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Don t Bet on It

ALLEGATIONS OF AN AFFAWith only tweefore theSenator Jim Collins was leading his rival, RepresentativeTom Brown, in presidential polls by 10% The race had beenelatively free of dirt, and that was unusual Many peoplethought that there would have been plenty of mud sliespecially since Brown was known for dirty tacticsturned on the television to catch up on thempletely drowned out by some kinderfind a Kathy Pendleton being interviewed by the media Hemachinery in the background and, since I can't read lipsdidn't have theortunately the interviewer summarized the proceedings andstated that Ms Pendleton mentioned having had an affairwith Senator Collins a few years ago

It was publicknowledge that the two had known each other and dated forabout a vear but that had been before Collins was marriedured that this bit of information wouldnt damage theSenator even if it were truei walked into the kitcheheck on the turkey chiand founddyfrrefrigerator to get a bottle of Molson Export Aebread and prepared a small salad and operBy the time I returned to the tube with my food, thenews wac hanged the station to channe29 to watch an old episode of Seinfeld Jerry was recallinghis high school dayhe beat diThe current day found him in a rematch, proving who wasfaster The writers had outdone themselves againThe chili was as hot as a summer afternoon ilTijuana but the ale helped to put out the fire in myfinished the salad andkitchen I would have put them into the dishwasher, but

ce I am the dishwasher, they would have to wait unti opened the newspaper and read about sorBrown's promises if elected He wanted a balanced budgetwithin two years and cuts in taxes as well asarmed forces He also talked about making other cuts to helpthe country Rumors were about that some of the victims oflimination might be the school lunch program and all formsf welfare Also in danger was funding for public radio andtelevision and Brown promised to reduce term limits forthose in the House and Senate, but only for newly electeddividuals

what sOn the other hand senator Collins mentioned thatsince most Americans had been forced to endure salary cutssome sort, it might be a good ideaor Congressmen and Senators to bite the bullet by acceptingdded thatto eliminate welfare might not berudent as properly administering it, and the same could besaid about farm subsidies and funding for PBS Lastly, hesuggested a boycott of major league baseball so as to send amessage to both management and the players that the fanst with the greed of both partiTom brown had mentioned that the pubtrust collins becausquestionable moral character Haimed that the senator was a womanizer and that governingthe country was very difficult with your pants off Finally heuggested than to what Colfriend Kathy Pendleton was saying about himpagewhen the phone rangd i wakefriend, Tom daniel

I'm doing fine Was your contract renewed?month to find some work, not like my previous contractWeren't you happy with a days notice?that much timethatcontract ended on a moment s notice and i mean thaterally We were told the contract wouldn ' t be renewed andreturnback todesk before loand gottelephone list, which I should have gotterWhat did you want with the phone list?Oh, nothing more than the names and phonenumbers of people who might have a connection to futurecontracts You cant have too many contacts inUnfortunately the end cameright, John I'm sure you'll findsomething better and soonhoou want to stop over for a brew come on overThanks, but not tonight

I'm not up to it, Tomtalk to you in a few days Hang in theof a computer consultant, Timing Isso important Once I had three job offers but when you needjust one place to work,there Fortunatealways save for a rainy day so a short stretch with no checkcoming in would not pose too big a problem I just had tonake sure to find something as soon as I could I turned tohe want ads and found a fewst jobs but thppeared to be full time work, in which I was not interested

guess I was going to have to dig out Sundays classifiesection I just didn,'t feel like bothering toniglding theturned the page i saw an article dealing with the interview ofKathy Pendleton She mentioned that she was to makestatement tomorrow regarding Senator Collins She alsostated that what she had toould be damagincampaign for president She said that all the press peoplewould have to wait for further statements and then left withno further comment Wasn't there a blond named Marilyn inthe 60,s who had intended to do justthing topolitician but her untimely death prevented it?I turned on the television to see what else washappening and saw that the stock market gained a whoppinghile the nasdaQ lost almost a point

I wouldhave to wait a couple minutes if I wanted to catch up onsports so I figured why not, When the station returned fromial messages the lead story wat else but theBills and their preparations for their archrival MiamiDolphins at Rich Stadium on Sunday Both teams werealmost completely injury free and the game was soldthere would be tv coverage in Western New York The nextd cory was on the World Series where game six was still beingayed in the bottom of the eleventh inning and the score tiedat two I had no plans to switch the channel to watch theremainder of the game so I patiently waited for the ersports coverage and a few more boring commercials Thed be on shortlyhoped the forecast was better than my day had beenLittle did i realize that tomorrow would not turn out muchbetter

