“Did you see that?” Ganelli spoke to his friends in the flat primer-gray ’49 ford. They cruised by Sterling and Slinger as they parted company.
“You think she’s screwing Slinger?”
“Naw, I doubt it. You know what they say about the Jew girls. They save it for the wedding night and make you beg for it every night after you’re hooked.”
“I don’t know.” Roscoe Napoli snipped the powder blue fuzzy dice dangling from the rearview mirror. “Look at Maureen Gotz. She puts out for anyone–Jewish or not.”
“There are exceptions to every rule.” Ganelli shifted into third. “Let’s see what’s happening at Brighams.” He turned the radio up loud as Elvis Presley sang “Don’t Be Cruel”.
The parking lot at Brighams Ice Cream Parlor was crammed with mostly older cars owned or driven by teenagers. Ganelli could tell who was in the ice cream shop by the cars.
“There’s Putsy’s Ford. Let’s go in.” He parked next to the Pink ’55 Ford Convertible.
“Wait.” Napoli pointed to the ’54 blue Olds convertible. “Bibsy Glick’s in there.”
“So he usually has some of the football guys with him.”
“Just act cool and ignore him.” Petro Nocchi looked from the backseat.
The trio walked in and looked around. There was a vacant booth next to Putsy Aiello and her three friends. Pat Boone was crooning about “Love Letters in the Sand” as they walked over.
“Hey Gino, Roscoe, Petro.” Putsy stood up and waved them over. She and her friends were juniors like them. She stuck her tight-sweatered chest up and looked in her make-up mirror.
“What’s happenin’ ladies?” Ganelli knelt on his booth seat and faced the girls with his back to the table and his two cronies.
“Nothin’ much.” Goochie Lima blotted an unnecessary reapplication of ruby red lipstick and looked down her cleavage.
A roar of laughter projected over the juke box volume to their booth. The Italian teens looked toward Bibsy Glick and six of the football squad guzzling frappes and smiling.
“Ya think they’re laughing at us?” Putsy pouted.
“Nah. Probably just football stuff.” Roscoe Napoli stared at the athletes.
One of the footballers caught Napoli’s stare. “Hey, the greaseballs are here.” He said it loud enough for everyone to hear.
“You gonna let him get away with that?” Putsy was indignant. “He’s insultin’ us.”
“There’s more of them than us,” Ganelli said.
“What did you say, O’Hare?” Santo’s voice boomed after he pulled the plug on the jukebox.
Bibsy stepped out of his booth. He was the largest kid in the high school and was built like a wrestler. “He didn’t mean anything Carli.”
“Then let him say he didn’t mean anything. Let him apologize to everyone in the shop.” Santo stood inches away from O’Hare’s face.
“You wanna mess it up with me, Santo?” The halfback asked. He was an inch taller than Santo.
Santo looked at Bibsy. “Bibsy, you need this guy for the game on Saturday, you betta give him some good advice right now.”
Bibsy moved between them and faced his team mate. “For Christ sakes, Santo will put you in the hospital for the season.”
O’Hare looked at Santo, inhaled deeply and shouted, “All right. I goofed off. I apologize for my remark. I was stupid.” He turned to Bibsy. “Okay?”
Bibsy pointed to Santo and O’Hare faced Santo again. “Okay?”
“Apology accepted.” Santo grabbed O’Hare by his groin cradling his balls. “I don’t want to hear language like that again from you ever. Understand?”
Santo released O’Hare’s privates and went to the jukebox. The music began again.
“Shit.” Ganelli banged his fist on the table.
“What?” Goochie Lima looked at Ganelli and Napoli.
“Santo. He makes us look bad.”
“There are three of us and one of him. He gets the Irish bastard to apologize while we sat here with our thumbs up our ass.”
“So let’s get outta here. I don’t like the big Jew helpin’ out either.” They took their large chocolate frappes with them.
In the parking lot Ganelli pointed at Glick’s Olds with his frappe. “Glick’s top’s down. Let’s go.”
Ganelli, Napoli and Nocchi poured their chocolate frappes onto Glick’s driver’s seat.
“Let’s get outta here. Bibsy’ll go apeshit when he sees this.” Ganelli and his goons got into the Ford and disappeared with a roar from the dual glasspack exhausts.
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