🐤 The Lucky Canary ~ It’s Time for Tough Love



Roxie shuffles through her handbag, finds her new iPhone, scrolls through her music app until she finds the background music she wants. She taps it and counts in three measures.

Little man, he’s the king

He don’t know a thing.

A cold wind’s blowing

He’s gonna shake.

 He’s gonna rattle.

He ain’t gonna roll

His bell gonna toll.

Tony lets go with an ear-piercing whistle. “Marry me. Marry me. Marry me,” Tony hollers.

Roxie looks at Tony, “Who you talking to, Legos or me?”

Nick and Joey high five.

Tony pays no attention. “If you give me your cell number, I’ll make you number one on my speed dial. That will make my mom number two. I’ll friend you on Facebook. I’ll follow you on Twitter, Tik Tok, and Instagram. I’ll . . .”

The Tuna says, “Enough. If Roxie’s interested, she’ll let you know. Maybe it’s time you start thinking of somebody else.”

“Is this tough love, Tune? I heard tough love was worse than doing hard time at Cedar Junction,” asks Tony.

“You don’t want tough love,” says the Tuna. He sips his wine. He glances at Legos. “I’m hungry for a margarita pizza. You mind ordering an extra large pizza from Caruso’s. I like their crust and sauce.”

Legos picks up his cell phone, phones in the order, he mentions the pizza is for the Tuna. Legos sets his phone down, “Johnny Caruso says he’ll make it personally in person for you. Johnny says no charge. His son, Johnny Junior gonna personally deliver it in person.”

The Tuna nods.

Roxie taps Legos forearm, “Ernie Testa thinks the Tuna is retired? I don’t know what’s coming, but I don’t want to be in the way.”

Tina says, “Tuna, maybe I should go to Ernie Testa’s pawn shop and tell him I’m interested and slip my icepick in and out, no blood. Maybe I can twist it around and around to make him suffer. I don’t like the way he disrespected you.”

Tinzi, “Ernie Testa puts a finger on you, I will personally cut it off and stick it up his nose,” says Nick.

“I can handle myself. I don’t need no man who won’t name the date to get married protecting me,” says Tina.

“Ouch,” says Joey.

“That one hurt,” says Tony.

The Tuna waves a hand. “Enough talk about violence. It’s Christmas. A time of peace and love. Nobody is gonna cut of Ernie Testa’s fingers or stick an ice pick in him. Ernie needs a little incentive to be a good citizen.”

Tony says, “What inventor does Ernie Testa need, Tune.”

Legos calls over from the bar, “It’s incentive, not inventor. Can I answer this one, Tuna?”

The Tuna says, “I think you are reading my mind, Legos. Go ahead.”

Legos says, “Ernie Testa is going to get some tough love.”

Tina fills her short glass, refills Tuna’s shot glass, and raises it and says, “May Ernie Testa get all the touch love he got coming to him.”

Clink. Clink. Clink. Clink. Over at the bar, clink.

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