"Hey, Jeff. It’s Ryan."
"Jeez, Ryan, what time is it? Where the hell are you?"
"In a cab, heading back to the Olympic Village."
"Don’t tell me: You’re drunk. Are you alone?"
"No, bro, I’m with the guys."
"Gunnar, Jack and Jimmy."
"Are you in trouble?"
"No, bro, everything is cool."
"Ryan? Why are you calling me at this hour of the…morning. It’s 4am."
"Just wanted to see if my favorite agent is having a good time on my dime in Rio."
"You mean your only agent."
"And my ‘only friend’."
"Seriously, Ryan, what’s up?"
"Just had a bit of an ‘incident.’"
"Oh, shit. What now?"
"Fucking Rio ‘gendarmes.‘"
"You mean the cops? You got into something with the Rio police??? Are you on your way to jail???"
"No, bro, I told you. We’re heading back to the Village."
"Whose in the cab with you."
"Nobody, bro. Well, the cab driver. I don’t think he speaks much English."
"You said you were with some other guys."
"I was with Jimmy, Jack and Gunnar. They took another cab. They’re behind us a couple cars. I can’t believe how much traffic there is in Rio this time of night."
"So, what the fuck happened, Ryan."
"Ah, fuck, bro. We were out, enjoying some of this famous Rio night life. Actually, we were at a party hosted by the French Olympic delegation. We had a few drinks, a few laughs, stayed away—mostly—from the French chicks, then caught a cab and headed home."
"That sounds innocent enough. What are you NOT telling me?"
"It was a long cab ride, bro. Or, at least it was going to be a long cab ride. We needed to relieve ourselves."
"That’s not against the law here, Ryan."
"So, we asked the cab driver, not the one I have now, another one, to stop at a gas station so we could use the restroom."
"What time was this?"
"Maybe about three hours ago?"
"Three hours! It took four guys three hours to use the bathroom?"
"The door was locked."
"Don’t tell me, you kicked down the door."
"No, bro, I didn’t kick down the door, but maybe I gave it a kick…and that’s when all hell broke loose."
"What hell, Ryan?"
"Fucking cops showed up, bro, and they were carrying fucking guns!"
"Oh, shit, Ryan! Don’t tell me you got into it with the police!"
"Well, not exactly."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, they were like off-duty police. I think. One of them showed us his badge, before he pulled his fucking gun on me."
"He did WHAT? Wait a second. Let me get this straight. You’re at some convenience store at midnight. You gotta use the bathroom. The door is locked. And then an off-duty Rio cop pulls his gun on you. What are you NOT telling me?"
"Hang on, bro, I’ve got a call coming in?
"Ryan, don’t answer that call, talk to me…"
"Hang on. It’s my mom."
"Like hell it’s your mom calling at whatever the fuck time it is in back in the States."
"Ryan! Ryan! Ryan are you there? Ryan, don’t do this to us. Fuck, man. I can’t believe the shit you pull sometime. You know, I know you’re not on the line now so I can say whatever the fuck I want to say, but I thought we had put all this shit behind us. We talked for hours, for DAYS, about how you needed to be on your best behavior in Rio, what the stakes are. We got the PR agency involved, did all sorts of media training and now you’re calling me in the middle of the night suggesting you’ve had a run in with the police and now you’re getting a call from your MOTHER. Get off the call with her, or whoever the fuck it is, and TALK TO ME."
"Okay, Jeff, I’m back."
"How’s your ‘mother,’ Ryan?"
"She’s not good, bro."
"Why, what’s wrong?"
"I called her before I called you. She’s worried."
"I’m sure she is, you dip-shit."
"Hey, bro, no name calling. Asshole."
"FUCK YOU, Ryan!"
"No, bro, fuck YOU!"
"Hey, wait a second…."
"No, bro you wait a second."
"Look, asshole. I just had a goddamned gun pointed at me by someone who doesn’t speak a word of English. I’m freaking out. My mom is freaking out. And now my fucking asshole agent is a fucking asshole."
"Calm down, Ryan. I said I was sorry."
"Jeah, you’re fucking ass is always sorry. Motherfucker! SHIT!"
"Ryan, calm down. We’ve got to calm down and figure this out."
"Ryan, why is your mother freaking out."
"I told her what happened and she’s worried about me."
