Have Hemorrhoids – Need Treatment?

I hardly slept. La Flor and LC went off to bed excitedly talking about the next caper. O’Leary is tracking down the perps who demolished Francine Peony’s home. La Flor told O’Leary Francine did it for the insurance. The crazy part, I’ve never seen La Flor happier. She’s in love with LC. LC is in love with her. She loves Big Carmen, LC’s father and head of the mob. And, I have a 70 year old hit man, short, skinny, big beak, ears that can lift him off his feet if the wind gusts over 30 mph taking up residence in my house until the heat blows over. What’s wrong? Plenty. Let’s find out.

“Hey Ray, where’s breakfast?” demanded Lil Carlo.

Lil Carlo has his shirt off, he’s wearing a tank top t-shirt. I see a tattoo of a nude woman on his skinny left bicep. He’s got his unfastened shoulder holster draping over his shoulders. His gun isn’t in his holster, it’s in his hand.

“You want a bagel? Oatmeal?”

“You got Fruit Loops?”

“No.”

“How about Pop Tarts?”

“No.”

“What kinda joint is dis? Any respectable joint gots Pop Tarts. It’s got Fruit Loops. It’s got real butter. It’s got whipped cream. It’s got gelato. You got gelato?”

“No.”

“What’s wrong wit use? Use is gonna have to change use act, if use wanna stay on my good side, said Lil Carlo staring down the barrel of his gun.

“What’s your good side?” I asked.

“Dis side over here,” he said pointing to his left side with his gun.

“I’ll remember that. How do you stay so thin, eating that kind of food?”

“It’s my metabolism. I can eat anyting if use put marinara sauce and cheese on it but kale and Brussels sprouts.”

The lovers make their entrance, AKA La Flor and LC, “Where’s breakfast, Ray?” asked La Flor.

“I jus asked him da same question. He got no good answers for me, or for anybody else as far as that goes. I got to say, my trigger fingers gets itchy when my blood sugar gets low.”

I took a 20 out and handed it LC, make an emergency run for me, LC. Get Lil Carlo whatever he wants. Pick up something for La Flor and you.”

LC brushes my hand aside. “Keep the Jackson. My beautiful, tough, and edgy dynamo will gets food for use and the company we expects to drops by now and then,” said LC.

“That’s generous, LC,” I said with a sense of gratitude.

“Not to mention it. We’re not paying for it. We’ll appropriate it from the Logan’s chain warehouse.”

“You’re going to steal it?” I said, my sense of gratitude evaporated.

“No. Rocco works there to supplement his income. I’ll call him and tell him to have it ready to go,” said LC.

“Rocco’s stealing it,” I said.

“Wrongo, Ray. Sorry for using Spanish. Rocco is packaging it for redistribution and we’s the re-distributors. Chow (that’s how he said it instead of ciao).”

As La Flor and LC are walking out O’Leary is walking in. I hear him say, “Can use make it three dozen glazed, I’m on a diet?”

O’Leary walks into the living room. He stops when he sees Lil Carlo and his gun. “Dr. Funguli what are use doing with a gun?”

Lil Carlo appears confused for moment, then catches up. “Tanks for noticing. Dis is not a gun. It only looks like a gun. It’s the latest thing to put suppositories where they supposed to go. It’ll hold six suppositories at once. If da hemorrhoids are real bad, it’ll shoot all six up at once. You got hemorrhoids need treatment? I can help?

“No tanks, I still have cream in the medicine cabinet,” said O’Leary.

I break this conversation, “What’s up with the investigation of the explosion at Peony’s house?” I asked.

Before he can answer, La Flor and LC walk in. LC’s carrying four boxes. La Flor is holding his hand guiding him. She doesn’t do boxes or bags. LC sets the boxes down, “Here’s use Fruit Loops and Pop Tarts, Lil, I means Dr. Funguli. Here’s three boxes of glazed, O’Leary. Here’s a case of veggie burgers, Ray-mo. As for us, we gots our coffee and breakfast sandwiches from Starbucks. It’s nice how they donated them to us. The barista said we was the 73rd customer the day. So’s we the lucky ones.”

