As The Vig advised emphatically in our recent conversation, “Joey don’t do Zoom. And don’t call me The Vig.”
Ah, one of the pleasures of the pandemic, as if that can really be a thing, was no communication from my nemesis, Joey the Vig.
For those unfamiliar, he’s a sort of private fellow with various and sundry mysterious business enterprises. He’s a swarthy guy, whose demeanor advises, “Don’t interrupt me, or disagree.”
Think Little Steven’s character in “Lillyhammer,” Francesco “Frankie the Fixer” Tagliano a/k/a Giovanni. Like Van Zandt’s character, The Vig (and I wisely for health purposes never call him that to his face) gets things taken care of.
Usually through the persuasion methods employed by his “consultants,” Cousin Guido and Amir the Convincer.
And, back before the ongoing viral plate shift in our universe, just before the beginning of each college football season, I’d get a house call from said duo, who “just happened to be in town” and “Joey wanted us to stop by and say hello.”
What they really wanted, truth be told, was my entry fee for Joey’s annual endeavor, Pick ‘em Pool. A season long prediction exercise, where myself and others either volunteered or were coerced into paying a fee, picking games against each other in hopes of “winning” our entry fee back.
Joey, savvy business fellow that he is, raked up a significant portion of the entry fees, for, you know, his contribution in running the whole affair.
At some point, he’ll always set up a spread sheet, so we the lemmings could follow along and gauge our “progress.”
Actually, Joey himself doesn’t prepare the spread sheet. That’s handed off to his CFO Allen. Uh, not that Allen, but the duties are the same as you know who’s Allen.
This year, The Vig didn’t send his emissaries in person. “Da boyz have bigger pastas to boil,” he advised. He called me himself.
From some Caribbean tax haven, where private bank accounts abound, and his latest sweetie, Giselliana, can shop for Jimmy Choos duty free.
When I balked at Joey’s offer to participate, he softened for maybe the first time in my experience. Sort of.
“Ya know, Seedy, you cause me a lot bemusement, touch my sense of the whimpsie.
“Your weekly pigskin pontifications, proclamations, whadaya call ‘em?
“Yeah, whatever. Anyway, they always give me a good chuckle. You got no clue. Do people really read that junk?
“OK, Seedy, today’s your lucky day. Here’s what I’ll do. Give you a pass. As long as in that prognostigator thing, you pick the same games as in my pool.”
“But, Joey, I’ve got to U of L and UK games every week. It’s what helps draw readers in.”
“Yo, Seedy, don’t be making any decisions that might impact your health and well being. Uh, wait a second . . . oh alright, I gotta go. Giselliana is bustin’ my chops over which one of these lipstick colors I like best. As if she ever listens to me.
“Lucky lucky you, Mr. K. My doll baby says she “likes your stuff, give him a break.”
So, it is with a sigh of relief, and all my limbs intact, I advise. Seedy K’s Peerless Pigskin Prognostications shall return with the first weekend of college football. I shall advise in advance the winners of Louisville and Kentucky’s games each week, along with three other battles of Joey the Vig’s choosing.
For your bemusement and sense of whimpsie.
— c d kaplan