“Is that so, Guido? Like what?”

“You know Two-Fingered Louie down in the garment district? He wouldn’t help me unless I did a little favor for him. It was about his daughter.”

“Little Susan? Isn’t she in eighth grade at Corleone Junior High?”

“That’s the one. Seems that the guy she liked at school wouldn’t take her to see Nick Carter, so I had a little talk with him. He won’t be a problem no more.”

“I see.”

“Then Louie turns me on to this guy who runs a limo service down in the south end of town and wants the contracts for all the big shows coming to the sports arena, like Dave Matthews Band and that Smooth Jazz Christmas. Long story short, I talked to a few people, made a few implied threats, busted a couple of heads, and bada-bing, bada-boom, problem solved.”

“Then what happened?”

“Limo guy sends me across the river to see this man who owns a chain of pizza joints. Seems that Michael Hill’s Blues Mob has been hustling him. In fact, one of them was hasslin’ the dude when I walked into the place. You see, not only did he want pizza man to deliver to the parties they’re throwing after seeing Slobberbone and Omar & The Howlers, but he wanted it at cost.”

“A reasonable proposition.”

“Depends on which side of the fence your bread’s buttered on. Things got a little ugly, but I handled it. That’s when I got this. See?”

“Not pretty. Does it hurt?”

“Only when I laugh. I guess I’m going to have to skip seeing Gallagher. The missus is going to be awfully disappointed.”


“Anyway, pizza man hooks me up with this guy who heists T-shirt trucks for a living. You know, the ones they sell at that Pollstar.com store, like Bob Dylan and Korn? I move some merch for him, he makes a couple of phone calls, and before you know it, I’ve got a meeting with the biggest concert promoter in town.”

“End of story?”

“Not quite. I walked into his office just as he was negotiating for Alan Jackson and The Other Ones. I’m tellin’ you, Johnny, I never saw so many agents.”

“Agents? The feds were there?”

“No, Johnny, booking agents. And the bullets were flyin’ everywhere! I took one in the left eye.”

“So, that’s why you’re wearing that patch. I’m sorry.”

“Eh, I’ve got another one. Anyway, I pulled out my piece and turned a couple of the agents’ kneecaps into ground beef, just to make them listen to reason. The promoter was so grateful, he gave me what you wanted. Here you go, two tickets for Paul McCartney.”


“Something wrong, Johnny? I did good, didn’t I?”

“You did good, Guido, but…”

“But what?”

“Couldn’t you get better seats?”