I don’t want to ask. I don’t want to know.

“Man, dees glazed are da bomb,” said O’Leary.

“It’s all in da glaze,” said Lil Carlo or Dr. Funguli.

“I stooped by to tells use, Peony cracked and signed a confession this morning,” said O’Leary.

“She did?” I said.

“Yah. It happened after her new lawyer, Joey “the mistrial” Bugali talked to her.

LC bumps me with his elbow, “He’s Big Carmen’s lawyer.”

O’Leary continued, “It’s not going to court. Mickey “The Calzone” Donati got her to agree not to ask for insurance and she promised to invite him to her next party.

“I knew she was guilty. I knew it. I knew it,” said La Flor.

“Use was right, beautiful, tough, and edgy kid,” said O’Leary trying unsuccessful to sound like a noir PI. Then he added, “I gots to run. Chow mein.” Did he mean ciao?

La Flor motions us all to the table, “I’m only going to say this softly, so listen up. It’s on for tonight. Be ready to go at 11.”

“Huh?”

What’s on for 11 tonight? She’s excited? LC’s excited. Lil Carlo is gnawing a Pop Tart with his false teeth. Come back tomorrow to find out.

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It’s Not Unusual

It’s two days since La Flor, LC, and I attended the famous writer, Francine Peony’s party. La Flor and LC went to case the house and report to Big Carmen. Me? I was listed on the invitation and hoped I’d meet her literary agent. Instead, I met Vinnie, one of Big Carmen’s enforcers, a senior citizen security guard, and I was insulted by Francine Peony. La Flor told me Big Carmen runs the most exciting organization in the city. I know she and LC are cooking up a scheme to break into Francine’s 12,000 square foot home soon. Let see what they’re up to.

I’m watching La Flor speaking excitedly to someone on her cell.

“Yes.”

“Yes.”

“Okay.”

“It’s all set?”

“You are the master. If LC ever leaves me, I’m yours.”

La Flor shuts her cell down, gives LC a thumbs up then looks at me, “That was Big Carmen. The three of us are going in tonight. Peony is going to an invitation only wine tasting event, followed by dinner at the Skylark. I don’t understand why I didn’t get an invite. When we’re in her house, if I find my invite, she’s in big trouble.”

“Yah, she’s in big trouble and that starts with P,” said boy genius, LC.

“Close, LC. I’m not going,” I said.

“Ray, Ray, Ray. You are the slow learner. I have three words for you that might help you make a better decision,” said La Flor.

“They better be good, because I’m not going.”

“Use wants me to says them?” said LC.

“Let’s take turns. Keep an eye on him to see when he caves in,” said La Flor.

“Ray, first word. Vinnie.”

“Ray-mo, second word, Rocco.”

My pulse rate is elevated. My heart in knocking so loudly against my chest cavity, I may have a noise complaint filed against me with the HOA.”

“Ray, third word, Tony.”

10 hours later.

I look at my cell, it’s nine-forty-five. We’re on the street where she lives. That line reminds me of a song (apologies to My Fair Lady). My car is parked against the curb, we’re sitting and waiting. Another car pulls up a hundred yards ahead on the opposite side of the street. The driver turns the lights off. The car looks familiar. I’m trying to place it.

La Flor and LC stop kissing for the moment. La Flor tapped me on the shoulder, “Ray, pull up to that car, put my window down and let me do the talking. Just smile. Is that asking too much?”

“Who’s in the car? I asked.

“O’Leary. He told LC he was on stakeout tonight. LC, genius that he is, asked him where. O’Leary told him. If I find the snitch, they’re off my Christmas list. I bet it was the mystery blog writer. She sticks her nose into everything.”

“It’s big enough,” said LC.

“Why do you want to talk to O’Leary? He’s a cop?” I asked.

“Ray, Ray, Ray have a little faith in me,” said La Flor. Sorry Bon Jovi, the song came to mind.

That’s my trouble, I have too little faith in her.

I pull up next to a beat up 15 year old Saturn. They don’t make them anymore.

