I'm glad I never dated Vince Fumo.
It must be fun to party on yachts and listen to a millionaire Mensa member wonder whether he could make more money raising alpacas.
But when the love is gone with this guy, watch out.
That SUV that seems like it's following you probably is.
And the dude ducking behind the wheel is no amateur, but a retired police inspector paid with public funds to dig up dirt on and/or cause the arrest of anyone Sen. Fumo has stopped fancying.
So says United States of America v. Vincent J. Fumo, etc., a 267-page saga of living the good life at the public's expense.
As superceding indictments go, it's a breezy read. But then, I'm partial to criminal charges that include ordering government employees to scrub your home toilets and spending a charity's dough on accessories for a turkey fryer, tiki torches, Oreck vacuums, and $100-a-gallon paint from the Netherlands.
The sinister part involves matters of the heart. Fumo allegedly spent more than $200,000 in taxpayers' money on a private eye to spy on his exes.
The federal grand jury said Fumo had his publicly paid P.I. look into his former wife's love life.
And after Fumo broke with a girlfriend in 2002, he allegedly had the retired cop tail her for up to 10 hours at a time with orders to "contact local police to have her arrested if it appeared that she was driving while intoxicated."
That failing, the indictment says, Fumo's Senate staff tried to revoke the driver's license of her new beau.
No less a macho man than U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan was similarly creeped out by how low Fumo apparently would go. "To me," Meehan told reporters yesterday, "that's scary."
The only thing worse than dating Fumo, it seems, is working for him.
Remember the movie Swimming With Sharks, with Kevin Spacey as the boss from hell? It was rated R for "some scenes of psychological/physical torture and pervasive strong language," and yet it's almost a kiddie flick compared with what the indictment says Fumo's staff endured on a daily basis.
Imagine a demanding and exacting executive who's a lawyer and a licensed electrician, a banker with an M.B.A., and a politician who's a pilot.
Then, place the know-it-all in the electronic age, where he can barrage underlings with personal demands at all hours.
Monday Dec. 4, 2000, 11:38 a.m., Fumo e-mails a Senate staffer.
"I want EXTERNAL Electric meter readers installed on Green Street [his home] for BOTH gas and electric meters so I don't have to deal with people wanting to come in . . ."
Friday, April 6, 2001, 7:31 p.m. to the same staffer.
"The toilets on the 4th floor and the basement do not work!"
Dec. 18, 2000, 6:05 p.m., Fumo e-mailing his girlfriend about Senate staffers' failure to follow simple commands.
Two employees "just brought a box of candles here at Green Street," he wrote. "However, they are 3" in diameter and 6" high. The ones we currently have in the fireplaces are 3" in diameter and 3" HIGH!!!"
Beyond Fumo's latent metrosexuality - who knew Sen. Tough Guy cared so much about interior design, trash removal and keeping a clean home? - the indictment paints a picture of a rich man protecting his own wealth at all costs.
Hence the alleged spending of more than $2 million in taxpayer funds and charitable donations to manage Fumo's personal affairs, fill Fumo's refrigerators, decorate Fumo's homes and stock Fumo's tool chests.
If a flag got stuck on a pole at your Shore house, you'd grab a rake. Fumo supposedly had a charity staffer drive a charity-owned cherry-picker 60 miles from South Philadelphia just to untangle it.
All in a day's work.
Fumo, the grand jury said, "stated to a close confidant his philosophy that a person is best advised to spend 'other people's money.' "
In fact, the indictment alleges, Fumo often "referred to this goal by the acronym OPM."