St Valentine’s Day has been and gone but never too late for another excerpt from HORRID HEROES AND CRAZY CROOKS by David Clement-Davies. This time to meet the superstar and show maker of them all, Al Capone!!!
AL CAPONE AND THE VALENTINE’S DAY MASQUERADE
Hot off the press this headline runs:
A GANGSTER RULES WITH FEAR AND GUNS
So, kids, I hope you’re not alone,
To hear this tale of Al Capone:
Of all the crooks we’ve met so far,
This killer’s still the SUPERSTAR.
Since Al’s fame, to this dying day,
STRIKES TERROR THROUGH THE USA,
And when it’s mentioned on TV
Turns BRAVE ENFORCERS off their tea.
In old Chicago, where, it’s said,
Al SHOT his victims STONE COLD DEAD,
A hundred patsies Al gunned down,
That’s just around the edge of town,
With sub-Machine Guns at his chin,
Al PLAYED ’em, like A VIOLIN.
And since the news boys love to shout,
A crook was soon being read about
In Prohibition days, so grim,
Of crooked banks and boot-leg Gin
Enough to leave a drunk impression
And so bring on a Great Depression!:
CHICAGO DAILY NEWS
A GANGSTER RULE WITH FEAR AND GUNS
SUPERSTAR STRIKES TERROR THROUGH THE USA
BRAVE ENFORCERS SHOT STONE COLD DEAD
AL PLAYED A VIOLIN!
Until those front page lies were read
By one of Al’s best friends instead:
“Hey, ditch this junk, just hold a mo’,
Dat’s not the Al I used ta know.
Naah, Al was thoughtful, Al was kind,
Yeah, Al Capone was real refined.
The nicest guy I’ve met by far,
He doted on his dear ol’ Ma.
Oh sure, Al robbed a bank or two,
But with those frauds, hey, wouldn’t you?
There ain’t no equal Wall Street mothers
To rival crooks like Lehman Brothers!
Besides, Al had to terrorise a Nation,
To earn himself a reputation.
Yet in his heart of hearts, dis guy
Was sweet, romantic, modest, shy,
And every time he whacked some clown,
The tears, dey nearly made Al drown.
I know the story dat’s ta blame,
For blackening a hero’s name:
THE VALENTINE’S DAY MASSACRE
Dat day, dey claim, Al went too far,
When rounding up some mugs he hated,
He had the jerks… assassinated.
Yet every kid should know, I guess,
Dem lies were cooked up by da Press,
So listen, to da bitter end,
To Al’S TRUE STORY – (By a friend!)
And wise up to MY bottom line
On Al’s romantic Valentine:
One day, see, there with Snuff, Dutch, Guss and Gene
Al’s diary turned up FEB 14,
The day dat sweethearts, throughs der post,
Sends gifts to thems dey loves da most.
But this made Al Capone upset,
The boss had had no postcards yet,
Nor any broad nor classy dame,
To buy him chocolates or champagne.
‘Hey, Boss, woss up with you?” asked Guss,
‘Aaahhh, nuddin much’ sniffed Al, ‘Don’t fuss,
It’s just….I wish….oh gee, if only
I wasn’t feelin’ so darn lonely.
I knows your boss would feel fine,
If he’d received some… Valentine.’
A sentiment to tempt der fates,
Cos Al was never any good wid dates!
But, wid a most gigantic sigh,
Al wiped one tear drop from his eye.
Then soon a thought ran through that head,
‘I’ll SEND a Valentine, instead,
To all those dirty rats in town
Who’s ever tried ta gun me down.’
‘Dat’s swell,’ cried Snuff, ‘I’ll make em jive”
And Guss pulled out his ’45!
‘It’s noon,’ grinned Al, ‘so not too late,
To get them to agree a date,
Tonight, with us, in some place fancy,
That downtown garage run by LANCEY.’
“Like magic, soon Al’s guest arrived,
The meanest bunch of crooks alive.
Each sporting velvet gangster hats,
In pin striped suites, with patchwork spats,
They slouched, or leant against their cars,
Smoking a box of fat cigars.
With loaded sten guns, inches thick,
With which they’d planned to spring some trick,
On unsupsecting Al, whose heart,
Like meat, they’d serve up in a cart.
The clock ticked by, but still alone,
There was NO SHOW for Al Capone.
Until Fats Diamond turned to say
‘Look, boys, we’ll wait anudder day
To stich up Al, let’s split, you guys’
But then Al cried – ‘SURPRISE, SURPRISE’
And jumped out from behind a Ford,
With thirty mobsters, guns abroad.
‘Jeeees, no,’ blubbed Diamond, with a gulp,
‘I guess that means, us guys, we’s pulp.’
‘Dat’s right’ snarled Al, the Mafia boss,
‘I knows you’ve planned the double-cross,
So says yer prayers and waves goodbye,
Right here, in Lancey’s, time to die!’
The mobsters’ bullets RAT-TAT-TATTERED
Al’s sub machine guns shook and splattered,
Yet, when the smoke cleared in the air,
No single crook was lying there,
Instead, among the smoke and sparks,
A GIANT HEART, in bullet marks,
Was patterned on the garage wall,
Near ten feet wide and five feet tall.
While underneath, the dotted line,
In holes, spelt H..A..P..P..Y……..V..A..L..E..N..T..I..N..E
A nicer fate than being shot
Which sure proves dat Some Like It Hot.
Then, grinning on, cucumber cool,
Capone cried ‘tricked ya, APRIL FOOL!‘
And from a huge machine gun case,
Capone pulled out a cloth of lace,
A trifle, hampers, knives and forks,
As Gene and me popped Champagne corks,
Then smiling gangsters showered them crooks,
With roses, sweets, romantic books.
As Al, to raise our caper’s tone,
Turned on a wind-up gramaphone,
To which us mobsters, face to face,
Began to Waltz around the place.
Then Dutch, who never played the snitch
Sang Opera arias, perfect pitch,
And tuneful crooks were soon to be
Made men –Sopranos– on TV
As Snuff, a lucky name he had,
Got cast in parts of Breaking Bad
And since Snuff’s skills were never phoney
The mobster even won a Tony!
Which proves what Hollywood always saayes
Der Talent Never Ever Pays.
Yer see, I told ya Al was fine,
He loved his Ma AND Valentine,
Which shows why mobsters, to dis day,
Still wears for AL…A RED BOUQUET.”
HORRID HEROES AND CRAZY CROOKS by DAVID CLEMENT-DAVIES is under Copyright to Phoenix Ark Press, 2014, All Rights strictly reserved. If you enjoyed this read about SWEENEY TODD and SHERLOCK HOLMES in posts below. The image is ‘Little Bonaparte’ among the ‘Friends of Italian Opera’ from Billy Wilder’s classic Some Like It Hot.