Having the Crime of My Life
After a few beers in the garage I mentioned to Easy and Wes that my ideal job, aside from Human Cannonball, was Underworld Figure. They were raised on TV, like me, so it made perfect sense to both of them. Hollywood had educated us so thoroughly on every useful aspect of life that we became worldly beyond our years before hitting puberty. Those lessons stay with you through life.
My latest career choice seemed ideal as we pooled our collective knowledge. The criminal underworld is full of the fast-talkin’, the street-smart, the unshaven, and the misunderstood. You spend your days hanging out in poorly lit pool halls and old-man bars. The women are gorgeous and clever, the scores are easy, everybody drinks but nobody gets drunk. You get a cool nickname like Knuckles, The Greek, or Forty-Four. Everyone carries a gun, but only three-time losers or chumps who are in over their heads get shot; anybody with common sense hides behind tipped over card tables and open car doors. The cops are all on the take and the only real heat comes from “those damn Feds” or an outside crew lookin’ to bring either drugs or sex trafficking (you know, the only “bad crimes,” exclusively the trade of psychos, the Yakuza, and the Russian Mob) into your territory. Your leather jacket is a perfect fit and goes with anything in your wardrobe – it has always got a pack of smokes and a roll of bills wrapped with a rubber band in the pocket. A few bucks can always be spared for the local church or orphanage, and you understand when they don’t want to hear where the dough came from. There’s a kid with potential down the street who you can take under you wing, but his mom’s a church going lady so she’s gonna’ take some convincing (not leg breaking convincing, buying flowers convincing). At least one guy at your table is always sitting backwards in his chair and another is cutting an apple with a switchblade.
“That’s it. Decision made, “ I said. “I can be unshaven by tomorrow. We can probably find a pool hall now.”
Easy wants a new nickname and Wes is just about to call his boss to quit, when … enter Action Man. He grew up in England and therefore did not have the benefit of awesome television (the BBC has like three channels; one for Doctor Who, one for Faulty Towers and Monty Python, and the last one for soccer). Action, for all his pop culture deficiencies, did grow up obsessed with the only British superhero worth discussing, James Bond. We revealed to him the new plan. He was immediately interested, but, true to form, suggested that if we went into the Super-Spy business instead we’d get to travel and regularly wear disguises.
“Damn it! All right boys, the Brit makes a good point. Go get some martinis and your fanciest explosive cufflinks. We’ve got a decision to make.”
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Attention lonely geeks! “Drunk” is only a superpower at Red Sox games and ex-girlfriends’ weddings.
MONDAY – Movies. Their glory and their hilarious tragedy.
TUESDAY – Television. Our favorite drug; constant and comforting, but often packaged with regret.
WEDNESDAY – Wildcards! Probably a piece of weird fiction in which Spider-Man has to talk down Laura Ingles from making a bad decision.
THURSDAY – Thesis-level Dorkdom. Jargon, geek terms and weird insight explained for the rest of us.
FRIDAY – Fantasy, Sci-fi, and comics. Like living in your parents’ basement only without the inherent desperation. Well…