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January 5, 2007

I should back up some and tell about getting Joeys’ last payment, which was Tuesday a week ago. Getting my rounds done early gives me time to go to the track, visit Grannie, get a quick trip into the city, whatever comes up. I do the drop before Lunch which has done good for me so far because I start the Boss’ day off with good news for him, usually. Oldtime gambler that he is, he wants to talk about the wins, not the losses, so I put the no-pays on the bottom of my chit, and I’m done with my coffee and out before he reads that far. In so doing, he has forgotten about the deadbeats when I make my next delivery on Saturday. I know the old Guinea ain’t fooled, He’s too shrewd, but he knows I’m playing and it is like an unspoken joke in a way. Good times, you know.
Anyway, I get to Joeys’ Mothers’ about 9:30, and Slats answers the door. Little grin. The Mother is buried in the armchair, news on, picking her teeth with a sewing needle. Smoking, glaring, just looking like the sour old bitch that she is. Plus, she stinks. Farts and burps at will, just like all the other surviving widows in the neighborhood. All in black.
“Pooch”, she hollers, “leave my poor Joe junior alone” Slats is behind her wiggling her finger for me to follow, moving towards the cellar door.
“Ma, I’m changin the laundry”. She opened the door and started down, and I followed.
“Changin’ Poochs’ oil more like…..give him what he came for so’s he can go. My Joe worked all night an’ he’s sleepin’ “.

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