Monday August 6, 2018

Part 4

Conceptually the idea of of one’s word being one’s bond in this sort of scenario did not go over my head. Without accountability and integrity, apparently, this whole thing would fall apart. At twenty-two in April of 1985, though, did I know or didn’t I? Did the words and accompanying concepts of integrity and honor truly mean anything to me? I was a free spirit. Most of the people I came into contact with up until that point ran the range from scholars to lifelong students (which I came dangerously close to becoming much later), bosses co-workers, family and friends.

(I should point out my naivete at worldly things again at this point and cannot stress enough how at numerous times throughout the course of my life my sibs and I were referred to – by friends of my parents – as, “the lambs among the wolves.”)

The people in this new environment were dyed-in-the-wool professionals, I thought, even the sweaty ones. Hell, I was a sweaty mess most of my life, too. Standing among them – hand delivering an order or waiting for the proper endorsements on a fill – did not fill my head with thoughts of the level of honor, integrity and one’s word being their bond. Rather, my head was filled getting the task at hand done as quickly and as efficiently as I possibly could. And not having to deal with the tempers, personalities or the nuance of getting to know many individuals on the floor. At first. There wasn’t any time. Time was money and money, time.

I’m sure to have been one of those professionals – at the same time – their heads were also not filled with thoughts of the same things but rather on how to squeeze a tick out of the other participants around them to make the price that they would endorse look better when compared to the market price on the huge wall boards inside the trading venue. Trade your trade, quote your price, use voice and hand signal leverage that might drive the market lower (for a buy order) and the opposite for a sell – so that when the order got back to the phone clerk and his or her phone and into the customer’s ear – the wall board would bear the markings of a successful trade financially. Buy or sell.

And then of course the layers of understanding that went with all the honor and integrity and words being bonds made my head swim. The depth of the distinction between that shaky sweaty mess over there on that side of the pit and that calm, cool, collected fellow standing over there. What was goin on in their heads. How they talked the talk! Men’s locker room language, in some cases, the basest levels of comment, opinion, cat-calling, trash talking that went on was different, funny and not helping me understand market mechanics at that young age. But it was exciting as all get out! And through it all, the one word, “sold” – whether one were a buyer or a seller – was the one single utterance tethering everyone to life in the pits, how they got along, the universal language and the word that sealed any deal. “Sold,” was accepted and tacit insofar as the principals set forth for trading futures contracts in trading pits on the floor by the membership. Crazy! Speak it. You’re on the hook.

Whether for a customer order or yourself.

Not liquid markets or stagnant markets also came into my purview at this time. When big sweaty over there had a chance to breathe and prim and proper over there took out a nail clipper and clipped his fingernails. As I found out, even at those times, when a hundred individuals were standing around apparently doing nothing – their synapses were still firing in neutral, idling and waiting for an order to come from some phone clerk into the pit to be filled at the market price. Therefore that current price and the aggregate bids and offers of colleagues surrounding, too, was something on the tips of their tongues during these slower market scenarios. At those times one needed to find sellers for their buys and would have to bid up the market to find sellers to sell to them and conversely the same would be true to find buyers if one were a seller. The seller must meet the buyer below the market price because that’s where they would be.

In their heads.

As market participants.

The concept of a deck of orders waiting to be filled at specific prices as the market rose and fell precluded much room to play the market. Wisely. (I could not fathom how this could ever be accomplished what with everything I was learning up to this point.) Along the history of the exchange a rule was made having to do with personal speculative trading while being an agent for another professional be they an individual, a commission house or a commercial with interests in grain futures. The ruling, loosely stated, said you must fill customer orders first before attending to your own speculative interests in trading the present market’s price. This practice was called, “dual trading.”

I’d think to myself whenever this subject came up in those early days, “How do you tell a local trading for himself from a commission house or commercials broker?”

I could not come up with an answer.

Because at any given moment any number of the two hundred and fifty traders in the pit could be, Big Sweaty, Mr. Calm, Cool and Collected or The Cat Caller / Trash Talker trying to keep everyone on their toes.

The last time I had even remotely seen an assembly of human beings that resembled that in any way all in the same place at the same time was a Chicago Bulls Game.

I had previously worked as an usher and ticket taker in Chicago for a company called, Andy Frain, Inc.

