Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Street Jimmy's White Girl Makes An Appearance

               There were only a few people in the bar when I walked in last night. An interesting couple from Montreal had seen us on Anthony's TV show and were sitting around the corner from Lee and Coach and that was about it. Gracie said she'd talked to Ruben Four Toes that morning and he sounded awful. "The first day he was in the hospital he seemed fine, but yesterday his voice was weak and garbled. When I visited him he was cold and shivering. He wants to get out of the hospital tomorrow but given how he sounded he'd be crazy to leave until he's feeling better."
          Gracie continues to be a creature of exotic, impractical desires. She seeks adventure, loves music and dogs, and has a mysterious need to yell and scream when conversing. Leaning forward,  her arms resting on the bar she was holding forth on the vagaries of human nature when Street Jimmy's white girl, Kathy, stepped inside the door. Kathy, who has a rather shrunken appearance, said with formal politeness: "Is Jimmy here."
           "No, Kathy, she's not." Gracie then asked Kathy is she wished to leave a message for Jimmy?
            After giving the question a moments thought Kathy said, "yes, tell him I'm not looking for him."
           In spite of her iron gray hair Kathy has a childish, infantine simplicity that I find interesting. It's the first of the month and so Kathy's welfare check should have been cashed by now. Why she insists on putting her scant funds into Jimmy's rough, grimy hands is difficult to fathom. Apparently she's imprisoned by her all-encompanssing stupidity. 
           Jimmy is not your ordinary cap in hand beggar. He's an ungrateful, uncouth, narrow minded drug addict that conducts his life with the singleness of purpose of a hungry pigeon pecking for scraps. Yet in Kathy's admiring eyes Jimmy somehow becomes transformed into an elegant, debonair, misunderstood bachelor. I'm no stranger to self-delusive fantasy's, but transforming Street Jimmy from a morose, embittered, mercenary man of irregular habits into a modern day Prince Charming seems like a real stretch.
            Jimmy walked in the door about a half an hour after Kathy left.
            "Jimmy," I said, "you just missed your fat white girl."
             His face immediately contorted into and agonized frown.
             "Yes, Jimmy," Gracie added, "she said to tell you she's not looking for you."
              Lee and Coach found this quite funny and laughed. Jimmy, however, could not conceal the pain this information caused him.
               When I asked Jimmy if he didn't feel just a tad guilty taking poor Kathy's money he said that he was not disinclined to accept her money, "she likes givin' me money."
                Jimmy then produced a Pot Belly Sandwich card with twenty-five dollars on it. When Gracie offered him ten-dollars he said no. When Lee offered him twelve he seemed slightly annoyed, "the dude who give it to me wants ten-dollars for it an' so I needs to make a profit."
              "You mean that some good samaritan didn't give you this for food?"
                Jimmy nodded.
              "Well," I said, "this is highly suspicious. What if Lee buys the card and it's a phony."
                A strange light appeared in Jimmy's eyes. "You right, I better go check."
                 Ten minutes later Jimmy reappeared eating a bag of Pot Belly potato chips.
                "Yeah, it good."
               "Well," I said, "maybe you should eat twenty-five bucks of food on the card and tell the dude it was no good."
                 Whoever his mystery partner was, Jimmy seemed unwilling to rip him off.

                   This morning I received a call from The Actress. She had finally arrived at her destination which was a mountain village in Mexico.
                "I spent three horrible days in the Dallas airport because of the ice. "
                "That's terrible, and here I envisioned you lounging around a luxurious swimming pool in a bikini."
                "Hardly... I called the airport and extended my trip two more days. "
                She said the town is an artist colony and there are lots of gringos residing there during the winter. When she said it was thousands of feet above sea level I warned her to take it easy for the first couple of days. I remember the first time I went to Mexico City - I was a kid and raced around like a mad man trying to see the sights and then pow, it was like I ran into a wall. It takes time to get used to high altitudes. I also learned rather quickly not to drink the water.
            She promised she'd call me as soon as she gets back.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Nurse Gracie

