From the kitchen: Talk about tall men and shrimps

"What are you doing?" she demanded.

She noticed a low, slurping noise and saw me chin down at the counter licking my shirt.

"Just getting some crumbs off my shirt. A hunk of kiwi jam your mother made fell off the piece of cornbread I was eating and got on my shirt. "

"Well get a napkin!"

"A shirt is just a napkin you wear," I said.

The Redhead did a combination eye-roll and head shake that only women know how to do.

I don't care. It's my shirt and I can use it any way I like.

"It's not one of my good shirts."

Changing the subject… "Okay. So, what can I fix you for dinner?"

"What is there?"

I opened the fridge. "There's cheese, and some cold pasta and…some of those little tomatoes and..I think there are some shrimp in the freezer. I could sauté some shrimp in garlic butter, white wine and those tomatoes with a little chiffonade of spinach. How does that sound?

"That sounds okay." She spoke from her command post in a leather La-Z-Boy in the family room. "Try not to get any sauce on your shirt…" she added with a twist of the TV remote.

"Those are harsh words to throw at a man who spent the night with you."

I made an animal noise and began digging out the ingredients for dinner. The news was on TV and I caught glimpse of that guy who wants to bring the Sonics back to Seattle. The Redhead seemed interested. She turned up the volume a little so he could hear over my clanging in the kitchen.

"Are you following that deal?" I politely inquired.

"I'm trying to but somebody keeps asking me questions."

"No, I mean, in general. That handsome tassle-toed billionaire from San Francisco who wants to bounce a basketball team here at any cost…"

Redhead: "I know the gist of the story. His name is Hansen. He grew up here, got rich betting on other people's money as a hedge fund manager and now wants to own a basketball team and has asked the city and county to help him build an arena where the team can play."

Me: "I know that much. But how did he make all that money? What does a hedge fund manager do?"

Redhead: "'A hedge fund manager uses money from a group of investors in risky private investments and takes a performance fee. He has to be a vary sharp cookie."

Me." So, these guys are high-stakes gamblers in the stock market, eh?"

Redhead:"You could say that. Don't kill that shrimp dish with garlic. Okay?"

Me: "What?!

Redhead:"Sometimes you are a bit heavy-handed with the seasoning…"

Me:" About those Sonics…"

Redhead:"Mr. Hansen is rich, right? So he hangs around with other rich people, like Steve Ballmer from Microsoft and they have pooled their money and offered it to the owners of the basketball team in Sacramento, which by the way, means "sacrament" and refers to the Eucharist. It's a Spanish word."

Me:"Ouch!" I blurted.

Redhead:" That's not Spanish. Did you burn yourself again."

Me: "No. I dropped a bag of frozen shrimp on my bare foot."

She made a throat-clearing noise.

Redhead:"The guys in Sacramento, the Maloof family, say they want to sell to Hansen and company. Last Wednesday, the members of the national Basketball Association voted to leave the team in Sacramento."

Me:" But money talks, right?"

Redhead: "Not only does it talk, it squawks. Now Mr. Hansen had tossed in another $100 million to try to outbid the Californians."

Me:"I heard that too. He already has the real estate here and he has charmed the local politicians into voting to get the taxpayers to prey up $200 million to help get the stadium built in the most crowded part of Soho…"

Redhead:"There is something out of balance here. How many people can be counted on to regularly go to a basketball game? The proposed new stadium would be built to hold 18,500 fans. It seems wrong to ask the taxpayers to vote to tax themselves to build a facility for such a small segment of the population."

"Me:"Well, it would create a lot of high-wage jobs…"

Redhead:"Agreed. But it seems like a short-term benefit that really forces the public to become partners with Hansen and Ballmer and some other rich guys so they can sit around rubbing their bellies and chortling about owning a big-league sports franchise that grows in value because WE built them a stadium."

Me:"Hansen said they would pay off the cost of the stadium with ticket revenue. But I guess that is moot for the time being."

Redhead:"Right. But it seems odd to me the be asked to help rich guys underwrite the cost of their personal indulgence. I like tall, athletic men in tennis shoes as well as the next girl. But I think the guys with the bucks should pay for the thing themselves."

Me: "Is that likely to happen?"

Redhead: "No. It's a liability thing. The big money guys have to get the public to participate in case somebody chokes on SonicDog and sues. The choker would sue the city because the city would be the owner of the venue…

Me: "I see your point. It all comes down to food. What else would you like on the plate with the shrimp? It's almost ready."

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