🐤 The Lucky Canary ~ Why Is Stella Popular?


The Tuna sits back in his chair, folds his hands, rests them on his stomach, and closes his eyes.

Tony taps Nick’s shoulder, “Did the Tuna die?”

“I don’t know. I’m afraid to ask him,” says Nick.

Legos wonders for a moment if this is one of those dreams that seems real but isn’t real. It feels like a dream, the stuff happening only can happen in a dream. Legos is waiting for his leg to jerk so he can wake up.

The Tuna opens his eyes and reaches for his wine glass, “Tone, Stella is the most popular fitness instructor at the Fitness Center . . .”

“You’re not dead, Tune? I thought you was dead,” says Tony.

The Tuna turns to Tina, “What’s he talking about?”

Tina looks at the Tuna and says, “If you was asking me if I was paying attention to what Tony said, I got to say no mainly because he don’t even know what he is talking about and that is in his good moments,” says Tina.

The Tuna sips his wine. “Tone, Stella is popular with all the men at the Fitness Center. You see what I’m saying.”

“Is it because she’s buff?” asks Tony.

“She’s buff, but the guys at the gym know she’s buff in all the right places from first-hand experience, you catching on?” asks the Tuna.

“Un-un,” says Tony.

Tina taps Tuna’s arm, “Tuna you want me to rip the band aid off? He’s got to hear it. Tony’s not bright enough to pick up on the subtleties you are tossing at him.”

“I don’t see no subtleties Tune is tossing at me. What do they look like? Are they round or square? Where’re they going?” says Tony.

The Tuna shakes his head no and says, “Tone, I am gonna try a different way. I’m gonna get personal. How’s your sex life?” asks Tuna.

“It was great until Stella got so popular. Now, she’s too tired for sex except on the weekends. When we get it on we is at least top ten,” says Tony.

“According to who?” says Tina.

“Mrs. Marzelli on the floor beneath us. She bangs on the ceiling when we’re making too much noise,” says Tony.

“Tone, Stella is telling anyone at the Fitness Center who wants to listen she’s faking it. Stella got a lot of hobbies going and none of them with you,” says the Tuna.

“I don’t believe it, because if it was true she could be in the movies,” says Tony.

Legos says, “You mean . . .”

The Tuna interrupts Legos, “Don’t say what you was gonna say if you was gonna say what I think you was gonna say.”

Legos wonders if the Tuna can read minds or if the Tuna is as nuts as the others at the table.

Tina interrupts, “Nick, when are you gonna propose?”

Nick says, “I was waiting for the Tuna to finish working with Tony. Then I was planning to propose at the Saint Anthony festival.”

“That’s already gone by for the year. Remember how I had to help you home? The hole you are digging keeps getting deeper and deeper. You’re making stuff up so you don’t have to propose. I don’t want to talk to you and I don’t want you talking to me ever unless the words out of your mouth are ‘will you marry me?’”

“I think Tina is proposing to you, Nick. You gonna accept,” says Tony.

The Tuna taps Tina’s arm and shakes his head. The Tuna says, “I’m gonna cut all the meat away from the bone, Tone. How can you love a woman who would fall for a fool like you?”

Nick trying desperately to avoid any more talk of marriage jumps in, “The Tuna makes a good pointer, Tony. You are bigger fool than most fools, especially when it comes to women. You’re even a bigger fool than me and I’m a big fool. You’re only hearing what you want to hear and not hearing what you don’t want to hear.”

Tina says, “That’s the first thing you said today that has the ring of truth. You are a bigger fool than most fools.”

Nick says, “Thanks, Tinzi. Are we cool?”

The Tuna puts his hand on Tina’s left forearm, “I understand you want to split Nick’s head with a shot glass. Toss a shot down, you’ll feel better.”

“I love you, Tuna. I wanna have your baby,” says Tina.

Nick says, “Huh?”

The Tuna laughs, “I don’t know no bigger fool than Nick, even Tone. If Nick don’t see the diamond in front of him, there’s no one can help him.”

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