Duck Duck Wally : A Novel

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  • Copyright: 2008-08-19
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
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GET SHORTYMEETSTHE BIG LEBOWSKIIN THIS ROLLICKING MODERN COMEDY BY A CLEVER AND HILARIOUS NEWCOMER.Meet Wally Moscowitz. His day job is top secret. As ghostwriter for Oral B, the most famous gangsta rapper in the world, Wally is the real mastermind behind Godz-Illa Records' best-selling artist, and the best-kept secret in the Industry. But if word gets out about Wally's true profession, Godz-Illa's kajillion-dollar rap empire will be sunk, and Wally will be dead meat.When Wally comes home one particularly bizarre afternoon to find a ransom note and his best friend and dog, Dr. Barry Schwartzman, missing, Wally goes to great lengths to stop the dognappers while keeping the big secret under wraps. He must, if he wants to walk away with his job, not to mention his life, intact.The hunt for Dr. Schwartzman and the blackmailing thug who is trying to reveal hip-hop's biggest conspiracy becomes a wild-goose chase in which everyone becomes a suspect: Sue Schadenfreude, Wally's girlfriend, who makes a pretty penny massaging Barbra Streisand's papillon, Yenta; Pardeep Vishvatma, Wally's neighbor, who keeps a watchful eye on all the suspicious characters lurking about the hood; Jerry Silver, Wally's slick-rick, self-styled superagent; Abraham "Dandy" Lyons, Wally's boss and Godz-Illa's CEO-badass with Suge Knight's street cred and Tony Soprano's "friends"; Jem, the fiery, achingly familiar vixen who steals Wally's heart; Yo Yo Pa and Teddy Bizzle, Oral B's entourage; and the mysterious mob crew: Five-two Lou, Six-seven Kevin, and Balsamic Vinny, who show up when Wally needs them most.Duck Duck Wallyis a hilarious romp through the absurdities of Los Angeles, the bombastic details of hip-hop culture, and a day in the life of what was supposed to be the painfully ordinary existence of Wally Moscowitz.


chizapter 7

"Tuck your shirt in, Mosco. You look like a schlub." Two hours later Jerry and I were waiting for the elevator on our way up to meet the folks at Bionic Books, a small publishing company out of Santa Monica.

"It's not like I had time to go home and change into something nice, Jerry."

He tilted his head downward and peered at me over his silver-framed sunglasses, one eyebrow raised in doubt. "Wally, my boy, no offense, but you don't reallyhaveanything nice."

"That's not true, Jerry...Yeah. Yeah. I guess it is kinda true." Like he was one to talk. Jerry looked like a used car salesman from the Valley, but I didn't say anything. I needed him to be in his best form. "This is crazy, Jerry. I can't believe we're here!"

"Let's not start suckin' each other's dicks quite yet," Jerry responded.

"Ha ha.Reservoir Dogs.Right?"


"Reservoir Dogs."He looked at me like I was speaking Portuguese. "That line you just said is from the movieReservoir Dogs.Right? Or was itPulp Fiction?"

The elevatorpinged!The shiny chrome-mirrored doors slid open. Several tired faces in business suits exited the car. "What are you talkin' about, Mosco?"

"'Let's not start suckin' each other's dicks quite yet.' " A serious-looking woman wearing short blond hair and a business suit threw me a disgusted look as she brushed past. "Tarantino. Right?" I realized he wasn't listening to me anymore. He was focused on some notes he'd taken on a yellow legal pad. There were only five buttons on the elevator panel. Each one had a different company name adjacent to it. I pushed the one that said Bionic Books.

"Listen, Mosco, we go in there, and I run the show. Okay? You with me?"

"Jerry, these are my stories, I want to pitch -- "

"No. Listen, Mosco. You let me do the talking in there. You're there just to let them know you're serious about this. You're not some uppity jerkoff who sent his agent to handle his matters for him."