La Flor’s window is down, “Hi O’Leary, we’ve been looking all over for you.”

“I’m on a secret steak out (that’s how he said it). Nobody knows except the twenty or so people I  told. Man, this is tough duty. I’m starvin, Marvin.”

“Use talking about Marvin Brightwater, the basketball player,” asked LC.

“No. I was talking bout Marvin Schlopes, he owns Donut Heaven on the other side of time. He’s closed now. I could go for a dozen glazed. They’re no calories, they’re so light.”

“Well, O’Leary, I’ve got good news and bad news for you. Which do you want first?” said La Flor.

“I don’t think I can take much more bad news. Netflix went up on the subscription. I ran out of body soap, so I was using shampoo for body soap, and when it was time to wash my hair I didn’t have any shampoo left. I got stuck on the toilet and realized I forgot to put a new roll on. I accidentally put the ice cream in the fridge instead of the freezer.”

I couldn’t take anymore. “Please, La Flor, tell O’Leary the good news.”

“Joey’s donut Shop is open late tonight. He’s got a special going for an hour and a half. Any policeman who shows up gets all the free donuts they can eat.”

“It’s not unusual (Sorry Tom Jones) for the chains. How come Joey’s staying open?” asked O’Leary.

“My cousins, Vinnie, Rocco, and Tony suggest to Joey to toss a benefit for the cops. They’re peoples after all,” said LC.

“Use guys wanna watch the house for me?” O’Leary pleaded.

“Love to, but we’re on mission to help someone get down off her lofty perch.”

“Is she under suicide watch? I saw an NCIS film once about that,” ask O’Leary.

La Flor turned to me. I shrugged.

LC said, “Let me handle it.”

‘The beautiful, tough, and edgy wonder woman is a trained shrinkologist.”

“Good luck guys. It’s quiet around here. I’m heading to Joey’s.”

O’Leary turned on the lights, the siren. peeled rubber, and was off to Joeys.

La Flor said, “We’re going in and that means you too, Ray.”

“Huh?”

I’m caught in a trap, I can’t look back, … sorry Elvis, the song came to mind. Come on by tomorrow to catch the action.

You Can’t Keep Straddling The Fence

Why did I create La Flor? I’d like to uncreate her, but I can’t. She won’t let me. Okay, I get it. She’s beautiful, tough, and edgy. But she’s walking a fine line. On one hand, she’s La Flor. On the other, she likes bad boys. She head over heels over LC and waiting in the wings is Big Carmen, LC’s father, and head of the mob. She’s been a PI, lawyer, doctor, model, matchmaker, what’s next? Her matchmaker episode almost got me arrested for withholding evidence from O’Leary, the Irish cop. What was the evidence? A cream filled donut O’Leary wanted. I hear La Flor coming out her bedroom, let’s see what she’s up to today.

“Hi Ray, writing another boring blog?” said La Flor staring at her iPhone X as she walked by.

“No, my blogs are insightful, inspirational, and lots of fun,” I said.

“Why are you defensive, Ray? Don’t answer it, because you don’t know the answer, but La Flor does,” said La Flor switching into third person as easily as switching into the passing lane on a divided highway.

“Okay, why am I defensive?” I asked.

“Oh my, Ray’s asking for advice? Here’s the deal, you can’t keep straddling the fence. You’ve got to stop walking on the balance beam. You’re so close to edge you’re about to fall in oblivion. One step the wrong way and the alligators will have you for a snack.”

“Enough with the metaphors, La Flor. What tightrope am I walking? How far out on the edge am I? Am I walking on thin ice?”

Sorry, readers. It’s the only way one can communicate around here and have any chance of being understood. The odds are still 100 to 1 against me.

“LC and I think you’d be a perfect fit in the organization,” said La Flor.

“The organization? What are you talking about?”

“Big Carmen’s charitable organization where he gets donations from the rich and gives part of them to the poor. He’s thinking of expanding, ” said La Flor.

“No thanks.”

“Big Carmen told me he needs someone who is beautiful, tough, and edgy to work full time in his unadvertised business. My resume is perfect.”

