Belch Cosgrove Presents:”Sorry Wrong Number.”
BELCH COSGROVE: “Mr. Stefani, Belch Cosgrove FLEX News. Sorry wrong number. Ha. Ha. Ha.”
COCOA STEFANI: “Whaddya want, Pal?”
BELCH COSGROVE: “Are you the one who signed Matthias Jones to coach at Hamilton College in New Hampshire, a rag tag college with no visible athletic prominence?”
COCOA STEFANI: “Hey Cosgrove that mouth of yours is gonna take you down.”
BELCH COSGROVE: “Sorry wrong number. Get it, Ha. Ha. Ha.”
COCOA STEFANI: ” You’re a laugh a minute.”
BELCH COSGROVE: Word has it you were hired by channel Z, a gambling channel and that money changed hands to lure Jones into his present position.”
COCOA STEFANI: “I have no idea what you’re talkin’ about. Who the hell let you inta the club?”
BELCH COSGROVE: “We ‘re prepared to go to air on this money laundering scheme.”
COCOA STEFANI: “That right? I gut Jonesy back here in conjunction with the old man because Jonesy’s the best. Jonesy doesn’t take cheap shots and flap his big trap. You Mr. tough guy are goin’ for a little ride.”
BELCH COSGROVE: “Great I like people who cooperate.”
COCOA STEFANI: “Uncle Dullio. Never mind where I am, Dullio. I have a passenger for you and Earl.”
BELCH COSGROVE: “Sorry wrong number! Ha. Ha. Ha.”
COCOA STEFANI: “ Enjoy the ride Cosgrove. Nice knowing ya.”
BELCH COSGROVE: “Good, we can talk about Jones’s old man.”
COCOA STEFANI: “Au Revoir, Mr. Wrong number.“
BRUNO DONOVAN: “That guy is a loser.”
COCOA STEFANI: “Ya gut that right, Bruno. Jonesy’s old man was an ace. Just like Jonesy. He went right after the low-lifes.”
BRUNO DONOVAN: “And they murdered him.”
COCOA STEFANI: “Right in his own pickup. Jonesy was too bummed out to see it. When I went out there that stuck out like a sore thumb. Wasn’t no heart attack, Bruno.”
BRUNO DONOVAN: “If I know Jonesy he wouldn’t back off at the point.”
COCOA STEFANI: “We both went after ’em Bruno. We’re not dealin’ with dummys like Dewars and Driscoll. They can’t wait ta take people down. We had to figure out what Bill Jones had figured out.”
BRUNO DONOVAN: “The FBI was impressed enough to give Jonesy some kinda clearance.”
COCOA STEFANI: “Right like collectin’ Captain Midnight decoder rings.“
BRUNO DONOVAN: “Didn’t that moron Lester Larsen show up?”
COCOA STEFANI: “Yeah, he showed up. Almost gut us killed. He was tryin’ to stop Jonesy from takin’ the coachin’ job so his old man could continue to lose games. Lester is all done Bruno.”
BRUNO DONOVAN: “What about Cosgrove?”
COCOA STEFANI: “Sorry wrong number!“
When I first introduced Lester Larsen into the Jones series, I began to question whether I had gone too far. Not only are Lester’s spastic machinations bordering on absurd, but his physical stature or lack thereof is like a character out of a sci-fi novel. Now why would I put this numbskull in a Matthias Jones Mystery? Remember Jones stories have: ‘Murder, Mayhem, and Monkey Business.’ Because all of Hamilton and its zany population were back east in this story. Since Jones and Cocoa are in a very precarious situation, I wanted the usual unusual character brought in to muck up the investigation as well as ratchet up the danger.
Cole Salo, a blog writer and aspiring novelist came up with a list of crazy characters. Let’s talk about a few.
Alice in Wonderland, never been out of print since 1865, by Lewis Carrol is filled with insane characters.
“We’re all mad here.”― Cheshire Cat
The Shining-Jack Torrance by Stephen King-Something about that hotel brings out the best in Jack.
How about Frankenstein by Mary Shelly? Slightly over the top? Monster extraordinaire. And I do mean monster!
Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Doesn’t get so markedly different these aspects the psyche. Bizzaro!
Live from the lab: Human-animal creatures on Dr. Moreau’s Island-H.G. Wells.
The Union Corruption that Bill Jones was Investigating:
Not all unions are corrupt, but corruption does exist. Corruption is a myth you say. Bill Jones found something, and it cost him his life. Study some of these stats from Union Facts.com:
- During fiscal years 2000–2019, OLMS investigations led to over $156.3 million dollars of restitution in over 2,100 criminal cases;
- OLMS investigations also led to 2,297 indictments and 2166 convictions;
- The Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act’s (LMRDA) reliance on self-government, public disclosure, and ultimately deterrence has failed.
- The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) has investigated and prosecuted union leaders for embezzling more than $100 million in union dues since 2001.
- Investigations by the DOL’s Office of Inspector General, which investigates labor racketeering and organized crime’s influence within the labor movement, has resulted in more than $1 billion in fines, restitution, and forfeitures.
- Fewer than 5 percent of unions audited by the DOL received unqualified passes.
Bill Jones was dealing with the big boys and now Cocoa and Jones are in the center of that same great power that threatens their very lives.
At the end of this first Jones novel, Jones is welcomed back to Hamilton and at Club Max in Prince William. The solidification of Cocoa and Jones’s relationship is critical and an excellent way to bring the series forward. That’s no side road theory- it’s life in the wacky town of Hamilton, New Hampshire.
Robert P. Fitton