Straddling his Harley and flashing a grin as big as the Ritz, Joey Buttafuoco cruises down the Sunset Strip. A red bandanna is tied to his neck. The fringe on his leather jacket flutters in the slipstream like wet linguine. Landmarks in the background recede one by one. The Rainbow, the Roxy, Gazarri’s … Suddenly, there it is: the Whisky, in all its high-voltage splendor. tonight joey buttafuoco, shouts the marquee outside the famous rock-and-roll club. Hunched over the handlebars, Buttafuoco bobs his head to a garage-band guitar riff. The lyrics are an exercise in economy, just two words: “Jo-ey / Joey Buttafuoco / Jo-ey / Joey Buttafuoco …” This is Buttafuoco’s theme song. From Buttafuoco’s new TV talk show. Make that Buttafuoco’s public-access TV show. That’s right: In the Greater Los Angeles area, The Joey Buttafuoco Show has premium time slots (Thursdays and sometimes Sundays at 11:30 p.m.) on channel 77. How many kooks in Hollywood want to be on at 11:30? Plenty. Imagine: Letterman and Leno break for a commercial, and a slew of restless viewers surf right into Buttafuoco’s backyard. That’s the theory, anyway. Buttafuoco is also buying screen time in Chicago and New York, hoping that a major cable network will come calling.
In the host’s own words, his 30-minute show is a forum for those who have “been screwed by their lawyers, screwed by society, screwed by the judicial system.” On his Charlie Rose-like set, Buttafuoco channels Phil Donahue’s buttery feel-your-pain sincerity and Andrew Dice Clay’s swagger. Hollywood call girl and author of You’ll Never Make Love in This Town Again Liza Greer dishes her supposed lesbian affair with Vanna White (Buttafuoco: “Do you smile when you see Wheel of Fortune?”). He fawns over a near-comatose Jan-Michael Vincent – “Air Wolf was one of my favorite shows,” he gushes. When Vincent discusses his propensity for car crashes, Buttafuoco hands him his body-shop business card. Divine Brown deconstructs the most important trick of her life (Buttafuoco can’t resist: “I know the boulevard. I know what can happen”). He makes kissy-face with wife Mary Jo, who confesses she’d like to have a sitdown with Amy Fisher – for “closure.” Joey’s stock comment: “It’s a beautiful thing.”
Asked his professional opinion, Brian Unger, an on-air correspondent for Comedy Central’s The Daily Show says, “He’s a poor man’s Jay Leno. Utterly plastic. It is so fake, it’s brilliant. Joey has clearly studied the masters, especially Barbara.” Yvette Vega, senior producer of Charlie Rose, isn’t too worried: “I think the show poses very little threat to Charlie.”
Like the Baldwin brothers and Jerry Seinfeld before him, Joey Buttafuoco has ditched Massapequa for Hollywood. This was not a capricious act committed by a man in the meaty fist of a midlife crisis. Sherri Spillane – ex-Vegas showgirl, ex-wife of pulp-fiction writer Mickey Spillane, latter-day agent at the Ruth Webb Talent Agency – told Joey she could get him into pictures. Spillane is a protégée of Ruth Webb, a seventysomething former cabaret crooner who founded the agency in New York in 1963. It quickly gained a reputation for representing child performers and fading celebrities. Ten years later, Webb relocated to Los Angeles and carved out a niche finding dinner-theater gigs for aging B- and C-list talent. Former clients include Yvonne DeCarlo (Lily Munster), Dawn Wells (Mary Ann of Gilligan’s Island), and Mickey Rooney, a 23-year client she’s now suing for unpaid Sugar Babies fees.
The turning point for Webb came six years ago when Sherri Spillane had the idea to develop a scandal division within the agency. Spillane had her epiphany watching the Tonya Harding controversy unfold: Infamy, when managed correctly, can be leveraged into lucrative television appearances and product endorsements. This was familiar territory for Spillane, who had dated Sammy Davis Jr. while still married to her husband, at a time when interracial relationships – not to mention interracial extramarital affairs – were taboo. She also appeared nude on the cover of one of her husband’s Mike Hammer books.
After the Olympics, Spillane signed Harding almost immediately. John Wayne Bobbitt was next. Then, in the wake of the Amy Fisher case, the “Long Island Lothario” boarded the bandwagon. Other passengers have included Gennifer Flowers, Tammy Faye Bakker, Kato Kaelin, Divine Brown, and one of the division’s top money-earners to date, Randal Tamayei, a bus mechanic who bears a striking resemblance to Judge Lance Ito.
