Jimmy Grecco

you think I'd be caught in the company of men while carrying a pistol like that you got to be crazy so if it was in my coat pocket it was somebody else threw it in there, my mama emptying her purse maybe, she's got good reason to walk around with a pistol even if it's small cause the streets are full of mutts who'd do their own mother much less somebody else's, so if it was still hot and smelling of powder maybe she threw it in my pocket after shooting at some mutt trying to steal her purse, which is self-defense so don't go thinking I'm ratting out my own mama, and if somebody says it was my hand they saw holding that little runt of a pistol I want to know how they can say that since the thing's so small you couldn't see if it was a pistol in my hand or a stalk of celery instead, and if it was in the vicinity of Benny the Bull, that faccia di stronzo who can't let a guy pass by without some comment about his suit or his hair or some girl he might be sweet on, and if somebody says there was a puff of smoke from my hand and a popping sound, and if it was about three inches from Benny's ear hole where even a little slug would find some work to do for the good of humanity in general, then I ain't saying a thing except that sometimes justice is done on this earth and they should throw the guy who does it a party

Praise for Robert Olen Butler

"Butler is a commanding and ingenious writer with a love of high-concept undertakings.Booklist

"Robert Olen Butler . . . is a master of the performance piece. . . . These stories capture and captivate the reader.The New Orleans Times-Picayune

"No writer in America today can be said to surpass Butler in the eating-his-cake-and-having-it-too category: He's literary and entertaining, serious and funny.Chauncey Mabe

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