The drive back to the city was uneventful, except for the army personnel posted every 100 meters all the way from Bandarawela to just past Beragala. We were stopped three times in all and when Runa, our trusty navigator asked one of the young army guys that was checking ID, who it was that was being so heavily protected, he replied that they were not informed. Anyway, when we got home and unpacked, got that welcome cuppa down and checked mail, lo and behold (sorry – must be the Christmas vibe!), there was this message from – you guessed it – the Trishawmafia! It said:

Dear Mr. Jones,

Your slapdash posturing and feeble threats aside, the shirt will be delivered at 4.30pm today.

Please be advised your countermeasures have already been expunged and Trenchtown is rubble. The Sicilians have been bought off and even that big stick you keep by your ramshackle bed has been cut in half.

See you in the evening.

May the blessings of the Triple Wheel shine down upon you.

Trishawmafia

Java was quick to react.

Buuull sheeet maaan – I jus spoke wit my bros down in Trenchtown an dey be fine. Dis mah fuh be bluffin. But at least dey be prompt wit dere responses, now less see if dey be shootin da sheet or if M has dat tee shirt of da correc size.

So we attempt to call M, using the coded number for the public phone booth at the Boulevard that M pretty much controls. Someone who called himself I. Claudius spoke on the other side – in a distinct Italian accent. Then I flashed that this must be the guy that Java was trying to contact – one of his Sicilian contacts.

I asked for M. He asked me what for. I told him that I was Java’s friend and that we were trying to establish a meeting so that we could get this tee shirt that the Trishawmafia was screwing around with. The mention of Java caused a conspicuous change in his tone and he asked if he could have a word with Java. He was very polite and even called me ‘sir’! I hand Java the phone, telling him that I. Claudius wanted a word.

Heeey maaan, waaazup? Looong tiiimme! Say what? Sheeet! That mahfuh? Need a hand maaan? Yeeah, da fuckin shirt be too smaaal maaan, dey fucked up da size an den dey try to shift da blame, tellin me I mus have been stoned or somting. Know what? If dat fuggin shirt not be wit M tonight…. Yeeah! Tanks maaan. Say what? Yo know dese guys? I taut so too. Later, bro.

He hangs up and tells me that everything is under control.

Much later, the shirt safely in his clutches, correct size confirmed, Java lights up looking quite pleased that the deal has been done – albeit with more hassles than could ever have been imagined, but at least there was no blood spilled (Java’s actually quite a peaceful sort, in spite of his braggadocio) on the Boulevard.

The Trishawmafia is now a thing of the past, although I wouldn’t put it past these punks, trying like hell to impersonate Mafiosi, to try hocking their contraband using Java, Ephemeral and the Boulevard to promote their less than primo wares. We did try to point them in the right direction – that is to add quality to the finished product, but you know how it goes with these Trishaw types and their triple-wheel blessings – like pouring water on the proverbial duck’s ass! I’ll get into the substance of their product at a later date, but whatever you do, be warned. DO NOT ACCESS THEIR WEBSITE. There’s dangerous stuff in there – all sorts of alarming subliminal messages which they inveigle unsuspecting folk to wear on their chests.

Annnyway, Java’s pleased and I’m about ready to get myself together to enjoy the evening ahead as Leonard Cohen is wailing about Suzanne while the sun goes down over Colombo.

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