One Saturday in 1950, our boss, the shadowy figure known only as ‘Crybaby’, called a meeting of the 47th and Balboa Gang. He disguised it as a simple birthday party.
That’s Crybaby sitting at the head of the table. You’d think he was throwing a tantrum but he’s just gnashing his teeth. He always did that after he ate some of Ma Crybaby’s special angel food cake. His true fiendishness would come out. Pretty soon it would be, “Bring me the head of Jerry Garcia!” And then we’d have to do it. It would take all day, we’d have to take the streetcar all the way out to the Crocker-Amazon and try to find Jerry and then I’d have to think up some way to get him to give us his head. And we still had to be home by six o’clock or we’d catch heck! That’s back when Ma Crybaby was experimenting with special recipes.
This is Jimmy Walker, cigarillo dangling from his lips. ‘Jimmy Coolguy’ we called him. He’s stoned out of his mind as usual, digging those happening Happy Birthday sounds. When we were little kids, we were sex fiends together. Now we were tough gangsters. Funny how things work out. If only we hadn’t played doctor with that little girl up the corner that afternoon everything might be different today. You wouldn’t know it to look at Jimmy, but he’s a dead hand with a BB gun. A good man to have by your side when the Anza Street Gang shows up.
This sad-looking kid is Gus, Kenny the Pest’s bodyguard. His one role in life is to stop us from killing Kenny. It wasn’t much fun cause he didn’t like his little brother either. Gus wishes he was anywhere else but he doesn’t have anywhere to go because no one wants to be friends with anybody related to Kenny The Pest.
This kid with the dopey expression is Kenny. Kenny was four and so annoying! We never could ditch him no matter how hard we tried. We tried to sell him to our allies, the 44th and Balboa Gang, but even they wouldn’t take him.
There we’d be, out fighting our war against civilized society and everything decent, about to crack the ice cream cooler at the Pacific View Market when Larry the owner wasn’t looking when suddenly Kenny would walk in.
“Hi everybody, whatcha doing? Can I watch?”
“Getoutta here Kenny before we beat you up!”
“Is that ice cream? I want some!”
“Go away! Can’t you see we’re about to pull a job?”
He’d just look at you with that dopey expression like in the picture. Wherever we went – there he was, sneaking and sniveling behind us. How could you commit cool crimes with a four year old always pestering you? It was so hard being a big kid! Finally his mother got worried we’d bump him off and told Gus he had to go to the party with Kenny. So all Crybaby’s plans to lure Kenny were for naught. No wonder he was gnashing his teeth.
Next to Kenny – here’s Chris, the Pestiferous Pig, the demented brains of the gang. He’s the only one who knows what ‘pestiferous’ means, which proves how smart he is. He’s clearly gone out of his angel cake laced mind in glee at his foolproof but mad scheme to conquer the universe! Wait’ll he tells Crybaby! Wait, maybe this is too big for Crybaby! Maybe I should rule the universe myself! Heh Heh Heh Heh Heh Heh
Looking like he’s about to be tommy-gunned by the Anza Street Gang, here’s Peter Walters. We called him Peter Pain because of the suffering he could wreak on our enemies simply by painting rude remarks on their neighborhood’s walls when nobody was looking. Like “The Anza Street Gang Are A Bunch of Fraidy Cats!” Pestiferous had to help with the spelling usually. Otherwise he might write ‘Friday Cats’, which wouldn’t really bother them that much.
Peter was our warlike and crafty art designer. However, at the moment, he is stoned out of his gourd and incapable of moving. That’s how it was at Crybaby’s meetings. You’d have a great time, but there was always this nagging feeling that next you’d have to hand over your head. And how would you explain that to your mother?
But I knew a way to stop Crybaby. He’d never guess it was me. Heh Heh Heh Heh Heh Heh. Kenny, come over here a minute. You wanna make an easy nickel? Go tell Crybaby’s mother Crybaby just said she was stoopid!