"That’s what mothers do. Agents, on the other hand, solve problems. Do we have a problem, Ryan?"
"Do you mean do you and me have a problem?"
"No, do you have a problem with the law."
"You mean here in Rio?"
"Yes, Ryan, here in Rio."
"Well, I don’t think so."
"Someone pointed a gun at you, Ryan. You say he might have been an off-duty police officer…"
"He WAS an off-duty cop. He showed us his badge."
"Was he alone?"
"Fuck no. There were two or three other dudes. One spoke a little English."
"Were they all cops?"
"I don’t know. Only one showed us a badge, bro. AND THEN HE PULLED A GUN ON ME!"
"Calm down, Ryan. We’ve been through this before. Deep breaths."
"Too late for that."
"I don’t know. Everything got so fucked up."
"Let’s start from the beginning, Ryan. Tell me what happened from the beginning."
"Okay. Like I said, Jimmy, Jack, Gunnar and me decided to go out, and…"
"Not that beginning, Ryan. What happened at the gas station…from beginning to end?"
"We stopped to piss, bro. The bathroom door was locked. I may have kicked the door. I may have shouted ‘Fucking, shit,’ or something like that. I may have had to go really bad and I may have pissed on the outside wall of the bathroom. It was in this sort of alley. I didn’t think anyone would notice. That’s when the security guy showed up."
"So he pulled a gun on you for pissing on a wall?"
"Ryan, did you get belligerent with this guy. Is that why he pulled the gun?"
"No. Maybe. He didn’t speak English. We yelled a little at each other."
"Did the other guys see any of this?"
"I don’t know. It all happened so fast."
"Did he pull the gun on you in front of the other guys."
"Did he point the gun at you."
"He was carrying a fucking assault rifle, bro. What sort of security guard gets to carry a fucking assault rifle??"
"Security is very high here these days. We talked about that before we came down here."
"It feels good until the gun gets pointed at you."
"Were you threatened, Ryan?"
"My fucking heart was about to jump out of my chest, so, jeah, I guess I was ‘threatened.’"
"Did any real police show up?"
"‘Real’ police. ‘Real’ ‘Rio’ ‘police’."
"Oh. No, I don’t think so. We wound up giving the guy some money to let us go."
"You were taken HOSTAGE???"
"No, he wanted us to pay for some damage."
"To what, Ryan?"
"It was kind of hard to understand."
"Why did you give him money? How much?"
"I think it was about $30. We didn’t have a lot of cash with us…like you told me."
"You gave him $30?"
"I gave him all I had, maybe $10. I think the four of us came up with $30. That was all we had."
"And he let you go, then?"
"He went inside and then came back out. I guess he talked to the manager or something. The manager came out for a second and then waved. I guess that meant we were free to go because the guards calmed down and let us go. The guy with the gun—well, actually, they all had guns—but, the guy who pulled the gun on me actually reached out to shake my hand."
"Did I what?"
"Did you shake his hand, Ryan?"
"I was still pissed. I mean they took our fucking money!"
"Did you shake his hand, Ryan?"
"I sort of slapped it, like dudes do, you know?
"Did he take that well?"
"Jeah. It turned out he knew a little English."
"Why, what did he say?"
"‘Fucking Americans.’ Then he laughed and said, ‘Enjoy the rest of your stay in our beautiful country,’ or something like that."
"And then you got into the cab…"
"Cabs. The other guys got into the cab that had stopped for us. He waited the whole time."
"Well, come to think of it, it probably wasn’t three hours. But, he waited a long time. Another cab came in to fill up his car, so, after the other guys got in their cab, I got in with this guy."
"And then you called me. I now appreciate that. Sorry I got upset earlier, Ryan. You’re doing the right thing. We can figure this out."
"Well, I called my mom first, then you."
"Good boy, er, good ‘son.’"
"So, what do I do now, Jeff?"
"Don’t talk to anyone else. Period. Do you understand that?"
"No one, Ryan. From what you’re telling me, it sounds like you really didn’t do anything wrong. You were drunk…"
"Still am. Shit. We drank a lot of French champagne. Seemed like the thing to do at the time."
"I’m sure it did, Ryan. I would hope that you’re now sobered up. I know I am."
"You went out partying, too?"
"You might say that."
"Seriously, bro? Did you score?"
