“Pepper! Wait--this isn’t your usual number. Your lucky day--you have no idea how close I was to blowing off this call. Where are you calling from anyway? Isn’t this the area code for Orange County?”
“Um, yes. I’m afraid I don’t have a lot of time and this is really important, so can you please arrange for my bail as soon as possible because I’m already behind schedule--”
“Whoa! Bail? You’re in jail? How did THAT happen?”
“Tony—please, can we discuss it later?”
“Are you okay? Jeez, you’re not in the county holding are you? That’s a hellhole and a half. Be there ASAP--”
“Tony, you don’t need to do that! Just send someone—Happy—with the bail, all right?”
“How much is it?”
“Um . . . .”
“Come on, Potts, you’re talking to a billionaire here: I’m used to big numbers. What did you do? Jaywalk? Forget to return a library book on time, what?”
“I . . . assaulted a police officer.”
“Say that again. Sloooowly, because I think I heard it wrong. In fact, I’m SURE that was wrong. Let me start you off—you . . . .?”
“—Assaultedapoliceofficer, look, can you please, please send someone to pay my bond and get me out of here, DISCREETLY?”
“Holy shit. Are you SERIOUS? You assaulted a cop? With WHAT?”
“Pepper, my mind is like, exploding in about a thousand directions right now, and yes, I will get money out there ASAP, but I need to know the charge and the amount. Holy fucking shit. You assaulted a cop! Wait—this isn’t one of those prank things. Did Platypus set this up?”
“Mr. Stark, I am in my stocking feet at a public phone with nothing more than this ONE phone call and if you don’t bail me out I’m going to be spending the night here and, and, and . . . you’re going to miss the Malibu United Way dinner this evening!”
“Crap, you’re crying. Jesus, don’t do that Pepper! We both know when you cry you get the hiccups and then nobody can figure out anything you say. I’m already on the five, Jarvis has me estimated there in twenty-two minutes and counting, but I’m betting I can shave a few minutes off of that. What did you hit him with, by the way?”
“What? Tony, don’t come, just send Happy! And who said I hit him with anything?”
“Because you don’t have the arm strength to make a cop do anything more than laugh, and I really don’t see a law-abiding good girl like you pulling a Zsa-Zsa, Pepper. You don’t slap people, so ergo, it had to be a blow with something bigger, and in the line of duty. See? I’ve paid attention through a few of those court appearances of my own!”
“It’s . . . complicated, and now isn’t really the time to get into it---”
“Is there anyone in line behind you to use the phone?”
“Well no, but--”
“So what happened?”
“You really aren’t going to let this just . . . go, are you?”
“Not a chance. Stop with the sighing and just talk to me Pepper--!”
“Okaaay--When I was coming back from the Irvine branch of your financial offices, part of the traffic was being detoured around something, and it turned out to be a load of goats that had fallen off a truck and they were rounding them up. I wouldn’t have even gotten out of the car, except the officer closest to me was kicking one of them with a broken leg. The goat had the broken leg, not the officer that is. And when I told him to stop, he told me it was a matter of public safety and that I needed to get back in my car, except he kept kicking the goat and there were people taking pictures and when I asked him AGAIN to stop he wouldn’t, so I sort of pushed him, and he stepped in some, um, squishy goat pellets and fell down face first into um, some MORE goat pellets and broke a leg. His leg, not the goat’s this time. He yelled at me I was under arrest for assault and interfering with a police officer’s duties and they cuffed me and put me in a squad car that smelled awful Tony! I mean even the goats smelled better than that back seat and when the ambulance left they took me here and can you please just pay my bail and never, ever say another word about this? Please?”
“Stop laughing it’s NOT funny, Tony!”
“Tony, you don’t understand! I can’t have a police record! It will completely mess up my credit rating, and I’ll have to redo all my personal references on my resume!”
“Pepper, you’re not going to have a police record, okay? Calm DOWN—okay, taking the exit, I’ll be there in seven minutes—oops, just flew through a red, but I made it—For the record, if anyone recorded the cop kicking the goats it’s probably on YouTube as we speak, and I’ll bet my arc that PETA will post your bail if I don’t beat them to it.”
