Uncle Slappy called.
Before I even returned his "Boychick," he was running at full throttle into a story. It was late and I was tired and I didn't have the moxie needed to slow him down.
"You remember Saul Himowitz, yeah. The guy who raised birds in his spare room, married to Tillie for 44 years then left her for the girl at the Shop-Rite?"
I grunted a "yes."
"Well Saul, as you may or may not remember was best friends with Benny the Bum Bernstein. They shared a common interest in all things avian. That is Benny raced pigeons, kept his coop in his backyard in Queens."
"OK," I mumbled, making a motion with my hand, hoping Uncle Slappy would hurry things along.
"Benny the Bum was heading out of town for the weekend and needed someone to watch his dog, Little Benny the Bum. The dog was old and nasty and no kennel would take the mutt."
"Benny the Bum and his dog had the same name?"
"Don't interrupt. That's a really long story.
"So Saul agrees to house sit and dog sit Benny the Bum's dog and he takes the Flushing line and walks from the station to Benny the Bum's house. Saul doesn't drive, never has, never will.
"Everything is going along fine for a day until Saul wakes up Sunday morning and Little Benny the Bum doesn't. The dog is dead. It had to be 200 years old in dog years already.
"Saul calls the vet whose number Benny the Bum had left and the vet wants $200 to pick up Little Bennny the Bum and dispose of the remains. Well Saul tosses nickels around like manhole covers and no way he can spend $200 on a mongrel like Little Benny the Bum, so he puts the dog in a brief case, one of those expandable cases you can carry a laptop computer in.
"Then Saul walks to the 7-train to go to the vet's office because disposing of Little Benny the Bum costs just $100 if you deliver the dog to the vet.
"Saul has the dog in this black brief case and rests it on the floor of the 7 train. Unfortunately as the doors open at 111th Street, three schvartzas run onto the train, see Saul's bag and thinking it's a computer ripe for the taking grab it and get off the train just as the doors shut."
"Never to be seen again, I presume."
"That's right, Einstein. Saul's lost a dead Little Benny the Bum and three black guys are running through Queens looking for a fence to get some money for a dead dog they think is a computer."
"What happened then, Uncle Slappy?"
"I don't have time for this," the old man snapped. "I gotta go."