Dominic: g, you thing we should call the polícias?
Me: <chugging on my CHOP …then burp!> Why don’t we give him until after lunch, I’m starving, you?
Dominic: I’m starving too! Okay, if he ain’t back in our room after we eat lunch THEN we’ll call the polícias!
When we returned to our room, we found the door ajar. We walked in to find Nicky lying face down on one of the beds still wearing the clothes he was wearing from the first night! We were relieved! Once Nicky took a shower and changed his clothes, all he needed was to get something to eat and he’d be back in action. We decided to eat at a “churrascaria” which is a Brazilian steakhouse. In these places they serve “rodizio” style, which means they send waiter after waiter to your table with different dishes of meats - beef, filet mignon, lamb, chicken, duck, fish, etc. The three of us sat down and immediately started accepting servings from all these waiter’s plates and washed it all down with CHOP! On another note, the one drawback of Rio was that they only seemed to sell cheap booze – I’m looking for Kettle One vodka and they’re trying to serve me Smirnoff – so we mostly stuck to BRAAHHHMMMA CHOP and Dominic was a bartender, so he made us drink Campari. After coming home from Brazil I never wanted to drink that red swill again! Anyway, after thirty minutes of gorging ourselves, the three of us (all being knuckleheads from Brooklyn) started saying, “We better stop eating these hors d'œuvres and order our main meals before we can’t eat anymore!” The three of us all said, “I knew that” in unison when the head waiter explained to us that we JUST DID eat our main meals.
Once we ate, we were ready to dance the night away again, this time we wanted to go to this place called “ZOOM.” We heard it was more upscale and classy compared to HELP, so Dominic and I figured Nicky would be safe in there. We weren’t sure where it was located, so I decided to take the helm and ask this one pretty young lady for directions. First I tried my Italian on her. Brazilians speak Portuguese, so they can understand Spanish and Italian pretty well. It was like speaking Italian to a woman from Ireland! Okay, so my Italian isn’t that good, we were brought up by my mom to understand more than we could speak. So, I switched to what I like to call “English for aliens and the hard of hearing” – that’s because, for some reason, whenever Americans try to speak English to people from other countries, we talk v..e..r..y s..l..o..w..l..y and we shout! I don’t know why – I could hardly even understand what I was saying “EX..CUSE ME! DO …YOU …KNOW …WHERE …ZOOM …IS?” This pretty little lady crinkled her nose and replied in a thicker Brooklyn accent than I even have, “How should I know, I’m from Brooklyn!” …great …I travel 5,000 miles only to be made a fool of by another hot Italian from Brooklyn! I could have stayed home for that!
Before we left our hotel, we had asked the concierge for a bunch of do’s and don’ts (you think we would have asked him where ZOOM was, but we didn’t) and the one thing he told us NOT to do was make the “okay” sign with our hands – you know, index finger touching thumb – because it’s like giving someone the middle finger there. I don’t know why ...none of us did it BEFORE he told us not to, but it was like planting a subliminal message for the three of us to do it non-stop from then on! This was the three of us:
Me: Nicky, that restaurant was great, wasn’t it?
Nicky: It was killer! <Okay sign>
Dominic: So, you guys want to go to that place ZOOM now?
Me: Let’s do it! <Okay sign>
It was like a sickness. We were flipping the “Brazilian bird” in crowds of people! We couldn’t stop. I have no idea how we didn’t end up in a fist fight every ten minutes – it must have been the ORGY that was going on in the entire city – all the guys were too busy looking at the topless women inside the clubs and outside on the beach.
When we got to ZOOM, we ran into our mumbling-friends the three Tony Moneros from South Philly. All the tall one kept saying the ENTIRE NIGHT was, “I’m in serious love… serious love…” to every single chick that past him – and it’s like something you never can stop saying yourself, once you hear it repeated that many times – so I still say to my wife to this day, “I’m in serious love” every time she gets dressed up.
Once again, Dominic and I started dancing while Nicky disappeared, this time reappearing with a pretty Brazilian …and her mom?! Apparently Nicky’s inability to speak any Portuguese and their inability to speak any English got Nicky into another fine mess. I won’t go into details but I think mama thought that Nicky’s advances on her daughter would lead him to immediately propose marriage. I dunno… and I don’t want to know!
By day 5, the three of us were shot! Dominic and I were dark enough to be taken for natives (strangely enough, Nicky hardly had a tan). We also drank and sambaed enough for a month and by day 6; we were so tired of the food, we actually went and ate at a McDonalds (where we ran into every other American down there). Dominic ended up buying a cool-looking jacket down there. He kept raving to us about the deal he got. After he showed us how well it fit, he took it off for the cab ride to the airport. Nicky and I couldn’t hold back laughter when we saw the “Made in the U.S.A.” tag inside it!
Yeah, we were ready to come home …all of us except for Nicky that is …he really did still want to chuck his entire career in the music industry and just open a Banana Stand down there. The only way I was able to get him to get back on the plane was to promise to go with him to Miami when we got home …oh yeah …Miami Vice Nicky & g style!
(Continued… Part VI, “Miami Vice Nicky & g style!” will appear on Tuesday, March 16)