Vinnie’s dad parks in the court parking garage. He glances at Vinnie, “Would you like to carry my brief case into the court house?”
“Thanks for the offer, Dad. But, I got to carry all this food in for Uncle Mike. Uncle Mike told me jail food stinks, he won’t eat it.”
Vinnie’s dad says, “They won’t let you carry the food in the court house. They have special rules.”
“Dad, I got an idea. Want to hear it?” asks Vinnie.
Vinnie’s dad wants to make today a special day for Vinnie, so he pretends he’s interested, “What’s your idea, Vinnie?”
“Take out all the junk in your brief case and stick the food inside it. I’ll carry your stuff.”
“What if they want to search my brief case?”
“Easy, Dad. Bribe the guard with one of the sausage egg biscuits.”
Vinnie’s dad wishes Vinnie’s mom were here, she’d know what to do. He gives a thought to calling her, but doesn’t want to her laugh. He says, “Look, Vinnie, we can’t do it. Leave it in the car.”
“Okay, Dad. If it spoils can I take it home to Dexter?”
“Does it ever end?” thinks Vinnie’s dad. The answer comes quickly.
“Dad, can I be a witness for Uncle Mike?”
Inside the Courthouse . . .
Vinnie’s dad sits at a conference table. Vinnie sits next to him. Vinnie’s dad says, “The assistant DA wants to meet with me about Uncle Mike, I don’t know if he’ll let you stay in the room.”
“That’s okay, Dad. When you send me out, can I talk to some of the guys in orange suits and handcuffs?”
Vinnie’s dad tries to remember a prayer his mom taught him to say in case of emergencies. It was a prayer to the saint of impossible causes, he can’t remember the saint’s name.
“Dad, you saying a prayer for Uncle Mike? No worries, you’re the best mob mouthpiece in town.”
Before Vinnie’s dad can answer, the door opens. A tall woman in a dark blue skirt and matching jacket walks in. She has a chain holding a name tag draped around her neck, with the name tag resting three inches below her chin, Veronica Suza, Assistant DA. She looks at Vinnie, then Vinnie’s dad.
Before she can speak, Vinnie says, “Uncle Mike is innocent and my dad’s going to prove it.”
Ten minutes of negotiations over Vinnie sitting in with his dad finally end with Vinnie promising not to say anything and Vinnie’s dad agreeing that Uncle Mike can make the final decision if Vinnie can be part of everything.
The “Okay, Al. Here’s the deal. Mike Ricci pleads guilty.
“No way, Dad. Uncle Mike’s innocent.”
“Vinnie, you promised to be quiet.”
“Veronica, we’re not taking any plea deals. You know I never accept them.”
Veronica Suza glances at her yellow legal sized paper, jots a note and says, “I suppose you found another one of your famous technicalities.”
Vinnie’s dad says, “Better yet, I’ve got an eye witness.”
“Tell her, Dad. Tell her who the star witness is going to be,” says Vinnie.
“Seriously, Al. Do you have a credible witness, not one of the hooligans who works for Mike Ricci?”
“Mike, I mean Mr. Ricci, does not hire hooligans. Everyone he hires helps him run Pizza Palace.”
Veronica rolls her eyes, her smart phone text chimes. She says, “Excuse me for a second.” Veronica reads the text message. Texts something back. Gets another text message within seconds. She looks at Vinnie’s dad, “The charges were dropped. The man who reported the crime said it was a misunderstanding.”
“Is this a technicality, Dad?” asks Vinnie.