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Paul Francis Mc Cann

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Boys Night Out
By Paul Francis Mc Cann
Saturday, January 19, 2008

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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A few friends who go out looking for fun in town meet some tricky situations .

Every Friday after work the lads from the Ghetto would meet up at Friscos for a pint before deciding what they were going to do that evening .

On this particular evening it was decided that the lads would go into Bernies Casino where the food was good and not that expensive .

It was Friday night and the lads were out for a good time . Nothing had ever changed since the lads first got together . They were all tight together and knew what made one another tick . Most of the lads came from broken
homes and because they had no real family of their own they had adfoped one another and their friendship was more like family .
They had a similar background and that scene never changed .
They stuck together .

On the way to the casino they talked about their week and all the hassles they had gone through . Each of them wanting to share their own experience .

When they reached Bernies Casino the doorman stood in their way .’
Hwe took a look at the crew and when no one bothered him much , he allowed them a free entrance .

Once inside the casino the lads spotted dozens of video cameras on the ceiling . There were security guards on the floor . The entire place was heavily laid with security .

No one ever bother the lads from the Ghetto . It was understood that they were not there for trouble and everyone respected that .

The lads made their way to a room called The Open Hand . There was a number of activities going on in there . Some of those included snooker and card table . There were slot machines and video games .

Stevie took his regular spot playing the one arm bandit in the corner under the TV set where Trevor had a reserved chair in front of the box .
Nearby to Trevor and the TV set was a vending machine with hot drinks .

The dart board where Jack and Ronnie would stand throwing as if their life depended on it . The loser had to buy a round of drinks for the lads . Ronnie liked to take his time throwing while Jack would get his throws over in a flash .

As the evening began to warm up the lads joked amongst each other .
Now and then they would shape up . It was all harmless fun .

Johnny who finished his shift behind the bar went over and racked up the balls on the snooker table . It was time for the regular Friday night snooker competition . Everybody had to put up the entrance fee stake and then names were drawn to see the order of who was to be playing

The way it worked was that the winner stayed on the table and the overall winner of the competition was the person who ended up at the end of the night holding the table .
The draw was made and first to cue off was Arthur and Fred .
Arthur broke but made a mess of it and Fred began to sink a few balls into the corner and centre pockets . He was on a good break .
Arthur tried the odd cough now and then trying to put Fred off his shot but it never worked . Fred was well focused and potting well .
After he sank a number of reds he confidently slammed down a few salmons and a blue before pulling back the white ball as another red went down .
Now as Fred was lining up to sink the black ball Johnny interrupted and asked Fred if he would buy the next round of drinks for the lads .

Fred was one of those nice guys who was always ready and glad to oblige .
So he rested his cue on the table and went to the bar .
During the time Fred was away from the table Johnny unscrewed the black knob that was at the end of the handle on the one armed bandit slot machine in the corner . Everybody knew Johnny was up to something and watched keenly as he went over to the snooker table and took the black from the table and quickly replaced it with the black knob from the slot machine . The flat edge of the knob rested there upon the green felt of the snooker table..

Fred returned with a tray of drinks for the lads and then proceeded to take his shot . Everyone was trying to keep a straight face as Fred who suspected nothing took his cue with a snap jab he hit the cue ball that ran strongly towards the black knob . When they collided the flat base prevented the knob from rolling correctly on the table . The knob became air born from the table and ended up in Stevie’s glass of beer .
Everybody laughed aloud except for Fred who was almost in a state of shock .
Poor Fred had no idea what had just happened .
Johnny walked over and took the knob from Stevie’s glass and swapped them over again . He put back the black ball on to its spot on the snooker table and screwed back the plastic knob on the one arm bandit .

“Now that was a great shot Fred ?”
Johnny said .
Fred saw the funny side to it and laughed with everybody else .

As it turned out , Fred won the competition . With his winnings he decided to have a go on the slot machine in the corner that had the black knob that he had previously knocked off the snooker table .
With his first coin he pulled off the major jackpot . Bells were ringing and lights were flashing .
Fred was amazed to find out that as well as pulling the $400.00 jackpot on the machine he had also pulled off an accumulator cash prize of $68.000 .
While the attendants were all running around looking for a supervisor or a manager to sign over a cheque for Fred .
During this time Fred’s wandered over to the blackjack table and asked to be dealt in .
The dealer was a young lady and her hand dealt out two cards to seven people in about ten seconds .
She was quite cool when Fred collected on the the first few hands she had dealt .

Fred had lady luck on his side .
A small crowd gathered around the table . Fred was going well .
In about ten minutes he had a larrge bank of chips stacked up in front of him on the table .
The blackjack table changed it’s dealer for an old man who began to deal out the cards in a slower fashion .
He smiled at Fred and all the other players at the table .

A well dressed man with a badge approached and handed Fred a cheque from the casino . Fred took the cheque and said ,

“This must be the best casino in the world “

He continued to play blackjack and Fred’s uncanny run of luck continued .

