There was even this one time when gambling money bought happiness. "There was an old gambler named Billy Griffin," The Greek begins. "Dead now. Billy was a great Cardinals fan, and they were gonna win the pennant, and I started to set him up because I wanted the Yankees in the Series. I knew Billy wanted the Cards so much he wouldn't be at his best. And I was right. I got my price on the Yanks. And Ruffing wins the first game for me. Now the odds shift heavy for the Yanks. All I had to do was take some of the Cards, and I can't lose. I got it middled. Billy was always cautioning me about that. 'You've got a long way to go, son,' he'd say. 'Learn to pinch your bet.' But I was young then. I was going all the way with the Yanks. And what do the Cards do? They sweep the next four straight. I lose $40,000. What's that now—125,150, something like that? And I walk out of my office, the B & F, and my head is down. But I hear something and I look up, and here comes this guy down the street, pulling himself along on one of those little carts with a pulley. He doesn't have any legs.
"And I took one look at that, and I said, 'I'm in trouble?'
"I ran home to Sunny, and she said, 'What are you smiling about?' And I said, 'Come on, we're going out to a movie,' and we went to see Abbott and Costello, and I laughed like crazy, and I thought it had been a wonderful day."
If The Greek is getting carried away by himself and all the attention he receives, at least he is brought back to an even keel at home. The Snyder household has always been Joan's place, but now that Jimmy's office is at home—his office is the closest telephone—it is Stephanie who has emerged as the majordomo. Although only 21, she is mature well beyond her age and plays a significant role in supervising the corporate and ceremonial Jimmy The Greek. Among other things, Stephanie has outstanding ears; she is so much in charge that she over-hears telephone conversations in other rooms and will interrupt from afar, screaming out corrections: "No, no. Mother, the trapezius muscle." "No, Daddy, not Robert Redford. You're in the movie with Burt Reynolds."
But there is still some kid in Stephanie, and she and her sidekick, Anthony, 16, constantly tease Daddy, prick his balloon.
Joan drives the Caddy into the garage. There are large blowups there of major articles done on The Greek. "Stephie, when are we finally gonna get these articles framed?" he asks.
"Daddy, I just haven't had time."
The Greek starts, "You'd think—"
Stephanie interrupts, "I know. 'How many children have a father—' "
Anthony chimes in, and they finish in singsong unison, " '—who made the front page of The Wall Street Journal?' "