The Supermodel's name was Uvula, a towering brunette raised on a wombat ranch in Australia. That's what the bio from her agency said, and that's what Page Six and the other celebrity buzzards believed.
In truth, her birthplace was Ashtabula, Ohio, and her real name was Nora Schoendienst. By sweet coincidence she was distantly related to Red himself, the great St. Louis Cardinals infielder and, later, manager. There was, I am relieved to report, no physical resemblance whatsoever.
I closed the file and waited for the meeting to begin. It was my first summons to the 34th floor. Naturally I assumed that I was being fired or sued, which after only three months on the payroll would be a new personal record.
But I was wrong; they'd brought me in for some dirty work. How it involved a fashion seraphim such as Uvula, I could not imagine.
Dooney, the photo editor, sat at my right. On the other side was Klein, the managing editor. Across the table was a feral-looking runt who was introduced as Ian Ricks from corporate.
Klein spoke first. "You did a helluva job with Bonds. He give you any grief?"
I shrugged. "He was fine once I promised him the cover."
"You promised him what?" Dooney looked as if he'd swallowed a cockroach. "We're not freakin' Vanity Fair, Jimmy. We don't promise the cover to anybody. Ted Williams thaws out and signs with the Sox, we still don't promise him the cover."
"It's August," I said, "and the man's hitting .392. I figured it was him or Tiger, and Tiger's been snap-hooking his drives."
Across the table, Ricks glanced at his wristwatch for maybe the sixth time. "Guys, can we move things along? I've got lunch at Le Bernardin with the Lexus people."