Before his James Bond got blown to shit on some rooftop on a Japanese island in No Time To Die (sPoIlEr AlErT!), Daniel Craig was in what is perhaps the greatest British film ever made: Layer Cake.
While every actor (except Tom Hardy) acts their ass off and every line of dialogue is an absolute banger, the film is perhaps best known as a turning point in film history: introducing the world to Daniel Craig’s god-like body.
Daniel Craig was blessed with being able to make whatever he’s wearing look like it was tailored specifically for him. He spends much of the film wearing the same plain gray raglan t-shirt with Levi’s…an outfit that probably costs $50 total, but it looks like he’s modeling Brioni.
I couldn’t pull off that look. I tried.
Another thing Craig succeeds at is showing his “sex” gaze:
Not to toot my own horn, but I’m happily married now because I mastered that gaze. Now personally, I like to use the Sean Connery method of tilting my head forward, arching an eyebrow, and smiling with my eyes. But every man has to master the “sex” gaze, to knock em dead with one look, if they want to be successful with the ladies (or the fellas).
That haircut is pretty good too. It’s definitely a 60’s style throwback, echoing the aforementioned Sean Connery and his toupee during his James Bond tenure. Unfortunately I’m a balding man, have been since I was 13, so I was never able to pull off that style. But because I’m balding, I’m sort of an expert at spotting hair plugs. And Craig, in my humble opinion, probably has hair plugs. That being said, I’d pay good money to find out who his specialist is.
Another thing on Craig’s style is that pimpin purplish/maroon jacket he wears to start the film:
I’m just gonna go ahead and say it: no man has ever looked as good on film as Daniel Craig did in Layer Cake.
“We get it, you’re in love with Daniel Craig. But what about the film?”
I always thought that collectively we had two choices: evolve to a Star Trek-like utopia where poverty, disease, prejudice, and war are eradicated—or take Ted Kaczynski’s advice and shun industrialized civilization altogether.
This middle ground that we’re hellbent on occupying is some bullshit though.
Heaven forbid if I call any of this out, however. Apparently my disdain for consumerism, narcissism, the eradication of public trust, and concern for unprecedented technological advancement on our psyche and relationships is no longer fashionable within Left/Right political framework.
It probably never was tbh
Where am I going with this?
I’m as directionless as our collective consciousness.
I couldn’t hit shit with my six shooter. I missed every target.
J Robert Oppenheimer’s 10 year old son, Malachi, watched and nodded his head. “Did you really know my father from the war?” he asked.
“Sure, why not?” I replied.
“Whose side did you fight for?”
“Uh, Abraham Lincoln’s?”
“963rd, 9th battalion, 4th infantry, uhmmm, at the Battle of Waterloo?”
“Did you get injured?”
“Oh yeah. All over.”
Malachi scratched his head. He knew I was full of shit. “Are you sure that you didn’t know my father from the future?” he asked.
“How do you know about that?”
“He has a time machine in the barn.”
Malachi took me into the barn and lifted a large tarp off a time weapon—a similar looking time weapon that sent Mr. Ree, Oppenheimer, and myself back to 1879.
“Does it work?” I asked Malachi.
“Of course. My father built it. He can make anything work.”
Oppenheimer stood at the entryway of the barn. “That’s enough Malachi,” he said. “You run along now.”
Malachi shook his head. “Yes father,” he said and went back to tending to his chores.
“Why didn’t you tell me about this, Bob?” I asked Oppenheimer.
“It doesn’t work.”
“Malachi says it does.”
Oppenheimer paced back and forth, rubbing his hand across his face. “Look,” he said, “we can go over this all day. Sure, I can send you to the future, the past, whatever. But it’s almost impossible to get you back to YOUR timeline. I’m sorry James. But we need to look at the present. You’re here. Mr. Ree is here. I need help. This community needs your help. Please help me. I can’t fight Dickleburg on my own.”
I thought through his words. “You love Malachi,” I said. “But did you know that I have a child back in that timeline? If there is a chance, however slim, to get back there, I have to take it. Wouldn’t you do the same if you were me?”
Oppenheimer nodded. “If I’m going to help you,” he said, “then we have to secure these goldmines. There’s a property in gold that makes these time weapons work. To secure the mines, we have to defeat Dickleburg.”
I pulled out my Korth 357.
