I Dream Of Jeannie Cusamano

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Psychiatry pays for itself

I was in a secondhand store in Baltimore yesterday, and I saw a bright yellow wooden end table with a map of New Jersey embedded in the glass top. I would have bought it, too, if it weren't sixty dollars. I have a forty-dollar limit on funny furniture. I like my laughs cheap.


Junior, Tony, and the rest of the capos are discussing business. It looks like they rented out the conference room in the Ramada Inn on Route 3. It's got the wood paneling and the furniture that is designed not to be ergonomic but economic. Like Starbucks. Or any office that requisitions its furniture from Staples, who may be experts on, say, staples or two-hole punches, but certainly couldn't tell a comfortable chair from a bucket of chicken. Do I sound bitter? I'm not. So they're gathered in their conference room, and they're talking about garbage collections or whatever it is that Jersey wiseguys do to make money, and Jimmy Altieri is asking lots of questions. Too many questions. Junior and Tony exchange knowing glances across the table, and after the meeting Junior approves the hit on Jimmy the Rat. Tony smiles and heads off to look for the complimentary breakfast bar.

Christopher and Jimmy the Rat are heading out -- or, rather, in -- for a night of entertainment at a local hotel at the hands of some Russian "ladies of the night" (as my mother calls them). Jimmy thought that Christopher couldn't stand Russian women, which, as a Russian woman, I'll try not to take personally. Ass. Christopher says that he just didn't like the ones Junior was bringing around, but Tony's goomah is Russian, and you couldn't ask for a nicer girl. Christopher, do you want to ask Carmela about that? Didn't think so. Jimmy asks if he has enough cologne on. Christopher opines that it smells like Paco Rabanne crawled up his ass and died. My grandma wears Paco Rabanne perfume; I'll have to try that line out on her. Jimmy tells Christopher to lay off, because he can't get the girls he used to be able to get. Jimmy, your head is so fat you have to iron your hats in the driveway, so I'm pretty skeptical about your assertion that you ever got a girl like these goomahs. I mean, without paying. And any sensible lady would charge you double -- once for you, and once for your big-ass head. I'm just saying. Then Jimmy has the gall to ask about Russian hygiene, like he's fucking Mr. Clean. Then he complains that Christopher wouldn't let him put anything decent on when he pulled him out of bed. Anything decent like, say, a wire? Christopher ignores him and knocks on a door. A pretty girl walks out in her skivvies. She pretends she's interested in Jimmy, an act that she pulls off hella better than I could have. Which is probably why she gets paid the big bucks. Christopher sends her out to get her friend while he and Jimmy wait in the room, which looks like it could be at the same Ramada as the conference. Jimmy takes a seat, and then Little Stevie and his hair come barreling out of a closet, guns blazing. Jimmy is all whatthefuck for about two seconds before he realizes that that they know about the wire, that he's not wearing the wire, and that he is totally fucked. He makes a feeble attempt to reach for his gun, but Little Stevie (or his hair) pulls the trigger and it's all over for fathead Jimmy the Rat.

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