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Deep under City Hall, in a triple-locked maintenance room, Harvey Blomberg put the early edition down on the makeup table. That'll serve Schnittman right, the schmuck. Strutting around like the cock of the walk ever since the goddamn triathlon. While that fucking prick was mugging for the photographers in that goddamn pink swim cap, he'd been about to bust his balls in the cycling leg. Fuck.
Speak of the devil. "Where we booked today?" Mort Schnittmann asked, exiting the john and flashing the Mission Accomplished Rahm.
"Fuck you," Blomberg snarled. "They need Tough Guy Rahm again, this time even tougher." Scowling into the mirror, he lowered his chin and dabbed more shadow under his eyes. The Heads Will Roll Rahm required menace.
"Fuck you! Let me see that!" ejected Schnittmann, snatching up the mayor's press schedule. "They still need It's All About the Kids Rahm and Chicago Works Rahm!"
But there was bubkes. Just a photo op and b-roll way the fuck down on 74th Street. Bus-only lanes—yeah, that's living large. Fuck!
"Hey, watch it," Blomberg growled. "Pissed-Off Rahm is mine."
"Go fuck yourself," muttered Schnittmann. Blomberg was right—the honeymoon was over. The whole gig had hinged on the mayor's demanding to be at multiple press conferences simultaneously. What if he decided to lay low for a while? And if his approval ratings continued to drop, well, there wouldn't be much call for Triumphal Rahm, now would there?
Schnittman sank into a chair and sat, chin on fist, the wheels beginning to turn behind his hooded eyes. OK, let’s say the days of Pleased as Punch Rahm were over. Couldn’t a talented ringer branch out into freelance work? Hit the late-night shows, Ellen, the View. Do a guest stint on Dancing With the Stars. How about Oprah—wasn't she on the air again? There was just one hitch.
He stared at the middle finger on his right hand.
"What’s the matter, schmuck?" demanded Blomberg, giving his shoulder a shake. "You're supposed to be on the south side by now. Back to work! And remember, tonight's the boss's night for Family-Time Rahm."
Rousing himself, Schnittman headed for the door. He had plenty of time to think. Reserved lane or no, the bus was always late.