You Smell Like A Skunk

Chapter 22

Zeke and Mickey rode in the back seat of the black BMW. Tony Gallino rode in the passenger seat, the driver thug drove. The driver thug was wearing driving gloves to prevent his hands from making smudges on the steering wheel. This was one Gallino’s pet peeves. He hated smudges. The thug took a left onto Walnut Ave. Cars lined both sides of the street. The only free spot was the space in front of the fire hydrant in front of the house where Nonna lived.

“There’s no parking spaces Mr. G. Want me to drop use off and wait at a coffee shop until you ring me?” said the thug.

“No need, Tony. The space in front of the hydrant is reserved for me. Since I’m with you, you can take my space,” said Zeke.

Gallino turned and looked over his shoulder at Zeke, “The cops let you alone if you park there?”

“They never bother me.  It’s the way it works.

Gallino said, “Interesting.” Then  he tapped the right shoulder of the thug, “Park in front of the hydrant. Don’t let anything happen to my car, you understand?” said Gallino.

“I gotcha, Mr. G,” said the thug.

Two minutes later, Zeke is knocking on Nonna’s door. Gallino is standing behind Zeke. Mickey is standing behind Gallino.

From behind the door, “I gotta no time the Jehovah’s today. Go knock on somebody else’s door.”

“Nonna, it’s me, Zeke,” said Zeke.

“I no gonna talk to you if one of those Jehovah’s,” said Nonna.

“I’m not one of them, Nonna. I’m with Tony Gallino, he wants to speak with you,” said Zeke.

“I can smell a Palitroni. You bring that scrunchy little bum with you? Don’t lie to me. I can tell when you lying,” said Nonna.

“I showered this morning,” hollered Mickey.

Nonna hollered back, “You Palitroni’s got the skunk smell. No way you can get rid of it. Anyway, you the drunken bum who drank all my dandelion wine. Now, Gino won’t come over until I get some more. I tell him he can’t come to my house until he take his blue pill, you know what I mean?”

Tony Gallino, wearing his three thousand dollar handmade suit, took his silk handkerchief out of his suit coat pocket and wiped his mouth. He said, “Nonna, it’s me, Tony. Can we talk business? These two schmucks are wasting our time.”

“Who you calling a schmuck? It’s okay to call Palitroni a schmuck, but you no call Zeke a schmuck. He’s just stupid and lazy but he gotta good heart.’

“I know what you mean about the Palitroni’s. You can’t trust them. Can I come in and we can make a deal?” said Gallino thinking he was charming Nonna.

“Okay, I’m gonna let everybody in, but I not gonna waste my food and wine on you. I tell you Tony, you try to seduce me, Rocco’s watching. He gonna ask one of the saints to give you a bad accident.”

“I promise, I won’t try to seduce you, Nonna,” said Gallino.

“Why not? Am I not pretty enough for you? Just because I don’t got those plastic things that stick out like a big grapefruit, is that the reason?” said Nonna.

Gallino, exasperated, said, “Yes, I want to seduce you, but I promise I won’t. It will hard because  you’re so beautiful.”

“Will you take me to your bed if you have a chance and I give in?” said Nonna.

“Yes, I’ll have you spend the night with me. We’ll make passionate love. But I promise I’ll be strong.”

“You a bigger fool than I thought, Tony. Now I gotta all this on my phone. Maybe I’m a gonna play it for the six o’clock news.  Know what I mean?”

“Can I please come in?” Gallino now, almost begging.

“Okie dokie,” said Nonna, taking off the latch, and opening three dead bolt locks, then turning the door handle.

Will Nonna and Tony Gallino cut a deal? What will happen to Zeke and Mickey? What’s in the package?


Is This A Remake of The Blues Brothers?

Farlo tooled the BMW down West River Road at an easy 70 miles per hour in a 35 zone. He hit the brakes, turned the wheels quickly to the right, went up over the curb, knocked a headlight off against a hydrant and came to a stop behind a car in a MacDonald’s drive through lane. He lowered his window.

“Welcome, can I take your order,” said a voice coming out of a black square with holes in it.

“Three Big Mac’s, hold the lettuce, hold the mayo, hold the tomato, hold the bun.”

“That’s highly unusual, sir. You’re missing most of the calories and don’t forget the best part, the saturated fat.”

“I like my Big Macs just the way they’re made,” said Joey.

“They’re not for you. They’re for Tina.”

“You treat me worse than a dog,” whined Joey.

“Tina’s more faithful. Tina’s always got my back. Tina’s smarter than you.” He turned back to the black box, “I’m not moving unless I get it my way.”

“Would you like to supersize your order, sir?”

“What the hell does that mean, I don’t have all day,” snapped Farlo.

“You can get a large fry, and a fried apple pie with your order, along with an added sugar 48-ounce drink, Sir.”

“Yes, hollered,” Joey.

“No,” hollered Farlo, louder than Joey.

“Please pull up to our pickup window, sir.”

“Give me those credit cards you pulled out of the glove compartment.”

“You’re committing a felony,” said Joey.

“I already committed a felony, I’m compounding it. Think of it this way, we’re doing a job that’s got to be done and on the side, we’re teaching Dr Big Bucks a big lesson. He’s done messing with the little guy.”

“I consider myself a little guy,” said Joey.

“You don’t count. Suck it up. We’re on a mission,” said Farlo.

“Is this a remake of the Blues Brothers?” asked Joey.

Farlo ignored Joey, slipped an American Express credit card to cashier, and said, “Add a five-hundred-dollar tip for yourself.”

“Thank you, sir. You are a saint. This will help me with my tuition,” said the cashier.

