Dear Al Capone

You must know that I appreciate you. Tons. To say that you are my role model is putting it mildly.

A man hassles me at a bar? I break his knees. The neighbor is harassing me? I put up with it half the night, then bang on his door with a hammer. Someone disrespects me? My fury is as great as my kindness. As it should be.

You see, I would be a worthy heir to you. You would be proud of me, and like a poppa, you would encourage me. We would make a great team.

Just imagine how much fun you would have if you were living today:

You would find out quick that human beings, basically earthlings, are also internauts. Denizens of another whole world – one where you can do everything but eat, shit, and sleep.

You would have your computer, and your accountant would use software that would prevent any and all errors. Unintentional ones, anyway.

You would have internet access, and you could use it to find out whatever you needed to know about your team, your business, and the competition. You could set up a shop and sell your products anywhere in the world. You could plan your vacations and even pick out a new car.

On LinkedIn, you would promote your company, post a short bio written in the third person, recruit future partners, and advertise your products and services.

On YouTube, you would learn to make nooses, then watch kitten videos to relax. You would share your tips on networking and collaborative economy.

On Instagram, you would salivate over pictures of dishes so gorgeous that you would get goosebumps just thinking about digging in. You could read quotes from Buddha and practice positive thinking.

On Twitter, you would react to current events. You would share news stories, verified or not. You could troll your enemies and spew bile anonymously. You could declare war with a hashtag. And you would be judge and jury.

On Facebook, you would tell your life story. Or maybe not. You could follow your family, your friends, your partners, your one-night stands. You would check up on the lives of those who have drifted away, and reminisce about those who have lost their lives.

Obviously, you would be an influencer. A mix of tips, wisdom, and crime (lest we forget). Always there, even when we wished you weren’t.

You and I both know: we are only human. We are neither entirely good, nor entirely evil. We do our best to strike the perfect balance between self-respect and respect for others. And your famous words would be your leitmotiv (and mine):

“Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness. I am kind to everyone, but when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you are going to remember about me.”

Yes, Al, today we have different tools, and different rules.

To meet women, you would create a profile on a dating site. No more bars, dances, and introductions by friends. You would carefully craft your intro, a sweet mix of humor and toughness. You would upload a few of your best head shots and start the hunt. Faced with so many choices, at best, you would stay glued to your screen, seeking some sort of magic that you would never find. At worst, you would find someone…and end up disappointed.

If you ended up going to dinner with someone and getting laid, you would soon learn that they call it “ghosting” when someone vanishes off the face of the earth after a night of passion.

You and I would call that a vanishing act, and if anyone asks, they went on a trip. A long trip. Somewhere far away. Very far away.

And come to think of it, that’s a good way to put it.


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