Thursday, October 27, 2011

Once Upon a Time in the Bronx-The Conclusion (Thank God)

"You suck!"
"No, you suck!"
"Well, you're dead!"
"Oh, yeah? Well, you're fat.  And dead.  But, lemme ask ya."
"Who's that guy behind us?"
"I don't know.  But, he's dead, too."

     It wasn’t surprising that the Yankees went one-two-three in their end of the ninth, losing a game which seemed a lock.
    As we trudged towards the exit, we were surrounded by fans who swore they’d love to get their hands on the crazy kid with the Red Sox cap.  After seeing their eyes, I was glad Donny wasn’t with us.
"Wait! Wait! I lost a contact!"
    “Look!  There he is!”
    The crowd froze.  Dozens of people turned around to catch a glimpse of the Yankee Killer.  I jumped up and down, hoping to spot Donny.
    Just then, he burst through the crowd.  Several hands reached out to grab him, but they couldn’t latch onto his sweat-soaked arms.
    Without breaking stride, he bolted past us through the exit.  Followed by a chorus of jeers, he disappeared into the humid Bronx night.    
    “Guess he’ll meet us at the car,” Mr. Spagnoula commented. 

Dude?  Who knows?
Weirder than batshit? Definitely.
    As we shuffled onto the street where we had parked, I began to feel a little better.  After all, it wasn’t as if the Yankees were going to the World Series that year, anyway (SPORTING AL’S NOTE:  They didn’t.  You’re welcome.  You can save those Google searches for something important.  Like whether Lady Gaga is a dude).  Plus, it gave me a chance to tell how my idiot friend managed to run around Yankee Stadium with a batting practice ball in his jeans.
    “I thought I parked here.”
    Mr. Spagnoula stood, puzzled, in the middle of the street. 
    Hoping he was just a little confused by too many hot dogs, I searched for the little red beetle.
    But, while the panel truck was gone, the van with the plywood windows was still there.  Mr. Spagnoula’s car should have been right behind it.
   “I know this is where I left it.”
    Spags scuffed the street with his dried ketchup toe, “You think it was towed?”
    Mr. Spagnoula ran his hand over his sunburned head.  “I think so, but-”
    “Mighta been stolen,” came a voice from behind us.
    Donny slowly crossed the street.  For the first time that day, he actually looked tired.
    “Jeez, Donny,” I said, “I’d ask where you’ve been, but I already know.”
    “Yeah,” he grinned, “that was wild, huh?”
    “You made them lose the game, moron!”  Spags jumped in.
    “No way!”  he protested.  “The Stankees just gave up a gopher ball.  Not like my ball.  It’s safe and-hey!”
    Donny frantically checked his pockets.  “Oh, man!
    “What?” I asked.
    “I lost the ball.”
    “You what?”
    “Last time I remember having it was when I got that pretzel.  I reached into my pocket to get money and-aw, crap!”
    Spags began laughing.
    Donny spun on his heel.  “I’m going back.”
    I quickly grabbed hold of his tee shirt.  “Oh, no you don’t.  You’ve had enough for one day.”
    Defeated, he stopped.  His shoulders slumped and his head dropped toward the ground.  “Hey, what’s that?”
    “That.”  He pointed at a slightly glowing piece of something lying in the gutter.
No kidding.  Hitler loved these cars.
And pie.

    Mr. Spagnoula stepped up.  He knelt down and scooped up his little plastic Jesus.  Taped to its outstretched arms was a white card which said:  “Empire City 24 Hour Towing.”
    “Well,” he laughed, “how ‘bout this for a miracle?  Guess it was towed, after all.”
    Sacrilegiously stuffing Jesus into his pocket, he said, “Let’s go get the car back, boys.”
    As he watched his father head back to the stadium, Spags asked, “But, why’d they leave just the statue behind, Dad?”
    Without turning, Mr. Spagnoula said, “Must be Jewish.”  
    Then he started singing,
“I don’t care if it rains and freezes
long as I got my plastic Jesus
riding on the dashboard of my car.
I can go a hundred miles an hour
long as I got the almighty power
glued up there by my pair of fuzzy dice.”

NOTE:  You wouldn't believe how many different verses there are for this goofy-ass song.  I Googled it.  Along with pictures of Lady Gaga.

    “I love baseball.  Don’t you, fellas?”
    As I watched the eternal optimist step over a lump of...something...I had to admit this about Mr. Spagnoula:
    He was the cat’s ass.
Yes, but in a good way


Next:  Halloween posts.  Maybe tomorrow.  Maybe not.  But, definitely not on November 1st.  Because that would be silly. 


  1. Great conclusion buddy. Looking forward to the Halloween posts!

  2. What a great story! You are a really talented writer.

  3. What a story! I'm often caught singing the plastic Jesus song and my Grandkids think I'm irreverent. Meee irreverent? And with the songs they have. !!!!!

  4. @Yeamie: Thanks! Halloween posts are written. All I need to do is copy them here and they're on (not tonight, though). By the way, you have a very small mention in one of them (nothing bad).
    @Deborah: Thanks! The only thing better would have been if the Yankees won.
    @Eva: I try to keep these stories (I call them stories even though they're true) at every six weeks or so.
    @Manzanita: I first heard the plastic Jesus song round around the time this story took place. I heard it on WNBC in New York. It was sung during a bit Don Imus did when he was playing the part of a character named Rev. Billy Ray Harkus.
    @Orang3: Glad you liked it!

  5. That's probably right. They must've been Jewish. We Jews like a posable Moses doll on the dashboard but I'm feeling cheated. We don't have a song for it. I'll have to change that.

  6. hahahahaha. what a trip! I don't doubt for a second that it is true...who can make that kind of shit up!? hahaha. Wow. What a great/hilarious/crazy memory. Thanks for sharing it.

  7. You, sir, art totally the cat's ass. Totally. Love the dialogue - not easy to do!!

  8. @Robyn: Poseable Moses? Too funny! Reminds me of a Powder Puff football game at my daughter's high school last week (bear with me. I have a point). There was a kid dressed up as some sort of Biblical character. Mrs. Penwasser and I first thought he was dressed as Moses. But, then we noticed the plastic (oh, God, I hope so) crown of thorns so it must have been Jesus. He also carried an American flag. Which makes sense because, as everyone knows, the Almighty was clearly a patriot (like Superman). By the way, if you don't know what a Powder Puff game is, let me know.
    @Jewels: Thanks! I'll be going to Connecticut in December for my 35th reunion. I'm sure I'll see Spags there. Who knows what kind of stories will come out of that?
    @Dawn: Dialogue usually results from the voices in my head. Oops, I've said too much.