From: Needle: A Magazine of Noir, Spring 2010.
Lennie, the narrator of "I Am Madame X's Bodyguard", used to be a pro's pro, keeping guys like John Gotti safe from their occupational hazards. But he's not the man he used to be. Recently his biggest job was guarding Joey Bananas during a long, slow death that finally came at age 97.
Now, though, he's got a new job. Not exactly glamorous, but very, very necessary. His new client has one of the most dangerous jobs in the country: she's a book reviewer for the New York Times.
And not just any reviewer, but one who writes lines like "an odious self-portrait of the artist as a young jackass." As it turns out, she's just as critical of her bodyguard.
This story relies on a lot of inside baseball for the publishing crowd. Unless you're a regular reader of Sarah Weinman's review roundups you may not know who "Marilyn" is, for example. But if you're in on the joke, I suspect that you will find this story to be one of the funniest you've read in a while.