From Norbert K@21:1/5 to All on Tue Jun 29 08:21:27 2021
This is from The Last Days of John Lennon, by Frederic Seaman:
One of [Yoko's] frequent phone partners was a Los Angeles disc jockey and tabloid journalist, Elliot Mintz. Like Yoko, Mintz was an insomniac, and he was always ready to lend an ear to Yoko's late night ramblings. He was paid a substantial
retainer for his services, which included public relations advice and troubleshooting. During his occasional visits to the Dakota, Mintz would always conduct inventories of the Lennons' possessions, as well as walk around the office and apartment with
impressive-looking antisurveillance equipment, searching ostentatiously for hidden electronic listening devices. He was expert at fueling the Lennons' paranoia, specializing in cloak and dagger operations that he referred to as "capers."
One rainy afternoon, Mintz called me from the Plaza Hotel and whispered conspiratorially: "I have a special assignment for you." Then he ordered me to go to Grand Central Station, from where I was to call him at precisely 1:00 P.M. to receive
further instructions. It took me a while to find a cab. By the time I called Mintz it was 1:15 P.M. Somberly, he informed me that because I was late I had missed a "control" call. He said he would have to wait for a call before we could proceed,
instructing me to call at precisely 1:30 P.M. When I did so, Mintz ordered me to proceed to F.A.O. Schwartz, the Fifth Avenue toy store. There I was to call him from the second phone of a phone bank on the second floor of the store.
"And Fred," said Mintz dramatically, "please make sure that you're not being followed!" To shake any possible "tail," he suggested taking the subway and changing cars several times just before the doors closed.
I almost laughed out loud. It seemed to me that Mintz had been watching too many spy movies. I decided to walk the fifteen blocks to F.A.O. Schwartz. When I reached the toy shop, I promptly located the designated phone booth and called Mintz.
"Are there any people around?" he asked. I told him that there was an older man a few booths down, but that he was there before I arrived and could not have tailed me. Mintz seemed pleased that I was getting the hang of it. He instructed me to
reach under the tray beneath the phone and remove the object that was taped there. When I followed his instructions, I found myself holding a small white envelope. Mintz explained that inside the envelope was a key to a locker in the Grand Central
terminal. The locker, I was told, held a plastic bag with a gift-wrapped box. I was to remove the box, but leave the plastic bag inside the locker. Then I was to rush back to the Dakota and give the box to Yoko, who was anxiously awaiting its delivery.
"What's this all about?" I wondered as I walked down Fifth Avenue engulfed by a mass of people. Perhaps Mintz had obtained an exotic antique object for Yoko, something precious and rare that had been illegally smuggled into the country. By the
time I reached Central Station, my nerves were tingling. Nervously, I opened the locker and removed a small, gift-wrapped box. Hopping a cab back to the Dakota, I rushed breathlessly into the inner sanctum and triumphantly presented the box to Yoko.
"Where have you been?" she asked sharply.
When I reminded her that for the past two hours, I had been carrying out Mintz's "special assignment," Yoko looked puzzled.
"What's that?" she asked, pointing at the box.
"It's from Elliot," I said.
She told me to open it. Bursting with curiosity, I tore off the gift wrapping and opened the small cardboard box. Inside were several small bottles containing GH3 Formula "rejuvenation" pills. Yoko held out her hand and asked for two of the pills.
When I gave them to her, she gulped them down. "I don't know," she mumbled dubiously. "They don't seem to work."