Beekman calls Wallace into the meeting, and Nikki violently rolls her eyes and probably delivers a fantastic, scathing inner monologue about disrespect, undermining the managing editor, and reporters who smell like old shoes. Unfortunately, any smart writer knows not put precious words in the mouths of such blatantly proven thespians as Bebe Neuwirth. It's just too risky -- people might start liking the show. Benton fills in the details of the 1998 case: Two men killed five people in a New York fast-food restaurant under nearly identical circumstances, and now those alleged felons are on Death Row and slated for execution in three days. "'Mad dogs tethered to their own hatred,' if I remember right," Si says. "Mad dogs that you insisted be destroyed." Wallace looks sheepish, for he was tethered to some Mad Dog last night and he's about to regurgitate it on Si's lap. Si gets Wallace to admit that the Chicago killing is either copycat, or proof that the wrong lads are languishing in the slammer. That would be very embarrassing for the Ledger, according to Nikki, because that paper is clearly the only instrument of justice available to New York's five boroughs, and Wallace pointed his pudgy finger right at Bradford and Washington. "The greater embarrassment, Miss Masucci, would be to read about this in the Times," scolds Si gently. She drops her pencil and looks peeved.
Wallace heaves himself into his office and bellows for Feldman, a scraggly chap with a beret, long frizzy hair, and glasses. Wallace orders him to compile hard copies of everything he's written about Speedy Burger, except for that diary entry about the time he ate six Speedy Super Meals and then mysteriously woke up next to Andy Dick. Feldman contends that fast-food murders happen all the time. "Bad guys read the paper, too," he offers lamely. Wallace stares at him. "Aren't you the copy boy?" he asks. "We prefer the term 'news coordinator,'" Feldman corrects him. Okay, we get it. Wallace is arrogant. His computer fritzes out, and in a groundbreaking old-dog-new-tricks joke, Benton urgently yells for Feldman to return and fix it, and even whips out the magic word. Feldman smacks the keyboard, hits F-12 and Tab, and cures the computer. I'd make a crack about how implausible that is, but this is a 1970s-era machine and I have no idea what funky tricks fix the kind of night fever that plagues a disco computer like that. Wallace scrolls through an electronic archive of newspapers and calls up the Chicago Sun-Times story. He reads it and zeroes in on the fact that murders were clean and the killers didn't eat anything but french fries. Wallace leans back in his chair and looks stunned. "Fucking vegetarian bastards," he thinks, dumbfounded. "Those poor, lonely, homeless cheeseburgers."