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Charlie's Books
Buon Giorno, Amici!

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Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wall Street ... Tommy Red (a short story) ... Rodan! ... DOC says


DOC (on Johnny Porno’s arrival).

It's about time!
We've been reading those fake reviews you write for a year now.
Let's hope it doesn't suck.


Regulating Wall Street ... here’s where the ugly Knuckster’s blood boils over. I can’t help but think back to when President Obama stood on his pulpit and decried earmarks, then signed a spending bill containing 9,000 of them.

The too big to fail banks that bankrupted the country with the blessing of a government that refused to watch what was going on were then gifted hundreds of billions of our dollars without any stipulations to protect any of the workers they were firing willy-nilly. They continued to outsource and executives most responsible for the bankruptcies were permitted to gift themselves record bonuses (again, our money). The icing on the cake (for me) was when the Obama administration permitted the bailed out companies to walk away from $38 billion in tax payments. Nobody told Charlie and Ann Marie to ignore the taxes we had to pay last year.

Now Obama wants banking regulation passed? The field has left the gate, Fredo. They’re already in the winner’s circle sipping bubbly paid for by us (not you, us).

And while we’re at it, whatever happened to repealing don’t ask/don’t tell? What, you no longer need a temporary polling boost?

Way to change Washington.

Call me skeptical, but something tells me the regulation (if we ever see it) will be something Wall Street can live with fine and dandy (sort of the same way insurance companies were gifted 33,000,000 new customers) - Obama’s one accomplishment (and insurance companies couldn’t be happier).

Which begs the next question for DOC: What are you complaining about? This guy couldn’t be more like George Bush. He spends, he doesn’t regulate, he feeds the obscenely wealthy from our trough and he’s FOCKING clueless!

The ugly one has a solution. It’s an old one some of yous amici who’ve been here for a while already know. It’s simple and it wouldn’t cost much at all.

Line up BOTH political parties against a wall and ... well, you know.

The Generalissimo is back.

A good “friend of ours” at Temporary Knucksline inspired the following very short story. And at TK, to be made requires what the DOC did ... agree (taking a solemn oath) to write an article for nothing more than beer and/or a few slices of pizza.

Tommy “Red” Dalton ... for those of yous familiar with the Akashic Noir series, a few years back I wrote a story for the Baltimore version called Ode to the O’s. That story had to do with the most evil year in Baltimore’s existence (1969) when the Jets upset the Colts (and the 18½ point spread), the Knicks knocked off the Bullets and the miracle Mets, after losing game 1 of the world series, swept the Orioles. My protagonist, Tommy “Red” Dalton, was a knockaround guy on the make about to do a job for James “Jilly” Cuomo, a mob remnant living in Baltimore. Although Tommy wasn’t the trigger man, he was breaking his cherry, so to speak, as part of a hit.

Fast forward a few years (post Baltimore Noir), including a three year prison sentence for extortion, and Tommy has changed his life. After his wife divorced him, he left Baltimore and learned word processing through the Prison Work Release Program. Always a hustler, Tommy brought his solid work ethic to the industry after landing a job as a word processor with an International law firm. He quickly became a top notch operator and was able to jump from firm to firm because of his skills, speed and accuracy. When the economic crisis hit, Tommy was working for a smaller law firm where management seemed to thrive on incompetence. After two years of getting the job done and receiving excellent work reviews he wanted a raise. What he received instead was frustration. Fed up with doing what he thought was expected of him, Tommy needs to vent when he meets up with an friend from back in the day and the two have a conversation about his dilemma:

Tommy Red (Coming and Going)

James Jilly Cuomo Jr. was up to New York from Baltimore for the weekend. He met with Tommy Red Dalton, a transplanted Baltimore friend of his father’s from way back twenty minutes ago. The two rehashed the seven years that had passed since the last time they’d seen each other. Back then it was outside the gates of the Baltimore Correctional Facility where Tommy was about to serve a three year sentence for extortion.¬