“You haven’t agreed, have you?” I asked.

Before La Flor can answer, an explosion from the front part of the house. “Geez, Ray-mo, use needs better hinges. I busted use door trying to open it,” Hollered LC from the entry way.

I hollered back, “Did you try the nob or use your shoulder again?”

From the front foyer, “I taught da nob was for decoration.”

“Easy mistake,” said La Flor.

LC slid into the living room on his knees holding a brief case and offering it to La Flor as some sort of gift or sacrifice. I’m not sure which.

La Flor placed the briefcase down. She patted LC on his head, then said, “Before I open it, I don’t want to be disappointed. I going to do the checklist. Did you get their cell phones?”

“Checks.”

“Did you get all the swag bags?”

“Check a doddle.”

“Did you take all their diet pills, caffeine laced tablets, and baggies of cocaine.”

“Eyes over it like pepperoni on pizza, which by the way is the special tonight at Carmen’s Pizzeria for only six ninety-two for pickup. Delivery, you got to add two dollars.”

“Perfect. Let’s sit down and open it. I want you toss the diet pills, caffeine tablets, and cocaine. I’ll keep the swag bags and cell phones.”

“Hold on,” I said.

“Ignore him, LC. He’s going to go into one of his preachy moods again.”

“I’ll tunes my brain to FM 101.3. They play my favs,” said LC.

“FYI, Ray. LC and I don’t believe in putting drugs in your body. Most of models are anorexic, so we’re doing a big fav for them,” said La Flor.

On the street. A siren. The screeching of brakes. A car door slamming. A knock on the front door, “Open up it’s the police.”

LC hollered, “That use, O’Leary?”

“Yah. I gotta go. Can I use the toilet?”

La Flor hollered, “Yes, but use the one in Ray’s room.”

Ten minutes later, O’Leary saunters into the living room, “Use gonna need a plunger a little later, Ray. I advise staying away for an hour or so.”

La Flor went to the kitchen. She came back a minute later, “I stopped Ray from eating all the donuts this morning. I hoped you’d come by. Here’s a bag of six of your favs.”

“Tanks. I need some help. Somebody stole all the swag bags and purses from the Elite Model’s show. We found the purses next to the dumpster, but they didn’t have nothing in them. Any word on the street?”

La Flor doesn’t miss a beat, “I don’t want to send you in the wrong direction, but I saw something on, was it Facebook? Twitter? Snapchat? Instagram? Oh, one them.”

“Gives it to me, I bust this case, I might a promo,” said O’Leary. His voice muffled by a donut that filled up eighty percent of his oral cavity.

“I hear it was Tonya La Twerp. I mean Tonya Come Lately. I mean Tonya Too Little. I mean Tonya Trouble with two capital Ts.”

“Use telling me this was a gang effort? I’m counting four perps.”

“Das is correcto,” said LC.

“I don’t know Spanish. Can use say it in English?” said O’Leary.

This is how it went as O’Leary ate one donut after another. He left when I crossed my heart promising there were no more donuts in the house. O’Leary said he was out to take the gang of four Tonya’s off the street for good.

Come back tomorrow to see how it plays out.

If Only You Were More Romantic

You’re probably what I’m doing hanging around with this cast of characters? I’ve wondered the same thing many times. It’s one of those questions without an answer. I’ve tried to escape, but each time I’m sucked back into their lives by an external force. Enough of my problems. We left off with poor Carmela who has a thing with TT being coerced to “test drive” O’Leary for a week. Carmela is in love with TT a former writer for Dr. Phil who is now Big Carmen’s family manager. Big Carmen sent TT off to New Orleans to meet with family (aka other mob members). Let’s see how it plays out.

Carmela eyes are filled with tears. She’s biting her lower lip. Her face is flushed. O’Leary looks away from his pizza and turns toward Carmela. He stares at her. Then he said, “Dat’s a good look.”

La Flor nudges LC, “It’s working. O’Leary falling for Carmela.”

I overheard her comment. I whispered to La Flor, “What about Carmela?”

