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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

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Joey celebrates his hiring at The Fox Hole!

So I ACED that interview - I’m PSYCHED! And in two days, I will be working at The Fox Hole.

As I make my way downstairs to the bathroom, I can feel that pressure in my shoulders and neck that I needed to put on my best hard guy act. Now I want to let it out. The rush makes me feel like a ball in a pinball machine. I want to ricochet off the walls too. I want to light up the fuckin’ room. Ding! Ding! Ding! Free game!

When I get to the bathroom, I look under the stalls, to make sure nobody’s in there.

“Yeah! Holy shit! Yeah! Motherfucker! Motherfucker! You did it! Son of a bitch!” I get down on that cold white tile floor, and run off thirty push-ups, just like that. I get up all flushed and red, and the memories, the trapped, constricted feeling of oppression flush over me. Of not having any money to do anything, having to listen to my father’s badgering, and Jack the Barber’s nonsense. Everybody trying to impose their shit on me- it all comes flooding back, as I look at myself in the full-length mirror. Spontaneously, almost unconsciously, I morph into my boxing stance, and start shuffling.

“Overhand left-ooh- jab, jab, jab with the right- to the body- to the body-

You can’t hurt me- you can’t hurt me- straight left to the head- again- again- oh- he scores heavy! Ok, shuffle! Dance-dance-that’s right- float like a butterfly, sting like a bee! Right uppercut- left hook to the jaw- ugh- ugh- ugh! Vicious combination to the body! Oooh- he’s hurt, he’s hurt, he staggering- he’s going down! 10-9-8-7-6- he’s out- KO! Ho! Ho!”

I fall to my knees, my arms raised in victory. TheChampion! Yes! I blow kisses to the crowd. The roar is deafening, as they chant my name. I pull out my pick from my back pocket, and it instantly becomes a microphone. Now, I am being interviewed by Howard Cosell.

“When did you know you had him, Champ?” I ask in my best Howard Cosell style impersonation.

“I knew - I knew - I had him in the tenth, Howard (I gasp between panting breaths, exhausted from the vicious bout) he had nothing left, he…”

All of a sudden Salvatore, one of the other brothers, walks through the door, looking at me like I’m a fuckin’ lunatic.

“Um… hey, Salvatore! What’s up? Just-just- combing my hair.”

I put the pick back in my pocket, and rush out of there, the glory of victory temporarily aborted.

When I walk outside, I’m strutting now, strutting like Rooster, the pimp from (the TV show) Baretta. This neighborhood, which only forty-five minutes before, had seemed so fucking foreboding, now I actually find it quite charming, almost quaint.

I breathe in the greasy air from the various Kentucky Fried Chicken and White Castles, intermingling with the fumes spewing from the Romerowski Brothers factory smoke stacks. Breathe it in deep, and now it’s kind of pleasant. Even refreshing. I just break out loud into Summer Wind, snapping my fingers, as I bop through the streets.

I pass by the three old black guys sitting on milk crates in front of Willie’s Barbershop, still in the exact same position as before, arguing loudly about which one of them had had sex with Josephine Baker in France, during WWII. All of a sudden, they stop in mid-sentence, when they see me coming by.

“What? What that crazy-ass fool be singin'?”

Sound like that got-damn Frank Sinatra shit! You know he jacked that shit from Duke!”

As I pass by them I smile, tip an imaginary cap, and say, “Top a’ the mornin’ to ya,” in my best Irish brogue.

They all look at each other, eyes wide open and pissed off.

“Hey! Hey! You- you- wanna get somebody kilt wit' that shit! Half-stepping fool!”

“Wiggling’ an’ jiggling like he done lost his got-damn mind!”

But nothing could faze me now. It’s like I’m walking through Disneyland.

Submitted: May 08, 2021

© Copyright 2022 Joe Montaperto. All rights reserved.

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