I thought I'd share seven days in the life of a fella named Joey and his best friend Harv. Please enjoy.
“Harv, you have to help me. I’m in deep trouble.”
My best friend, Harvey Hanover, had given me a tip on a pony named California Cutie, who was a sure thing to win today’s first race, but did I listen to my buddy’s advice? Oh no. I decided to get clever and take the word of a weird little bald guy who hangs out down at the track. He seemed so sure Fun Fest would come in first. Harv’s tip paid on the win, and Fun Fest did cross the finish line. Unfortunately, it was an hour and a half after all the others came across.
“Joey, what’s wrong? You didn’t fall for one of those hustlers down at the track again, did you?”
Harv knows me like the back of his hand. If only it were that simple…
“Harv, I couldn’t get my stake from Mothball Mo. He got locked up in County for 30 days. Something about stealing a doughnut and then jaywalking with it. I needed the cash right away, so I got it from Seven Day Sammy. Thing is, I won‘t be able to pay back the five grand I owe him within the week.”
“In that case, I only have one question.” Harvey’s always got my best interest at heart. “Which suit would you prefer I wear at your funeral--the dark blue or the black?”
I need to come up with a plan. I know. I’ll hit that market that just opened on the South Side. It’s always packed and the owner’s 100 years old. Easy peasy.
“Joey, what happened to you?”
Who knew the old man kept a baseball bat behind the counter and that when he was younger, he had been a first round pick of a major league baseball team. Fielding talent may fade with time, but apparently, the power behind the swing of your bat doesn’t.
“I’ve got it under control, Harv. Doc says the arm cast will be off in a few weeks and I should be able to walk without the limp after a couple of days. I now know how to get the cash. I’ll do a home invade uptown and hock the take.”
“Joey, why is your neck all bandaged up?”
Who knew rich folks kept dogs as big as grizzlies as pets? And, isn’t it illegal not to have one of those ‘Beware of Killer Dog’ signs on your door?
“Harv, I hate to do this, but I’m going to have to take down one of those old biddies on her way home from Bingo night. They win big bucks there and one of their handbags ought to get me all I need.”
“Joey, How’d you lose your top front teeth, and why is your face swollen up like a cantaloupe?”
When the old lady knocked me to the ground with her purse, I asked her if she was carrying rocks. She confirmed there were indeed rocks in there and asked me if I’d like another shot. I respectfully declined.
“Harv, I’m going to have to go big-time. I’m taking down the armored truck that delivers the mattress factory’s payroll. It isn’t like there’s real guards. It’s only Bobby from the neighborhood driving, and he pulls into the alley for a smoke with his window open before he hands over the cash. I won’t even need any bullets in the gun.”
“Joey, why are you on crutches and what’s that lump on the bottom of your left leg?”
I was embarrassed to confess that the lump was my foot. I never had Bobby figured to act like some super-hero when he had a gun stuck right up in his face. Before I could get ‘hand over the money bags’ out of my mouth, he had started the van and backed up right over my entire foot with the driver’s side’s 26” tire.
“Harv, No more Mr. Nice Guy. I’m heading on over to Northwest Federal and taking what I need right out of their safe. I’ll take them all by surprise. Who’s going to suspect a fella on crutches?”
“Harv, you’re never going to believe my luck. I went to the bank and they were pretty busy, so I got in line. There was a young lady ahead of me that withdrew five big bills, all in cash. Said her daddy was treating her to a shopping spree because she was getting good grades over at the community college. I followed her out, pulled her between the bank and the bakery and grabbed the cash. She was crying and all, but I didn’t hurt her any. I just told her to sit down on the sidewalk and count to 30 so I would have time to get down to the bus stop to catch the number 18 downtown. You know, it’s pretty slow going still on these crutches. But, now I’ve got Seven Day Sammy’s money and tomorrow morning, I’ll be paying him off.”
“Joey, that’s terrific. Listen, text me after you’re done with Sammy and we’ll go grab a bite at Dantino‘s. My treat.”
Harv knows that’s my favorite place to celebrate when stuff goes right. I’m going to order double desserts.
“…and this twenty makes five thousand. Sammy, I want you to know how much I appreciate your giving me that loan. I’m probably done with the horses for awhile though since my luck doesn’t seem to be too good at the track.”
Sammy was getting ready to show me out when his daughter peeked in the den. She ran to her daddy, pointed at me, and told him all about how I stole her shopping spree. Funny how some kids don’t look a thing like their parents.
I pulled out my cell and texted Harv. I told him to go with the dark blue since it had always been my favorite.