A MURDER IN BALTIMOREawoke the next morning somewhat tired It seemedanother da

y at the bank i had toast and hot tea for breakfastimmediately in sight I could see that I was going to havebrown bag it for now Otherwise the checking account wouldoon be depletedfinished doing some changes to my program and was readyto resume testing when the phone rangSystems

John Kuzinskidesk still thereIt is but just bareTom, whHave you read the morning paper?didn t have a chance Why? Is there something ofa certain Kathwas found murdered inher Baltimore townhouse early this morning Wasnt this theday when she was supposed to make a statement to themedia regarding presidential hopeful Jim Collins? Do yourealize what this might do to his campaign?Wow! That just might put Brown in the oval officeAnd collins seemed to be a shest according to thebe"Why not stop over tonight for the beer you missedgrill for y? f you want I have an extrayto throw on thecan't pass that up See you then

hung up the phone and went back to testing myrogram The day seemed to really drag on I had plenty ofrk andason tostood still or appeared to deFinally it came time to quit and until then I reallybelieved the day would never come to an end I drove homeand checked my phone messages The machines blinkingdicated someone had left a message but on playback Iheard only an old one Apparently someone was tryingell me something I changed into jeans and a sweatshirt andeft for tis unusually warm for a Buffalo evening inOctober The sun looked like a pomegranate and I had notseen a sky like this onele timedrove into his drid tom handed me thenewspaper heading about the murder

omething out of this world on the grillHmmm At this rate I may eat both steaksYou better check your nose The steaks are on theounter I forgot to clean the grill from my last cookorthought I'd torture you Would you care for a beer or someI have a beer later with the food so hehings at the officeSame as usualould be getting that promotionhat was promisedI sat down on a deck chair and askedthereanything new about Kathy Pendleton?haven t heard much since i talked to you earlierIt the polls indicate that Brown picked up two points todayone At this rate brown will overcome collins in less thank what dknow about Pendleton's alleged affwith collins?

m not mistaken pendleton dated collins forbout a year, but that was long before he and his wife frand thato but thties after the wedding and certainly no affair that was madepublic Up until two days ago thate extentelationship and then Pendleton unexpectedly comes outith the acknowledgement abord somethingdamaging Thatfresh that collinshadn 't even had a chance to refute the claims"Even if it were true that there was an affair i dontbelieve that it would have affectedidential rat was still goingk, even if the affair happenedafter Collins' marriage a while ago or even just recently, hecould still win the electionhave tothLet me clean the grill and get those steaks goinCan you fix the salad?Andn a CD AnyYou make the selection

Anything you select shouldbe fineThe steaks were coming along nicely arm hadput two potatoes in the oven about an hour ago soould be ready too To our delight Candy Dulferthe nightth herpanied by thePowers horns on theThe strip steaks were sizzling so we sat downdulge The taste was even better tharoma while thewere on the grill We didn,'t let the last two days'eventsnterrupt our enjoyment of these culinary delightsOnce dinner was over we piled the dishes into thedishwasher and switched on CNN Theevealed thatKathy pendleton was shot twice with no trace of a strugglend no murder weapon found Two empty glasses were

ound at the scene and they wereeckedfingerprints There were no signs of a break-in to theeared that the murdererPendleton The police had no suspects yet but were askingInSenator collins was interviewed and said he wasshocked to hear of theder

heto her family and friends He seemed quite shaken by thedeath of Kathy Pendleton He declined any further commentAfter this interview it was time for the latest sportd i talkedfor a short while and then it was time to leave the eveningair was sixty degrees and I didn,'t mind it in the least I drovehome, undressed and hopped into bed and made up for thevIous n

COLLINS THE SUSPECTTwo days later nbC broke theFingersfound in the townhouse of Kathy Pendletonbelonged to her That wasn't too startling The fingerprintsd tote other than senatorCollins Perhaps the affair had not ended until KathyPendleton died from a bullet Maybe the Senator hadpermanently silenced her

It didn, t look good for Collins andthat was reflecteded thecandidates about even Collins had beerentire race and now this one tragedy had suddenly propelledBrown aheadas a well-established buexecutive who lived life to the fullest and commanded a sifigure salary comparable to that of males in the samehad beerd once but her husband haddied of lung cancer five years ago and she remained singleafter her marriage of ten years Both she and her spouse hadbeen heavy smokers and thats probably what had killed himdid set an example for her as she quit shortly afterdeath and never resumed the nasty habitMeanwhile Collins would not comment on any of theevents of thetwo days, saying only thatss conference that evening nbc did state thatSenator was campaigning in Baltimore and stayed overnightat a hotel in theshed dinner and washed the dishes and let themThe evening paper didn't shed much light on theer but i noticed acomments from the wife of senator Collins fran collinsmentioned that her husband had never been unfaithful arshe knew of his past relationship with Kathy Pendleton, As