Zeke and Mickey sat in Zeke’s Chevy parked on Court Street in Brockton, across from Security Postal. Next to Security postal was a Goodwill drop off store, next to the Goodwill store a liquor store, and on the other side of Security postal was a boarded-up sub shop. The buildings, were stuck together since some time early in the last century and looked like they were never cleaned.
“This place gives me the creepies. Why would Tony, who’s got so much dough, pick a place like this for his mail pickup.”
“That’s because he never goes here. He sends schmucks like you and me,” said Zeke.
“What do you think is in the box. Do you think the cops are watching? What about the guy on NCIS? What’s his name?” asked Mickey.
Zeke took a sip of Dunkin Donuts coffee along with a bite of a raspberry jelly donut, mixed the donut and coffee inside his mouth, chewed somewhat then swallowed. When he finished, he said, “I saw this rerun of CSI. I think it was CSI Vegas. No, it was CSI Phoenix. No, it was CSI Chicago.”
“No, I know the one you are thinking about, is it CSI Jersey? I know it’s either that one or CSI Worcester,” said Mickey.
“They never made a CSI Worcester. Half the country can’t say the name right,” said Zeke.
“Then it’s to be CSI Jersey,” said Mickey. He continued, “There was this guy and this other guy and they was going to break into a lab and torch the whole thing to destroy the evidence.”
Zeke interrupted Mickey, “Mickey, what’s this show got to do with picking up a box inside Security Mail?”
A confused look came over Mickey. He fell silent for a moment, then he said, “Nothing. I just like that show. I was thinking we could learn something from it.”
Zeke said, “I’ll have to remember to watch the rerun. Here’s what we’re going to do. You’re going to go in and get the box and I’ll keep the car running in case we have to make a quick getaway.”
“That doesn’t sound fair, Zeke. We should flip a coin to see who gets to go in,” complained Mickey,
“Can’t,” said Zeke.
“Why,” said Mickey.
“Because I only have insurance coverage for me on this car. And, I don’t have you on the policy. You’d be in big trouble if you got in an accident,” said Zeke.
Mickey thought about for a second, he scratched his groin, “Thanks for thinking about me, Zeke. What’s the number of the box?”
“It’s on the key. Here it is. It’s 1 6 1,” said Zeke handing the key to Mickey.
Mickey took the key and looked at it, “What if it’s 1 9 1? It could be. Look? If I put the key into the wrong mailbox, somebody might think I’m up to something and call the cops.”
Zeke looked at the key. He flipped it over several times, “Why’d he have to go and get a number that can be two numbers? The way I figure it we got only a chance in a hundred to picking the right box. When I get nervous, I like to eat. I wish the sub shop wasn’t closed.”
Mickey said, “I got an idea, Zeke.”
“What?” said Mickey.
“We both go in. Since you’re the brains, you go to counter and asked whoever is behind the counter if they know where you can find a sub shop because you’re hungry for a sub. I go and try my key in 1 6 1 and if it doesn’t work I’ll try it in 1 6 2 and keep going until I get to 1 9 1.”
Zeke said, “This is a good idea, Mickey. I got one little tweak I gotta make. You try 1 6 1 first and if it doesn’t work you try 1 9 1. You skip everything in between.”
“You sure, Zeke?” asked Mickey, a worried look on his face.
“I’m sure,” said Zeke.
“I got another question, Zeke?”
“What is it, Mickey?” asked Zeke.
“When you ask about a sub shop, ask if they know one that makes good meatball subs,” said Mickey.
“Okay,” said Zeke.
The boys got out of the car and crossed the street. Zeke walked in first, Mickey followed. There was guy behind the counter sorting mail. Mickey walked to the mailboxes. Zeke went to the counter.
“You know where I can get a good meatball sub?” asked Zeke.
“Do I look like Bobby Flay on the Food Channel?” snapped the guy behind the counter.
“You bear a remarkable resemblance if you had hair and real teeth. But I am being respectful and I would like some respect in return,” answered Zeke.
“I don’t respect myself, why should I respect you?” said the guy behind the counter.
Zeke looked over his shoulder, Mickey was trying to jam the key into 1 6 1. Zeke turned back to the guy behind the counter, “For one reason you should respect me, I don’t pee on your door when you are closed. Your door smells like hell.”
“It’s the damn homeless people. They think my door is a urinal. You’re not a bad guy. I’ll tell you the best sub shop in the city, it’s Marzelli’s over on Warren Ave. Don’t go past the 1200 block, that’s where all the Puerto Rican’s live. They don’t know a good sub from a bad hamburger. Know what I mean?”
Zeke looked over his shoulder, he saw Mickey pulling a box out of 1 9 1. “I know what you mean. Thanks.”
“Don’t mention it. Now, get the hell out of here.”
What’s in the box? Will Zeke and Mickey go to Marzelli’s for a sub?