Thursday, April 5, 2007

This Thing of Ours.....

....will soon be coming to and end.

On Sunday, April 8th, HBO will begin airing the first of the final nine episodes of The Sopranos - a show that everyone has at least heard of, if not seen portions.

You know, there's a guy, a made guy I know of, from way back in the Golden Age, before RICO, before we was all worried about rats gettin' pinched and breaking the code of silence (the Omerta); back when a boss, his underboss, his consigliere and his captains - the whole administration - ran their families and crews with an iron fist, but always fairly and evenly (aside from the occasional hit).

This guy I know, started out as an associate to those in the waste management business, essentially by lending his talents through various business and legal manipulations, into running, legally, a shylock business for several outfits in the mob, before becoming fully mobbed up himself.

He started out as a simple soldier, but he was a aggressive cugine, and the garbage business was in a growth spurt at the time, so as soon as the books were open, he became a confirmed wiseguy and borgata member. Still running the books he effectively controlled the entire New York and Jersey shy business, and bagan extended his reach further up and down the coast.

This was incredibly difficult to accomplish, and on some of his occasional shake-downs, if the guy couldn't come through with the vig, he might have to "mock execute" him to scare the bejesus out of him, especially if the juice he was owed was worth several Gs. However, he was such a good listener and his reasoning was so solid that I know of only once, where he had to go heavy and actually clip somebody. Unfortunately, he used it as a message job on the guy's wife, giving her one "through the eye", in order to let other players know who was really in charge. The carnage was so rough that no effective spring cleaning could be done, and the heat was so hot that he had to lam up for awhile. But he eventually came back in.

Over time, he kept taxing the same clientel as he had previously, getting his points and paying tribute to his don, and he soon moved up to become a capo with a trophy wife, several goomahs on the side (one with a vicious crank habit). But that was OK, because business was still good and he was pulling in several hundred large a year, which was great money at the time.

Unfortunately for him, this was the early sixties, and the Feds, under Kennedy, were deperately trying to pursue mobsters as hard as possible, both for legal reasons and to disavow the alleged Kennedy-mob link. Through various nefarious CIA adventures, they managed to catch my
friend laundering millions of dollars and he got several years of time in the pen. While there, even though he was well taken care of, he still had to whack a few of the other inmates. Once there was a prison gang war which erupted, with all sides going to the mattresses for a week before the guards could restore order. Because my friend was suspected of being a ringleader in that war he got a few more added years.

After he got out, the Feds were on him twice as hard as ever. They tried everything, even offering him a seat in the Program, but he never gave in. He knew that if he did, he'd get a message "through the mouth". Besides, the new bosses ate alone and he and the family realized that he'd probably not be comfortable with the new ways of doing things.

So now? He does some consulting, light security stuff, things of that nature. Oh, and he visits the bakery every morning for his favorite snack - a sack full of piping hot donuts - which exactly matches his name - Vinny Sackadonuts.

OK, that was fun, trying to write a story using all the slang mob terms ( There's an even more comprehensive list here:, but, good god, I ain't got that kinda time.

Anyways, even though I don't have a television (so no HBO) I'm looking forward to this next season. The Sopranos has been one of the best shows ever to make it onto television. Consistently well-written, wickedly funny, the machinations of one group of NJ mobsters and their families made for some of the best boob-tube time ever. And while I'm one to advocate watching as little television as possible, if I were King of the Forest, I'd teach the course in schools nationwide.

The Sopranos show is just that good.

1 comment:

Rick Janes said...

Ha, ha -- good one.

In the Midwest, the generic mob name is Joey Bagadonuts.