August 16th, 2022. Henderson, NV. Gracious Sundown Senior Suites. Two men in their mid-80s are talking:
Louie “Mustang” Mazzucchi: Bobbie! I’m so glad you agreed to meet me.
Robert “Bubba” Piazzolla: I don’t understand why we couldn’t do this on the phone (three-minute long coughing fit).
Mustang: Because the Feds might be listenin… (Two minutes of whinging as he sits on a couch)
Bubba: How are they gonna be listenin’ on an Macintosh phone?, there are no wires to tap!
Mustang: How many times do I gotta tell you that cellphones are easier to tap than landlines?
Bubba: And who’s gonna care, we’re just two schmucks who managed to retire, that’s all the proof the Feds need not to mess with us, we never made it past glorified soldiers. What they gonna do to us, eh?
Mustang: Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the fucking Donkey! (makes several whinging noises) Now I’m getting scared ‘bout you been blabbing out about when you’re on the phone!
Bubba: I only talk to my grandkids. Plus, my grandson Vinnie, you know, Alice’s second son? He installed something in my phone that makes it un-trace-a-ble. It’s like (three-minute long coughing fit) an app or something.
Mustang: Vinnie barely made it past Community College in Boulder City and you think he’s gonna be able to turn your iPhone into a secure line?
Bubba: Hey! His pot dispensary is doing fine now. He picked a lot of tricks before they made that thing legal.
Mustang: Whatever. So, let’s get to what I’ve been meaning to talk about. You heard about what’s happening with Lake Mead? (makes several whinging noises)
Bubba: No, I have no idea what’s happening with Lake Mead.
Mustang: What do you mean you have no idea? I asked it rhetorically! Do you even watch the news? Is not even local, it’s everywhere on the news!
Bubba: I just watch Netflix, my grandson Ronnie, you know, Marty’s son that went to UC Santa Barbara? He set me up with his account and he tried to teach me how to use YouTube but I couldn’t find any Dean Martin movies. I’m just hooked on that insane show about the ginger kid and the young blonde witch?
Mustang: What are you even talking about?
Bubba: You know the one, it has this hot redhead cheerleader (three-minute long coughing fit), a hot Latina brunette who sleeps with the blonde and the ginger kid and…
Mustang: I don’t care what you’re watching…
Bubba: Hearing, my fucking cataracts are coming back…
Mustang: Whatever. Ok, newsflash from a year ago, there is a drought everywhere in the West, the Colorado river has less flowing water than me early in the morning and Lake Mead is drying up. And you know what that means? (makes several whinging noises)
Bubba: That those California hippie millennials are gonna run out of avocados?
Mustang: No… not that, it means that they keep discovering bodies. Bodies that were long drowned if you catch my drift. At least one of which was found in a barrel with a gunshot wound, from the 80s!
Bubba: And what’s it got to do with me? (three-minute long coughing fit)
Mustang: Well, for starters the fate of the planet should be of concern, or that California will run out of water. Don’t you have grandkids and great-grandkids in Orange?
Bubba: Yeah, but they vote Democrat now, they turned into, what they call it? “Woks” was it? They are annoying and preachy and the little runts are now Non-Bisexual or something. Also, they only eat vegetarian.
Mustang: Whatever, please focus Bubba. The problem is that if the lake keeps drying and they keep finding bodies, you know, that’s a problem.
Bubba: You already lead with the bodies part, why you speaking in double entendres? (three-minute long coughing fit) Do you think that someone bothered to bug this room?
Mustang: I think you meant euphemisms, not double entendres. And yes, you do know that the law also applies to retired, 80-year old glorified crew that we were? Even The Fucker got his golf club raided by the Feds the other day! (makes several whinging noises)
Bubba: Which fucker?
Mustang: You know, THE Fucker, Mr. Fuck-up who somehow made its way to the presidency of the United States?
Bubba: … Reagan?
Mustang: No you idiot! I’m talking about the one all the NYC Capos dealt with back in the 80s and 90s? The former president, the most immediate one? The one that kept losing them money because he couldn’t even get a Casino up and running?
