While his two spiffy subalterns were poking gingerly at their hot hamburg sandwiches, Mayor Cass had been tucking into his western omelette, and was now swirling the last fragment of egg into a rivulet of dusty ketchup that edged his plate on its eastern side.
     “No sirree, not a bad western omelette!” boomed Cass.  “I guess you make a ton of these things in a day, right?” he asked Homer. 
     Homer shrugged.  “They’re pretty popular.”
     “Ever make a Reuben sandwich?’
     “I don’t think so.”
     “Oh, you’d remember if you had.  Smoked meat—like pastrami.  Sauerkraut.  Russian dressing.  On dark rye.”
     Homer shrugged again.  “Uh huh,” he said.
     “So what do you do when you’re not frying up the chitlins here?” Cass asked him.
     “I paint.”
     Cass was rather taken aback.  So were the two subaltens, who looked at one another in something between bewilderment and amusement.
     “You mean like houses?” said Cass.
     “No, I mean like paintings,” Homer replied in a distinctively stony voice.
     “So what do you paint?” asked subaltern One.  “Like clowns on velvet or something?  Or children with big eyes?”
      Homer looked as if he were going to the kitchen for a meat cleaver.
     “Old Masters,” he said.
     There was a bewildered silence. 
     “But haven’t the Old Masters already painted the old masters?” Cass asked him, grinning at his luncheon companions.
     “Not my way,” said Homer.
     “And what’s your way?” asked subaltern two.
     “Smaller, usually.  But just as good.”
     “So you copy the Old Masters?” Cass asked him.
     “I copy them to start, and then I sort of bring them up to date.”
     “How?” Cass asked.
     Homer was beginning to chaff under the rubbing of all these questions.
     “You guys want more coffee?”
     They all did, so Homer passed from uplifted cup to uplifted cup, pouring out refills.
     “You don’t by any chance have any of your things here with you do you?” Cass inquired.
     “I got a couple in a portfolio out in the kitchen.”
     “May I see them?”
     “I’ll show you one, I guess,” said Homer, without much enthusiasm.  He sauntered out to the kitchen and came back a few seconds later with a small painting on paper, clearly based on Raphael’s Saint George and the Dragon.  He held it up for Cass to see.
     The Mayor was dumbfounded.  He stared at the little painting for a long time in total silence.
     “What’s the matter, your Worshipfulness,” joked subaltern one, “you like this thing or something?”
     “Or hate it?” asked subaltern two.
     “Or are you afraid of it?” suggested Homer helpfully.
     Cass’s face had turned an unhealthy shade of beige.  He looked again at the little painting and back again at Homer’s oddly impassive face and then back to the painting again.
     “And you painted this?”
     “Yep, I did.  This and a couple hundred others.  You oughta see my Boschs.  They’re my best ones. Very nice and creepy! Organs and body parts everywhere!”
     “This one’s creepy enough,” said subaltern one.
     “But this looks just like the paintings I was getting in the mail with death threats scrawled across them,” said Cass, his voice anguished enough to alarm both subalterns at once.
     “Yeh that’s right,” replied Homer.  “Those were the ones!  They were my paintings.  Well, okay, photocopies of them.  And my death-threats.”
     “Jesus,” said Cass.
     “Scared you, huh?”
     “”Fuck, they scared the beejesus out of me!  What do you think?!!”
     “I think they scared the beejesus out of you!”
     “But why?  Did you really want to kill me?  Do you now?”
     “Well, to tell you the truth, it sort of wore off—as a plan.”
     “I’m glad to hear it,” said Cass, beginning to perspire profusely.
     Subalterns one and two looked at one another in dismay. The Mayor seemed distressed, they observed, but not panicky. 
     “Should we call the police?” subaltern one asked Cass. “Or an ambulance or something?” suggested subalten two.
     “An ambulance?” said Homer.
     “No, no of course not for chrissake!” Cass barked at them.  “Why would I want an ambulance?”
     “Well, you know…for him,” said subaltern two, pointing at Homer.  “You know…like with straightjackets and all that stuff!”
     “Restraint,” muttered subaltern one.
     “Balls!” said Cass.
     “That’s right,” said Homer, grinning broadly. “Balls!”
     “I don’t understand,” said Cass.  “What‘ve you got against me?”  The two subalterns glanced quickly at one another and tried to suppress smirks.
     “Well, I dunno,” Homer replied, “where do you want to start?  First of all, everybody hates you, not just me.”
     Cass looked unhappy but not angry.
     “Yeh,” he said wearily.  “I suppose so.”
     “So lots of people probably want to kill you, not just me.”
     “You really think so?”  Cass turned to the subalterns.  “You think that’s true?”
     “No question,” replied Subaltern one.
     “No question at all,” agreed subaltern two.
     “Listen,” Cass said to Homer.  “You got any pie or anything”
     “There’s one slice of cherry left and two slices of apple,” Homer told him.
     “Fine.  I’ll have the cherry and they,” he said, pointing to the subalterns, “can have the apples.  With ice cream,” he added.  The subalterns looked trapped.
     “We don’t have ice cream,” said Homer.
     “Without then,” said Cass. 
     “Okay.  I gotta tell you, though,” Homer added, “they’ve been sitting there for a while.  They’re not real fresh.”
     “What do you care?” Cass asked him.  “You’ve been sending me death threats!!!  And now I’m supposed to be frightened of stale pie?”