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Disguise dees’ Guys 

Chapter 34

         Morning. A vehicle came bouncing on the road from the direction of town.

  It was a production truck, and the dust it raised was excessive even by

  Ardensville standards. 

         It pulled into Penny’s driveway and just stopped in front of and closest to the

  house, blocking use of the cul-de-sac for any other visitor. They didn’t park, they

  just stopped.

         The crew that rolled out of the cargo van was a sight. First came two                

  cameramen—a man and a woman. Dedicated, austere and simply disinterested,

  they went immediately to the rear cargo doors to assemble their audio/visual

  ensemble. They needed a head clearing from the 3 minute drive with those

  who would emerge next.

         Garzonne, Matilda, and Cessel, the Fashionistas. Back in the asphalt bayou,

  all three were features on some fashion design competition or make-over show.

  Which of the three had more piercings, more tattoos? Who could remember their

  original hair color? We’ll never know.

         Anything said between them was contentious. They spoke fluent argue and

  discontent with a healthy dram of sarcasm.

         “Well Good Morning y’all ! How we doing?” Penny stepped out from the 

  screen door. She was simply attired: blue jeans, an untucked flannel shirt, and 

  flip flops.

         The camera guys peeked out from behind the van, said good morning and 

  resumed their tech stuff.

         The trio stared first, rolled their eyes, and started getting the fabrics and 

  things out from the side doors. Penny wondered if she could cut a switch from

  the cottonwoods, and if it would last long. The teamster/driver smiled broadly 

  and waved his bitten Babby's donut. Penny waved back.

         Penny would not be competing in this particular event. For a small fee— 

  paid in cash—Penny availed her work space over to the production for a day  

  of shooting and who knows what else. In her queendom, Penny was now 

  demoted to submissive hostess.

         The trio was not without skills or insight. The fancy pants shopping bags

  once emptied revealed a dazzling arsenal of materials and clothing gizmos

  (zippers & buttons, tools for cutting and sewing as well as a library of needles

  and threads) that made Penny gasp a little. It was all laid out on the clean

  counters for access and videographic impact.

         “Don’t touch those! Please!!” Penny was admonished in her own shop.

         The sun had risen a bit, and it was still early. A vehicle approached from the

  other direction. It did not bounce nor did it kick up much dust. In a nautical

  sense, it left no wake. Easing into Penny's driveway, it parked next to and a bit

  behind the house so to remain in the shade until afternoon. 

         Once the engine cut off, it was a couple of minutes before Mike appeared

  from the driver’s door. He scanned the scene: the van, the tech guys, driver, and

  the alien beings in and out of Penny’s screen door. Having got a look at all three,

   he sized up the situation—harmless. Having seen Mike, they sized him up—

   extra large with a 30 inch neck.  

         Mike spoke into the car and the others got out. Phil scanned, reattached

  his overall straps, and in near lock step, the new trio, Phil, Jimmy, and Mike

  walked from the car, up the porch steps and through the screen door, stopping

  first to knock, of course.

         The Fashionistas had it all planned and had done their homework. The plan

  was to transform these prairie shopkeepers into...wait for it, Howard Beach 

  Italian gangsters. ’magine that.

         This they felt would be not only side-splittingly funny, but also a technical

  feat which would be résumé platinum for landing totally awesome Hollywood

  costume gigs. 

         Once upon a time in Brooklyn, any of the crew, Phil or Jimmy or Mike, 

  would have found nothing irregular about a fitting or the acquisition of new 

  fine-tailored clothes. But that was years ago, and the tailors did not look or

  behave like these freaks. Maronne!?! They did not understand why camera 

  guys were recording the fitting, but whatever.

         When Cessel realized the cause of a disparity in pants leg measurements

  for Mike, Cessel gasped. Was there no one Mike’s famous smile could

  not charm?

         “You get that?” the audio lady said to the camera guy.

         “I got it.”

         Penny watched the measurement session from a favorite stool. The kids 

  knew what they were doing, but she could not grasp the need for all those 

  measurements. “Who measures knees?”