              Street Jimmy is not a particularly glib fellow, nor is he at all nuanced. When he came in the bar last night he said, "can I have some more of Tobi's gumbo?"
               "Jimmy, my precious angel, why do you have such difficulty uttering the word please?"
               "I guess it's jus' cus' I wasn' brought up like tha'."
               "That doesn't mean that you can't make an effort to be courteous and polite. Your manners are not agreeable."
                Tobin had made a lot of gumbo and put it in tupperware containers in the back cooler. When I went to get Jimmy his order I asked Marshall Field if he was hungry?
               "Would you like some gumbo?"
                While Jimmy was gulping down his gumbo and drinking a beer he said that he'd talked to a lady and she said Muslim never hurt black people.
                 "Jimmy, I love how the Black Muslims fuck with your badly compromised brain. In Africa Boko Haram has been slaughtering tens of thousands of black people. Tell your Black Muslim lady that she's full of shit."
                Jimmy is very gullible in matters of religion. He's a scoffer, however, when it comes to the dangers of drugs. 
              When I asked him when he was going to the hospital he said with an air of confidence, " I think I'll go tonight."
             "I suggest you do. Not only do you smell bad, your face looks like its aged twenty-years in the preceding twenty-four hours."
             "Trouble is I gots no ride."
              "Just take your crack money and use it for bus fare."

               Sunday morning Gracie gave me my vitamin B-12 shot. I'd just missed one of my nurses on Thursday and so I thought I'd risk it. Rather than have her jab a needle in my arm (the last time she shot me up she got a muscle and it hurt for two weeks) I had her shoot me up in my right ass cheek. I don't know how she managed it - not only did it hurt, but blood spurted out of the needle hole. This caused her to giggle. In fairness, she seemed alarmed while she was giggling. I know there's an artery somewhere in the ass area because I've heard of people bleeding to death after being shot by a gun in the ass. 

              This morning it wasn't as cold out as it had been the previous week. Buzz Kill limped in shortly after I turned the lights on. I think walking is beneficial to whatever is bothering him. He is not a stoic and normally his face is contorted in an unhappy, bitter expression. He tends to wear his unhappiness like a badge of honor. 
            We were pretty much done cleaning the bar when Jimmy showed up. To prove that he'd been to the hospital he showed me the hospital wrist band he was wearing.
            "What did they do to you?"
             "They checked me out an' I took a shower. They gave me some clothes and clean socks, but the cheap assed underwear they gave me ain't no good."
               "How dare they give you cheap assed underwear. You ought to write your congressman."
                 Jimmy's morning picked up when Tobin agreed to heat him up some more of her gumbo.

Sunday, March 1, 2015


               I knew very little about shingles until yesterday. My mother had them and the sound of the word shingles is not pleasing to my ear - that was about it. Three days ago I felt intense itching on my thighs and when I looked at what was going on I had giant red welts. When I came home from the Ale House they were  gone. The next day at about the same time (five in the afternoon) I felt the itching and once again the welts appeared. By the time I went to bed they were again gone. What could be causing these mystery rashes? A food allergy or perhaps a detergent?  Not likely and so I googled shingles. It would seem from my research that  I have a mild case. A really serious case can be debilitating. Once you've had chicken pox you carry the shingles virus for the rest of your life. One in three people over sixty will get shingles at some point in their lives. What I find curious is the timing - why five in the afternoon, and why do they appear and disappear with such rapidity. In the great scheme of things my shingles is no big deal, at least not now. This could change and therefore I'm going to have to check out the vaccine and other possible remedies. I really am not in the mood for another esoteric malady and if it persists I may become sulky and irritable. 
              Friday night, the new bar back, Justin, told me he was going with Gracie's ex-London boyfriends sister. This surprised me. Gracie did her study abroad at a theater school in London and while she was there got involved with a guy named Matt. I met him when I visited Gracie. He'd just started working as a bartender in a neighborhood pub and a few minutes after shaking my hand he  managed to incur the ire of a large cockney gentlemen. Matt's intelligence had not been sufficiently keen to foresee the consequences of pissing off the large cockney. As I observed the angry cockney I thought that getting into a brawl my first night in London would be an unpleasant way to begin my vacation. Luckily a female bartender intervened as the cockney stood, arms folded, staring at her impenitently.
             Matt's manners were not particularly agreeable. He had an ingratiating ready to please demeanor which I found off-putting. He seemed to lack not only conviction but a refined conscience. Fortunately, Gracie dumped him shortly after I returned to Chicago.
          Last night when I arrived at the bar I sat down next to Coach. I had no idea how fucked up he was until he got up to leave. When he knocked over his bar stool he just sort of froze. After I helped him pick up the bar stool he had a blank eyed gaze. Lowering his voice confidentially he said, "sorry." It was only then when I realize how smashed he was. Unlike any other drunk I've  known he was extremely self contained. When he couldn't find the sleeve of his coat I helped him. After successfully placing his arm in his jacket he repeated, sorry and followed the sorry with a thank you.  This was very un-Couch-like behavior. 
          I didn't get home until late. Just as I was about to doze off I received a call from Carmella.  It was two hours earlier in San Francisco. This is only the second call I've received from her in the last six or seven years. She was in a very chatty mood and I didn't get to sleep until one-thirty. The advantage of going to sleep that late is that I don't wake up at two or two thirty. Although I did oversleep I still beat everyone else to the bar. Street Jimmy was barely ambulatory as he dragged the broom around the barroom floor. 
          "Hey, Bruce, you mind drivin' me to the hospital?"
           "I don't have my car, I walk to work."
           Jimmy understands he needs to go to the hospital, but he doesn't want to expend any effort to accomplish this.
           "Jimmy, I've given you more than enough money for car fare. You can go to the hospital and while you're waiting you can sleep. It's a win-win situation."
          Although Jimmy's skills do not include the power of comprehending signs and abstractions, he eventually seemed to grasp the advantage of going to the hospital to sleep.
            The Brown Line construction caused Fancypants a lot of inconvenience. I again encouraged him to go see a movie and relax.
            "Danny, all work and no play make Fancypants a dull boy."
            "Yeah," he nodded, "maybe I should."

