The regular patrons at the time, were neighborhood people too; all of whom seemed to have nicknames. (although, the nicknames were useful for identification purposes). There was Joe the Lawyer, who wasn't a lawyer at all, but worked as an insurance investigator. Then there was John the Lawyer, who was a stockbroker, and John the Lawyer, who really was a lawyer with an office across the street. And I was always confused about Mary the Nurse, whose nickname seemed unnecessary; she was indeed a nurse, but she was the only regular named Mary.
Then there were the rest of the regulars: mostly young men ,who fancied themselves to be wise guys. Their conversations were peppered with phrases like 'fuggeddaboudit,' and 'ba-da-bing!' And they often talked about 'needing to see this guy,' or 'having to take care of that thing.' But despite the fact that they revered Robert DiNiro, and may have harbored dreams of being known by a nickname like "extreme unction," the most serious crime any of them may ever have committed was betting on the Red Sox late in September.
When these local heros weren't talking about 'this guy,' or 'that thing,' though, the conversation tended to stray toward food; often, toward Chicken Scarpariello. This was a hot dish-literally, and figuratively-during my years in Boston. And the folks often debated the qualities of one preparation over another. The talk often centered around the merits of Cantina d'Italia's recipe, that included sausage, over Felicia's, that didn't. Sausage or not, though, Chicken Scarpariello is the kind of dish that would please any wise guy because it encourages eating with a fork in one hand an a torn-off piece of crusty bread in the other; the latter, used for sopping up the sauce, and for punctuating various exclamations of 'fuggeddaboudit,' or 'ba-da-bing.'