Stealing from Mamet (Weekly Writing Challenge)

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

Stealing from Mamet (Weekly Writing Challenge)

(This week’s Weekly Writing Challenge was aping style.  And I’ve already tackled Roald Dahl, so I thought I’d take a crack at David Mamet.)

It’s only words… unless they’re true.” –David Mamet

“It was crap.”



“You said that.”

“I know.”

“You know?”

“I’m aware.”

“Why don’t you elucidate upon your point?”

“It’s the thing.”

“The thing.”

“The thing that was supposed to go down last week.”

“It was supposed to?  So it didn’t?”

“Well, it did.  But it was a mess.”

“A mess like a cat makes on the kitchen floor when it’s been neglected by some high school girl?”

“More like the splatter of goo when a watermelon is dropped from a falling airplane.”



“That kind of mess.”


“What was the play?”

“Haven’t you heard it?”

“I might have.”

“Jackson couldn’t keep his mouth shut if it was stapled shut and then vacuumed up tight by those guys that freeze dry beef.  I thought he’d have spilled it all by now.”

“Not so much spilled as dribbled.”

“He would be a dribbler.  He drools all over himself.”

“But you trusted him.”

“Not really.”

“Enough to help with your scheme.”

“Only barely.  Mostly it was that I knew he couldn’t scheme a way to stab me in the back.”

“So what went wrong?”

“The escape.”

“The exit?”

“The getaway.”

“Jackson ruined it?”

“Like a batch of cookie dough left out for two days.”

“But what about the snatch itself?”

“The snatch worked.  Just only.”

“How so?  Who was your alarm guy?”


“The alarm guy was a moron?

“The alarm guy’s name was moron, far as I was concerned.  He had moron brains and moron fingers.  Tells me he cut the wires.  Moron says that we’re all clear to go.  Somehow moron didn’t notice that the wires to the panel were wired with an alarm.”


“Dang is right.  Dang is the sound the prison door makes as it slams shut and leaves us all looking at the vertical window dressings made of pure iron with drugged up failures for roommates.”

“That wasn’t what did you in?”

“This wasn’t my first time having a faulty screw on my sidecar.  I still had the controls, I just took over.  While moron was working to silence the alarms, I went to work.  I knew where the diamonds were.  I knew what I was after.  And lemme tell ya Saul, those diamonds loved me.  They shined, they glittered; they all jumped into my hands like little bugs looking for food.  The diamonds and I, we were all chummy.  I grabbed ‘em, they smiled, and I ran outta that room.”

“The alarm wasn’t going off the whole time?”

“Oh, it was.  I left moron there trying to figure it out while I ran out to Jackson’s escape car.”

“That’s where it took a wrong-turn?”

“That’s where it slammed into a blasted cement wall.  You know who Jackson’s girl is?”

“Not really.  He told me she works for the city.”

“Yeah she does.  As a cop.”

“No kidding?”

“Not even a little.  Jackson said she was sick of bringing home squat.  She’s gotta pay for her gun, her uniform, and take abuse from bums like Jackson.  Thing is, she likes the dangerous side.  Y’know, why spend your nights in a cramped apartment all by yourself when she can hang out with a certain crowd.  A crowd she knows where to find.  Jackson said this woman was all kinds of trouble and she liked to deal that way.”

“So she was in on it?”

“That’s how he told it.  Even arranged a nice getaway vehicle.”

“You mean?”

Pic from Wikipedia.

“You ever see police men stop a squad car when responding to a burglary?  You don’t, because they don’t.”

“That’s quite a set up.”

“It’s a real nice set up.  From the tax-funded gas in the tires to the detective-repellant flashing lights on top.  Plus being able to drive sixty in a twenty-five ain’t a bad speed for a getaway car.”

“So what’d she do, get lost?”

“Oh no, she knew exactly where she was going.  She had the route all memorized.”

“How’s that a bad thing?”

“When she’s driving a couple of cons in the back of a police car to her station, it’s a very bad thing.”



“She turned you guys in?  Went all two-faced?”

“Apparently she was only trouble for cops.  Her bosses told her put on one face.  When the heist was done, she should pull an about-face.  Jackson was just dumb enough to believe a guy like him could get a dame like her.”

“So she gave you guys a nice pair of handcuffs?”

“I wasn’t the one going out with her; I had no qualms escaping.  Let Jackson take care of his own relationship problems.  If he wants to give the gal a promotion as a parting gift, that’s his affair.  Me, I took off.”

“Outran her and those other cops?”

“Like you wouldn’t believe.  They were there, those big fancy stairs leading to the station were there, and lots of guns were there, so I decided that there wasn’t a place I wanted to be.  I may be good at running a scam, but I run from bullets even better.”

“So you got nuthin?”

“I never have nuthin’.”

“How’d you make off with the jewels?”

“Shoved ‘em in a little travel belt I carry with me.  If it’s good enough when abroad, it’s good enough to fool a broad.”

“The cop didn’t know you made off with the loot?”

“Nope.  She saw me toss a bag in the backseat and figured that was it.”

“What was in the bag?”

“Moron’s dinner.”

“How’s that?”

“The moron likes to snack while he works.  I took it from him because his fingers were gettin’ all slippery and he couldn’t hold his moron tools or manage the wires.  Morons don’t get to eat if they ain’t gonna do the job first.”

“Did the moron get picked up too?”

“Haven’t checked, haven’t heard.”

“But Jackson got arrested.  That’s how he tells it.”

“Yeah.  I’m pretty sure he’s not enjoying the girlfriend’s handcuff skills.  Probably thought it’d be fun when he first hooked up with her.”

“Maybe he’ll find a new girlfriend in there.”

“Nah, he’s too ugly.”

“You’re sittin’ pretty though.  Got all that swag, and no one to split the profits with.”

“This is true.”

“Quite the thing.”

“A close thing.  Still a thing I can live with.”

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