It was a bright sunny afternoon, and Yuan Dum Fuk sat on a park bench in Columbus Park, facing Mulberry Street, a knife tucked in its sheathe and wedged under his belt and covered by his black leather jacket. He was reading a Chinese newspaper, upside down, figuring no lo fan would know which side was up, or which side was down on a Chinese newspaper anyway.
Three benches away, Peggy Soo sat feeding peanuts, with the shells still on, giggling as she watched the pigeons frantically pecking away, but to no avail. She had her purse slung over her shoulder, with a small 25 caliber pistol safely inside. Her red Camaro was parked just outside the park on Mulberry Street, near Bayard, with the engine running, so they could make a quick getaway.
It was lunchtime, and the park was packed with people who worked in the Criminal Court Buildings, located on the Baxter Street side of the park. Milling about were office workers, cops, court officers, assistant district attorneys and even a few judges. Some were eating their brown-bagged lunches. Others were just sitting back on the benches, relaxing and letting the sun warm their faces. A group of old Chinese woman stood in a circle in front of the old Park House near Bayard, practicing kung foo exercises.
Finally, Yuan Dum Fuk spotted Junior walking a huge German Shepard in the softball field and heading right towards him. He watched as Junior used a baggie to pick up the dog’s poop and shove it into a white plastic grocery bag. The bag seems ready to burst.
Yuan Dum Fuk whistled to get Peggy Soo attention. She stopped feeding the pigeons, spotted Junior, and nodded to Yuan Dum Fuk.
Junior exited the softball field, with Brutus leading the way, and headed towards where Yuan Dum Fuk was sitting. Junior nodded curtly to Yuan Duk Fuk as he passed him, never suspecting anything could happen. Not at this time of the day, with the park teeming with people. Some of them cops and court officers, who carried guns.
As soon as Junior was halfway between Yuan Dum Fuk and Peggy Soo, Yuan Dum Fuk pulled out his knife and charged at Junior, whose back was turned to him. Junior spun around and Yuan Dum Fuk sliced at Junior’s face with the knife. Junior let go the leash and flung the bag of crap right into Yuan Dum Fuk’s face. The bag exploded on impact, covering Yuan Dum Fuk’s face, neck and chest with the residue of Brutus’ healthy lunch.
An instant latter, Peggy Soo leaped from the park bench and reached for the gun in her hand bag. Before she could draw it, Brutus jumped on her chest, knocking her to the concrete floor. The gun slid several feet away.
By this time, Junior had Yuan Dum Fuk pinned to the floor, and with both fists, he was using Yuan Dum Fuk’s face as a pinata. Blood and dog feces sprayed in all direction, some dotting Junior’s dungaree pants and blue cotton shirt. Satisfied the Chinaman had had enough, Junior picked up Yuan Dum Fuk’s knife and slipped it under his belt.
While Brutus was occupying Peggy Soo’s attention with his teeth, an old Chinese man riding a bicycle drove by, then stopped. He bent down, picked up Peggy Soo’s gun and cycled right out of the park and into oblivion.
In seconds, about a dozen cops and court officers surrounded the combatants. One uniformed cop conned Brutus off Peggy Soo, with half a ham sandwich, which Brutus gladly gobbled up. Two more uniformed cops pulled Junior off Yuan Dum Fuk. The Chinaman scrambled to his feet, stained and smelling not too sweetly. Junior had a slight odor problem himself.
“What the hell’s going on here?” a burley Irish-looking cop said.
Junior turned to the cop, who he knew was on his father’s payroll. “Nothing, just a friendly disagreement between friends.”
“So no one wants to press any charges?” the cop said.
“Not me,” Junior said.
The cop turned to Yuan Dum Fuk. “How about you? You want to press any charges?”
“No charges,” Yuan Dum Fuk said. “I just want to go home and clean up. No smell too good.”
The cop then turned to Peggy Soo, who was wiping the blood off her hands with a paper towel. “You feel the same way?”
“No charges,” she said. “I’ve had enough of this park anyway. I want to get into my car and go home.”
“All right,” the cops said. “Now all of you, clear out of here.”
As Junior grabbed Brutus’ leash, Peggy Soo and Yuan Dum Fuk headed towards her running red Camaro, 100 feet away.
Junior turned and headed toward the softball field. The cop grabbed his shoulder and spun him around. “Tell Tony B I’ll see him tomorrow.”
“I’m sure you will,” Junior said.
With Brutus leading the way, Junior strode into the softball field towards his apartment in Chatham Green, just a few blocks away.
Peggy Soo and Yuan Dum Fuk were fifty feet from her red Camaro, when two black teenagers appeared from nowhere. They jumped into her red Camaro and burnt rubber, speeding past the red light on the corner of Bayard, then heading north on Mulberry Street.
Peggy Soo and Yuan Dum Fuk ran as fast as they could after the car, knocking over anyone and anything in their way. As luck would have it, there was no traffic on Mulberry, usually a clogged artery of cars, and trucks making deliveries. The Camaro reached the corner of Canal in no time. It made a right on a red light and headed towards the Manhattan Bridge a few blocks away.
Huffing and puffing, Peggy Soo and Yuan Dum Fuk reached they corner of Canal. They both stood transfixed, as they watched the Camaro weave in and out of traffic, past red lights, across heavy traffic on the Bowery, it’s horn blaring like a fire engine. Then onto the ramp to the lower level of the Manhattan Bridge and out of Peggy Soo’s life forever.
“Don’t worry, you got insurance, right?” Yuan Dum Fuk said.
“Yeah, I got insurance all right,” Peggy Soo said. “But I don’t think it will cover the five thousand dollars in cash and the two pounds of pot that I have hidden in the trunk.”
Yuan Dum Fuk tried to put his arm around her shoulder to console her. She jumped back. “Don’t touch me! You smell like shit!”
He withdrew his arm. “How do we explain this to the boss?”
“Explain what to the boss? That was my pot and my five thousand bucks. The boss has nothing to do with it.”
“No, I mean, what just happened with Junior.”
“Don’t worry,” she said. “You’ll think of something.”
She abruptly turned her back on Yuan Dum Fuk and left him standing there, smelling like a cesspool.