Thursday, January 04, 2007

Tree Sugars Eddie?

In my head, this is very funny - join me there.

In June 2005, we undertook a renovation of our home. We got the contractor from a neighbor whose home he was just completing. We met with "Sonny", the price was right, his work was good, so we shook on it. He said it would take, hahahaha - 7 weeks. Seven weeks stretched into seven months.

Seven months of being upstairs while they worked downstairs and downstairs while they worked upstairs. Seven months of plotting things out, having them be wrong, having them do it over again. They usually waited pensively for me to return home after a tricky part of a job was completed and when I smiled, they all clapped. They clapped not only because they were happy to have gotten it right with minimal sweat, but because most of the workers spoke little if no English.

They spoke Malaysian and I would sometimes find Mr. Lim, the one with the best command of English teaching Tali phrases in Malaysian by writing them on the wall prior to painting. Phrases like "Good morning", "How are you", "Sonny hasn't paid us in three weeks" - common everyday Malaysian.

People working in your home become like family, I mean they were here with us for seven months! We all knew each other's rhythms - the Chinese food they ordered for lunch every day, Painter Boy's wife was home in Malaysia, Tile Guy (dubbed Smiley by Scissors) enjoyed the ponies. This last bit we found out through sign language by Scissors. Seems Smiley wasn't the only one.

As time went on, we saw less of Sonny - partly because the workers had it under control but mostly because he began to evade us. We found out why when it was too late. One of the subcontractors who provided our kitchen cabinets hadn't been fully paid, although we had paid Sonny for them months ago. Obtaining receipts became a slippery situation. Neither we, nor the cabient guys were the only ones effected by Sonny's thievery. Long story short, Sonny disappeared and a mechanics lien appeared. This has all been ongoing since last year. We have moved to resolve it by having a meeting outside of the "lawyer" of the cabinet guys in the hopes of settling the whole messy affair between us and moving forward. Said meeting will take place tomorrow morning and I can't get out of my head a scene from the movie, The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984).

The Pope of Greenwich Village is one of those movies that is not a great movie but in many ways a perfect one. Perfect in capturing the characters' nuances and they are very watchable. The flick fails on many levels, but the music brings it back up - that and New York City as one of the characters. The main characters are Charlie (Mickey Rourke before plastic surgery) and his ne'er-do-well cousin Paulie (Eric Roberts) as small time wannabe wiseguys. I watched it again a year or so back and it didn't hold up so well as when I first had seen it, but I still enjoyed it.

The scene I'm talking about is a pivotal scene near the end of the movie in which Charlie goes into the social club of Bedbug Eddie (the mob boss) to confront him about a certain heist of $150 large that Charlie and Paulie are fingered as being behind. In it, Charlie strides with confidence into the club and sits down at the table intently staring at Bedbug while Paulie serves them espresso (which is where the "Tree sugars Eddie" line comes from). Charlie says: "Mister, I am the Pope, this is your church. But right now I'm the Pope of Greenwich Village cause I got the tape alright?" thus establishing his upper hand and totally sealing the deal.


Why did I think of this you ask? Because tomorrow I'm the Pope.

MOVIE TRAILER HERE

22 comments:

neva said...

you go girl... er... Your Holiness. er... whatevah.

knowing the story behind the story, i'm smiling all the more. even as i cringe just a "tad" on behalf of the target of your, shall we say, sermon? here's hoping ALL goes well... i think it's time for you to all "get along" and/or "put this thing behind you". that said, take the big car -- just in case you need that bigger trunk.

by the way "$150 large"? nicely said, tho' it's funny -- i never pegged you for a moll.

xoxox

G said...

They'll never see it coming. Hey I can talk tough can't I? It's one of my personas. ;)

Joel said...

Knock 'em dead. Figuratively, of course...but if you do find yourself in need of a safehouse...you know the way.

weirsdo said...

I hope Mr. Banana may be able to help out in this touchy situation.

Minka said...

let´sjust hope the rest of those attending the meeting, will be as religious.
I think you´d look wonderful with a golden hat.

