Scene: My daughter and I encounter four teens sitting on the sidewalk outside Pizza My Heart in downtown Santa Cruz. One of them asks if I can spare some money so they can get some pizza. I say, “Sorry, no.” They say, “’s cool.”
What I should have said: “Blackjack! Keno! Bingo! Craps! Jeez! I haven’t seen you guys since the casino caper! Listen, I am so sorry for bailing on you guys, but when I saw you had grabbed those boxes of Mexican fireworks instead of the plastique, I knew the Baroness was going to go berserk, so it was every man for himself. Anyway, looks like you all managed okay, though I see Solitaire’s not with you. I wouldn’t worry though. I’ve known her since third grade and I have yet to see that chick not land on her feet. She’s fine wherever she is. By the way, this is my daughter. She’s totally really my daughter and not a shape-changing alien nano-collective life form.
(I glance up the street at some other pedestrians.)
Uh-oh! Looks like a couple Enforcers. Just play dumb; if you pretend not to see them, they’ll probably ignore you. We’ll just duck in here and sneak out the back. Come on Z-03. I mean, um, Zoe.”