April 2006

ASK THE SMART GUY: Monthly column by Dennis Latham.

The Smart Guy speaks at a homeless fiction writers' rally.

The Smart Guy speaks at a homeless fiction writers' rally.

With that image in mind, and the boot-bicyle from February, let's return to our Writers' Workshop. Here is an excerpt from another book you’ll never get to read… from the novel:

Dumb Mafia Hit Men

Chapter 6

Vito Nazarini and Monk Spitzanelli watched as the man they were supposed to kill stepped from a parked car. In a moment, they were at his side.

"Hey, Frankie," Vito said. "Big Elmo says dat you is supposed to a ride wit us, ha-ha."

The doomed man, Frankie Garbaroni, knew his executioners well, and though trapped with two ice picks jabbing his back, he had a plan.

"Big Elmo who?" Frankie said.

Vito and Monk looked at each other, and Frankie knew their limited third grade education might save his life.

"Frankie, you know who it is," Monk said. "Big Elmo Maraconzon, uh, Maracuzzo, uh, you tella him, Vito."

"Hey, Monk, I can't a pronounca dat name, either. It's Big Elmo Macaroni, I think."

"It's a not Macaroni," Monk said. "Anyway, you knows who it is, Frankie. It's da Boss."

Frankie rubbed his forehead. "I know several Big Elmos. You sure you gotta the right guy?"

"Ha," Vito said. "A course we gotta the right guy. You stold Big Elmo's money."

"Well, then you tella me what's his last name?"

"Aw, come on, Frankie," Monk said. "We gotta killa you ass. What difference does that make?"

"Because a guy should know whose a having him killed. Spell it for me."

Vito and Monk lowered their ice picks and sat on the curb.

"Spell it," Vito said. "Geez, letta me see."

"M, uh, A, uh…" Monk said.

Frankie Garbaroni eased away down the street and around the corner, out of sight.

"M, uh, A, uh…" Vito said. "Hey, Frankie, you went to da sixth grade. Help us out. Frankie? Oh, darn. He's a gonna…"

To which Frankie sez: He's sapposed ta be a gonna, not gonna

Mafia hit men or NASA scientists?

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