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Best of Broadway
by Bill Brennan
(based of course on the one and only classic "Clockwork Orange.")
First, there was me, that is, Frank. Then there were my three droogs-Riffraff and Eddie and Magenta.We were at the Duke on Denton, a small pub, and we were all peeting "milk-plus", which is "milke PLUS vellocet or drencrum of synthemesk, which is what we were having. It was just the thing to sharpen you up for a night of the old untra-violence...
I looked my three droogs over. Riffraff was second, a rail thin bastard with a humped back and greasy blond hair. Like me, he carried a walking stick with something sharp hidden in the handle. Magenta was next, red hair and lips. Eddie was last-I often called him "dim" due to his lack of a whole brain. He was a big bastard...and just now he was sitting next to me, grinning that bulldog grin, humming an moldy-oldie about a "saturday night."
It was just then that a table of sophisto's took to giggling, and one of them-an old cheene she was-suddenly burst into song...and it was Beethoven, Ludwig Van and none other. Her voice filled the air, and it was like some great bird had flown into the room. Gravity was all nonsense now as I listen to the wonderful voice...it was gorgousness and gorgosity made real.
"BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZPLP!!" went Eddie as he "razzed" the woman with hin tongue sticking out, splittle flying about. Without thought I brought my stick down right on his yarbles, and he shut up. His hands went to his crotch and Riffraff and magenta looked on, concerned, but staying out of the fight.
"WHAT DID YOU DO THAT FOR!?!" poor dim-Eddie begged as he hugged his lowers. "For being a bastard with no manners," I sneered, and raised my glass of milk-plus, saluting the woman,. and she nodded and confused nod and all went back to whatever conversation they were having.
"I dont like that you should hit me for no reason, I wont have it!" Eddie said, and he fingered the long chain he wore wrapped around his waist.
"And I'll meet you with knive or kosh or britva or pick-ax any day," I said and stared him down. I knew I was quicker, and he knew it too.
He gave a nervous smile, and a shrug of his shoulders, and said, " Whoops, slip of the tongue," he was red faced. "Best not talk or do much more, what with too much to drink and all...right right?" he said looking up at me like d a whipped dog.
"Right right," I smiled, and turned to Riff and Magenta.
"Right right," they both said and we all drank. Best to change the subject, and get on with our night...
In a drainage ditch not far from the Duke of Denton was a bum. Now, if there was one thing I never could stand to see it was some smelly old cheloveck, going 'blurp blurp blurp' and singing the songs of his fathers...especially when he was real old like this one was.
"...lets do the time warp *hic* agaaiiinnn," sang the old man. he wore a green-grey sm,oking jacket, a broken cigerette hilder was clinched between his teeth, and in his arms he clucthed a rotted booked labled "the Denton Affaire." He had a strange, old face: the lines looked like he had an ass for a chin, and a chicken foot between his eyes.
We all clapped when he was done, and he looked up and saw us...and he knew what was to follow.
"Can you spare some cutter, me brothers?" he asked with a hopeful look. We laughed again, and I flipped thebook from his hands with my cane, and we all stepped a little closer...the wolf pack surrounding the old, dying bull.
"Go ahead and laugh, do me in, you bastard cowards! Its a damned stinking world anyway!" he yelled with my cane sticking into his fat stomach, pinning him to the filthy ground.
"Oh?" I smiled. The pearls clinked as I looked around. "Whats so sticking about it?" I asked, and stuck him deeper to make him talk.
"Its a stinking world! What with the young getting onto the old, midnight movie tickets going up to ten dollars, and there aint no respect for Earthly law and order no more!"
Then the poor drunk went back to his singing, losing interest in us, and that was our cue...up and down my came went, and Riff's, and Magenta's, and Eddies chain. And soon enough the old sod wasnt singing anymore. But that was just a warm up for the rest of the events of the night.
The moon was high in the heavens when we cam to the old abandoned muni-cinema. The roof was gone, the walls hardly stood, but the stage was still there...and on the stage at the moment was another gang. It was old billy-goat Billy Brennan and his bunch. They wore leather uniforms, and caps, and looked at sta-cop. They were passing around a whining cheena, tearing bits of cloth as they passed her about...I knew some of the others in his gang: Cosmo, the one with the bald head and the beard. Ralph Hapschatt, Vance Parker, and Danny "Sli[" Streamy. Tough bastards, but not tough enough.
"Well, well, well! If it isnt old Billy-Boy Billy-goat himself in person!" I yelled as we stepped out of the shadows. Billy and his gang let the weeping devotchka go as they reached for knife or chain. "Come and get one in the yarbles, if you have any yarbles," I said, calling him out.
"Right," Billy said and schnicked out his switchblade," lets get her, boys!" And the battle was one! It was all strange, how everythings eemed to move in slow motion-dodging a fist,ducking back from a swipe of a blade, and smashing a fist deep into a face, feeling and hearing the soft crack of bone, feeling the warm gush of kroovy red as he washed over your hand, and all the while the wonderful 9th symphony played in my ear...
Until the sound of sirens invaded my peaceful mental vacation. I looked about and saw that I was beating Billy Boy about the head, and he didnt look good. Likewise Riff and Magenta and Eddie had one rival each on the ground, and I saw Danny running away into the night.
"Thats faster than the night they caught him in Wilsons bakery," Magenta barked with a laugh.
I whistled for attention- "The Police! The POLICE!" and we were off, into the night, and home and in bed before the sun came up, safe as we could possibly be.
To be continued...