Spillane insists that when you’re talking about scandal, it pays to think big. She helped Brown pull down nearly $300,000 from interviews, public appearances, and TV commercials. She envisions an international chain of Scandal Cafés. Imagine John Wayne Bobbitt’s sutures, Amy Fisher’s beeper, or Monica Lewinsky’s copy of Leaves of Grass preserved under Plexiglas.
After Buttafuoco signed with Ruth Webb, the agency did a mass mailing to more than 1,000 casting directors and producers. With no results to show for its effort, the agency took a radical course of action. In the April 9, 1996, issue of Daily Variety, Spillane purchased a full-page ad. The promo featured a bare-chested Buttafuoco spilling out of ripped acid-washed jeans and sporting a fake spiderweb tattoo.
“Joey’s ad in Variety was absolute genius,” recalls one studio executive. “There he was, half naked and leering like some sort of deranged porn star. It was a running joke at Morton’s for weeks.” Some questioned the wisdom of taking such a hard-line, anti-industry stance. “I don’t think the part about Joey needing ‘high rubber boots to protect him from the snakes’ endeared him to many producers,” says one CAA agent.
Buttafuoco did get booked as a guest on the syndicated Fox game show called Liars. Billed as a “relationship show,” the series was canceled soon after it debuted. There was also a lead role offered in an Off Broadway production of Kiss Me Kate. But Buttafuoco passed. “I don’t wear tights,” he says adamantly. He did portray a bodyguard in HBO’s Perversions of Science, a half-hour Tales From the Crypt-type drama starring Paul Williams and David Leisure, the guy who played Joe Isuzu. (Buttafuoco’s total screen time: less than two minutes.) Yet to come is The Godson, a Godfather rip-off and major theatrical release starring Rodney Dangerfield and Dom DeLuise. Buttafuoco plays Guppy, a character described in the film’s treatment as “a bumbling putz with a pinkie ring.”
Joey Buttafuoco pulls up to valet parking at the Rainbow Bar & Grill in his mint-condition 1978 Lincoln Continental, a hulking mass of high-gloss burgundy paint and polished chrome. In this town’s image-conscious society, where you pretty much are what you drive, such an automobile might give people the wrong idea. Quentin Tarantino driving a ‘78 Lincoln would be one thing – ironic, an homage to blaxploitation films. But Joey Buttafuoco driving a ‘78 Lincoln? That’s something else entirely.
Extricating himself from behind the wheel, he walks to the passenger side and opens the door for Sherri Spillane. Buttafuoco may be a convicted rapist, but nobody can say he isn’t a gentleman. He tosses the keys to a red-vested Hispanic youth and flashes some teeth. His Davidoff cigar, wedged firmly in his jowl, doesn’t budge.
The Rainbow is a popular haunt favored by young people, particularly musicians and their groupies. This is terra firma for Buttafuoco. He used to work in the disco upstairs as a weekend bouncer. “I was a manager, not a bouncer,” he insists, describing his duties thus: “If you had a problem, you made it go away.”
Here at the Rainbow, he is among friends. He enters the restaurant glad-handing customers and waitresses, handing out flyers to promote his new cable-television show. The flyer shows 5-year-old Joey in a park on Long Island, dressed in chinos, windbreaker, and skipper’s hat. The photo is black-and-white. Very grainy. The message is clear: Joey’s not the big, bad wolf.
At 43, Buttafuoco is still a formidable presence, standing six feet tall and weighing almost 250 pounds. He’s put on some weight since settling in the land of egg-white omelettes and wheat-grass juice. As for the Italian Afro that once sprouted from Buttafuoco’s scalp, it’s been pruned into a neat, camera-ready coif. Gone, too, is the gold pinkie ring engraved with his father’s initials, as is the small diamond stud he once wore in his right ear. Not that Buttafuoco has sworn off jewelry. He wears no fewer than six rings on his right hand and a Hercules-size bracelet on his left wrist. Everything is silver, the kind of clanky pieces found in southwestern souvenir shops. And while he continues to wear the same black jeans, T-shirt, leather jacket, and snakeskin cowboy boots, he’s added long-sleeve shirts to the repertory, voluminous XXXL garments billowing over the T-shirts like dressing gowns – tails untucked, front unbuttoned.