"Ryan, I’m married. Let’s keep this about you, okay?
"Jeah, I guess."
"Where are you now?"
"Heading back to the Village."
"Do you want to swing by my hotel first and we can discuss this."
"Ah, shit, Jeff. I’m dead on my feet, bro. I’m exhausted. I want to go back to the Village with the guys and get some sleep and pretend this never happened."
"We may or may not be able to do that."
"Pretend this never happened. That’s what we need to discuss. I need to call the office when they get in and then we all need to talk about how to make this go away."
"Jeah. Go away. Fucking gendarmes."
"That’s a French word, Ryan, although I’m a little surprised you know what it means."
"Hey, fuck you…"
"Just kidding, Ryan. Just kidding. You going to be okay?"
"Jeah, I think so. I hope so. I’m worried a little about the other guys."
"What was their role in all this?"
"Bystanders, pretty much."
"Were you the only one who shot off his mouth?"
"They pointed a fucking gun at me, Jeff. Fuck!"
"Did they point the gun at the other guys?"
"I don’t think so. They were all pretty quiet. Scared, probably. I was mostly pissed."
"I’m sure, Ryan."
"Hey, I can see the Village. We’re almost there."
"Ryan, go straight to your room. Don’t talk to anyone. I’d really prefer it if you didn’t talk to the other guys, but that might seem a little strange. You guys were all there together, so, it’s not like you have to take all of the blame for this."
"I’m not taking any of the blame, bro. I didn’t do anything wrong."
"I’m sure that’s probably right, Ryan. Just don’t talk to anyone other than the other guys and don’t talk much about it with them. Don’t be like a schoolgirl, Ryan, and start making drama."
"Am I going to be okay, Jeff? Is this all going to go away?"
"We’ll make it go away, but you HAVE to stay quiet. Do not talk to anyone? Don’t answer your phone unless it’s a call from me."
"What if it’s my mom? She’s really worried."
"Don’t talk to her, either, Ryan, at least not until we can sort this out."
"Promise me, Ryan."
"Jeah, whatever. I will. I mean I won’t. I just don’t want to get into trouble with the USOC over this. I’d like to keep my job, you know?"
"Chances are this will all blow over. No one really needs to know. Do you think they knew you were athletes?"
"At the gas station. Would they have any reason to suspect you were athletes and not just some tourists?"
"I don’t know. I mean, we are four hard-ass guys. We sure look like jocks."
"Were you wearing anything with the logo on it?
"You mean Polo logo?"
"I mean Olympic logo."
"I wasn’t. I don’t think any of the other guys were. Who actually wears that shit, other than tourists? I’ll check when we go through security back at the Village."
"So, chances are, these guards will think of you as just ‘ugly Americans,’ and pass this whole incident off as boys being boys, or at least boys being drunk shit-heads. I’m LAUGHING, Ryan, being FACETIOUS."
"Jeah, probably…although there is one thing."
"What, Ryan? What other ‘one thing’ haven’t you told me?"
"Well, there’s my hair. Bro, everywhere I go people want to take their picture with me. A couple of people think everyone recognizes me because of the hair."
"We talked about the hair, Ryan. We talked about how we preferred for you to fit in down here, how we didn’t want to draw any attention to you, or at least THAT kind of attention."
"Jeah, I know, but it was so cool to have the white hair, bro. I mean, I’m nearly the oldest guy on the team. I wanted respect!"
"And then you get in the water and your hair starts turning green. Did you get a lot of respect for that?"
"I think most people liked the hair, Jeff."
"I’m sure they do, Ryan."
"In fact, you know what that was, Jeff?"
"What ‘what’ was, Ryan? I’m getting tired."
"Jeff, bro, the hair thing was this."
"Was what, Ryan?"
"Genius, Ryan? Really?"
"Jeah, Jeff. Genius. We’re here at the Village. I’ll talk to you later."
"And only me, Ryan. Like we agreed. Talk only to me."
"Absolutely, Jeff. Just you. I mean, who do you think you’re talking to here?
"I know, Ryan. A ‘genius.’"
"Jeah, a genius. A fucking genius!"
"Later, Jeff. Oh, one last thing."
"What’s that, Ryan?"
"Bro, my throat is really sore."
"Too much of a good thing, Ryan."
"Jeah, too much of a good thing."