You Can’t Handle Da Tooth

Big Carmen and Lil Carlo sit on the sofa in my living room. Big Carmen has a bottle of beer in his right hand and slice of pepperoni pizza in his left. Lil Carlo’s has his gun resting on the coffee table. He has a blue plastic cup of house (not my house, Carmen’s) red wine in his left hand, and a slice of the pepperoni pizza in his right.

“When’s the beautiful, tough, and edgy one gonna read her scripto?” ask Big Carmen. Before I answered, he added, “How come use is not eating a slice of my pie?”

When am I going to learn. Think first, speak second. Not today. I said, “Pepperoni is not good for you. It has nitrates. It has fats. It has other stuff, which will mess with your veins.”

“You tink so? I don’t. It’s the foundation for any good pizza. The secret is in the grease drippings. Sees, it’s the grease drippings that acts like Roto Rooter and cleans use colon. They sticks to the bad stuff. Let me asks use, how clean is use colon?”

Did Big Carmen move into the colon cleansing business? I don’t want to go there. Do you know anyone who checks the cleanliness of their colon? I hate my annual physical, know what I mean? I haven’t met a single person who wants to talk about how the cleanliness of their colon. Big Carmen and Lil Carlo are staring at me. Lil Carlo places his blue plastic cup next to his gun. His right hand rests on the gun with the kind of affection a mother gives to a baby. I wondered if it was possible to nurse a gun.


The door to La Flor’s bedroom swings open, bangs against the wall. I’ll have to call the handyman to fix the dent in the wall where the door nob hit.

“Every body and I means all the bodies within my speaking vocals, the beautiful, tough, and edgy famous model will makes her day beaut entrance with me of course.”

La Flor, wearing what I’d call – no, I’m not going to call it anything. I’m not going to try to describe it. She’s being carried out by a bare chested black bear who is barefooted and wearing, I am grateful, a men’s bathing suit. La Flor’s left arm is draped around Little Carmen’s neck, her right hand carrying her script. The paper offers as much cover as the cloth. Little Carmen cradles his precious cargo.

Big Carmen and Lil Carlo stand and start applauding. Applauding? What are they applauding? Big Carmen gives me a look, I stand and applaud. The queen, AKA La Flor blows Big Carmen a kiss. I thought he was going to collapse back onto the sofa.

The audience takes their seats on the sofa. Little Carmen carries La Flor to the TV and stops and pivots so they face the three of us.

“How do you like it so far?” said La Flor.

“Use knocked all my socks off and I wears about four pair,” said Big Carmen.

“Use knocked all my boxers off and I wears six pair,” said Lil Carlo.

Lil Carlo wears boxers? I didn’t know they sold boxers in the kid’s clothing section. I keep quiet.

“What about you, Ray.” La Flor won’t let me keep quiet. Four sets of eyes stare at me.

“Uh, ah, um. I’m speechless. You knocked all my words out of me,” again I am pleased with my brilliant mind. My ability to turn tragedy in triumph.

“You can’t handle my sexuality. Can you, Ray?” said La Flor.

“Yes, I can,” I countered weakly.

“You can’t handle da tooth,” said Little Carmen. “Did I get it right, beautiful, tough, and edgy one?”

“Close enough.”

La Flor said, “I’m tired. My perfect entrance took it all out of me. Can I read the script tomorrow you handsome man?”

“Any ting for use. Use beautiful, tough, and edgy one,” said Big Carmen.

“Can I come wit use?” Asked Lil Carlo to Big Carmen.

“Sure ting.”

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