Not dinner catered by Lorenzo’s the upscale Italian trattoria down in the Italian village. No, it was dinner catered by Carmen’s Pizzeria, owned by Carmen DiMarco, better known as Big Carmen. Big Carmen has a number of other interests going, all of which make my night’s sleep less than optimum. Why? La Flor has taken up with Big Carmen’s son, Little Carmen, who is bigger in size than Big Carmen, but the two names stuck. La Flor encourages LC (what everyone calls Little Carmen) to follow his dream. His dream? To eventually take over for Big Carmen, but first he has to earn his chops the hard way. It became complicated when O’Leary, a donut loving, bad coffee drinking, Irish cop, entered the scene. He’s friends with La Flor and LC. In today’s episode, La Flor sets up, the hapless O’Leary with Carmela, La Flor’s understudy or whatever.
“Ray, I don’t call Carmen’s Pizzeria dinner. Especially when we’re going to eat out of cardboard boxes. Do you expect pizza in cardboard boxes to set the love stage for O’Leary and Carmela,” said La Flor.
“I’m not the matchmaker. Besides, Big Carmen is tossing in blue plastic cups to go with his house wine. And, it’s all free, there’s one small catch that I don’t agree with,” I said.
La Flor threw her arms up in the arm, “It’s already a disaster. Blue plastic cups for house wine? What were you thinking?”
“I was thinking free. Besides, O’Leary doesn’t know good from bad.”
“That’s true and Carmela is such a ditz, she doesn’t know what day it is. It might work. What did Carmen want you to do that you won’t do, that I might do?”
“He wants to know where O’Leary plans the next stakeout,” I said.
“That’s all? Isn’t that covered under the Freedom of Information Act? Don’t forget I was a lawyer for a day,. Why couldn’t Lorenzo’s cater?” asked La Flor.
“Lorenzo was already catering Luigi Bigalo’s thirtieth celebration. Even Big Carmen’s attending. He’s the guy who has the upper and lower Northwest side.”
“Oh no, that means Vinnie and Rocco are making the pizzas tonight and I don’t trust them.”
“Well, I do trust them, but I don’t want their fingerprints on the boxes with O’Leary being here. Know what I mean?”
“La Flor, I think you need to move away from Big Carmen’s business. Where’s LC? O’Leary and Carmela will soon be here.”
“He had a special errand to do down by the freight yard.”
“What kind of special errand?”
“He’s righting a wrong. He’s scoring one for the good guys. He’s putting the bad guys down. He’s really a super hero, that’s what LC is,” said La Flor. Her eyes beaming with pride.
“Tell me more,” I said.
La Flor moves closer to me, “Let’s step out on the patio in case the Feds have your house bugged.”
“Why would the Feds bug my house?”
“I don’t know, but Big Carmen says you can’t take chances.”
We walk to the patio door. I open it. We step onto the patio. La Flor said, “You’re not wearing a wire, are you?”
“La Flor you’re making me nervous.”
Then she whispered, “LC is breaking into a freight car and taking all the goods.”
“That’s wrong,” I said.
“No. The goods were already stolen by the Russian mob. So, LC is really taking them from the Russians and redistributing the goods for a fraction of their cost. See how he’s helping the poor people. He’s really a saint.”
“He’s doing this alone?”
“No, his cousin Tony, uncle Tony, and uncle Tony’s son, Little Tony who is also a cousin are helping him. Lil Carlo is driving the U-Haul.”
I don’t want to know any more. My house might be bugged. I don’t want to talk to the Feds. Then the door. My poor door crashes against the wall. I have a deep dent in the steel wall plate I had installed there. The voice, “Beautiful, tough, and edgy woman of my fantasies I’m home.”
La Flor brushed me aside, ran to the entry way and did her leap into the waiting arms of the man in black pants, black t-shirt, black latex gloves hanging out of his pants pocket, and a black ski mask stuck between his belt and waist.
“Does I has time to change before O’Leary and Carmela get here?” asked LC after the two minute kiss.
A car door slamming, a voice from the yard, “It’s the police, I mean O’Leary since I’m not official tonight. Okay if I park on your lawn?”
“Never mind, Ray-mo. I’ll wear these clothes. I looks good in them,” said LC.
“Yes, you do. You are lighting my fire, you hunk.”
The door is still against the wall, O’Leary comes in, “I brought a six pack of beer, Styrofoam cups and a bag of jelly donuts. You think I’ll impress Carmella?”
Come by tomorrow to find out how it all goes down.