It was a slow day at work. It’s always a slow day at work this time of season. That’s what happens when you work in a winter sport store and its not winter; even the most mundane customer becomes the story of the hour if only to give something to talk about. Thankfully, however, every time and again, someone comes into the store who makes even the (metaphorical) crickets go quiet with interest- I’ve already caught every real cricket by hand…while blindfolded…and then I dipped them in chocolate for a mid-morning snack. What can I say, we like to experiment with our staff snacks in these months of forced creativity. This one particular customer who earned the distinction for the hour was
mafia out of place, that was his only real crime, sin, claim to fame.
For a man he was on the short side, maybe 5’7, dark olive skin, thick black hair…everywhere, and showed off his support of some Italian clothing brand on his t-shirt I was not cultured enough to previously know about and which probably cost him the same as half a
horse child adoption. A massive gold watch rested on his thick wrists, a matching gold bracelet and chain were no less subtle than the chunk of gold that had left one finger noticeably more muscular than the other nine and he came to me with a pair of small youth skates laced with hot pink laces.
Having just gotten his daughter’s skates sharpened sharp enough to
shave a man’s face, carve up the ice, stay competitive, his concerns were clearly elsewhere than on me as he was deeply engaged with his phone as I took care making sure his transaction went smoothly, and fairly, taking care of his credit card payment. It was impossible not to overhear the conversation which went something like this:
“Daun’t warry aboudt it, that’s what we got the lawwyers for!”
“Naw, they ain’t got nothin’ and they ain’t goinna take this to tha couwrts ’cause they ain’t goinna win.”
“We pay the lawwyers the big money to fight these guys, daun’t warry aboudt it.”
I was enjoying myself probably a bit too much listening in on the
mafia man’s conversation and drew out the short financial transaction for as long as I believably could. The mafia man didn’t seem to care or even notice, I was a fly on the wall to him and he continued on reassuring his phone partner.
“Tha workers an’ tha managers do their jobs, we do ours. They ain’t goinna strike, they ain’t goinna win.”
“Ya, I got him down there now with the lawwyers so daun’t warry. We got this.”
I had to give him his receipt and his cue to leave and I admit I was sad to let him go because you have to understand something. This is Canada. And not Montreal where the
mafia entrepreneurial Italians collect tattoos doilies for every collapsed bridge animal shelter they build, and not Toronto where Little Italy is best known for its array of osteria’s with their excellent collection of two way mirrors soccer paraphernalia from the homeland, and this is most certainly not the part of Canada that attracts Italians with mild New Yorker accents and an affinity for youth winter sports.
I have witnesses, I can’t
be killed make this stuff up.