Call it a sticky situation.
After using a gallon of black coal tar sealant to pour over Sterling’s head and body before stuffing him in the oil drum, the Mafia goons had to use crow bars to pry him out because he stuck to the sides.
The fluffy pillow down didn’t stick to him, either, just got gooey with glop and turned black.
I never tarred and feathered nobody before, the first goon said.
The Godfather saw it on the Late Show the other night, said the second goon.
Semi-conscious, Sterling wiggled on the ground.
You look like the tar baby, said the first goon.
Sterling gurgled and blew a bubble when he tried to call for help.
If he keeps rolling around, you won’t need to blacktop the boss’s drive-way, said the second goon.
Nice work, boys, said Raymond the Godfather.
Reminds me of those nigger babies candies we used to eat when we were kids, said the first goon.
Hey, hey, hey, watch your mouth, you racist jackass, said Doreen.
The goon looked shocked to be called out.
That’s what everybody called them, he said.
Doreen remembered hearing her grandparents talk about the 50s black gummy licorice candies sprinkled with white sugar. About the size of your pinkie, when most kids ate the soft black treats they bit their heads off first. She wondered if Black boys and girls ate those candies, too, and, if they did, what they called them.
You guys are right out of a Robert DeNiro movie, she said.
The goons beamed.
Thank you, m’ am, they said in unison.
Exasperated, Doreen turned to the don.
How am I supposed to get him to headquarters dripping tar and feathers?
You’re the government. You know everything, he said.
Jesus, why did you do that?
Look what he did to our paisan, Columbus. Besides, this thing of ours is losing power. We have to be dramatic whenever we can. I already called the press.
Not that goof JayJay Bone on the radio I hope, Doreen said.
No, we heard that crazy parrot whacked him, Raymond said.
The second goon jumped into the conversation.
Should we send flowers, boss?
Keep interrupting and we’ll send flowers to your next of kin, Raymond said.
Sterling stopped flopping like a hooked catfish.
Raymond barked orders with the command of a Roman centurion.
Hose him down so Miss Agent Doreen here can turn him in. Get a promotion for pinching a true blue all-American domestic terrorist. Maybe go under the covers with Donald Trump.
You better watch your mouth, mister.
Call me Raymond, the Godfather said.
The Godfather nailed it. Doreen might get a promotion out of this. The Justice Department viewed Sterling as a bigger threat than he posed to national or even local security. She would milk this arrest for whatever she could get. The way white power suspects were dying in this funky neighborhood with the frequency of lightning bug flashes on a muggy summer night she might as well squeeze something out of this pathetic no power survivor.
The first goon seemed buried deep in thought.
You do remember them nigger babies, don’t you, boss?
A yearning sense of nostalgia crossed the Godfather’s mind.
Yeah, he said, black candies matter.