“Look at her, Ray. Just look at her. She’s falling crazy in love with O’Leary. She’s filled with joy.”

“She’s about to cry, La Flor.”

“They are tears of joy. She’ll finally be free of TT. Oh, La Flor you are brilliant. And, such a good person,” La Flor likes both first and third person.

“LC talk some sense into La Flor,” I pleaded.

“You talkin small change? I can talk McKinley, Franklin, and Cleveland. But I ain’t gonna talk cents.”

“Why don’t you too love birds sit on the sofa. Ray will bring your food and drinks over. O’Leary, help Carmela out of her seat and escort her over,” said La Flor sounding more like a drill sergeant than hostess.

La Flor grabbed hold of LC’s arm and pulled him to the sofa. They sit down before O’Leary can take one more bite of pizza.

With La Flor and LC on the sofa, there is only enough room on the sofa for a tight squeeze for two ultra thin people. Carmela may have to sit on O’Leary’s lap. It’s called the donut effect in medical circles.

O’Leary stands, walks behind Carmela’s chair. Carmela hasn’t budged. “You da shy type. I can sees dis. Me? I’m more of da opposite. Likes they say opposites detract.”

“Just look at Carmela, LC. Her mascara is streaking down her face she’s so happy. I hope they hook up tonight. Let’s encourage them,” said La Flor.

“You’ve gone too far, La Flor. I’m not going to put this in the blog,” I spoke in a low firm tone.

“Too late, Ray. We’re live streaming.”

“Huh?”

“Since use is too shy to helps me. I will slides use out and carries use over to da sofa, chair and all,” said O’Leary pulling Carmela out. Carmela holds on to the edge of the table with a jaws of life grip. O’Leary tugged. Carmela tugged back.

“LC go and pry Carmela’s fingers loose. We can’t let her shyness block true love,” said La Flor.

I tried a different tact, “O’Leary, here’s a cream filled powered donut you missed. If you don’t get it, someone else might.”

O’Leary let go of Carmela’s chair. I stood on the opposite side of the table. The donut sat on a small paper plate.

“Hand it over, Ray,” said O’Leary in a cop voice.

“You have to come around the table and get it.”

“We can do this the hard way or the easy way,” said O’Leary.

“What’s the hard way?” I asked.

“I’ll book use for withholding evidence from a crime scene,” said O’Leary.

“What crime scene?” I asked.

“The one where somebody reports you’ve been mugged for a donut,” said O’Leary taking a swipe across the table at the donut.

I heard a car door close. Not a slam so I knew it wasn’t one of LC’s relatives. My doorbell rang. I knew it wasn’t Big Carmen. It rang again.

“LC please get the door. It could be important.”

“Whoever it is send them away from this love nest,” said La Flor.

I was doing my best to avoid O’Leary’s increasing aggressive swipes. He was leaning over the table. His belly resting on two slices of pepperoni pizza. I heard LC open the door.

“Is my darling here? I’m back early from New Orleans sweetie.”

Carmela jumped up from her chair, rushed past O’Leary, avoided the blocking hands of LC and did her version of the leap, knocking TT to the floor. TT lie prone on his back. Carmela straddling his stomach showering TT with kisses and mascara.

I tossed the donut to O’Leary. He caught it in his right hand and brought it in one motion to his mouth. When he finished, he wiped his mouth on the back of his hand and said, “Tanks for doing it the easy way.”

“I know better than to mess with the city’s toughest detective,” I said.

“You just ruined love, Ray. If only you were more romantic,” said La Flor.

“Like you and LC?”

“Exactly.”

 

Are You Wearing A Wire?

Not dinner catered by Lorenzo’s the upscale Italian trattoria down in the Italian village. No, it was dinner catered by Carmen’s Pizzeria, owned by Carmen DiMarco, better known as Big Carmen. Big Carmen has a number of other interests going, all of which make my night’s sleep less than optimum. Why? La Flor has taken up with Big Carmen’s son, Little Carmen, who is bigger in size than Big Carmen, but the two names stuck. La Flor encourages LC (what everyone calls Little Carmen) to follow his dream. His dream? To eventually take over for Big Carmen, but first he has to earn his chops the hard way. It became complicated when O’Leary, a donut loving, bad coffee drinking, Irish cop, entered the scene. He’s friends with La Flor and LC. In today’s episode, La Flor sets up, the hapless O’Leary with Carmela, La Flor’s understudy or whatever.

