[Continued from previous Post]
Then these guerrillas stood in a slightly straddled stance and telegraphed their dastardly intentions by rhythmically slapping their weapons into the palms of their hands. I imagined us being a band of unarmed Christians huddled together in the Roman Coliseum, about to be massacred by well-armed gladiators. This is a fitting analogy, since the Romans are the ancestors of the Italians.
Mumblings began amongst us, and I overheard someone say, “These guys don’t bluff; they mean business.”
Then one of the old pizons said, “Come on and get it punks.”
Next, another one said, “Whose gonna be first?”
The one with the gulf club demonstrated a gulf swing, while the one holding the bat swung wide—pretending to hit a home run.
Then the one with the crowbar put on a construction helmet and said, “I’m here to rip open some skulls. Plus there’s still plenty of room left in the trunk for anyone that wants to go for a ride.”
This show of force tested our nerves, and like before, we had no idea of how many more pizons might be lying in wait around the corner in the shadows. I thought to myself, “There ain’t gonna be no rumble tonight—guaranteed.”
I wasn’t completely weaponless, however. I possessed a toenail clipper; so I guess I could have pinched one of them to death with it. In any case, I accepted the fact that I’d rather be humiliated than mutilated.
Then someone else shouted, “We can take’em,” and another shouted, “Let’s split. They the Mafia.”
Then without hesitation, we all broke westward, toward the safety of our own turf. It reminded me of a gaggle of pigeons that break into flight when a hawk glides into their vicinity. After all, we were just a posse of skinny juvenile delinquents looking to get into mischief. We barely had hair on our chinny, chin, chins.
There were several other confrontations; yet we always wound up hightailing it. During one quick exit, one of our guys had a meat cleaver swish pass his head while running down an alley. In those games of cat and mouse, they were the cat. We were no match for them; since they had the weapons, muscle, communications and organization.
It seems as though the whole Italian vicinity knew of our presence, the moment we crossed the demilitarized zone—52nd street—onto their turf. I’m not sure if they were using walkie-talkies, or what. We deduced that these sorts of Black Hand tactics were due to the involvement of an organized crime family.