🙂

MJC

Word Count: 1012 Post # 1238

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Wednesday August 1, 2018

Part Three

I was capable of so many things in 1985. Just having come off of my best academic semester and now pointed head first (through a friend whom also got the job from another friend) into the wonderful world of commodities. This was also a period of time in my life when mind alteration to expand one’s self was front and center in certain circles and had just been mere centimeters behind me during my academic life. If I were to continue my education, I would now need to take evening and night classes. And I’d now have to be awake, fully aware and committed to a sensible, daytime work life revolving around fast paced, high energy commodity markets. (“No room for error or mind-altering substances,” I thought.) I was eager and naive. I wanted approval. My tenure as a runner, back office clerk, phone floor clerk and trade checker – at my first company – Continental Grain, was always fraught with seeking approval and making sure that for whatever I was given responsibility to attend to and whenever that responsibility was given to me I did the very best I could.

The truth of the matter is when it came to trade floor duties the reputation of being the “overweight, funny, sweaty kid from Conti,” or, “Soya” was how I was described by people not working for the companies I worked for. Most everyone else, our inside company traders and our executing brokers, my fellow employees would on occasion make the dubious distinction when describing me as a, “bull in a China shop.” Overall people were patient in a very hurried sort of way. Particularly when it came to information gathering. As a beginner, at Continental, in April of 1985, I was a satellite hovering around the backs of phone clerks hunched over telephones and order pads. And probably a nuisance to pit traders constantly asking them who moved the market.

As an order came over a phone clerk’s shoulder or around their elbow, the runner – me – was instructed to read the order ( Buy 25 March Corn 2.62 3/4, for example ), fold it lengthwise and run it to the appropriate section of the octagonal shaped trading pits, to the executing broker and hand it to them at their elbow or over their shoulder. They would then open the order and file it in their deck of orders (separated according to buys, sells and prices) or execute the trade immediately ( Buy 25 March Corn @ mkt ). The broker would endorse the order (along with a cardboard trading card, perhaps,) and return this information to the runner who would return the material to the phone clerk who would then call the market participant and either tell them their price was filled and or the market price where the order was filled.

To describe this work flow in the above manner is truly a gross oversimplification of what transpired in the grain room at the Chicago Board of Trade or most any arena in which open outcry and face to face trading takes or took place. Once, (much, much later in my twenty-four years working in agriculture), I was invited to attend a (mandatory) intra-company world oilseed dinner in downtown Chicago where numerous global affiliates from different countries were present – I listened very closely to an Italian grain merchandiser tell our table (of his his first experience watching trade execution on a particularly volatile trade day in the ag room earlier that day):

“I had this idea – being on the other end of the telephone usually and not paying strict attention to any background noise – that when I got here all of the brokers would be elegantly dressed and with elegant flourishes of their hands, nodding bravely and elegantly saying the words, “bought,” or, “sold”. Instead I get animals. Fighting and bumping in to each other sweaty and angry and yelling! It was amazing to watch!”

Needless to say our entire table laughed. Hard. (The man from Italy conjured imagery of an art auction, actually, as he spoke. As if all of the traders were these prim and proper, almost snooty caricatures he acted out as he told his story. It ~WAS!~ funny.)

Those from our Chicago office (my immediate colleagues with whom I worked every day) seated at the table listened to our customer tell his story about his experience earlier that day – his first time on the trading floor, experiencing and watching trade execution first hand – and we all had to laugh because we knew the broad scope of experience from the mundane and boring to the extreme we all had experienced working in and around trading pits.

But this customer / merchandiser truly had no idea of the level of what sort of physicality that sometimes took place on the ag floor dependant on so many things including the psychology of price movement, the trading areas themselves, the demeanor of the trader’s and their interactions that day, etc. All this and so much more effected how a day might progress in the pits. Factors both large and small.

Larger factors being world news and weather news that would come over news carriers and media available on the floor or through heresay on the telephone. Small factors being who may have been carrying grudges with their colleagues for errors made in the markets the previous day. Things like that would long need to be forgotten if one were to be focused and concentrated on the vast opportunity available on any given day. At any given moment. Down there. In the agricultural trading pits. On the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade.

🙂

MJC

(more to follow)

Word count: 940. Post # 1237

Sunday July 29, 2018

Part Two:

I learned a lot in my time working at intersection Jackson Boulevard and LaSalle Streets.

For many of those years, I learned, certain agents were the top few representing and trading customer’s interests side by side with the wealthy who traded for fun.