Bubba: Oh! THE Fucker! Yeah, I still preferred him to Hillary (three-minute long coughing fit).
Mustang: What does it matter to you, you are an ex-con, you can’t vote. So, back to the thing we’re supposed to be talking about: Lake Mead keeps drying, bodies keep popping up and now we need to do something about it (makes several whinging noises).
Bubba: And you think the DA’s gonna manage to trace them back to us? There are thousands of bodies in that lake, there’s no way the idiots at the Coroner’s office can process them. We made sure decades ago that they could never get rid of the more incompetent ones.
Mustang: Yes, but you know damn well that when there’s a lot of buzz, and journalist circling around, because it’s an interesting story, then out of the sudden the DA’ll start pushing for more resources.
Bubba: It’s not like they’re gonna find matching fingertips. Plus, probably half of those are indians who died thousands of years ago (three-minute long coughing fit).
Mustang: No they aren’t, not if they find the right away.
Bubba: What do you mean?
Mustang: I ask my grandson Matty, you know, Rocky’s son, the one that studied Archeology in Austin? He says that those remains would be buried under layers of sediment (makes several whinging noises).
Bubba: You talk to your grandkid about business stuff, and you make all this fuzz about talking on the phone?
Mustang: I told him nothing, we were just talking!
Bubba: And you just casually asked about what happens to a body when sunk in a lake?
Mustang: It’s interesting stuff! I like to hear about his job because I actually like talking to my grandkids!
Bubba: He found a job with an Archeology degree?
Mustang: It’s part time, he also works with his father in the warehouse (makes several whinging noises). He is not in the game, just inventory stuff.
Bubba: But inventory is the second most exposed position after working the books!
Mustang: Yeah, but it’s all legit. It’s a safe drop, but Rocky just looks the other way. So, what I mean to tell you is that these bodies are not centuries old, they are recent, and if the Lake Dries up.
Bubba: How is it gonna dry up? Have you seen the size of it? It’s like a flooded Grand Canyon?
Mustang: It is the Grand Canyon flooded, and it’s now at 27% capacity. I don’t know about you but 75% down is pretty bad.
Bubba: Yeah, but probably half of those bones are jumpers or poor fucks who drowned by accident (three-minute long coughing fit).
Mustang: Sure, but here’s why you should be scared. The last one they found? It was at Swim Beach, 500 yards out. That means it’s only 500 yards from, you know, the thing. The thing from 1963.
Bubba: Which thing from 1963? You expect me to remember something that happened 60 years ago? I can’t even remember who I popped my cherry with!
Mustang: Oh, I think you should be able to remember the thing from 1963 (makes several whinging noises). Late November? The thing we drove all the way from Dallas? (makes several whinging noises)
Bubba: OH, THE THING!
Mustang: I knew you there was no way you could forget about that.
Bubba: Oh, that’s… but, I mean, they can trace it back to the year, but I don’t they can trace it back to the month… or to Dallas.
Mustang: Bubba, we slipped the thing with the whole car in it!
Bubba: Yeah, I remember you kept bothering the made man at the time, who was it, Carmelitto? You went on and on about whether it was a good idea to drop the thing there.
Mustang: Well I was fucking right, wasn’t I? You have hundreds of thousands of square miles of nothing in every direction, part of which was getting nuked on a monthly basis, and their best idea was to get rid of it in a lake that has a literal, giant plug on one end? (makes several whinging noises) Thank God that fat bastard went with my idea of going as far into the lake as we could (makes several whinging noises).
Bubba: Shit, I remember I dropped a thing there in the 70s (three-minute long coughing fit). And I do know Michael Gazzara also went there.
Mustang: Yeah, that’s the problem! So did Carmelitto three times later, so did Nicky Micco and every member of the five families that had business in Las Vegas. There must be a little mountain of bones in that place.
Bubba: No wonder Cali’s been so fertile lately. All the Calcium.
Mustang: And whenever someone asked for suggestions to get rid of something, everyone suggested that part of the lake, and every time I kept saying: “This is a bad idea, we’re in the middle of a desert, what if it dries one year”?
Bubba: Yeah, but you were always annoying people with your hippie, green shit.
