It was late Wednesday afternoon, and Ed was laid out in Dr. Digby’s chair. Digby was pinching his cheek and depositing a dose of novocaine into the right side of his lower gum with a long silver needle, at the same time offering free investment advice.
“Incidentally,” warned Digby, “don’t try this at home.”
He chuckled at his little joke and went back to the subject of investments, still brandishing his needle. “If you really want to carry through on this ill-advised retirement threat,” he said, “you’re going to need the wherewithal.” He put the weapon back on the tray. “And on the subject of wherewithal, my advice in this tricky market is, follow the smart money.” He stood back to let the novocaine take effect and to allow his wisdom to sink in. “When the smart money is in there buying Microsoft hand over fist,” he went on, “that’s the time to be in stocks. When the smart money is paring down the Microsoft portion of their portfolios, that’s the time to be out ofstocks.”
“Try it,” said Digby, scratching around on the old filling with a metal hook. “It works.”
Ed didn’t always agree with Digby on issues such as politics and religion and the Royals and the Chiefs and the economy and the educational system and America and what was wrong with them, but he couldn’t argue with the wisdom of going with the smart money. It stood to reason. How could you disagree on the subject of investments with a dentist who uses Chivas Regal as a mouthwash?
Digby stuck his head out the door to catch the up-to-the-minute stock market report. “It’s sure worked for me,” he called from the hall.
Ed also couldn’t argue with the fact that it had worked for Digby. There it was as living proof, the brand new jet-black Lincoln, sitting out there in the driveway blocking the view of his vintage ’66 VW Bug. Today it was the Lincoln, last tooth it was the red Mercedes coupe for the current wife. Number three, he believed it was. Carole. He’d noticed that that was often the name the third wife comes equipped with. Carole, spelled with an extra e. Used to sell beauty products, Carole the Third did, before Digby dismissed Number Two and came riding to the rescue. Mildred would know for sure, about the numbering system. She was the kind of person who kept track of those things. Anyway, the root canals and porcelain caps in and of themselves weren’t enough to cover the cost of keeping Digby’s harem in German cars. There had to be another factor.