“I’m no good with those six shooters,” I replied. “But I can shoot a fly’s dick off with this 357. Can you help me make more bullets?”
“It’s hard being a gay man in the old west,” Mr. Ree said.
“Word. Wait…you’re gay?” I asked.
“Well I wouldn’t say I’m gay. But I exclusively have sex with men.”
I took a sip of whiskey. My mind was on other things.
We were in Montana. I reckon the year was 1879. Mr. Ree and myself have been stuck out of time, out of place, for the last two years.
Time travel does strange things to a man. For one, it strips you completely naked. Mr. Ree and me were found in San Francisco, ass to ass, behind a brothel on Haight Street when we emerged from the plasma ripple. But it does something else: you realize that everyone, and everything, you’ve ever known is out of reach.
I’ll never see Miriam again. Or my unborn child that I left back in another timeline.
But Mr. Ree maintained hope. “We might as well get filthy fucking rich,” he said. The gold mines in California were stripped by 1879. Resigned to our fate, we travelled to Elkhorn, Montana to start a new life.
As we sat in the local tavern, townsfolk glared at us. One burly man came up to our table.
“We haven’t seen your kind ‘round here before,” he said.
“We don’t take kindly to strangers. I reckon y’all better drink your whiskey and ride out before sundown.”
“Why don’t you mind your own business buddy?” I said. “We ain’t bothering you. How about you ride your fat ass back to your table?”
“Them are fightin words.”
“Damn right pal! You don’t want none of this!”
“Now gentlemen,” Mr. Ree interjected, “there’s nothing here that can’t be settled by a good old fashioned duel.”
The burly man nodded. “I’ll see you outside.”
“The fuck are you doing Mr. Ree?” I asked.
“Don’t worry about it. You got a Korth 357. You’ll blast his ass into the future,” he replied.
“Ree, this is 1879,” I said, “they don’t make bullets for this gun yet. I gotta conserve my ammo. Besides, wouldn’t I be disrupting the timeline?”
“Nah. According to J Robert Oppenheimer, this is a new timeline, remember? We can do whatever the fuck we want.”
I just shrugged and walked outside. The burly man was standing in the street. The townsfolk all stood around.
“Alright,” I said, “fastest draw wins, or however this bullshit works.”
The burly man opened his duster, exposing his six shooter. “Ready whenever you are,” he said.
We had a stare down. The townsfolk stood around nervously, waiting for the fireworks.
Suddenly he reached for his six shooter. I drew my 357. The sound thundered from my gun, echoing across the town and down through the mountains.
I shot off the burly man’s suspenders. His pants fell down, exposing his ass and penis.
I twirled the 357 and placed it back my holster.
Suddenly a shotgun blast went off. The townsfolk scattered. Out of the shadows appeared a man dressed in black. His spurs jingled as he walked towards us.
“I won’t have this nonsense in my town,” the man in black said.
I recognized the face.
“I’m James,” I said. “And this here is my partner, Mr. Ree.”
“I know who you are,” he replied. “And if you fire that gun again, I’ll shove this shotgun right up your ass.”
“Doesn’t sound like much of a threat,” I said.
He stepped a little closer.
Could it be?
“I’m Oppenheimer,” he said. “SHERIFF J. Robert Oppenheimer.”
“Well shits assholes,” I said to Dr. Sí. “We’ve been looking for you. I guess the search is over! Can I go now?”
“Not so fast,” he responded. “I need to know where your Kill Squad is going.”
“First I want to know what happened to Angelika,” I demanded.
“Fair enough,” he said. Then Dr. Sí turned to the corner of the laboratory. “Angelika, come join us.”
Angelika stepped out, all dolled up with her red hair flowing down to her shoulders. “Sorry James,” she said. “You’re not my type because Dr. Sí is my type.”
The two kissed passionately in front of me.
“I do want to thank you, Colonel James, for returning her to me,” Dr. Sí said.
“Hey, not a problem,” I replied. “Can you return the favor by removing this explosive collar from around my neck? Once when they realize Angelika’s missing, this thing will blow my head off.”
“First, where is the Kill Squad going?”
“They’re probably coming here!”
“We are certainly not at where they are going.”
“Then what are you worried about?”