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Chief Can Hear Again

             I'm making steady if not spectacular progress on "California Jail Break."
               When I walked in the Ale House last night Chief was talking to Officer Bill. Something seemed strange and at first I couldn't put my finger on exactly what it was. Because I was so bundled up Chief didn't recognize me at first;  I walked to the other end of the bar and sat next to Josh from the Historical Society. Eventually Chief spotted me and started kissing my bald head. This is his normal greeting and while he is caressing me he kept  repeating, "bald eagle, bald eagle..." It was while he was saying bald eagle that I realized that Chief wasn't shouting. Of all of his glaring defects, shouting is the most glaring. When I complimented him on his normal tone of voice he pointed at the flesh colored hearing aid in his left ear.
              "I'm wearing a hearing aid. I can hear perfectly now."
              "Chief, that's great, Indians are known for their acute hearing - "
              "When I'm walking down the street now  and I think I hear something right behind me and I turn around I see the noise is coming from twenty feet behind me."
              Chief lost most of the hearing in his left ear courtesy of some Wisconsin cops.  The cops gave him a severe beating with clubs while he was handcuffed. The last time I saw Chief he told me his mother was dying of stomach cancer. When I asked him how she was doing he shook his head sadly, "the Great Spirit took her last month. When she asked me  why he picked her to have stomach cancer I told her that there were a lot of other people just like her. I didn't know what else to say..."
           "Chief, what can you say? There is no answer."
            Chief has no particular views on the subject of right versus wrong, for Chief these are generally open questions. He said that no matter what he did his mom always backed him up.
           "Bruce, she wasn't just my mom, she was my best friend. I had her  cremated. When Little Thunder and I picked up her ashes all that was left of her was in a small box. Little Thunder cried."
            "Well, Chief, maybe she should have not told you that everything you did was okay, perhaps she should have been a little more strict?"
                Chief moved his head defiantly from side to side, "she always had my back even if I was wrong, don't you get it?"
              It was evidently a point on which he felt strongly so I said no more.
              After Chief resumed sitting next to Officer Bill Daniella attacked Barack for supporting Rahm Emanuel in the Chicago mayoral race.
           "How dare the president come to Chicago and support that horrible man. If he was running for president again I wouldn't vote for him!"
             "Oh, you'd vote for one of the Republican maggots like Jeb Bush?"
             "I didn't say that."
              "You indicated that."
              Daniella proceeded to excoriate me for the next five-minutes. During his attack he cited several unnamed sources to further besmirch my already dubious reputation. During his recitation Daniella's voice became progressively louder and more emphatic.
              "Well, Daniella, you've pretty much destroyed what little self esteem I still possessed. Coming from a licensed shrink your words are especially hurtful."
                Coach, who was sitting next to me was chuckling. "I think he's having his period."
               "I doubt that, I think menopausal hot flashes are more likely."
                When Chief asked me if he could buy Street Jimmy a drink I assumed he meant a beer. Not only did he buy Jimmy a beer, he bought him a shot of Hennessy. Within twenty minutes Jimmy was blotto. 
              "Jimmy, you are a fucking mess."
             "I'm mellow."
              "Okay, you're mellow. Now say good by to all your fans."
              "You chasin' me out?"
               "It's getting crowded, bye bye."
                After Jimmy left I left. And so ended the sorrows of the day.

