BY LANCE DOILY To be honest, after Tommy drove his Town Car into the Passaic River to get the rolling shitshow he called a life over with, it was hard to find something nice to say about the guy. His greatest achievement in life was working himself up the drug dealer ladder to the point where he was next in line to be the main coke supplier to the ‘81 Phillies, but a falling out with Greg Luzinski over a batch heavily cut with talcum powder queered the deal. It was pretty much all down hill after that. By the end, he was known as the guy who sold shitty coke to 18-year old Hooters waitresses that didn’t know any better. He was a braggart and a liar, which proved to be a highly combustible combination when he got his drink on. He would routinely spew bullshit about out-drinking William Holden the night he died and fleeing the scene before the cops got there, or ramble on endlessly about how he thought his son “had the gay” once the shots piled up. I don’t think any of us regulars could have cared less about the guy, but I guess we owed it to him to do the right thing and head on over to the wake.
We tried our best to stay respectful but it didn’t last. I mean, we weren’t wheeling in a charcoal cooker and firing up a couple dogs in the parking lot like we do when a Coors guy expires, but the mood was definitely light. And once Tommy’s son showed up only to cut the line to the casket, punch his dad in the throat, and blow up the men’s room somethin’ fierce on his way out, we figured fuck it. Then Smitty walked in a few minutes later with a can of Bud in one hand and the other five hanging off the ring on a finger of the other. He was wearing sweatpants cut into shorts and a heavily stained white undershirt. It looked like he wore his shotrag to the wake, which he later confirmed, citing a busted washing machine at home. Needless to say he wasn’t greatly saddened by the news of Tommy’s suicide. He didn’t spell it out for us, but I figured it was his way of getting back at Tommy for always asking him how his other siblings were doing. You see, Smitty’s the oldest of 12, but the other 11 died in the womb.
I had a mock eulogy scribbled on a bar napkin, but when it came my time to speak I just sort of winged it. I told a story about back when I was in my late teens and only a 6-pint a nighter at Murph’s. Tommy found out from some of the other guys that I was a big baseball fan and told me he had a Babe Ruth autographed baseball — a gift from his father — in store for me if I did a summer of home improvements for him. Turns out the whole house had mold and I ended up having to rebuild at least 75% of it over a three-year period only to be rewarded at the end with a baseball autographed by Abe Roof, a local landscaper. I played the speech off as if it was all a big inside joke between me and Tommy, but in reality I truly did kind of hate the fucker for that.
Freddy cooked up a scheme where we’d run off with the casket, toss it into one of Smitty’s old work vans, ghost it into his workshop, and split the insurance money. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but when push came to shove, I couldn’t go through with it and crossed my name off the pallbearer list. I needed to get the fuck out of there, so I got in my car and swung by a nearby Bottle King. I quickly distracted a few employees, stole a warm box of drinkable red and headed down to the railroad tracks to drown my sorrows and maybe shit out a tear or two. I started out feeling sorry for myself, but after 169 ounces of boxed wine it passed. As for Tommy, can’t say I’ll miss the poor bastard for a second, but the least I could do was dedicate the first couple swigs to him. You don’t get to occupy the corner stool at Murph’s for 22 years without being seriously committed to going nowhere — and he finally got there. I’ll give him that much.
PREVIOUSLY: How I Came To Know Lance Doily
PREVIOUSLY: The Auspicious Debut Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Second Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Third Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Fourth Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Fifth Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Sixth Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Seventh Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Eighth Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The Ninth Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The 10th Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: The 11th Installment Of BLOTTO
PREVIOUSLY: BLOTTO # 12: Rehab Is For Quitters
PREVIOUSLY: BLOTTO #13: Kick Out The Jams, Motherf*cker