Dogboy goes Wall Street

I hadn't seen Dogboy since before I went to Italy, so I wasn't quite ready the other night when I ran into him at our local cultural establishment. I mean, he looked the same, he sounded the same, he even smelled the same.*

But he had three-ring binders in front of him, and papers spread out all along the bar. That ain't Dogboy, at least not the Dogboy I know. The only piece of paper I've ever seen him study was a racing form; when he went to get his marriage license, he had his wife summarize the highlights. (Bad luck for him, but that's another story.)

"What the hell are you reading?" I asked.

"CAEL reports."

I blinked, then ordered a shooter to go with my beer. CAEL stands for "capital adequacy, asset quality, profitability, and liquidity"; a CAEL report is an assessment of a bank's financial stability - pretty technical stuff, and definitely not bar reading.

Not red-neck, trailer trash reading either. You wouldn't think.

"What's up with that?" I asked after I did the shot.

"Studying up. Looking for some bargains."

I leaned back on the barstool, sipping my beer. The bartender - it was Tony, the aneorexic Soprano sound-alike - came over and whispered in my ear. "He's been like that since McCain tapped Sarah Palin. He's got an in with her somehow; wants to be treasury secretary."

"I heard that," said Dogboy, looking up. "And it's not true."

"Just saying." Tony retreated.

"I have my eye on some bargains here." Dogboy frowned at me. "You gonna have another shot?"

"I was just about to ask for the bottle," I told him.

* A mix of stale cigarettes and butchered deer. Yeah, I know it's not deer season yet. Don't ask.

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