Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Niceguymen

It was the 60s. We were young. We were bad. And we ruled these streets. We had our own tight knit group with a set of dreams. Some of us were older. The older guys ran the show. And we followed suit. They called us the "Niceguymen". It's cuz we were nice guys but we were men, and you know how men are. Boys will be boys. That means us men caused trouble. And every now and then we had to be not so nice. Things got ugly. But we ruled the streets. So there was no one to answer to but us. By the end of the 60s we were in big trouble because it went to our head and we got power happy from being power hungry and we ate too much of that power. I guess it went to our stomachs too.

It was fall of 1966 and we were planning what would be the biggest score of our careers. The other guys had the goods and we had to figure out how to get em. Boy did we want those goods. These were the goods that were gonna set us for life. Get us out of the business, sever all ties, and have us living comfortably. But first we had to figure out how to do it.

There was me, Denny. I was young and eager to learn.
"I'll do whatever it takes." I used to say.

There was Fat Boppo. He was the tubby guy of the group,
"Gimme a sandwich!" he'd say at every meetin'.

There was Sinch. He was the complainer of the group who thought everything was difficult.
"I don't know, how do we dooiiit?!"

There was Marv who was in his early 20s and had liver spots on his head. That was about the only thing interesting about him. Why'd he age so quickly?

There was Long John Johnson. He was tall and big and loved to play the game basketball. He had dreams to play someday on a court.
"Pass the hoops!" He said.

There was Sal the Gal, he kinda ran the show and dressed like a woman but was a guy named Sal.
"Does this dress make my hips look ok?" he asked.

Then there was Quiet Frank. He was the ideas man. Wasn't a plan he couldn't crack and an idea he didn't have. He had so many ideas. That's why he was the idea man. We were real keen on figuring out exactly how to get the goods from this score so naturally we turned to Frank for ideas.

"I don't have any ideas." said Frank.
"...Oh hmm. What should we do?" said Sal.
"Should we give up?" asked Sinch.
"What if we ask Frank for more ideas?" I suggested.
"Good idea. Frank, can you think of any ideas?" asked Sal.
"Hmm no, got no ideas."
"Damn. Does anyone else have any ideas...?"
"Cannoli!" said Fat Boppo.

We all thought Cannoli was a good idea but weren't sure how it was gonna help us get the goods that we wanted.

Then Long John Johnson suggested we watch him play a game of "courtball goes in the basket". And that might help us get the goods if he were to win. It was to be the big game that he would hope someone would watch him play to discover him as a big ticket to the big time. This plan, we were excited by.

"Do it!" we all cheered to Long John Johnson, as he played his game. He was so good. He could dribble the ball and everything. He dribbled the ball up and down the court between goals. Then as he was about to make his big effort at the hoop, Billy Cranko, who used to be part of our group but we meanly kicked him out without thinking there'd be any consequence, showed up wearing a big hat and gun in his hand. He fired his gun shooting Long John Johnson dead.

"That's what happens when you do things mean." said Cranko as he ran off.

We all held John Johnson in our arms as he died, he was supposed to go to Vietnam and make it big the following week too. He was gonna be our ticket to the big time. We were all real sad.

Our group really did suck. We were in denial about how great we were, as well about how great those times were. The 60s were pretty hard, there was a lot going on. We were pretty poorly educated too. Our neighborhood was not very resourceful. I was trying to oversell us earlier when I said we ran the streets. It just wasn't a very bright group coming out of our particular hood at that time.

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