“Really. Remember the grief they gave us about the biofuel lab animals over in Petaluma? They’re mobile and vigilante. And as for the assault, I think you’re going to be okay. It’s not like you intended for Officer Unfriendly to take a dive in goat marbles, right?”
“There you go. And I’m pulling in to the parking lot . . . . damn it, why don’t these places ever have any ‘reserved for Billionaires’ spaces . . . ooh, okay, let’s see if I can wedge this between the Volkswagen and the manure hauler . . . and we’re walking, we’re walking . . .”
“I’m in Booking, second floor, Women’s division.”
“Not a section of lock-up I’m familiar with, but for you, Potts, I’ll hustle to get my Home Girl out. Yeah, back at you Jack. Here, I have a permit indicating a medical implant and that’s why your detector is going off . . . yes, yes, THAT Tony
Stark . . . Thanks, yeah, I like the red and gold too . . . Booking? Thanks . . . Pepper, you still there?”
“Yes. Oh God. Tony, the press!”
“TMZ doesn’t cover Orange County, do they? And anyway, it’s about you not me. And goats. I don’t think they do goats, Potts.”
“Tony, they’re a tabloid. You and goats in the same paragraph is going to be solid gold to them!”
OC Register, Anaheim CA—
Pepper Potts, personal assistant to billionaire Tony Stark of Stark Industries was arrested today on charges of assaulting a police officer. Potts, 31, had the altercation with Officer Bill Quinone of the Irvine police Department. Witnesses to the incident say that Miss Potts was emotionally agitated and argued with Officer Quinone over his treatment of a herd of Nubian goats which had been part of an earlier accident on the 57 freeway near the junction with the 5. In the course of their argument, Miss Potts allegedly shoved the officer, who fell and broke his left ankle.
Bail was set at fifteen thousand dollars and was paid by her employer.
TMZ, Glendale CA—
Tony Stark back in jail, but just visiting! Iron Man arrived at the Orange County lock up this afternoon to bail out his PA, Pepper Potts, after her arrest for assaulting the cops.
Could Tony’s bad behavior be catching?
On the other side, video footage of the incident seems to show that Miss Potts is a wildlife lover--dedicated to party animals and goats, but not pigs, it seems. Our exclusive footage is online and be sure to fill out our poll: Should Potts serve time?
From: Leland/Legal Affairs
Re: Pepper’s case
She’ll get off with a warning at most. The PETA footage is not only conclusive that there was no deliberate intent, but also shows her trying to help him up. Ain’t a jury in the world that’s going to buy Officer Bill’s sulky bitching that she pushed him. Tell your PA to relax, and when it’s all over you two should send a nice donation to a goat farm somewhere.
And yes, I’m billing you for the time it took to type this.
“See? All over. No police record, no press, nothing to indicate your sordid, goat-filled past, Pepper. Life goes on.”
“Tony, if you don’t mind, I’m going to take the afternoon off, get a massage and forget this ever happened. And if you ever say the word to me again, I will hunt you down and—”
“—Break my leg?”
“No! But I might be tempted.”
“Nice try, but there aren’t any droppings around here, and anyway, I’m just trying to get your goat.”
“Oh ha-ha. Very funny, Mr. Stark. Like I haven’t heard that about oh, a MILLION times since this all started.”
“Look, I’m sorry, I am. But you know what? This is only the second time in eight years that I’ve ever had to bail YOU out of trouble, and you know, I liked it.”
“Serious. I felt a genuine thrill right here, somewhere under the arc. You were in trouble, and needed me, and I was THERE for you. Through traffic and confusing hallways and forms and goat turds, I came through for my Miss Potts!”
“You . . . did, didn’t you?”
“Yep. Without major damage to public property this time, I might add. I say we go home and celebrate.”
“Absolutely. And over some wine in front of the fire, we can discuss exactly how you’re going to pay me back that bail money. I have some particular ideas on that front---“