The Lucky Canary ~ Is it a Poodle or a Paddle?



Nick and Tony finish their beers and Legos brings two more bottles to the table. “We didn’t order these,” says Nick.

“On the house. You’re better than watching the comedy channel on cable,” says Legos setting the bottles on the table.

“You’re the man, Legos. We didn’t mean to insult you about your nose or nothing. You have to admit it could be mistaken for a banana if you colored it yellow,” says Tony fist bumping Nick.

Legos places two hands, big enough to be catcher’s mitts palm down on the table. He bends over, “I got to know one thing. If you’re planning a kidnapping, you can’t use this place. It makes me involved and I don’t want to do time. My brother did a year and he said it’s not like going to Vegas. You get what I’m saying?”

Nick says, “This is what you get from thinking when you don’t have the brains to think. I’m talking big picture, not some small time operation.”

“The big picture I’m looking at is got a concrete wall around it. Razor wire on top of the concrete wall. Guard towers with guards with guns with live ammunition. You talking about a kidnapping?”

Nick says, “I am not talking about kidnapping a kid. I’m talking about something totally different over which I do not think there is a law against it. You tell me, is there a law against doing a good deed?”

“Yah,” says Tony.

“I heard the word kidnapping. You are not going to talk your way around this because if you are talking about a kidnapping I am going to mention it to Mr. Abriggi. He don’t like any of that stuff in his neighborhood.”

Nick stretches his neck so he can look around Legos, which is a pretty good feat since Legos is built like a Caterpillar bulldozer.

“What are you looking for?” says Legos.

“I’m looking to see if there is anybody else in here. What I got to say is for the three of us. We are not planning a kidnapping in the way you mean a kidnapping.”

“Yah,” says Tony. “What are we planning, Nick?”

“This is why it is not a kidnapping but it sounds like a kidnapping, which it is not. I was driving through the rich neighborhood on the north side of the city. They got this park over there.”

“We got parks over here. Why are you driving in that neighborhood?” asks Legos.

“It was trash day, I was cruising to see if the rich people left any good stuff out I can snatch from the curb. That’s not a crime. That’s being street smart.”

“You are about this far from ending up in a homeless shelter,” says Legos holding his thumb and forefinger about a half inch apart. “You stooped to a low form of getting by. You probably spent more money cruising around than you made by scrounging stuff,”

“True enough,” says Nick. “If you let me finish, you will realize you are talking to a genius.”

Legos rolls his eyes.

Nick continues, “I seen this park and I see it has a couple of portable toilets and I got to take a leak. I pull into the parking lot. The first thing I see is this thing they’re calling a doggie park. They got a big area for big dogs. A big area of small dogs and an area where you can mix them if you want to. It was filled with cute chicks and their dogs. I like cute chicks and dogs, so I get out and I go in the small dog area because I can kick them if they try to bite me. I didn’t have to do it because they were all well behaving. I ask this cute chick who’s tossing a toy for her small dog what kind of dog she got. She looks at me and says, “Are you from the park department?”

Well, one thing, I always been quick on my feet. I says, “That’s right, we’re trying to count the different kinds of dogs come here.” She says it’s a paddle.”

“You mean poodle,” says Legos.

“I’m pretty sure she said Paddle,” says Nick.

“I’m telling you it’s a poodle.”

“I’m telling you what I hear and I heard the word paddle.”

“Whatever,” says Legos. “Cut to the chase. I don’t have all day.”

“I get this brainstorm,” says Nick.

“I think you mean thunderstorm,” says Tony trying to get into the conversation.

Nick pauses, glances at Tony, “Thanks for the collection. My brain starts jumping around. I’m thinking if I kidnap her paddle she’s going to pay big bucks to get it back no questions asked.

The chick picks up her paddle and says, “Phoo Phoo, this nice man is doing a survey.”

Phoo Phoo barks at me. She says, “Phoo Phoo says thank you.”

I says, “You really loves Phoo Phoo.”

She says, “I couldn’t live if anything happened to my Phoo Phoo.”

That’s when it all come together for me. See, we kidnap dogs, then we call the owner and says we heard you lost your dog and we found one that looks like it is and ask if there is a reward. We trade the dog for the reward. Simple”

Legos says, “You clowns know how many crimes you committing each time you snatch a dog? First, you’re stealing. The dog is probably worth a thousand bucks. That makes it grand larceny. Then you’re extorting money from the owner to get the dog back. You both are going away for twenty to thirty years, for a dog?”

“How do you know so much about the law?” says Nick.

“I watch reruns of Law and Order.”

“Just like you Legos, pulling the plug on our dream.”

“Not really. I’d miss the comedy show if you two were in prison,” says Legos turning and walking back behind the bar.

The door opens, a woman walks in with a dog on a leash. Tony whistles. Nick tries to whistle but comes off sounding like a hissing snake.

Legos says, “Hey beautiful, you can stay but the dog leaves.”

“It’s a therapy dog. I can take him anywhere I want, it’s a state law.”

“How about you taking him over here and sitting next to me. I got my rabbit shot,” says Nick.

“You mean rabies,” says the beautiful woman.

“I don’t have rabies, I was vaccinated when I was a kid so I could go to school,” says Nick.

“My ex-girlfriend got two babies,” says Tony.

“Sure, why not,” says the beautiful woman walking over to Nick and Tony and pulling out a chair. Her cross breed lies on the floor next to her.

Legos mutters, “Act two.”


Leave a Reply