The doctor turned around and looked at a computerized map of the Hawaiian islands. “I am a man of science, colonel. In order for my experiments to work, I need EXACT measurements. I cannot afford unpredictability. So again…where is the Kill Squad going?”
I was running out of time. The collar was going to detonate at any moment. Then I remembered…
“$2 million,” I said.
“Yes, $2 million and I give up the coordinates of the Kill Squad plus any other state secrets you want in order to sweeten the deal,“ I replied.
I was bluffing about the state secrets part. I didn’t know shit.
“$1 million,” Dr. Sí responded.
“Deal. The coordinates are 113.998N 737.746W. Now get this collar off of me!”
Dr. Sí laughed and ordered the guards to remove the collar. “Thank you for your cooperation colonel,” he said. “But as an insurance policy, I’ll place this collar on one of your acquaintances.”
The guards rolled in Mr. Ree, strapped to an upright gurney.
“They kidnapped me too,” Mr. Ree said. “Can you believe that bullshit?”
“Ohh come on,” I said. “Don’t kill Mr. Ree! He’s cool! Besides, that thing will detonate before the squad reaches its destination!”
“That’s just a chance I’m willing to take,” Dr. Sí replied.
“Look, I don’t give a damn about Admiral Majors or the Kill Squad. But there’s a woman that’s traveling with them: Izzy. Please don’t kill her,” I pleaded.
“Colonel, relax,” he said. “I’m not looking to kill anyone, except for Mr. Ree over there. I just want to see that thing go off.”
“I don’t understand.”
Dr. Sí put his arm around my shoulders and started walking me around the laboratory. “I understand your confusion. You see, has anyone told you the truth about that missing nuclear scientist?”
“To be honest doctor, for this entire mission, I’ve kinda been asleep at the wheel. I don’t even know that scientists’ name.”
“Ah, let me show you.”
Dr. Sí opened a door and out walked an old man in a lab coat. I think I was supposed to be impressed by this.
“I don’t know who this is,” I said.
“That’s J. Robert Oppenheimer.”
“J. Robert Op…the father of the atomic bomb?! What are you? Some kind of fucking moron?”
“You cloned him?”
“No asshole! I brought him from the past into the future! Don’t you get it yet? I invented time travel!!”
I walked up to Oppenheimer and looked him up and down. “Welcome to the future,” I told him. “We killed Hitler.”
“I know that, dumbass,” he replied. “We should have dropped the bomb on him!”
I looked back over to Dr. Sí. “So what? You invented time travel. Big whoop. How can you use that against the Kill Squad?”
“That’s why I brought my friend Oppenheimer to the present. You see, we created a new kind of weapon: a time weapon.”
“That sounds pretty fucking stupid, Dr. Sí,” I said. “How can you weaponize time?”
“Well you see, if you can triangulate the space time continuum, the quantum field fluctuations will…”
“Okay, sorry I asked,” I interrupted. “That science shit is boring. Cut to the chase. What’s gonna happen to the Kill Squad?”
“I will fire a plasma energy weapon at their coordinates. When the weapon reaches them, it will generate a quantum field around them and they will be transported to a different time and place.”
“My god,” I said. “A non-destructive weapon. You’re a genius Dr. Sí.”
“So you’re not a complete fucking idiot after all,” he replied. “It is far more humane than the nuclear weapons of the last 80 years. Imagine: no more nuclear fallout, no more mass death…we simply transport our enemies to a different time, different place.”
I looked around the laboratory…at all the scientists running around, to Oppenheimer, to Angelika, and then over to Mr. Ree.
“I cannot deny your genius, Dr. Si,” I said. “But it appears that the only one in danger here is Mr. Ree. If you’re really are humane, you’d remove that collar.”
Dr. Sí nodded. “I suppose you’re right, Colonel.” He looked to the guards. “Remove the collar.”
The guards walked over to the gurney and removed the collar. As they were about to dispose of it, it detonated, killing and maiming several of them.
Out of the confusion, Oppenheimer attacked one of the guards, grabbing his machine gun.
“Put down the gun Oppenheimer,” Dr. Sí said.
“No,” he replied. “You’ve been holding me hostage here. I’m not your puppet!”
“But Bob,” Dr. Sí pleaded. “We’ve been building something special here. Don’t you want to finish our work?”
“No! No more weapons!”
More guards rushed into the room, forcing Oppenheimer to drop his gun.