Friday, February 27, 2015

More Levity Please

              The world is no longer the fun filled place it was cracked up to be.

              "Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam,
              Where the dear and the antelope play, 
               Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
               And the skies are not cloudy all day."

             A guy named Brewster Higley wrote "Home on the Range,"  in 1873. Unfortunately the so called white man slaughtered the buffalo and while they were at it did a pretty good job of killing most of the Indians. The antelope no longer play much, and all you hear these days are discouraging words. As for the skies - these bitterly cold days they tend to be filled with threatening, jeering clouds.
           We have Islamic fundamentalists burning, raping, pillaging and  kidnapping; these people are a perfect example of the present advanced state of religious morality - causation, guilt or innocence have little or nothing to do with their actions. God or Allah call the shots in their world. They  plunder and kill for the fun of it. The pictures of them destroying irreplaceable artifacts in Syria is a metaphor for our time. They cloak themselves in a type of religiosity which is really more  a spiritual lust. They are easily offended and embrace ignorance the way Cub fans embrace losing. 
          Had W Bush not attacked Iraq there would not be an Isis. Had Al Gore not been such a ridiculous, phony, incompetent, asshole we would not have had eight years of the half-wit frat boy W and there would not have been a phony war with Iraq - and quite possibly 9-11 might have been avoided. Elections matter ladies and gentlemen. 
          And then we have the ultra right-wing Israeli prime minister Netanyahu coming to the US  to make his case for going to war with Iran. He was invited to speak to the US Congress by the feeble-minded Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner. Boehner is not only stupid, he is a serious lush and has major emotional issues. (He often breaks down in fits of crying.) There is an element of sheer sloth to the way Boehner conducts his duties. 
            Netanyahu is a classic egotist. His stroboscopic eye balls  project his limitations, incompetence, lack of imagination, hatred of Arabs and greed with an idiosyncratic earnestness that is difficult to comprehend. When he does smile it is a mocking, half dead smile. Netanyahu and his Jewish fundamentalist cohorts want us to accept blindly their world view which is characterized by a cataclysmic sense of misery and hopelessness. 
           In Chicago two-thirds of the electorate didn't bother to vote  Tuesday and who can blame them. I have no idea who Jesus Garcia is and I will be listening carefully to what he has to say for the next month. Garcia, who's running against the incumbent, Rahm Emanuel, has a lot of liberal support and I'm not sure why. Emanuel is not likable, and seems to be  politically tone deaf, but he's a known quantity. What I want to know about Jesus Garcia is who's behind him and why. The last thing this city needs is another nut case like Jayne Byrne. Garcia has already said he's opposed to the location of the Obama library that the U. of Chicago has proposed. What he should have said is "I will talk to people in the community and assess their feelings on the matter." The library would be a boon to the Washington Park neighborhood and if the Friends of the Parks don't like it they can go fuck themselves. They have bigger fish to fry with the proposed George Lucas Star Wars museum next to Soldier Field.  This would be an atrocity and hopefully Lucas will build his shit filled monument to himself in some other town. Vegas would be perfect.
             Yes, these are unpleasant days. We desperately need more levity. I very much disagree with Shaw when he says: "The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them." 
           No, George Bernard, the worst thing you can do to the hordes of assholes roaming the earth  is to hate them and make fun of them. The French and Danish cartoonists were right and because they were right they paid with their lives.
            Peace and love. Peace and fucking love.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Two Birds With One Stone