"But, Jerry, I'm passionate about these, don't you think that comes throu -- "

"No. Listen. You done this before, Mosco?"

"No, but don't you think I shoul -- "

He reached into his pocket and handed me his business card. He extended his hand for me to shake, and I did. "Hi. Jerry Silver.Agent."He pointed under his name on the card where it said "agent" in puffy, silver italic letters. "Let me handle everything. Okay?"

The elevatorpinged!and the doors slid open again. I gave Jerry a defeated look, and we stepped into the cheerful, well-lit lobby of Bionic Books. Large, multicolored, goofy cartoon letters spelled out the company name on the wall behind the receptionist's desk. Horrible Muzac filled the room; I'm pretty sure it was a clarinet-only version of the '90s hit "I Saw the Sign" by Swedish pop foursome Ace of Base. The ebullient receptionist was all smiles from the moment we cleared the threshold.

"Hiiiiiii! Welcome to Bioniiiiic!" she sang, way too excited to see us. She looked like a woman who spent most of her time socializing with the ten or twelve cats she most certainly had running about her small apartment.

"Hi -- " I blurted.

"Hello, sweetheart," Jerry interrupted. "We're here to see...'' He looked down at a little notebook in his hand. "Gary Carter and Howard Johnson." I wondered if I was the only one who found it amusing that Gary Carter and Howard Johnson were both names of guys who played on the 1986 World Series Champion New York Mets.

"Greeeaat, grrreat. What are your names please, hon? Well,hons!"She giggled at her own swell joke.

"Jerry Silver and Wallace Q Moscow, honey."

"Okeee pokeee! Here y'are! I'll let the guys know you're here. Have a seat, hons." Giggle giggle. I was tempted to punch her in the nose.

Jerry and I moved to the red-leather-and-chrome chairs and took a seat. The reception area was adorned with large framed posters on each wall. Each poster illustrated what I assumed to be the books that Bionic had published. There was one calledTimmy Loves Berries,featuring a happy little purple octopus with blue spots who had a different kind of berry in each of his eight tentacles. Another, calledBo Bo the Bronco Goes to Kindergarten,featured a frightened little pony wearing a white sailor's cap, blue shorts, and a white T-shirt with a blue anchor on it, standing in a classroom full of smirking human children. And finally, what seemed to be their flagship enterprise (based solely on the size of the poster), a story about a lion and a monkey calledThe Wild Adventures of Lie-Lie and Monk-Monk.Lie-Lie had a safari cap barely containing his unruly mane and Monk-Monk wore khaki from head to toe and held a treasure map in his prehensile tail.

I was about to comment to Jerry that my books didn't seem to fit into the Bionic Books repertoire when the door to the waiting area was suddenly flung open. Two pudgy, red-faced, bald, strawberry-shaped guysboing-boing-boingedinto the room like a middle-aged Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. The first one, dressed in a hideous light green suit, thrust his hand out toward Jerry. The second one, in hideous blue, followed so closely behind the first that it appeared like he was riding piggy-back. They looked like they'd purchased their suits together back in 1975 at a garage sale at the home of a used car salesman.

"He-he-heyyyyyy! You must be Jerry Silver!"

Jerry seemed to want to match this guy's lively spirit. Playing to the crowd, as usual. "Yessiree, Bob! And you are?"

"I'm Gary Carter! This is my PIC -- my partner in crime -- Howard Johnson." They all exchanged enthusiastic handshakes.

"Call me HoJo, if you like," chimed Howard helpfully. HoJo's stupid smile was eclipsed only by his oversized round glasses for domination of his chubby face.

"Pleasure to meet you, gentlemen. This is my client, Mr. Wallace Q Moscow."

"Well, well! Nice ta meetcha, Mr. Moscow! Big fans!"

"Nice to meet you, Mr. Carter, HoJo. All we need here is Mookie Wilson and Daryl Strawberry and we got the whole '86 Miracle Mets squad!" Apparently they weren't aware of the coincidental nature of their names, because my joke was met with silence. "Heh. Keith Hernandez? No?" We all looked at each other and I smiled and waited for a mercy laugh. None came.

