A Husband And Wife
Talk Money And A Knife
On The Phone
Louie’s cell phone rings. He answers.
Dina: You’re late. Where are you?
Louie: I got held up by an old lady in front of me at the ATM. Why do they move so slow? You’d think they’d move faster with all the practice they’ve had.
Dina: Just as long as you didn’t forget I need an extra two hundred.
Louie: No problem. I got it. So anyway, I’m right behind her while she’s standing there reading her receipt like it’s a birthday card from her grandkids. I felt like picking her up and setting her out of the way.
Dina: Yeah. That sounds like a great idea. Not to mention you ain’t so big yourself.
Louie: Compact, but powerful, baby. Compact but powerful. Anyway, she walks away with her twenty bucks and I finally get our cash. You won’t believe what happened next.
Dina: I better believe it. This “what happened next“ better end with two hundred dollars in my hand.
Louie: Listen. I decide to cut though that wide alley off Franklin ‘cause, you know, baby, I couldn’t wait to get home. I’m halfway through the alley when this guy starts yelling behind me.
Dina: Don’t tell me you stopped.
Louie: What was I supposed to do? Outrun him? He’s this big white guy, about thirty, wearing jeans, sneakers, one butt ugly print shirt, and a ratty leather jacket. He had a pock mocked face and greasy hair. As soon as he got close, I could tell what he was.
Dina: Just like a dog knows another dog.
Louie: Now that’s cold. You know I left that behind when I met you.
Dina: I’m just yanking your chain, my doggie dog.
Louie: Anyway, so he stops right in front of me and he opens a nasty looking switchblade not two feet from my face. He says, “You know what’s happening. Gimme the money, asshole.”
Dina: That right? You know what I say? You better have that money.
Louie: Um, you want the G-rated version?
Dina: You know I don’t put up with the kind of language that comes out of assholes like that.
Louie: I’ll clean it up for you, baby. So I tell him I can’t give him the money. If I did, my wife would kill me.
Dina: You got that right.
Louie: So he says, “The F you can’t. I’m not effing with you. I’ll cut your effing face.”
Dina: You’re doing really good watching the bad words, honey. I’m proud of you.
Louie: Thanks, baby.
Dina: So what did you say to Mr. Foul Mouth?
Louie: I asked him if he had a gun.
Dina: Get out!
Louie: No, I did.
Dina: What did he say?
Louie: He says of course he has a effing gun. So I tell him to show it to me.
Dina (laughing): You were born crazy.
Louie: Tell me about it. He didn’t expect that. So he looks at me and then he says, “I don’t need no effing gun.” He waves the knife in front of me and tells me he’s gonna cut me.
Dina: Did he come at you?
Louie: Nah. He’s just standing there. So I say, “You gonna kill me?” And he says, “Hell, yes. You don’t give me that money and I’m gonna stick you, mother-effer.”
Dina: You better not tell me you gave our money to this loser.
Louie: Wait. So I’m trying to defuse the situation. You know, like you told me. So I repeat my certainty you’d kill me if I gave him the money.
Louie: He says he doesn’t, um, care what you’re going to do.
Dina: I run across him, he’ll find out fast enough what he cares about.
Louie: I know, baby. and that’s what I say. I’d rather he stick me than I go home without your two hundred dollars. So then he starts waving the knife at me.
Dina: He hurt you?
Louie: Nah. I just stepped back. But then he got even more excited. He says he’s thru effing with me because I effed with him and now, you know, bad stuff must fly. He’s gonna gut me.
Dina: Huh. He sounds like one colorful clown.
Louie: Tell me about it. I tell him to chill out. There’s no way I’m giving him all the money, but I’m willing to make a deal. We can both come out with what we need.
Dina: What kind of deal?
Louie: I tell him I’ll buy the knife from him. I’ll give him fifty dollars for it.
Dina: You didn’t!
Louie: Hear me out. It makes sense. I tell him this way I’m not getting ripped off and he’s not doing a crime. It’s a business deal. Straight up.
Dina: And you think he’s gonna settle for fifty dollars. He scoped you out at the ATM. He knows what you got.
Louie: True. But I tell him he ain’t getting any more of my baby’s money unless he kills me. That means he’s gonna have to fight for it. If he wins, he’ll be a murderer. If I get lucky, he won’t like what happens. On the other hand, he’s got an easy way to make fifty bucks.
Dina: He went for it, didn’t he?
Louie: Not right away. First, he tells me he doesn’t believe the stones on me. He says, “You think I’m just gonna hand over my knife?“ I tell he doesn’t have to hand it over. Just toss it about ten feet away. I don’t even want the darn thing. He can have it after I’m gone.
Dina: Didn’t he stop and think you wouldn’t hand over the fifty if he didn’t have a knife?
Louie: I tell him a deal’s a deal. Then I appealed to his pride. I said, “C’mon man, you telling me you can’t handle me without a knife?”
Dina: So he looked you over and decided you weren’t big enough to pick up an old lady at the ATM.
Louie: Exactly. So I pull out three twenties and his eyes lit up like our outdoor light.
Dina: I can’t believe. He actually went for it.
Louie: You bet. He tossed the knife away and I held out the three twenties. Then I asked him for ten dollars change.
Dina: (laughing) You are too much, honey.
Louie: So he says he doesn’t have any effing change. His eyes are still on the twenties. So I hit him three times just like you showed me. Twice in the midsection. Then after he was down, I put him to sleep with a gentle kick to the back of his head.
Dina: Nothing permanent, right?
Louie: Nah. He’s fine. I checked. He’s having a nice alley dream. I put the knife in his hand and when I left the alley, I called 911. I heard the cops coming. That kind of knife is illegal.
Dina: I told you when I met you I’d teach you how to handle yourself.
Louie: You taught me a hell of a lot more than that, sweetie.
Dina: I love you too. Don’t forget the milk.