Sal, Chris, and Tony entered the convenience store where Sal was going to pick up cigarettes after being robbed by the police officer.
"You guys want anything?" asked Sal.
"Could I get a candy bar?" asked Chris.
"Yeah sure, get two if you want" replied Sal.
Chris smiled grabbing two candy bars placing them on the counter, Tony didn't get anything because he wasn't hungry or thirsty. Sal paid for everything and they left the store to head back to the club. Sal was a bit nervous thinking about how Vinnie would react knowing he got a boxful of records and not jewelry, Sal kept convincing himself that records were just as good. Sal turned on the radio and playing was Aerosmith's Walk This Way, Chris was singing along with song when he had some questions about the song.
"Hey Sal, what's a backstroke lover?" asked Chris.
Sal was shocked at Chris' question, of course, he couldn't give him the real answer since he was only ten so he made something up on the fly.
"Oh, uh... someone who likes to swim, you know? Doing the backstroke?" said Sal nervous.
Chris taking it at face value just nodded and agreed since he was too young to know.
Tony chuckled a bit knowing what the lyric actually meant.
Soon the three arrived back at the club, Rocco and Eddie had held the fort down, nothing seemed out of the ordinary, the patrons were dancing to the music and enjoying their alcohol as per usual. Sal, Tony, and Chris with records in his arms walked upstairs to the office.
"Hey Chris, I'll put out the stereo so you can listen to your records when we get to the office, okay?" asked Sal.
"Awesome!" smiled Chris.
The trio got to the top of the stairs and walked into the office when Sal saw something rather someone that made his heart sink...Liz standing outside Vinnie's office.
"Oh, Liz...uh...hey...what uh, brings you here?" asked Sal sweaty and nervous.
"I called here about four times and nobody answered, where were you guys?" asked Liz.
"Oh...well...that, see some uh...guy stole my cigarettes from my jacket right? So I took Chris to the store with me since I wasn't gonna leave him alone" stammered Sal.
"Mm-hmm and why is my son holding all those records?" asked Liz.
"Oh, that...well ummm...you see, we passed the record store and Chris wanted to go look around so I told him to uh...pick out a couple, you know?" stammered Sal.
"Sal that's about almost fifty dollars worth of records he's got there," said Liz a bit concerned.
"Hey, the kid wanted them and you know how it is these kids with their rock and roll nowadays...so uh what brings you here? Ya didn't answer my question" chuckled Sal nervously.
"Well, turns out there was a staffing error at my job and they didn't need me for the night so I came to pick Chris up" replied Liz.
"Oh, well...that's cool" stammered Sal.
"Why are you sweating so much? It's not that hot out and the AC is on in here" said Liz with a puzzled look on her face.
"Oh, what..what? I...uh...just umm..." stammered Sal sweating bullets.
Liz went from quizzical to serious because she had a feeling about what was going on.
"Sal...the truth," said Liz sternly with her hands on her hips.
"Alright, I'm sweating because the AC was broken in Vinnie's car" replied Sal thinking on the fly.
"Sal!" exclaimed Liz cross.
"Alright, look...I had to go pick up some money from the docks and I brought Chris along with Tony and I told Chris that if he kept his yap shut that I would get him some records" replied Sal.
"So you bribed my son?" asked Liz.
"In a sense...yea," said Sal defeated.
"Sal, I don't know what to say right now," said Liz shaking her head.
Sal knew he messed up by bringing Chris with him and even worse so that Liz found out since Sal wasn't always good under pressure.
"Look Liz..." replied Sal upset.
"It's the fact you not only took my son to one of the shadiest places in the city but then you bribed him and tried to lie to me," said Liz cross.
"Liz please...I'm sorry, I want us to work out please" pleaded Sal.
"I don't know...you did try to lie to me," said Liz a bit cross.
"Liz...listen to me, if it makes anything better I will quit this right now, I will go upstairs and I will tell Vin to go fuck himself if that's what it takes," said Sal holding Liz's left hand.
