An Offer No One Refused
From The Rottmouth & Boner Studio
Setting: Early June of 2011 at La Cosa Bullybong.
A menthol haze drifts below a coffered ceiling that hovers over a mahogany table surrounded by men about burdensome business. The dim room accentuates the solemn anxiety being stifled within heavily pulsing bodies. The hierarchy of the Bullybong family has called a meeting with Captains from the various families within The Industry. The intent of the meeting remains unknown to the soldiers of the Reily family, the Smith family, the Cornhole family, the Carroll family and the Baker family. Don Nude sits luxuriously at the center of the banquet table in his leather chair while Consigliere Stapelborg stands at his right hand. The low murmurs migrating through the room are abruptly terminated as Don Nude clears his throat to speak…
Don Nude: Andy Irons is dead. Rest in Peace. *crossing himself* So is Phillip Tattaglia. Munga Barry. Stracci. And Rocky of the Occhilupo family. But I don’t care about them. I care only about the Irons’ affair. Today I settle all family business so don’t bother telling me that any of you are innocent. *lights a cigar*
Stapelborg: *leans in and whispers into Nude’s ear* Boss, the coroner’s results have been released. What we have always known is now public knowledge.
Don Nude: Indeed. I have gathered you here, my made men, to reward you for your faithfulness to The Family. My offer to you… was not refused. I cannot speak for Don McNite or Don Cuntet, but they are not directly affected by this… *scratching underside of his chin* this… ehhh unfortunate circumstance. However, on behalf of La Cosa Bullybong, I would like to offer my heartfelt gratitude for keeping your allegiance to The Family, bound by the blood oath you all took many years ago. Know this, gentlemen: blood would have been shed in quarts, rather than drops, should anyone have broken this allegiance. Yet silence, by any means necessary, was maintained.
Capo Cornhole: The blood oath asks that we never raise our pens against a fellow family member. That we carry out orders from The Boss, The Underboss or Consigliere without question. And La Cosa Bullybong comes before anything and everything in our lives.
Capo’s Carroll, Baker, Reily and Smith: Here here! Salute a cent’anno! *raising glasses of Sangiovese*
Capo Carroll: *caterpillars furrowing along his brow* Don Nude… with respect, we have gone through great lengths to keep any family truths bound within this circle. In fact, I was flanked by my fellow Capo Baker and newly made man Maury Cole in the Sarge War as we were besieged at Australia’s Surfing Life. We had a little argument but we straightened it out. Badda-boom, badda-bing.
Stapelborg: But Captain Carroll, you did slip up and admit what you found out about Sarge was, and I quote: “appalling.” And THAT is a matter we shall not speak of again, shall we?
Don Nude: Quite right. The Sarge situation has been disposed of in the trunk of my Cadillac. Before we speak of due compensation for accepting my offer, we need to discuss something serious. Narcotics-testing is becoming a political issue for The Family and we need to nip it in the bud, so to speak. I need you to tell me just what drugs our soldiers and associates are taking so we can mask them before the tests are in place. Be honest.
Capo Reily: Coke.
Capo Cornhole: Speed and Ecstasy.
Capo Smith: Crystal Meth.
Capo Cornhole: Don’t do drugs.
Capo Carroll: Heroin and Morphine.
Capo Baker: Is Red Bull® legal?
Capo Cornhole: Don’t do drugs.
Don Nude: *barely visible behind a cloud of cigar smoke* Okay. Alright. Jeeesus. That’s an impressive list. I appreciate the loyalty and honesty which you have shown. *motioning to Stapelborg – lowering his voice* Let President Carr and Senator’s Hickel and Prodan know we have a list and we’re handling the matter within our own house.
Stapelborg: Done, boss.
Don Nude: So, let us get back to the topic at hand. For your protection and allegiance I would now like to present each of you with your ransom. Please… when I call you name, step forward. *pause – holds up an envelope* Captain Reily. *grabs a Twinkie and begins eating it slowly*
Capo Reily: *stepping out of the shadows* Yes, Don Nude and Consigliere Stapelborg?