Mustang: AND I WAS RIGHT! Look at the mess we got in our hands now. I was overly cautious, I traded that Mach 1 for a Beetle, you all made fun of me, but I wasn’t up farting carbon into the air like a lunatic. What kept fucking up the plans of Henry Hill and his crew? That they kept building developments where they had things buried.
Bubba: Well, it was the one thing.
Mustang: Yeah, but it still triggered a bigger mess. You know damn well it was me who suggest the five families to start funding the campaigns nature defenders of the Meadowlands, because of the things we left there and also because if you wipe out the marshlands, any tiny storm would flood Newark and there go all our hard-earned Roth-IRAs (makes several whinging noises).
Bubba: What was that? A deal between the Jewish Mob and the Boston one? (three-minute long coughing fit)
Mustang: No you bigoted nitwit! IRA as in the Independent Retirement Accounts we have tied up on our development contracts in New Jersey. Jeez, no wonder your grandkids don’t speak to you, that was dumb and offensive. Also, it’s a myth that the Boston Mob dealt that much with the IRA, they wanted to but it brought too much heat.
Bubba: So, did you become a Wok now?
Mustang: No, but what’s the deal with that! I only want to leave a world that isn’t in flames for my grandkids… and one in which I don’t have to give them explanations because idiots like Carmelitto didn’t thought through the facts that water tends to dry up in a desert! It’s common sense. And have you heard this thing about climate refugees? (makes several whinging noises) You know what that means right, that our thing will be displaced by whatever the new mob drops in (makes several whinging noises), just like we displaced whoever came before our parents came down the boat (makes several whinging noises), and just like those Wall Street pansy boys displaced us from the Casinos (makes several whinging noises). The Mob cannot survive Climate Change, it’d be the Apocalypse for our thing! (makes several whinging noises)
Bubba: I don’t know, I’d say that our line of business does pretty well when the world goes to shit. Also, that thing you said before sounds a lot like what Tucker Carlson talks about in his show (three-minute long coughing fit).
Mustang: You watch Fox News, I thought you only watched Netflix?
Bubba: Yeah, but it’s always on in the common areas.
Mustang: Not surprised, and also that comparison is gonna make me cut my balls off and rething everything I’ve just said. So, what do you think we should do?
Bubba: What do I know, you were always the one with the ideas! Plus, we are the only ones who are alive and who still have half a working brain. And look at us, you with your Diabetes, me with my lungs, we ain’t making it past the next two years!
Mustang: Well, sit on your ass if you want to, but what I really need from you it’s if you still have the contacts of the apprentices you recruited.
Bubba: But those guys are all in their 70s, they know nothing.
Mustang: Yeah, but I need the contacts of their apprentices, and their apprentices’ apprentices (makes several whinging noises). I ain’t gonna let that lake drop one inch more.
Bubba: Are you going to piss in it until its full?
Mustang: No, I’m gonna do what we should’ve done decades ago, and… (pulls out a small Bluetooth speaker, takes five minutes setting it up to play an aria from Nabucco. Bubba coughs throughout) I’m gonna rope in all the made men from here to California to Kansas and back to Long Island and we’re gonna go do some 50s style lobbying for the environment. Also, Mexicans or Blacks or even the Irish are invited (makes several whinging noises). Because this is about the water that feeds the pot crops, it’s about sea weather that the coke-subs will have to deal with, it’s about the Caribbean islands were we send our money not sinking into the ocean, and above all, it’s because being the ones that always controlled the garbage business, it’s our birth right to enter the recycling business (makes several whinging noises).
Bubba: (after several minutes of silence punctuated by a few coughing fits) Were you testing that pitch with me to gauge how much of a fool you sound like? Because that sound more like the screenplay for a Zach Braff movie, the latter ones! (three-minute long coughing fit).
(Mustang makes several whinging noises, followed by a cacophony of coughing fits from Bubba. It goes on like this for ten minutes until Mustang leaves the room muttering something about how the entirety of Nevada was a mistake and that he’ll change the TVs in the common areas to MSNBC while stealing the remotes and dropping them in Lake Mead)