ROUNDTREE REDUX: Now that I've told you about Tim Virkkala, I'd like to say a few words about another acquaintance of mine. This friend has the singular misfortune to have been named John Shaft.
As if his ill-chosen name were not enough, the Shaft I know happens to be a black private dick who's a sex machine to all the chicks. Damn right. Furthermore, he's a man who would quite literally risk his neck for his brother man. Can you dig it?
All these coincidences led John S. to be teased quite a bit as we were growing up. But it got worse: As the years went by, it soon became apparent that my friend was a cat that won't cop out, even when there's danger all about. As our school chum Teddy Vanderbilt once sorrowfully put it, "Right on." (He also said that Shaft was one bad mother-- well, maybe I better leave it at that. The point is, he was talking about Shaft.)
I often wondered how all this affected my poor friend. But it's hard to say. He's a very complicated man. Sometimes I don't think anyone really understands him -- except, of course, his woman.