Here’s the problem: We had the best jazz pianist in the whole goddamned world, and he was a friggin’ firebug. I don’t mean he was burnin’ up the stage or nothin’–I mean he was a pyromaniac, see. Hell, he probably did burn up some stages. How should I know? Alls I knew is he put asses in chairs. Full house, guaranteed. Drinks out the wazoo. Tips, too. Serious moneymaker, this guy.
But the fire thing, right. We couldn’t have him sittin’ in a cell, makin’ nothin’ for nobody. That just wouldn’t do, right. So’s we keep a coupla guys on the payroll jus’ ta keep an eye on ‘im, keep the matches outta his fingers. These two Christ-killers, big snouts, could smell smoke from halfway across town.
Yeah, they do their jobs, they do it well. Anything for a buck. Problem is, we get this reporter dame sniffin’ around. She heard tell our guy torched his hotel room back in Atlantic City. All rumor–true story, but a rumor–and she’s lookin’ to get a front page spread. Famous jazz pianist, burnin’ down the house. Somethin’ like that, right.
We tried greasin’ her palm, but no dice. Idealist type. Accused us a housin’ a criminal just to make a profit. We told her it was baloney, yeah, but she wouldn’t listen to us. Couldn’t get rid of this broad.
Here’s the clincher, though: she found our guy. Dunno who she talked to. She just showed up at his hotel, pen and paper in hand, right, and our two Jews were keepin’ her outta the room, but she’s screamin’ about freedom of press and all that baloney. Durin’ this time, our guy… Look I dunno how he did it. I half think that broad smuggled him a match somewhere. Just for the story, right. But the Jews had their hands fulla that reporter dame, and all of a sudden the curtain’s were goin’ up. The son of a bitch did it again.
Despite it all, I’ve got half a mind to bail him out. Guy could fill seats. Maybe more now that he’s so controversial. What’s a couple grand in damages compared to a full house?
Today’s three prompt categories were, “Controversy,” “Jazz,” and, “Setting fire.”
I was listening to jazz while writing this.