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Uri Charles had promised the receptionist that he would ask Uri to bend a spoon for her after the meeting broke up, but Uri, always unpredictable, declined the woman's request. Picking up a spoon from the silver tea service on the receptionist's desk, he rubbed it thoughtfully between his thumb and forefinger as he studied the group of production people, writers, and directors assembled outside of the office. His eyes locked with mine. "You," he said, "come with me." I walked out with him to the elevators, passing close to the livid receptionist, who accepted UFO's, alien abductions, and Uri without question, and had brought her own monogramed spoon to preserve the evidence and hand it over, she said, to the CIA to prove to the bastards once and for all, if they only had an open mind, what they were missing and didn't they realize they could hire Uri to erase all the hard drives in Russia? Now in the corridor outside, Uri held the silver spoon in one hand and rubbed it vigorously with his forefinger. The elevator doors opened. Uri handed me the spoon, cupping my fingers in his and wrapping them around it. "Very soon now," he said, "you will write a screenplay telling the incredible story of my life. The film will make you wealthy beyond your wildest dreams, and what is more, you are invited to be a guest in my mansion rent-free for one month of each year, non transferable." The doors closed behind him. The spoon, as far as I could tell, refused to bend. As I came back into the office, the receptionist was alone at her desk, mascara running down her cheeks. I handed her the spoon. "He wants you to have it," I said. "Ohmygod," she said, "he really said that?" "Not out loud," I said, "it was a kind of thought transference thing, like he was inside my mind giving me instructions and I had to read his lips, kind of." She held the spoon with both hands, close to her breast. "I know," she said, "I channeled it too, but I was afraid to believe it was really really true. I will never doubt him again." The next day she disappeared. No one heard from her for about a week. And then I saw her, standing beneath one of the great stone lions at the front of the public library. She was wearing a dress of scarves, bent spoons hanging off her everywhere. ''What happened?" I said. "We've been worried." "Well," she said, "ever since you gave me the spoon, he's been talking to me nonstop, do this, do that, keeping me so busy I haven't had time to return to work or even sit down to a decent meal. And everywhere I go, spoons start bending and falling around and vibrating. I try not to make a spectacle. I just cram them in my purse when I can and do my best to sneak away without causing a scene." "Look," I said, "I don't know how to say this, really, but Uri never told me to give you the spoon. I lied. But if you've got spoons bending and doing tricks for you, then perhaps you should report it to the media. Who knows, maybe you could be as famous as Uri." "Well," she said, "if you promise to keep it under your hat, I called the CIA and told them the whole story. And the reason I haven't contacted FOX or CNN dot com is that the man at the CIA said to keep everything strictly hush hush." "Let me guess," I said, "they want you to erase all the hard drives in Russia." "Not exactly," she said, "but he told me he had been praying for somebody just like me to help him raid the godless computers of NASDAQ and rob them blind, which would earn me a secret medal from a grateful government, that no one but me would ever be permitted to see. And then he wrote down my vital statistics, and gave me his personal email address, and said he would need a pic of me for the files, preferably in the nude, to record any identifying scars and the like, and if I didn't have a nude already, which most people don't, at least not very good ones, he said, he would get the "company" to authorize him to pay me a visit and do it from various angles on one of the secret high resolution digital cameras they had developed to spy on terrorists and people that try to steal cellular phones and not pay for the calls." "Well," I said, "I want to wish you the best of luck. Anything you'd like me to say to Charles?" She pursed her lips and scrooched one eye shut. "Yes," she said, "tell him Urea says hello."
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