The Schoolyard Bully: 2
I previously alluded to having a relationship with a Loan Shark. He first became a patient of mine, then a friend, and finally a confidant. One of his many colorful stories included how he had handled his schoolyard bully, which differed considerably from my diplomatic approach.
Anthony: a.k.a.”Chubby,” a.k.a. “The Cuckoo Bird,” and principally called “Chubb” by his friends; had the second sobriquet bestowed upon him by a group of mobsters who had tried several times to kill him, but failed.
They eventually laid hands off after realizing that he was so crazy, so dangerous, and so unpredictable as to be a real potential liability to their own personal safety. After finally coming to a resolution by allowing him to operate in his own territory, the East End of Long Island, the final irony became the fact that they would occasionally even need to borrow cash from him themselves. Chubby said he never carried less than $50,000 with him when he took his girlfriend, Jo Anne, to dinner at Bumonte’s Restaurant in Queens. He kept the money in a small capped PCP pipe in the trunk of his car: He said:
- Just in case one of the “bad guys” needed an “overnight loan.”
Chubby told me that he was the only independent ‘money-lender’ from Patchogue to Montauk, and that the mob had learned the hard way to steer a wide berth and to leave him alone.
The reputation was partially rooted in an incident that occurred in the late 1940s when he was about fifteen years old, being precipitated by a black kid in his school who regularly stalked him because he was fond of picking fistfights.
Chubby, having grown up on the streets of Queens, New York, was no stranger to tough guys in a tough environment, but this boy was older, bigger and meaner than little Anthony. For some reason Anthony had been singled out to be this boy’s own personal punching bag. Perhaps it was because Anthony never grew to be taller than five feet, five inches tall.
Anthony told his uncle about the bully, who then became so incensed about it that he handed Anthony a .22 caliber pistol and told him:
- If he comes near you again, take this out of your coat pocket and show it to him. That’ll scare him off. Niggers are shit scared of guns.
Anthony bought a brand new heavy wool coat that could easily conceal the weapon, took the pistol to school, when predictably enough the bullyboy came after him on the school bus. Unfortunately, the thug did not back off and in the subsequent skirmish Anthony accidentally shot the kid in the head.
As Anthony put it to me, the scenario was quite gruesome, with spattered brains on everything in the bus and especially all over Anthony’s brand new coat.
- Doc. It was gross. A dead black kid with little yellow pieces of his brain all over my brand new coat. And I didn’t even know that brains was yellow.
I told him that I did indeed know that the brain was yellow because I had seen it once in the emergency room when a young man was brought in after a head-on collision in which his face had gone through the front windshield and had caused a La Forte fracture. This is a nasty frontal skull fracture that splits the head into the three pieces intended to hold the front together
When the young man sat up to vomit, the increased pressure in his head had caused part of his brain’s frontal lobe to herniate through the fracture line causing small pieces of it to actually fall off onto his shirt. It was yellow all right, had the consistency of semi-soft cheese; and was not a very pleasant sight.
Although the cerebral cortex is often called “grey matter’ this is only because these bits of yellow matter finally turn gray in formaldehyde. It is also the case that because it has the consistency of soft ripe cheese that the cortex cannot be sutured together or glued back on and therefore becomes irrevocably lost if it is sheared off from the rest of the brain.
However, the Neurosurgeon on the case was very optimistic. He said that it was sometimes surprising how little of any really important higher cognitive function occurs in the frontal part of the brain and that except for possibly a few social foibles or perhaps a treatable seizure disorder, this person could therefore make a reasonably full recovery.
I told him he might be looking at it the wrong way however because it was sometimes surprising to me how little, if anything, goes on in any parts of some human brains, even when they are entirely intact; with this perhaps being the real reason accounting for his observation that losing a few inert or underutilized pieces might not ever make a difference.
I also suggested that there would in fact be a significant difference on a social level if this person recovered, then innocently took a blissfully innocent piss into a punch bowl at a cocktail party as opposed to instead having a seizure and more acceptably falling into the bowl.
After the shooting incident, Chubby was arrested and held as a juvenile offender. However because it was eventually determined to be a case of self-defense, he was not even fingerprinted, and was then acquitted of more potentially serious charges.He told me he had even made the front page of New York City’s Daily News, but that he never had to go to jail. So what else is new? Neither did O.J. Simpson after he sliced off his wife’s head, brain intact, and then killed her ostensible lover.
This was just the beginning of Chubby’s criminal career, the first of many future encounters with the wrong side of the law and one of many episodes in which he somehow always managed to skirt doing hard time.
–Never wear your best pants when you go to fight for freedom–
(Ancient Chinese proverb)