October 24, 2009

My Friendly Neighborhood Mafia

Last month my bunny, Stu, escaped from our yard. I posted on Craigslist, put in a report at the animal shelter and searched the neighborhood but came up empty. I could only assume that one of the many pitbulls living in my neighborhood had finished him off. But yesterday my next door neighbor popped her head over the wall and informed me that Stu was in her front yard. I ran over but he bolted as soon as I approached.

I chased him three doors down where he mysteriously disappeared in an overgrown backyard. After some poking around, I saw evidence that Stu had been living in this yard for quite some time (read between the lines, a month's worth of poop in a corner). The owner of the house saw me poking around in his yard and came out to see what I thought I was doing trespassing. He was a short guy, probably 55ish, and his voice sounded exactly like Marlon Brando's Godfather. After I told him about Stu, he verified that yes, he'd seen Stu eating his flowers and defecating all over his property for about a month. He introduced himself as Frank told me I could do anything necessary to catch the little guy and gave me free reign of his yard.

I borrowed a rabbit trap from Animal Control came back the next day to set it up. Frank saw me and came out to oversee the operation. Pointing to Stu's poop pile and promised I would clean it up. He waved me off and said there was no need. "It's no problem," I said, "I don't want my rabbit stinking up your yard." In an instant, Frank grabbed my face with one had and popped a light smack across my cheek. Still holding my face, my cheeks squeezed between his thumb and forefinger, he said in a low voice, "you clean up that poop and I'll come to your house and throw dirt all over your front yard." He released my face.

"Got it," I laughed. Anybody willing to slap a total stranger probably wouldn't make an empty threat like that. The poop would stay. "So you're from the East Coast?" I asked, his accent sounded Brooklyn to me.

"Yeah, sumpin' like that," he replied.

"I grew up in Connecticut," I said.

"Well that makes us just like family," he said happily.

"Sounds good to me. I don't have any family in the area. How about you?"

"I've got some family living in the casinos," said Frank.

"Sounds like fun."

"Depends on who's winnin'," he said with a shrug.

I think it's safe to assume that this guy has got some sort of Mafia running through his blood. We finished up talking and I turned to leave. I'd gotten some leaves and dirt all over my backside from sitting down to set the trap. "Eh, you're a mess!" said Frank. Without so much as a dinner invitation, he brushed my legs and rear end clean. After the smack, I knew better to protest. After he judged me sufficiently brushed off, I thanked him and took off. Maybe I'll catch Stu, maybe I won't but at least I can sleep easy knowing that my neighborhood mobster likes me.


Colleen said...

You've outdone yourself, Hollywood. Wow.

The Editor said...

Say it ain't so.

Nancy Sabina said...

Uh oh, you've scared your mother.

Sounds to me like an excellent neighborly interaction.

My claim to fame/infamy is that our same-church-going transvestite once asked me to lint roll his/her toosh while we waited in the hallway to be allowed into the chapel.

Lady of Perpetual Chaos said...

That disturbing and fabulous all at the same time. ;o)

Perla said...

oh man, i laughed so hard that he smacked your face! thanks for making my day!

Lacey said...

I've lived in Vegas my whole life and have never interacted with a real mobster, though all I'd need to do is go meet our mayor.

This was so funny though, I had to read it to my husband.

Bill Benac Sr. said...

You'd better tread lightly or you might one day find the decapitated head of a bunny in your bed!!!


Jillybean said...

Wow, Scorpions AND face slapping mobsters living in your neighborhood?


Michemily said...

I just find that creepy.

chattypatra said...

Let it be known that one of my genealogical branches is the Bonannos from Sicily. Apparently, one of them moved to Spain and changed his spelling to Bonano. I'm a tad afraid to dig deeper! :)

Tracie said...

You're brave to post this on your blog... What if he finds it?!? I'd be nervous if I were you.

And by the way, I thought you wrote that he gave you a smack "on" the cheek, not "across" the cheek. I don't know what's better, a kiss or a slap!

Lindsay said...

I LOVE the Brooklyn "mafia" accent! Our ward (the chapel for which is located in the heart of Italian-mob-run Bensonhurst) is full of people who talk like that. Luckily they are all great people -- sorta like your neighbor. :)

Jenny said...

I hope this is fiction...?

Aunt LoLo said...

HAHAHAHAHA. Oh, TOO funny. I'm living in Connecticut right now, and don't know ANYONE forward enough to brush off my rear, New Yorker or otherwise.

I think your Mafia likes you. ;-)

Nikki said...

LOL!!!! I've missed you. Welcome back.