Letters from the Johnny’s pub - Richards, Brown, Belushi


The things I have are imaginary, but the things that fuck with me are real. The Johnny's pub waiters, Johnny B. Strong and Johnny B. Cool, the two chefs, Johnny B. Bup and Johnny Stand By, join in free association and claim rights: paid holidays and leave, rests.

From this morning a sterile argument continues in which I try to make them reason.


– This initiative of Johnny's pub is like a mission, that is, you should feel involved, we are all Johnny, am I making my point?

– Yeah, but you want to be boss – says B. Cool.

– No... well, I thought it was implied – I answer – after all, among all of us, I am the most...

– The most, what? – Johnny B. Strong asks me threatening.

– … no, just the most...

– So? – Says B. Cool.

– I am the most suitable to manage... after all, the idea is mine!

– And then don’t you dare – B. Bup tops it off – the story of the mission from God has already been written!

– We're a big family, Johnny – I say to all four.

– You're good with rhetoric – says Johnny Stand By.


Silence falls on us. Everyone gets a beer to reflect. A white Limo parks right outside the Johnny's pub. Three guys get off and I seem to recognize one. They enter.


– Hello?

– Oh, hello Mr. Richards. I'm sorry, it's closed.

– Are you crazy? I came with some friends...


I look at all three of them and I remain dumb.


– Hello, Johnny, are you okay? – Says the black guy.

– Johnny B. Boogie, my friend, we came for a little partying! – Says the robust one.

– Oh, it's such an honor... – I reply.

– Oh, don’t be so complaisant – say these two in choir.

– We've known that here you can drink and that... you have some good alfalfa – says the robust one.

– Well, yes, but...

– What’s the problem? – Mr. Richards asks me.

– The staff is mutinying me... – I reply.

– How would it be? – He asks.

– We want holidays, permits, rests... – says Johnny B. Bup on behalf of all of them.

– It's fair – the black guy tells me – those brothers are right. Don’t tell me that you are one of those who exploits other’s work or I’ll make you reason with some kicks...

 – Do you know what the problem is with your place, Johnny? – Says Mr. Richards.

– Tell me... – I answer.

– The beer is ok, nice pub, good music...

– … even alfalfa... – says the robust.

– Yes, everything nice – Mr. Richards resumes – but... – he pauses, looks around, baffled and spitting smoke from the nostrils.

– But? – I ask.

– But... you should hire some girl, Johnny – Mr. Richards sentences.

– Yeah – says the black guy pointing at us – you're all men.

– Why are you all men? – The robust one asks us.

Because we're not women... but what kind of a fucking question is it? – Answers Johnny Stand By.

– I meant: why there are no women in this pub, idiot! - Says the robust one.

– And yet – says Johnny B. Strong – you are all men too.

– And so? – Says the robust man – we are what we are.

– Right – the black man adds – you might not want to make a comparison with us!

– Go take it up in the ass! – The four of them say in chorus.

– B. Boogie – the black one tells me peremptory – you’re doing good not granting rights to these four assholes!

– Uh, but we take our rights by ourselves! – Johnny B. Cool shouts.

– Calm down, people... – says Mr. Richards. – Ok, Johnny. You need girls in this place. Women improve life, do you understand?

– Yes, but weed too improves things – suggests the robust one.

– Yes, even weed – Mr. Richards grins.

– So? – I ask.

– So – Mr. Richards continues, – you have to hire girls, Johnny. Your business will grow...

– Eh, but where do I find girls? – I ask.

– He knows a lot of girls – says the black guy pointing to Mr. Richards.

– Oh, I could give you a hand, Johnny – says Mr. Richards. – Come with me to see the other rooms of the pub. Hey guys – he says to the black guy and the robust one – I’m around there with Johnny ...

– Good – they say.


We move away and I take him to see the bathrooms, the kitchen and the warehouse too.


– I could organize internships, then you choose the girl – says Mr. Richards.

– Well – I answer.

– You know Johnny, I'd put a few more tables, maybe even outside...

– There's no need, Mr. Richards...

– Those would be V.I.P. areas, Johnny...

– What do you mean?

– I like to think that when I come to see you, my table is free. It's a whim, Johnny, do you understand me?

– Yes, I think so...

– And then I would renovate the kitchen, Johnny...

– The kitchen is fine, Mr. Richards...

– I know it's okay, Johnny, but if I say I'd renovate it, you should not contradict me, if you really love me... I explained myself, Johnny?

– Actually, I too believe that the kitchen must be renovated, Mr. Richards...

– Very well, Johnny, as you wish. It means that I will renovate the kitchen...

– OK Mr. Richards. I'll have to call a company.

– No, Johnny, what company... I will do it and you will help me.

– Good, but I don’t know how to be a bricklayer or a painter...

– I'll take care of it, Johnny, you'll just have to look at me… 





© Enrico Mattioli 2018