Banterist

From New York, original humor writing & commentary by Brian Sack. Subject to all the flexible quality standards of internet self-publishing.

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Deposition

DEPOSITION BY LOU BAGETTA, WHO IS IMMORTAL, REGARDING JOE GUSTO, THE MOB’S WORST HIT-MAN.
Joe Gusto knocks on my door late Saturday and that sets all sorts of alarms off because, you know, I didn’t call the SOB and he’s unexpected. I know from personal experiences that in Our Thing there’s no such thing as a friendly drop-by. He’s there to whack me, I figure.
So I play the game with him and invite him in, the whole time suspicious – with my hand in my pocket on my gun. He asks me if I’m home alone, and I tell him yes. Then he asks me if I had made plans to see anyone that night, and I told him no. He asked if I planned on anyone else dropping by unexpectedly, and I said no. Then he asks if I told anybody he might be coming over, and I said no because how would I know that since he came unexpected. Then he starts insisting I invited him to come over and watch TV. Now, I know that’s a lot of BS but I decide to play the game and I tell him I must have forgotten so, sure, we can watch some TV.
We put on VH-1’s “I Love The ’80s” show. The Wang Chung band is on singing “Dance Hall Days” and Joe says that he loves those fags and that’s his favorite song and would I turn up the volume a whole lot.
So I do. It’s real loud. Then Joe Gusto says he prefers to watch TV standing behind the sofa because his leg gets tired from sitting. I says fine or whatever, and he gets up and stands behind me. Every time I look back he pretends he’s watching the video, and even though he says it’s his favorite song he’s singing “dance all day long” so he don’t even know the lyrics. Anyway, he’s standing behind me, and I’m not really that nervous because I’m immortal. And besides, there’s a mirror over the TV. So I point to the mirror and Joe realizes that I can see him and then he says he wants to sit down and think a minute. He looks all serious like he’s really trying to work something out.


So my mind is all racing, and I got my hand in my pocket on my gun and I’m thinking I should just shoot the SOB, but I don’t know what to do. Obviously the boss wants to whack me so I need to avoid the mob for the rest of my life – which is forever because I’m immortal.
Joe stops thinking and asks me if I want to go pee wit’ him. I ask him what the hell he means, if he thinks I’m some gay or something, and he says he didn’t mean nothin’ by it, he just thought I might want to pee with him and save some water when we flush.
So I says fine, whatever, let’s go pee. We head to the stairs and I say “after you” to which he says “thanks” and then he realizes he wanted to be behind me on the stairs. So he’s walking up in front of me but keeps turning around nervous because he probably thought I was on to him.
We get to the bathroom and he says by peeing together and saving water we’re doing a great service to the environment. He says I should pee first. I ask him why he doesn’t want to pee first, and he says he likes to wash his hands before touching his “Johnny.” I ask him if he named his penis after our boss, Johnny Gambetti, and he says no, it’s coincidence.
So I decide I’ll humor him. It’s no skin off my back, because I’m immortal, but I’m dreading the mess it’s going to make, which is why I agreed to go to the bathroom and pee with him in the first place. So I’m taking my pee, and he’s behind me and I ask him how the hand washing is going. He says great, but he’s not running the water or nothing, so I know the big moment is coming. Then, to mess with him I say how much I love life and things are really going great for me and I met a nice girl and I’m going to start a family. And he says that sounds great and then Pop, Pop, Pop. I think one got me in the head. Two in the wall. I keep peeing. Pop Pop in the head. Pop in the wall. So I shake and zip and turn around and of course he’s sitting there with the gun and he’s really upset. So I decide I’m going to mess wit’ him even more. I ask him what happened and he takes a second to think of something, then he tells me he was trying to celebrate like the Arabs do by firing a .22 caliber pistol into the air, and he accidentally hit me in the head a few times. I asked him what he was celebrating and he tells me he was real happy to be going pee.
I tell him he needs to be careful and to get me some towels because there’s blood everywhere. And now he’s really upset and asking me do I think I might live. So I says I don’t know, maybe we should go downstairs and I’ll sit down. And frankly, I wanted to sit down because even though I’m immortal I had a splitting headache, and the regeneration of my organs and muscle is really draining.
Downstairs he says he’s going to call for help from his cell phone. As he’s “talking” to “911” his phone rings, and he gets all flustered because it’s obvious he was pretending to talk to 911. He explains that he has very loud call waiting and that the ambulance is on the way. He answers his phone for real and talks in really hushed tones. He tells whoever that “the train didn’t leave the station yet” and that he “shot the train several times” but it wasn’t going to “Helltown” right away and he was going to wait and maybe they needed to “get some more tickets” because he used all six shooting the train.
So he says while we wait for the ambulance I should have something to drink, and he offers to make me a “health shake” so I get better. So he goes in the kitchen and I watch a Cyndi Lauper video – the one where her dad is some wrestler with rubber bands in his beard. Joe comes back with a drink, and of course it’s a combination of everything from my utility closet – bleach, Wisk, Murphy’s Oil Soap, and Gonzo (for stains) and it tastes real bad, but I’m immortal so that’s the worst of it. Then I do a real dramatic death act, and I says to him “Et tu Brute?” and he didn’t get it. I shut my eyes and he went out to the car to get his toolkit and dispose of me, no doubt. He left his cell phone on the table.
At that point I realized I needed to get the hell out of there. First, I called back the last number on his cell phone and of course Johnny Gambetti picks up. I tell him that Joe Gusto named his penis after him, and that I was going to sing to the Feds. I told Gambetti he was fruitier than Wang Chung and he should have a “health shake” and I hung up on him. I went out the back and headed straight for the Feds, knowing I’d be in witness protection for the rest of my life – which is forever because I’m immortal.


Previously

An original piece for London daily The Independent (print version only). The world in which we live today differs greatly from the world of our fathers, forefathers and all those other old folks in many ways. …

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