Disguise dees’ Guys
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
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
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
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
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
“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
“Well then let’s get the porchin’ started cowboy!”
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.