Good luck, this morning. Hope it all works out in the best way possible!

al said...

Good luck, G! May you receive our legal system's rarest of accidental byproducts today: justice.

ann said...

where your halo and you're bound to outshine them at every turn...

here's a long story, kinda cut short.... nothing to do with money, just builders...

many moons ago we had builders who were meant to start the job before no.2 son was born. they started the day I had him and were still there a year later. they had just paved the front of the house and were decorating it. they left a tin of white paint open and a brush. well very tempting to a barely one year old who had just started walking. bless him, he got hold of the brush and painted the paving, then walked through it with his tiny little shoes, then into the house onto our chocolate brown carpet...

I blamed the builders of course... if they'd started and finished the job when they should have,it could never have happened...

shabbat shalom to you and yours

lotsa luv ann xxxx

ann said...

i think that should have read...

WEAR your halo... doh!... the steam from the chicken soup must've got to me... hmmmm!!!!

Dan said...

Well, today is Friday, which is "tomorrow" in relation to this most excellent post.

Happy weekend Pope! :)

G said...

Joel: Keep the gates open, the headlights will be dimmed.

Weirsdo: Perfect! He's coming in the car with us. Never hurts to have a little muscle along - the intimidation factor.

Minka: Thanks Minka. A golden hat, yesss. I think if we speak the common language of money, we may get somewhere.

Thanks Al. That's the hopes. In fact that's why we're going outside of the legal system - for a better chance of it.

Ann: A halo! Why didn't I think of that? Oh the stories of builders, I winced as I read your story. Good to look back on these stories. Hopefully we will be soon.

Shabbat Shalom my friend. xox

Ann: Ummm, ours is going on the stovetop now.

Dan, Thank you son. Today is indeed Friday, meeting in an hour. Happy Weekend to you too!

Joel said...

For inspiration I would also direct your attention to the meeting scene from "The Untouchables" where Al Capone conducts said proceedings with baseball bat in hand...I think you know the one. Do you own a bat?

pinky said...

Oh dear, I have a friend that could totally relate to this story. I hope that all goes well today! Kick some @$$! But, the legal way. (grins)

pia said...

Talk tough Pope

I kinda did think you for the gun moll type :) but Scissors doesn't seem the type who sleeps with one

Logophile said...

OK, I just would request that you choose more wisely on the fashion front.
Those hats don't look good anyone, ok!

Kyahgirl said...

oh, that sonny! I could just break his legs!

good luck buddy.

gel said...

I hope it's resolved.
Oy, what a nightmare. You sound confident: a good sign!

al said...

Well?

G said...

Joel: Damn, we just had a wiffle bat - just didn't seem to have the desired effect!

Pinky: A thousand stories in this naked city. Of course, all legal. :)

Pia, Haha, I shot straight, let's see where that gets me. That Scissors - a wolf in sheep's clothing I tell ya.

Logo, so pope hats bad, cleavage good?

Kyahgirl, I have a funny feeling someone may have beaten you to it. Thanks my friend.

gel, Firstly welcome. Yeah, it's a drawn out nightmare that is coming to an end. Maybe it was false bravado, actually I'm confident in wanting to get it resolved one way or another. Thanks for the visit.

Al, see today's post.

elvira black said...

Love that movie! But Paulie really kinda stole Charlie's thunder just a tad when he put a little extra something in the espresso along with the tree sugars.

Yeah, nowadays you can't make any kind of agreement without bringing in the lawyers. But hey--Don Corleone had his consigliere (sp?), and Henry Hill's wife just offered the cops coffee and called the lawyers when they came with a search warrant--instead of spitting on her kitchen floor.

So whatever you do, just don't spit on the kitchen floor during negotiations.

G said...

Finally! Someone else who loved it too! "I put lye in his coffee Chollie!". I'm happy to report I did not spit once during our negotiations.

Doug said...

"Is the Pope Jewish?" is a fresh line now available for overuse.

G said...

You said it here first and now you know the answer.