A few of the lads from the Ghetto approached Fred and made it known that certain people were getting uneasy about how much money Fred had won .

Johnny who knew some of the heavies persuaded Fred to cash in his chips .

Fred took his advice and thanked the dealer and said farewell to the players at the table . He made his way over to the cash in window and transferred everything he had won at the blackjack table .

All the lads from the Ghetto surrounded him like a hero come home from the war . They all laughed and cheered as they left the casino .

Once outside Fred called all the lads together .

“Ok lets have a night out on the town. “
He said .

“That’s a great idea .”
They all said almost together in one voice .

‘So how are we going to get there ?”
Ronnie said .

“ We could walk .”
Johnny replied .

“We could but then we would miss the first couple of races . I’m calling us one of those mini bus taxi-cabs from the get around town organization .“
Fred said .

“What are they all about Fred ?”
Stevie asked .

“They are a company where you can hire out a driver and a cab for the entire night all for one price . “

“How much is that Fred ?”
Stevie asked .

“I’ll take care of that . That’s no problem lads .”

Fred took from his pockets a bundle of bank notes . He began to count out hundred after hundred bundling them all together .

“I’m like well ahead so here this is your stash lads . “
He handed over a hundred to each of them .

“Where are we going ?”
Said Arthur .

“I thought we hit the dog track , I’m on a roll tonight .”
Fred replied .

“You’re on a roll and I’m hungry. “
Said Jack .

“I wouldn’t mind a little chicken and mayo on a roll .“
Ronnie replied .;

“Right then . What about if we stop at the steakhouse on the way to the track and pick up some burgers or rolls ? ”
Said Fred .

“Sorry lads you know I’m not a meat eater . “
Said Johnny .

‘Why not ?”
Asked Stevie .

“Because meat is against my beliefs ?”
Said Johnny .

“What about fish then .“
Stevie asked .

“No that’s still meat .“
Johnny replied .

“What about chicken Johnny . Is that meat ?
Said Jack .

“It sure is Jack . Listen , there’s this little place I know near the city hall called The Wise Little Noodler and they cater for most peoples ethics and taste . “
Johnny said .

As the mini can arrived Fred said ,
“Ok then we’ll go to the Wise Noodler first and then on to the dogs. Is that ok with everybody ?:”

Everyone nodded in agreement .
One by one they took their seats in the mini bus and headed off along the highway into the town centre .
When they arrived at the Little Noodler they all got out of the bus .
When they walked in the front door a group of three masked men told everyone to get on to the floor . The masked men all held guns and told everybody to empty out their pockets .

The one thing you never do is tell lads from the Ghetto what to do .
The bandits made a big mistake as from a very young age ,in the Ghetto ,
you learn how to handle yourself .
All the lads could take care of themselves and like a cobra , they lay there on the floor and waited, for the right moment to strike .

The element of surprise is always a good place to start any attack and so when Fred who was not an epileptic faked to be taking a fit the rest of the crew knew exactly where to go with that .

One of the masked men who seemed troubled with Fred’s abnormal display of muscular activity . The largest and leader of the three screamed out ,

“Ok can anybody help this guy . What is going on with him . Does anybody know what to do ?”

Jack took the next move ,

“I’ve done a first aid course and I’ve heard about this kind of thing . It is a life threatening reaction to stress . His condition is called Inclosetitus and we need to act immediately . We need to give him some room and move everything out of the way in case he harms himself .”

The three masked man put down their weapons and started to move away tables and chairs . While they were doing this Jack crept slowly over and in this momentary distraction he grabbed their guns and threw them away . Suddenly all the lads went into automatic response . It was all kind of knee jerk and half beserk and what occurred next was just self preservation .
In the ghetto people acquire an ability to mix life and death situations into one crazy reaction . That is what its like living in the ghetto .

So Johnny and Stevie who lat side by side signalled to each other who they were about to attack . They swung their feet with a sweeping roundhouse manoeuvre that knocked two of the bandits to the floor .
At this very moment Ronnie sprung to their feet and lifted a chair and brought it down on the head of the other masked man who fell to the ground
unconscious .
Like a tiger set free from cage Fred leapt to his feet and delivered two snapping blows to the two bandits who were still able to move . Both pleaded for mercy .

Fred said ,

“You brought trouble we didn’t need . It’s not our problem .“

One of the bandits replied ,

“Please don’t hurt us . We didn’t mean to hurt anyone .“

Fred laughed sarcastically and said ,

“Oh sure . You all had a gun and now you’re saying you didn’t mean to hurt anyone . Well that is just the funniest thing I’ve ever heard .“

Fred asked Johnny to remove the masks from their faces .

The masked man replied ,

“Aw ,come on give us a break . We aren’t really that bad . Just let us go . I promise that you’ll never see us around here again .”

Fred walked back and pointed to the surveillance cameras in the restaurant and said ,

“We now know what you look like so I’ll tell you what . You say you’re not that bad now I think you’re a desperate kind of a man . Am I right ?”

“That’s right ?”
Came the reply .

