By the time the pizzas had come, the whole incident had gone viral. Not only did Steve and Sylvia’s interview get a million views on YouTube, the story was on every major news network. Everyone was talking about us and our demands. By mid afternoon, there had been several UN resolutions supporting our cause. Then someone in the Palestinian camp found out that I had mentioned the whole UNHCR – UNRWA double standard. It wasn’t pretty. They began to say we were part of a Zionist conspiracy to discredit the Palestinian cause.
“It just never made any sense to me.” I confessed with everyone looking at me as if I had just run over the cat. I suddenly had the feeling that the only hostage there was me.
Okay, I admit it. It probably wasn’t the most brilliant of all the moves. Really, I could have probably planned the whole thing better, a lot better. But, the truth is, my heart just wasn’t really in it anymore. Anyway, in the end, it may have actually have helped us. I’ll get to that in a moment.
The more immediate crisis was with the pizza. They had only brought cheese pizzas, which seemed fine with everyone except Rabbi Arikman. He had wanted pepperoni on his. But, in the end he was willing to sacrifice for the cause, and only mentioned it five or six times. Of course, I was worried that they might have drugged the pizzas, so I gave Mustafa the honor of getting the first piece. Obviously the cops had missed that movie. Mustafa survived the pizza; Neil didn’t, even with nearly a whole bottle of his pills. He spent the rest of the operation in the bathroom.
“This sucks!” cried Steve.
“Yeah, it’s a little like flavored cardboard,” I agreed.
No, not the pizza, man. The situation, I mean, I don’t want to go to jail, man. You know, man?”
“What makes you think we’re going to jail?” asked Mustafa.
“Oh, please. Don’t be an idiot.” Bobby, my mom, had been sitting to the side, just watching. I knew what that meant. She was analyzing, weighing, judging. I guess she had reached her verdict. She stood up and walked over to Mustafa. “What did you think they would do when you took over a hotel with guns and hostages? That they would leap for joy and give you a lollipop?”
“Well, no, I mean,” Mustafa stuttered. He was about twice the size of my mom, but He definitely looked the least formidable.
“You’ll be lucky to get jail.”
“What do you mean?”
You’re dealing with SWAT, the ATF and the FBI out there. If they knew how lame you all were they would have burst in here hours ago. Waco will have looked like a traffic collar compared to what’s going to happen here.”
Then the best thing in the world happened. Alisa Cooper turned to face me and said, “You aren’t going to let them take us to jail, right?” It was crazy, as if I had control of the whole universe. But, the way she was looking at me made me feel like, yeah, maybe I did. I could conquer the world.
Of course, my moment of glory didn’t last long. Bobby then looked at me. “How are you planning to get out of this one?”
I hated when she did that, stated the obvious and all. I mean, I had just been hoping to get a date with Alisa Cooper out of this whole thing, and now I was having dreadful images of some guy named Bubba being my steady for the next ten to twelve years. “I …I …”
Of course, I was about to say something stupid. Fortunately, my dad, Leon, saved me. He fainted.