When they turned up at Saul’s Café I knew this wasn’t going to be one of my better days. The boy Whitey and his gimp, bold as brass only half as classy. Somewhere between here and wherever it is, the Gimp had got himself a nose full of Angel Delight, twitching and giggling, stroking the leatherette seats with his sticky fingers. Exploring the cracks.
“You remember the thing what went down last time,” said Whitey, squeezing in on the other side of the table, eyeing my breakfast, “That thing? You remember?”
The Gimp grinned, repeating the words over and over: “The thing, the thing, thethingthethingthething…” Whitey hit him with the ketchup bottle and the Gimp went back to picking at the seat.
“What if I do?”
“We’re doing it again.”
“Doon it again, doon it again.” Squeal and jitter.
“I swear to God,” I said, “If he starts in on his Good Ship Lollypop routine I’m going to pop him one.”
“Look,” Whitey gave my sausages the same kind of look dodgy priests give choirboys. “We’re doing it again – you want in?”
I’m not sure it’s a good idea, I told him. I’m going straight these days. Legit. Got my reputation to think of.
A banging at the front window and Whitey cringed, some doped-up freak was out there pressing his face against the glass, mouthing obscenities. Whitey forced a smile and waved. “I see yah, John, give us a minute, OK?” He shuddered, then leant across the table, dropping dandruff on my baked beans. “You see what I gotta deal with? You see the kinda people I got?”
“Peepil, peepil, peepil… it’s a nice trip to the candy shop – ”
“Seriously,” I said, “I’m going to pop him one!”
“Come on,” he tried fluttering his baby blues. It wasn’t pretty. “What’s the worst that could happen?”