Sunday, October 13, 2002

Like I even want to be a friggin’ parade. Th’ whole idea’s ridiculous. Whadda I’m supposed to do, lead the Waste Management Bugle an’ drum corps? Wave to everyone like Princess Di? Besides today with these snipers, you don’t know. It would be ironic if I should catch some lead while I’m riding on top of a garbage truck like Santa in the Macy’s parade.

My dad took me to that one once. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. I think he had business to do, because I remember him and Uncle Jun were in bad mood, not sayin’ much on the way into the city. We went to the end of the route, which wasn’t much fun, seeing as the parade sorta quit about a block before it got to us. The bands weren’t playin’ anymore, the drum majorettes weren’t throwin’ their sticks, and most of the big balloons - which is what I was all excited to see - were already on the ground. It does something to a kid to see the balloon all limp and lyin’ there, like someone shot Underdog. I was waitin’ for Santa Claus, which I didn’t believe in anymore like I did as a kid, but he was the boss of the season and I understood that you had to pay your respects. So the last float shows up and it’s got Santa, all right, and he’s chatting with one of the elves, and I hear Uncle Jun swear something fierce. It was unusual for him to swear in front of the kids back then. Me, I took it as a sign that I wasn’t one of the kids, so I was pleased. Mind you I wanted to see Santa, but I wanted to be someone Uncle Jun felt free to curse around. You know the age.

So my dad gets all agitated too, and they’re staring at Santa. That him? No, that’s not him. That so-and-so, who does he think he is. We hang around for a while longer then we go back home for one of Ma’s trademark moisture-free turkeys.

I ask my dad about this later - much later, when we could talk about this sort of thing, and he laughs; you remember that? Turns out he and Uncle Jun went to collect on Santa. The guy was into them for 10 large. But the real Santa left town and they put a replacement Santa in his place.

That’s my first parade: goin’ to break Santa’s leg. I think of that every time I see the parade on TV on Thanksgiving. I mean, just because a kid don’t believe in Santa no more doesn’t mean you want to your father take a crowbar to his kneecap.

So thanks for the offer, but you’ll excuse me if I sit this one out. Parades and me we don’t exactly get along, if you know what I’m sayin’.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Here’s what kills me about this Iraq thing. I was reading today in the Star-Ledger that some of Saddam’s lieutenants tried to whack him, which I frankly find ridiculous; a man in his position is not likely to have a sit down where anybody but his most trusted associates have come heavy. It’s one of those check-your-coats-at-the-door situations. But let’s say, I don’t know, they surprise him in some Bagdad steak house, al-fuckin’ Sparks or somethin’. And bang, bang, he’s gone. Whaddya do then? In the old days, you’d either leave him there so the Daily News could take a photo suitable for framin’. Or you find a guy who’ll let you use his bathtub and you ruin a coupla hacksaws on the mope. Point is you are careful to recede into the background.

But in Iraq, see, now you got these guys who’ll run to the feds the moment they’ve whacked Saddam. They do the deed, and the next item on the agenda is finding Uncle Sam. Hey, Mr. Army Man, you know that hit on Saddam in the barber shop? That was us, give us a parade! Oh, you want proof it was us? Here’s the gun. Here’s my witness. You’re welcome. No problem. Anytime.

Whole world’s upside down.

I’m not sayin’ Saddam doesn’t have it comin’. I read this article in a magazine Carm left in the bathroom - she don’t read them, but God forbid someone should use one of our cans and not be impressed by her choice of readin’ material - and it was talkin’ about how Saddam keeps everyone in line. He’s some bad shit. He puts the squeeze on children. I got no time for that. But it’s like he set up his own thing on a national scale, with his own family all over the place. It’s as if this thing of ours ran America, and the UN’s the Feds.

I wish. Jesus, if the Feds were like the UN they couldn’t so much as put a tail on someone without unaminous approval from all fifty states.

I don’t know why I’m worrying about this. It ain’t like there’s not enough bragiol on my plate. I just don’t want anyone I love to get the smallpox, for one thing, and for another it would fuck up the business somethin’ large if there’s germs all over the place. I mean, how do you collect on a guy who’s got a quarantine sign on the door? I can hear it now: Tony, I’m light this week, I got the smallpox. I’ll make it up to you. Cough Cough. And the guy’s all sick and covered with sores - you’re gonna break his knee? You could get somethin’ on you.

A guy like me don’t think of being patriotic and all, ‘cause it doesn’t come up, but it’s been botherin’ me since that 9/11. Especially since we got a taste off that scrap metal coming from the World Trade Center. That didn’t feel right.

If anything happens, and they set up some, y’know, widows and orphan fund, I’m givin’ them my cut, and I will strongly suggest the rest of the crew does the same.

They’re standup guys, but they can be such goddamn buzzards sometimes. And buzzards are one ugly fucking bird.

Monday, October 07, 2002

So I walk past the bar on my way to the back room and someone says “Hey Tone, you’re lookin’ happy. You got that shotgun shine.” And I just nod and think, whatever you say, pally, until later I wonder: what the hell was that supposed to mean? What kinda of a whackjob sits around and shines a shotgun? With what, shotgun polish from that Reformation Hardware store Carm loves? I mean a shotgun makes a pretty good argument on its own. Ain’t no one who sees one thinks, oh, that’s a shiny shotgun, now I’m worried. Unless it’s supposedly to be some metaphor for chokin’ the canolli, like, “he’s off in the can shining the shotgun.”

Who was it that said that, anyway? We need to have a little talk.

Sunday, October 06, 2002

Thought: why do we say “I’m gonna rip your head off and piss down your throat’’? Why the last part? The guy’s dead. He’s not gonna notice the indignity. I think the worse thing you can say to a guy is that you’re not gonna rip his head off, because that would be like an act of charity compared to what you are gonna do. A guy hears “your head is stayin’ on no matter how much you beg,” well, you got that guy’s attention.

I think we have a problem with cliches, is all I’m saying. It’s all them movies. Next guy who says “say hello to my little friend” is gonna say goodbye to some little teeth. I’m sick of it.
Okay, here we go. Not sure this is such a great idea - any of the boys find out I’m writin’ stuff down, the wrong people are going to get nervous. But no one will ever see nothing; that’s why I’m putting this on Meadow’s old computer. No one’ll look there.

I don’t know anything about these computers, but I know that you’re supposed to use a word reprocessing program, and this “blogger” thing must be it.