Ed Driscoll


LIFE IMITATES WOODY ALLEN DEPARTMENT: In 1971’s Bananas, Allen, playing a nebbishy New Yorker named Fielding Mellish, joins the Che-like rebels of the fictional Latin American country of San Marcos. To feed the troops, Allen and the rebels stop by a roadside dinner and order 1,000 grilled cheese, 300 tuna and BLT sandwiches, 700 coffees, 500 Cokes, 1,000 7ups, and mayonnaise on the side. After being given the food, Woody’s character assumes the role of rebel leader and yells, “Get your money from Vargas, we’re the rebels!!!!”

According to Scott Hoffman, the owner of the Brown Bag Deli in West Des Moines, on the 16th of January, Howard Dean’s campaign ordered 200 brown bag specials, with turkey, roast beef, ham and veggie sandwiches for a total cost of $963.01:

As he headed out that day, Scott remembered this customer has paid its bills late a couple times before. So he promised delivery this time with one condition, “c.o.d.”

He showed up at the customer’s downtown office just in time for lunch. The Dean headquarters was utter chaos. But he couldn’t find anyone who’d pay him. They said try the other building next door. Same answer next door, try the other building. Scott went back and forth for 20 minutes. Nobody would pay.

He just assumed they would pay in good faith. After all, Dick Gephardt’s campaign paid its lunch bills on time. And Howard Dean has thousands of followers in Iowa. Can’t one of them give Scott his money?

We tried all day to reach Howard Dean’s people– no comment from them yet. By the way, Scott Hoffman says he considered himself a possible Dean supporter before the incident. He’s since changed his mind.

To me, the answer is simple: Hoffman should hire Al Franken to collect his debts.