Todd Robinson will be with us twice in the next two weeks. He’ll be calling into our Hard Word book club on March 26th and will be attending our Noir Night April 5th with Jesse Sublett & Matthew McBride. His book, The Hard Bounce, stars Boston bouncers Boo & Junior. Here’s a story Todd sent us with one of their other misadventures.
The Legendary Great Black Cloud of Ralphie O’Malley
“4DC Security,” Junior answered the phone in a falsetto about as feminine as Hulk Hogan. Junior had been answering our office phone like that for a good three years running and the joke never seemed to wear on him. He called the voice “Wendy”.
Wendy was our imaginary receptionist, which was fine since our imaginary office was a desk stuck in the liquor room above The Cellar, Boston’s shittiest rock & roll bar.
I try not to let Junior answer the phone all that much.
I hit the button to turn on the speakerphone just as a weary sigh replied to Wendy’s greeting. I recognized the sigh as belonging to Barry Hardon, Boston’s lowest of the low-end parole officers. “I don’t know why I even call you turkeys.”
“Because we work cheap?” I replied.
“Boo, that you?”
“It’s me,” I answered. Because it was.
“Don’t forget me, sexy,” Junior said, as Wendy again.
“You’re about as sexy as ten-foot catheter.”
“Thanks, Hard-On” Junior said in his natural voice, which was somewhere closer to a Rottweiler chewing on gravel.
Barry sighed at the dig, which he’d probably heard at least three times a day during the fifty years he’d been on the planet.
“What’ve you got for us, Barry?”
Barry sighed again. Seventy to eighty percent of conversation with Barry Hardon consisted of him sighing in various tones and pitches. “I need you guys to go get Ralphie O’Malley again.”
“He had a hearing two days ago. Dummy fell asleep drunk on the train. He got picked up for vagrancy.
“That still a law? The fuck is this, the Great Depression?”
Barry went on. “Kinda. Probably would have gotten it dismissed, if the fuckwit had actually shown up for court.”
I swear, only Ralphie O’Malley could get arrested for vagrancy. “We’ll have him in by this afternoon. Fee?”
“Deal.” I hung up the phone.
“How much?” Junior asked.
“Dammit,” he said as he pulled on his coat. “It’s fuckin’ freezing out. Shoulda got another fifty.” Junior pulled knit mittens over his hands. He saw me smirking. “What?”
“Nice mittens, Mary.” If you can’t see why mittens covering the knuckles of a man with H-A-R-D and C-O-R-E tattooed across them is funny, then I can’t explain it to you.
“Hardy-har. You’re gonna have a good time explaining to the E.M.T’s how these mittens got inside of you.”
Ralphie O’Malley always said that his luck permanentlyRead More »