By Russell McGilton



Ragtime music plays

SFX: gunfire, glass smashing, people screaming, cars screeching, and ragtime music.


BIG JOE (VO): Somewhere on the wrong side of town a hit was being staged against me.

FADE UP SPOTLIGHT on Tony, a gang leader boss. He addresses a small crowd of unruly gangsters.


TONY ROUGH HANDS: O.K. Bwoys! Lissen’ up. Here’s da deal. At eleven twirty we drive to Madisons. Gouche, take Johnny in de fwirst cawr. O.K.? Vinnie – VINNIE, COME ON! PUT DA KNIFE DOWN! (Vinnie drops the knife). Don’t fawk wit me Vinnie. Now, you grab de Tommies wit Francis and take out the guawrds.

Louis, you come in true da front, use your chawrm and distract the brawrd at da awfice, while Knuckles and Bruiser knife the stooges on the door. O.K.? You got dat? Good.

Dats when Vinnie and da bwoys bwurst in and blast da place! While dis is goin’ down Johnny and Gouche will come wit me ta Big Joe’s awfice. Now Gouche, only dis time kill da guy after I’ve tawlked ta him. Not before. It’s very hawrd to tawlk to a dead man. O.K.? You got dat dumb ass? When I give da signal, shoot Big Joe between da eyes. O.K.? You got dat? Good. Now we got…fif-teen minutes. So finish your cawffee and we’ll go. And remember; nobody screw up…or your feet will be facin’ da same way as Georgies. Alright. Dats all.




BIG JOE (VO) : But some body DID screw up!


SPOTLIGHT on Vinnie, a small time crook, picking his nails with a flick knife. He addresses a mystery figure, not on stage.


VINNIE: Are you tawlkin’ tae me? Huh? I said are you fawkin’ tawlkin’ tae me?…Who wants tae know? I do mawther fawker!…Who da fawk am I? Why da fawk should I tell you!…I’m Vinnie da Knife…Yeah dats right. I’m from da wrong side of town…Yeah, very funny wise ass! I oughtta cut you right now…What? Whaddaya sayin’? Huh?…Are you fawkin’ deaf??? I told you already. I’m Vinnie da Knife. Don’t ya know? I killed a kid two blocks up from here…Why? Why da fawk should I tell you?…Oh, a passin’ interest! I see wise ass. Do you really know why I killed him, huh? Do you really know why? ’Cause he looked like you dumb ass! Anyway, who da fawk are you? (pause)You’re his brother?! (terrified) Oh shit! Come on man, nice an’ easy. Look, I wuz just kiddin. I’m not really Vinnie the Knife. I wuz mouthin’ off. I’m really…I’m really Vinnie da Carpet Cleaner! Come on man. Have a heart on a guy. Put da piece away. I’m beggin’ ya…Give a guy a break !…No!NO! FOR CHRISSAKE! …ARE YOU FAWKIN’ CRAZ-…( FADE OUT. Sharp sound of pistol shot)


FADE UP SPOTLIGHT on Big Joe, a large man in a three piece suit.


BIG JOE: Ah, poor Vinnie. Dat stewpid bastard. Tinkin’ he could get away wit murder. But as my Uncle Lenny says “Kill da wrong guy, and da wrong guy will kill you.”

When Tony’s greasers went on their raid I didn’t know anything about it. They beat up da customers, raided da tills, smashed everything in sight. Ah, nasty boys. Funny. I didn’t even get a scratch. They broke up Madisons, alright. Madisons the Chinese Laundry dat is! I alway told dat chink tae change da name after I started usin’ it for my club. Ah well. At least those bozoes got a clean shirt out of it. Tony? Well what can I say. His feet are facin’ da same way as Georgies!