Once Upon a Time in. . . .
(Thanks to Jim, Nicoletta and Bhi))
Noodles has been with me for about ten years now. I remember the day we met like it was yesterday. I was having dinner with my wife at Uncle Marco’s place. Interesting feller is Uncle Marco; a businessman, but nobody in our family knows what kind of business he’s in. One year it’s insurance, next he’s running a café. Then he’s a football trainer or he’s selling furniture. Whatever he does, he seems to do alright.
When Aunty Sophia plonked a couple of bottles of Barolo on the table, Marco took something out his pocket and squeezed it. A four inch blade appeared like magic and he sliced off the cork covers. He must have seen my expression. I’d never been that close to something so illegal before.
‘You like it?’ he said, rotating the lethal weapon between thumb and forefinger.
‘I’ve never seen a switch-blade before,’ I said.
He folded the blade. It slipped into place with a solid double-click. Stretching across the table, he dropped the loaded handle next to my cutlery.
‘I can’t take this.’
‘Sure you can,’ he said, ‘I don’t need it no more.’
He reached down and pulled a bronze coloured Colt automatic out of his belt and held it up.
‘I got this.’
We both leaned back in our chairs and laughed at the joke.
‘Is that real?’
‘I’m building up my business. Sometimes I need to protect myself. . . .You want the knife?
‘I don’t know what I’ll do with it, but yes I‘d like to keep it.’
Uncle Marco looked at me real serious. ‘It’s good for opening letters and bottles of wine, but if you point it at someone . . . be prepared to use it.’
That’s how I got it. I named it after I saw the young “Noodles” use one like it to kill Bugsy in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge. My Noodles wasn’t much use for anything other than a letter opener. It was as dull the plastic scissors my kids used for cutting paper.
I’ve been working on Noodles lately. My grandfather was a barber, he showed me how to strop razors when I was a kid. Now it’s so sharp I could shave a peach.
Tomorrow night I’m going looking for the guy who did those things to my daughter. I’ll introduce him to Noodles and the first time in ten years, I’ll use it for more than opening envelopes.