Don Nude: Capo Reily, you are a man of respect. A man of intelligence. A man I can depend on. You interviewed Mr. Irons just days before he passed away for STAB Magazine. Graciously, you mentioned nothing about any illness or narcotics and avoided any allusions to behavior that may harm La Cosa Bullybong. I do not know, nor do I want to know, if you had anything to do with squelching Don MacIntush’s questions at STAB in the latest Bruce Interview… but whatever the case may be, they have my full and undivided approval. And for your deeds, I am bestowing you with a small sum of cash that will help you finally start your beloved family’s website. *hands envelope to Consigliere Stapelborg who hands the reward to Reily*
Capo Reily: Salute! I pledge my never-ending loyalty. *bows*
*a bespectacled waiter waddles into the room bearing various pasta dishes and more wine bottles*
Don Nude: *motioning Cpt. Reily back to the shadows* Captain Cornhole. *a thick tongue darts out from Nude’s lips, seeking any stray Twinkie crumbs*
Stapelborg: Waiter! Leave that food alone. Get your fat little sausage fingers off the antipasta spread.
Capo Baker: *whispering under his breath* Isn’t that Chris, one of the Associate underlings from the Coté family?
Don Nude: I told you before Mr. Coté, you can have some AFTER we have finished.
Waiter: Yes sir, Boss. I’ll take the seconds. I apologize. No disrespect, sir.
*Mr. Coté wobbles forlornly out of the room as he’s silently heckled by the leering eyes of Capo Cornhole*
Capo Cornhole: *sheepishly stepping forward* Yes, Don and Consigliere?
Don Nude: Capo Cornhole, you have spent the last year keeping quiet about this whole… *pauses while scratching underside of his chin* this… ehhhh… this little misunderstanding. When pushed by some nosy civilians, you defended The Family with this brilliant piece in Surfing Magazine. *holds up a large manila envelope* For your willing obfuscations, and going so far as denying that you are a journalist so you could absolve yourself of this little… *ahem*… affair, I salute you with this portrait of “St. Peter Denying Christ” by Caravaggio. *points to associate’s in the corner holding a wrapped package* And the TMZ mention? Brilliant work.
Capo Cornhole: I do not deserve such generosity. But I will continue to serve La Cosa Bullybong faithfully. *bows*
Don Nude: *flicking his wrist* Captain Smith.
Capo Smith: *waving hands wildly while jumping up and down* Right here Boss!
Stapelborg: Capo Smith, show some respect! *rubs his gloved hands together*
Don Nude: My dear Capo Smith. Your drama and overbearing attempts at satire and homosexual innuendo have been very taxing on The Family. And the fact that you referred to us in public as a familia is a little… ehhhh… inconvenient. *Stapelborg begins toying with a roll of gaffa tape* Nevertheless, you used the battlefield at Surfing Magazine to defend The Family well. Putting The Family first and foremost is the foundation… the bedrock of La Cosa Bullybong’s strength. *pulls out a small envelope* For your allegiance, I have a script from Michael Bay’s latest film called “Blowing The Fuck Out Of Shit,” that casts you as the leading man… I made a few calls to some guys who know some guys in Hollywood. *hands envelope to Stapelborg who hands it to Captain Smith*
Capo Smith: *weeping* O… M… Geeeeee!! OMG, OMG, OMGeeeee!!! What can I say? What can I do? What do I do? OMG!!!!
Don Nude: *standing up* YOU CAN ACT LIKE A MAN!! Whatsa matter with you? *sitting back down* If it wasn’t for my sentimental weakness for members of The Family, you’d be sleeping with the Fishtales. Now, go get your shine box Charlie, quit crying like a little girl you dumb-wit, and go on… get out of here.
Stapelborg: *motions to associates at the door to escort Capo Smith past the piles of white powder on the tables next to the pasta and out the back door*
Don Nude: Captain Carroll.
Capo Carroll: *steps out from his standing position under the table and wipes beads of sweat from his bald pate* Yes sir?
Don Nude: You have been The Family’s most loyal Capo for many years. You have stood by La Cosa Bullybong as we added the Von Zipper family, the RCVA family, and the Nixon family through various marriages. You’ve lived through many battles with civilian outsiders trying to expose our… ehhhh… how you say… our business enterprises. For your extreme loyalty… *pulls an envelope out of his suit jacket*… I am giving you the coveted Underboss bracelet.
