🐤 The Lucky Canary ~ Will He Catch the Dollar Store Bandits?


Legos, the bald, burly, apparent descendant of King Kong, bar tender and forty percent owner of The Lucky Canary, opens The Lucky Canary for business. He steps outside, looks up Spring Street, twists his head and looks down Spring Street. He sees no sign of Tony, Nick, or Tina the first three daily customers. Legos shrugs, turns, and glances at the yellow neon sign. He notices the L in Lucky is burned out and some wise acre painted an F around the burned-out L. Legos makes a mental note to get it fixed. He steps walks into The Lucky Canary letting the door close behind him. He makes his way across the floor to the bar, turns to the right and walks to end of the bar, and steps behind the bar. Legos takes the remote and turns on the large screen TV setting it to Channel 4. He turns around, takes the Boston Herald from under the bar and opens it to the editorial page and spreads it out on the bar.

Legos starts reading an op ed piece railing against vegetarians putting butchers out of business. He skips to the next op ed piece when the door to The Lucky Canary swings open. Legos looks up from the newspaper and sees a five-foot five-inch man wearing a dark brown fedora tilted down and to the left. The man is wiggling a toothpick dangling out of the corner of his mouth. He’s wearing a tweed sports coat too small to fit over his beer belly. An out of style wide tie with a loose Windsor knot hangs from below an open collar next to his second chin. Legos tries to make the guy but can’t. He knows the guy isn’t from the neighborhood. Legos is sure the guy is a cheap beer drinker by the look of his belly hanging three inches over the man’s belt that’s holding up Walmart style khaki chino pants.

The guy stands in the doorway entrance and scans the room. He pulls on the sleeves of his twenty years old tweed sport’s jacket fixes his gaze on Legos and says, “The name’s Bogey.”

Legos says, “Uh huh.” He goes back to reading the paper.”

Bogey says, “Bogey says, the name’s Bogey.”

Legos glances up and says, “Uh huh, you gonna stand there or are you a paying customer? I don’t have time for third person chitchat. I don’t care what your name is.”

Bogey waddles over to the bar, reaches into an inner pocket in his sports coat and pulls out a business card and sets it on the bar next to Legos.

Legos ignores the card and turns the page to the obituaries.

Bogey says, “Bogey will have a cheap beer and some information.”

Legos turns around takes a step back and opens a glass refrigerated door. He pulls out a can of cheap beer, pulls the tab, and sets it in front of Bogey, “That’s two bucks upfront. You want a glass?”

Bogey puts a ten on the bar and chug-a-lugs the cheap beer. “Bogey will have another. Let Bogey know when the ten goes dry.”

Legos brings another cheap beer and sets it in front of Bogey. He returns to his newspaper.

Bogey says, “When do people start showing up?”

Legos says, “Who wants to know?”

Bogey says, “Bogey wants to know.”

Legos thinks, what am I missing by not talking in third person. Am I nuts or is everyone else nuts? Legos decides to play along. He says, “Who is Bogey and why does Bogey want to know?”

Bogey reaches into his pants pocket and pulls out a money clip. He says, “Bogey hears money talks.”

Legos says, “I only hear you talking.”

Bogey says, “Bogey hears on the grapevine that was the way you was sposed to talk in this neighborhood.”

Legos is thinking the guy’s a private detective and not a good one. He’s been watching too many TV shows. Legos says, “Not everybody in the neighborhood. This is a high-class joint. You want to talk third person go down to Lena’s at the end of the street. Anyway, I haven’t seen a grapevine in the neighborhood. I’ve been here ten years. I don’t know what you are talking about.”

Bogey chug-a-lugs the cheap beer, makes a fist, and punches himself in the solar plexus causing a long, loud burp. Bogey wipes his lips with the back of his right hand. He says, “Bogey will take another cheap beer. The name’s Bogey. . . .”

Legos says, “I get that much.”

“Bogey’s a private investigator and he’s got a lead that the Dollar Store bandits use this honky-tonk as their home base,” says Bogey spitting as he speaks.

Legos waits until Bogey’s spittle settles, then takes a step to the side to stand in front of Bogey. He leans over the bar bracing himself by placing two sledgehammer sized fists on the bar and brings his bowling ball head within an inch of Bogey’s head. Legos says, “I take offense at you calling The Lucky Canary a honky-tonk. The Lucky Canary has nothing to do with the Dollar Store bandits.”

Bogey leans back raising his hands in surrender, “No offense intended. I’m after the reward and my nose tells me I’m getting close.”

Legos straightens up and stares at the reddish, purple bulbous nose. Legos is thinking Bogey you’re in over your head.

Before Legos can speak, the door to The Lucky Canary swings open.

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