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    "So you're a Lobbyist," he said to Stoat.

    "That's right." Stoat began his unsung rols in the machinations of representative government, but the one-eyed man slammed a fist so hard on the polished wood that Stoat's picture frames toppled.

    "I know what you do," the man said mildly. "I know all about the likes of you."

    Palmer Stoat made a mental note to call a Realtor first thing tomorrow and put his house on the market; it had become a chamber of torture, practically every room violated by demented intruders--first the dognapper, then the sadistic Mr. Gash and now this nutty bald Cyclops...

    "I've got only one question," the man said to Stoat. "Where is Toad Island?"

    "Up the Gulf Coast. I'm not exactly sure where."

    "You're not sure?"

    "No...Captain...I've never been there," Stoat said,

    "That's beautiful. You sold the place out. Single-handedly greased all the skids so it could be 'transfomed' into a golfer's paradise -- isn't that what you told me?"

    Stoat nodded wanly. Those had been his exact words.

    "Another fabulous golfer's paradise. Just what the world needs," the one-eyed man said, "and you did all this having never set foot on the island, having never laid eyes on the place. Correct?"

    In a voice so timourous that he scarecely recognized it, Palmer Stoat said "That's how it goes down. I work the political side of the street, that's all. I've got nothing to do with the thing itself."

    The man laughed barrenly. " 'The Thing itself'! You mean the monstrosity?"

    Stoat swallowed hard. His neck muscles hurt from looking upward at such an angle. "A client calls me about some piece of legislation he's got an interest in," he said. "So I make a phone call or two. Maybe take some senator and his secretary out for a nice dinner. That's all I do. That's how it goes down."

    "And for that you get paid how much?"

    "Depends," Stoat replied.

    "For the Shearwater bridge (to Toad Island) ?"

    "A hundred thousand dollars was the agreement." Palmer Stoat could not help himself, he was such a peacock. Even when faced with a life-threatening situation, he could'nt resist broadcasting his obscenely exorbitant fees.

    The captain said, "And you have no trouble looking at yourself in the mirror every morning?"

    Stoat reddened.

    "Incredible," the man said.

    --excerpt from the incredibly hillarious book "Sick Puppy" by Carl Hiaasen

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