Friday, November 27, 2009

A story told in six sentences (6S)

By Joseph Lupoli

Maybe I should have known then that my Uncle Frank wasn’t on the level when he told my unbelieving father that his only source of income were profits made from his small dress shop in Jersey City.

Uncle Frank had an enormous built-in pool in his back yard complete with Italian marble statues of angels and of little cherub boys peeing in the pool, and his posh apartment – though modest in appearance from the outside, the interior was loaded with expensive furniture and tacky trappings, all gold and red décor, and his walls boasted original oil paintings, including a Picasso.

Uncle Frank drove a brand new Lincoln and a Cadillac, and he went on twice-a-year mystery trips to Italy “to see family” –minus his wife and kids, of course.

“You can make good money working for me here at the store”, cracked Uncle Frank as he opened the back room door where five or six gigantic no-neck heavyweight mafia caricatures with stinky cigar stubs dangling from their mouths, and garish gold jewelry glinting off their bodies like little fishing lures, were sitting around a poker table sipping anisette and espresso while yakking and cursing loudly in Italian, and when Uncle Frank introduced me to “his friends,” I suspected that my own uncle was trying to ease me into La Cosa Nostra, (even though we all know there’s no such thing).

So I shot a nervous glance at the crew of repulsive, fat-bellied no-necks, and with a quiver in my voice, I turned to Uncle Frank and stammered, “ …umm, my parents won’t let me quit my paper-boy job, b-b-but maybe after I finish the 8th grade?”

Good thing I declined the job offer because two days later the Feds raided Uncle Frank’s borgata, and the whole lot of them wound up in jail on charges including murder, income tax evasion, racketeering, and extortion.



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