“Sorry Bob,” Dr. Sí said. “It appears your time is up.”
Mr. Ree was released from the gurney. The two of us were ordered to raise our hands and were rounded up with Oppenheimer.
“I’m Amish now,” I said to Admiral Majors and Izzy. “I don’t believe in violence anymore.”
“You mean to tell me we drove all the way to Pennsylvania from Los Angeles just for you to say you’ve taken a vow to never kill again,” the Admiral asked.
“Yes. I killed a man in cold blood. Not out of justice,” I replied. “I felt pure hatred. And I hope to never feel that again. That’s not God’s way.”
“The man you killed was a bent cop AND a serial killer. Fuck that guy!”
“No,” I said. “You see this,” I pointed over to the wide green pastures. Off in the distance, Amish brethren were erecting a barn. “This is God’s way. Hard work and community. That’s what will get us to heaven.”
“I can’t believe I’m hearing this bullshit,” the Admiral replied. “So you wanna play hardball eh? Fine. $2 million. I am offering you $2 million of tax payer money to join my force. One of our top nuclear scientists have gone missing, and we have reason to suspect that the Ionian Liberation Front is behind it. You’ve dealt with those guys before. If you change your mind, you know where to reach me.”
The Admiral stormed off. Izzy bashfully stood around.
“What’s her name,” she asked.
“Miriam,” I replied. “She’s a good woman. She’ll make an excellent mother.”
“I’m happy for you,” she said. “I’m seeing someone too. I gave Admiral Majors a hand job on drive over here. He’s taking me to dinner tonight.”
“I wish you two the best of luck.”
“Thank you,” she said. “Goodbye James.”
After I finished tending to the cattle, I washed off the bull semen then went to the homestead for supper. Miriam served me up a plate of beans and cornbread.
Miriam was a plain and simple Amish woman. We married during the fall harvest. Her father was Ezekiel, one of the community leaders. He was generous enough to take me in.
“Didist thou havest a good day,” she asked.
“I did Miriam. This is a well-earned supper after an honest day’s work.”
“The Lord hath blessed us. I am pregnant with child.”
“This is swell news indeed. The community with rejoice at the announcement.”
We smiled and held hands while we sat around the fireplace. I was loading tobacco into my pipe when Ezekiel stopped by.
“The Lord has brought forth good news,” I told him. “Miriam is pregnant with child.”
“Praise the Lord indeed,” he replied. “I am going to be a grandfather.”
The two of us went to the porch to watch the sunset. I took a match to the pipe. “So what brings you by Ezekiel,” I asked.
“I’m afraid Brother Peter is not doing well,” he said. “He won’t likely survive through the night.”
“That’s a shame. Miriam and I shall pray on it.”
“Unfortunately, I bring more bad news. Bandits have returned and stole four more chickens. We don’t have the funds to replace them. I’m afraid that we are having trouble feeding the children and the harvest isn’t bringing what we need. Times are hard indeed.”
“The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away,” I said.
“I wish someone would do something about these bandits. They have drained all of our resources for the winter,” Ezekiel said.
I puffed on the pipe and rocked in the chair. “I’m sure the Lord will provide.”
That night I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned. I sat up and kissed Miriam on the forehead while she peacefully slept.
I grabbed a shovel and hid behind the chicken coup while I waited for the bandits. I heard twigs snapping and bushes rustling. They were close.
“Stop right there or I’ll bash your head in,” I told the two bandits.
They laughed. “You’re Amish,” they said. “You can’t hurt us.”
“Grab my cock and find out,” I replied, referring to the rooster.
We had a stare down. I waited for one of them to make a move. One went for his pistol and I smashed the shovel right on his dick.
“My dick,” he yelled.
The other one leapt at me and I knocked his clean off his shoulders. Blood sprayed all over the coup. I went over to the other man laying on the ground.
“Don’t kill me,” he yelled. But I smashed the shovel right into his guts.
I buried the bodies deep in the woods.
I took the shovel and began digging behind the barn. Out of the dirt I pulled out an old oak box.
LP and I got rip roarin drunk on the stakeout. We shared some laughs while we sat on a rooftop in Culver City over night. We watched the airplanes fly overhead as they began their descent into LAX.
“You know,” LP said. “I watched this city go to hell in a hand basket. When I joined the force, I wanted to serve my community. I wanted to do some good. Instead the city got worse.”
