The Improbable Death of Michael Malloy

The time was January 1933 in New York. Michael Malloy was an Irish vagrant and a former firefighter living on the streets. He was also an alcoholic. You could compare him to the couple of wandering souls we have on Barksdale that like to sit on our wall and drink to no end. Mostly Harmless.

The interesting thing about Malloy, though, is that he was the victim of a murder plot. The “Murder Trust”, Tony Marino, Joseph Murphy, Francis Pasqua, Hershey Green, and Daniel Kriesberg, all conspired to take out an insurance policy on Malloy and then ‘allow’ him to die. This would have paid them $58,000 (in today’s value of the dollar) if he died an accidental death.

This is where the story gets interesting. (I may mention here that Malloy reminds me of Nick.) One of the Murder Trust, Marino, owned a bar. He opened up a free tab to Malloy in the hopes he would drink himself to death. No such luck as day after day he kept returning to the bar. That’s when the Murder Trust decided to take it up a notch. Over the next several weeks, they did the following to Malloy:

  1. They put antifreeze in his drinks
  2. They put Turpentine in his drinks
  3. They put horse liniment in his drinks
  4. They put rat poison in his drinks
  5. They gave him raw oysters soaked in wood alcohol
  6. They gave him a sandwich of sardines, carpet tacks, and metal shavings
  7. On one night when the temp reached -14 degrees F, after he passed out in the bar, they took him to the park, threw him in the snow, and poured 5 gallons of water on his bare chest
  8. The next attempt was to hit him with Green’s taxi at 45 miles per hour (while this sent him to the hospital, he did not die)
  9. Finally on Feb 22, they took him after he passed out to Murphy’s room, put a hose that was connect to a gas jet in his mouth and let it rip

That finally did poor Malloy in. However, because the Murder Trust bickered so much, they were overheard and arrested. They stood trial and 4 out of 5 were executed by electrocution. The other, Green, went to jail for a very long time.

The moral of this story is to not try to kill someone, but if you happen to try and fail… just stop.

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Old Man

So tonight at about 6:15 I went to the grocery store for what I thought would be a normal shopping extravaganza. I was wrong. When I first got to the store, I lucked up and got a parking space right outside the door, which NEVER happens. Score. Then I noticed some guy running in traffic on Union. There were some shouts and two officers chasing this guy in the middle of cars rushing by. I heard a thump and one of the cops had tackle the man and the other was waving off traffic. Wonder what he did.

I go into the store only to find an ornery old man talking to himself. Frequently saying “Is this ripe!?” and “There used to be more selection!” I kept to myself and kept shopping. About half way through my shopping, I was looking for a pork roast and heard/saw the old man yelling at an employee to get a flat with a bunch of cokes out of the way. When the employee didn’t move immediately, the old man slammed his cart into the flat and said “Well I’ll just move it myself!” (Everything he said was with a certain vigor.) I continued my pork selection while thinking to myself “please leave me alone, please leave me alone, please leave me alone”. Naturally he came up to me to ask if I knew how to tell if it was tender. I said no and he went on to explain what looked good and that if you press it, and it behaves a certain way, then it was a good cut of meat. Apparently his father had owned at least five grocery stores. Truly an interesting experience.

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New Job

So I got a new job and started this week. I’ve never been so oddly calm about not having a job.. well.. ever. This is the first time I’ve not had a job since I was 16. Two months without one wasn’t bad at all though. I got to know my son, Elek, better. I learned how to bake bread. I learned a lot more about cooking. I read more. I learned about unemployment, when and how to register. I learned about using your contacts to find a job. Learned a little about how it would feel if I couldn’t get a job at all (desperation). I learned how to relax a little. I learned how valuable one’s time is. I fixed up my old Brio train for Elek. I was fortunate enough to switch places with my lovely wife to understand what she went through when I was at work and she wasn’t. She also learned what it felt like to be me. Because I was able to relax while doing everything possible to get a job, I definitely was happy during this time off. It could have been the opposite. I’m very thankful for any and all help I got during this time. While I know the economy has not hit bottom yet, I’m ever optimistic about where it will take us. I’m just here for the ride.

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