Valentine’s Day by David Macfie
I want to tell you about my favorite Valentine’s Day. But first I got to tell about myself. I live in Chicago and it is 1929. I been here for a few years already and now I’m the boss of my own business. Chicago is OK, but it’s got a reputation, everywhere, as a place where there’s lots of violence and crime. You got to watch yourself when you’re on the street. I got to be the boss in 1925 after my old boss was a victim of this crime and violence. In 1924 some guy shot him. He was just minding his own business when some guy up and shot him. He lived to tell the tale but decided to retire to a quieter place. He gave his job to me. I guess his bad luck was my good luck. I don’t know what Chicago is coming to. The cops just don’t seem to be able to sort it all out.
While I’ve been the boss, my business has grown a lot and I’ve put a lot of competition out of business so I reckon I’ve been lucky there too. I’m in the retail and distribution business, mainly, but I got a few other interests, too, in entertainment and services. It’s good business and brings me in about $60 million a year. So, I got to stay sharp and I got to keep my competition on the back foot. Since I got to be boss I’ve consolidated my interests and now I pretty much control my markets. I get rid of my competition any way I can – I buy them out or I chase them away.
So now you know my background, let me tell you about my favorite Valentine’s Day, when I sent the sweetest message ever. I chuckle every time I think about it. It really was effective, if I say so myself. It was Valentine’s Day this year that tickled me so much. I got a rival, the Irishman, George Moran, nickname of “Bugsy” or “Bugs” for short. He’s been muscling into some of my territory and generally making a nuisance of himself, so I got this idea for a message. He runs his business out of a garage on the north side of the city and I know he often works late, and I know he’s going there on this particular night – the 14th of February. I decide to send some of my boys to talk to him, but to twist him up a little and pull his chain, I get them all dressed up as cops. They’re going there to ‘arrest’ him and some of his boys. I figure that will be a great message for this time of the year. I give my boys strict instructions so they make no mistakes, because I can’t be there with them when they deliver the message. I got to go out of town to my place in Florida on family business.
Anyhow, I got everything ready and, after dark, my boys make their way to the garage. They check the place out to make sure there are no armed guards or anything like that. Then they quietly move in. They burst in the door, yelling.
“Police. You are under arrest. Hands up and face the wall.”
There are seven guys there and the dumb asses do like they’re told. Next thing my boys have the whole lot, in a line, facing the wall. But then the boys make a mistake. They don’t check to see if one of the guys is Moran. They just go ahead and deliver the message. I guess I should have been more specific with my orders. You can’t get good help these days, I tell you. But I got to say the boys did a good job with the delivery. They pump about seventy rounds from their Tommy guns into those boys.
I hear later that “Bugs” was on his way but got caught in traffic – go figure. The cops say six dead when they got there. They try to get the last guy to talk, but he says nothing then he dies. And the police also say they got witnesses that it was cops killed those guys.
See what I mean when I say it was a sweet message. “Bugs” gets the message and the police got nothing on me at all. They think it was cops who did the job. Sweet, real sweet. Since then I’ve had no competition and no rivals in my line of business. The police are calling my message “the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre”. You got to love it.
And, in case you’re wondering who I am. I’m Al Capone, nickname “Scarface”, and my businesses are bootlegging, speakeasies, gambling and prostitution.