Legos turns to the door and sees a short, thin, guy in a black topcoat, and dark woolen fedora step in carrying a black leather valise. The guy has black rubbers over his expensive black cordovan shoes. Legos, who’s still wearing his coat and stocking hat, says, “I’m not open unless you’re a plumber and know how to unfreeze a pipe.”
Nick says, “Nice look with the fedora. You get it at the Dollar Store?”
The guy turns slightly toward the corner table, “Dollar Store? I bought the fedora online at Nordstrom.”
“I never heard of Nord Storm. Is that a discount house like Railroad Savage?” asks Nick.
The guy says, “Do you mean Railroad Salvage? Nordstrom, a discount house? You’ve got to be kidding.”
Nick looks at Tony, “Do I look like I was kidding.”
Tony says, “You don’t look like you was kidding, because if you was kidding I’d be laughing.”
Nick says, “I never seen a Nord Storm in this neighborhood. Is it a mom and pop shop?”
Before the guy can answer, Tony jumps in, “I seen lots of fedoras since the Dollar Store bandits been around. You one of the Dollar Store bandits? I won’t say nothing if you are. What anybody says in They Lucky Canary stays in The Lucky Canary, that’s a house rule.”
Nick says, “What are those things on your shoes?”
The guy says, “Rubbers.”
Tony and Nick high five. Nick says, “Rubbers don’t go on your shoes. Didn’t you learn anything in school?”
They guy shakes his head and asks, “Where’s the manager?”
“Who’s asking?” asks Legos.
The guy says, “I’m Warren Staples, I represent Ernie Testa. He is going to buy The Lucky Canary.”
“It’s not for sale,” says Legos.
“Mr. Testa told me not to take no for an answer,” says Staples.
Legos says, “I’m in a terrible mood. It’s cold. I have a frozen pipe. The coffee’s not done. And, I don’t like Ernie Testa. If you ask again, I will carry you out and toss you in the slush.”
“You tell him, Legos,” hollers Tony.
“Yah,” says Nick.
“Mr. Testa said I was to make you an offer you can’t refuse.”
“Tell Ernie he’s been watching too many movies. He’s no Godfather. He’s a small-time hood.”
“Way to go, Legos,” says Nick.
“I don’t need your help,” snaps Legos.
“We got your back,” says Tony.
“I don’t need your help either,” says Legos.
“Mr. Testa won’t be happy,” says the guy.
“Tell Ernie his unhappiness is my happiness,” says Legos.
“Pour it on,” says Tony.
“Want me toss him out?” asks Nick.
“I’m leaving. I’m sure you’ll be hearing from Mr. Testa directly,” says the guy taking his valise and walks out.
“I can’t imagine my day getting worse,” says Legos as his call to a plumber goes directly to messages.
Legos no sooner utters those fateful words when the door to The Lucky Canary slams open and . . .