Episode 45: Murder at a Mob Bar

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Larry bartends for a murder victimWhat was in Johnny Fontana’s notebook that made Larry hate government? • Who pulled guns on Larry, and why? • What Larry knows about Goodfellas that Scorsese doesn’t • What was behind the exit door at the mob bar? • Why did Larry sleep through college? • Will Larry reveal the secret of the world’s greatest burger? • How did Dave the Fence cure a cough? • All this and more in a spectacular new episode!

I never liked McDonald’s – not their robot-sh*t food, not their creepy clown mascot, not their commercials that pander to every demographic on earth, and especially, not the goofy, paper hat uniforms they make their employees wear. Oh, and I also hate McDonald’s because they would stop serving Egg McMuffins – the only palatable offering on the menu – after 11 am. (Do they still adhere to those breakfast hours? I don’t know. Haven’t set foot in one in years) It was as if Ray Kroc, who was one of the biggest pricks who ever lived – was finger wagging at all the hung-over night crawlers and late risers. No breakfast for you, sinners! Get your sorry asses out of bed at a decent hour and then we’ll see about breakfast!

While some college classmates of mine wore those degrading outfits for minimum wage under the sickly glow of the golden arches, I was slinging boiler-makers at Parliament, a bar owned by one Johnny Fontana – a wise guy I knew even before I met the fabulous Tony Spumonte. Why have I so often been an associate of organized crime figures? I’ve no idea. Maybe so all these years later, I could deliver to you, my beloved listeners, the best goddamn podcast there is. Period.

I learned more working at that bar than I did in college, that’s for  sure. Like how not to get stabbed or my head blown off — although one night it nearly happened when some rival  of Johnny’s shot out the windows Godfather-style. (We never even called the cops. Since no one was hit, it was considered a non-event. We just swept up the glass and continued the party.) How’s that for a safe-space, snowflakes?

At Parliament, I learned the secret recipe for the world’s best burger. I learned that you’re more likely to have a loaded gun stuck in your belly by a drunken cop than a drunken button-man. I learned to keep my mouth shut and pick my battles. Yesiree Bob, working at a mob-owned bar was dangerous, exciting and more educational than any institution of higher learning.

Bring me the Chancellor of Harvard. I guarantee anyone who survived working at Parliament Bar & Grill in Queens, New York knows more about life than any Ivy League hot house plant. I’d stake my life on it. In a way, I suppose I did.

Some who listen to this episode will shudder and be thankful they had conventional part-time jobs. Others will want to work at the Parliament. They must find a time machine, for the Parliament has been gone many years. But its ghosts live on – right here at the crossroads of madness and enlightenment.

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