“I really like you kid; in an appropriate, non-gender specific sort of way, of course,” Said Sal.
“Jimmy, you’re gonna’ go places if you follow a few ground rules.”
“What do you mean, Boss?” Asked Jimmy.
“First of all, you can’t go around cracking coconuts; like you did with Herman the German. These are our clients; even if Herman’s Grocery doesn’t sell sustainably produced agricultural products. Why, in the old days I woulda’ head-slapped you already.”
“Thanks Boss,” Jimmy answered.
“Don’t thank me. Thank Big Eddie for bailing you out.”
“Eddie, what the hell are you doing? Are you going to sleep on me?”
“No Boss, I was meditating,” Eddie answered. Sal’s face was beet red.
“Do your meditating somewhere else, on your own time.”
Big Eddie hadn’t been the same since bariatric surgery. Last night, he ordered vegetarian lasagna at Luigi’s. Lucky for Big Eddie, Sal didn’t know, he now practiced yoga.
“Don’t neither of you lugheads get too comfortable. I’m not done talking.” Sal was on a roll. Big Eddie craved a smoothie in the worst way, but kept quiet.
“The business has changed. Think of what we do as, Sal’s Security Services. I want you guys to become marketing experts. Instead of gourd cracking, you’ve got to play to people’s fears and anxieties.”
“It’s like being a bartender–saying things like, ‘How ya’ doin’ Pal?’ ‘That’s a tough break–I’m here for you.’ Listen to people–be sensitive to their needs.”
“They serve salty snacks at bars. And how about salty, movie theatre popcorn? Do You two knuckleheads have any idea why they do that? Sorry, that was insensitive of me. Do you two gentlemen have any idea why they do that?”
“So they can sell more drinks, Boss.” That’s right Jimmy. Keep thinking that way and I’m going to keep you around. Think of people’s fears as salty snacks. We will quench their needs for security, just like those 64 ounce, refreshing, cold drinks.”
“Big Eddie you’re looking good. You dropped some weight, got those double chins tightened up.” “Thanks Boss,” Answered Eddie. “I’ve still got a ways to go.”
“Jimmy, stop wearing that stupid baseball cap turned around backwards. At least, wear nice slacks and sports shirts. We’re professionals–we want people to like us. Next week, you’re both going to anger management and sensitivity training.”
Jimmy and Eddie looked as if they’d been shot. Sal fractured many bones over the years–none of them sensitive.
Sal, alleged, but never convicted, wise guy, became Sal, mentor, philosopher, proprietor of Sal’s Twenty-First Century Security Services. Jimmy and Eddie looked spiffy in their new, dark green, embroidered uniform shirts. Eddie sighed, contemplated going home after work to play with his new boxer puppy.