Allison Frey, the granddaughter of former Bear Stearns CEO Alan "Ace" Greenberg, was merrily chatting on her cell phone at 33rd and Park yesterday, her papillon Maltese, Bagel, secure in his hand luggage at her side, when she was mowed over by a taxi speeding in the rain. When she came to, Bagel was missing. "Nobody can find him," Frey, 22, sobbed to the Post today. "He's so cute ... He's really tiny ... He's so small he could be in a gutter."
Because the image of a dog named Bagel alone in a gutter being menaced by rats is too awful to contemplate, we've constructed an alternate scenario for how this story might end, in order to protect our fragile minds.
Scene: 33rd and Park, yesterday
The impact of the taxi dislodges Bagel from his satchel, and, while Allison is lying on the ground, moaning, he wanders around the corner where two recently laid-off construction workers are sitting on a bench. One of them, a short, round man who looks like Wallace Shawn, is eating a ham sandwich, and Bagel looks up at him, quizzically. "Well hello, little dog," Wallace Shawn says, handing him a piece of ham. His companion, a tall, grouchy type — Vincent Schiavelli? — scowls at the puppy. Suddenly, they hear a commotion down the street. "Where's my dog?!" a blonde woman, clearly an heiress, is shouting. "My dog!"
"Oh, this must be that woman's dog," says the Wallace Shawn character. "Are you her dog?" he says to Bagel, who wags in response. "Are you her widdle widdle puppy-wuppy?" He starts toward the accident scene.
"Wait!" commands the tall one, holding him back. He squints at the woman, then back and the dog, which is now in Wallace Shawn's arms. "That's Ace Greenberg's granddaughter," he says, for he looks frequently at Patrick McMullan's website. "Do you know what that means? This dog must be worth millions."
Later that night
Our hapless criminals are sitting in a dingy apartment. Wallace Shawn is holding Bagel in his arms and feeding him pieces of bacon, while Vincent Schiavelli is sitting at the kitchen table, crafting a ransom note out of letters clipped from Woman's Day.
"Put him back in the cage," Vincent Schiavelli snarls.
"But he's so cute," Wallace Shawn says, frowning.
[Fast-forward through a series of high jinks: Wallace Shawn teaching Bagel how to shake hands, Vincent Schiavelli accidentally eating a small papillon poo that he thought was a chocolate, Wallace Shawn and Bagel in identical hot pink legwarmers, doing Susan Powter's new workout video together, Ace Greenberg calling the vice-president's office for advice, after which we see a shot of a man who looks like Joe Biden being tongue-kissed by his own golden retriever.]
Central Park, a week from now
The Greenbergs agree to leave a ransom under a rock, but of course the area is packed with FBI officials. A helicopter swoops down and arrests Wallace Shawn and Vincent Schiavelli. Bagel is placed safely back in Allison's arms. And then:
"Goodbye, Bagel," Wallace Shawn says, choking back tears, as the police lead him away in handcuffs. Then suddenly: Bagel whimpers, shakes free of Allison, and runs over to him.
"Bagel!" Allison cries.
"Shhh," Ace Greenberg says, wisely, with a twinkle in his eye. "I think he has something to say to him."
The crowd watches silently as Bagel sits and lifts one paw. The police nod, acknowledging Wallace Shawn may lean down and take it.
"Good-bye, little guy."
In the end, the Greenbergs hire Shawn as Bagel's official dog-sitter. He gets a uniform and everything. The tall mean guy is given a life sentence of picking up poop.
There. Now we feel better.
COME BACK, BAGEL! [NYP]