Meanwhile down the street at Lena’s . . .
Lena has a pencil stuck through a gray bun on the top of her head. She is sitting on a stool at the bar using a dime to scratch, scratch off tickets. “I got a winner, Al. I finally got a winner,” Lena hollers.
Al, the bartender, takes his eyes off the big screen TV showing a rerun of a decade old golfing match. He glances down the bar toward Lena, “How much you win?”
“Five dollars. It’s not much. It’s better than the loser I married. I got a hot streak going,” says Lena reaching for the next scratch off card.
“Rocco wasn’t that bad, I liked him,” says Al.
“You didn’t have to live with him. He loved the horses more than me. He’d spend all the money I was making. The best day was the day he hit the tri-fecta, it paid five grand,” says Lena.
“Wasn’t that the day Rocco died of a heart attack?” asks Al.
“That’s why I said it was the best day,” says Lena
“How many losers have you scratched?” asks Al.
“You talking men or scratch tickets?” says Lena.
Al laughs and says, “I’ll stay with scratch tickets.”
Lena looks at a small stack of losing scratch off tickets. She glances back toward Al, “That’s besides the point, Al. Lady Luck just walked through the door.”
At that moment, the door to Lena’s opens. Al glances away from the screen toward the door. He says, “If Lady Lucky looks like an overweight, fiftyish, guy with a fedora, wearing clothes like he picked them off the rack at Goodwill, it’s your lucky day.”
Lena stops scratching scratch off tickets and does a half twist on the stool. It’s not Lady Luck, it’s Bogey. Bogey tips his fedora to Lena, flicks his toothpick from the right side of his mouth to the left side, adjusts his tie, and says, “Bogey’s the name and catching bad guys is Bogey’s game.”
Lena swirls back toward the bar. Al is standing opposite her. Lena says softly, “Why do we attract losers?”
Al shrugs and turns back to the golf match, “Tiger Woods is putting for the win.”
Lena says, “Wanna put ten bucks on if he makes it.”
“I already know the answer?” says Al.
“You clairvoyant or something?” says Lena watching Tiger Woods eyeing his putt.
“Yeah. I saw him make it ten years ago,” says Al.
Lena says, “I thought for a minute he was aging well. I take it back.”
Bogey slides on the stool next to Lena.
Lena glances at him, “That stool is reserved.”
Bogey pulls out a money clip and says, “Ten bucks says it my stool.”
Lena gives him the eye and says, “Nobody with a mustard stain on their tie sits in that stool. It’s a house rule.”
Bogey gets off the stool and moves over one stool. He picks up the bottom of the tie and pulls it up. He spits on the forefinger and middle finger of his right hand and rubs the mustard spot. He successfully spreads the mustard stain. Bogey lets his tie drop. He says, “I’ll give you twenty if you tell me all you know about the Dollar Store bandits. I’m hot on their trail.”
“Let me see the twenty,” says Lena.
Bogey pulls out a money clip. He counts off four five-dollar bills and places them on the bar next to Lena’s scratch off cards. “I got the dough if you got the info. Crime Stoppers is paying big cash for info leading to their arrest and conviction.”
Lena picks up the four fives, folds them and tucks them inside her bra. She says, “I Never heard of them.”
“That’s not fair. You took my money under false pretense. You should’ve told Bogey you didn’t know nothing before you took Bogey’s twenty,” says Bogey.
Al, who is a retired truck driver looks at Bogey, “You told Lena you’d give her twenty bucks if she told you what she knew about the Dollar Store bandits. She told you she knew nothing. It sounds to me like you’re trying go back on the deal. I’m telling you to drop it or I’m gonna drop you in the street.”
Bogey waves a five in front of Al, “How about you?”
Al says, “Do I look like a Dollar Store bandit?”
Bogey eyeballs Al up and down, puts his hand on his chin. “Nah, you’re too tall.”
“Good. I never heard of them,” says Al.
Bogey says, “Bogey heard this place was the hangout for losers, wannbees, and misfits.”
Lena turns her head slightly toward Bogey, “You’ll fit right in.”
“Ouch,” says Bogey. He slides off the stool and stretches.”
“You look like an overweight whale. You ever consider gastroplasty,” says Al.
“Bogey don’t have gas. Bogey can eat beans all day long and never fart. Is that something you get if you let go too much gas?” says Bogey.
Al rolls his eyes. “This is a bar, not an information booth. What do you want to drink?”
“Bogey likes cheap beer. Bogey will take three bottles and a little information,” says Bogey sliding on a stool two stools from Lena.
“We don’t sell cheap beer or information. The Lucky Canary has the exclusive bar rights to cheap beer in the city. We already told you we don’t know nothing about the Dollar Store bandits,” says Al.
“How’d the Canary work that?” says Bogey.
“I know. And, I know a lot about the Dollar Store bandits,” says Stella from the rear booth.
Bogey swirls on the stool. He looks at Stella who’s pouring a shot of Jim Beam. “What’s a hot dame like you doing in a joint like this? You should be stripping in Vegas.”
Lena looks at Al and says, “Ten bucks it’s not going to end well for the fat private detective.”