In Chicago, at The Chicago Board of Trade, The Mercantile Exchange, The Chicago Board of Options Exchange (and the now defunct, Mid-America Commodity Exchange) those trading markets also included metals, currencies, livestock, treasury bonds and bills and agricultural commodities. Futures contracts. The explanation of this basic simple kernel of knowledge in the realm of trading stocks, bonds and the like is difficult enough. However, if one adds to it, the underlying instrument – the futures contract is based upon and the news that effects each commodity moment to moment, on a daily basis FOR A PRICE in THE FUTURE – one’s head starts to swim.

To this we add “options contracts”, put and calls and charting and historical trends and the entirety of basing an opinion on entering a speculative trading scenario can be quite overwhelming.

For twenty-four years of my life, from April of 1985 to October of 2008, I existed professionally (somehow) within the realm of agricultural futures commodity markets at the Chicago Board of Trade. Each runner there, phone clerk, trader, broker, pit clerk, wall board operator and security guard also existed. All great souls caught up in the epicenter of price creation, fund and hedge management and tremendous opportunity.

Most of what is most commonly recognized as a staple of such trading: face to face participation, voice interaction (open outcry), hand signal and the like has since been (very close to a hundred per cent) replaced by the digital medium of tapping one’s trade preference – buy or sell – with a stylus or a mouse – on a graphical representation of a trade environment.

Which means the manner in which business was done, the human element, the face to face, the voice, or, and the hand signal is no longer considered the industry standard or the best accepted method of trading markets. All or most of it has been replaced by computers.

This is not to say that there isn’t a “battle cry” to reinstate “open outcry” and hand signal. There has been groundswell on a grass roots level to bring back this form of price creation at The Chicago Board of Trade. Some, in favor, say nothing can replace the face to face element and open outcry, some feel and that now that these nuances no longer exist, that the markets strictly traded “on the screen”, suffer.

One thing is for sure. The conjecture is almost completely taken out when one is faced with numbers actually floating freely – vertically – up and down (a column of price values) and changing so rapidly (the quantities of bids and offers put in and taken out for purchase or sale alongside each price along that column of price values).

Also, the manner in which the graphical user interface is set up to resemble a trade environment makes following a particular tradable instrument one of the most difficult things to manage with one’s eyes alone. Particularly insofar as speculation is concerned. Speculators have been supporting free trade, price creation and providing liquidity in markets since trading began. Money. Old or new. Without speculators as market participants markets suffer as a whole. They just take on a numerical face nowadays rather than the guy standing across the trading pit from you.

Someone puts in a bid for a thousand March soybean contracts off the market price anyone watching that trade environment takes notice. But that number changes as the market rises or falls and clicking or tapping on that number to take a portion of that quantity at that price is much riskier when that number changes from a thousand to twelve in less than a fraction of a second.

This has been one key complaint heard time and again from those brokers, traders and speculators displaced by computers trying to learn the interface and this relatively brand new way of doing business.

I have been removed from the industry since the economic bubble of 2008.

This is what I know and these are my opinions.

🙂

MJC

Word Count: 714. Post # 1236

 

Sunday July 22, 2018

When people think of “trading” in the eyes of motion pictures, they think of Gordon Gecko in Wall Street or the characters in Wolf of Wall Street, perhaps Trading Places with Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd. Some think Bonfire of the Vanities – the movie version or the book – is a great representation of the, “what” trading and markets truly are. But what many people do not know is that for well over a hundred and fifty years what trading actually was some of those things but not all. It wasn’t just this bow-tied, cheater glasses, suit and tie wearing John Houseman look-alike standing around craning his neck to look at chalk boards high above his head in order to assess a market to report back to a customer, or non-present participant. Nor were these traders and brokers ideals stooped over a dome shaped glass printer reading ticket tape machines as if they were a long, uncut strand of fortunes from Chinese fortune cookies.Traders were for many years the hardest thing to explain to a layperson. But for many years this is how motion pictures portrayed the broker or trader.

As a young liberal arts / communications student taking classes at Northeastern Illinois University the prospect of beginning a job in a futures commodity office belonging to a commercial agricultural investment firm was culture shock. From academic life to my first steps into the trading facility for grain futures trading at The Chicago Board of Trade. Daunting. Amazing. A peculiar switch of environments. Sure, there were cheater glasses, and some suits and ties here and there and a bow-tie or two to run into but for the most part, April of 1985 was the time of the young mavericks, Gatsbys and the transformation of the stodgy, grandfatherly type into the (already in use by that time) yuppie types. With tempers. I had never seen such tempers at that point. I had seen linemen bashing helmets, a few fights in my academic days in grade school and high school and even a some very real arguments gone bad and scattered fisticuffs as a ticket taker, seater and soft-core security guard at Chicago sporting events and rock concerts. But this? Chest bumping, butt thumping, shoulder grabbing, red-faced, screamers all jostling for position?