“The city’s always been a shithole, LP,” I replied.
“20 years I’ve been a cop. I’m really looking forward to retirement.”
I took a big hit off the Evan Williams green label and handed it over. “Just take a knee for the rest of your career,” I said. “Pick up your retirement check and take Stacy to Jamaica like you’ve always wanted. You’re just one man, you can’t change this city. No one can.”
LP looked down the scope of the M82 sniper rifle. Something caught his eye.
“Hey James, check this out. Get one hand free.”
As I peeped out through a windows cross the street, there was a woman decked out in BDSM whipping some poor sap with a contraption over his cock.
“That’s disgusting LP.”
He laughed and looked back through the scope. “Oh yeah! I wish Stacy would do that to me!”
LP’s finger slipped and he accidentally fired a round. The glass to the woman’s window shattered and the bullet hit the man on his bare ass.
“What are you doing LP?”
“Sorry. Got trigger happy,” he replied with a smile.
I looked up to the roof of the woman’s building and there was a sniper pointing his rifle at us.
“Get down LP!”
We dropped to the ground and the sniper opened fire. “Give me your 357, James. I’m going after him,” LP said. “Stay up here and return fire.”
LP ran down the fire escape and into the building next door. As the sniper reloaded, I got up and fired several shots. When I looked back through the scope, no one was there.
I took out a 9mm and ran down the stairs. As I approached the building, the sniper ran out the front door and fired his pistol in my direction.
Just then, Officer Maxwell pulled up in his patrol car. “Go check on LP,” I commanded. “He’s inside!”
I chased after the perpetrator. When I got a clear shot, I fired indiscriminately in his direction and emptied the clip. However, I lost him down the dark alleyways of Culver City.
I ran back to the building. “I’m sorry James,” Officer Maxwell said. There in the stairwell was LP’s lifeless body.
He was stabbed in the throat. I picked up the 357 from LPs hands. He didn’t get a shot off.
“Did you get a look at the killer,” Maxwell asked.
I shook my head.
“The chief’s gonna be pissed,” he replied.
I returned to City Hall. It was still dark. I was looking for the mystery officer I threatened to shoot on the toilet earlier.
He was sneaking around the bushes. He was looking for a place to piss. When I tackled him, his dick was still out and piss went everywhere. I put the 357 to his forehead.
“LP is dead,” I said.
“I had nothing to do with that!”
“I ain’t telling you shit!”
I cocked the 357. “Listen here mother fucker,” I said. “I’m clinically insane. Have you never heard of me? I’ve probably killed 152 people and I’m ready to kill the 153rd. If you don’t give me a name, I’ll splatter your brains all over City Hall. Do not play with me!”
The mystery man finished pissing himself. “Alright alright,” he said. “Look, there’s a man named Charles Krauthammer. He lives in the basement at a strip club in Long Beach. He might be your man.”
“How do you know him?”
“I can’t tell you that. They’ll kill me.”
I let the man go and wrote him a citation.
“What’s this for,” he asked.
“Now that I’m a cop, I’m giving you a citation for public indecency. Have fun on the sex offender registry. I’ll see you in court.”
If Michaela and her army wanted to lay siege to this cabin, I was fully prepared.
After Isabella said her final goodbye, I began work on a defensive attack. Booby traps, trip wires, and explosives were scattered around the perimeter. Thanks to my father’s arsenal, I had RPGs, M16s, M4 Carbines, AKs, AR-15s, Uzis, and all the usual weapons you’d find in these stories.
I climbed up into a deer stand, and watched. Waited. I stared down the scope of my rifle. A caravan of black SUVs was rolling down the dirt road.
The first vehicle struck a trip wire, causing a massive explosion. It obliterated the SUV and the one behind it. Eight people were killed immediately.
Men in the vehicles behind began fanning out into the woods, but they kept triggering the C-4, causing more explosions and death. The unlucky ones got caught in bear traps where they became easy prey for the mountain lions.
I realized that I created a horrible, if not tragic, death trap.
I climbed down from the deer stand and ran back to the cabin. I knew that the men who survived the initial barrage would eventually breach the defensive perimeter. So I armed myself with multiple automatic weapons.
Meanwhile, explosions kept going off. I grabbed the RPG-7.
