by R.T. Lawton
Somehow, I envision two broad shouldered, heavy-set guys in dark pin-striped suits standing in front of a birthday cake which is resting on a highly polished wood bar in a classy speak easy. I see candles on top of that frosted, multi-layered cake. The candles spell out two words.
The guy in the grey pin-stripe suit and matching fedora has a five o'clock shadow that has probably been there since noon. As he leans forward to light the candles, his suit coat opens far enough to divulge a glimpse of a shoulder holster containing a blue-steel Colt .45 automatic. He also keeps a tommy gun in a violin case somewhere close by.
Then the other guy in the blue pin-stripe beckons us all closer and raises his arms. I don't know what the rest of you are going to do, but I'm going to sing. And I'm going to do it loudly. He drops his hands like a philharmonic orchestra director and leads us in song with his gravelly voice and East Coast accent.
Happy Boid-Day to you
Happy Boid-Day dear Sleuth Sayers
You're now age two.
They both blow out the candles. Then one pulls a switchblade. My nerves twitch and my feet want to run, but it turns out he's only going to cut the cake. I gratefully accept my piece. There's no way I'm going to mess with either of them two guys, cuz they know what they're doing. And, I'll be doubly careful not to get crosswise with their beautiful secretary Velma.
There can be some mean streets out there in this thing of ours if a person isn't careful, so yes sirrie, boss, I'm writing as fast as I can. One more year of crime, criminals and everything that goes with it. Nothing personal, it's just good business.
Have a good one.