After a few drinks with my friend we plan to meet for breakfast and we head back to our respective hotels. We were doing this on the cheap, although his hotel was more respectable than mine the quality of his room made up for it . Mine had no inkling of respectability and it didn’t seem to apologize for it.
When I had checked into my room earlier I noticed the clientele seemed to be a little more grittier than the last time I was in Vegas. That was a different hotel and evidently had higher standards.
This hotel claimed it was owned by Bugsy back in the day. I though , well it had something going for it , back in the day. How do I know it’s the same Bugsy that started this whole thing. How did they know it was the same Bugsy.
I walk to my hotel, enter the room and get ready for bed. I notice the marbled tile in the bathroom contained a pattern of brownish red swirls . Perfect for hiding blood stains across the ages. Convenient for covering up the past transgressions of a guy named Bugsy, I thought.
I take one last glimpse of Vegas from my room before hitting the sack. Gazing out my window I noticed a check cashing business across the street. It was not immediately recognizable as such. It took me a few moments to make out the business sign. It had been installed upside down. I wonder what the story behind that is, I thought.
I go to bed excited for tomorrow. Dawn does not come until all of my thoughts have escaped my brain and have been reinterpreted into dreams.
I awake outside my window and interestingly enough I am able to read the check cashing sign with no difficulty. I am clueless however as to what the signs on the surrounding businesses spell out. The need for me to grab my glasses before they fall off my face is a big clue as to my predicament.
Two men of New York persuasion wearing fedoras are holding on to my ankles as I dangle outside my hotel room. They are either performing an experiment with gravity or they need something from me. I am concluding the latter. They don’t seem to be the scientist type.
“Bugsy, we know yous got the dough. Your joint seems to be quite, um, what’s the word I’m looking for?”
“Prosperous, “ I offer. Definitely not scientists.
“Yea , that’s it prosperous.”
“Dough, what dough? “I managed to croak out as the blood rushes to my head.
“Don’t kid us. The dough you borrowed from Mr Lansky. He is starting to believe that perhaps your not paying your entire tribute towards your debt.”
Mr. Lansky? Tribute? what in the name of J Edgar Hoover were they talking about?
“Listen, um, Gentlemen. I have no idea what you are talking about? Are you sure you have the right guy?
“Is you Bugsy and do you own a casino?”
“Well yea but the whole Bugsy thing is fairly new. I thought it would be a swell nickname . You know something the dames would like.”
“Cute story but Mr Lansky wants his money. You seem to share two important ,um , qualities, yea thats it, with the man who owes it to him. Your name is Bugsy and you own a Casino. That’s good enough for us.”
“Yea , I can see where you’re going with this. How much does this Bugsy character owe?,” I ask with the hope it is not too much cash to scrounge up in a minutes notice.
“A cool twenty grand would get you on the right side of Mr. Lansky for a while.”
Twenty grand, what a coincidence, I thought. I had a cheque for just that amount that was destined for the bank . It covered the receipts for the week.
“ I don’t suppose you would take a cheque for that amount would you?”
The fit of laughter the two mooks had just about caused them to drop me. I made a mental note not to bring it up again.
With the blood pooling in my head it was really tough to see let alone concentrate but I managed to remember the check cashing joint across the street. The one with the sign easy to read by persons in my particular predicament. Convenient, I thought.
I convince the mooks I have the dough but need to cash a cheque across the street. The location gives them a warm and fuzzy, however fuzzy a mook can get, that I won’t be able to get away with anything.
At the cheque cashing joint I give the dough to the mooks. One of them smacks me on the back , smiles, and apologizes for interrupting my sleep. They both exit to the street and leave me at the counter to collect my wits and allow my blood to resume it’s normal route.
“I gather those gentlemen just collected on debt you owe?” asked the proprietor.
“Yes I say, I guess the color of my blood filled face gave me away.”
“Yea, that and I have seen a lot of that kind of thing running this place. “
“Yes, well I owe my life to your flawed sign hanging skills”
“Flawed? I did that on purpose. That sign can be read my many a man in the same situation you found yourself in. It has directed a lot of business my way. I am glad I could help but I can’t say that I will miss it. “
“Yes I am retiring”.
I woke up in a cold sweat in fear of mooks from New York. It took me a few moments to calm down and realize it was just a dream. Before meeting my friend for breakfast my curiosity caused a detour in my route and I stopped by the cheque cashing business.
An old man at the counter greeted me and introduced himself as Lawrence, “but you can call me Larry.” I asked him about a guy name Bugsy that used to own the casino across the street.
“Well I have heard things,” he replied with a twinkle in his eyes. “I heard that he almost met a tragic ending due to a nickname mix up. He gave up the business and the nickname .”
“You don’t say,” I replied. “What was the man’s real name?”
“I believe it was Lawrence,” he replied.
I smiled, “You don’t say.”