The Tuna turns toward Nick, “Okay, let’s hear it and I don’t want no beating around the bushes, jumping the tracks, dancing the salsa, or playing bocce.”
Nick’s eyes glaze over, his brain is stuck in neutral, his tongue superglued to the roof of his mouth.
Tuna says, “Beautiful broad, snap him out of it.”
Tina grabs Nick’s large nose and turns his head toward her. “Listen up, you want to sleep in the hallway or in my bed?”
“Is there an all the above choice? That’s what Zeke told me to choose in 8th grade,” says Nick.
Tina twists Nick’s nose.
“Tell the story.”
“Why didn’t you say so?” says Nick holding his nose making sure it is still part of his face. “I think my nose is broken. It’s the only nose I got. What am I going to do with a broken nose? I can’t trade it in.”
Nick pulls his head back when Tina tries to grab one of his ears, “Alright. About ten last night, Benny Spivak comes into the Sharp Razor with his two broads. I asks Johnny how does Benny know all these broads because Benny, he looks like the old movie star, Woody Gallon.”
Legos says, “Woody Allen.”
Nick says, “Who’s Woody Allen, a ballplayer or something. I never heard of him.”
Legos whispers, “If I wrote this stuff, nobody believe it.”
“Johnny says Benny got a special magnetism attracts the broads. I ask him what it is, not that I’m looking to attract any broads other than my beautiful broad, but if we was to have a son, I want to teach him all the tricks to attracting the broads.”
“I’m not gonna have your baby until you marry me,” says Tina.
“If you’re gonna have my baby you got to stop drinking,” say Nick.
“I’m gonna keep on drinking until you marry me,” says Tina.
“I gonna want son to follow in my shoes,” says Nick.
“Enough!” says Tuna. “Tell me why you got canned.”
Nick says, “Benny asks Johnny if he hears anything about who took his painting. Johnny tells Benny he’s gonna put the word out, if he finds anything out, Benny’s gonna be the first to know.” Benny’s satisfied. Before he leaves he puts down a grand on number 7 in the 7th race at Aqueduct.
“Johnny comes over to my cage, he says, ‘Who’d you tell?’ I says, ‘Me?’ I been here all night, Johnny.’ Johnny says, ‘I think you told somebody. I don’t know who you told, but you told somebody.’ I says, ‘How can I tell somebody when I told nobody. I don’t know anybody named nobody.’ Johnny tells me I am talking in circles, but that can’t be true, because I am sitting on a stool and not going no place. If I was spinning around on the stool, I could understand him when he says I was talking in circles. What does he say? He tells me I am fired. Then Johnny’s two gorillas get on each side of me and pick me up and carry me out and deposit me on the sidewalk. That’s the whole story.”
Tina takes another long drink. “I love the way Nick can spin story. I keep telling him to write this stuff down, he could be a famous writer if he could get a break.”
Tuna looks at Legos, “You got another bottle of Jack Daniels?”
Legos sets out two shot glasses, fills both. Legos and Tuna toss the shots down.
Tuna sets the shot glass down. He announces, “I’m gonna unveil my prize heist here because I am among my friends who would die before they rat me out, because if they rat me out they will die.”
“Tune, Tune, can I take it out and hold it up?” hollers Tony.
“Tune? You get to call Tuna, Tune?” says a hurt Nick.
“Uh huh,” says Tony.
“Okay, Tone, but be careful, we are talking millions if I am right. It was dark inside and I didn’t want to turn on lights, but I am sure I got the right one because it was the biggest one.”
Legos is thinking, the cops can’t catch these guys?
Tony pulls the painting out of the burlap bag and holds it high over his head. Tina hollers, “I know it. It’s from the movie Scary Night. They play it on cable every Halloween. It’s a self portrait by the star in the movie, Tommy Van Gong.”
Tuna slaps the bar with the palm of his right hand. “Nick, you was right. It is a Van Gone.”
Tina says, “They cost two-seventy-five at Walmart.”
Tuna taps Tony on the shoulder, “Tone, put the Van Gone in the bag, we gonna break into Benny’s house and put it back. I don’t want nobody thinking the Tuna don’t know his art. It could hurt my street rep. When we’re inside Benny’s house, maybe we can look around and get lucky.”
Tony says, “I got a question, can we wear the fedoras and the fake eyeglasses with the fake nose? Can we take a selfie with our disguise.”