“SOOOOOOOOOLD!”

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I thought. Trade staging arenas in octagonal shaped pits consisting of a top step, larger octagon and each subsequent step down into the pit being a smaller and smaller octagon stair until the center was a flat, Pergo floored octagon that – depending on the size of the pit as a whole – perhaps twenty to forty men could stand in a circle all within eye contact of each other and all standing shoulder to shoulder, elbow to elbow. This is where open outcry and hand signal were used to transact business. This is where integrity existed. Homes were bought and sold based on one’s word being their oath and bond and of course the commission one earned on each contract they purchased or sold as an agent of the exchange. Each a seat holder on the exchange or a leasee of a seat. Nonetheless, this is where all the action took place. Those octagonal shaped, “pits”, as they were called. I didn’t see any of those glass domed shaped ticker tape machines in the facility. But what I felt when I walked into the room was something akin to the audience at a Blue Oyster Cult concert taking the stage at the International Amphitheater and the sound that an audience like that generated but in a much smaller space and among a smaller group of people all shouting, yelling and sometimes screaming. Each pit its own little entity of sound. Each pit separated by a walkway or an aisle. Each pit where price was created. Each pit a particular commodity.

But as a twenty-two year old, I didn’t know a commodity from a hole in the ground.

April of 1985. Having taken a year and a half off in between high school and college and then ultimately deciding on day-time classes at Northeastern Illinois University and working – at one point – two part-time jobs, I attended. I begged Edwards Liquors (where I was a stockboy) to allow me to go to part-time, rather than full so that I could attend university. Images of John Boy Walton or Jonathon Demme or even Jonathon Brandmeier danced in my head. As full a load of credit hours each and every semester – as classes presented themselves in the catalog – as I could take. Until the Winter of 1985 semester. My last semester of full-time, day classes. Just prior to my starting full-time day work at The Chicago Board of Trade, it was my heaviest load and most successful academically.

I made the Dean’s List.

🙂

MJC

Word Count: 822. Post # 1235

(A Memoir, more to follow. . .)

Friday July 13, 2018

I haven’t had much of a desire to write anything even though the smart folk say, “You should write at least 500 words a day.” Really? Seriously? I have about 500 words in my head at any given time. I used to have 500 scraps of paper in my pocket (at the end of the day) with blog ideas, notions, concepts, things I didn’t understand about the world around me, etc., for the longest of times. From 2005 up until very recently my head was like what Rick Kogan used to say about Jonathon Brandmeier. I had a, “brain on overdrive.” Which also with it bought out some of the strangest of reactionary behavior some of which included being easy to anger, quick to judge and a hair trigger temper. Now, since the seventeenth time I turned thirty-nine this Wednesday past (that’s 56 for you mathematicians out there) it seems some of that piss and vinegar simply does not fortify me on any masculine level whatsoever anymore. Even though it was what men were supposed to be for the entire time I was growing up. And writers? Pffft! That’s not a skill or a trade. That’s not a, “thing.”

If one believes that? It makes it tough.

Then recently, Imposters was a neat little find while waiting for the next season of The Walking Dead in October to begin. I found season one on the Inter Webs and then caught all of season two on Bravo on cable and the creative impetus to write came back for a time. I had never seen a show like this on television. I felt a kinship to Ezra Bloom one of the main characters on Imposters. This whole idea of coming home to a digital video of your newlywed bride telling you, “Don’t look for me or your money as I have vanished,” after finding out all of your banking and investments have somehow disappeared was tantamount to having that incident occur whereby the garage door slowly opened going to work on January 6th of this year and not seeing my running car in the driveway. Then, of course, losing my call center job on the 10th. I could relate. So some things were just beneath the surface and probably needed a dose of cathartic writing about ~ANYTHING!~ else. Anything else at all. But this blog was never truly a tv show review blog. Or a bellyaching blog. It was never a journal or a diary.

But it also was, too, sometimes.

But I usually come back to my blog. But do I write 500 words a day? Have I ever written 500 words a day. Plenty of times. Am I following the Outliers method of 10,000 hours of doing a thing makes me an expert? Am I an expert at blog writing? Or self-discovery? Or tv shows? Or what makes for a good blog? Or how is it that I am still keeping this daily, weekly or even monthly blog filled with something interesting to perhaps no one other than me? Well? I suppose I can call today’s entry, “Checking In,” and leave it at that. Sweet corn season is coming up soon. My birthday just came and went without much fanfare but had a lovely dinner cooked by not only my sister but my Mom for me as well as she’s been with us for a few days. All nice things to report. Do I feel 56? Do I feel like I still have a few books in me that need to come out? Are there any literary battles worth fighting anymore? Stories to be told? Personal victories to crow about? Memories I may want to share from bygone days?

