“Look, I’m just saying if everyone in Queens would stop being stupid then this would all be a hell of a lot easier, not to mention faster” Jack said, pulling the front door of the lodging house open with more force than was strictly necessary.
“And I’m not disagreeing with you, Jack, but you still can’t keep antagonizing them at every union leader meeting. It’s not helping anything, and I’m pretty sure that it is making everyone else about as mad at you as they are at Queens.”
Jack shrugged morosely. He knew that David was right, but he didn’t particularly feel like admitting it, any more than he felt like humoring Queens. With that in mind, he decided to change the topic. “You and Les still heading home to your folks for supper tonight? Sure we can’t convince you to stick around?”
“Nah, Mama likes to have us home for dinner during the holidays, I’d never hear the end of it,” David said, as the boys rounded the corner to the bunk room.
Jack saw David’s look of amusement before he saw what it was directed at. Following the other boy’s gaze he saw that Les had a bunch of the younger boys crowded around him, and they were all looking intently at something happening in the middle of the loose circle.
“Les, what are you up to? Do you guys even have matchsticks or anything?” David seemed to be looking around for something near the boys.
“No, normal dreidel is boring, we’re not playing for matches, we’re seeing who can get it to spin the longest. I spun the one with red letters, and Boots started the blue one.” As Les spoke the blue one started in on the wider circles that David knew from experience meant it was going to fall shortly, and sure enough it was only a few more moments before it fell down on Gimmel.
David couldn’t help laughing, “Wait, so you mean you, Les Jacobs who made me and Sarah play at least three rounds every night last year have decided that dreidel is boring, which I seem to recall we tried to explain to you many many many times, and so you’re just…” he paused seeming almost lost for words. “You’re just spinning them, and it doesn’t matter what it even lands on?”
“Nah, Davey, I already said that’s boring.”
“Right. Right, I got that.” David shook his head a little and muttered, “Wish you could’ve gotten that notice last year.”
Les went to grab the dreidel with the red letters which had sputtered to a stop while David and Les were talking, and before the next kid could grab the blue one David decided to step in, “Nope, I no matter how much better this is than regular dreidel you’re still done for the day, we gotta get home or mama will give us the look.”
That got Les’s attention, and he nodded, if with a slight air of a man doing his duty with great regret, and grabbed both the tops before scrambling to his feet. By the time he reached David’s side he was grinning again though, and as the boys headed towards the door he tossed one of the tops to Racetrack and said, “Better practice tonight, I bet you can’t beat me tomorrow.”
Race sat up straighter, and got a determined look on his face that David had become all too familiar with in the past few months. It was a look that meant Race was about to take any dare or bet offered to him no matter how stupid. “You’re on.”
David could hear the telltale whirr of a dreidel spinning as he and Les headed out.