Gary Carter finally clapped his hands together. "So! Shall we?" He extended his hand down the hallway for us to follow. "HoJo will show you gents the way." We followed the fruit-shaped Howard Johnson down a short hallway and into a drab office, which looked like a page out of an Office Depot catalogue. Faux wood everything.

Jerry and I sat in uncomfortable chairs on one side of a large desk. Gary Carter took the chair opposite us, and Howard Johnson stood beside him, bent over, arms spread with both palms flat on the desk. I noticed a paperweight on the far side of the desk that read something along the lines of "Mean People Suck." That was when the minor worry that had been itching at me since we entered the place developed into a full-blown itchy-as-a-motherfucker rash.

"Well, gosh. Let me just first say that we justlovedthese," said Howard. He picked up a folder on the desk that must have contained my stories and shook it in his hand. "What a hoot!" I quickly realized thatbothof these guys were major blinkers. Meaning: They didn't stop blinking their fucking eyes. Theybothhad serious blinking problems and it was making me feel very, very nervous, like I was gonna develop some kind of blinking issue or nervous tick myself just by virtue of being around them.

I thought I was supposed to remain quiet, so I said nothing until I felt Jerry looking at me. "Oh. Th-thank you. Thank you very much."

"Yeaaahhh! Yeah! Very clever! A real treat!"

"Thank you," I repeated. I looked at Jerry and smiled uncomfortably, unsure of how much I was allowed to speak.

"We think that these could be quite a fun project. Might fit in quite nicely here at Bionic," said a very blinky Gary. My heart rate picked up.

"Great!" said Jerry.

"Yeahhhh. Yeah. Hoot and a half," said Howard. "Why don't we talk to you guys a little bit about our vision."

"Twenty-twenty, I hope!" quipped Jerry.Oh man,I thought.No jokes, Jerry.But the guys laughed boisterously.

"Haaaa!Touché, Jerry! Tooooou-ché," gasped Howard, finishing up his laugh.

"We see a lot of potential here in these books," said Gary.

"Indeed," agreed Howard with a thumbs-up.

"Terrific, gentlemen. Do tell." I could tell that Jerry didn't like these two jolly fucks, but he kept his cool and indulged them.

"We see them as very valuable learning tools," said Howard.

"Yesss!" agreed Gary.

"These are subjects that have never been broached before in the children's book arena," Howard explained. "They could be awonderfulfacilitator for parents who are having trouble initiating those tough conversations that no one wants to have with their youngins."

"Yessss!" agreed Gary. I didn't like where this was going.

"Picture this," said HoJo, his hands waving in front of him, wiping an imaginary canvas. "Little Duckies and Chickies."

"Wow," said Gary.

"Love it," said Jerry.

"Bear with me now...Duckies and Chickies," continued HoJo, "with a knack, if you will, apenchant"-- he said this with a French accent -- "for stumbling into situations that no chicky or ducky shouldeverhave to stumble into! And how they rationalize these little sitches in an intelligent, patently chicky-ducky sort of way." He smiled, looking for our approval. "Huh?" he asked, palms up in the air. "Huh?"

I was on the verge of tears. Apparently, Jerry was okay with all of this. "Bingo! Wow, you guys clearly get it. That's exactly what Wallace here is trying to do...here." I looked at Jerry. He didn't acknowledge me. "Wow. You guysnailedit!"

"All righty! Then we're on the same page-ola!" Blink blink blink blink blink.

"Absolutely...ola," said Jerry.

"Swell! Then, what we need from you, Mr. Moscow...can I call you Wallace?"

"Uh..."Can I call you Blinky?I thought. I was too dumbfounded to respond. I think I may have nodded.

