Sylvester Denny was one happening cat. A hip dog, if you will. The extent of his radness, however, could not change the fact that he was in possession of $7,000,000 earned through questionable moral means. Or could it . . .
In his time being popular, Sylvester had met an abundance of swingin’ folks. Some of them owned businesses. Many sold balloons.
There’s something worth knowing about the balloon trade: it’s not like other industries, where people ask questions. Most customers pay in cash, and those that don’t have enough to hide that they have no intention of coming to the authorities with any dirt they might find on you. No one questions a balloon salesman masking his face. The reason for this is a law found in nearly every country, save only for Iceland, stating that any activity involving balloons is categorically legal. Anything that legal must be moral, Sylvester thought. By investing his money in the balloon industry, Sylvester would remove all guilt about the way his great uncle earned it.
Sylvester Denny walked with Dawson Filter to the nearest dark alley, knowing one of his balloon friends was sure to be nearby. Sure enough to be true, one such friend stood counting his fingers at the darkest point of the alley between Rendelin’s Butcher Shop and Stephan’s Deli of Meals. It was A.R. Wilson, a prominent member of the Nevada Balloon Club.
“A.R. Wilson,” Sylvester said, “how float the digits?”
There was a certain way of conducting oneself in balloon deals.
“76 cents on the each,” Wilson replied.
“Zikes!” exclaimed Sylvester, “Even for one as happening as myself?”
“The dial lands where it lands.”
“Fair and fine. I’ll take 9.2 mil to the station.”
“Pow, that’s more than Cleveland ’86.”
“They’d all be empties.”
Wilson motioned for Sylvester Denny and Dawson Filter to follow him into Stephan’s Deli of Meals. The walls were lined with paint. A picture was nailed to the paint. It depicted the colour blue, and prominently featured shapes. Dawson Filter stared at it for some time. He looked away, blinked, and looked back. It was uncannily similar to the way it was the first time he looked. He looked away and back again. This time it had changed. Dawson Filter then noticed that his eyes were closed. Opening them, he saw that the painting was indistinguishable from the first two times he looked at it.
“Oh, right,” he thought, “that’s how things work.”
Sylvester handed Wilson a cheque for $7,000,000.
“Keep the change,” he said.
In turn, Wilson gave Sylvester 9,200,000 deflated balloons.
Dawson Filter, joined four seconds later by Sylvester Denny, stood to leave. As Sylvester bent his knees, he saw another of his latexian cohorts, this one named P.K. Jackson. Jackson had a reputation as an expert marmateer, and a subpar businessman. He was in the business of buying balloons secondhand to sell to major distributors. Sylvester Denny decided to take this opportunity to win his money back. He knew it could well be his last opportunity to do anything ever again.
“Jackson,” Sylvester said, “how float the digits on the intake?”
“At the $1.03.”
“Such a deal! I’ve 9-and-a-fifth million empty ones.”
Jackson pulled a cheque for $9,476,000 from his overcoat. Sylvester’s hand took the cheque and put it in Sylvester’s pocket. It reached into the other pocket to give Jackson the balloons. Jackson felt pleasure.
Sylvester Denny smiled. He’d turned $7,000,000 of filthy blood money into $9,476,000 of morally awesome money. It was a good hour, one of his finest. He was glad to be as hip as he was. He was filthy rich and filthy moral, the universe’s most eligible bachelor.