Monday, February 9, 2015


Mon- 2 / 9 / 2015


Last time I took the shortcut past Johnny P’s house, he shot me in the head.

Lucky for me, his weapon that day was a B-B gun not the .38 Special he took to carrying in later years.

Still, it hurt like hell and, being a head wound, it bled like crazy. The projectile hit me in the hard bone behind my ear, traveled under the skin, came out near my temple, left the side of my face a bloody mess.

Johnny didn’t favor the much coveted Daisy Red Ryder Carbine. No, his weapon of choice was the super powerful, window shattering, rat (sometimes cat) slaughtering, Daisy pump. It was his latest tool of terror against the kids (Johnny was about 15, I was 9) of our neighborhood. Johnny couldn’t catch me on foot, and I’d once tried to keep him from smacking the shit out of me by whipping on him with a car antenna (impromptu weapon of choice for the era and area).

Sunday mornings a hung-over Johnny would take his pump gun and a quart of Rheingold beer, up on his roof, and wait for targets. Why would I deny myself the opportunity to taunt / outsmart my favorite asshole? Well, that day I was the asshole and I got outsmarted.

 If he’d lived long enough Johnny probably would have upgraded his .38 to a .357 mag. But, his psychotic zest for living on the edge took him to an early terminus on the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge. Johnny went down in a blaze of gory glory, blown away by a small army of both Queens and Bronx cops. Far as I know, none of those cops were armed with B-B guns.

Some of the other neighborhood kids (toadies / sycophants) held Johnny P. in awe, saw his passing as a great tragedy. Not me. I wouldn’t kiss his ass when he was alive, nor would I mourn his passing. When I heard the news? I laughed my ass off.

Writing this, I’m still laughing.

Hey, Johnny! See you in hell, mutt.

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