(Insert any other word of frustration in common use by arch-criminals featured in comic strips or movies here)
We were this close, or at least it seemed for a few days, to being rid of Barry Bonds.
This close. (Put your thumb and index finger about a centimetre apart).
It would have been the perfect ending for one of this generation's most arrogant and odious athletes if, just 22 home runs of becoming the greatest home run hitter of all-time, he found himself unemployed and without suitors.
Remember Dustin Hoffman in the movie Tootsie when his agent looks him straight in the eye and says, "NO ONE. . .will hire you."
And then the Hoffman character ends up in a dress.
Now Barry doing boo-hoo in a frock isn't exactly an enticing scenario.
But after all he's done to the integrity and image of the game, it would be a fitting end if he found nobody interested in his, ahem, services as a free agent.
As baseball's winter meetings opened in Florida on Monday, it seemed that might be the case. Bonds' agent went into a lengthy public diatribe that seemed the indicated his client no longer fit into the "business plan" of the San Francisco Giants, which made a certain degree of sense since the Giants hadn't opted to offer Bonds' salary arbitration on Friday.
There were some murmurings that the Boston Red Sox might be interested if they moved Manny Ramirez, and, conversely, that the Giants might solved their need for a big bat by trying to trade for Ramirez.
But other than money, the Giants didn't seem to have the wherewithal to do a deal.
All seemed in order, then, for a happy ending for baseball.
No job for Barry. Oh, so sad.
But now it appears, after an exchange of ideas between Giants GM Brian Sabean and Bonds' agent, that the Giants are indeed in the process of bringing back Mr. Sunshine for his final charge at history.
No other team would want this guy, at least no team interested in winning. His bat might still be helpful, but all the other stuff - the posse, the controversial behavior, the constant steroid questions - outweighs what he might be able to contribute as a 30 home run man on a wonky knee.
But the Giants, sadly, can't resist. San Fran still has affection for Barry, probably the only region of America that still does, and the baseball team can't afford to ignore the commercial appeal of Bonds' pursuit of Henry Aaron's all-time record.
So the signals seem to be that Bonds will remain a Giant, although there's still hope that it will all fall apart and every other team will also turns its back.
As they said over and over in Angels in the Outfield, "It could happen."