BREAKING: Final Sopranos shooting
The phone rang. It was a dame. A brunette who’d make a swear off X-books and swear he only read Sandman. She spoke in a voice like syrup. "Do you want to be spoiled? Fair warning."
"You always spoil me, doll."
"It’s going down tonight."
"What are you talking about?"
"A late night shooting. After this, the Sopranos would be done with. Finished. Hasta la bye-bye."
"Where is this going down?"
"You know Holsten’s?"
Yeah, I knew Holsten’s. A mom and pop ice cream parlor, the kind they don’t make any more, the kind where they still sell jellied candies behind glass counters and you can still get an decent egg cream with your patty melt.
She told me to get there if I had any hope of seeing the thing go down. I hung up the phone and left.
When I got there, I knew it was bad. A crowd had already formed — they’d heard shooting and came out to watch the gory mess. People are the same all over.
Holsten’s was there, lit up like an all-night diner, which I knew it wasn’t. The cops were there, and somebody had already put up black curtains over the window. Whatever had happened inside, the police didn’t want anyone to see. It must have been brutal. The cops were already on the scene in force, keeping the spectators away.
But wait — someone had pulled back the curtain, and someone was coming out. I tried to zoom in to get a decent shot.
You could barely see anything, but years of looking at bad surveilance photos had done me in good stead. I know who that big guy in the center was. Anthony John Soprano Sr. The head of the DiMeo crime family. The boss of all of New Jersey. And he was heading towards me and the rest of the crowd.
With heavy police escort, he walked to the crowd, answering questions from the press and posing for photos with onlookers. The crowd kept yelling, "Tony! Tony! Tony!" like they were on Broadway.
Finally, the police escorted Tony back inside to whatever fate awaited him. Soprano looked furtive but resigned — knowing that what would be the last shot would come tonight, but not knowing when or where.
Me? I couldn’t stay and watch the inevitable end, because I knew, no matter what happened, the final shot was going to hurt. I finished up the night at the Satin Dolls, or as they call it on tee vee, the Bada Bing!, where I raised a glass to the inevitable. Then I tipped my waitress ten singles and went home.