Shit For Brains
Angelo Pinterano was a seventeen year old living in Elmhurst, New York at the beginning of the 1970‘s. He quit high school and was working as an apprentice furniture slipcover maker. “This is a good future for a boy like you Angie,” his boss Mr. Kopelstein assured him. Angie silently replied, but with a faux smile as he stitched a beaded lavender laced sofa cover.
One night, Angie went along for a car ride with some older kid he had just met. It turned out to be more than just a quick innocent car ride to grab some White Castle cheeseburgers.
Angie thought it was so cool getting White Castle car hop service. He’d be the envy of the kids hanging out on the sidewalk. That’s where he usually was, standing on the sidewalk, ogling hot cars and their cool occupants.
Angie was unaware the shiny new red Mustang he was riding in was stolen. They were nabbed by the cops before they even got to White Castle.
Judge Francis McCarthy had mercy when the Probation report revealed Angie’s simple mental condition. Fortunately, Mr. Kopelstein’s nephew Myron was Angie’s assigned probation officer.
Mr. Kopelstein then hired Angie on Myron’s recommendation. “Myron is such a good Yiddish Boyalla,” Mr, Kopelstein said with pride to his fellow merchants on Northern Boulevard. “He loves helping people, so why should I not do my share as a good citizen? - You tell me!” He rhetorically asked shrugging his shoulders while pointing to his neighbor, The Huba Huba Kosher Delicatessen owner, cranky Karl Fester.
With a dismissive wave, cranky old Fester replied: “ Whaaaaaat? - You want I should give you a medal?”
Those types of New York characters were fading away as times moved on, as were kids like Angie.
Little Sally Dugurri was the first of the guys to become a “Hippie.” He first grew sideburns and then let his hair grow longer. Little Sally wore bell bottom pants, paisley shirts, love beads and purple lens granny sunglasses.
An impressionable youth Little Sally was, but he also was intellectually on the same level as Angie. They knew each other from Automotive Shop Classes. Both dropped out of high school within days of each other.
Little Sally’s father was kind of “connected.” Salvator Dugurri, Sr’s brother, Little Sally’s Uncle Vito, hung out at a smoked filled Mob storefront Italian Social Club. Vito knew people.
Uncle Vito got Little Sally a job at an auto parts business in junk yard alley, down behind Shea Stadium. This job became available, even though the business concerned really didn’t need any help at that time or any time in the future.
Little Sally’s never before seen hippie appearance and behavior made him “half a fag.” Even though Sally was not gay, in Mob parlance that meant a guy like Sally was “tolerated” while considered “entertaining” with a questionable sexual preference.
The employees at the auto parts business knew who Sally was and knew who Sally knew. Sally was untouchable and not to be fucked with in spite of his appearance.
Little Sally and Angie became “leftovers” in the neighborhood as the standard fabric evolved. The cool world moved around, past and over these two socially inept glacial boulders. They had no plans to leave and were quite comfortable.
Little Sally and Angie’s Saturday nights hanging out with the gang at “34thBowl,” the bowling alley down on 34th Avenue by the Brooklyn Queens Expressway were becoming more and more infrequent. Fewer and fewer of the “guys” were showing up.
That was another in the indications of major change, as is this:
Over the years, kids turned a small length of straight road dubbed “The Connecting Highway” into an illegal drag strip. Kids from all over Queens would hang out on street level overlooking the submerged strip to watch hot cars compete in drag racing. The submerged road made the sounds of loud illegal mufflers echo even louder.
But then like an animal species going extinct, the usual perennial replacement of infamous racers and their hot cars began to dissipate. Gone were the colorfully cool “Vinny the Guinea” and “Gudio and his GeeToe (GTO)” to name just a few legendary racing icons. New blood was not replacing the traditional roles of the older legends as they moved on.
Many of their contemporaries and those to follow in their foot steps were enlisting in the military, going away to college, getting married, being locked up or getting killed racing. The herd was definitely thinning out.
Both “34thBowl” and “The Connecting Highway” were each changing epicenters with a subset of the youthful population. Everything else in their world was definitely evolving as well. Most of the contemporary and newer kids surrendered to the inevitable changing flow.
Except for guys like Angie, and his pal, Little Sally Dugurri.
One Saturday evening while dining in Little Sally’s mother’s giant Ford station wagon at White Castle, Angie and Little Sally decided to start a business: “Midnight Auto Parts.” No business plan, or cash upfront required; just the Craftsman ratchet set Little Sally shoplifted from Sears.
Little Sally knew he could sell the stolen parts they “harvested” to his boss and the other auto body parts shops. It quickly became profitable. Even Uncle Vito was impressed. The guys started to pay a “tribute” to be kicked “upstairs.”
Angie and Little Sally decided to expand into stealing entire cars, on demand. This to satisfy the thirst of the growing number of “chop shops” and cars for “special order” to be shipped to Canada.
But, there would be no beginners luck for these two potential perps.
They were going to answer an order for the new top of the line Cadillac from Shifty Sam. He paid top dollar for Caddies going to Canada.
