I will know I’ve obtained success when my bookshelves won’t have books behind books. Every book will have its special own space and the books won’t be cramped as much as three rows deep anymore. I mention this because I have begun stripping down my book collection and forgoing the possibility that I will be wealthy one day and be able to have the space for all my books.
I mention this now because I worked on my book collection while waiting my fate of the Mano Figo. I half expected to have my entire book collection collapse on me after the way Manny and Luigi carried on about the cursed figure… And then I also figured that this little gold statue might be the closest thing to the apple which Eve bit.
I say this to people when they ask me about my Thrift Store business,”What are you looking for?”
“I’m looking for the apple which Eve bit.”
Nobody has ever asked me why. I assume they think it is that I am looking for ancient relics… and I am, but what I am really looking for are the answer to man’s secrets, and I assume taking a bite out of the apple which Eve bit might have some answers… Then I’ll sell the damn thing. First, I’m taking a bite for sure.
The Next morning started only three hours after the night ended. My wife and the kids wanted to play with the Mano Figo. I wouldn’t let anyone else touch the damn thing except for myself. I was addicted to playing with the mechanism. The lever made the man’s head go up the donkey’s ass and back down. I noticed another mechanism after playing with the donkey for a couple of hours. The lever was the donkey’s penis. When I wiggled the penis,(and I’m not sure what made me wiggle the penis in the first place) the man’s head went up the donkey’s ass but came out with an ancient gold coin.”
I hit the lever again, another gold coin. I kept jerking the lever and gold coin after gold coin fell into my lap. 139 gold coins fell into my lap.
“Holy shit,” I said again.
“Holy shit,” my wife said thinking that I was jerking off the little donkey statue.
“We’re rich, we’re rich. These are real gold coins.”
“Yeah, yeah,” she said and walked out the room. “Don’t let the kids see you jerking off a toy please. Come to bed already. You gotta bring that shit to the auction house and there’s a curse on your head… You know what, don’t come to bed. Sleep on the couch.
Sonny was the last to call me at 3a.m.,”You still got the thing?”
“Yeah, and it…”
He cut me off before I could tell him about the gold pieces.
“If you run off with that thing,I will hunt you down. I will be the Mano Figo curse. I will make you eat shit out of my ass.”
“Shut up Sonny. Go to sleep. I’ll talk to you in the morning. Get me up around 8:30. We still got other safes to crack open after we get back from the city. The whole week is going to be shot with this crap and now we won’t be around to see what Chucky is doing. Anything is possible with that clown and a sledgehammer. All I got is my twenty something Andrew to watch him.”
Sonny said,” You need to Sledgehammer Chucky about a thousand times before that guy learns anything.” He fell asleep before he could hang up the phone. I heard him snoring.
I hung up my phone.
Sonny woke me up at 6 a.m.,”You still got the thing?
” You snore when you sleep. Of course I do. I have it right by my pillow,” I felt for it and it was gone.
“You sure you have it. You sound not so sure.”
I jumped off the couch and looked for it. My kids were playing with it and I grabbed it out of their hands,”Don’t play with daddy’s cursed toys.”
The kids started crying and ran to their mother.
Sonny was still yelling into the phone,”Do you have the freaking donkey with the man up his ass?”
“Yes, I have the freaking donkey with the man up his ass.”
“Cause if you don’t have that thing when I get there…”
“Yeah, yeah, you are going to stick my head up your ass.”
Sonny changed his tone,” Ah, Mike the Fag, get a hold of you?”
“He wants Joel the Bear to look at the thing.”
“What you tell him?”
“I told him to go fuck each other. Joel has always fucked me and I don’t need him about this thing. I got you and Manny and Sotheby’s.”
“And a curse?”
“Why you say curse. Anything bad happen to you?
“Yeah, you are waking me up at six in the morning.” I hung up the phone on him and went back to the couch where my wife and two kids with red eyes were waiting for me.
I handed the donkey over to my wife and told her to wake me in an hour.
What a crew! Every Junkman was outside the famous auction house. It looked like a bunch of guys about to knock off a bank. Some of the Junkmen were still in Santa outfits because they were going back to my thrift store to open up their safes. So far the rest of the safes were duds.
Mike the Fag and Joel the Bear broke through the crowd. I held onto the donkey like a running back holding onto the pigskin who was about to be stripped from the ball by a big defensive linesman.
“Let me see it? Joel said in a mean spirited voice.
Little Sonny grabbed his own nuts and said,”Fuck You Jewboy. The Mano Figo is mine.”
Joel turned to Manny,”It’s his,and he won’t even touch it.
Manny said,”Let Joel see it.”
“No,” Sonny said and pushed me through to the Sotheby’s entrance.”
The Security Guard said,”I’m afraid we don’t let Santa’s into our building.”
“Not unless it’s worth a million freaking dollars. I have the Mano Figo right here and I want to see the head honcho right away.
The Security Guard kept his composure,”Listen, these are rich people buying stuff in here. If you can’t control your emotions, they don’t care if you have a diamond the size of a turd. They will tell you to eat it.
Manny stepped forward,”You are right Sir. My ignorant friend will not be coming in.
Manny turned to Sonny,”Wait outside. I will save you from a curse worse than the Mano Figo.”
