It was 4 am, and a tipsy Nicky Knuckles sat in a booth facing the front door of Dave’s Corner, situated on the corner of Broadway and Canal. He was sipping coffee between sniffles, he had gotten as a result of all the coke he had shoved up his nose earlier that night.
Dave’s Corner had been a New York City legend for years. Besides 24-hour inside seating, Dave’s Corner had an outside service counter on the Broadway side that serviced late night drunks and cabbies looking for a bite to eat before, or after they went on duty.
Nicky heard the front door open and in walked Tony B, Junior and Skinny Benny, all three half in the bag themselves. Nicky waved them over to his booth.
“Slide over, I’m sitting next to you,” Junior said.
Nicky did as he was told. Tony B sat opposite Nicky and Skinny Benny sat next to Tony B.
A young, pretty black waitress, with a rack big enough to serve dinner on, came over to their table. She was wearing an hearing aide in one ear and she spoke louder than normal. “Menus, Gentlemen?”
“Nah, no menus,” Tony B said. “We’re stuffed from before. Just bring us coffee and keep filling up our cups.”
“Yes gentlemen,” the waitress said. She smiled and sashayed toward the kitchen in the back.
Four sets of eyes followed the rotation of her rear end, until she disappeared into the kitchen.
“Madone, what a pair of jugs on that Tutsoon,” Nicky said.
Junior nudged Nicky with a sharp elbow. “Don’t be cabbadost. The poor girl’s half deaf.”
“Yeah,” Tony B said. “You’re acting stounad. Show some manners around here.”
Skinny Benny shrugged his shoulders. “But she does have some knockout body.”
Tony B put his forefinger to his lips. “Shush, she on the way.”
The waitress, carrying a huge tray, stopped at their table. She placed a cup of coffee in front of each of the four men. Then she put a large pot of coffee and a sugar shaker in the middle of the table. “Will there be anything else, gentlemen?”
Nickey smiled. “How do you know we’re gentlemen?”
The waitress smiled. “Because I have a big gun in the back, in case you aren’t gentlemen.”
That said, she did an about-face and headed back to the kitchen, as four sets of eyes followed her again.
Tony B took a sip of coffee. “Alright, let’s get down to business.” He stared right into Nicky’s eyes. “Tell Skinny here what you saw in the Village.”
Nicky looked timidly at Skinny Benny. “Look. I don’t like being a rat or nothin’, but what I saw had to be reported.”
Skinny Benny’s eyes narrowed. “Go on.”
Nicky wiped his nose with a handkerchief. “I was walking on Greenwich Street two nights ago. I was looking for this bar that I heard had some hot chicks always there. Looking to get made and laid.” He smiled like a loon. “You know what I mean.”
“Forget the broads,” Tony B said. “Get to the main point.”
“So I’m walking past this parking lot on Greenwich Street,” Nickey said. “When the back of this daisy-train trailer pops open and out jumps Crappy, holding hands with a blond twink, maybe about twenty years old.”
Skinny Benny leaned across the table and stuck his forefinger in Nicky’s chest. “You know what you’re sayin’ here, right? Bad things could happen to good people, if you’re freakin’ wrong about this.”
Nickey sniffled. “I know what I saw. I ain’t blind and I ain’t stupid.”
Tony B said, “One out of two ain’t bad.”
Junior grabbed Nicky’s arm and squeezed. “Nicky, you’re high right now. And I know you must have been high two nights ago. So think very carefully. Are you sure it was Crappy you saw? Not someone who looks like Crappy?”
“Nobody looks like Crappy,” Nicky said. “It was him alright.”
“I don’t believe this junkie bastard,” Skinny Benny said. “Crappy is no homo. This kid must have had hallucinations.”
Tony B turned to Junior. “What do you think we should do?”
Junior took a sip of coffee. “I don’t know what we should do. I wasn’t there with Nicky when he saw, or he thinks he saw Crappy. I think we need further evidence before we act.”
