Legos pulls up the collar on his dark woolen full-length coat. He pushes his hands deep into his coat pockets as he trudges through two inches of slush on the way to The Lucky Canary. Legos has a checkered red and black scarf wrapped around his head partially covering his face leaving only his eyes exposed. His navy beanie with a Patriots’ logo covers his bald head, forehead, and ears.
Legos gives an involuntary shudder as he turns the corner from Hale Street onto Spring Street and steps into a brisk northeasterly wind off the ocean. He looks down the street toward The Lucky Canary. He spots Nick Donato and Tony Abatti standing in front of The Lucky Canary waiting for him to open for business. Legos mutters, “Why, why, why me?”
Tony notices Legos and waves, cups his hands around his mouth, and hollers, “Legos, hurry, I’m freezing my nuts off. Where you been? We been waiting fifteen minutes.”
Legos, who looks like an oversized grizzly bear, stares at Tony who’s wearing jeans, old Nike’s, and a green Boston Celtics t-shirt. Legos says in his Boston accent, baritone voice, “You’re gonna freeze more than your nuts off, it’s twenty degrees with a wind chill of minus seven. Where’s your coat?”
Tony answers, “I thought you was gonna open early seeing Christmas is in three days.”
Nick jumps in, “I told Tony he should wear a hoodie. But Tony don’t have no time to look for his hoodie since it is dirty with his mom’s spaghetti sauce stains.”
Legos doesn’t answer. He trudges down Spring Street, steps past Nick and Tony and carefully takes the two ice covered steps down to the door to The Lucky Canary. He fumbles with his keys.
“Toss some hot water on the steps, Legos. It will melt the ice,” says Nick.
“The hot water will freeze, and it will be worse,” says Legos opening the door to The Lucky Canary.
Nick says, “You ever hear of a hot shower freezing? You’d probably be a millionaire if you listened to me and Tony.”
Legos thinks, I’d probably be in prison if I listened to the two of you. Legos says. “Where’s Tina and the mutt?”
Legos steps inside The Lucky Canary and goes directly to the thermostat.
Nick says, “Tinzi won’t leave the shower. She says she’s gonna stay in the shower until winter is over. I told her winter doesn’t start until we get the first snowstorm over two feet.”
Legos adjusts the thermostat, the heat kicks on. He turns and looks at Nick, “Where’d you hear that?”
“It’s what they teach in school,” says Nick.
“I could never get that straight,” says Tony. I thought winter started on New Year’s Day or is it Valentine’s Day. It’s one of the two. I’m sure.”
Legos mutters, “Those will be winning answers on Jeopardy.”
Nick says, “Thanks, Legos. You don’t have to tell nobody we told you when winter starts.”
Legos says, “I won’t tell anybody, believe me.”
Tony says, “Him too.”
“Who?” asks Legos.
“Anybody,” says Tony.
Nick and Tony walk over to the corner table. Tony hollers, “When you got a second, bring us cheap beers. Make sure they’re cold.”
“I’m making coffee. I set the temp on fifty-eight overnight. It’ll take a while to warm up. The coffee is on the house,” says Legos as he bends over to grab hold of a bucket of rock salt to toss on the steps leading into The Lucky Canary.
“Legos, you ever try putting rock salt on pizza to bring out the flavor?” says Nick.
Legos is near the door. He stops and turns toward the corner table, “What are you talking about?”
“Pizza,” says Nick. “What do you think I was talking about, shrooms?”
“Where’s my cheap beer? It warms me up,” says Tony.
Legos is wondering if the cold weather totally froze their brains. He flips both guys the bird and steps outside to put salt on the steps.
Nick says, “Legos got a bad attitude today. He really needs a girlfriend. He ain’t been right since Shirley dumped him for Jimmy Fratelli.”
“What does Fratelli have that Lego don’t have?” asks Tony.
Nick says, “Jimmy got a nice head of hair, brand new car, and he’s on the move in the Testa organization.”
“Legos don’t have no hair except on his arms, his back, and his chest,” says Tony.
“That’s true, bald used to be in but now it’s out. The broads like a full head of hair. Combovers are deadly,” says Nick.
“Where’d you learn this stuff?” asks Tony.
“I read the gossip mags at the market when I’m standing in line,” says Tony.
“Why do you read that stuff?” asks Tony.
“The gossip magazines are the only ones that tell the real news,” says Nick.
“You are the man, Nick. I wish I was as smart as you,” says Tony. He turns his head and calls to Legos, “Legos, you ever thought vesting in hair plugs?” says Tony.
Legos steps back in The Lucky Canary walks across to the bar and around it. He heads toward the back room. He turns to Tony and Nick steps, “It’s investing and I’m happy with the bald look. Go grab a beer behind the bar. I’m busy opening up.”
Tony looks at Nick, “You want me grab some pretzels, salted nuts, and pickled eggs if I can find them when I get the cheap beers?”
Nick says, “Legos says you can grab the cheap beers, he didn’t say nothing about the other stuff.”
Tony, who is now behind the bar, says, “He didn’t say not to grab the stuff, so I got to think he wants us to take anything we want so he won’t be bothered later.”
Nick says, “I can’t argue with the way you’re thinking. You shoulda been a lawyer.”
Tony says, “I thought about it, but I don’t like to wear a tie. The lawyers I seen on TV all wear ties. I gotta be free.”
Tony opens the cooler and picks up six cheap beers. He sets them on the bar. “Nick, grab the beers, I’m going after the food.”
Nick walks to the bar, grabs the six cheap beers and heads back to the table. Tony follows him cradling a jar of pickled eggs, jar of dill pickles, box of pretzels and a large jar of salted nuts in his arms.
Legos steps out of the back room looks at the table, shakes his head and says, “Either of you guys know how to fix a frozen pipe? I got a frozen pipe in the back. I don’t want it to bust. I don’t see how this week can get any worse.”
Tony turns around to Legos, “Timmy Apolito might know. He’s a plumber.”
“You got his number?” asks Legos.
Tony says, “No, I heard somebody say Timmy Apolito is a plumber’s appendix.”
Legos says, “You mean apprentice. Who’s he working with?”
Tony says, “A plumber. I don’t know which one.”
Legos pulls out his iPhone and begins Googling plumbers near me when the door to The Lucky Canary opens and Legos week is about to get worse.