I’m in the yard talking to a cardinal some six feet away from me enjoying the breakfast buffet at the bird feeder. This is a clear sign I’m careering down a slippery slope. I said formally, “Mr. Cardinal I’m considering changing my address to the House of Horrors, the Comedy Channel, Bizzaro World, Nightmare on Elm Street. What do you think?”

The cardinal looks at me, bends his head down and picks up a sunflower seed. He gives me a whatever look. Then I hear a voice . . .

“Ray-mo it’s my turn.”

Ah, the nasal accent from one, LC. I bid goodbye to the cardinal, slowly walk across the grass hoping LC changes his mind. Open the patio door, and sitting at table are LC, La Flor, and O’Leary. O’Leary? I thought I wrote him out of the blog yesterday!

“You carrying?” the first words out of O’Leary’s mouth.

Is he nuts? I’m wearing a t-shirt and jeans.

La Flor speaks, “Good morning grumpy. Let’s turn those corners up, give us a little teeny, tiny smile.” She stops for a moment, then adds, “How does it feel? That’s your line when LC or me are not in the best mood, which by the way is never.”

“Use wants a bagel wit locks (yes, he said locks instead of lox). And, we gots six varieties of cream cheese. And, for the detective I gots a dozen assorted donuts because he’s what you calls, a stereotype. No offense meant, O’Leary.”

“None taken, LC. What’s wrong wit an Irish cop who loves donuts? I tell yah, nothing,” O’Leary bites in a jelly donut. The reddish goo slipping on to the table. O’Leary uses his forefinger to wipe it up and consume it.

I have to admit the bagels look like real New York bagels, foolishly I ask LC, “Where did you get them?”

LC looks at La Flor. La Flor looks at O’Leary who is holding his strawberry filled jelly donut in his right hand and has a glazed donut in his left hand. “I Calls it the assembly line method,” said O’Leary. He added, “Sometimes a first or second responder has to eat when he or she can eat, hear what I’m saying?”

The three of us, “We hear you (ok, LC said use).

“Where’d you get the food, I asked again?”

LC looks at O’Leary, “Ray-mo shoulda been a cop the way he don’t let go of none of his questions.” Then he turns to me, “I got em at a good place and they was on special because I was the foist one in the store. Punctuation has its reward (he meant to say punctuality).

La Flor got up walk around the table and came up behind O’Leary, “O’Leary, can I test your hearing? I’m considering becoming an audiologist after I try rodeo, NASCAR, a logger, or steeplejack.”

O’Leary’s mouth was stuffed with the jelly donut, the glaze next in line for takeoff, nodded his head. La Flor put her hands over O’Leary’s ears, then nodded to LC.

LC looked at me, “I gots the bagels from Stein and Goldmans Bagels on 4th and the donuts from the Donut Factor on 5th since they was in the same neighborhood. They cost me nothing because I got them on the early bird special.”

“Did you B & E to get them, LC?” I asked.

“Me?” said LC pointing a finger at his chest. Then he said, “If I says what I tinks use wants me to say I may be discriminating against me (ok, incriminating for those who are not sure of LC speak).”

La Flor removed her hands, “Did you hear anything O’Leary?”

O’Leary polised off the glaze. “Nope. Is my hearing okay?”

“Perfect,” said La Flor.

O’Leary picked up his cell, took a call, turned to the three of us, “I got to beat it, crime is breaking out in a big way in my precinct. We had two overnight burglaries, one at Stein and Goldman’s and the other at the Donut Factory.”

O’Leary took a last sip of coffee, grabbed a donut in one hand a bagel in the other, “If use guys hear anyting, text me.”

“We got use back,” said LC.

“La Flor your covering up,” I said.

“Of course, Ray. I’m not going to walk around the house nude. Give me some credit.”

See what I mean? How do I communicate? I give it another try, “Okay, LC. What’s your problem.”

“Actually, Ray-mo, it’s not me whose got the problem.”

“I thought you said it was very important,” I said.

“It is. And, I been talking to the beautiful, tough, and edgy brilliant woman who tells me it’s time for an invention.”

“An invention?” I asked.

La Flor butted in, “Intervention, Ray.”

“Who’s the target of the intervention?” I asked. I don’t feel good about this one.

My fears are confirmed when LC said, “Big Carmen.”


Ray Calabrese

By Ray Calabrese

I am an optimistic, can do, and never quit guy. The spirit of hope indelibly marks my DNA. My research at The Ohio State University helped people discover the best in themselves and change their personal lives, public organizations, and whole communities. I bring the same spirit and enthusiasm to my blog to help those who grieve who find themselves suddenly alone, navigate their grieving. Join my more than 24,300Twitter (@alwaysgoodstuff). I promise my tweets are always good stuff. Please feel free to email me at ray.brese@gmail.com.

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