Fred contimued ,

“Ok so what if I turn off all the lights in here and when they come back on again all this will just go away . How does that sound . Hey Jack see if you can find a switch and hit the lights .”

Jack walked around until one of the staff assisted and suddenly all the lights wen off . When they came back on again the bandits were all still there , but they were stripped bare . As the unconscious bandit began to come around he sat up slowly and was slightly embarrassed in how he found himself .
Fred told the three naked bandits that they could go or wait until the police would arrive in about two minutes . The three naked bandits made a dash for the door of the restaurant ran and proceeded to make their exit from the
restaurant to the wolf whistles and cheers of everyone in the restaurant .

After a few moments the manager approached the lads and offered his thanks as well as a free meal to everyone .
The lads eat well and left the restaurant feeling good . They were soon back on the road again in the mini bus and on their way to the dog track .

The driver of the mini-bus was unaware of what had happened inside the restaurant and wanted to know why three naked men had come running out the door .Fred said ,

“Oh yeah , that’s the Friday night streaking through town crew . You know, they’ve nothing better to do .“

Everybody laughed .

They made their way through the traffic and got to the track before the first race . Once inside they all bought a race program and started to browse through the runners for the first couple of races .

After a brief study of the dogs in the first race Fred said to Jack ,and their previous form they all came to picked their fancy. Somebody stopped and began to talk with Ronnie who left the lads for a few moments .

All the lads stood around in the stands debating over the runners in the first race .

“I like Two Bob To Spare from box four .”

Said Fred .

“I think that Better Than Some from box one has a good chance if she gets out ok . She’s a bitch from the country and her trainer hasn’t come all this way to the city on a Friday for a joy ride. “
Johnny replied .

Fred replied ,
“She might be a country greyhound Johnny but here in the big city you’ve got to be track wise and this dogs never run on any city track before .“

“Sure thing Fred . That’s a good point Fred . “
Jack replied

“What do you like in the first Jack ?”
Fred asked .

”I fancy Dundrum . Box three is ideal . I’m looking at the ten to one in betting and I’m going to have a few dollars each way on that one . “

“Stevie what about you . Do you like anything . ?”

“Well actually I was looking at that one Johnny liked Better Than Some .”
Came the reply .

Suddenly Ronnie appeared and said ,

"Wait on lads . I've got a tip for a dog in the first , Box eight Celtic Skeltic . "

“Right then lads that’s the one , box 8 in the first ok .. Lets get it on and have some fun ".

So they all went as quick as could be to place their bets and see the dogs run.

After all the dogs where placed in their boxes the electronic bunny lure was sent out . The boxes were opened and race one was on .
Suddenly there was a blackout and all the power went off .
It wasn't funny, the dogs caught bit the bunny and suddenly the power came back on and one of the dogs got zapped .
From box one Better Than Some ended up well done .

With the first race abandoned everybody got their money back .

Race two was ten minutes away and the lads began to study the form of the runners .

“This time I’m backing the bunny .“
Said Fred .

Johnny replied ,
"That’s a good idea . We should all follow your tip Fred " .

Ronnie said .
“I was told by someone in the know that Drummer Boy has been set for this race . He is owned and trained by Andy who is the brother of Joe who owns Celtic Skeltic . "

After the dogs were put into their boxes Ronnie suggested that they watch the race on the TV in the bar at track . Everyone agreed and after they place their bets they all went to get a quick drink before race at the track began .
The lads all ordered their drinks and waited for the dogs to run . The bunny was set in motion and the boxes opened and off they went .
Drummer Boy came out well and was second in the run . At the turn the dog behind Drummer Boy came through and bumped into Drummer Boy which inconvenienced him on the run . It was neck and neck to the finish but Drummer Boy lost by a nose on the line .
Ronnie shouted ,
“Hold on to your tickets . There’s bound to be a protest lads . “
Everybody laughed .
“Dogs don’t protest . “
All the lads just laughed and ignored the comment .
”You should have backed the bunny Fred .“
The lads drank up and began to leave the bar .
The man with the mouth approached Ronnie .
It was Friday night and the bar at the dog track was crowded .
Then guy with the loud mouth walked over to Ronnie and said ,

“Just who do you think you are ?”
Ronnie turned around and broke one of the round tables in two with the back of his hand and said ,
“I’m a straight talking street walking lad from the ghetto . So who are you ?
The man with a mouth smiled and slowly reached out his hand and said .
“Well you’re surely a man of action it's plain to see .”
Then he pointed his finger to race three in the program and said .,
“See that dog there . Me Old Mate . Back it .”

Then with that he walked off into the bar and out the door .
All the lads went straight to the ring and laid a few big bets on Me Old Mate in the third . All the lads went crackers when the dog won by three lengths at the nice odds of twenty to one .
Friday night was still young and the lads collected . They left the track that night in a mini bus with a bundle of cash and the memory of a man with a mouth who spoke softly to a straight talking street walking man from the ghetto .


By Paul McCann

       Web Site: Poetry Scriber

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