Buttafuoco and Spillane take a table on the patio, and I ask him how his day went. “Great,” he replies enthusiastically. “I just came from an audition at 20th Century Fox. It was a good reading. I just do what feels natural,” he says, as if acting were the smoothest transition in the world from banging dents out of fenders for a living. “I went into this reading today very confident. My self-esteem is good. It’s up there.”
Although he nailed the audition, he won’t reveal the name of the project. “It’s a very major film” is all he offers. “Big director, big stars. Very big. They don’t come any bigger.” Buttafuoco claims that he read for a lead role, even if all his roles up to this point have been minuscule. Things like The Underground Comedy, a Kentucky Fried Movie-style collection of skits featuring Axl Rose and Anna Nicole Smith. The first-time producers financed the project with capital raised peddling vegetable slicers.
When questions come up concerning projects mentioned occasionally in places like Cindy Adams’s New York Post column, Spillane runs interference.
What was the fate of Don’t Open My Grave, a horror film in which Buttafuoco was supposed to have landed the lead?
“Didn’t happen,” concedes Spillane.
The instructional film on how to avoid car theft?
“We’re still working on that.”
A spin-off book proposal?
And that 900-number scandal line?
“We never really got it off the ground,” says Spillane, doing a quick sidestep. “We’re going to talk about it in two weeks.” It seems cruel to ask about the workout video Buttafuoco hyped in Britain’s Sunday Telegraph.
Buttafuoco smiles. For the moment, he seems content to let Spillane supply the answers. He pauses to take a long draw on his iced tea. His oversize glass dwarfs all others in sight.
Asked how Buttafuoco ranks as an actor, on a scale of one to ten, Sherri doesn’t skip a beat: “He could be a ten.” What about right now? “About an eight and a half,” she replies. His right eyebrow arches: “Really? I was figuring around a seven.” But Spillane isn’t finished: “I say that only because he’s not doing it all the time. He’s not practicing his craft.”
All I can think of is the Perversions of Science tape I screened the night before. To say that his character is stiff as cardboard would be slandering cardboard.
What kind of things won’t he do? this is a subject that Spillane feels very passionate about. “Anything exploitive,” she says firmly. “We don’t do adult films.” Buttafuoco seconds the emotion: “I turned down a lot of money. Over $500,000 for soft-core. But I don’t do that. I’m a happily married man.” This line is delivered with an utterly straight face. Maybe Spillane is right: Maybe he really is an eight and a half.
Good friend Ron Jeremy confirms there was an offer on the table but maintains that it was strictly for hard-core ($80,000 plus a 50 percent royalty on all sales). Jeremy, the industry’s most prolific working porn actor and the auteur behind Bobbitt’s Uncut and Brown’s Doc-Hugh-Drama, respects Buttafuoco’s decision but regrets the missed chance to collaborate. “Bobbitt was difficult to work with because he has ADD, attention-deficit disorder,” Jeremy complains. “But Joey I would have really loved to direct. He’s fairly intelligent. He speaks well, and I’m sure he can memorize dialogue.”
Even if Buttafuoco wanted to do hard-core, chances are it wouldnÕt happen. Jeremy admits his palÕs window of opportunity for a porno payday closed long ago. ÒIt wouldnÕt be worthwhile to have Joey do a film today anyway,Ó he says judiciously. ÒFor the same price, you can get five more gang-bang scenes.Ó
Flagging popular interest doesnÕt augur well for Joey Buttafuoco. Never has that been more clear than this year, when that bible of mainstream taste, People magazine, published the People 400 in its Entertainment Almanac. Slipping off the ÒhotÓ list were such onetime stalwarts as Dana Carvey, Macaulay Culkin, Fabio, the Baldwins (excluding Alec) … and Joey.
