Goomba Columbus


Yo, Skeevy! C’mere!


Whattsa matter? You don’t like it when I call ya that name in front of that skank you’re hittin’ on? (’Scuse me, honey, no offense.) Better I should call you Sir Vincent Schiavoni, your Royal Freakin’ Lordship? Get your ass over here, okay?

There you go. What’s ’a matter, you ain’t got time for your Uncle Sal no more? C’mon over to the end of the bar so we can talk.

You should be proud’a that nickname, by the way; it’s from your family. Look at me; I was born Salvatore Moroni, so that makes me Sally Moron. Ya think I mind? It’s a badge of honor.

Whatta ya drinkin’ there? Vodka and tonic? That’s a wimp’s drink. Is that what they give ya in college? And what kinda place is this, anyway? Wickersham’s? Yuppie bullshit.

How did I know you were here? Your freakin’ XKE is sittin’ right out there in the parking lot, Sherlock.

Listen, you come home from school, you should be at Guido’s with the rest’a your family, not in a joint like this. Or are you some kind’a “Buckeye” now, whatever the hell that is?

No, don’t tell me; who gives a shit. Listen, ya missed Frankie’s funeral. Carmine was askin’ for you.

I know it was the same day as the Fiesta Bowl, big freakin’ whoop! Did they even put you in the game? Hotshot half back. Maybe next year they’ll let you start, and you can help us out a little, huh?

Jesus, will you look at your face? I’m just yankin’ your chain; you got no sense’a humor? Anyway, Carmine was askin’ where you were.

Whatta ya mean, he knew? You called him, and he gave you permission? Hmm. Well, I guess he must’a forgot, that’s all.

Nah, don’t worry; I’ll talk to him. It just slipped his mind at the time. Losin’ Frankie was bad, real bad.

Hey, I can’t stand lookin’ at you holdin’ that glass’a nothin’. Lemme buy ya a real drink. Yo, pub master of Wickersham! Landlord! Innkeeper!

Ah, there you are my good man. Pip pip and all that. Give this asshole here a Jim Beam straight up. And get me another one.

Okay, let’s wait a couple minutes ’til Sir Mixalot there gets finished and moves away, ’cause I wanna talk to ya about somethin’.

And stop lookin’ at that skank. What’s’a matter, you don’t get enough out there at Ohio State with all those corn-fed cuties?

Jeez, I can’t get over this tacky joint. Who designed it, Norman Conquest? Where’d that coat of arms come from, William of Orange, New Jersey? Sheesh!

Ah, shit, there goes my cell phone; hold on a minute. Incidentally, ya like that ring tone? It’s “Mala Femina” by Jerry Vale; you ever hear it? Nah, you’re too young. Wait, lemme see who this is…

Goddamn Angelina, she keeps callin’ me about every little thing. I’ll let her tell it to the voice mail. Lemme give ya some advice, kid: You get married, don’t let your wife know your cell number.

Okay, here we are. Very good, my dear chap. Tally ho, and all that shit. Thanks a lot, Monty Python; you’re all right. Keep the change.

So…c’mon a little closer, Skeev, ’cause I gotta talk soft. This shit with Frankie’s got everybody worried. The only thing we can figure is that Johnny Cootch found out about somethin’ we were doin’ in Brooklyn that Frankie was handling. Now, I know Frankie could get a little loaded sometimes and flap his yap, like he did in Guido’s over Thanksgiving. But that was just among us.

In fact, you were there too, ya might remember. That was one’a the times ya decided to favor us with your exalted presence. Anyhow, Carmine thinks we got a spy in our midst, but I can’t see it. Guys are picked up by the Feds, maybe, and they get flipped and they rat on ya, but that’s just ’cause they don’t wanna go to jail for the rest’a their lives. Betrayin’ your family to another family is the biggest friggin’ no-no there is. In fact, I never seen it happen. You don’t go against your own flesh and blood. Never.

Me, I think Frankie just ran his mouth and somebody heard him, but your Uncle Carmine, he’s suspicious. Maybe it’s ’cause he’s gettin’ old. Anyway, I just wanted to tell ya the situation.

Now, lemme see ya drink that Jim Beam like a man. To the family! Alla famiglia! Salute!

So, when’re ya goin’ back to school? Two weeks? Good, it’ll give ya time to spend with us. I was watchin’ at the end’a that Michigan game, when it was a blowout and they put you in. That was a good-lookin’ twelve-yard run you busted off. You’re okay.

Yeah, Ohio State must be nice. I mean, it’s in Columbus and he was Italian, right?

In fact, wait a minute; that just reminded me of somethin’. Doesn’t Johnny Cootch’s granddaughter go to that school? Yeah, yeah, she does, Maria Cuccinello. You ever run into her?

Whatta ya mean, how do I know Johnnie Cootch’s granddaugter goes to Ohio State? I keep tabs on people; that’s how I stay healthy. You never saw her there?

I know it’s a big place, but still, it’s possible, ain’t it? You and Johnny’s granddaughter? A little Romeo and Juliet, Capulet and Montego situation?

Jeez, look at you, for Christ’s sake! I’m just yankin’ your chain again. You gotta lighten up a little.

C’mere and give your Uncle Sally a hug. Okay, now you can go back to the skank. What happened, she took off? Hey, no big deal; plenty more where that came from, right?

Hang in there; you’re a good kid. I’ll see ya around.


* * *


Aldo, it’s Sal. Whatta you doin’ callin’ me on that cell phone, you nuts? Now I gotta throw it away. No, and don’t call me on this one either. I’ll get in touch with ya with a new number. Now, whatta you want?

You were just checkin’ in? Holy shit! You keep checkin’ in like that, somebody’s gonna be checkin’ out.

I hope Johnny Cootch appreciated the way I iced Frankie for him. Tell him that was just a show of faith, and it was only the beginnin’.

You tell him to keep watchin’. Pretty soon I’m gonna get Carmine to whack his own nephew, Skeevy the all-American. By the time I’m through with ’em, they’re gonna be so busy wonderin’ who’s rattin’ out who and knockin’ each other off that Johnny Cootch can just walk in there and pick up the dregs.

Some piece’a work, that guy; I gotta hand it to him. What other crazy old bastard kidnaps me off the street into the back of his limo, says he knows about my contact in the police lab that can test things for me, then cuts his own freakin’ finger, bleeds into a bottle, and tells me to go compare his DNA with mine?

Yeah, yeah, real eye-opener. I’ll tell ya somethin’, when this is over I’m legally changin’ my name to Cuccinello where it belongs. They’re gonna see who’s the freakin’ moron.

Talk to ya later, Aldo. Alla famiglia!