Under the streets of New York City lie the city of Rattsboro and in 1978 much like the city above it was the coolest place in the world, it was as some would call it; one big never-ending drug-fueled crime-infested party. Discotheques galore as well as sex, drugs and rock and roll but I won't get into all of that now. Of course with all the hustle and bustle of the city, the taxis speeding down the streets and the clatter of the subway and everything on the surface, our story takes place below ground deep in the city of Ratsboro a city much like yours and mine except well...populated by mice and other such vermin and of course the glamor of the 70s. Now I wish I could start this whole adventure on a happy note but nope, sadly we begin in a funeral parlor at an open casket funeral.
A young mouse crying over his dad's casket, tears staining his black shirt;
"I can't believe he's gone," sobbed the young boy.
That young lad is named Christopher McRattigan a 10-year-old field mouse and as I'm sure you've surmised already, he's mourning the death of father Franklin. An innocent soul gunned down in a botched back-alley robbery, he sadly was one of many innocent residents that were killed for no apparent reason due to the high crime rates.
His mother a field mouse like him wearing a black dress put her hand on his shoulder comforting the boy.
Walking up to the casket to say goodbye were two of Franklin's best friends, nightclub owner, and fairly portly rat Vincent "Vinnie" Rattino and his head of security Salvatore "Sal" Ratziano a muscular rat, the two were dressed in black suits and came to pay their respects.
The duo each gave a hug and an envelope to Franklin's now widow Elizabeth or as she was known by; Liz.
"Condolences for your loss, Liz," said Vinnie.
"Yeah, Frankie was a good guy, he didn't deserve this" added Sal.
"Thanks, guys it's just Christopher I'm worried about...he and Franklin were very close" sobbed Lizzie.
"Yeah, Frankie always talked about his son" replied Sal.
"Beati mortui, qui in Domino moriuntur amodo. Etiam ut requiescant a laboribus suis; opera enim illorum sequuntur illos"(Blessed are those who have died in the Lord; let them rest from their labors for their good deeds go with them.) said Vinnie under his breath making the sign of the cross by the casket.
"Hey, if it's any consolation Vinnie and I could watch over Christopher because a boy needs a male role model in his life," said Sal putting his hand on Liz's shoulder.
"Yeah but...I really wouldn't want him around the club, I mean all the alcohol and loose women" replied Liz concerned.
"Don't worry, he'd mainly be in the office away from all the riffraff...he can come by after school, I know how hard things are on ya already," added Vinnie.
"Well...I appreciate the thought but, I just don't want him to be any trouble" said Liz wiping a tear.
"No trouble at all" smiled Sal.
A few days passed by after the wake and the burial, it was a rainy day and Christopher was waiting to be picked up after school. Still reeling over his father's death he hung his head covering it with the hood of his yellow raincoat. Soon a black town car came to pick him up, he opened the back door and got in. Sal was driving while Vinnie sat in the back seat next to Christopher.
"Hey Uncle Vinnie, Uncle Sal," said Christopher in a soft voice.
"Hey kid," said Sal.
"How ya feelin'?" asked Vinnie.
"Okay...I guess" sighed Christopher.
"Well, you know ya mother left us in charge since she took that second job to try to make ends meet," said Vinnie.
"Yeah...she told me this morning" replied a still distraught Christopher.
"Hey I got an idea, Sally, turn on the radio...anything ya wanna listen to Chris" smiled Vinnie.
Christopher leaned forward and began to turn the dial of the radio, he was surfing through stations when he found a station playing soft rock music and he sat back.
"Kid's got a good taste" chuckled Vinnie.
"I'm more into that disco stuff" chuckled Sal.
The car pulled up to Vinnie's nightclub named Lucky 7, it was one of if not the best and busiest nightclub in Rattsboro, rats, and mice from many-a mile came to that nightclub and it generated a lot of revenue. Inside the nightclub, Christopher took off his jacket and hung it on the rack. The club was quiet since it wasn't going to open until eight at night. Vinnie went to his desk and Christopher sat down on a nearby chair, he opened his book bag up and pulled out his textbooks and his notebook and was getting ready to do his homework.
"What subjects ya got?" asked Sal looking over Christopher's shoulder.
"Just math and English today" replied Christopher.
"Well, not to toot my own horn but math was always my best subject...what's it on?" asked Sal.
"Fractions" replied Christopher.
"Easiest subject in the world" chuckled Sal.
"Well I guess we can start with it," said Christopher.
Sal looked at the problems that Christopher had to do and he chuckled;
"Alright, the first question turn 2/5ths into a decimal," said Sal.
Christopher was writing on the page and seemed to have a bit of trouble, Sal looked at his answer and it was incorrect.
"Alright don't fret, easier way to do it just divide the top by the bottom...for example you like baseball, right?" asked Sal.
"Yeah" replied Christopher.
"Okay so if a baseball player goes 2 for 5 you take the 2 and then divide it by five..." Sal showed him how to work out the problem.
"So the answer would be 0.400 or 0.40 since you move the decimal point and there you go" smiled Sal.
"Thanks...my dad usually used to help me with my homework," said Christopher a bit upset.
"Well your dad was smart as a whip" added Vinnie.
"I'll say, I mean the guy could do calculations in his head like nothing" added a chuckling Sal.
After Christopher finished his homework the phone rang;
"Hello? Liz, how ya doing? Yeah, he's good...Sal was helping him with his homework and...oh...okay I'll tell him, alright I'll talk to you later" Vinnie hung up the phone.
"Hey kid, your mother has to work late since she can't get anyone to cover her shift so you're gonna be here for a bit," said Vinnie.
Christopher nodded understanding the situation, he was a bit disappointed but he was getting to hang out with the guys. After a while, eight o'clock came and the club was open and within the hour it was packed up with patrons and Sal had to go to work.
"Hey listen, kid, I'll go pick you up a grilled cheese sandwich and a soda how does that sound?" asked Sal.
"Sounds good," said Christopher.
"Hey bring me back pastrami on rye with extra mustard and no pickles, and if there is a pickle in my order then you're going back, capiche?" asked Vinnie.
Sal headed downstairs and walked the floor, the Bee Gee's hit More than a Woman was playing over the speakers and there were plenty of patrons dancing and drinking. A squirrel wearing a disco suit accidentally bumped into Sal;
"I oughta..." growled the squirrel.
"You oughta what?" asked Sal raising his fist.
"I oughta be more careful," said the intimidated squirrel.
Sal ran across the street to the local diner to pick up food for Christopher and Vinnie, he got his order and headed back to the club. He headed upstairs and delivered the food and then headed back downstairs to watch over the floor. It was the usual night for Sal, breaking up a couple of fights and tossing out a few drunks who thought they could take him on...the usual stuff. About an hour later Sal was on the floor and he noticed a familiar looking mouse, it was Liz.
He approached her and tapped her on the shoulder.
"Hey Liz!" yelled Sal over the music.
"Hey! Where's my son?!" yelled Liz over the music.
"Upstairs!" said Sal escorting Liz upstairs except beyond the door of Vinnie's office.
"Hey kid, your mom's here," said Sal.
Christopher grabbed his backpack and schoolbooks and got his jacket and was ready to head out but before he left he said goodbye to Sal and Vinnie who both snuck five dollars in his pockets.
"Don't tell ya mother" the two chuckled.
Christopher walked out into his mother's arms and was escorted out by Sal to her car, Christopher entered the back seat and his mother entered the driver's seat and turned the ignition.
"Thanks for watching him again" smiled Liz.
"Anytime, we're always here" replied Sal.
Liz drove off and Sal watched the car drive off.
"Man...what a woman," said Sal walking back into the club.