              This morning I went to Walgreens to pick up my vitamin B-12 medicine (hopefully one of my nurses will stop by the bar to inject me) and by the time I got back to the bar my upper lip was swollen. It felt like I'd just received a shot of novocaine. When I looked in the mirror I was not pleased with the image that appeared before me. I know I shouldn't be worried about a transitory, minor disfigurement, especially given that I live in a world of clowns, freaks, addicts, ghouls and vampires, but I do worry. What could have caused this? Instead of my normal breakfast of an egg, croissant and prune juice (Fancypants' mom invented the egg in the middle of the croissant) I had a chicken sandwich. Tobin brought six of these sandwiches to the bar this morning and Street Jimmy and I shared several of them. They were quite good and I can't imagine how that would have caused my lip to puff up.
            Even though I'd overslept I shoveled the condo walk before I walked to the bar. Usually I'm gone by the time The Actress walks Hattie but because I was running late I bumped into them in front of the condo. They both seemed happy to see me. The Actress is going to Mexico for a week and so I will once again be picking up her mail. 
           The snow continues to fall. It is a soft dry snow and easy to shovel. The trouble is that no sooner do you shovel than it resumes snowing. There are two other males residing in the building, a teenager and a twenty something year old lad but neither of them ever lift a finger. Tobin surprised me the other day when she announced that she was going to sell the condo in the Spring. Interesting!

          Gracie spent the night at Anya's because of the snowy conditions. When I walked in the bar last night she said she'd talked to Ruben Four Toes who's once again  in the hospital. Trying to imitate his distinctive voice she said sternly: "I told them just pay attention to my balls! I don't want you fucking with my heart or my asshole. When I had to take a  shit they brought the wrong kind of bedpan so I told the nurse, I'll shit in the piss bed pan, but it's harder to clean up so it's up to you if you wanna do more work. I got no shame!"
           She was unsure about how long his current stay would be. "He sounded good. I'll go see him tomorrow after I drop Anya off for work."
             Grace said she misses her boys. Whether she included Son In Law in the list of the boys she misses wasn't clear. 
            The Trotter girl came in the bar before I left. Her move is to get someone to buy her a drink. This only works once. When nobody buys her a drink she tries to con the bartender.
            "I  put a ten on the bar."
             "No," Mike said smiling, "no you didn't."
             Hawkeye, who is also leaving for Mexico with Mrs. Hawkeye,  has no patience with the Trotter girl.
Each time he'd insult her she'd include me in her comeback remarks. I found this curious.
              "I didn't say anything, and yet you lump me in with Hawkeye. " 
               When she looks at you her teeth are visible in a sort of rapidly fluctuating smile. She was clearly irritated by Hawkeyes harsh assessment of her character. She doesn't annoy me as much as she annoys Hawkeye. At times I find her mild amusing, although in fairness to Hawkeye, he has to deal with her a lot more than I do. 
            As I trudged home in the snow I almost slipped five or six times on random patches of snow concealed ice.

             This  morning Street Jimmy was also late. After he tossed his backpack on the bench he wanted to know where I put his heavy boots?
              "Let me see Jimmy, pretty much the most important thing in my life is your fucking boots, in fact I think about them constantly, so the fact that I can't remember where we put your boots trouble me greatly. Perhaps you might be able to remember where we put your boots seeing as they are your fucking boots.
               Jimmy was a model of patience. After yawning several times he said, "I'm gettin' up in age an' I forgets shit." 
               "I think the reason you forget shit is because you've wrecked your brian with that nasty assed shit you smoke."
             Jimmy disagreed with my cynical explanation, "peoples get old an' forget shit."  He went on to say that he was definitely going to the clinic and get checked out. "I wants to live a long time."
            "Well, you still haven't gone to the dental clinic, have you."
            "I'll have the doctor check out my teethes."
             "Of course, doctors love to check out teeth."
             "Kill two birds with one stone."
              After he got done sweeping he went down in the basement to look for his boots.  After a  half an hour I sent Fancypants down in the basement to see what was keeping him.
          After completing his investigation Fanchypants said that Jimmy was changing the shoe laces on his boots.
             The winter grind is having an effect on Fancypants. He has a long commute and the unpleasant weather is taking a toll on him. 
           Well, one winter at a time, I guess.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Does The Genius Need To Work On His Comedic Delivery?

