They’d meet on the weekends after Gina’s shift at Waldbaums at milk bars throughout the Hudson Valley.

Once at Club 32 in Bloomtown, he’d entertained the locals by bringing in a lobster with one claw along with a heaping bag of cherrystone clams. 

He’d set the leashed lobster down in the middle of the floor next to the pool table given him a clam and then

looked around the room.

“How many clams can this lobster crack?”

Gina smiled.  There were six neat piles of quarters stacked on his side of the pool table.   He was at it again.

One of the customers sneered and shouted.

“One clam.”

Tony stared back at him and replied. 

“I think Snaps here can crack two, possibly even four clams.”  And I’d be willing to bet some green money on it.  One dollar per crack and whoever wins gets to eat some fresh clams. Who’s in?”

A few more of the well-lubed patrons at the bar each, in turn, shouted back.

“Six clams.”

“Eight clams.”

“One dozen clams.”

Tony carefully removed the one-inch blue rubber band from Snap’s claw

placing the first clam between the crusher and the pincer. He’d been careful not to drink too much yet. 

“You’re on. Okay, Snaps, Tony commanded to the lobster, you know what to do.”  

Tony and Snaps put on a great show. The greatest show in Bloomtown that night or any night after that. Even Barnum would’ve approved.

Gina looked on mesmerized. By the end of the night, Tony had fed them all.  Snap’s future seemed guaranteed. But Snaps like Gina had to learn some things about Tony.

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