Jilly Jr. was the son of a legend street guy back in Baltimore, but had recently given up the rackets to pursue a legitimate life selling used cars. Tommy had also turned the corner on crime and was a word processor for a small law firm in Manhattan.¬

After catching up as best they could in twenty minutes time, Jilly Jr. asked Tommy what it was he was doing to make a buck.¬

“Computers,” Tommy said. “Word processing. It’s typing mostly. Some formatting, making things look good on a page, making changes to legal documents, transcribing tapes and so on.”¬

Jr.’s eyes opened wide. “Tapes? You get anything criminal?”¬

Tommy chuckled. “No, nothing like that, brother. Some interesting divorce cases, though. The money some people have, Jr., make your old man, rest in peace, spin in his grave. And what these lawyers charge their clients ... forgetaboutit. We only thought we was stealing back in the day.”¬

“How’s it pay?”¬

“After what I send back down to Baltimore for the kids? Spit, but I can hustle this way, working one job full-time and doing some temp work keeps me out of debt. Problem is I got in late and it’s all going overseas now. Outsourcing. They pay people over in India probably three cents an hour so they’re all sending the work there. It’s dying, word processing is and all the firms know it. ‘Specially this one I’m with now, the cocksuckers. I’m there two plus years and haven’t seen a nickel raise. I would’ve gotten hired after the banking crisis, they would’ve paid me half what I’m getting now. It’s only a matter of time and I’ll be gone too.”¬

“That sucks,” Jr. said. “But you can always come sell cars for me, you want. You know you got an open invitation.”¬

“I appreciate it,” Tommy said. “And I may take you up on it. Meantime, I gotta wait my turn on the block. This unemployment thing works out, once I get the ax, I can answer phones in the meantime. Some guy I met in a bar up here has an office. I put a few hours a week clerking there for him. It’s the extra scratch lets me breath again.”¬

“I hear you,” Jr. said.¬

They were having lunch at a Mexican restaurant with outdoor tables. Jr. bit into a taco while Tommy picked at a guacamole salad.¬

“So, how’s it work, this outsourcing thing?” Jr. asked. “I hear it on the news all the time but I don’t really understand it.”¬

“Jobs we should be doing here get sent over the Internet across the world where they pay the guy doing the work a piece of lamb or some shit. The companies here save on salary, benefits, pensions and whatnot. And some of these are the same companies this asshole government just bailed out after they fucked up. Companies claim they gambled and lost. What we used to call that, Jr. What would your old man, rest in peace, call it?”¬

“They gambled and lost? The old man’d call it tough fuckin’ shit.”¬

“Thank you,” Tommy said. “They’re dirty, these politicians, same as the bankers. They can figure out a way to use RICO against bookmakers beating the system for a couple hundred grand a year, if that much, but they can’t figure out a way to go after these banker thieve cocksuckers just burnt all of us for seven, eight hundred billion? Big crock of shit, you ask me.”¬

“Why a guy always has to look for an angle,” Jr. said. “Probably why your red hair is turning gray.”¬

“And it’s gettin’ worse,” Tommy said. “The shit I put up with onna’ job I’m at now. The motherfuckers just whacked one guy was a workhorse and they’re gonna go the same route as the rest of them with the outsourcing, except to their home office in the U.S. rather than India. To the people working here it’s the same fucking thing. Outsource it where the people here can’t get to work and you’re taking their jobs away, no matter what kind of bullshit they call it.”¬

“That’s fucked up, brother.”¬

“You don’t know the half of it,” Tommy said. He became animated, waving his hands as he spoke. “What passes for executive material in the white collar world, Jr., we’d fuckin’ piss on in the streets. We’d laugh them off the fuckin’ court.”¬

“I hear that,” Jr. said. ¬

“It’s why everything is so fucked up,” Tommy said. “The assholes running things, they’re so busy making sure they’re dressed right, using the right buzz words, blowing the right bosses, they don’t see the end game. They’re too caught up with jerking themselves off, the dumb shits. Too busy doing bullshit while they duck their responsibility.”¬

