Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Thirty-Nine--Piotr's Album

While Piotr and Arvin made themselves scarce, and while Natalia Pertman and Quincy Capers played Grand Theft Auto 3 until the early morning hours, Quincy's forgotten monster stack from the $3,000 limit holdem tournament was slowly but surely sucked away by the other players at the table, especially Bill Chen, the player sitting to the immediate right of Quincy's chip mountain.  Every time another player tried to raise Capers' big blind, Bill Chen protectively reraised, and he continued to win despite playing a majority of his hands out of position from the small blind.  In an Asian v. Asian final battle, Chen would go on to take first in the event and collect a cash prize of $343,618 after grappling briefly with Yueqi "Rich" Zhu, who in turn would take $184,409 in runner-up cash and spend a significant chunk of it trying unsuccessfully to bang every Asian non-prostitute in sight who resembled the Taiwanese librarian from Albany, New York, who broke his heart in a Toyota Corolla in 1994 while the radio played "Whatta Man" by Salt-N-Pepa, thereby recreating his original failure like a real-life horror movie being replayed endlessly before his eyes.

Zhu wrote a short story about his original rejection, his 2nd place tournament finish, and his subsequent 32 additional rejections--noting with elegant prose how each additional rejection was a pale shadow of the original--and mailed it to the New Yorker, which turned him down four months later, thus giving his failure three dimensions: sexual, poker, and literary.

Quincy's forgotten stack placed 86th, out of the money.

Because Capers had been dressed as a sixty-year-old farmhand, his makeup expert even going so far as to freckle the back his neck with precancerous lesions, Chen had begun his post-victory interview with Tiffany Michelle by saying, "I couldn't have won without the hillbilly who hit every draw and crushed the table and then got bored and left me all of his chips."  Then, nonsensically, he added,  "Shout out to the heartland!  Grapes of Wrath is my favorite movie!"

Quincy didn't remember any of it.  He was too busy trying to conquer the "Espresso 2 Go" mission for the 25th time in Grand Theft Auto III.  Pertman kept dying at the first shop, so Quincy grabbed the controller from her and told her to get back in her cage.  Ignoring him, she headed toward the bathroom, but grabbed an iphone on the way, figuring the hotel's room service menu might be online.

The reader might be surprised that Ms. Pertman didn't bother to pick up the room service menu that had been sitting next to the iphone or to think about calling the police to save her.  In response, the narrator offers three significant pieces of evidence to support her failure to attempt escape.  Natalia Pertman is a

(1) young

(2) Russian

(3) girl.

When she returned a couple minutes later, she held the iphone in front of Quincy's face and said, "Check this out."

Quincy tried to look around the phone, but soon his GTA character was mowed down by police.  He took the iphone.  "What?"

"Just click on the file that reads 'The Russian Jew of Hip Hop.'"

He did.

What he heard next was unmistakably the voice of Piotr, rapping over a drumbeat.

Papa grabbed by Mama by the pigtails, said, "I'ma
Take you outta here, don't you never fear,
Just ride with the Balla in the rusty Impala."

She said, "Where'd you get your soul?"
And he said, "I don't know!"
And she said, "Where'd you get your soul?"
And he said, "I don't know!"
And she said, "Where'd you get your soul?"

And he said, "I don't know!"
And she said, "Who the fuck are you?"
And he said, "The Russian with soul!"

Took her to America, which made her all hysterical
No more Moscow, no frozen cows, no lines for toilet paper,
No waiting for warm water, no--

But she said, "Frozen cows?"
"It's just a song!"
And she said, "Frozen cows?"
"Just a song!"
And she said, "Frozen cows?"
"Just a song!"
And she said, "Who the fuck are you?"
"The Russian with soul!"

So then he laid her down, played some Marvin Gaye
Told her to never fear, then pumped her till I appeared.

Yeah, I just pop pop popped out, right?
Just like a gymnast, did a backflip from the womb,
Landed like doom and then I grabbed the mic.

Then they named me Pio, they should've gone with Neo,
At birth they called me Gleeman, but you know, trust me, man,

I stuff it like Buffett.
Who the fuck are you?
I stuff it like Buffett.
Who the fuck are you?
I stuff it like Buffett.
Who the fuck are you?
I stuff it like Buffett.

Quincy clicked pause.  For a long moment, they just stared at each other.

"He repeats himself a lot," Quincy observed.

"The song is forty seconds long so far and it already has three choruses," Pertman noted.

"It's like an alien landed on the planet and asked an old lady what a rap song sounds like--"

"--And she explained it to the alien," Pertman continued.

"--And then the alien made a rap song--"

"--Without ever hearing one," Pertman finished.

After a moment of silent reflection, he said, "Is that the only song?"

"Well," she said slowly, "there's another one called 'My Asshole Manchild Boss.'"


"Then there's one called 'I Steal from My Boss.'  And--oh!--here's one: 'Russian Girls Are Only for Russian Guys.'"


"And after that one, there's a trio of songs in one file together: 'I'm Gonna Bankrupt my Boss,' 'I'm Gonna Kidnap my Boss's Girlfriend,' and 'Sweet, Tragic Russian Love.'"

"His boss sounds like a real asshole."

"Quincy, you're his boss."

"Right.  Forgot."  Quincy gave himself a second to catch up.  "Has that ever happened before?"


"A kidnapped girl gets kidnapped from her kidnapper."

In response, she pressed play.

I started out stealing like a Chechnyan or an Uzbek, figured what the heck,
Just saw the money on the table, unaccompanied,
And I figured I could snatch it never seen,
Then throw it online, make an account on ETrade, and for all my trouble,
I quickly grabbed some stock in Allegheny Technologies and watched my money double,
Then I flipped it all real quick in Terex, no doubts, no whining,
Because I know the P/Es in construction and mining,
Dumped it after six weeks with a profit, then as my best retort,
I jumped right into NeoPharm, selling that shit short,
So when it went down eighty-four percent,
I slipped out with my profit to count my money,
50 thou to 300k in six months, that's how you do it, honey.

I stuff it like Buffett.
(That's what I said)
I stuff it like Buffett.

What followed was silence.  They stared at one another, not knowing what to think of it all.

"It picks up steam when he starts talking about money," Pertman conceded.

Before Quincy could reply, there was a knock at the door.


  1. I thought Pertman was Israeli, but I guess she bears no similarities to a real-life actress of a similar name.

  2. Yes, she bears no similarities to a real-life actress of a similar name whatsoever. She's Russian, damn it.

  3. June is almost over and I feel like I'm an addict in remission.
    Where is my dose sir?

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