"FBI Casting. Agent Riley speaking."

"Riley, this is Charles Hawkins of the Atlanta office. I hear you're looking for someone to play an Arab sheik in the sequel to 'Operation Abscam.'"

"Where did you hear that?"

"I read it in Variety."

"Damn, we were trying to keep the sequel a secret. What experience do you have?"

"I played a French dope peddler in the 'Marseilles Connection,' a Latin American arms merchant in 'Buenos Dias, Senor Fidel,' a Swiss gnome in 'Golddigers of 1979' and the brother-in-law of Madame Marcos in 'I'll Take Manila'".

"I didn't cast any of those stings," Riley said. "How were your reviews?"

"They were fantastic. Listen to this one by Rep. Greensleeves in the Congressional Record, 'FBI agent Hawkins certainly fooled me when I met him on the Eastern shuttle going to New York. He convinced me he was Mao Tse-tung's long-lost son, and gave me $50,000 to put in my briefcase until we got to La Guardia, because he said he didn't trust the stewardesses. I was never so entrapped in my life.'"

Hawkins continued, "Here is one from Newsday on Long Island: 'While the FBI's sting operation in Garden City left a lot to be desired, the casting of Charles Hawkins as a Mafia hit man was a stroke of genius. He brought life and excitement to what could have easily been a cliche role in the hands of a less-talented undercover man. It is a pity that the authors of this scam did not give Hawkins a bigger part. Had they recognized his talent, "Operation Sticky Fingers" might not have closed on Saturday night.'

"I have some more," Hawkins said.

"No, that's okay," Riley replied. "How do you look on video-tape?"

"I'll send you a cassette of me bribing a food inspector in the 'Little Caesar Salad Caper.' After my appearance as a crooked female jockey, I received an Academy Award for 'best drag performance of the year in front of a hidden camera'."

Riley said, "Your credentials seem to be in order. But the director is looking for a big name to play the sheik -- someone a senator would pay money to see. We're putting $10 million into this production, and if we don't get any indictments out of it, we'll all be out of show business."

"Give me a break, Riley. I haven't had a good part since I played Robert Vesco's bagman in "Oh Costa Rica'".

"I'll put your name in, but don't get your hopes up. Every agent in the bureau wants to play the Arab shiek. You get a rent-free house, a Cadillac limousine and a yacht for wild parties. It beats the hell out of playing an undercover numbers runner in the Bronx."