Gotti's Lawyer Explains the Mystery of the Sausage Sandwich

Mob Experts on The Sopranos, Week 8

Gotti's Lawyer Explains the Mystery of the Sausage Sandwich

Mob Experts on The Sopranos, Week 8

Gotti's Lawyer Explains the Mystery of the Sausage Sandwich
Talking television.
April 26 2004 12:05 PM

Mob Experts on The Sopranos, Week 8

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Jeff and Jerry Capeci,

Don't get me wrong—I'm a peace-loving guy, so I'm not looking for violence. I'm just looking for a good story, and we haven't gotten one from The Sopranos in three weeks. A "narrative arc" to "create the dilemma"? Jeff, how many courses have you taken at the New School? Three episodes is a damn long "narrative arc." I'd like to grab one of the writers by the collar, pull him up, and say, "Would you please get to the point?" This is no show for someone with attention deficit disorder.

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But enough. Just like the Yankees, the slump undoubtedly will end. Let me tell you about the sausage sandwich that you saw me munching on (or lunching on) in the Brooklyn federal court. The sandwich was homemade but not by a client's relative. Before the days of court TV, every trial was watched (some more than others) by the "court buffs," retirees or sometimes the unemployed, who saw trial as theater—free entertainment filled with real-life drama, human emotion, and, yes, great stories. Many of the buffs (about six to 10 in number) attended court daily, developing loyalties to their favorite defense lawyers, prosecutors, or even judges. One of the last buffs, who still attends the Brooklyn court to this day, is Margie, my No. 1 fan. She makes the best sausage and meatball sandwiches on this Earth. And, at least once during every trial, she shows up at lunchtime with enough sandwiches for everyone. In the Peter Gotti trial, there came a time when all of the defense lawyers were working through lunch (Margie's sandwiches) in the courtroom, which had been locked and closed to the public. The prosecutors were also working at their table, eating some anemic tuna sandwiches. I won't give up his name, but one of the prosecutors came over to our table and said, boy, that smells good. In a burst of unrequited generosity, we gave him one. He ate it mighty fast, with furtive glances toward the side door, perhaps fearing the supervisor of his unit.

On another issue: Try as you might, Jeff, and sausage sandwiches aside, I don't talk about my cases, so sorry to disappoint. But, based on my long experience, I'll say again that Tony Soprano is not boss material; he's just a mean-spirited clown. Say what you will about real mob bosses—they are not clowns.

Enjoyed the rap. Happy to come back anytime.

Jerry Shargel