The Lucky Canary ~ He’s Not Picasso



“Don’t finish what I’m gonna say, Legos. It puts a whammy on my brain.”

“What brain? A gerbil has a bigger brain,” Legos says.

“What’s a gerbil,” asks Tony.

Nick says, “It’s one of those animals looks like a rabbit.”

“Where do you learn this stuff?” asks Tony.

“I pick stuff up. My brain is always alert to important stuff. Here’s my big idea. We are gonna make a million dollars tax free each. High five,” says Nick holding up his right palm facing Nick.

Tony is momentarily confused. Nick’s right hand is on the same side as Tony’s left hand. Tony’s left hand is wrapped around a beer bottle. Tony starts to raise the beer bottle. He stops when Nick nods toward Tony’s right hand. Tony says, “Gotcha.” He high fives Nick.

Legos, mutters “Oh yeah, this is all going work out.”

“Whatcha thinking, Nick?” asks Tony. He continues, “If we do some B & E, Allie Tomaso will fence it for us and he’ll only take a thirty percent cut. We can store the hot stuff in Pete V’s garage for a small percentage.”

Nick spreads his hands out on the table palms down, “I give breaking and entering some thought. You know what’s wrong with it?”

Tony shakes his head.

“This is what’s wrong with it. All the big houses got cameras, backup power systems, and silent triggers for the police station,” says Nick.

“I been working on my speed, Nick. If we can get in and out in ten minutes, we can pull it off unless there’s a police car in the area.”

“What are we gonna get in ten minutes, Tony? We won’t even be able to carry out the smart TV.”

“I got to hang out with you a lot more, Nick. You got all the angles worked out. Listen to this. My cell mate in prison he photoshops photos, you know, he makes fake Id’s, fake driver’s licenses, fake passports.”

“What’s he in for?”


Legos hollers over, “He ain’t no Picasso.”

“Who’s Picasso? He just move in the neighborhood?” asks Nick.

Legos flips Nick the bird.

Tony says, “Here’s what we do, Nick. We get photos of rich people. Then we get my buddy to photo shop them with somebody who ain’t supposed to be with them, you know putting them in situations they don’t want to be in and people who they don’t want to be seen with. See where I’m going,” says Tony.

“I’m following you, Tony. What do we do with the photoshopped photos?” asks Nicks.

“We use them to blackmail rich people. If it’s a rich dude, we tell him we’ll post the photos on Facebook and it will ruin his career and marriage. I got a Facebook account. I know how to post photos,” says Tony excitedly.

Legos is wondering how these two guys made it past first grade.

Nick says, “I see two things wrong with what is maybe close to a perfect plan.”

“What’s that, Nick? I come up with this idea when I was sitting on the can last night. That’s where I do my best thinking.”

Nick runs his right through his hair. He says, “How much more time your buddy got to serve before he gets out?”

Tony says, “In three years he gets a shot at parole. If he don’t make parole he’s probably good for ten years in prison.”

Nick shrugs, makes a face that looks like he swallowed a lemon rind, “Tony, I don’t want to wait three years to make a million. I don’t want to share our score with anybody.” Nick glances toward Legos, “Especially bartenders with noses so big they can go snorkeling with them.”

Legos snaps, “My nose is big enough to smell two rotten fish who were last in line when they passed out brains.”

Tony closes his eyes for a second, “I unnerstand you don’t wanna share. Tell me the other thing?”

“You put the photos on your Facebook page, the cops gonna know it’s you posted them.”

Tony whacks himself in the head with the palm of his hand, “What was I thinking? I’m glad you got the brains. You got some good ideas?”

“I got a one-hundred percent perfect crime.”

Legos says, “You never seen a hundred percent even on your best day.”

“I thought you wasn’t listening,” hollers Nick.

“I need comic relief,” says Legos.

“Pay no attention to him, Nick. He’s gonna be stuck in the Lucky Canary when we is riding down the street in a Lexus,” says Tony.

“More likely to be riding down the street in the back of a police van,” barks Legos.

Nick motions Tony to bend closer to the center of the table. He says, “Legos got big ears and a big mouth. We got to talk really quiet so he don’t hear us.”

“I’m not listening anymore,” says Legos.

“Thanks,” says Tony.

This is my idea. I looked at the problem every way, this way, that way, the other way, and the same way.”

“I thinks you got all the ways covered. I don’t know no more ways. What way we going?” says Tony.

“We’re going into the kidnapping business.”

Legos wonders if this makes him an accessory before and after the fact if he doesn’t report it.

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