These days, it seems as if a number of people are trying to distance themselves from Buttafuoco, casting agents in particular. Take Abigail McGrath. In October 1994, McGrath cast Joey Buttafuoco in a low-budget independent film called Cul-de-Sac. Croton-on-Hudson, where it was shot, revoked the shooting permit when it was revealed that Buttafuoco was in the cast; he was forced to sneak onto the set for his scenes. Afterward, quite inexplicably, McGrathÕs career dead-ended. ÒI was shunned and didnÕt work for almost a year as a result of casting Joey,Ó McGrath says bitterly. ÒI received threatening phone calls on my answering machine from people in the business.Ó
A Perversions of Science script called for Òa bodyguard who was a Joey Buttafuoco type.Ó Lisa Beach cast the real thing, instructing him to basically play himself. Asked if there had been any repercussions, Beach falls silent. ÒNow that you mention it, I didnÕt work for six months after I cast him,Ó she says. ÒOh, my God!Ó she screams. ÒItÕs the Joey Buttafuoco curse!Ó
Buttafuoco says he and Mary Jo love southern California. There are Òno hassles in L.A. People arenÕt so hostile.Ó When he moved here, in September 1996, Joey drove a gold Porsche. But when his acting career stalled before it started, the Porsche had to go, along with the four-bedroom rental house with the swimming pool in Agoura Hills, an upscale neighborhood of entertainment lawyers, orthodontists, and plastic surgeons in the San Fernando Valley. ÒButtafuoco thought he was going to get an advance on a movie,Ó says former neighbor Hank Adams. The Buttafuocos have since moved to a decidedly blue-collar section of Canoga Park, a bedroom community in the Valley. Transplanted New Yorkers often describe the area as L.A.Õs answer to the South Shore of Long Island, with its strip malls and teenage girls who speak their own dialect. The couple cultivates their anonymity; their rental house is a modest three-bedroom with whitewashed stucco and blue trim. Still, neighbors are keenly aware of their presence. ÒWhy would he want to live in our neighborhood? ItÕs a very quiet neighborhood,Ó says Mrs. Richard M. Parsons, whoÕs lived nearby for 40 years. ÒHeÕs not going to molest me!Ó ÒPeople say heÕs building another house in a rich neighborhood,Ó says Kevin Leerhuber, a 21-year-old who works at Kmart and lives a few doors down. Doubtful, unless heÕs moonlighting as a construction worker. A check of the area reveals no recent property purchases in either of the ButtafuocosÕ names.
Joey hardly has time for such indulgences as acting class and theater workshop. Five days a week, he says, he runs a body shop in Canoga Park and is rarely home before 9 p.m.
Does Buttafuoco like being famous? ÒNo. ItÕs very intrusive,Ó he snaps. But who gets into acting if they want to lie low? ÒCome on,Ó I prod him. He gives in: ÒIt has its ups.Ó His brow wrinkles. ÒBut IÕm famous for all the wrong reasons.Ó
The sex appeal of Joey Buttafuoco, particularly as it applies to young women, cannot be denied. ÒHe has groupies,Ó says a fellow San Fernando Valley resident. ÒYoung girls drive by the auto-body shop where he works. All for just the hope of catching a glimpse of him. How scary is that?Ó
Ron Jeremy confirms ButtafuocoÕs hunky allure. ÒA lot of porn stars want to do Joey,Ó says Jeremy. ÒHe has a certain charisma about him.Ó Jeremy has been very supportive of his friendÕs efforts to rustle up some acting gigs. ÒHow much talent do you need?Ó he says, with the confidence of a guy who knows whereof he speaks. ÒJoey plays the heavy. A couple grunts, a couple lines, maybe Steven Seagal kicks him in the face. HeÕd love to do roles like that.Ó Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch bordello and KittyÕs Cathouse in Carson City, Nevada, is another friend. Jeremy, Hof, Buttafuoco, and Screw magazine publisher Al Goldstein pal around together. ÒThe slime pack,Ó Jeremy calls them. Seems that Hof is tight with the Hughes brothers, who did Menace II Society and Dead Presidents. They are working on a documentary with major heat: American Pimp. According to Hof, the brothers Hughes are interviewing every big mack daddy in the business. And, says Hof, Buttafuoco could be interviewed, too: ÒHeÕs a part of the sex business. Whether you like it or not, he associated with it because of him and this young girl, and shooting the wife, and all that.Ó
Mary Jo has been keeping busy working on a clientsÕ bill of rights with Spillane and Karin Huffer, a Las Vegas-based family therapist of 25 years and the author of Overcoming the Devastation of Legal Abuse Syndrome, which identifies a psychological disorder she wants included in the psychiatristsÕ manual known as the DSM. The bill would prevent lawyers from using smear tactics and other strategies to denigrate the opposition. ÒPeople donÕt understand what trauma does to human beings,Ó says Huffer. ÒThey are taken hostage by this trauma and held hostage for years and years. Mary Jo is a woman who is blind in one eye, who has suffered two strokes, who is deaf in one ear, who has a bullet still lodged near her spine. This is not a person who has a lot of options to go out and get lots of jobs. She continues to suffer because sheÕs cast in this stand-by-your-man persona. She and Joey have taken money from that persona because they needed it to pay bills. There remains inside her a whole lot of unfinished business.Ó
Buttafuoco doesnÕt like to talk about Amy Fisher, whoÕs now appealing for a new trial. Buttafuoco calls her ÒsociopathicÓ and Òpsychotic.Ó ÒTo pick up a gun and shoot somebody point-blank in the head, youÕre not there. Clearly, she is definitely disturbed,Ó he says.