         The fitting was over, and tape measures rolled and holstered. Garzonne

  spoke up on behalf of all three:

         “You can go now, but please be back at 3:00. Not 3:10 or 2:50, okay,

  thank you, and if it is not too much trouble, please, how about haircuts, 

  showers, and shaves. It’s not the first of the month, but we can make believe,


         “Switch nothin,” Penny thought, “I’m gonna shoot'em.”

         Mike scanned the horizon through Penny’s invisible clean windows and 

  without word or movement informed Phil and Jimmy it was good to go to 

  the car. They left in phalanx saying so long to the production people and then 

  to Penny reminding her that there was fresh mozz at the shop. They thanked 

  her for the use of her shop.

         “Who knew you could get Mozzarella from a buffalo?” Matilda rolled her 


         As the work began, furiously so, Penny wearied of the sniping

  between the three devil children.

         “I’ll be around ifn’s you need anything.” The Fashionistas did not even 

  look up. Penny rolled her eyes and slipped on out the door.

         The driver had fallen asleep and the donut had fallen from his hand. Penny

  tapped on the window and he awoke, startled.

         “C’mon now cowboy, we both got hours to kill here ’n I got a fresh bag

  of pretzel sticks, the better part of a bottle of Beam, and a back porch outta 

  the sun. You up for it or do you gotta stay’n guard the truck?”

         Cowboy rolled down his window all the way. Penny’s twang was better

  preserved than his and from further south than his, but porching needed no


         “Beam you say. Mm mm mmm. Now you know, in fact, that bottle come

  from one county over from whence I hail. Yes Ma’am.”

         “Well, my Daddy said there’s no coincidences or secrets in a small town.”

         “Now you know, as luck would have it, I left my union reg book in the

  other glove compartment, so I can find no call to refuse your abundant

  hospitality. Thankee.”

         “Well then let’s get the porchin’ started cowboy!”

         “Yes Ma’am.”

          The couple exeunts.



         Quiet and dustless, the crew rolled back in at 2:59. They parked on the

  other side of the house to again have their vehicle out of the sun.

         Their move from car to house was less careful, which is ironic as on this

  particular afternoon they could not have foreseen what awaited them.

         As requested...directed, they were showered, shaved, and groomed 

  and in fresh clothes. Jimmy and Phil were assigned to the two

  dressing rooms, and Mike to the kitchen. The dressing rooms were a bit...

  small. Each of the three received from one of the Fashionistas, an ensemble 

  of clothing and shoes in a bag to change into.

         “If you need help, just shout.” Garzonne added as doors closed and


         They emerged, as directed, simultaneously. Jimmy was already in tears.

  Posted again on her stool, Penny’s mouth hung open like a railroad tunnel.

  The only missing detail, maybe, was that loose fit which might conceal a

  holster or weapon. Ceptin’ Mike, of course.

         Even the AV guys were mightily impressed. They both had worked on

  crime drama shows, but never, never could they have imagined those three 

  home on the range roaming farm boys could be so completely, so perfectly

  transformed into Bensonhurst wiseguys. Wow.

         The designers started evaluating their work. Checking pants length,

  shoulders, sleeves, crotches.

         “Aye!!, watch the jewels my friend,” Jimmy hissed with executive

  threat. Garzonne froze. He stared at Jimmy. All in the room froze. Uh-oh.

         Garzonne broke up into squealing laughter, rolling on to his back,

  kicking his legs, and repeating Jimmy’s phrase. Penny, to this point 

  subdued from all the porching and such, shed tears of laughter while

  struggling not to wet herself.

         “Aye Jimmy, you want I should show’em the wood chipper?”

         Now the whole room was—forgive me—in stitches. Penny 3 times 

  as she was the only one who really understood what was occurring.

         “Wha’da’ya’say we go to lil Vinny’s for strombolis and gummares?”

  Phil reminisced in deepest heartfelt nostalgia.

         Convulsing contagious laughter, no one safe from the plague, 

  as breathing became difficult.

         Matilda jumped up, “Aye, I don’t want my little brother coming 

  outta da bathroom with his dick in his hand.”

         “Aye, ’ats very good.” Mike squeaked though his laughter. Sundown

  was coming, but the video would never see the light of day.

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