The problem he was working on required the use of a graphing calculator. He didn't own a graphing calculator, so he was attempting to calculate a cosine in his head. If he had had a graphing calculator, he would have known that the answer was 0.36213991769547327. Using just his brain, he only made it as far as 0.362139917. A customer by the name of Fred Finley sauntered up to the counter, sauntered back a few feet, re-sauntered up to the counter, de-sauntered again, and so forth for eight repetitions until finally he set his feet firm in front of the counter and asked for a pack of Shepheard's Hotel cigarettes. "We don't carry those. They only sell those in Germany. We're in America," said the clerk, whose name was probably Chad. "Fuck you, give me Marlboros. A pack of Marlboro cigarettes. Please give me your finest Marlboros," said Fred Finley. Chad, or whatever, gave the man his cigarettes in exchange for the man's money. The man, Fred Finley, left. The clerk went back to his math problem. His name might have been Jeremy. He usually went by Jeremy, as a matter of fact. "Chad!" someone yelled. The clerk looked up. There was no one in sight. Then there was. A woman by the name of Franny Stockwell emerged from behind a large cardboard display stand of Energizer batteries. She looked at the clerk and pulled a gun from her coat. At the morgue, Chad was identified by the name on his state-issued photo ID, Ben Stinson. The woman escaped to Alabama and was never heard from again. In Alabama, Franny Stockwell changed her name to Eloise Thatcher. She opened a bank account in that name and got a job as a waitress, where she wore a uniform with a nametag that said "Eloise". She served bacon to people as well as cornbread. Steak, hamburgers, chicken, and fish were also on the menu. The general manager of the restaurant was named Frieda Kopp. There was a strong possibility Frieda Kopp was a distant cousin of Henry Cabot Lodge. One day Eloise was mopping the kitchen floor when through the front door walked an ex-husband of Frieda Kopp, one of approximately thirty-seven. His name was Rich. Frieda's other ex-husbands were named Dan, Stuart, Chris, Stewart, Jason, Bob, Reggie, Phil, Alan, Brian, Carl, Steven, Billy, Elliot, Donald, Will, Sam, Bart, Rainer, Wilhelm, Karl, Bertrand, Morton, FitzWilliam, Charlie, Patrick, FitzPatrick, FitzCharles, Leonard, FitzLeonard, Klaus, Heinrich, Bjorn, Hugo, John, Peter, David, Michael, and Oliver. Approximately two-thirds of them were Caucasian, three-fifths of them were over six feet tall, one-sixth of them had penises less than two inches in diameter when erect, four-ninths of them were registered Libertarians, five-ninths of them were unregistered Libertarians, and eleven-twelfths of them were former infielders for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Frieda Kopp had been born and reared in Los Angeles, as had eight-elevenths of her ex-husbands. Rich was the tallest, at 6'2". Bjorn was the shortest, at 4'11". Bjorn was into hockey rather than baseball. He didn't play hockey, but he liked to watch it. The sport he liked to play was rugby. He always enjoyed tennis and squash, but to lesser degrees. Frieda's favorite sport was basketball. Rich sat down at a booth and looked over a menu. The sun was coming up. The air conditioner was broken. A waitress named FitzJudy came and took Rich's order. Rich ordered pie, squash, ham, lettuce, sour cream, and a whiskey. Ten minutes later FitzJudy brought Rich his food, each item on a separate plate. She then set a large empty bowl on the table and said, "Enjoy! Just holler if you need anything." Rich proceeded to pick up each plate and dump the food into the bowl. He mixed it all together with his fork and then started eating. As he ate, a bluebird landed on a branch just outside the window next to Rich. The bird started singing. The song of the bluebird made Rich think about his time in Austria, many years ago, when it seemed as if he would never be able to leave Austria. He had been imprisoned there on false charges of murder and attempted burglary. For eight long years he wasted away, until one day, DNA was tested. He was freed. Hallelujah! But as soon as he was released, a dark foreboding (what other kind of foreboding is there, after all?) took hold of him. He was possessed, simultaneously, with an inexplicable desire to travel to Scotland. He did so, and it was there that he first became enamored with the art of Scottish winemaking. His first bottle of wine wasn't going to win any awards, but it wasn't half bad for a beginner. It tasted a lot like Vicks 44, according to witnesses. It was while attending a winemaking seminar in Lisbon, Portugal that Rich met Frieda. She was working as a desk clerk at the hotel where he was staying. She made eight dollars an hour, which was a lot in those days. She wasn't the world's greatest hotel desk clerk, but she wasn't half bad for a beginner.