Early one Sunday morning around one am they decided steal a beautiful brand new Cadillac (exact model and color Shifty requested) parked outside of the swanky Kennedy House Towers luxury apartment complex in Forest Hills. It should have been a cinch.
It just so happened, this car belonged to visiting Mob big shot Rocco “Coco” Banduchi of Chicago. He was presently in New York City. The FBI had no intel on his location. Coco knew that from his well placed FBI rat.
Coco, a quasi-celebrity, was also visiting his famous mistress, Sharon Selaron. She was a Hollywood actress, originally from Queens who had recently returned to star on the Broadway stage in a limited run production. Their relationship was a quietly guarded secret. Not a hint of gossip. The FBI was also in the dark about this relationship, this also according to Coco’s FBI rat.
Discretion was Coco’s upmost concern. Coco even gave his body guards and driver the night off.
The lavish Kennedy House Towers penthouse apartment was a gift from Sharon to her loving widowed mother. Mother Selaron was currently vacationing in Florida. Sharon set up the tryst in the low key atmosphere and exclusive privacy of her mother’s Queens sanctuary with its majestic views of the New York City skyline.
The lovers were both unaware of the following fact: Whenever Coco was in New York City he was “up” with the NYPD Organized Crime Control Bureau. Translation: When Coco came to NYC, the NYPD put him under constant surveillance.
Of course, back then the NYPD and FBI did not share information. J. Edgar Hoover believed the NYPD was a rabble of unprofessional crude “ethnic” troglodytes.
The NYPD’s generally accepted opinion: FBI agents acted like they had splintery broomsticks firmly and securely inserted up their WASPY asses while believing their shit didn’t smell. They also knew Hoover was known to crave a shiny erect Johnson and the pearly white fluid that emanated from same.
So NYPD not dropping dime to the FBI about Coco? That goes without saying.
As Angie and Little Sally made their move on the Caddy:
Those warped minded NYPD cops thought it would be hilarious to lock up these two knuckleheads (Little Sally and Angie) in the act while they were trying to steal Coco’s Caddy. Then, according to The Patrol Guide, they can immediately notify Coco, in person.
If it just so happened they had to notify Coco while he was playing hide the salami with his favorite New York receptacle, then again, as NYC cops say: That is most unfortunate but - ”you do what you gotta to do.”
A nice NYPD shot to the FBI with a resounding “Fuck You.”
“This is a case of Autolarcnious-interuptus,” Detective Tommy Moore said in a mocked Germanic professorial academic tone.
Only from the depraved minds of NYPD Cops! Do they all really think like that?
Apparently, they most certainly do. Especially knowing that “Mr. Hoover will definitely be pissed.” Lt. Giovani De Larenzioni said looking through his binoculars.
Detective Mike Rivera added: “Fuck Hoover, and his Momma a mi tambien”
The story leaked like a sieve to the press. It was all over the television news. Film at Eleven: All three Network stations had film of Little Sally’s and Angie’s perp walk. These shit heads were even smiling at the cameras, unaware of the seriousness and ramifications of their actions.
Coco and Sharon’s pictures were splashed all over the tabloids. Especially telling was the unflattering picture of them exiting the 112 Pct. Their sleep deprived faces freeze framed by the harshness and shadows of the strobe flashing cameras.
That one picture made the front page of newspapers nationwide.
The New York Five Crime Families were fit to be tied. First, Joe Columbo’s takes on the FBI for alleged discrimination against Italian Americans with his bogus Italian American Civil Rights League. Then, the highly publicized Brooklyn antics of Crazy Joe Gallo? And now this shit with these two stunard knuckleheads outing Coco’s presence in New York! Out of Control!
The big bosses were way beyond pissed.
Forgetaboutit! As they say in Brooklyn.
The publicity was hurting business, but more importantly, it was bringing unwanted attention to the Mob right before this big “sit down” with Coco. Besides that big headache, when shit like this happens, “favors” from politicians on retainer usually are “unavailable.”
The big shots called Uncle Vito in to Little Italy for a sit down. He already knew there was nothing he could do to save the boys from being clipped. He swore up and down the boys didn’t talk to the cops about anything. Vito found himself on thin ice because of this as well because he introduced the knuckleheads into the life.
Probation Officer Myron Kopelstein and Judge Francis McCarthy knew Little Sally and Angie had no future in New York, they were bound to get clipped.
Their case was quietly expedited. Both kids pleaded guilty and agreed to join the army FORTHWITH in lieu of jail. They understood jail or probation were not options for their longevity.
Little Sally and Angie were taken by Myron directly to Fort Bragg in South Carolina to begin their enlistment. Uncle Sam did what Uncle Vito could not, Uncle Sam saved them from a horribly painful death at the hands of the Mob.
Boot Camp for the two New York City knuckleheads passed by quickly and was uneventful. Upon completion of basic training, Little Sally and Angie were both assigned to Tank Mechanic School.
Again, Probation Officer Kopelstein and Judge McCarthy’s insistence that Little Sally and Angie enlist kept them from being clipped in NYC by the Mob. It might have also kept them out of going to Viet Nam as draftees. That was probably the course they were on, before this auto crime fiasco, they had “Southeast Asian Bullet Bait” written all over them. Both had low numbers in the draft lottery.
