A Word to the Wiseguy - Part 8 - A Craven Danger Mystery
In the trunk of a yellow Mercedes convertible coupe there slept a man who should have minded his own business.
The evening before, he had not been able to sleep. So he dressed, blew a kiss to his sleeping wife and left the room to get some ocean air. It was midnight.
While strolling down Biscayne Boulevard, the man came upon the Flying Dolphin night club just a few doors south of the Tropical Splendor hotel.
What drew him into the club was the marquee that read: Emmanuel the Emancipator - Hypnotist. He will liberate your mind!
Fascinated, the man entered the club and was seated at a table by the stage.
“Can I get you anything to drink?” said the cocktail waitress.
The man pondered the drinks menu and made a quick decision.
“Yes, young lady," said the man. “I’ll have the Rum for Your Life.”
“Good choice," said the waitress.
Placing the drinks menu back in its holder, the man sat back as the spotlight hit the stage.
“Ladies and gentlemen!” said the tuxedoed emcee. “Presenting, for your mystical pleasure! Emmanuel the Emancipator! Hypnotist extraordinaire! He will astound you! He will confound you! He will dig to the neither regions of your cranium and mine your deepest thoughts! So, if you haven’t checked your brains in at the door, we cannot be held responsible for their disappearance. Ha. Ha. Ha.”
”Oh, brother,” said the man
“Now, without further adieu, may we have a huge round of applause for Emmanuel the Emancipator! Hypnotist extraordinaire!”
Emmannuel Simmons took to the stage and surveyed his audience.
Easy pickings tonight, thought Emmanuel. Look at all those poor out-of-town saps just waiting to have their minds and their pockets picked by a pro.
“Thank you! Thank you!” said Emmanuel. “You’re more than kind. In fact, you’re all shinning stars. And to prove my point I’m going to randomly select members of the audience and have them come up on stage where you will be amazed at the talents you never knew you possessed.”
“Waitress?" said the man at the ring side table.
“Can I have another Rum for Your Life? And make it a double.”
“Yes, sir,” said the waitress. “But be careful. Those things have been known to grab you by the neck, drag you out to the beach and have you think you can battle sharks in the moonlight.”
“Listen,” said the man. “I’m from New York. Don’t you worry about me.”
“A double it is,” said the waitress.
Again Emmanuel surveyed his audience and started picking.
“You,” said Emmanuel. “Yes, you, the lady in the clam shell necklace. Exquisite! And, let’s see, how about you, sir? The man in the short-sleeved seer sucker suit. Interesting apparel, sir. I’ll bet the ladies have been clawing at your hotel door to get at a man of fashion such as yourself, eh?”
“Waitress,” said the man at the table. “Another double.”
“Fine, sir,” said the waitress. “But if you wake up with your head in the sand, don’t say I didn’t warn you.“
”Just keep 'em comin’, sister,” said the man. ”I‘ll tell ya when ta stop.”
“All right,” said Emmanuel. “We need two more. How about the lady in the lovely fruit salad hat? No offensive, Madame, but I could eat you up myself you look so delicious! And, finally, you sir. The man in the double-breasted suit. Did anybody ever tell that you looked like Edward G. Robinson in that movie Little Caesar? ‘Ya lousy screws! You’ll never take me alive, see?‘ What an actor.”
“Hey!” said the man at the table. “Don’t be crackin’ wise, see? Elsewise ya might find ya self at the long end of a short pier, see?”
“Ah, ha!” said Emmanuel. “Ladies and gentleman, we seem to have ourselves the genuine article! Please give a warm round of applause for Mr. Edward G. Robinson!”
“Hey!” said Boris Buttinski. “Ya better not be kiddin’ a guy, see? ‘Cause I don’t like it when a mug thinks he can pull me by the leg and get away with it, see?”
“No kidding, sir,” said Emmanuel. “Just get yourself up here and join in the fun. We’re all friends here.”
Boris took the stage and stared out at the audience.
Geez, thought Boris, I feel like I just woke up from a long sleep. But if this guy thinks he can hypnotize Boris Buttinski, he’s off his rocker, see?”