Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One

Okay, so

Tom Waits, Roberto Begnini
and John Lurie are in a
jail in Lousiana and they’ve
got one cig­a­ret­te left. The
con­crete walls sweat with
hu­mid­i­ty and the mat­tress­es
stink like stale sweat and dry
urine. These guys have one
cig­a­ret­te and a pack of cards.
Begnini don’t play gin
and Lurie won’t play spades.
Waits would play with him­self
but the oth­ers might see. So
no one us­es the cards and
in­stead they all wor­ry about
that last smoke. Lurie’s
got the coffin-nail in his pock­et
he knows he’ll have to share it
if he lights it up. Maybe if he
waits un­til the oth­ers are asleep. 

Waits sticks to his bunk like an old gym sock
and Lurie paces. Begnini won’t shut up.
They’re all think­ing about the last
cig­a­ret­te. Well, Waits is think­ing about
wait­ing un­til Lurie falls asleep and steal­ing it.
His name is pa­tient. Begnini is think­ing about
baked zi­ti and what it felt like to crush
a man’s skull with a pool ball.

They are a good egg, down by law.


I watched Jim Jarmusch’s Down By Law a while back.

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