"Wallace. What we need from you, Wallace, is for you to just clean 'em up a bit. Okay, a lot."Fuck."Sanitize the language. We might have to just start over completely with a few of 'em. Maybe all of 'em. Who knows? Same concept. Cleaner language. Chicky-ducky style. You smell what I'm cookin', Wallace?"

"Uh, I'm not sure..."

"Welllll, they're pretty risqué right now. I don't think any parent would feel real comfortable giving these to a child at this point. You know."

This was not good. Not good at all.Time to speak up."They're notsupposedto be for chil -- "

"Yes!" Jerry cut me off. "Yessss. We completely hear what you guys are saying. In fact, you're preachin' to the choir. We were just discussing that on our way up here. Right, Q?" He glared at me. The Mets just looked on with dumb smiles on their plump faces.

"Well, no -- " I blubbered.

"It'smyfault really. I kept telling Wallace, 'Push the envelope, Q. Push it, push it, aaand push it. Be controversial.' When all along he was just saying, 'I gotta tone this down, Jerry. I just gotta. Gotta clean it up, you know? For the kids.'"

I wanted to protest. I really did. But I didn't say another word. I swallowed my pride and choked back some vomit.

"Great! Super! So we are on the same page!" Howard said with an enthusiastic clap.

"Oh, absolutely! Absolutely," said Jerry. "So? Are we in bed together here, gentlemen?"

"Whoa! Jerry! We just met!" said Gary. They all laughed stupidly. I was numb.

"Let's see some reworking. Maybe in a few days you can show us some good clean, fun stuff, and then we can talk about what it's gonna take to make you guys official members of the Bionic family," said Gary, as he rubbed his finger and thumb together making the international sign for "moolah."

"Sounds terrific, guys," said Jerry, as he rose. "It has been a pleasure."

"More than a pleasure," said HoJo. "It's been just ducky!"

They all laughed.

"What thefuck,Jerry?" I whispered angrily as the elevator doors slid shut.

"Bye, sweetheart!" He waved merrily to the receptionist until the doors cut them off. "What the fuck, my boy, is thatwe just sold your books!"He held up a hand requesting a high-five. I left him hanging and stared at him dumbly. The elevator began descending. Jerry put his arm around me and squeezed me too tightly. The combination of his cologne and his suffocating grip almost made me pass out. "Whatsamatter, buddy? Huh? We did it!"

"Did it? What the fff -- Jerry, we just totally sold out!"

"Sold out, shmold out. What are you talkin' about, Mosco? The only thing we're sellin' is your books! Finally! Be happy!"

"No, Jerry!" I slapped my own thigh in childish frustration. "No. This isnotwhat I wanted. This is not what I wanted, Jerry!"

"Mosco. What are youtalkin'about? You're gonna get paid, bud! Dinero! Finally!"

"Jerry...'' I put my hand to my forehead as if to read my temperature. I tried to remain calm. "You don't get it, Jerry."

The elevator doors slid open, depositing us safely back on the ground floor. The late afternoon sun shone through a high window in the lobby, hitting me right in my eyes. I followed Jerry toward the parking lot blindly, seeing sunspots.

Without turning around to look at me, Jerry said, "What I do get is that you, Wally, are gonna be a wealthy man, and thatweare gonna go celebrate tonight."

"Cele -- ? Jerry -- you don't -- "

"Oh, I get it, Wally. Believe me, I get it. But you're gonna have to push your tragic little artist's integrity out of your sad little brain if you wanna make some cash in this lifetime. Okay? I'm here to help you do that." We made it to his silver Vette. He pushed a button on his keychain and the car made a repugnantbeep-boop-beep!sound, and we got in.

On the fifteen-minute drive to my house, Jerry talked the entire time. I tuned him out. I think he was explaining to me hownotto be such a wimp or something along those lines. To me it sounded like thewah wah wah wahsound that Charlie Brown's teacher makes when she speaks. We pulled up in front of my building, and Jerry let me out.

"I'll call you a little later, okay? I'm meeting some people for drinks around eight. You'll come meet us. We'll celebrate and drink all your concerns away, all right, bud?"