“Ray, I don’t call Carmen’s Pizzeria dinner. Especially when we’re going to eat out of cardboard boxes. Do you expect pizza in cardboard boxes to set the love stage for O’Leary and Carmela,” said La Flor.

“I’m not the matchmaker. Besides, Big Carmen is tossing in blue plastic cups to go with his house wine. And, it’s all free, there’s one small catch that I don’t agree with,” I said.

La Flor threw her arms up in the arm, “It’s already a disaster. Blue plastic cups for house wine? What were you thinking?”

“I was thinking free. Besides, O’Leary doesn’t know good from bad.”

“That’s true and Carmela is such a ditz, she doesn’t know what day it is. It might work. What did Carmen want you to do that you won’t do, that I might do?”

“He wants to know where O’Leary plans the next stakeout,” I said.

“That’s all? Isn’t that covered under the Freedom of Information Act? Don’t forget I was a lawyer for a day,. Why couldn’t Lorenzo’s cater?” asked La Flor.

“Lorenzo was already catering Luigi Bigalo’s thirtieth celebration. Even Big Carmen’s attending. He’s the guy who has the upper and lower Northwest side.”

“Oh no, that means Vinnie and Rocco are making the pizzas tonight and I don’t trust them.”

“Why?”

“Well, I do trust them, but I don’t want their fingerprints on the boxes with O’Leary being here. Know what I mean?”

“La Flor, I think you need to move away from Big Carmen’s business. Where’s LC? O’Leary and Carmela will soon be here.”

“He had a special errand to do down by the freight yard.”

“What kind of special errand?”

“He’s righting a wrong. He’s scoring one for the good guys. He’s putting the bad guys down. He’s really a super hero, that’s what LC is,” said La Flor. Her eyes beaming with pride.

“Tell me more,” I said.

La Flor moves closer to me, “Let’s step out on the patio in case the Feds have your house bugged.”

“Why would the Feds bug my house?”

“I don’t know, but Big Carmen says you can’t take chances.”

We walk to the patio door. I open it. We step onto the patio. La Flor said, “You’re not wearing a wire, are you?”

“La Flor you’re making me nervous.”

Then she whispered, “LC is breaking into a freight car and taking all the goods.”

“That’s wrong,” I said.

“No. The goods were already stolen by the Russian mob. So, LC is really taking them from the Russians and redistributing the goods for a fraction of their cost. See how he’s helping the poor people. He’s really a saint.”

“He’s doing this alone?”

“No, his cousin Tony, uncle Tony, and uncle Tony’s son, Little Tony who is also a cousin are helping him. Lil Carlo is driving the U-Haul.”

I don’t want to know any more. My house might be bugged. I don’t want to talk to the Feds. Then the door. My poor door crashes against the wall. I have a deep dent in the steel wall plate I had installed there. The voice, “Beautiful, tough, and edgy woman of my fantasies I’m home.”

La Flor brushed me aside, ran to the entry way and did her leap into the waiting arms of the man in black pants, black t-shirt, black latex gloves hanging out of his pants pocket, and a black ski mask stuck between his belt and waist.

“Does I has time to change before O’Leary and Carmela get here?” asked LC after the two minute kiss.

A car door slamming, a voice from the yard, “It’s the police, I mean O’Leary since I’m not official tonight. Okay if I park on your lawn?”

“Never mind, Ray-mo. I’ll wear these clothes. I looks good in them,” said LC.

“Yes, you do. You are lighting my fire, you hunk.”

The door is still against the wall, O’Leary comes in, “I brought a six pack of beer, Styrofoam cups and a bag of jelly donuts. You think I’ll impress Carmella?”

Come by tomorrow to find out how it all goes down.