"Sal...I just need time to think, come on Chris let's go...you can keep your records too" smiled Liz.
"Bye Uncle Sal," said Chris.
"Yeah..bye kid," said Sal defeated.
Sal shook his head, grabbed his key and opened the office door and the first thing he did was go right to the liquor cabinet and poured himself a drink and played a record on the stereo, he picked Sittin' Here Alone by Hound Dog Taylor.
Few minutes went by when Vinnie walked in the office and noticed Sal with his head in his arm and a bottle of whiskey next to him.
"Sal you know I worry about your drinking," said Vinnie heading to his desk.
"It's only my first glass" grumbled Sal.
"Not that, you're drinking my good stuff ya nitwit! That's eighteen-year-old scotch you're sucking down..here drink this!" exclaimed Vinnie putting a much cheaper bottle on the table. Sal looked at the bottle and shook his head;
"Really? Is what I'm worth a six dollar bottle of the bottom shelf?" asked Sal upset.
"Be lucky you're worth that...now what the hell is the matter? Ya look like ya gonna swallow a shotgun on the next glass" chuckled Vinnie pouring himself a drink.
"Liz is mad at me...I took Chris to the docks to go pick up the shipment because the driver called sick and she asked me to watch him and I couldn't say no" said Sal taking a sip of scotch.
"Sal I swear on my dead brother if that woman asked you to jump off a building you'd ask from what height" chuckled Vinnie.
Sal growled under his breath.
"Relax numbskull it was only a joke, look I get it I see the way youse two looks at each other and you get that same look Frankie did when he met her all them years ago and I know you wanna be there for Chris too but the one thing you gotta learn is how to handle yourself under pressure" said Vinnie taking a sip of his drink.
"Yeah but...this cop was hassling me and Tony and I got myself out of it...even though he stole my cigarettes" replied Sal.
"Ah them cops will steal ya shirt from right outta ya jacket the hell with 'em but Sal you can't fold under pressure like you did with Liz, I keep telling you if you're not careful you're gonna and you got lucky with one cop but they can smell fear and if they get a whiff they're gonna tear you limb from limb...best thing I can suggest right now is that you give Liz some time to cool off and then go talk to her, now about this shipment let's go take a look" said Vinnie patting Sal on the back.
"Thanks, Vin, you know you were more like a father to me than my own father" smiled Sal.
"Hey, don't sweat it" chuckled Vinnie.
Meanwhile, Liz was driving home and she was still a little cross thinking about what happened, Chris, on the other hand, was hoping his mother wouldn't cut Sal out of their lives.
"Mom, are you mad at Uncle Sal?" asked Chris.
"A little bit hon, I just don't like to be lied to" replied Liz.
"Well...if it means anything, he did take care of me and made sure I was safe" replied Chris putting his records at his side.
"I'm sure he did but the fact of the matter is he brought you to a dangerous place and then tried to lie to me about it," said Liz a bit cross.
"Oh...well, are you not gonna talk to him anymore?" asked Chris a bit upset.
"Well...no but he needs to understand he can't lie to me like that okay? Now, no more questions because this is not a conversation for children" replied Liz sternly.
Chris sat in the backseat and just looked at his records.
"You can listen to one before bed, okay?" said Liz.
"Thanks, Mom" replied Chris.
Back at the club, Vinnie was surprised to see a box of records in the trunk of the car, he was expecting jewelry.
"Sal, if this is a joke I am not laughing," said Vinnie stern.
"Nope, I got 'em dirt cheap" replied Sal.
"Sal, if brains were blemishes you'd be spotless, what did you even pay for this?" asked Vinnie annoyed.
"Fifty bucks, figure we could make double at least" replied Sal.
"If we don't that's fifty fewer dollars you're gonna see in next week's pay!" exclaimed Vinnie walking back inside.
Sal grabbed the box and headed upstairs, still pissed at himself and everything...pretty much a day he'd wanna forget.