"Ahh, we'll see, Jerry." I closed the car door and moped away. I heard his window roll down. As I pulled open the door to my building, Jerry shouted, "Congratulations, Q! Cheer up! We're gonna berich!"I let the door close behind me without giving him the benefit of a response.

The jarring stench of curry assaulted my nostrils as soon as I stepped foot into the stairway. As I approached the second-floor landing, the sound of East Indian pop music filled the stairwell, completing the sensation that I was walking through a street market in Bangladesh. As I sulked past Pardeep's door, my superfriendly, curry-cooking neighbor popped out to have a chat. Just what I was in the mood for.

"Eyyy. Id is Wally Moscowitz! Ow are you doink, my good frient?" he yelled over the music in his thick Indian accent.

"Oh, hey, Pardeep. How are you?" I tried to keep walking but old Pardy wanted to party.

"Ohhh, Wally. I tell you and I tell you and I tell you to call me 'Deep.' "


"Ohhh, dat is quite all right, my good frient. I must ask you, Mr. Wally, why is your face so long?"

"Ahh, it's nothing, Deep. Don't worry about it. I just had a rough day is all."

"Ohhh, Wally. Dat is too too bad. Would you like some dinner to cheer you up? Dare is enough food in dare to fill maybe sixteen armies of donkeys!"

"No thanks, I just ate."

"Ohhh. Dat is too too bad. Okay, Wally. I will be seeing you soon, my good frient. And remember to cheer up! Tomorrow will be better."

"Yeah. I'm sure you're right." That's what I said, but inside I was really wondering if I would ever be truly happy in my entire life.

"Just tink of what dat man Forrest Gump says. 'Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are goink to get.' Remember dat all of de time and you will feel ooookay."

"Okay. All right. Thanks, Deep." I wasn't sure that his choice of trite maxims wasquiteappropriate, but hey, it was the thought that counted. We parted ways, and I kept on huffing my way up toward my apartment.

As I trudged up the last two flights of stairs I thought, Life is NOT like a box of chocolates, Pardeep. It is NOT always sweet and delicious and wonderful. Moreover, unless you are from Outer Mongolia or the South Pole or Upstate New York or some other remote part of the world where boxes of chocolate do not exist and thrive, somewhere where you've somehow managed to get through your ENTIRE life never having seen or sampled a single box of chocolates, you do know EXACTLY what you're gonna get in every single box. Especially since there's a little map on the inside of the lid that diagrams exactly which chocolate resides where! Why do we buy into this crap? What are we, retarded? Fuck you, Forrest, for inserting your corny saccharine bullshit into the public lexicon to be eaten up and regurgitated over and over again in perpetuity by silly schmucks like Pardeep Vishvatma. No, I take that back. Fuck your mother, Forrest. She's the imbecile who imparted her horseshit wannabe-sage philosophy into your half-wit brain, so that you could sit on that bench and pontificate to any poor lonely schmuck with the misfortune -- not only to be taking the bus home -- but to get stuck sitting next to you while waiting for it to pick their broke ass up. As if their lives aren't pathetic enough? Jeez! And now I have to listen to this happy horseshit from some blithe foreigner jerk-off whose biggest worry in the world is how much cumin to add to his curry? God my life sucks.

As I approached my front door, I realized that I was being an asshole and I apologized internally to both Pardeep and the Gump family. My life was so dismal that I had taken to destroying the innocent advice of a kindly retarded man in a feeble attempt to make myself feel better. I couldn't even find a real retarded guy to pick on, I had to choose a fictional one.Pathetic.

When I entered my apartment, it took a few minutes before I realized that something was very,verywrong.

Copyright © 2007 by Gabe Rotter

chizapter 8

I was bullshitting around for a minute or two before I realized that Dr. Schwartzman was not in the apartment.