Stapelborg: Now wait just a minute there Don Nude! That means this Capo pulls rank on me. I was next in line as Underboss – having been your faithful Consigliere for years. I was instrumental in ignoring Andy’s health problems and making sure kids thought he was just hyperactive. I was the one who came up with the words “Den Gay Fever” fer chrissakes!!
Capo Carroll: *glaring up at Stapelborg* With all due respect Consigliere, I have been blowing off the ASP’s affiliation with the World Anti-Doping Agency and making condescending comments about people who are outside The Family longer than you. I can handle things! I’m smart! Not like everybody says… like dumb… I’m smart and I want respect! Who has been the one prowling internet forums into the wee hours of dawn, seeking dissent, and devouring them like the buggers they are? It was I who led the charge that saw Samuels, Nug and…
Stapelborg: What about Shearer? Or Rottmouth? Huh??
Capo Carroll: *baring his yellowed rat’s teeth* Shearer? Do you think it’s a coincidence that no one can find his columns? And Rottmouth only has twenty readers and five people commenting with twenty-seven different aliases. He’s only got 375 followers on Twitter®. He’s a fucking joke! He’s not funny or clever.
Stapelborg: Oh sure Carroll, if it wasn’t for you riding the coat tails of your paisan brother, you’d be working at the Newport Arms as a line cook! Do you know a SINGLE person who thinks you’re a good writer? You’re a medically classified midget, Capo!
Don Nude: *standing in a cloud of smoke* Silence! The decision is made. In addition to this fluff piece at ASL being held back until seven months after the ehhhh… unfortunate… ehhh… incident, Capo Carroll’s illustrious familial history goes back to royal bloodlines. We must honor World Champion bloodlines. You, my dear Stapelborg, will remain in power as our Consigliere… unless you feel disrespected… by ME? *raising single eyebrow*
Stapelborg: *rubbing gloved fists furiously* No sir. No Don Nude. No disrespect. None at all.
Don Nude: Good. Finally, we come to you, Captain Baker.
Capo Baker: *reluctantly steps into the light, head bowed* Yes Don Nude?
Don Nude: Capo Baker, you are an enigma to me. Your bullet casings were found throughout the Sarge War at ASL mentioned by new Underboss Carroll. No doubt, you represented The Family well there. I admire the shots you fired at Fred Pawle’s back. I assumed you were destined to move up the ranks and one day rise to Consigliere yourself. Unfortunately, back when Amy Winehouse was still popular, and alive, you penned something, ehhhh… peculiar at Kurungabaa, that easily may have been mistook for disrespect. And that is why I had Consigliere Stapelborg visit your place with a bat that evening in 2009. Since then… I think you and I have seen eye to eye on the… ehhh… the *pauses while scratching the underside of his chin* … the business of La Cosa Bullybong. You proved your mettle once the unfortunate incident with Andy happened when you only had these important words to say. Very commendable.
Capo Baker: I thank you sir. It was most convenient that my inspiration to write dried up at that time, and I was far too busy ghost-writing to tackle such a damaging, yet important subject.
Don Naude: Yes. And that ‘tell-all’ book with Soldier Mark from the Occhilupo family where you failed to mention that ehhh… that… ehhh, how shall we say… that thing we spoke about was brilliant. “Mum” is the word, is it not? *chortles as smoke bellows through his nostrils*
Capo Baker: I thank you sir. I am truly humbled.
Don Nude: *holding up his hand* And yet, I need one more thing from you. An act proving extreme loyalty to The Family. Blood. Ehhhh, you understand, no? To recompense for your little miscalculation at Kurungabaa.
Capo Baker: *nodding* Anything, Don Nude.
Don Naude: I need you to carry out one last hit for us. *grabs Baker by the shoulder, lowers his voice* There is a guy. You may know this guy. He’s a little ehhh… how you say… troublesome to La Cosa Bullybong. He’s asking too many questions and eventually this drug thing may bite us in the ass, you see? The other Dons have confided their concerns with this unmade man as well and have signed off on this hit. His name is Melekian.
Capo Baker: *blood draining from his face* I understand sir. Consider it done.