- The Fly
- The Fly Returns
I gave the parking valet the keys to my classic white Jaguar XK 120. “Don’t scratch it,” I said, and went inside.
It was first time I’d eaten at ‘Gambino’s Family, Italian Restaurant.’ I ordered coffee, soup, salad, lasagna, and spumoni ice cream. The waiter brought my coffee and soup. I put in two Equals and cream. I took a fly from my matchbox. I picked up my soup spoon. There was a fly floating in it.
“Waiter, do you serve fly soup?”
“Oh no sir.”
“Well there’s a fly in this one. You better call the manger over.”
A big burly man in a tux came over. He was accompanied by a bigger burly man.
“Ya. What you want?”
“Sir, there’s a fly in my soup.”
“You gonna pull that ‘fly in the soup’ shit?”
“What do you mean?”
“The word’s out about you, Mr. White Jag. You’re done in this town.”
The bigger burly man grabbed my collar and hoisted me straight up. They marched me over to the cashier. “That will be $85 dollars and tip.”
I took out $90 dollars.
I made it $100 dollars.
Still by the collar, they marched me outside to my waiting car.There was a long gouge in the white paint and a headlight was smashed. “Tip the boy.”
I gave him $25 dollars, got in and drove off with one headlight, swearing.
About five blocks later, red and blue lights were flashing behind me. I pulled over. Two policemen got out. One on each side of the car.
“May I see your driver’s license, sir?”
“Here, Officer.” I gave him my wallet with about $800 dollars in it.
“Just your license, otherwise this might be construed as attempt to bribe of an Officer of the Law.”
“Why are you pulling me over?”
“We have a report of a car matching this description, was involved in a drug deal gone bad.” (I love that: ‘A car matching this description’ business. How many white Jags with one headlight were there?) “Would you mind opening your glove compartment, sir.”
“Sure, there you are.” I gasped. It was stuffed with drugs and a gun.
“Get out of the car, and open the trunk, sir.”
“It’s called a ‘boot,’ in England”
“Open the ‘boot,’ sir.”
I opened the boot. I couldn’t breathe. There was a dead body in there.
In five minutes the street was filled with six police cars, a Swat Team, unmarked cars, an ambulance, the Coroner, a fire engine, and a police helicopter overhead. Add in the News Choppers and TV camera crews, and you have a real ‘Three Ring Circus.’ I was handcuffed, read my Miranda Rights, and taken to jail.
Things were not going well.
In jail I was booked, fingerprinted and photographed. I got a single phone call. I told my sister; “Find me a lawyer.” Then I spent the rest of the night on a lumpy cot.
The next morning, I met Mr. Ellsworth Trotter, LLD. The first thing he said was; “I truly believe you are innocent.” I thanked him for his confidence. He said; “I tell every client the same thing. I could not in good conscience, defend a man whom I knew to be guilty. My fee is $750 an hour.” Well, that was that.
He read the Police Report, a masterpiece of brevity. “We received a call to be on the lookout for a white Jaguar with a missing headlamp, that was involved in a drug deal. We spotted a car matching that description and pull it over. The suspect produced his drivers license, (Thank God. No mention of $800 dollars) and willingly opened the glove compartment. We observed a firearm and drugs. The driver also opened the trunk We observed a dead body. We handcuffed the suspect and called for backup.”
Mr. Ellsworth Trotter LLD lost his composure. “How the fuck did you end up with a dead body in your trunk?”
I said; “I went to a restaurant for dinner.”
I said; “The Gambino Family Italian Restaurant.”
“Holy shit! That’s the Gambino CRIME Family Restaurant. The last of the New York Mafia, here in Denver. You must have really pissed them off.”
I told him about the ‘Fly-in-the-soup’ scam.
“That was really stupid. You made a fool of them in front of their friends. I’ll check into it and see what I can do.”
Three days later he came back. “Do you want the bad news, or the worst news?”
“I guess, the worst news.”
“You’re looking at 30 years to life.”
I said; “But I’m innocent.”
“I already told you that. They have the body, the car, the drugs, and the gun. People have gone to the Gas Chamber for less.”
“I’ll fight it.”
“Don’t even think about it. The owner of the restaurant will swear that you came in, had dinner and left. The parking attendant will swear that you came in with a headlight gone, and left the same way. I’m sure that there are two eyewitnesses to you pulling the trigger. Besides, the jury box will be filled with Italian names. You wouldn’t stand a ghost of a chance before a jury.”
“What’s the bad news?”
“I can plea bargain down to 22 years, with time off. They will go for that.”
“Who will go for that?”
“What does the DA say?”
“Whatever the Gambinos say. Take the plea.”
It’s been five years. Talk about the ‘Long arm of the Law’. It’s nothing compared to the Mob. Every day, I find a fly in my soup.