scot. All B.J. needed was a few million dollars. That, he said, was where I would come in.

I didn't bother to ask if he was an idiot or a con artist. I just sat there and made a long list of Miamians who I thought might give him a haystack of cash to neutralize Chávez. When we finished, B.J. requested my silence in exchange for exclusive interview rights upon the capture of the most powerful man in South America. We shook hands and he promised to keep me apprised.

Things did not work out right away. "I'm beginning to think it's my marketing style," B.J. wrote in an e-mail a few days later. "Which is, I don't have one." A member of Brigade 2506 struck B.J. as afraid. "He just wants to raise funds to build a new museum," he wrote.

For the next two weeks, B.J. fumbled his way through the town's ultra-right wing. Rejection followed rejection. Some dispatched him rudely. Others didn't trust him.

Finally, during a meeting at — where else? — the Playwright, he said he'd found a guy who would meet with him in a few months in a neutral South American country to discuss finances. He remained mum on the details.

I pictured these men rafting up on Venezuela's shores like the Dirty Dozen, only older and probably disguised in fake mustaches. They would kidnap old Hugo and force him to milk cows until his big, fat regime disintegrated into an inefficient, corrupt democracy.

B.J. seemed pleased as we raised our bottles to the plan. He had been prepared to spend months scouring the States for the necessary dough, but it took only about three weeks. I bought our last round, as I recall, and insisted on the toast. To Miami.

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