Aug 31, 2010
INTERVIEWER: Why have you gentleman decided to go back to college?
TOMMY: It’s too hard to make a living now as a gangster, y’understand? People are too aware.
FRANKIE: Yeah, the Sopranos fucked everyting up.
TOMMY: The Sopranos made the people too aware. These kids here, they’ll help you. They’ll carry the money out and put it in your car!
F: Plus, I like college. I’m learning all kindsa stuff I never knew like, Shakespeare!
T: My brotha’s been going to college for ten years, never made a dime. Me? Two weeks I already kicked 10 G upstairs.
F: His brotha don’t make nothin’! Tommy’s the smart one.
T: I’m the smart one, he got book smarts!
F: We’re street smart.
T: My brother he couldn’t cross the street without Cliff Notes.
INT: So you like college students?
F: They’re stunad!
T: College people don’t know nothing about the real world——they know facts, figures, theories. I know the real world. Lemme tell you somethin’: all you gotta know is how much money you got——and how much of your money I’m gonna get. I like to do things things nice, but if you don’t wanna do it nice——no problem have it your way, I’m like Burger King.
At this point Frankie laughs hysterically in a frightening high pitched hyena-like cackle.
INT: How long have you known Frankie?
I met Frankie in grade school. Some other kid tried to steal his chocolate milk, and Frankie snapped.
F: I got upset.
T: I had to talk him down. When he’s like that he’s like a wild elephant. No one can talk to him except me.
F: It’s like I go to this place, y’know? I lose control.
T: So I try to take care of him, look out for him. He ain’t a bad guy if looks charm and intelligence don’t count.
INT: What are your dreams? How would you like to be remembered?
T: He was a good guy, he made you laugh, his mother was happy to have him a son.
F: The most important thing is to be betta than you was yesterday. Constant improvement. I got a book from Dr Phil. It teaches you how to be a better person. I got a problem with carbs.
T: You got a problem with everything. Carbs, protein, fats you name it.
F: You got a problem with alcohol!
T: Shaddup! (explaining) Sometimes I drink too much.
INT: Frankie, do you have a problem with anger management?
F: The fuck you saying? I don’t like your implication.
INT: Your friend says it’s an issue.
F: Oh yeah? Go climb a tree you fucking monkey.
T: Relax relax.
F: Don’t tell me to relax you fuckin bastid.
Frankie leapt to his feet and smashed a chair against the wall, glowering at me.
T: Oh, ay! Enough! We got company, ya gonna make him think you’re an animal!
Frankie finally sat down at this point after much coaxing from Tommy.
T: Tell him! You’re a bunny rabbit!
F: I got a brotha with special abilities.
T: He’s a mongoloid.
F: Hey watch it with the names.
T: Nothin’ bad, he’s like Trig.
F: I’m just sayin’.
T: Well you said special abilities, like he’s frickin’ Superman or somethin’! The guy’s here to interview you, be clear at least!
INT: Would you ever want to live anywhere besides the Bronx?
T: The only other place I wanna live is Italy.
F: The Bronx has the best delis and mortadell.
INT: What about your family?
F: I ain’t seen my dad since I was ten. He give me a bike when I was a kid. He’d come and visit on Sunday, then he took off with a Puerto Rican broad. Broke my heart when my father left. That’s why I like kids, I feel bad for dem.
T: Here we go…
F: I’d like to work with kids.
T: Work with kids? You’d wind up in jail.
F: Shut up I love kids.
T: Yeah, for breakfast!
F: Enough with the insults!
INT: What, to you, is special about being Italian??
T: It gives you roots, if you don’t know your Italian you ain’t nothing.
F: I like Jews, but the food’s not good.
T: And they’re cheap bastids.
F: The Irish are okay but they ain’t got no food.
T: I used to date an Irish broad. Her father was a drunk.
INT: What about immigrants?
T: They got no place here.
INT: But you’re an immigrant yourself.
F: We been here a hundred years! Enough is enough already!
INT: Thank you for your time.