Farlo slid to a stop, ten feet into the East wing. He pivoted, military style, turned and waited for Joey to reach him. Tina sat on her haunches. Joey walked toward them like the hunchback of Notre Dame.
“What do you think you’re doing, kid?”
“I’m getting into character,” said Joey.
“And, what character are you channeling?”
“Rocky, from the Rocky III or the Rocky IV or the Rocky V movie. I still trying to get it down.”
“You look worse than the old guy, Mickey, who played his trainer. If you’re going to run with the big dogs, you got to pick up the pace. It’s about time you developed a character with an attitude.”
“I don’t mind running with toy poodles,” said Joey.
Tina growled at the word, poodle.
Farlo grabbed hold of Joey’s bicep and squeezed, “Let’s go, Kermit.”
“Yeow! That hurts, let go of me. I am not a frog,” hollered Joey loud enough to cause two beefy looking attendants at the end of the hall to look up from their smart phones.
A baldheaded attendant with a swastika tattooed on his skull called out, “You need some help with that frog?”
“I’m not a frog. Ouch, let go,” said Joey.
Farlo yanked on Joey’s arm and started walking toward the attendants. Tina walked alongside Farlo, her eyes on the swastika dude. The other dude’s face was a cross between a pit bull and an angry Rottweiler.
Joey whispered, “You’re going to get us killed. They’re killers, I can tell.”
Farlo whispered back in his gravelly voice, “We got them outnumbered, they’re three of us. That is, if I count you. Counting you is against all reason and logic.”
“Don’t count on me. I want to make love not war,” said Joey.
“With your wimpy attitude you think you’ll ever have a woman fall for you? We both know the answer, so don’t make a lame excuse.”
“Where you going with this piece of crap masquerading as a frog?” the Nazi said.
“I’m Maxwell, this piece of crap can identify Harry J. Where is he?” Farlo commanded.
The Rottweiler dude said, “You’re not Maxwell. I know Maxwell he busted me for sexual assault, armed robbery, and attempted murder. I got probation because I only had ten priors. My partner is my intern. Who the hell are you?” The Rottweiler took a menacing step toward Farlo.
Farlo stood his ground, he let go of Joey’s arm. Tina sat on her haunches awaiting a command. Farlo put his right hand to his chin. Then said, “You got a mother?”
“So. Everybody got a mother.”
“She’s doing time at the woman’s prison. You want to make something out of it?”
“No. I wanted to know where I send the sympathy card.”
“The Nazi took a step toward Farlo. You’re going to die and your mama ain’t going to get a sympathy card.”
Farlo said, “I wasn’t going to buy one, I was going to send an e-card. They’re free.”
“No kidding?” said the Rottweiler.
“I didn’t know that,” said the Nazi.
At that moment, Joey jumped two feet in the air, landed, stumbled, fell to a knee and came up in a karate stance he learned from watching an old Bruce Lee movie. “Hi Yee,” he screamed.
The two attendants started laughing. Farlo looked at Joey and shook his head. He turned back to the two mean dudes, “What do you say we get this done, then go out and have a beer. First two rounds are on me.”
The Nazi said, “You are righteous man. I got no quarrel with a dude who wants to drink with me.”
“Me neither. I can’t wait to tell mom about you when I visit her on Sunday,” chimed in the Rottweiler.
“Can I come?” Asked Joey.
“No,” The Nazi, Rottweiler, and Farlo said in unison. Tina barked.
“I’d like to help you out with Harry J. That was his room over there. But, they took him over to the crack house on Alameda. What’s your real name?” asked the Rottweiler.
“I’m sorry,” said the Nazi
“Me too,” said the Rottweiler.
“Don’t tell Filo on us,” said the Nazi.
“Don’t hurt us,” said the Rottweiler.
“Can we still have our beers?” they both asked in unison.
“Will this ever end? Who’s Filo?” asked Joey.
Farlo fist bumped the two guys. Pulled out his smart phone. He called Duffy, owner of Duffy’s. Told Duffy to let the two guys drink as much as they wanted and to put it on Filo’s tab.
Poor Harry J. Will they rescue him? Who’s Filo? Will Joey get his act together?