I was in such a daze when I got home that I hadn't even noticed right away. I gave the room a panicked quick-scan. "Doctor?" I beckoned, with no reply. I gave a loud whistle. He didn't appear. I juked this way and that like a running back trying to avoid a tackle. I didn't know what to do first.

The bedroom: "Doc...? You here, buddy?" Nothing. I moved to the bathroom: "Doctor...?" Nope. The living room again, with another whistle: "Dr. Schwartzman?" No Doctor. Bedroom again: under the bed? No. Every closet: no, no, no.

Doctor Schwartzman was most definitely not there. I started to freak.

Maybe Sue came over, and they're out on a walk! Duh!I ran and grabbed the phone, punched in Sue's cell phone number. It went straight to voice mail. I left the calmest, most succinct message I could manage. "Hey, babe, it's me. Just got home, wondering if by any chance you stopped by and took the Doctor for a walk. He's not here, so...I just figured that's the only thing that could've, uh...there's no sign of forced entry, so, uhhh, you probably, you guys are probably just out on a walk or something. Which is cool. Call me, or I'll just see you, hopefully in a few minutes when you guys get back from your walk, if that's where you are and hopefully you are, so, uh...you know, see yaaaa, uh, soon. In a few. Hopefully. Bye." I hung up quickly when I noticed that the voice mail message light on the phone was blinking.That must be Sue letting me know she has him,I thought. I called the retrieval number. I heard Sue's voice on the message, and I was flooded with relief. But only for a moment. "Hi, Wally, it's Sue. It's like, ummmm, two o'clock or something. I'm not gonna be able to come over tonight. I'm really sorry. I just got a call from Bill Cosby's wife, Camille. Their Chihuahuas, Trinidad and Tobago, are having some serious stress issues -- they got scared in the park by a bigger dog -- and soooo, I need to go over there and treat them. They're waaaay out in the Valley, soooo, I'll be back late. But, I'll talk to you later, 'kay? Or tomorrow." Click.

There it was. Sue didn't have the Doctor.Holy shit.My heart started to really pound. I ran and checked the lock on my front door to make sure I didn't miss some indiscernible disfigurement caused by an intruder. The doorknob and lock both looked fine.Even the most amateur burglar can get past a shitty old lock like that with no problem,I reasoned.Fuck! Fuck Fuck FUCK!I ran around like a chicken with his balls cut off. My head was spinning and my brain was moving even faster than my chubby legs could move me in aimless circles around my apartment.Think, Wally, think. There must be a reasonable explanation for this. Where could the Doctor be? Okay...Sue is out. Any friends? No, not really. My mom? She lives in New York. That's out. Maybe the dog walker has him!I thought, knowing damn well that I do not have a dog walker.Maybe that chick who walks that guy's dog on the second floor has him.Clearly, all logic was gone from the equation at this point.

Deep down I knew what was going on. I was avoiding it but I knew.

Dr. Schwartzman had been dognapped.

I had a sudden inspiration. I threw open my front door and dashed down the stairs. I practically fell down the last five or six steps to the second-floor landing. The Indian pop music still echoed in the stairwell. "Pardeep!" I shouted over the music. I pounded on his already-open front door. "Pardeeeeep!" I yelled again into the cracked doorway. He popped his little hairy brown head around the corner.

"Eyyy! Id is Wally Moscowitz once agayne! Did you change your mind about dinn -- "

"Pardeep, have you seen my dog in the last few hours?"

"Ohhhhhh, de Doctor? Nooooo. No. Unfortunately I have not seen my good good frient Doctor Barry Schwartzman. Is he missing?" His dumb, oblivious smile made me want to shake the life and the curry out of him.

"You didn't see anyone come down the steps in the last hour or two with the Doctor?"

Worry started to register on Pardeep's face as he realized something was very wrong. "Noooo. Is eberything okay, Wally?"

"Fuck! No. It's not, Pardeep. Someone took my dog."

"Ohhhh, no! Wally! No! No! No!" He looked genuinely devastated. "Dat is too too terrible!"