I knew Michaela was getting close. One of her men yelled “you fucking bitch! You told us that we’d only be facing three people! Not the threshold of hell!”
Her men started to retreat. So my defensive campaign suddenly became an offensive one. I fired an RPG right at her gaggle of men, killing or maiming all 20 of them.
The few survivors that weren’t screaming in agony began to fire back. So I let loose another RPG.
I looked out into the woods. Fires were emanating from the charred remains of hundreds of dead bodies. It was lighting up the night sky. Yet none of the bodies were Michaela.
I slowly paced through the woods. Then a bullet went right through my left kidney. I fell to the ground and Michaela popped out from behind a tree, doing all kinds of strange martial arts.
She round house kicked my face. She broke one of my arms, both legs and my eyes were nearly swollen shut. I was helplessly crawling on the ground.
“Where’s Isabella?!” Michaela kept asking while punching me in the face.
“If she was up your butt you’d know where she was,” I replied.
Out of frustration, Michaela stood up and pointed her Glock 19 at me. “Goodbye, private dick!”
Luckily, I had dozens of sidearms on me. So I managed to rip a clip into Michaela before she got off a shot.
With fire all around me, I managed to craw back into the cabin. I might’ve been a fuck up my entire life, but at least I’d go out the way I wanted.
I lit up a cigarette and looked over to a picture of mom and dad.
“I’ll be with you soon Ma and Pa!”
And I closed my eyes.
Unfortunately I woke up in the San Bernardino Community Hospital. Isabella and an FBI agent were in the room.
“I couldn’t leave you there mister,” Isabella said. “You were sitting in a pool of your own blood with all your limbs broken.”
“Despite the horrendous injuries and the state we found you in, you’re expected to make a full recovery!” the doctor said.
I didn’t have health insurance.
“You somehow managed to slaughter the entire west coast mafia. There will be a federal investigation into this,” the FBI agent said.
“Do I need to lawyer up?” I asked.
“Oh yeah, BIG TIME,” the agent replied.
“Aren’t you so happy to be alive?!” Isabella asked.
“You know, I lost a testicle too in a savage kidnapping plot,” Dale said to me while we were setting up C-4 explosives.
“Did you get it back?” I asked.
Dale and I were putting up booby traps around his cabin outside of Norco. We knew Honda was going to strike again so we wanted to establish home field advantage.
Nicky (my alleged father) was sitting around the campfire staring down the barrel of his .44.
“No no dad,” I said as I took the gun out of his hands.
All three of us sat around the campfire under the Norco moonlight. The air reeked of cow shit.
“What a god forsaken place,” I said.
Dale took in a deep breath of shit stained air.
“I was born here. I grew up here. I lost my virginity here. I got married here. I got divorced here. Got married again. Got divorced again. Lost everything I had. And never gained it back. I’ll probably die here,” Dale said.
“Probably so,” I replied.
Nicky spoke up. “You know, I’m just glad that you boys are out here to protect me. When the FBI shot up that strip joint, I remember that I completely blew out my pants. Shit got everywhere. When they arrested me, they made me sit in my shitty underwear. Then I cried.”
“Don’t worry about it dad,” I said. “Dale and I have faced Honda before. We know what to expect.”
“By the way,” Dale chimed in. “Who the fuck is Honda and why are we in this mess?”
We all looked at each other and shrugged.
“It’s important to not think too much on this,” I said. “The important thing is that we are family, except for Dale, and that we are all going to help each other out this train wreck we find ourselves in.”
We nodded and started to enjoy the campfire.
Finally I asked Nicky, “So what do you remember about mom?”
He smiled and said, “what a lovely woman. Legs, ass, tits. The whole package. Eyes as blue as the sky. But a warm heart. She knew how to brighten up my day.”
I looked back at the fire and thought that doesn’t describe mom at all.
Finally Dick called.
“Aye lad, I’ve been tailin’ Anthrax all dee. I’m watching her outside a trap hoose n Pasadena,” Dick said. “I donnae think you’ll like who she’s with mate.”
“Randy,” I said.
That bitch, I thought. I knew she was going to double cross me and I fell into her trap. Instead of a battle, we were now facing a war on two fronts.
“Then you might get your M2s, M4s, AKs, AR-15s, 44s, 94, and 22s,” I told Dick. “We’re headed for a Mexican standoff.”