By the time you read this the historic televised House impeachment hearings will be in full force. I’m not writing about it because my deadline has been moved to Wednesday morning. (I didn’t have the heart to break it to Adam Schiff.)

Actually, I confess that writing about Trump’s madness, which hopefully provides some humor to readers, leaves me depressed. (My `next Trump column might be titled, “Wake Me When He’s Gone.”)

Instead, in response to reader emails about last week’s “A Little Taste of Hoboken,” here’s a follow-up. You’ll recall, as a favor to Matty, Hoboken’s charming owner, I got Joey, an ex-felon and, I would learn, a gambleholic at the race tracks, an apartment at the Shores. (What could go wrong there?)

As we pick up the story, Joey’s health had begun to deteriorate. He now needed a cane to walk and soon he would need oxygen to help his breathing. To my dismay, Matty solicited my help with a plan.

It seems Joey was eligible for an “In-Home Service Provider” to clean, do the dishes, and take out the trash, etc. At the time I was writing spec screenplays, inspired by the late William Goldman. (“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” and an Oscar-winner for “All the President’s Men,” though his version wasn’t the one filmed, but that’s another column for another day.)

So when Matty inquired if I could help Joey at basically minimum wage, my immediate reaction was, “Are you sure William Goldman started out this way?” However, Matty was so endearing I couldn’t say no.

Working for Joey in that capacity was tough on my ego, plus he was perennially grumpy. On the other hand, I didn’t have to work many hours, especially because Joey would get so crabby he’d send me home early. So that’s how it went for close to a year. That is, until one day I got a call from Joey’s social worker insisting I bring him in for a “review.” By the tone of his voice I could tell it was trouble.

The meeting took place in a county building in Hollywood. A born finagler, I think for sympathy, Joey brought his walker. As we parked, he groused why couldn’t I have gotten him out of this. I replied, “Joey this is the County, not the mob.” I tried joking, “At least with the County nobody gets whacked.” Not surprisingly, he didn’t find it amusing.

Soon after the meeting started, the social worker brought out a computer print out detailing Joey’s wagering at various Southern California race tracks. I was stunned. He looked at me critically but I explained I didn’t know anything about it. (Though what would I have done if I did?) Joey’s attitude, on the other hand, seemed to be, “So maybe I did, maybe I didn’t.”

Exasperated, the social worker noted that it’s not appropriate for someone on county assistance to be wagering large sums on money at sporting events. I couldn’t exactly counter, “Well you see, Joey here spent 5 years in the slammer and as part of the deal the boys give him dough to bet at the tracks.”

To my amazement, the printouts of Joey’s winnings were in the $5,000 to $20,000 range. In his defense (and completely missing the point) Joey observed, “It doesn’t show how much I lost, does it?” I just rolled my eyes, wishing I was somewhere else. Anywhere else.

In the end, Joey’s “assistance was not revoked,” but the agreement was that there was to be no more betting at the tracks. Immediately realizing that Joey would never keep his part of the bargain, I saw the whole fiasco as my exit to being his care-giver.

As we walked backed to the car I diplomatically explained to Joey that maybe he should find another worker. The truth was, he was as tired of me as I was of him. I asked if he’d square things for me with Matty, and perhaps the nicest thing Joey ever said to me was, “Don’t worry about it.”

As I helped Joey get into the car, no easy feat, he was still puzzled, however. “What I can’t figure out is, I once won 30 grand at Santa Anita. Why the hell wasn’t that on any print out?” I rolled my eyes again, shut Joey’s door and drove home.

So that was Joey, may he rest in peace. With the space I have left, I do have a classic “Trump” moment that personifies how, for him, loyalty is a one way street. On Monday, Trump tweeted to his 60 million followers to vote for Sean Spicer, his former Press Secretary, who was in the quarterfinals of “Dancing With the Stars.” When Spicer lost, however, Trump went back and deleted the tweet.

Jack is at:, and

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