Little Sally and Angie’s fortunate deployment to West Germany placed them in a new element. New opportunities presented themselves.
The two knuckleheads apparently stepped in shit, again.
Sergeant Giuseppe “Butch” Ponzelli was a native of the back country Louisiana swamp. He had been in the army for six years. The word was Butch prided himself on knowing the real deal. He could turn shit into gold.
Butch told Little Sally and Angie he plucked them right out of the bunch of new replacements. He went on to say his instinct for raw talent was uncanny. Butch immediately informed Little Sally and Angie he could mold them into highly trained and motivated partners for his growing larcenous machine.
The boys accepted their apparent continued good fortune without question.
Needless to say, the boys relationship with Butch fit like a glove. He had them both assigned to his platoon. Their army routine left plenty of time for other enterprises. Little Sally and Angie had dreams of enriching themselves in West Germany.
Butch told the guys about Hyman Himmelstoffer. Hyman’s larcenous nature was also immediately apparent to Butch when they first met at an “exclusive, underground and off limits” party in West Berlin. Butch put it into words his charges would understand: “Hyman is a stand-up guy.”
Butch continued: Hyman was really Verner Dietrik a “defected” East German Stasi officer. His exposure by a loyal Communist party member got Verner jailed for his “capitalistic” escapades. Verner used hard cash to buy his way out of East German captivity. He was now living under his assumed identity in the West. No one knew his real name. The East Germans thought Verner was dead, but Hyman lives on.
Butch eventually introduced Hyman to Little Sally and Angie. Hyman had an immediate plan to make a fantastic score. The only problem was it involved going into East Berlin. But not to worry. Hyman had it all planned. Cash was king in East Berlin.
These two trusting knuckleheads eagerly bought into the plan with Butch’s approval. There was only one little fact the shit for brains Angie and Little Sally didn't hear from either Hyman or Butch:
This plan put Little Sally and Angie centered in the final stage of a complicated and pre-determined conspiracy to terminate their existence. Their “Cadillac” indiscretion did not only cross the Mob, but deeply involved the incarnate shadow government of the United States: The CIA.
Boswell Smythe Harrington III was recruited to the CIA right out of Princeton University. His entire “civilian” career is a front for his actual CIA intelligence profession. His neighbors think he deals in international trade law. Boswell believed he was protecting the insouciance of his neighbors as well as the entire clueless country from the world of dangerous international bears, (The Russians.)
Boswell was deeply involved with arranging the meeting involving Coco, his mob cohorts and elements of the international intelligence community. His cool demeanor limited the level of frustration he usually had when dealing with organized crime “ethnics” in furtherance of his patriotic duties. But this “fuck up” was so potentially devastating, it tested his limits.
It had to be delicately addressed. Meaning everything. These two “ethnic” miscreants could not fall into the hands of the United States government or the other side as well. This project must remain free of any distractions, no matter how insignificant they might be or potentially become.
These two “ethnic” expendables could not just disappear. Too many questions would be asked. They could not just die in a stateside accident. A plan was immediately devised to remove them from the country and terminate their existence in a timely and appropriate manner.
Out of sight + Out of mind = Terminated. That was the way to go.
The FBI didn’t know about any of this from day one. The two federal agencies were not only at odds with each other, a true hatred existed. The CIA trusted the Mob more than the FBI? Go figure. The CIA probably got more of what they wanted done with the flexibility in the Mob than the nonsense of the bureaucratically myopic assholes at the FBI.
“We popped the two Kennedy’s, Oswald and King, Hoover the Homo never figured that out,” Boswell reassured himself. “Leave the Mob alone like with killing Castro and they’ll fuck it up,” he simmered.
The CIA knew who was who and what was what. They got to the NYPD, they got to the Judge, they got to the Probation Officer, and they got to the Army. This CIA miscreant disposal operation was easily set up and could be easily executed.
The plan was to have the two simpletons immediately and legally removed from the American Criminal Justice system. Then disposed of by the CIA with the unwitting help of the East German Stasi. Again, Money is king in East Berlin.
These delicate situations, succinctly engineered by the strategically placed individuals was conceived the night of the original auto theft. It went off perfectly unnoticed.
The report stated that two recently assigned and highly intoxicated off duty American soldiers unknowingly broached the Berlin Wall and stole a Russian tank. They went on a short joy ride through East Berlin and were shot and killed by East German soldiers. Their identities were given as two individual solders with no known relatives who were really killed in Viet Nam.
And that, is that.
The Russians and East Germans accused the two of being spies. Diligent fact checking by Western journalists proved the Communist claims to be of a nugatory nature.
It was a passing story buried on page 42 of The New York Daily News. Again, the CIA has friends everywhere.
From his secret office overlooking Washington D.C. Boswell Smythe Harrington III poured himself a refreshing drink. He sat at his large desk, smiled and whispered in a mockingly heavy New York City cop accent:
“You don't know who we know.”
Published 10/9/16 www.short-story.me