I sure hope so.

Time will tell.

Let’s get this personal literary fiasco back to where it once belonged!

🙂

MJC

Word Count: 651. Post #1234

Friday June 22, 2018

In this chiaroscuro world we know today as social media that changes instantaneously, moment to moment as, “goodbadindifferent” all dependent on the swipe of a finger left or right, which app you call up and which resource one might count as, “my favorite app for. . .”, someone like a Brother Theodore becomes this footnote to comedy. The funniest, strangest thing I ever heard him say on David Letterman or any television program I ever saw was his opening line. Imagine a short, old, white haired, maniacally-eyed man in a tunic with a German American accent saying, “Aristotle is dead! Socrates is dead! Cicero is dead! . . .and I’m not feeling so good lately.” or words to that effect and you immediately get the dual meaning of what he’s trying to say. This sort of “character driven” comedy, this sort of comedy noir made most famous by Andy Kaufman does not exist anymore. And as Gilbert Gottfried has been known to say, neither is the impressionist who comes out on stage, turns up his collar, exclaims, “Marlon Brando and it goes a little something like this”, does a pirouette and when they turn around goes immediately into their impersonation. Done. Over. Dead soldiers. It’s just not done anymore.

So when I sit down to do these things for the last thirteen years (March of 2005) – write my blog – I am torn between what I want to say, how I will say it, how MUCH I want to say with usually very little reaction when I sit down as to how it will be perceived. I truly believe blogs started as confessionals, Dear Diaries and quickly became a way to self-publish. Which begs the question why not use it as the jumping off point for my book. Write a chapter for each blog entry. Create a sense of suspense. End each with a cliffhanger. Choose one topic and go from there. Upload my television teleplay from my Creative Writing for Mass Media class I took with Dr, Robert Walker at Northeastern, whom we affectionately referred to as, “Walk.” Upload that. That would be fun. Well it would be if I knew where it was and had the time to retype it out in it’s entirety from the script pages because in those days saving document files to thumbdrives or floppy disks or even to telephone memory was not something that we did as students. It was essentially long hand to electronic typewriter, lots of “White Out,” and a Xerox machine. Recently the whole rigamarole of what I say, how much I say, it’s content and topic and all that came up in a conversation whereby I was told that in my life I was, “too honest.”

When social graces were being passed out, I attended that dinner. So I got that covered. So what happened? Why after close to fifty-six years on this planet do I still find that there’s nothing I can’t say that’s strictly taboo and completely off-topic, off-subject and why do I offer things up into conversation that are immaterial, not germane to the discussion or wholly and unequivocally
things people usually don’t say in social settings. It’s not like I just blurt out, “I’ve got this skin tag in a spot you’d find really humorous,” or, “You know red is not your color,” or, “Out of all the most unattractive people I’ve ever seen with these eyes you’re the most palatable.” Sheez! Give me a break would you? I don’t do that. So my honesty does not do that deep of a dive in all reality. But I have used this open forum to speak a lot about man’s inhumanity to man, things I find frustrating, my personal beliefs and podcasts, television shows and other consumable media because at my heart, I’m a communicator. Next, a creative person. Third an archivist (insofar as this blog is concerned) and fourth, perhaps according to the people who’ve accused me of that honest thing, “a very honest person.” Whether or not that’s necessarily bad or not, I personally don’t know. But I do know that it must be a reaction to something?

People not being honest? People not being communicators? People not understanding my fascination with things I find creatively fulfilling and expressions of that creativity? Am I hanging out with the wrong kinds of people or what? Who is to say that little, white haired, Germanic dude wasn’t the next Socrates, Aristotle or Cicero? When watching Brother Theodore on David Letterman his schtick was so far out in left field (as was Andy Kaufman’s) no one really knew how to respond. That’s why if you ever see old videos of his appearances most of his schtick is met with gasps, nervous spurts of laughter and mostly silence. Maybe one or two pops in a 6 minute comedy routine. But I think he knew. And his own self-awareness about it was something he was testing. Testing the limits of what is perceived, how it’s perceived and spit-balling stuff that may or may not be funny as hell but when they – as Jack Nicholson said in Batman, “get a load of me,” nothing will ever be the same.