Does Buttafuoco feel at all responsible for Mary JoÕs injuries? This question makes him uncomfortable. ÒIÕm a little upset with myself for not seeing some of the signs,Ó he says earnestly. ÒBut I didnÕt. I saw nothing. Today IÕm cautious. I watch everything.Ó
For the record, Buttafuoco vehemently denies any kind of intimate relationship with Amy Fisher. I ask him why, if this is true, he admitted in court to having had sex with her? Buttafuoco shoots me a what-are-you-stupid? look. ÒThey were going to put me in jail for 80 years unless I said I did it.Ó But he admitted he had sex with Fisher on A Current Affair, no? The same patented look: ÒI did it for the check.Ó
ÒI swear on my cats, who are my children, that he did not screw that stupid little psychopath,Ó agent Ruth Webb says in a later conversation, adding, ÒJoey talks too much. He should keep the zipper on his mouth and his pants closed.Ó
Speaking of cash, what happened to it all? The $500,000 from the exclusive Current Affair interview, in which Mary Jo confessed, ÒI know he had an affair, and I donÕt care.Ó
ÒThe lawyers took everything,Ó Buttafuoco says solemnly. The final tab was $750,000. There were also medical bills for Mary Jo – $300,000 worth. And thatÕs with insurance.
Buttafuoco believes he may outlive his scandal. He explains: ÒA funny thing happened. There was a young boy at the audition tonight. He knew my face and knew I was famous.Ó But he couldnÕt place Buttafuoco. The very thought makes him chipper. ÒThereÕs a whole generation coming up right now who know IÕm famous but have no idea who I am or why.Ó
Pretty impressive. ButtafuocoÕs Hollywood Boulevard bust occurred closer to home and only three years ago. After offering an undercover cop money for oral sex, he eventually pleaded Òno contest,Ó since, he says, he didnÕt want to do jail time in California. Today, he dismisses the incident as Òa total setup.Ó He tells how sneaky cops can be: ÒShe came to my window and knocked on it. I said, ÔYou look like youÕre worth $30.Õ Ò Buttafuoco pauses for effect. ÒThis woman never got in my car. There was never any exchange of money. ThatÕs not what usually happens in situations like that – Ò The sentence ends abruptly, unexpectedly. He suddenly blurts out: ÒFrom what IÕve heard.Ó
The play-by-play continues: ÒAnyway, I go three blocks, and then Starsky and Hutch, Batman and Robin, they all pull me over and yank me out of the car.Ó Joey heaves the sigh of a man who has spent 198 days in prison.
I stand corrected. Joey Buttafuoco was never in prison. Joey Buttafuoco was in Òthe county jail,Ó he says, most emphatically.
He returns to the story: ÒThey said, ÔItÕs 11:30; we have to make quota. YouÕre going to jail. We want to go home.Õ Ò But you know what really rankled? According to Buttafuoco, he did have $30 in his pocket that night, which, he says, the cops filched when he was in the lockup.
HeÕs also still recuperating from having been Òslam-dunked by the media.Ó ÒPeople donÕt know anything about me,Ó he sneers. ÒTheyÕve been very misinformed. Someday, maybe, that will turn around. The truth will come out. If I was just a regular guy and I read all the crap and inaccuracies that were written about me in the media, I wouldnÕt like me, either.Ó
The fact is that on more than a few occasions, Joey Buttafuoco has slam-dunked the media.
