What Do You Think Of Murder ?

It looks like I’m going to have to commit murder. Gotta cut down a really big guy. Really. Most of you only know me as a guy who likes to sit here in my big, manly, comfortable black leather poppa chair in my living room, talk with you on the podcasts (www.dicksummer.com/podcast) and write to you on the blogs. But I’m from Brooklyn, and I grew up as a pretty tough guy. Brooklyn guys are taught how to make a fist very young. I was 14 till I knew what fingers look like. Actually, I’m not going to kill that big guy myself, my Lady Wonder Wench make me farm the job out. I hired a guy with a flat nose, cauliflower ears, and a chewed off shot gun. When you look deeply into his eyes, you can see the back of his head. He was with the FBI. They caught him in Texas. 

Dad and mom had 11 kids. Dad just figured he’d keep trying till he got one he liked. He was very strict. He taught me not to wet the bed by giving me an electric blanket. I don’t really blame him. I was the kind of kid I wasn’t supposed to play with when I was a kid. In Brooklyn, a window of opportunity usually involved a rock. And as you may have figured out…all but one of the things I just told you are lies. Don’t forget what Big Louie says in my book, Staying Happy Healthy And Hot – “Honesty = The Truth + Maybe.

But the thing about having to commit murder is true. And I farmed out the job…that’s true too. The guy I hired left the old neighborhood. He took a bus. The driver chased him for two miles…but…ok..ok…I’m lying again. It’s a habit. I was a disc jockey. In New York City. When I was doing the morning show at WNEW-FM, I used to like getting people’s attention by saying…”Hey…are you really sure you locked your front door this morning ?” Locking your door is very important in a city with 14 million people…around many of whom you shouldn’t make a sudden move. We had six locks on our front door. But dad only locked every other one. He figured no matter how long a bad guy spent picking the locks, he’d always land up locking three of them in the process. Think about it. It works.

Ok. More lies. When you start telling them, they just come pouring out, and they feel so good. But the truth is, I did hire a guy to cut down a big guy who has been menacing the whole neighborhood. My guy wasn’t always in the murder for hire business, but one night he made the mistake of walking up to an off duty plain clothes cop in a bar, and he said, “Hey buddy do you want to buy a ring ?” The plain clothes cop said “What does it look like?” My guy said, “Don’t look now, but the guy at the other table is wearing it.” That was a mistake.

Dick’s Details…a bunch of totally un-important stuff for you to stuff in one ear, so you can squeeze the important stuff that’s giving you agiada out the other ear, and you can calm down and start smiling again.

You will probably not be surprised to learn that storks do not have vocal chords, and therefore don’t make vocal sounds. Mother Nature is efficient. She did that so storks can stay quiet enough to sneak up on women and leave babies at their houses. That’s how it happens. If the answer is “A private tutor”, what is the question ? I’ll tell you in a minute. The smart guys in the white lab coats tell us that some foods are slightly radioactive from naturally present radium and or potassium. And one of those foods is beer. Maybe that explains how well lit some of the guys get at the singles bars on a Saturday night. If the Milky Way galaxy were the size of Asia, our earth would be the size of a penny. Think about that. Kind of puts most of our problems into a perspective doesn’t it? And…the moment you’ve been waiting for…if the answer is a private tutor, the question is what do you call a guy who refuses to fart in public. A private tutor. OK mock me for that one…but you’ll tell it next time you get a little lit on that beer.

Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

I was kidding you a while ago about how tough it is in New York. But there’s a story in my Night Connections spoken word CD about a New York woman I know, who learned the really hardest way of all, how tough life can be.

It’s a true story about a guy who was a friend of mine. His name was Billy. He landed up bleeding NYPD blue…for real. He was the kind of guy you wanted to have around when things got really tough. Or when things were really good, and you needed somebody to share a laugh with you.

Billy was a piece of work. He was a neighborhood guy who grew up in Brooklyn…he always wanted to ride around in what he called a black and white. New York City cop cars were all painted black and white in those days. He made it…all the way up to Homicide Detective Lt. Billy had a New York sense of humor. He called me to tell me about the crime scene he was investigating one night when I was on the air at WNBC radio. It was a particularly bloody crime scene, and the murder had just happened. I said, “Hey Billy, why are you telling me about this while I’m on the air?” He said, “It looks like they had the radio on when the bullets were flying, and guess who they were listening to. They were listening to you.” The bad guys got Billy not too long after that. I…still miss him.

The Quiet Man’s Woman is the title of that story from my Night Connections spoken word CD. If you like it you can just keep the current podcast at www.dicksummer.com/podcast . Or if you want a fresh copy, just check out the Night Connections Icon on the home page.

I really did hire killer to take down a big guy who has been threatening the neighborhood for quite a while now. The big guy is an oak tree, and it’s getting weak. It has to come down carefully…not in a wind storm, because some of its branches are hanging right over my house, and it’s so big, if it came down in a storm…besides crushing my roof, it could hit one of my neighbor’s homes too. It’s probably about 250 or 300 years old…think of it. It was here before George Washington fought the battle of the Brandywine just down the road from here. That was September 11, 1776. Washington lost…again…on the terrible, bloody road to Independence. Think of what that beautiful big guy saw. It was here before electricity. It saw the first cars…the first airplanes… two world wars and men lading on the moon. The letters J.B and C.R. are carved in the trunk with a heart around them. There’s nobody in the neighborhood those letters fit any more. I like to think that oak gave shade to a tepee full of Lenape  Indians who were living here…long before it gave shade to my home. It was a big part of the reason that 20 years ago, when the real estate agent brought us here, without a moment’s hesitation, my Lady Wonder Wench said very softly, “I want this house.” It has been a happy home for us. This big oak stands probably 100 feet tall…right in the middle of a small circle where my Lady Wonder Wench and I sometime go on a gentle summer full moon lit night to remember my mom and dad whose ashes are scattered there…together…just like they wanted.  

I am about to take its life. I must. It’s old and weak now. But it still has some life left. It still has some of the Summer’s leaves, and there’s a family of robins living in one of the holes in the trunk, and all the neighborhood squirrels chase each other up and down its branches. I’ve got to take its life…because if it fell right now, it could take mine. But I must confess, and I hope you understand … it feels like murder.

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