Jr. said, “It’s the economy, too. That’s on their side too now, Tommy. They know they got you by the balls so they squeeze.”¬

“Fuck that,” said Tommy, waving his right hand over his shoulder. “This broad I had to talk to, the head of the office I’m at now? I says to her, I says, that guy you fired last week was a fuckin’ work machine, honey. No breaks, no lunch to speak of, he was out of the office no more than ten minutes to get himself a slice or whatever, he’s back at his desk typing before you could take a piss. He’s typing between bites, the lunatic.”¬

“Company boy?”¬

“I don’t think so. I think it was his way. Like it’s mine, tell you the truth. It’s a job, you do it. Except this guy took it to extremes. He worked like there was a fuckin’ gun to his head. You think they care? They made a fool out of his dedication in the end. Fired him without blinking.”¬

“What he do?”¬

“There’s all kinds of rumors, but that’s the way it always is. All I know is I didn’t think this guy would ever get whacked the way he worked. Did all kinds of overtime, middle of the night, weekends, whatever. They needed him, he was there. Had a temper and got a little snippy with some of the secretaries, but that could’ve been the hours and effort. It’s something could’ve been handled, I think. Bottom line is the way he produced was something they’ll never replace.”¬

“What they tell you, the ones did the firing?”¬

Tommy stroked the air with a fist. “Bullshit, what else. A company wants you out, they’ll make any-fuckin’-thing up to do it. The bottom line is everybody was in shock and nobody thinks they’re safe anymore. Not for a minute.”¬

“Just how the like it, I’ll bet,” Jr. said. “The company, I mean.”¬

Tommy took a quick sip of his beer. “The one pulled this move off walks around like she’s James Bond now,” he said. “Thinks she’s something special. Something to be feared. The fuckin’ skank.”¬

“They got subway stairs where you work?” Jr. asked.¬

Tommy waved it off. “Not worth it, brother.” He belched into a fist, excused himself and said, “Personally, I think he was out of his mind slaving away like he did, but that don’t change the fact what he produced was huge. Incredible amounts of work, Jr. And fast? I don’t mean compared to some lame cocksucker gotta figure out what the fuck he’s looking at first. I’m talking twice as fast as the average mope. What he did in two hours would take an average operator four minimum. Probably more. Now he’s gone and I’m the one left and they claim they don’t know how fast or good or bad I am, why I’m still waiting for a fuckin’ raise, because I never ratted the other guy out while he was choosing to kill himself. You believe that shit? It’s my fault they were fucking sleeping on the job. It’s my fault it’s their department and they don’t know shit from a hole in the wall about what’s going on or why.”¬

Jr. took another bite from his taco, then shook his head. “Assholes,” he said.¬

Tommy took a long pull from his beer this time. “Like I believe for a second they didn’t know,” he said. “And it’s not like I slacked. I asked he wanted help, he said yes, I did it. Other work come in, I did it. I did it fast and on the ball, but they’re making it like I was supposed to run to the head of the office and cry about him doing more work than me. Fuck that shit.”¬

“That’s just covering their ass,” Jr. said. “Every asshole we ever had to deal with onna street couldn’t handle his business had an excuse, Tommy. You know that.”¬

Tommy was still too wound up and didn’t hear what Jr. had said. “They didn’t know my ass,” he said. “The fuckin’ guy is working there ten fuckin’ years, Jr. Ten years. The fuck does it take to figure something out?”¬

“Why if these assholes were managing anything on the streets they’d get whacked and with good reason,” Jr. said.¬

“Thank you,” Tommy said. He stopped to take a short pull on his beer. “But another thing, and this kills me just as much, they claim they didn’t know what time we was in the building working. What the fuck kind of bullshit is that, I ask you? I says to her, I says, ‘How is that possible when I received emails from you telling me I forgot to swipe my card this morning? How is that possible when you can tell people what internet site they’re visiting? How’s it possible you don’t ask the head of your IT department what the fuck is going on? Sorry, honey, sounds like bullshit to me.’ What she should do is take her fuckin Rodan act, stickin' her fuckin' beak in the middle of shit for the sake of making believe she’s doing her job, and go on the road with it. Somebody above her ever sips the caffeinated stuff, that might happen, except she's any indication of the rest of the management that place, they're all probably asleep at the fuckin' wheel.”¬