Like the time Spillane tried to get him on the guest list of the Ford Models party at the Château Marmont the day before the 1995 Oscars. No way, said the people at Ford. So he pulls up the night of the party in a limo, jumps out, poses for pictures, jumps back in the car, and drives away. A hit-and-run photo op.
Buttafuoco spins the story: ÒI was in shorts and a flannel shirt. So I said to my driver, I said, ÔDoug, pull over. Watch these assholes come out and take my picture. Yeah, watch them all run when they recognize me.Õ So I get out of my car. They all yell and run like a bunch of jerk-offs. And sure enough, the next day in the paper, it says I tried to crash the party. It was a goof.Ó
Amy Fisher once said Òthat man took me to expensive restaurants and cheap motelsÓ – so I ask Buttafuoco if heÕd like to have dinner at Coco Pazzo. Coco Pazzo is an expensive restaurant, a spore of New YorkÕs Tuscan hashery. But Buttafuoco is hesitant. You run into a maitre dÕ when heÕs having a bad night, and all of a sudden youÕve got attitude to deal with. Maybe he decides not to seat you. Worse yet, some postfeminist with a $500 haircut and a first-look deal at Paramount flings a glass of wine in your eyes.
But after much conversation, Spillane agrees she and Buttafuoco will meet me at Coco Pazzo. When he pulls up to the restaurant, the valetÕs mouth drops. I canÕt decide whether this is because he recognizes Buttafuoco or because heÕs wondering where heÕs going to hide that car. Buttafuoco and Spillane enter the elegant Philippe Starck-designed lobby of the Mondrian Hotel and proceed to the restaurant. Heads turn in unison. In a town where itÕs cool to pretend you donÕt recognize celebrities, this is fairly significant. The manager later tells me that a woman at the bar called Buttafuoco a Òtotal pigÓ and inquired snidely, ÒWhereÕs Mary Jo?Ó Fortunately, Buttafuoco didnÕt hear any of this.
Halfway through his bistecca Fiorentina, Buttafuoco confides whatÕs really eating him recently: He wasnÕt asked to read for a new tabloid show on E! called Mysteries & Scandals. Former Daily News gossip columnist A. J. Benza was handed the part, and Joey clearly resents it. But itÕs not as if his own film career is going absolutely nowhere: Joey Buttafuoco will appear in the new Woody Allen film Celebrity. True, itÕs only a mere snippet of Joey, excised from his considerable tabloid-TV archive. But it is a genuine cameo. Buttafuoco doesnÕt like to elaborate on this, though. I think he suspects Allen is going to make sport of him. The movie has something to do with being famous. And fame isnÕt always a beautiful thing.
IÕm driving around Canoga Park in a rented Toyota looking for Joey ButtafuocoÕs body shop. According to Cindy Adams, itÕs called PREFERRED CUSTOMERS ONLY. The location is confidential. No advertising, unlisted number. I can understand this: The shop on Long Island (which his father left to his older brother when he died) was the target of a drive-by shooting – somebody emptied thirty rounds into the place. And Buttafuoco did tell me his clients were Òa lot of celebrities I donÕt want to mention because of their grade of character.Ó Suddenly, I spot him walking out of a garage to his Lincoln, parked across the street. He drives off. I look at the name painted on the side of the body shop. It doesnÕt say PREFERRED CUSTOMERS ONLY.
Turns out Buttafuoco doesnÕt actually own this body shop, as he has implied. But he does work there. Rick Johnson is the shopÕs owner and ButtafuocoÕs boss. He describes Buttafuoco as a model employee who Òdoes good work.Ó Johnson says heÕs been to every taping of The Joey Buttafuoco Show. HeÕs a fan. In fact, he seems fearful that once ButtafuocoÕs show is picked up by a network, heÕll have to find a replacement. John Staiti, a Bensonhurst native who wears a gold chain with a rapper-size letter J around his neck, has breakfast every morning at the local diner with Buttafuoco, who he says is a terrific co-worker and a great friend. ÒJoeyÕs just a regular guy from New York,Ó says Staiti. ÒHe doesnÕt have any movie-star attitude. I call him the Ômovie-star mechanic.Õ Ò
When the movie-star mechanic returns to the garage, he is furious. Not screaming or flailing his arms. But heÕs furious. Very. His voice is calm and measured: ÒIf you mention where I live or where the shop is, I will hunt you down and put a knife in your back.Ó A moment of high drama. Only heÕs not acting.