- One morning, when reading the New York Sunday Times, John discovers something interesting. Frank "I Should Be Dead" Hoenikker is in fact very much alive.
- John reads a supplement on a banana republic named San Lorenzo. No, not banana republic as in workwear clothing outlet Banana Republic.
- Rather, banana republic as in a politically and economically unstable country in the tropics.
- Anyway, John is transfixed by the picture of Mona Aamons Monzano, San Lorenzo's poster girl. It's lust at first sight.
- While John scours the supplement for more information on Mona, he spies a young man in a military blouse sporting a pompadour of all things.
- The young man is identified as "Major General Franklin Hoenikker, Minister of Science and Progress in the Republic of San Lorenzo" (37.12)