“I was thinking the same thing,” Tony B said. “I say we get Louis J. Lombago into the act. He has a few private dicks he works with. Let them tail Crappy for a while. A week, or two at most. If they find out Crappy had been sucking the wrong thing, then we gotta put this degenerate dog down. Nobody can be trusted who goes down on the pole. Agreed?”
“Agreed,” Skinny Benny said.
“Now that we are all gathered here, there’s something else we have to discuss,” Tony B said. “There was an attempt on Junior’s life by some Chinks in Columbus Park. We have to do something about that, or they’ll be banging us up the ass forever.”
“Whatever you say, boss,” Skinny Benny said. “I’m getting tired of being pushed out of our own neighborhood by those slanty-eyed bastards.”
“I believe you have to cut off the head of a lion to make sure he’s dead,” Tony B said. “So that means Hung Far Low has got to go.”
“Why don’t we just whack that dumb bastard and the girl who tried to kill me?” Junior said. “Maybe we can negotiate some kind of truce with Hung Far Low after that. That way we can avoid an all out war.”
“I don’t know,” Tony B said. “The key is Hung Far Low. We erase him, our problem goes away. There’s nobody else in charge. Without Hung Far Low, the gook gangs will run around like a Chinese fire drill in a hurricane. We kill the Chinese Bonnie and Clyde, we still gotta deal with Hung Far Low.”
“I’m with Tony B,” Skinny Benny said. “Let’s kill the fat bastard Hung Far Low.”
Nicky Knuckles wiped his brow with a napkin. “Well I think……..”
Tony B cut him off in mid sentence, “Who gives a crap what you think? You’re just here to shut the fuck up.”
“Look Dad, think over what I just said,” Junior said. “Nobody wants an all-out war. Then we’ll have the cops up our ass and all our monkey-making projects will ground to a halt. It’s a lose-lose proposition for us.”
Tony B took a sip of coffee. “OK, let me think it over.” He stuck his forefinger close to Nicky’s nose. “But I want that dumb bastard Yuan Dum Fuk dead. Capeesh?”
“No problem,” Nicky said. “I’ll take care of him.”
“And I want the ugly Chinese broad, with the flat nose and big boobs, dead too. Understand?”
“Leave it to me. That Chink broad’s dead too,” Nicky said.
Tony B snapped his finger for the waitress. She sashayed over to the table. “Anything else, gentlemen?”
Tony B pointed to Nicky Knuckles. “No, just give the check to this guy and we’re done.”
She added up a few numbers, handed the check to Nicky, then headed back to the kitchen.
Four sets of eyes, etc., etc, etc……………………………
“And leave her a big tip,” Tony B told Nicky.
Nicky covered the check with a ten dollar bill.
“Cheap bastard,” Tony B said. “Leave the broad a twenty.”
“For four cups of lousy coffee?” Nicky said.
“That’s right,”Tony B said. “The girl’s gotta earn. And she’s half deaf to boot.”
Nicky replaced the ten spot with a twenty dollar bill.
The four men got up from the booth and exited Dave’s Corner.
The waitress went back to the table. She snatched the check and the twenty dollar bill and stuffed them into the front pocket of her apron. Then she picked up the cups, sugar shaker and the coffee pot and put them on a tray.
Back in the kitchen, the waitress unscrewed the top of the sugar shaker. There was a tiny microphone attacked to the inside top of the shaker. She spoke into it, “Got all that Sergeant Molloy?”
Through her “hearing aid” she heard Sergeant Molloy say, “Yes Detective Jackson. Loud and clear. Ten four. Over and out.”
- Joe Bruno on Boxing -DeNiro-Scorsese
- Nobody Asked Me But—Who’s Funding the Mosque at Ground Zero?
- It Started at the Red Apple Rest
- Sitdown at Forlini’s
- Who Put the Pinholes in the Condoms?
- The Warwick Drive-In
- Firework Season
- Seward Park High School
- Fid Big Fat Fanny Fast–Chapter One