The phone rang, and Craig Glazer stubbed out a Marlboro Ultra Light in the ashtray on his desk. He hit the speaker button.
"It's a hundred for the cab," a man said.
"A hundred?" Glazer answered in his low, gravelly voice.
He picked the phone up from its cradle and crammed it between his left ear and shoulder. "You gotta be kidding me. That's a $40 ride. I mean, there's no way it's a hundred." He listened for five seconds, rolled his eyes, then hung up without speaking again.
Glazer was sitting in his cluttered, unglamorous office at Stanford and Sons, the Legends-area comedy club that he owns. He had been talking, as he often does, about The King of Sting, the memoir he co-wrote, which a company called Skyhorse Publishing put out in 2008. It chronicles Glazer's years as a "sting artist" in the early 1970s, posing as law enforcement and robbing drug dealers in Arizona. (The book is subtitled The Amazing True Story of a Modern American Outlaw. Used copies are plentiful on Amazon for $0.01, plus shipping and handling.)
Turning the story into a movie is a goal that has occupied him on and off since sometime in the 1980s. Now, as he enters his twilight years — he's 60 — it has become his dominating passion. He believes that such a movie would corroborate his long-held core belief: that he is a legendary rogue who deserves to be more famous.
"Anyway," he said, "we tried to write the script based off the whole book, but it just didn't work. There was just too much there. It was too episodic. So, with the movie, it opens with me getting arrested for stinging people in Arizona. Then it takes you through my years as a special agent for the attorney general in Kansas, and on from there."
Glazer's younger brother, Jeff Glazer, opened the door, and the laughter of the Friday-night club crowd flowed in. (Comedian Brian Dunkleman, of American Idol fame, was working the theater, about 10 feet from Glazer's office.) Jeff, the general manager at Stanford and Sons, runs the club's day-to-day operations while Glazer handles the marketing and the talent. They share the office, and they tend to bicker.
"Look what the cat dragged in," Jeff said, and behind him walked a curvy blonde who looked to be in her early 30s — tall, tight jeans, ample makeup. Glazer stood and scanned the room for a chair, but there was nowhere for her to sit.
"Why don't you get a drink and watch Dunkleman, and we'll wrap up in here," Glazer suggested.
She left the room, and Glazer's eyes bulged behind his tinted prescription glasses — too much light gives him headaches — and he shook his head as though really blown away by something. He explained that the woman was a former flame he hadn't seen in more than a year. She had called him out of the blue earlier in the day, and he told her to come to the club, assuring her that he would pay for the ride.
"She used to be a 9," he said. "Now she's, like, a 6. Unbelievable."
Jeff cracked open the door. "I can't deal with this girl out here," he said. "You've got to come — "
"Please, just ... we're almost done," Glazer said, shooing him out.
Glazer went on: "I mean, you don't know, you've never met her before. I'm in shock over here. She used to be smokin'. But she's always been big into the booze" — he brought his thumb to his mouth and lifted up his pinky — "and I guess it's caught up to her finally. That's just unbelievable. I'm legitimately shocked right now."