“Uh-huh,” I said, rolling over the other way. We’d been watching a lot of 1930’s and 1940’s gangster movies lately, and I assumed she was just fooling around.
“Whadda ya?” she persisted. “Some kind of wise guy?” The next thing I knew, she grabbed my ear and pulled upward.
“Okay, okay,” I replied, scrambling out of bed. “What the hell is this all about, anyway?”
She flung open the bedroom door and pointed to the living room, where she’d set up our small table, a chair on either end. My desk lamp with the adjustable arm was pointed squarely at one of the chairs, the light bulb already on. “Plant your keister,” she said.
I did as I was told. The light was incredibly bright, making it difficult to see her on the opposite side of the table. It didn’t help that I was still groggy.
“What time ya get in last night?” she began.
“I don’t know,” I replied. “Geez, could you turn off that light? And how about a cup of joe?”
“Answer the question, Mac.”
“I can’t remember, exactly,” I said, still squinting. “Probably a little after midnight.”
“Whadda I look like to you?” she replied. “A Dumb Dora?” She flicked on the television and hit the play button. A video of me walking through the front entranceway of our building began playing, the time index on the lower right clearly showing 3:23 a.m. The security tapes. I knew she was in tight with the building’s office staff, but I had no idea she had that kind of pull.
“Okay,” I admitted. “It was around 3:30.”
“What were ya doin’ til 3:30?”
The light shining on my face felt hot. Beads of sweat began forming on my forehead. “Having a few drinks with the boys,” I answered. “Like I told you before I went out.”
“Ain’t no Gin joint open til 3:30,” she replied. She held up my wallet and opened it. “Besides, where’s your doe? Ya had four big ones in here yesterday afternoon. Ain’t no way ya poured all those down that ovesized yap of yours. Now start talkin’ and start talkin’ fast.”
I decided to clam up. “I ain’t tellin’ you nuttin’, copper. There weren’t no other dames involved. The rest is my business and my business alone.”
“I already know everythin’, Genius,” she said. “I called the other gals and got the whole lowdown. Ya left the pub to go to Dave’s at 9:14 p.m. Ya played poker the rest of the night, til ya got wiped out by Gary at 3:07, Aces over Jacks. Now whaddya got to say for yourself?”
I couldn’t say much. She had me dead to rights and I knew it.
“Now listen up, and listen up good. I’m tired of ya losin’ all your doe. From now on, ya get two big ones every Monday mornin’. Then ya get two more the next Monday, and ya don’t get nuttin’ in between, see? It’s either that or I send ya outta here in a meat wagon. Ya got that, Mac?”
And that, my dear friends, is how I got put on an allowance.