"Did you see anyone, Pardeep? Did anyone come or go from here besides me in the last few hours?"

"Noooo. No, Wally. I don't tink so. But I must tell you dat my music was berry berry loud. So it is berry berry possible dat someone could have slipped by without me ebber knowing!" he said sadly. Realization suddenly creeped its way into Pardeep's expression.

"What? What is it?" I asked him.

"Now dat I am tinking about dis, Wally? Come wit me!" He turned from the door and tore off into his apartment. He led me to the window and pointed down to the street and jumped up and down. "Ohhhhhhh. Ohhh goodness goodness me! Dat is it!"

I looked out the window but didn't see what he was talking about. "What is it?"

"Dat car! Dat black one right dare!" He pointed to a big shiny SUV parked across the street from our building. From above, it looked like a Cadillac Escalade, but it was hard to be sure. "Dat car has been parked dare aaaallllll day. Dare are men sitting in dare looking like dey are watching dis place aaaaalllll day. I am noticing dem two or three times since early dis morning!"

I was out the door before he even finished his sentence. I flew down the stairs, vaguely aware that Pardeep was following me. I bashed the front door of the building open and looked across the street. The SUV was still there.

The loud crash of the thick steel door smashing against the brick wall of the building alerted the driver of the SUV to my presence, and he started the engine immediately. I dashed across the street, Pardeep in tow.

The large tires screeched painfully and the truck took off in a brilliant black and chrome-rimmed blur before I could reach it. I'm not sure what I would have done had I actually caught up with the SUV. I can't really see myself tearing the door open and pulling the driver out, beating him until he told me who sent him.

The pitch-black tinted windows prevented me from seeing who was behind the wheel as the vehicle flew past us. I didn't get the plates. No distinguishing features. Pardeep and I stood in the street and watched helplessly as the SUV disappeared on the horizon.

"Ohhhh dat fuckermother!" yelled Pardeep, his fist thrust angrily in the air. He took the words right out of my mouth. Kind of.

Little did I know that the shit had just barely begun to hit the fan.

Copyright © 2007 by Gabe Rotter


By Wally Moscowitz

Bobby Russo's daddy drives a fancy car,

It's a big yellow Cadillac -- he looks like a movie star!

With his big gold chains, and his slicked-back hair,

Bobby's daddy is cool! Bobby's daddy's got flare!

But big Tony Russo is not what he seems.

His car's trunk makes strange noises,

It bangs, shakes, and screams!

Sometimes he comes home with dirt under his nails,

And when Bobby asks why he spins wild tales

About gardens and flowers and planting some trees.

But Bobby remembers that plants make Daddy sneeze.

So what's Tony doing on all those late nights,

When Bobby can't sleep, so he turns on his lights;

'Cuz he hears scary noises coming from Dad's "special room,"

They go "ba da bing!"

They go "ba da boom!"

And Daddy's best buddies kinda scare Bobby, too.

They have silly names:

Johnny V, Sammy Blue.

They smack Bobby's back when they're saying hello,

And it stings really bad, but he won't let them know.

'Cuz Daddy tells Bobby that he's gotta be tough,

If he wants to be like Daddy, and buy Mommy nice stuff.

But Daddy gets mad, and breaks Mommy's dishes,

And says weird things about sleepin' with fishes.

And he storms from the house, and stays gone till next day,

But then he comes back, and Mom begs him to stay.

So Bobby starts to wonder just what's Daddy's job?

And he hears people whisper, "Tony Russo...the Mob."

Bobby finally asked Mommy, "Mom, what does 'mob' mean?"

Then under her breath, she mumbled something obscene.

She said, "they're dangerous people, who make others sad!

Don't join the Mafia, Bobby, it's bad, bad, bad, bad!"

-- FromThe Adult Children's Books Collection

Copyright © 2007 by Gabe Rotter

Excerpted from Duck Duck Wally: A Novel by Gabe Rotter
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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