“Oh hell, make it a thousand. Stop crying. Give me my order, we’re on a mission,” said Farlo.

“Thank you, Mr. Belushi.”

Farlo left rubber as he peeled out of the fast food parking lot. He took a left on Sanger.

“Why are you going down Sanger, it’s out of the way?” asked Joey, who every other ten seconds turned his head toward the back seat and tried to steal a whiff of Tina’s meal, which was already consumed, digested and moving its’ way through the intestinal tract.

“You got to learn to think strategically if you’re going to work with me long term,” said Farlo. His words sounded like freight car a truck rolling over a gravel road.

“I don’t want to work with you, short or long term,” said Joey.

“Too bad, it was your one shot at advancement in life. When we rescue Harry J I’m going to drop you off, clean out my gear and leave you to rot. You’ll be jobless, kicked out of your home, living on a cardboard box under a bridge, and within two weeks standing on a corner with a sign reading, I don’t work, but I need food.

Joey sat silently staring straight ahead. “You ran a red light.”

“Purposely, fool. It was a red-light photo radar light. Sanger has ten red light photo radar lights and I plan to run red on every one of them.”

“Don’t you think you’re carrying this karma thing a little too far?”

“No. My only moral dilemma is that Harry’s life is in danger. If he was a safe hostage, I could really do some karma payback.”

“Did Karma ever pay you back?” asked Joey.

“I got stuck with you,” growled Farlo.

Nine more traffic lights, nine more red light photo radar lights. Farlo hung a left onto Maple. “You’re going the wrong way down a one-way street.”

“I know. I’m making up time we lost going down Sanger.”

“There’s a FedEx truck, watch it,” screamed Joey.

Farlo swerved onto the sidewalk, knocking over a trash can, clipping a no parking sign, and plowing through eight large black plastic bags of trash, one of which stuck to the BMW’s muffler.

Joey turned and looked out the back window, “There’s a cop car with lights flashing about one-hundred yards behind. We’re going to the slammer. I don’t want to go to prison.”

Farlo glanced in the rearview mirror. Quickly glanced over to Joey, “Hang on tight kid, don’t scream, when we come to a stop, hit the street running and follow Tina and me, it’s your only chance.”

Before Joey could say a word, Farlo, accelerated to 80 mph, ran two stop signs, then cut the wheels to the right, hit the brakes forcing the BMW to go into a controlled skid. The BMW turned sideways, teetered on two wheels, before settling down on four wheels blocking all traffic on Maple. Farlo unbuckled his seatbelt, opened the door, and jumped out. Tina followed. Joey, a bit more than a tad slower, followed fifteen yards behind, “Wait for me, or I’ll tell Filo,” he hollered.

Will they rescue Harry J? Will Joey quit working with Farlo? Who’s Filo?

You’re Going To Get Us Killed

The dark green, new BMW, with vanity plates reading DrBigBucks turned onto the freeway. Farlo slid the BMW into the driving lane between a 16-wheeler loaded with frozen chicken and oversized unmarked van carry ten undocumented workers.

“Watch it. You’re going to get us killed,” screamed Joey involuntarily tensing his body, closing his eyes and placing both of his palms on the dashboard. The blast from the horn of the 16-wheeler caused Joey to reach for the door handle. It wouldn’t budge.

“You’re going nowhere, kid. I got it all under control,” said Farlo as he pulled into the next lane cutting off an oversized pickup truck. The pickup truck driver pulled into the third lane and pulled even with the BMW. Farlo lowered his window.

“What do you think you’re doing? I don’t want to get involved in road rage,” pleaded Joey.

“Too late, kid. You’re in the middle of it and you’re not going anywhere. Never back down. Don’t take prisoners. Those have been my live by mottos for years,” Growled Farlo, with one eye on the road and the other eye on the oversized red pickup truck.

“You’re nuts,” said Joey.

“Get in line, kid. You’re not the first person to say that. You got to be a little nuts to work for Filo,” said Farlo.

“Who’s Filo,” asked Joey.

“Later, Kid. I think it’s go time,” Farlo watched the passenger side window of the oversized red pickup roll down.

Joey undid his seatbelt and slide to the floor, hoping any bullets would miss him.

The driver of the oversized red pickup looked over at the BMW with the vanity plate DrBigBucks, raised his automatic and pointed it toward the BMW.

The driver and Farlo went eyeball to eyeball. The driver hollered, “Farlo? What are you doing driving that piece of crap?”

Farlo said, “Mad Dog, where you fighting tonight?”

Joey hollered from the floor, “You know each other?”

Mad Dog said, “I can’t, I thought you were DrBigBucks. I tore my ACL and he wouldn’t operate on me because I didn’t have the right insurance.”

“Don’t worry, Mad Dog. I’ll text Filo and he’ll set you up with the best ortho in the business, no charge. As for DrBigBucks. His karma lesson is only beginning. You hear anything about Harry J?”

The line of traffic backing up behind Mad Dog and DrBigBucks was growing impatient. Horns began blaring. Sirens were heard in the distance. Mad Dog nodded and said something, but the noise from the other traffic was deafening. Farlo waved at Mad Dog and floored the accelerator.

“What did he say?” said Joey.

“I don’t know. I read his lips, but I’m not sure I got it all. Get off the floor and buckle up you pantywaist.”

“I am not a pantywaist. I used to shoot darts at the bar, before you entered my life.”

Farlo looked at Joey, shook his head, and veered to an off ramp, causing a dark blue Lexus to clip his left rear fender. The Lexus careened into the back of another Lexus that slammed into the back of a Mercedes.

Who’s Filo? Where’s Harry J? Who doesn’t Farlo know?