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New money, old habits: What Eric did next

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Mr Morozov will see you now.” said the armed Russian guarding the door, his voice deeper than a Siberian diamond mine. Eric Bischoff had been sat in the tiny waiting area for almost an hour. This was the first time he had heard the huge guard speak, but then he guessed he hadn’t been hired for his small talk. Eric had had second thoughts about this meeting the moment he had walked into the room.


“Please, you will not be keeping Mr Morozov waiting, it is not good for you…or Me.” said the Russian sternly, with a hint of fear. Eric wondered what he was getting himself into. All her knew was that a limousine full of scotch and an envelope full of Benjamin’s had turned up at his door that day, with an invitation to meet with Pavel Morozov.


The Russian pushed open the door to reveal two more armed guards whose huge bulk filled the room. “Eric Bischoff?” he heard somebody ask, but it wasn’t coming from either of the guards. “That’s me.” said Eric calmly, despite the fact he could no longer feel his legs. He heard the voice again, this time in Russian, and the two guards vacated the room, snarling as they left. In their place were a large wooden desk and a leather office chair facing the previously obscured window. The hot Wyoming sunshine blazed through the window making him squint.


“I am apologising for them. It is a formality, you understand, yes?” Eric was determined not to lose his cool. “Sure, I understand, Mr Morozov isn’t it?” he said with his hand shading the sunshine from his eyes, trying to catch a glimpse of who he was talking to. “Please, you will call me Pavel, and I may call you Eric…Eric, I thank you for accepting my invitation today. My maths is little not so good, but I am trusting the envelope contains generous amounts?” Eric tried to analyse the voice, it was not nearly as deep as the others he had heard, but it was still distinctly Russian. “Well, yeah, but there was really no need…”

“Nonsense! Consider it a gift. Perhaps it is enough to purchase motorcycle in your country?” Eric had quickly counted the money on the way over. It was well over twenty grand. “I’m sure it is Pavel.” The wheels of the chair rocked it from side to side, but never to face Eric. “You are having beautiful weather here today are you not? It is very rare to have weather like this in my town.” said Pavel changing the subject. “Yeah,” said Eric, “you caught us in the middle of a heat wave…”


“And your women are always dressing this way?” Eric caught sight of two women in shorts and bikini tops walking across the street. “Sure, when the temperature goes up, the clothes come off, but…” Pavel left his chair and stared out of the window. “Ahh America, land of brave and home of free, no?” Eric thought about correcting him, but thought better of it. “Something like that, anyway…” Eric was interrupted once more. “You would like drink maybe? I have many alcohols or Pepsi-colas if you prefer?”


Eric was starting to become inpatient. He wasn’t sure why he was there, but he was certain it wasn’t to discuss the weather over a Pepsi. “No I’m fine thanks. Look, Pavel, I don’t mean to be rude but…”

Again, Pavel cut him off. “Oh yes, my apologies once more Eric, for we are business men yes? And business men must talk the shop yes? Forgive me.” Eric could sense the disappointment in his voice. “It’s ok Pavel, no need to apologise; it’s just that I don’t get too many Limo’s turning up at my door these days.” Pavel stamped his hand against the window. “I knew I should have sent motorcycle! I am telling them Eric loves motorcycle but they say limo is most desirable!”


There was a brief but awkward silence as Pavel regained his composure. He sat back in his chair, still not facing Eric. “Eric, in my country we have saying, maybe it does not translate, but its meaning is that money cannot buy happiness. Sadly this is true for me. My family own biggest oilfields in whole Russia, but this alone does not fill me with smiles. I am bored Eric. My family says I need hobby, like soccer ball, so I look to buy soccer ball club, but all best clubs already bought by Russians or sheiks. I try making movie films, but your Steven Spielberg is always too busy making shark movie films. So I am thinking, what else can I do for my enjoyment, and it is hitting me between eyeballs. I come to America and buy number one wrestling company in whole Planet Earth….Double C Double!”

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