Sonny seemed to understand what Manny meant.
Manny turned back to the Security Guard,” I will be coming in with the gentleman holding the object of a donkey under his arm and this big burly man with the beard. We believe we have an ancient artifact of interest. Already the newspapers have photographed the object and reported on its findings.”
Manny presented two newspapers from yesterdays event.”
The Security Guard examined the newspapers and the object under my arm,”Well now, now you have something that the Rich folk understand;publicity! Gentlemen sign in.
As we walked through the plush carpet and marble walls, I turned to Manny and whispered,”What is a bigger curse than the Mano Figo which you mentioned to Sonny? How did he know to turn around and walk out the door?”
Manny turned to me and whispered so Joel the Bear would not hear us,”As poor people, Sonny and I and you have spent our lives trying to have wealth like this. Joel is a very wealthy man but he is not happy. I have seen many very wealthy men. I don’t mean rich people. I mean people who no matter what they do or their children do, they cannot fuck up the amount of money they have. They will always be filthy rich. And that filthiness is a curse. They do not know what to do with their money. Money is not a curse to people like us, only to people who have a lot of it. From what I have seen, it is much worse than the Mano Figo.”
“Worse than having to eat a fig out of a donkey’s ass?”
We sat in luxury. We were served a beautiful breakfast. I walked toward the window and saw Sonny and a bunch of other Junkmen still hanging out to see if the Auction House would give us the blessing.
Someone offered to shine our shoes but Manny and I were wearing sneakers. We were offered a pair of shoes. Manny accepted and then they polished those shoes.
A polished looking gentlemen came in and introduced himself,”My name is Mr. Thomas and from what I understand you have the Mano Figo?
Manny turned to me and nodded,”You may hand Mr. Thomas the figure.”
“What about the curse?”
“It will not affect Mr Thomas. He is a wealthy man.”
“Oh, I see,” I said to Manny. I whispered “He’s already cursed.”
“Yes, Mr. Thomas and Joel are allowed to hold the figure.”
Mr. Thomas held the figure in his hands for under 30 seconds,”Where did you get this?”
Manny turned to me and said,”Tell the gentlemen where we got this Lenny.”
“We cracked open a safe, and there it was.”
Mr. Thomas put the figure on his desk,”We cannot use this item in our auction. It comes from an unreliable source.
“Are you fucking kidding me?”
Manny kicked me with his brand new shoes,”I’m sorry Mr. Thomas, my friend is unfamiliar with the ways of the wealthy Auction houses… What is an object like this worth, if it came from a reliable source.”
Mr. Thomas became animated,”This is as great a folklore item as there has ever been. From the looks of this item, the gold weight, the story behind the item, the unusual risque aspect to the actual item, I am sure that it will sell for at least a hundred thousand dollars at auction.
I almost fainted.
Manny turned to Joel,”Give us twenty thousand dollars and it is yours.”
Joel jumped up in his chair and reached for cash in every pocket. He had twenty thousand dollars and handed it to Manny before I could tell Manny about the 139 gold coins in the ass of the Donkey. I passed out.
I woke up on the floor what seemed like hours later but it must have just been like 30 seconds. Nobody came to my rescue. They were talking and exchanging congratulations to each other.
“Congratulations on your acquisition Mr. Applebaum. Where did you acquire this item from.
Joel the Bear sneered and said,” My Grandfather was a General in Italy during World War 2 and he came back with this safe which he told me not to open for fifty years. The time came to hire men to open the safe. I thought a little publicity of the said item coming out of the safe might make for an interesting story and here we are. I have testimonial evidence which says my Grandfather acquired this during the war.”
“Your word Mr. Applebaum is as good as gold.The Auction of the Mano Figo should make us just a little bit wealthier.”
“And more famous.”
“Indeed,” Mr. Thomas said. “And thank you for bringing your workers who opened the safe for us all. We’d like them to sign some papers as well.”
I could barely sign my name and Manny practically had to carry me out of the Auction House. Suddenly, I stopped short,”Manny, I forgot to tell you that the Donkey had a secret compartment which contained 139 ancient coins.”
Manny’s eyes widened,”Ooh, I wish I knew that. Those coins could have been removed. The coins are not part of the curse, only the object is. I recommend that you do not tell Sonny about the coins. Everything else he will understand… Those coins might have been worth a fortune and so my son that has been the Mano Figo curse for you. I told you that anyone who handles that object will be cursed. Oh well, you have some money coming to you and we have many more safes to open.”
I exited the Auction house. I felt like I was walking the plank of a pirate ship. I saw Sonny waiting for me. He looked like a shark. I turned to make sure Manny was right next to me and saw Joel the Bear wiggle the Mano Figo’s penis in front of Mr Thomas. I watched a gold coin fall to the floor.
Joel the Bear picked it up and showed it to Mr. Thomas. They smiled at each other. Joel the Bear jiggled the penis again and another coin fell out. Joel the Bear was happy as he smiled at me and waved goodbye, holding the Mano Figo up in the air.
I gulped and wept into the arms of Sonny.
Sonny looked around at Manny,”What happened?”
“We did good,” said Manny.”Lenny just never made 10 grand in fifteen minutes before.