It wasn’t.

And now he’s just a footnote to eighties comedy.

But I remember him.

Just like someone, someday might remember having read this blog.

If not, like Brother Theodore, I’m going to continue and plow ahead with whatever it is I do here and if by raising this up a flagpole some salutes? Great! If someone takes a knee? There’ll be another one of these next time. No big whoop!

“goodbadindifferent”.

🙂

MJC

Word Count: 973. Post # 1233

Wednesday June 13, 2018

Spoilers ahead: Imposters

Post-Mortum

There are many stories we keep buried for many different reasons in our lives. Suffice to say we find solace and comfort from the business of living life in the oddest of places. Some of my stories are just that. Real? Manufactured in memory to be exciting and different but heartbreakingly inconceivable if in hindsight were we to try and explain that to ourselves; that story as something we must live through.

No one would believe, let alone our very selves. And then you watch a story unfold like it has for protagonist, Ezra Bloom in the Bravo network television series, Imposters.

Like Ezra Bloom (the series’s character I most identify with) our lives weren’t really ever filled with that much variety. Then we meet our Avas: his, portrayed by actress, Inbar Lavi, also known as Saffron, Alice, Molly and whatever name she deems necessary to get her from one con to the next. And I meet my own in real life. I’m not saying any specific story I’ve lived through has a woman like Ava attached to it, but the moment Ezra was faced with his father’s death and standing before that casket when he imagined his beautiful ex-wife Ava there with him, saying, not in her fake Belgian accent for the con she pulled on him but in her regular Maddie voice, “This one’s on you, Ez”, all bets were off in my humble opinion. I understood completely what was going on in Ezra’s world.

But that was during the deep dive season two took into what has been called, “the consequences season”, lovingly by the creators, Paul Adelstein and Adam Brooks. Season One showed us the incalculable mayhem Maddie’s cons had played on her three ex-spouses. Their quest – Ezra, Jules and Richie – in coming together and finding Maddie took practically the whole of season one. But because she conned her exes out of everything they owned, they found themselves having to pull off some cons of their own to make money fast to bankroll their quest. Then, ultimately catching up to Maddie and realizing the tables had turned once again and that their vengeance had so many strands of sympathy in it for her because as Ezra, Jules and Richie found out Maddie’s employer would certainly kill her if she were to be found out. A totally unexpected reaction. Was Maddie’s story another con built on a con? And in season two, later, the saffron ring and the path further down that unlikely road of living freely without the threat of bodily harm or death from an evil employer running the cons, to the working with FBI agents with whom immunity was only a deal away, that ultimately brings everyone together: Maddie and her Jedi masters and partners, Max and Sally and her exes, Ezra, Jules and Richie for that one last con.

And then in the end, consequences. For Maddie.

No matter how unsympathetic one’s response might be to Maddie’s slick cons that are revealed in the first few episodes of season one, by season two it’s clear she is also – as is Ezra – quite the protagonist all her own. That shift slowly reveals itself and then becomes blindingly clear even after having been the opposite from the start. Additionally, when Agent Simons places the handcuff around her wrist, it’s clear that come what may there is a level of consequence to having given Ezra, “the exciting life that he always wanted.” But in that instance of consequence, too, sitting on a bus with Patrick, the FBI agent – who conned the con artist – Maddie is as close to being extricated from the threat of death and living a life free of “the game” as probably Maddie may ever get.

Ezra, however – by the end of season two – is left with a lot of choices. But all of Maddie’s exes, her partners, the FBI agent who conned the con and whom Maddie almost married all have been revealed to have experienced some consequence and are all given a nominal amount of closure with the death of the doctor.

Let’s face it. If this is indeed all the Imposters we ever get, then Adelstein and Brooks gave us two seasons of what one Twitterverse inhabitant named @ImposterAcademic called, “a cross btwn a Broadway play, HBOseries & LatinAmerican telenovela-well-acted, comedic, slapstick & crime mystery all rolled into one.” As Ava / Maddie might have said to them, “That’s on you.”

I’d definitely add, “writing” to that list.

Finally, are there many other buried stories signalling perhaps a third season somehow, somewhere now that the Bravo network said that the series has been canceled?

That’ll be “on” whatever network might pick it up.

So if you haven’t found this program, binge it this weekend. If you’ve watched and want to see it continue, maybe making some noise in the ether of cyberspace and social networks might help. One thing’s for certain – as was Maddie’s motto to all three of her exes:

#alwaysforwardneverback

🙂

MJC

Word Count: 859. Post # 1232