“They know but they don’t know,” Jr. said. “Like fuckin’ politicians. No shit sticks to them.”¬

“And then this broad got snappy and sarcastic because I didn’t know some executive in the company. I made the mistake of asking the question, ‘Who’s this guy?’”¬

Jr. smirked. “She knows the names of the bosses but she don’t know what she’s supposed to be managing. Par for the course, brother.”¬

“That’s what I’m thinking,” Tommy said. “I says to her, I says, 'Why would I care who this guy is?' He’s the head of this or that? God bless him. Who fuckin’ cares. How about instead of memorizing which ass to kiss you pay attention to the departments you’re in charge of so instead of a bullshit story I get a raise for my two excellent reviews? Instead of telling me how much everybody loves me, how about you throw me some coin? How about that?”¬

Jr. chuckled. “How’d you leave off?”¬

Finally calm again, Tommy took a quick pull on his beer this time, belched into a fist and said, “I figure I’m on the block. I hope I am. She’s used to her people shitting their pants around her. Fuck that. Be nice have the summer off. Especially knowing how over their fuckin’ heads they’re gonna be now they got nobody to do anything with any speed in there. Guys bring the work in are gonna love that, hearing how they’re jobs are gonna take twice as long and there’s a good chance they’ll be fucked up when they get them back.”¬

Jr. picked up his beer in toast. “So, fuck’em,” he said.¬

“You got that right,” Tommy said. “Take a hard working man’s incentive away because you’re an incompetent moron? Fuck’em coming and going, my brother. Coming and going.”

TK says the password is Rodan. When she sticks her beak into stuff, everything gets FOCKED UP ...

What the video above doesn't mention after it posts: "This could be your city" is ... That could be your company!

That is one fierce bitch ...


Preorder Johnny Porno here ...

And the DOC says ...

Hey Chaz,

Great Knucksline… up to a point, and we’ll get to that later.

Wall Street:

Basically, Fredo will push any bill as long as it has a generous slush fund attached to it so he can divvy it up to purchase campaign contributions. I think this newest “too big to fail” bill has $50 billion in bailout funds. It’s funny how people always associate the Repubicans with Big Business. In the last election, Goldman Sachs contributed three times more fazools to the Dimocrats than the Repubicans.

The new bill gives us a state sponsored, high stakes, poker player. When he loses we give him his money back. When he wins, he keeps it all. What a deal!

Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell:

So what happens when they repeal it? What do we have then…” Make sure you ask and I’ll fill you in?

“Bob, you certainly sound qualified for the job and we’d love to have you on board. I just need to ask you what kind of sex you like?”

“Well, Mr. Jones, I like to have swarthy, Latin men stick gerbils up my ass and call me Sally.”

“Outstanding, Bob. Let me tell you about our 401K plan.”

Face it, Chaz, “Don’t ask. Don’t tell.” is a fact of life. Do you think you would have your current position if your employers knew about the leather underwear and the farm animals?

Now for the more important issue.

“With absolutely no regard to plans or inclination”
“Without forethought or sense of consequence”

Either of these would be totally acceptable.
“Willy-nilly” is not acceptable!

For one, you are a writer.

“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was kind of a willy-nilly sort of times.”
That loses a lot of the drama doesn’t it?

Point two: You are a tough guy.

“Well, you gotta pay me now or your leg will be pointing in willy-nilly directions.”
When the mope stops laughing, do you think he'll pay you?

Would Clint Eastwood say it?

“This is a .44 magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world. You must be thinking. Did he fire five shots or all six shots? Well frankly, I don’t know because I have been shooting willy-nilly. Do you feel lucky? Well, do you, punk?”
You don’t get the five picture deal with “willy-nilly".

Have a great weekend, big guy.