Eddie The Kid excerpt (3)
When Eddie Met Mickey
Tuesday, September 3, 1968
After he graduated the academy, Eddie was assigned to District A-1 in the North End. His first day on the job, in the crowded, raucous locker room at the station house, he found his designated locker next to Sergeant Michael “Mickey” O’Toole. The big Irishman towered over Eddie and glowered down at him. Eddie offered to shake O’Toole’s hand but O’Toole chose to shake things up instead.
“The Boston police force is an Irish tradition, Perlmutter,” O’Toole said. “We don’t want kikes here.”
The room went silent as the other policemen heard the insult.
Eddie saw red and struggled to control his temper. He tried humor.
“I’m small. You won’t even know I’m here,” he said with a smile.
“You’re a smart-ass kike too,” O’Toole said, taking a step closer, looking down at Eddie. He was eight inches taller and eighty pounds heavier. “Why don’t we step outside and finish this conversation.”
“I’d rather not,” Eddie said, trying to defuse the situation.
“All you Jews are alike,” O’Toole said. “You’re chicken.”
“See you outside,” Eddie said, and began walking to the locker room door. O’Toole followed, winking confidently at his friends. The other policemen joined the procession. Eddie held up his arm. “This is between O’Toole and me,” he said. “The rest of you mind your own business.”
O’Toole nodded and no one followed.
Eddie walked a few steps down the hall toward the back door. He stopped at the pay phone.
“I have to make one call first,” he said.
“Call your doctor,” O’Toole said, looking smug.
Eddie dropped a dime in the phone and dialed the private number of the academy’s commander,Captain Brian Sullivan.
“Sir, Officer Perlmutter here. You told me to call if I had a problem.”
“You’ve only been on the job one day.”
“That’s true, sir,” Eddie said. “But I met Sergeant Mickey O’Toole and he wants to take me outside and kick my ass.”
“What did you do to offend him?”
“I was born Jewish,” Eddie explained.
“Dumb fuckin’ Irishman,” Captain Sullivan growled.
“That’s him, sir,” Eddie said, and handed O’Toole the phone. “He asked for you.”
“Hello Captain,” O’Toole said. “I hope we don’t have a problem.”
“I don’t have a problem, O’Toole, you do,” Sullivan said. “You just picked a fight with a guy who can tear off your testicles and hand them to you in a cereal bowl before you can cough.”
“You’re kidding, Captain,” O’Toole said. “He’s just a little shit.”
“He’s small but extremely dangerous,” Captain Sullivan said. “Try to think of Officer Perlmutter as a hand grenade. If mishandled he’ll blow up in your face and do an incredible amount of damage. And one more thing—I ordered Perlmutter to call me if some dumb shit was stupid enough to pick a fight with him. I don’t want him to disable or embarrass any of my officers. Now apologize to the little fucker and go to work.”