               Fox News'  Bill O'Reilly is an abject reptile. After piling on NBC's Brian Williams about his exaggerated war reporting, it turns out O'Reilly lied about his Falkland War reporting. This should surprise no one as Bill lies about everything. It's his job, he works for Fox News which is owned by a Saudi terrorist and an  Australian fascist.
          I almost got on O'Reilly's show after my Sara Palin painting. Fox News sent two screeners to pick me up at the Ale House in a big black SUV. I sat drinking beer with the two screeners for about two hours before we were supposed to leave. They seemed like nice enough fellows and didn't seem to mind my left-wing political pronouncements or my making fun of their network. One of the guys told me what a swell guy Shepherd Smith was and about the great party Shepherd tossed for Fox News staffers. The Fox News headquarters in Chicago is located at the Merchandise Mart.
             As we were getting ready to leave the guy that seemed to be in charge said, "Bruce, you know Bill can get pretty tough, do you think you can handle it?"
            "Hey, I'm not the guy that had to pay a subordinate a million bucks for having phone sex with her. I can't wait to talk to Bill."
             The guy shook his head and said, "you know, Bruce, I think will give this a pass."
            In retrospect I should have kept my mouth shut. Even though I was fully aware that the way they interview you for these shows is stacked against the person being interviewed,  I still think I would have done just fine. Goo Goo told me that they put you in a tiny room and you can't see the person interviewing you. This is certainly a  disadvantage, however, O'Reilly's such a gutless punk, that a pinch would annihilate him. Had I been born where the laws are less strict, and the prevailing etiquette less dainty, I might have had my own TV show where I could treat my viewers to an evening of right-wing dismemberments and gory vivisections. What could possibly be more entertaining than that?
           O'Reilly obviously has his producers search for left-wing goof balls that are easy to intimidate and  make fun of. Like Limbaugh, he never puts anyone of substance on his show. When the Falkland story came out about O'Reilly's  war zone lie he called the TV critic at the NY Times. He said if she went with the story he'd come at her with everything he had, and  to consider what he said,  a threat. O'Reilly is the classic coward-bully. He huffs and puffs on his show but in a bar without a security detail he'd be a whimpering little bitch. I know the type. Had he  kept his yap shut about Brian Williams he'd probably  have avoided this embarrassment.
            People I know and respect have made negative comments about Sean Penn's Academy Award remark following the Mexican guy's winning best picture - "and we gave this guy a green card -"
It was a funny remark and when the Mexican guy came on stage they hugged. What is happening to humor in the US? Who cares what the rabble or the PC police think is funny? Certainly not me. Humor should offend someone or it's really not that funny.
            I dined with the Actress last night at Lans. I hadn't seen Jimmy in a long time and the food was excellent. The Actress feels my comedic delivery is too serious. When I mentioned Buster Keaton she admitted that she was a big fan of Buster's. Buster never smiled nor did Harold Lloyd and they were both extremely funny. Even had I wanted to smile I really couldn't have smiled until I started taking my myasthenia gravis medicine. That said, I've never been a really smily kind of guy. 
              After dinner we stopped at the Ale House. It's always fun chatting with The Actress.

            This morning Street Jimmy knocked at the side door five minutes after I turned the lights on. He said that he'd had a little trouble while passing out his Willy Wilson voter cards.
            "It was colder than a mutha fucka out there an' when I went to go in the school where peoples was voting the lady in charge say I can't come in - "
            "Yeah, because you have to stay fifty feet away from the polling place."
              "Tha' don' make no sense. So the lady say she gonna call the po-leece if I don' leave an' so I say , 'go ahead, call the po-leece - "
              "Yeah, I heard last night that a couple of cop cars came after your ass."
                "Who tol' you tha'?"
                "A lady that voted at the school. What did the cops say?"
               "They said, 'hi Jimmy, what you doin', ' they was cool, they knew me. "
                 "Did they make you leave the polling place?"
                 Jimmy nodded, "yeah, so I wents to McDonald's."
                "You left your post?"
                 "Yeah, I left my post a coupla of times. I had to get somethin' to eat an' I was cold."
                 "How much did you get paid ?"
                 "Seventy-five dollar."
                  When Fancypants asked how Ruben bleeding balls were I shrugged, "I didn't talk to Gracie yesterday."
                   Jimmy laughs uproariously  at the mere mention of  Ruben Four Toes troubled  testicles. It would seem that the only remaining pleasures in Jimmy's otherwise grim life are the result of other peoples misfortunes.